Must-Have Restaurant Technology


What sets businesses apart is the ability to provide an experience, which starts far before diners set foot in a restaurant and extends beyond enjoying a meal.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology

Must-Have Restaurant Technology for a Great Dining Experience

Restaurant technology can make or break a dining experience. The following five technologies can help deliver exceptional service.

1. Mobile Payments

We don’t need to tell you that consumers are attached to their smartphones, this has been true for years now. What is news though, is how quickly those phones are being adopted as a form of payment. Mobile payments are more prevalent than ever and the experts now believe they are here to stay. According to a Business Insider study, mobile payment providers are poised to net over $500 billion in payments by 2020, a roughly 80% compound annual growth rate.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology | Revel Systems

What are mobile payments?

Mobile payments are transactions that take place digitally through your mobile device – allowing you to make purchases directly from a smartphone. With a wave of your phone over or near a reader, a mobile payment is complete.

How does this technology work?

Credit card information is securely stored within mobile phone wallets. When businesses offer contactless payment options like Apple Pay or Android Pay, a phone securely transmits payment information to the business’ payment processor via NFC (near field communication).

NFC is the technology that allows phones and payment devices to transmit information when close together. Accepting mobile payments requires a payment device that includes NFC capability.

The NFC payment process takes place almost instantly, providing both customers and businesses with a convenient and secure way to get business done.

A shift towards mobile payments

The future of mobile payments is looking bright, in fact, an Accenture Consulting report found that 23% of Millennials make a mobile payment at a merchant at least weekly. Leading the way, Millennials are the strongest adopters of this technology, which helps to frame future usage.

As millennials and members of gen z grow into a larger portion of the workforce, we’ll see a continued shift in spending habits, benefiting those businesses that provide the payment options customers want.

What does this mean for my business?

As more consumers are leaving their physical wallets at home, being able to accommodate mobile payments becomes increasingly important so to not miss out on sales. Businesses that enable consumers to pay anyway that suits them, surely have an advantage over those that accept limited forms of payment. And those businesses that get ahead of the pack and begin accepting mobile payments sooner than later, have the advantage of time on their side.

2. Customer Display System

Accuracy and efficiency might be a couple unsung heroes when looking at ways to wow customers, but improvements in these areas are sure to improve your service and reduce orders sent back to the kitchen.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology | Revel Systems

What is a Customer Display System?

Modern Point of Sale systems are often equipped with two screens, one for staff and one facing the customer. The customer facing screen, or Customer Display System (CDS), provides itemized details on the transaction and allows customers to do additional things like tip, sign, or sign up for a loyalty program.

How does this technology work?

Integrated with a POS system, a Customer Display System displays detailed transaction information, providing increased visibility into the transaction without interfering. A CDS also enables customers to sign and even add a tip amount.

What does this mean for my business?

Utilizing a Customer Display System is beneficial to your business as well as your customers. From increased transparency to providing additional marketing touchpoints, a Customer Display System helps to:

  • Improve the customer experience by building trust and providing increased transparency
  • Reduce order errors and the number of orders sent back to the kitchen, saving your businesses money
  • Provide additional marketing touchpoints. Revel, for example, enables businesses to fully brand with colors, text, and video
  • Give customers the opportunity to sign up and engage with a loyalty program
  • Keep you in compliance with local laws. California, for example, requires businesses to display prices as items are rung up.

3. Self-Service Kiosk

A perfect addition to easy busy lunch rushes or free your team from behind the counter – Self-Service Kiosks have many uses and even more benefits. And with advances in Kiosk technology, it’s easy to turn an extra iPad into a high-performing addition to any establishment.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology | Revel Systems

What is a Self-Service Kiosk?

A Self-Service Kiosk, or self-ordering kiosk, gives your customers complete control of their order. Rather than placing an order with a person at a counter or at their table, customers select their orders from a digital menu.

How does this technology work?

A Self-Service Kiosk acts as a replacement to the traditional ordering process. Rather than ordering with a person, a Self-Service Kiosk is stand-alone technology that empowers customers to independently browse, select their order items, and complete payment.

Orders are then sent to the kitchen for kitchen staff to prepare. The process has been noted to save restaurants time and increase order accuracy.

Benefits of a Kiosk

Revel’s Self Service Kiosks are like having three extra employees. During busy lunch rushes, it speeds up processing time by about 40%.

– CHARburger

Both customers and restaurants see benefits with the addition of a Self-Service Kiosk. A few of the top benefits include:

  • Giants like McDonald’s and Panera have found Self-Service Kiosk users tend to spend more money than those ordering with a human.
  • Adding a Kiosk enable staff to focus on higher value tasks like food preparation or personalized customer service.
  • Upselling made easy – showcase your famous sides and combos with image-rich menu displays.
  • Orders are exactly to customers’ liking. Similarly to Customer Display Screens – when customers are able to select, view, and approve their orders, accuracy increases.

