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Three Steps to Become the Restaurant of the Future

Austin Chegini
2 Nov 2020

61% of Americans dine out at least once per week. So, with this level of demand, why are many restaurants across the United States closing their doors?

The hospitality industry plays a major role in the United States economy, with 15.6 million Americans working in one million restaurants throughout the country. A recent report by Yelp found that 53% of restaurants that closed in March 2020 do not plan to re-open. Despite this, many food delivery apps are growing at a double-digit pace, showing that some restaurants are doing business as usual.

Why are some businesses doing well while others are failing? One likely answer is that struggling owners are sticking to their outdated models and simply cannot compete with restaurants that are gearing up for the future. Consumer expectations can change rapidly, and falling behind the latest trends can make a restaurant seem outdated and substandard.

What You Need to Be the Restaurant of the Future

Apple holds 46% of the U.S smartphone market, but it’s constantly releasing new phones and accessories. The company understands that it must maintain its competitive advantage to stay successful.

Just like Apple’s leaders, you need to plan ahead and strive to become the restaurant of the future now. The investments you make today will come with many benefits in the long term. Here are three steps you will need during this process.

Accept all payments

Consumers use cash in 30% of all transactions. It is the most frequently used payment, but shoppers prefer to use credit and debit cards when possible. Perhaps credit card rewards and convenience can explain this phenomenon, but that is not the point. Rather, businesses should accept this trend and plan accordingly.

If you own a restaurant, accepting cash, credit, and debit is no longer optional. Not only will limiting payment options irritate your diners, but it can also cause you actual losses. Almost half of U.S. diners do not carry more than $20. How will you collect payments when these guests cannot use card and do not have enough cash in their wallet?

Future restaurants will also need the latest in payment processing technology. Identity theft due to stolen credit card information is a major concern, with one incident resulting in millions of stolen cards for sale online. Restaurants can help protect themselves and their clients by using the latest PCI compliant technologies.

Convenience and hygiene also play a role in choosing payment processing technology. Some people may not want to touch a credit card reader that might have germs on it. Other people may just want a fast way to pay. For these reasons, we suggest you offer a contactless payment method.

International Bancard provides both of these benefits and more with its payment processing and payment gateways. Best of all, Epos Now and International Bancard have partnered to make managing the restaurant of the future a breeze.

Embrace new restaurant technology

Restaurants must offer great food, excellent service, and a welcoming atmosphere. However, these traits alone are not enough to keep diners coming back for more. Restaurants of the future will need to capitalise on the latest technology to maintain their edge.

A cloud point of sales system will likely be in every future restaurant for the following reasons:

  • Security: Replacing locally stored machines, these systems connect to the internet and keep all data stored on cloud servers. Data will never be lost due to burglary, fires, or hardware failures.
  • Efficiency: Servers never need to run orders to the kitchen. Instead, they can take orders from mobile devices and send them directly to the Kitchen Display Screen. Restaurateurs can also use POS systems to create customisable table plans and staff rotas.
  • Accuracy: Records for inventory, sales, and other core business areas all live on the POS. Restaurant owners can get real-time insight into their operation, and discover ways to increase profit and reduce expenses

Another key technology future restaurants should leverage is online ordering. As we outlined earlier, online ordering apps are seeing massive gains. Restaurants will need to integrate with these services to create another revenue stream. Delivery also helps restaurants handle future problems that could interrupt normal dining operations, such as the Covid19 pandemic.

delivery driver collecting order

Connect with the community

A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Collat School of Business indicates that small businesses can bring in more customers by increasing community involvement. It is a relatively small investment that improves how locals view a company. Moreover, businesses and consumers can keep more money in the local economy by building relationships with one another.

At the same time, 91% of Americans patronize small businesses weekly, and 75% plan to increase their patronage to local businesses. Future restaurants will need to contribute to the community and show they are truly local.

Here are a few ways restaurants can bolster their community involvement:

  • Host fundraisers for local organisations
  • Donate inventory to local food pantries
  • Sponsor sports teams or other groups
  • Join civic organisations and business networks such as the local chamber of commerce

Your restaurant’s future starts today

Consumer trends change rapidly, and the hospitality industry must be ahead of these changes. Epos Now and International Bancard provide leading restaurant technology that helps businesses stay competitive.

Get in touch today to learn more about our POS solutions.