Restaurants, cafes, and other food businesses have seen many trends emerging through the COVID pandemic. People have become concerned about their health and safety more than ever, and as a result, the competition in the food business is rising. Restaurants are using these trends and competition as opportunities to grow.
Food businesses are ready to embrace new marketing techniques, even if that means rethinking their business strategy. Whether it is installing a POS unit for contactless payments or online order tracking software, these businesses never fail to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Below we have listed a few interesting trends in the restaurant payment tech industry for 2021. Let’s get started.
Reduce Food Waste
Going green has become a new priority after the 2020’s global pandemic. People choose businesses that put effort into making their products and services sustainable. For example, nobody likes to eat at a restaurant where the staff doesn’t take the necessary measures to control food waste. That’s why businesses have started using technologies to predict customers’ orders in advance so that they can prepare food accordingly.
Over 70% of food is wasted before it is served to the customer, and 80% of this waste occurs because of overproduction, Winnow reports. Businesses are now embracing technology trends that can help control food waste with the help of software apps that offer accurate prediction features.
Exciting Elements for a Perfect Dining Experience
Why should your customers dine at a restaurant when they can simply order food online and enjoy the meal with their loved ones? You need to give them the “extra” they can’t get at home. Anything that takes their experience to a whole new level will do. For example, you can share the recipe of the restaurant’s signature meal, offer your restaurant-special sweets for free, or organize a contest for your regular customers. The idea is to give your customers an experience they will remember your business for.
People might not have noticed it before, but customers are now looking for better packaging as the eating-at-home trend is gaining immense popularity. Restaurants need to level up their food packaging so that customers can enjoy safe food delivery. It’s better if you can consider packaging that can go into the microwave for heating.
Personalized Dining Experience
A personalized experience has become a trend in almost every industry, especially the food sector, where people look for recipes that fit their tastes and budget. Tracking down each customer’s taste and customizing the restaurant menu to their requirements has not always been an option. However, today’s technology has made it easier for restaurant owners to improve guests’ experience by serving them the most delicious food.
You can integrate the loyalty program into your restaurant business to attract the audience’s attention. This is the perfect way to make them your regular customers. Once they become your regulars, it will be easier for you to track their recent food orders and get insights into their preference, taste, budget, and more. You can use this data to provide them with a better and more customized experience tailored to their choice. For example, you can welcome your new customers with their favorite drink or give them a special discount as a reward for being a regular.
Let them Track their Order Status
Customers want to know how long until their food is ready to be delivered. The order tracking feature became quite popular in the pandemic, as people couldn’t help but check the status of their food. Your customers want every detail – when their order is ready, who is delivering it, when it will be delivered, and so on. Those who track their orders every few minutes will not order from a restaurant that doesn’t offer the food-tracking feature.
So, if you don’t already have the order-tracking function on your website and mobile app, now is the best time to integrate it and make your restaurant look more credible to your audience.
Contactless Payment – A New Standard
Contactless payment was trending before the COVID outbreak, but the popularity of this technology skyrocketed as people started using the contactless payment for all types of online and offline purchases. Not only because of safety concerns, but customers use contactless payments for convenience.
Swiping a card at the POS seems more convenient and easier than paying through cash. It is also easier for restaurants to record the payments. You no longer need to count cash at the reception, make manual entries in your accounting books, and manually record each transaction in your business software. Pay-at-the-table, self-order kiosks, mobile payments, and EPOS payments are a few contactless payment options for restaurants.
Restaurants are incorporating different channels for payments, orders, and food delivery. To support other platforms for online food ordering and payments, restaurants need to implement kitchen automation technology. Automated kitchens bring efficiency in restaurant operations – whether it is taking orders through websites or in person.
An Increased Percentage of Direct Orders
Food service providers do not want customers to reach out to them through third parties. Direct ordering gives restaurants and food businesses more control over their customers’ experience. They can use loyalty programs, rewards, and other exciting offers to build customer trust in their brands. It is also easier for customers to place an order directly on your restaurants’ website or mobile app instead of using a third-party service. It offers a better customer experience by cutting down the middlemen while allowing restaurant owners to customize the end-to-end customer experience.
Conclusion: These were the top restaurant trends every foodservice business needs to embrace for 2021-2022. The sooner you implement the above technologies into your business, the faster your business will grow. Good Luck!