Restaurant Tech Predictions for 2017

January 26, 2017 Jackie Prange
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"We see the biggest changes in the restaurant tech space being informed by the ongoing innovation we are seeing in the space which we believe will continue into 2017. Interestingly, many people (6 out of 10 in the UK, more in emerging markets) still order takeaway by phone - so there is a huge opportunity for the online food delivery industry in 2017 as we continue to drive channel shift.

 

We believe restaurants will desire access to better data, which will provide them greater insights into their own operations. For restaurants to keep pace, continued investment in enhancing and adapting the ordering experience will help them increase online orders and cater to ever-evolving consumer demands."


- Aaron Davis, Director of Marketing at JustEat

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"In 2017, I imagine we will see an increased emphasis on user experience and making long, tedious, and challenging back-of-house operations quicker, easier, and mobile-first. We’re also likely to see more real-time information that will help owners and operators make better business decisions more effectively. At the end of the day, all of this technology aims to give users time back in their day, so they can focus on doing what they love: providing a great experience to their guests. So, I’d hope that the guest experience improves as the user experience gets better and more consistent for all establishments who’ve taken advantage of the new solutions out there."


- Maggie Crowley, Product Manager at BevSpot

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“In order to stay competitive and provide the best customer experience, more restaurants will invest in EMV and NFC technology in 2017. Payment technology is in transition. Chip cards are nearing ubiquity among consumers, with nearly 75 percent of cards processed on Square containing a chip. At the same time, there’s been an uptick in mobile contactless payments among certain demographics, like millennials, who like the convenience, security, and speed of mobile wallets.

 

This year, customers will expect to be able to use chip or contactless payments wherever they do business. In fact, customers may even seek out businesses with newer technology. Our 2016 survey of EMV and NFC payments even shows that mobile wallet users are likely to seek out businesses that are set up for contactless payments. We expect in 2017 for contactless consumer behavior to continue to grow. That’s why it becomes increasingly important for restaurants to be equipped with the latest hardware to accept any form of payment. Customers will expect to have a seamless experience from the moment they walk in the door all the way to the checkout process.”


- Pankaj Bengani, Partnerships Lead at Square

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“Credit cards offer rewards for consumers but it’s the retailers, not card issuers, who pay the costs. Restaurateurs on already tight margins really feel the pinch from payment cards, especially on small transactions – that’s changing in 2017. Savvy restaurant operators are following the lead of the largest retailers by adopting mobile cash and other new payments technologies to protect profits and better serve their customers. They should look to POS vendors for new solutions and — even more importantly — for practical operational guidance.”


- Tom Camps, Founder of ChangeJar

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“Both restaurant owners and diners will take greater advantage of the conveniences and benefits of wireless and mobile technology and online access. More and more, diners are going online at home or on their mobile devices to look at menus and restaurant reviews, check out dining specials, or place reservations or meal orders before choosing where they want to eat. For owners of smaller, mom-and-pop restaurants, it will be harder to keep up with evolving restaurant technology, but to remain competitive in 2017, the key will be finding technology that helps run their business and keeping an open-mind towards innovation in the restaurant space.”


- Alex Barrotti, Founder and CEO of TouchBistro

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“At Avero, we've seen so much technology pop up in the hospitality space over the last few years. Because of that, it seems there’s a desire to have one place from which our customers can manage everything about their business – sales, labor, inventory, reservations, reviews, etc. It takes time to learn all these different systems, and the more systems you use the more inconvenient they become. So in 2017, we think there will be exciting developments in technology that allow restaurant operators to manage every aspect of their business from a single platform.”


- Charles Shoener, Business Development Manager at Avero

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“Chargebacks Will Impact Unsuspecting Merchant Categories: QSR, counter service and other industries with lower average tickets are just beginning to see friendly fraud chargebacks that are indisputable because they lack EMV support. This trend will continue to grow, not only in the number of incidents, but also in those affected—it will likely soon expand to independent operators. Franchise and large multi-location operators are feeling the pain already, but more businesses will soon. Scrambling to react to a loss of profits, those who have been hit with friendly fraud will quickly adopt EMV in 2017, resulting in a migration by those not yet prepared.
 

