The modern lifestyle and the need for speedy and convenient dining have boosted the off-premise model of doing business over the last decade. Consumers have shown an increased need for using delivery, takeout, and drive-thru options. This not only saves their time but allows them to eat wherever they want, at any moment. But, in the last two years more than ever, the need for improved off-premise technology has reached its peak. Why? Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift, it has made in all segments of our lives.
There is no doubt that the off-premise principle and consumption have reached a peak during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to get stronger. The hospitality industry has suffered a blow but was given a chance to adapt and reshape. Business owners in this industry have learned the importance of off-premise technology to reach their customers, boost sales, and save their businesses. And, this trend will only get stronger. So, here are the off-premise technology trend predictions for 2022.
1. In-House Ordering
Although larger fast-food chains and restaurants such as McDonald’s already introduced in-house ordering as a standard, this type of service has not become widely spread just yet. Most restaurants still have a third-party delivering food to their customers.
But, as customers show an increased preference for in-house ordering- it is clear there is a need for technology, apps, and platforms.
So, integrated systems will emerge as more and more businesses decide to handle their own takeout and delivery orders. The customers expect the basics - a restaurant’s own app or website that gives them the ability to customize their orders.
However, new technology trends include:
- receiving alerts when the food is ready or left the restaurant
- tracking it from ordering to delivery
- possibility to order in advance for a specific time
Clearly, this trend is about to take over in 2022.
2. In-Store Kiosk
Another trend that is leaning towards becoming a standard is the in-store kiosk. More and more customers are preferring to complete their order without talking to a cashier and are more willing to visit restaurants that offer such services.
According to Statista, global sales from interactive kiosks are expected to double between 2021 and 2028. That means it has a technology challenge that restaurants need to embrace as soon as possible.
These interactive kiosks are expected to:
- communicate via touch or voice
- offer a better selection of products or services
- stimulate the customers to continue with their orders
- improve the efficiency of a business
In-store kiosks are becoming a necessity and will begin their journey to becoming a standard in 2022.
3. Payment Technologies
For the typical off-premise customer, contactless payment is no longer a convenience. It is becoming a need. They want the whole process of receiving their food to go without necessary contact with the cashier, person delivering their food, or working in the drive-thru.
Instead, they want to pay independently, through an app or touchless device.
So, all they need to use is their smartphone, smartwatch, or smart card, and quickly finish paying for their order.
This is why, in 2022, we will see an emergence of technologies for contactless payment. Every restaurant that wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with its biggest competitors will have to provide such an option. Why? Because it is COVID-safe, convenient, efficient, and simply smarter.
Chatbots have been around for a while so you may find it surprising that they are on our list of off-premise tech predictions for 2022. But, restaurants still have not fully embraced this form of automation but are leaning towards it in the year to follow.
This is thanks to the need for a more customer-friendly experience that is becoming a number one priority for businesses- small and big.
So, what does the customer expect from your business? They want:
- easy order placement
- quick access to your offer
- contactless service
- helpful tips
- personalized food recommendation
- loyalty rewards
So, with the chatbots taking over your off-premise orders, they’re slowly becoming the brand representation and your primary connection to the customers. That's why restaurants also need to invest in their chatbot script and content creations.
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5. Operations Automation
With the pandemic still keeping us on the edge of our seats, and the suspense of what's going to happen next, restaurants need to embrace brand new technologies to offer something more. And today, a fast and seamless experience is everything a customer wants from a restaurant. They no longer have the time to wait or the patience to queue. Instead, they want it all, and they want it now.
Plus, with the new normal and a complete reorganization from on-premise to off-premise as a priority, everyone needs to up their game. Luckily, technology comes to the rescue and offers automation as one of the ways to boost business efficiency and speed of delivery.
So, in 2022 there will be a drastic increase in using automated technology and robots to complete orders and speed up the process from receiving an order to sending the meal on its way to the customer. Naturally, not everything can be automated, but simple tasks such as grilling, chopping, frying, or cleaning are already being taken over by robots and automated technologies.
We can rest assured that 2022 will be a year full of innovations, improvements, and powerful technologies that will support the rise of the off-premise model. Regardless of the pandemic, this new shift is here to stay, and restaurants need to keep up and stay one step ahead of their competitors.
The predictions we have made above may seem distant now, but they are just around the corner. So, use these ideas and advice to start working on your new and improved tech-based strategy for the off-premise business model.