There’s no doubt about it: people love to dine out. In fact, there are over 1 million restaurants in the United States alone, and it’s estimated that those restaurants produced $863 billion of sales in 2019. At the same time, the hospitality industry is undergoing the same digital transformation as nearly every other industry: for example, online ordering is growing 300% faster than in-dining spend!
To accommodate these advancements, back of the house restaurant technology is evolving to keep up. Read on to learn more about the transformation taking place in kitchens around the world – and how it’s not as complicated as you think to keep up with modern hospitality trends if you choose the proper back of the house restaurant technology.
Restaurants across the world are being prompted to streamline their operations to meet the demands of today’s latest hospitality trends. These new technologies include online ordering, self-service kiosks, and other updated kitchen technology. Let’s explore each trend and how your restaurant (or your customer’s restaurants) can adapt to take advantage of these opportunities.
One of the most prevalent technological changes to the restaurant industry is online ordering. Did you know:
- 31% of consumers say they use third-party delivery apps at least twice a week.
- 67% of customers who have placed an order online will visit the restaurant more frequently versus those who have not.
- Restaurants that utilizes an online-ordering system are able to grow their delivery revenue 30% more than those who do not.
- Millennials order takeout via an app or website more than any other age group, with 79% of Millennials doing so in the last year.
- Two-thirds of consumers say that they are more likely to visit a restaurant if they have previously ordered from them online.
- Partnering with an online ordering service is a great way to reach new customers – one service has claimed that 92% of its orders come from entirely new customers.
So, what does a restaurant need to do to accommodate online orders? The first step is to choose a third-party online ordering service. Some popular options include DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and more (Star is partnered with all three of those – and is proud to partner with nearly every other online ordering service provider, as well).
Partnering with an online ordering service can be very straightforward. Most simply ask that the restaurant provides information about itself and uploads its menu, and then the service provider will send out the necessary equipment to get started.
Many services allow the restaurant to either use its own drivers or leverage on-demand drivers, and some may even include special perks like professional photoshoots, marketing opportunities, website tools, and more.
Considering back of the house restaurant technology when choosing your service provider is of utmost importance. Be sure to choose a service which provides a feature-packed printer that is:
- Full of Connectivity Options: Star’s printers include multiple connectivity options including:
- CloudPRNT: CloudPRNT allows the printer to communicate directly with the online ordering service’s server, which means no need for an additional tablet, software, or SSL certificate at the local level. Enjoy all the benefits of online ordering without additional hassle and clutter!
- SteadyLANTM: Star’s mC-Print series features SteadyLAN, which allows for direct data transfer between Apple iOS devices and the printer via the Lightning cable. For the first time ever, enjoy direct ethernet connectivity to iOS devices from the wired ethernet port of the printer.
- USB Hub: Star’s mC-Print series also features a USB hub which allows for connectivity of up to three peripherals, like 1D and 2D scanners, cash drawers, line displays, kitchen buzzers, and more.
- Durable: The kitchen can be a messy place. A good rule of thumb is to choose a printer that is IPX2-rated, meaning it is splash-proof and insect-proof.
- High Performance: Choosing a high-quality and high-performance printer will serve you well in the long run. Look for a printer with a high print speed (like 250mm/s), a high print resolution (203dpi), and a simple user experience.
Self-Service Kiosk Orders
Arguably, the second most popular trend emerging in the hospitality market is self-service kiosks (it’s estimated that 41% of the industry is now using kiosks) – and for good reason. There are many benefits for both the customer and the restaurant when it comes to self-service kiosks:
- More Sales: Customers spend more money when they order from a kiosk, thanks to kiosks prompting them with options such as additional toppings, which can add up over time. In fact, McDonald’s has seen a 20% increase in drink orders alone since implementing kiosks!
- A Better Customer Experience: Implementing kiosks means shorter lines and enhanced order customization and accuracy for your customers. Additionally, your employees can spend more time giving customers a high-quality experience since they won’t have as much pressure to quickly process all of the orders.
- Cost-Efficient: On top of making more money, you’ll avoid the time and money that is wasted when orders need to be re-made due to inaccurate manual order-taking.
It may surprise you, but you can implement self-service kiosk technology without making big changes to your current restaurant operations! If your staff is trained on processing printed kitchen tickets, it’s possible to keep your back of the house operations the same –you can keep them by choosing a connected kitchen printer that can retrieve digital orders. Save time, money, and keep your workers happy by keeping your back-of-house processes the same.
Star is proud to partner and integrate with many of the industry’s leading kiosk manufacturers. With a large variety of kiosk printers designed to meet different kiosk styles and requirements, there’s a good chance we have the right kiosk solution for you. Please contact our sales team to learn more, whether you’re a kiosk manufacturer searching for the right printer, a reseller or ISV looking for the right solution to offer your customers, or a restaurant on the hunt for a kiosk solution to meet your specific needs.
Other Updated Kitchen Technology
There are even more modern advancements happening in restaurant kitchens besides online ordering and kiosks. One example? The kitchen buzzer.
Modern kitchen buzzers – like the Star mC-Sound – include many new features like:
- High quality sound (89dB)
- Easy-to-use, pre-recorded melodies
- The ability to record custom user speech
- Compatibility with Windows, iOS, and Android SDKs
- The ability for the sound converter tool to be integrated
- And more!
Back of the house restaurant technology is evolving – but you may be surprised how easy it can be to update your existing technology and take advantage of today’s trends, which can add more money to your bottom line and create a better customer experience.
Whether you want to offer online ordering, deploy self-service kiosk technology, or more, be sure your new processes are backed by high-quality hardware featuring future-proof connectivity options and integrations with your favorite service providers. Always leading, and always innovating, Star is proud to offer a portfolio of back of the house restaurant technology designed to meet today’s needs.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.