U.S. Table Service: EMV and the Billfold: Though pay-at-the-table will be an emerging technology, US adoption will be slow. Table service restaurants will adopt EMV but will do so at the server station to accommodate their existing flows in bill presentment, payment and gratuity. While this does a better job of preventing the use of counterfeit cards for payment and avoiding indisputable chargebacks, it falls short of ensuring the consumer maintains possession of the card at all times. This will continue to expose the card holder to skimming risk.”


- Marc Castrechini, VP Product Management at Cayan

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“In 2017, we expect to see continued, mass adoption of mobile ordering and payment technology to enhance the in-store experience at quick service restaurants. Major QSR brands are already reporting upwards of 20% of transactions being processed through mobile order and pay at peak periods, which is consistent with what we see across our partner network. We expect the pace of growth will continue, reaching 50% of orders in a few years.
 

Mobile apps will continue to make the entire experience more enjoyable for both customers and restaurant staff – Enabling customers to discover nearby restaurants, browse menus, place orders, make payment, avoid lengthy pickup lines, and track loyalty promotions. Through enhancements in mobile apps, restaurants will be able to offer customers more value through time savings, and engage a larger local audience.”


- Jen Kelly, Head of Expansion at Ritual

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“I think the ranking system we see today with companies like Uber and Airbnb will become the norm for scheduling and people will be very much accustomed to it. A lot of scheduling tools today have performance reviews, but they’re limited to qualitative peer-to-peer reviews. There’s still a quantitative performance component missing. The ranking system will fill that gap by ultimately providing restaurateurs with the insights they need in order to confidently say whether an employee is a benefit to their business, from a profitability standpoint. Paired with smart POS data, this kind of feature would provide managers with better tools to be able to truly identify their top performers and reward them for it.”


- Jordan Boesch, CEO of 7Shifts

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"The Decline of Cash Continues: We looked at tens of millions of transactions over the past 3 years and found that just 26% of checks were paid in cash in 2016, down from 36% just two years prior. In 2017 we expect that the share of cash transactions will decrease an additional 2-3%.
 

Year of the Omnichannel Restaurant: In 2017 there are more ways for customers to order and pay for meals than ever before: self-pay at table, Eat24, Foodler, UberEATS, Seamless, GrubHub, POS-integrated order-ahead solutions, just to name a few. We expect these innovative ordering/payment and delivery channels will really take hold this year among independent restaurants, from quick-service and fast-casual to fine dining. Wrangling all of these services presents both challenges, and interesting opportunities, for both point-of-sale providers and their integration partners.”


- Mike Sickler, CEO & Co-Founder of Shogo

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“Many things are having a direct impact on the restaurant industry and restaurant labor: Obamacare, Trump, apps like Pokemon GO, predictive scheduling legislation, FLSA, restaurant industry bloat, changing consumer preferences toward the unique and locally-sourced, as well as the emergence of gig jobs, just to name a few.

 

In response, technology companies will have to adapt to support the needs of of the industry. I predict they will be working to deliver solutions that will help operations manage more efficiently through the use of data - essentially apps or features in apps that help them run their businesses better in real-time. And not just the mere presentation of data in the app, but the interpretation of data so the managers know what to do with the information. For example, by alerting operators that an underage worker needs to clock out, or alerting them when they are exceeding their labor threshold or alerting that some incident (like weather or a car accident) will have an impact on customer traffic.”


- David Cantu, Co-Founder and CRO at HotSchedules

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“In 2017, I predict (and hope) we’ll see more in the industry start questioning current "standards," increase transparency and emphasis on company culture. From the tech side, I predict we’ll see restaurateurs learn and adopt technology to replace much more of the paper and pen – as long as simple, yet powerful user-friendly technology is available and easily accessible. Our customers already have more excitement and acceptance for new tech, because they’ve seen how it can impact their lives and businesses. I’m excited for the industry this year, because as long as a few early adopters remain open to new ideas and make questioning the status quo the new norm, the rest will follow and the possibilities for the industry as a whole are endless.”


- Anjali Kundra, Co-Founder of Partender

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You heard it here – 2017 will be a year of learning, innovation, but most of all progress, all in the name of elevating the restaurant industry. We can’t wait!

About the Author

Jackie Prange

Jackie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro. She covers the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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