What does this mean for my business?

Ultimately, kiosks give restaurants a way to wow customers in the ever-changing market. Whatever your reason for adding a self-service kiosk, be it to ease traffic, speed up orders, or give your customers more control; businesses that leverage self-service options see benefits to their bottom line. Additionally, as consumers continue to show increasing interest in using self-service technology, providing these options keeps your business at the forefront of the industry.

4.Mobile Loyalty Program

Say farewell to stamp cards, a mobile loyalty program removes friction and engages more customers. Small Business Trends called mobile loyalty programs, “the most effective tactic when it comes to increasing customer lifetime value.” So, let’s jump in and take a look at just how mobile loyalty programs can build relationships.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology | Revel Systems

What is a Mobile Loyalty Program?

A mobile loyalty program leverages the fixed extension of our bodies – also known as a cell phone – as a tool to track and encourage loyal patrons. As with any loyalty program, a mobile loyalty program is a structured and long-term marketing effort which provides incentives to repeat customers.

Successful programs are designed to motivate customers to return often and make frequent purchases. And today, mobile programs are replacing punch card systems with streamline programs that handle the management for individuals.

How does this technology work?

A mobile loyalty program can come in a few different forms. Here are a couple of popular ways these programs can work:

  • Mobile App. Think Starbucks App – Starbucks lead the way in creating a mobile app that acts as a loyalty program and saw a new level of loyalty thanks to the fun, star points-based system. An app based system requires the development of a mobile app and requires customers to download the app to participate.
  • Phone Number Program. Another common way to provide customers with a seamless loyalty experience is through a phone number based program. With this, a customer can opt into a program by providing a phone number. The program then keeps track of points as customers return a provide their phone number. Often, a customer will receive a confirmation text to stay updated on their points balance.

Benefits of a Mobile Loyalty Program

As the Small Business Trends pointed out, mobile loyalty programs are a proven driver to build lasting relationships with customers. While not a magic addition, integrating a mobile loyalty program into business strategy, can support growth. More importantly for your customers, they’ll appreciate the easy program management and rewards from a business they love.

How does adding this help my business?

For businesses that are looking to get creative and explore customer engagement – mobile loyalty programs are a great start. Businesses running on Revel have many great options, from Revel’s loyalty program add-on, to engagement partners Como and LoyaltyPlant, kicking off a fully integrated loyalty program is in arm’s reach.

5. Mobile Order Takers

West Coast readers, if you have been to In-n-Out, then you’ve probably seen a cheery team member who is out busting the steady flow of cars lining up for drive-thru service with a handheld POS. In-n-Out uses mobile order takers to take and process orders. By getting out ahead of long forming lines, they are able to efficiently process orders and ensure customers get their orders as quickly as possible.

Curious how you can implement similar processes? Continue on to learn all about Mobile Order Takers.

Must-Have Restaurant Technology | Revel Systems

What are Mobile Order Takers?

A Mobile Order Taker, also known as a mobile POS, is just that – a device that enables businesses to break free from the counter and take orders from anywhere in an establishment. Mobile Order Takers vary in size, often they leverage the technology consumers know and love – mobile phones or iPads.

How does this technology work?

Using mobile devices, mobile order takers act just like a stationary POS – enabling employees to process orders or ring up purchases from anywhere in your establishment. Using the same interface as a POS, team members are able to grab a mobile order taker and process orders.

Running on your business’ network, mobile order takers securely integrate with the other technology within an establishment. Businesses that already use iPad based POS software, like Revel, can easily set up mobile POS devices that do everything like send orders directly to the kitchen and keep up with inventory levels.

Benefits of Mobile Order Takers

One of the great ways we can get a line down is not just having multiple registers, but having Mobile Order Takers where we can walk up to guests in line and get their order. And that way, everyone gets in, they get their food, and they get going with what they need to do.

– Curry Up Now

The benefit to businesses like Curry Up Now is clear. Being able to address the challenge of busy rushes with mobile order takers, helps businesses ease lines and congestion to the delight of diners.

How does adding this help my business?

If you’ve ever had to apologize for the wait in a long line or wished you could get more accurate with tableside ordering, mobile order takers are a solution for your challenges. For businesses that are faced with the challenge of too many customers at a given time, Mobile Order Takers offer a way to service more customers and provide those customers with personalized service.

Tableside ordering improves with mobile order takers; by equipping your team with a mobile POS, orders are sent to the kitchen directly from the table, removing the possibility for written or memorization errors.

In Conclusion

60 percent of guests said a positive experience will cause them to dine at the restaurant more frequently

– Deloitte

In a time when experience plays such an important role in creating repeat customers, businesses large and small are taking advantage of technology to impress and win over loyal customers. Whether the goal is easy busy rushes or welcome in new customers, restaurants can leverage today’s technology to achieve customer goals.