As a restaurant operator, it’s easy to feel a little isolated.
When we were running our own restaurants and faced operational challenges, we often asked ourselves “are we the only ones experiencing this?“.
Every operation manages orders in slightly different ways. But despite this, the state of restaurant tech means there are plenty of shared experiences (and challenges) in the running of day-to-day operations and the pursuit of growth.
To shine a light on these shared restaurant tech trends, we partnered with KAM, a hospitality-focused consumer research agency, to conduct research into the relationship between restaurant operators and the tech they use.
Our new research report ‘Hospitality tech 2024: Bridging the efficiency and profitability gap‘ is out now.
Discover three top restaurant tech trends straight from the report below…
Restaurant tech trends for 2024 and beyond
Trend #1: Growing brands are changing their focus area to efficiency
Unsurprisingly, growth and profit are the top focus areas for restaurant operators:
64% of operators
reported increasing profitability as a top focus area for their business.
54% of operators
reported that growing customer numbers is a top focus area.
However over 50% report that a lack of time is blocking them from achieving these business goals.
A significant time sink for restaurants is caused by the constant battle of managing a fragmented tech stack.
Hours of manual menu updates, laborious account switching and other complex admin tasks stop businesses from operating efficiently. In fact almost 40% of operators recognise that having multiple providers is inefficient.
However, only 28% of operators report that improving efficiency is a top focus area for the business.
In order to achieve the profitability and growth operators are looking for, focus needs to shift to efficiency first. By solving these inefficiencies that are getting in the way, brands will experience exponential growth, faster.
Deep Blue – the largest fish and chip chain in the UK – have seen a 30% increase in ATV, with 500 hours saved on menu updates alone by focusing on operational efficiency and simplifying their tech stack with the Vita Mojo Order Management System.
Trend #2: Operators have been stung by overly complex tech
Managing fragmented restaurant tech is a complex, time consuming job.
Tech innovation might have opened up new revenue channels for operators, but with so many individual point solutions to manage, this has come at a significant cost.
Constant account switching, mind-numbing manual admin, inevitable human error; and that’s just to update menus.
When the tech that was supposed to make life easier is itself causing new problems, it’s understandable that one in five operators feel risk averse to any further change.
50% of operators
don't think they have the in-house skills to make the most out of their tech solutions
30% of operators
believe that too much training is needed to use digital solutions properly
Thankfully, overly complex and fragmented tech stacks are no longer the only way to manage operations.
Alternative approaches such as an order management system combine all aspects of the order lifecycle – including POS, digital ordering, kitchen management and loyalty – into one system.
With over 40% of operators reporting they would be encouraged to change POS providers if it meant tech was easier to use for their teams, these alternative approaches offer much more efficient solutions, perfect for operators who have been let down by tech in the past.
Trend #3: Operators are unable to make agile, data-driven decisions
A strong data strategy can be the driving force behind business growth and profit.
Revenue-boosting menu design, loyalty personalisation and site-level reporting all contribute to growth, and all depend on agile, data-driven decision making.
2 in 3 operators
are frustrated that they are not making the most of the data they collect through their tech solution
40% of operators
find it hard to use data for day-to-day decisions because it's split across different, siloed platforms
How are operators combating these data struggles? Along with centralised reporting platforms that simplify data access, operators are moving away from the ‘install and go’ mindset and instead expect more of a partnership from their tech providers.
53% of operators report that a consultative approach is the most valuable aspect of a POS provider. This extends to data strategy. It’s becoming increasingly important to operators to find a partner that will help answer their unique data requirements, put the time into building personalised reports, and empower all levels of the business with data ownership.