Smart dining is the latest buzzword to hit the restaurant tech scene. While this term typically describes the hardware inside restaurants, it may also apply to various software and apps that are transforming the modern restaurant experience.
The current and future landscape of smart dining
Most of the push for smart dining centers on improving the ordering process for customers and lowering the cost of operation for restaurant owners. Of course, the increased automation smart dining provides will result in job losses across the most disadvantaged population currently employed in the service industry – those in minimum-wage or low-paying chain establishments.
Automation has already started in major chains and fast-food restaurants and will likely continue to evolve to the logical endpoint, wherein most of the ordering is done by the customer interacting with a device, and a small number of staff is retained to assemble food. However, it’s important to resist alarmist tendencies, because there are positive aspects of smart dining, and the total automation of customer service may not trickle down to neighborhood bistros and independent steakhouses. After all, the experience a customer seeks from a fast-food chain (get food as quickly and cheaply as possible) is not what they expect from their favorite sit-down restaurant (food, service and atmosphere).
There are ways smart dining technology can be implemented with a human touch, and some of the tech out there actually makes things better for business owners, customers and employees. This is the start of the smart dining revolution.
mPOS systems and mobile payment
When POS systems first hit the restaurant scene, they were massive (often running on a giant desktop computer) and prohibitively expensive, but they changed everything. Now, mPOS systems, or mobile point-of-sale systems, are starting to make their mark in chain restaurants and major cities.
Rather than use a centralized POS system to Read More Here