With many businesses having to close for most of 2020, restaurants and cafes are most likely getting used to running their business with lower numbers of staff. With the advent of ever-changing technology, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a lot of businesses adapt to working with less members of staff, and rely on more robots and automated machines to process food orders. Technology is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, which could see big changes within the hospitality sector.
Using Robots Instead of Humans
In a Chicago-based burger restaurant, for example, Flippy the automated robot has been put through trials in 2020 to see how it could cope with processing and making burgers. With the success of trials like this, it probably won’t be too long before the inclusion of chef robots and servers becomes the norm in the future.
Even trends are changing in the local coffee shop industries with more businesses opting for more technical coffee machines such as the
San Franciscan Coffee Roaster. Despite the increase in popularity with coffee shops in the last 20 years, soon even staff taking your order might become a distant memory, instead, you might be greeted by the likes of Flippy the robot who makes your morning cappuccino en route to your commute to work.
Self Service Kiosks
We are already starting to notice more and more self-service machines, whether it’s in your local grocery store, ordering your favorite fast food meal, or purchasing a travel ticket. From a business point of view, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, they will need to try and cut their costs, even more, going forward in 2021, so it won’t be surprising to see the evolution of self-service machines increase within the next 10 years with less and less human contact when you go about your daily tasks.
This trend is likely to continue particularly with the ongoing pandemic. Instead of the usual physical venue for customers, which the majority of restaurants and cafes have, ghost kitchens are primarily a set up where a small team of kitchen staff have the ability to produce food for online deliveries.
Thus there is no setup for welcoming customers into the venue. So no tables, menus, bar, everything you would typically find in a restaurant setting. It enables the business to just focus on the food preparation and distribution without having to pay extra for lighting, heating, laundry, and more staff costs. It will not be surprising if the use of ghost kitchens becomes an even more popular trend in the next few years as businesses strive for ways to keep them afloat.
Voice Assistant Technology
We have already seen a noticeable difference with the usage of voice assistant technology since Siri was introduced in 2011 with a lot of homes now asking Alexa for assistance too.
In the hospitality industry Papa Johns have carried out a trial using an artificial intelligence phone system to process their food orders. The customers speak directly into the automated phone system, and this is then directly linked to the kitchen staff who will then be able to prepare the order. The company plans to expand this new system to at least 1,000 restaurants across 37 different states during 2021.
A significant benefit for this use of technology is that the computer will be able to memorize the food order and upsell any items on the menu in a bid to lure the customer to spend more, which would certainly be appealing for a restaurant business when you have the possibility to upsell between 20% and 40% more.
Biometrics Payment Technology
It has become increasingly common for many of us as consumers when shopping or purchasing food by simply tapping our phone against the card reader. However, a new variant of this technology is already in production, with the creation of biometrics as a form of Mobile Point of Sale (also known as mPOS) could be the next evolution with regards to sitting in a restaurant to pay for your food bill. It is essentially a fingerprint reader that would enable the consumer to pay for a product by identifying them through their fingerprint which would be securely linked to their card details. This would certainly be useful when you forget your pin or lose your credit card or wallet. We have all been guilty of that at some point!