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technology for restaurants

13 restaurant tech trends that will dominate in 2021

2020 was a year that marked an important change in the gastronomic industry and put on the table the importance of digital transformation and the use of technology in a restaurant to respond to the needs of new consumers.

Therefore, we want to start this new year by presenting you with the 13 most important trends in technology for restaurants, cafes, bars and practically any food business that seeks to remain and grow in a new era marked by technological advancement and digital communications.

1. Online platforms for home and take away orders

After showing an increase of up to 300 percent during 2020, food orders online will be a consumer trend that will continue to be present in 2021, so the platforms to sell food online they will be the ideal tool for businesses that want to get the most out of this growing market.

2. Online reservations in restaurants

Another trend for next year will be the increase in work? online. According to a report by El Tenedor, the main reason why online reservations are preferred over the telephone is for the convenience of doing it from anywhere, with the smartphone being the preferred device for 50 percent of consumers to make reservations online in restaurants.

3. QR codes

QR technology has been strongly driven by the use of QR menus, which allow the diner to digitally access the restaurant menu through a quick scan with the cell phone or, go to an application that allows them to place their order and pass the order directly to the kitchen, avoiding interaction with surfaces or with the staff.

QR codes do not stop there, as they are also being used in the development of augmented reality and virtual reality applications designed to significantly enrich the customer experience in this new technological era of gastronomy.

It may interest you: What technology should be in a restaurant after Covid-19

4. Cashless payments

The disappearance of cash is a trend that is occurring globally and in times of a Covid-19 pandemic represents an alternative to avoid contact with bills and coins that could spread contagion.

Therefore, it is likely that the question "In cash or by card?" will disappear in restaurants in the short or medium term thanks to the increase in the preference for cashless payment, mainly through mobile banking applications such as CoDi®, online payments or through systems such as PayPal.

5. Technology for dark kitchens (virtual kitchens)


The increase in home delivery has brought with it the rise of the Dark kitchens (ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens), a type of establishment in which food is prepared exclusively to send home and the presence of its brand (or the various brands that it may host) occurs mainly on digital platforms.

For this new gastronomic model, the use of kitchen monitors and systems that allow to increase production capacity to the maximum will be necessary in the absence of other common profitability factors in restaurants, such as service in the dining room.

6. Self-service digital kiosks

The digital kiosks They began to be implemented by fast food chains such as McDonald's, giving way to a self-service model through digital screens that speed up order delivery and enrich the experience of users who increasingly demand greater immediacy.

This technology not only benefits users but also workers, and according to various studies, promotes an increase of between 30 percent and 65 percent on the average ticket.

It may interest you: How to increase sales in a restaurant using technology

7. Analytics for restaurants

Information will play a fundamental role in the restaurant industry in 2021 through the use of programs that are responsible for collecting data from all processes that occur in the business, interpreting them to know their status in real time and generating future forecasts.

The three main areas in which the sector is already innovating from the use of the restaurant analytics It is in the generation of commercial strategies based on data, the creation of menus according to consumption trends and the improvement of the overall efficiency of the business.

8. Interactive menus on screens

While digital menus have already been widely incorporated by the industry, this 2021 they will be essential to attract and captivate diners in the reopening of gastronomic establishments, helping the diner to make the best decision about their dish, reducing operating times and providing a complete digital experience .

9. Systems to reduce food waste

The impact on food production derived from the slowdown of the economy in 2020 has driven the trend of the circular economy and the decrease in food waste in the restaurant industry.

To achieve this, one of the most effective technological tools will be the use of a restaurant software that offers tools for inventory control, recipe costing and purchases from suppliers, helping to keep a precise control of all supplies, avoid expiration and waste.

It may interest you: Soft Restaurant® 10: The System for Smart Restaurants

10. Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs such as electronic purses, gifts on special dates, special promotions by number of visits and discounts on points will be essential to attract consumers undecided between going or not going to your restaurant in this year that begins.

Also, loyalty programs that are connected to your restaurant system They will help you to have accurate information about the visits of your guests and their consumption preferences in order to offer a personalized experience.

11. Own application for mobile devices


Today many restaurants are already working on the implementation of their own mobile applications that allow users to place their food orders at home and take away, manage their reservations online, consult the digital menu or take advantage of their loyalty programs.

The apps Mobile phones for restaurants offer a wide range of possibilities, which is why they represent an important opportunity to obtain a competitive advantage and a differentiating value for restaurants in 2021.

12. Marketing on digital platforms

Digital marketing is a trend that will be essential to recover and grow significantly this 2021, so if you still do not have a defined strategy, it is time for you to start considering all the tools that you may have available to increase your presence on the internet , considering:

  • Social media strategy.
  • Website or customizable platforms of food orders online.
  • Generation of content optimized for internet searches (SEO).

13. Orders online food by voice

The penetration of smart voice assistants such as Google Home or Alexa has reached hundreds of millions of users worldwide, representing an important niche for e-commerce and a new area of ​​opportunity for restaurants through food ordering. for you.

How does this technology work? The customer only has to say: "Alexa, I want to order a pizza from Messinas", and the assistant will be able to contact the business directly, providing a more comfortable ordering experience similar to the way they would usually do when arriving at an establishment . 

2021: The year of technology for restaurants

We have reached the end of this article and there are still disruptive technologies that need to be mentioned, for example, home automation, the internet of things and robotization, as well as other technologies that have been on the market for several years but will still be in force for this new restaurant era.

If you would like to know the complete panorama of the use of technology in a restaurant and everything you need to know to acquire the right tools for you, we invite you to subscribe to our blog to receive our e-books, guides and valuable content to grow your business.