It’s an exciting time for the restaurant industry. Chefs are experimenting with unique flavors, 2019’s restaurant and drinks buzzwords are varied, and there are some wonderful technologies to look into. Below, we share five of the best, most useful restaurant technologies to improve sales and streamline time-consuming tasks (like recording temperature).

Virtual Reality Onboarding
Training a new hire takes time and patience, whether it’s to be a server. One of the newest restaurant technologies tackles exactly this problem. Imagine the possibilities of combining virtual reality (VR) and human resources…what if you could train new hires without the risks and costs of a normal training session?

Now you can. With a headset and customized software, restaurants can now train new employees with great success.

Honeygrow is the first company to try this technology with restaurants. Their software allows new hires to take a 360-degree tour of the facility, follow other employees on the floor, and test new skills in simulated scenarios.

VR onboarding spares the restaurant from wasting food or spending excessive time on training sessions. What’s more, virtual reality takes the pressure off of a new employee and encourages more proactive learning without the fear of messing up.

“We feel people will retain information much better if they’re able to engage and interact in a meaningful way,” says Jen Denis, chief brand officer of Honeygrow. “This generation has grown up with video, gaming, and technology. More and more, we learn by doing rather than reading.”

Digital Scheduling Software

If you are still scheduling shifts with pen and paper, 2019 is the year to change that. The difficulties of scheduling are immense and ongoing but restaurant POS software is a boon to restaurateurs and managers which shouldn’t be overlooked.

Within minutes, you can generate a weekly schedule that considers:

  • Sales forecasts to avoid under- or over-staffing
  • Historical staffing patterns
  • Employee availability
  • Time-off requests
  • Shift swaps

Digital scheduling programs simplify things for you in ways you’ll greatly appreciate.

Bluetooth Temperature Sensors
Meeting food safety regulations is a pain. As the owner or manager of a restaurant, you know how much time and effort logging temperature takes. To reclaim that lost time, restaurants have started using Bluetooth temperature sensors.

With handheld probes and fixed sensors, restaurants can manually or automatically regulate their food and equipment in a few seconds. The best Bluetooth temperature services are fully automated and record readings in a HACCP log—freeing up a lot of your time. Additionally, reports cannot be falsified, paper logs can be done away with, and the margin for error gets narrower.

Several franchise restaurants are already using them. For example, Five Guys installed wireless temperature sensors to coolers, prep rooms, and milkshake machines in all 1,300 locations. In New York City, an owner of 12 McDonald’s installed Bluetooth sensors and saw noticeable differences.

The most immediate improvement realized is the reduction in food waste. They also give control over other factors like ensuring the walk-in coolers are securely closed and that the lobby maintains a pleasant temperature. Notifications are sent to a device when something is out of the ordinary.

Easy to use, reliable, and useful, more and more restaurants are going to integrate Bluetooth sensor technology in the near future.

Kiosks

Perfect for fast-casual restaurants, kiosks are the latest technology to optimize operations and increase profits.

Here’s how: At stand-alone touch screens, customers can browse the menu, customize orders, and pay for meals. Upselling and cross-selling options are also present. With the ease of kiosk-ordering, customers tend to order more.

In the kitchen, the BOH receives the order and on the floor, the FOH concentrates on delivering exceptional service or keeping the restaurant clean. If you’re worried about costly set-up expenses, the Lavu Kiosk system is designed for affordability and customization.

Kiosks give fast-casual restaurants the opportunity to focus more on operations and the customer experience—it’s a win all-around.

Online Ordering

Online to-go ordering gives restaurants maximum control over the way customers order food. In turn, customers have total control over their order. It’s easy, fast, and efficient. Orders aren’t incorrectly recorded by the host and the customer can give clear instructions of what is wanted.

Like the kiosk system, once the order is placed, the BOH receives the order and can start working on it. Many restaurants have begun integrating online ordering systems to their websites for a few reasons—seamless ordering styles, more opportunities for up-selling, order accuracy—and most especially, because customers are asking for it.

Online ordering gives restaurants the chance to optimize their sales funnel. For instance, since making it possible for consumers to order food online, TGI Fridays reported a 30% increase in sales. The development has encouraged the casual-dining chain to invest more in new restaurant technology.