Restaurants are altering the way we experience dining out - from how we select a restaurant, to paying our bill using mobile and tablet devices. As technology continues to advance, restaurants need to adopt more modernized methods of payments and digitalize the dining experience. 


Here are some interesting statistics on how technology in restaurants is evolving: 


  • 52% of customers said they would use an electronic payment system if it was available
  • 45% of customers mentioned that technology options make the dining experience more enjoyable
  • 50% of restaurant searches are done on a smartphone
  • 33% of customers use technology when trying to pick a place to eat 


Restaurants can succeed with staying up-to-date with technology by using the below methods for their business: 


Install Mobile Tablets
Installing mobile tablets at the table is a great way to boost customer service. Mobile tabletop tablets allow consumers to be in charge of various services right at their table during their dining experience. Ordering food and beverages, paying for their meal, splitting a check multiple ways, and playing games while waiting for their food are all features that are included on most tabletop solutions. 


Mobile tablets at the table are useful, as customers can pay at their own convenience and have more control of their overall dining experience. Chili’s, Applebee’s, and Olive Garden are all popular restaurants that have added mobile tabletop tablets to their business and have seen a positive growth. 


"This additional resource benefits both our guests and our servers, enabling our team members to make more meaningful connections and provide more personalized service," said Dave George, Olive Garden president. 


Likewise, these quick-service and fast casual restaurants should install tablets at the point of sale. Tablets not only take up less space than older traditional POS systems, but also are integrated with advanced features that can benefit a quick-service and fast casual restaurant. Some features a tablet POS has the capability of managing include an employee time clock, cash management, inventory reports, and sales tracking. 


Engage with social media
With so many customers now using their smartphones for every day use, restaurants should begin to implement opportunities for consumer-to restaurant interactions. A great way to do this is to create a Facebook page for your restaurant, so customers can check in and leave reviews for your business. Likewise, restaurants can use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp to announce their loyalty programs and engage with customers digitally.  


Go digital with loyalty programs
Restaurants can also transform their loyalty program to go mobile with the help of smartphones. For example, restaurants can send customers coupons digitally with an “opt-in” option via text or e-mail. Coupons are a great way to try and entice customers to return and inform customers of any specials they could receive at future visits. 


Create a mobile app
Mobile apps are another recent technology advancement that restaurants should try using. A recent survey conducted by Technomic identified that over 25 percent of adults and 40 percent of millennials downloaded a restaurant app during a three-month time frame. Mobile apps allow customers to view the menu, order and pay ahead, thus decreasing the checkout time significantly. Customers are also able to save and store their credit card information within a mobile app, which alleviates having to enter in their payment information for each purchase. 


Jamba Juice recently adopted using a mobile app at over 200 locations in their first phase. “The new order-ahead app allows us to compete effectively for the on-the-go consumer… The mobile app will provide additional data about app users and their purchase behavior, which will enable us to provide more targeted messaging and drive increased revenue,” said Julie Washington, Jamba chief marketing and innovation officer. 


Restaurants need to be sure and use the most efficient and advanced technology if they want to continue to survive and grow. Installing mobile tablets, engaging with customers via social media, going digital with loyalty programs, and creating a mobile app are all perfect examples restaurants can try out to help modernize their business.