Technological advancements make life easier, allowing people to normalize and balance their personal and work lives. The same applies to industries, including the restaurant sector, because technologies like smartphone applications, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, inventory management systems, and smart devices can streamline business operations.
Technology has always had a positive impact on the food & beverage industry. Restaurants, bars, and cafes want to deliver convenience, flawless, pleasant, and enjoyable experiences to their customers.
Implementing innovative technologies can speed up processes, increase sales, improve customer experiences, and generate higher returns on investments (ROIs). The restaurant industry has changed over the last ten years.
It provides customers with new and enjoyable experiences, and advanced software tools have become an integral part of the overall business strategy. Applied technologies allow restaurants, bars, and cafes to get ahead of their competitors.
Therefore, it is critical for business owners, including millennials and Gen Z’ers, to adopt new technologies and implement them in their business processes. Because millennials and Gen Z’ers will lead the restaurant industry in the future, it is crucial to understand the current and coming advancements to make the most out of their businesses. Read on!
Advantages Of Technology In the Restaurant Industry
Millennials and Gen Z’ers need to understand the advantages of technologies they will use for their businesses and the significance of software tools and applications in restaurants. Let us discuss the primary benefits of technology in the F&B or restaurant industry.
Technology allows restaurants to streamline their business operations. For instance, it helps you measure the among of food and reduce potential waste. Restaurant managers can order the correct number and quality of ingredients, preventing wastage of unnecessary products.
Thus, technology tools help your business save more money. In addition, kitchen automation or inventory management software can help you monitor the stock, demand/supply, and other essential operations. It lets you analyze the time guests wait for their orders and cook food within shorter periods.
Improved Customer Service
Improved customer service is directly proportional to boosted reputation, increased sales, and higher ROIs. For instance, when you use an inventory management software or tool, you can equip your staff with resources to monitor the number of products and prevent the risk of running out of inventory suddenly.
The software tracks crucial data regarding the returned items and gives you an option to maintain additional inventory levels that reflect your return rates. Thus, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction rates with a new level of service.
Innovative technology tools have various features, including automation that leads to optimization and efficiency. Optimization can reduce expenses and higher expenditures while allowing your staff to use inventory efficiently, streamlining communication, and leveraging predictive analytics to make informed decisions.
These are linked to driving more customers to your business and making them more loyal. When people visit your establishment more frequently, your profit will skyrocket. Besides, they will also carry out word-of-mouth marketing.
Better Employee Management
Technology allows restaurant owners and managers to manage the workforce better and provide their employees with the designated tasks and the correct workload. Higher employee engagement means less stress and burnout rates.
So, your employees will have a higher likelihood of working in your restaurant. Millennials and Gen Z’ers will use advanced customer relationship management tools with innovative features, including AI/ML and AR/VR, to optimize employees’ work and ensure better customer relationships.
How do Millennials and Generation Z’ers Use Technology?
Millennials are people born between 1981 and 1996, and the generation represents a quarter of the population in the United States. Most millennials entered the industry at the height of the 2008 economic crisis (the Great Recession) and have made substantial efforts to optimize the generational wealth gap.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers have rapidly adopted and embraced innovative technologies and digital solutions. The tech-savviness has changed their working methods in different sectors, including the restaurant industry. Before Gen Z, millennials were the largest and most ethnically/racially diverse generation.
Today, Gen Z’ers are the most racially diverse group or community in the United States, comprising 27% of the American population. Gen Z’ers grew up with rapidly changing technologies, including the internet, social media, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), etc. So, it is more likely that millennials and Gen Z’ers leading the restaurant industry in the future will leverage the power of:
- Artificial Intelligence
- 3D Imaging
- Machine Learning
- 3D Printing
- Virtual Reality
- Augmented Reality
- Wearable Technology
- Facial Recognition
- Virtual Kitchens
- Delivery Drones
- Voice Activation
- Big Data Analytics
- Kitchen Display Systems
- POS Systems
- Inventory Management
- Advanced Communication with Suppliers/Distributors
Facts and Stats
According to Insivia, more than 25% of millennials use a smartphone for searching for products and services, sources of content, and applications compared to 7% of baby boomers and 17% of Gen Xers. Today, 65% of baby boomers have a desktop computer, and 49% use laptops for personal and business purposes.
Likewise, 5% of Gen Xers own a tablet, 61% have a laptop, 69% have a desktop computer, and 92% own a cellphone. Compared to Gen Xers, 70% to 75% of millennials use laptops for personal and business purposes.
According to GWI, 98% of millennials and Gen Z’ers own a smartphone, and 52% of these generations consider smartphones an important internet device. Jasen Dorsey reports that millennials and Gen Z’ers are true digital natives because advanced technologies have become integral to their personal and business lives.
For instance, the report shows that 83% of Gen Z’ers have a laptop, and 78% own cutting-edge gaming consoles. Only 57% of Gen Z’ers have a desktop computer. It means millennials and Gen Z’ers say goodbye to outdated technologies and welcome advanced, cutting-edge devices. We believe this will significantly transform how these generations run their restaurant businesses in the future.
Research shows that millennials account for one-third of the workforce in the United States, and this figure will jump to 75% by 2025. According to Microsoft Report, millennials and Gen Z’ers look to take on more leadership roles and encourage their organizations/businesses to adopt the latest technologies.
These include AI/ML, AR/VR, Cloud-based systems, robotics, etc., to spur innovation, streamline business operations, improve customer experiences, and increase sales.
Future Technology In The Restaurant/Supplier/Distributor Industry
The Covid-19 pandemic has stunned the entire F&B industry, and restaurant owners are looking for alternative ways to reduce the negative impact. Unlike baby boomers and Gen Xers, millennials emphasize technology to speed up tech trends, make rapid changes, decrease labor stress, and improve their overall business’s bottom line.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers will use innovative technologies to promote fresh ideas, stand out from the competition, and operate their restaurants, cafes, and bars more efficiently. Technology tools and software systems can free up time and energy, allowing owners to focus on customer satisfaction and provide unforgettable dining experiences. Here are a few technologies that will transform the restaurant industry in the near future.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are the future of business and will play a critical role in the F&B industry. Not only will AR and VR help owners and managers to identify human errors and ensure real-time rectification, but they will also allow for better restaurant management.
For example, with augmented reality smartphone apps, customers can visualize how a restaurant creates and completes a dish before ordering it. AR/VR are powerful tools, and new algorithmic innovations and implementation in these technologies will empower millennials and Gen Z’ers to renovate delivery services, streamline staff training, visualize menus and dishes, and enhance customer experience.
Contactless payment technology has gone mainstream during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is not only about placing orders online but also about making payments via smartphones, smartcards, smartwatches, apps, and touchless devices.
These payment technologies will gain rapid momentum in the future, allowing restaurant owners to create and maintain a hygienic, safer, and efficient digital environment for customers.
According to Hospitality Tech, contactless payments will increase from $2 trillion to $6 trillion across the world by 2024. Toast reports that 34% of customers today prefer contactless payments, and the figure will increase in the next five years.
In addition, contactless payments are an ideal option for millennials to ensure safer, quick, convenient, and instant cash flow. Therefore, these generations running the restaurant industry will invest more in mobile and digital payment strategies.
Automated Inventory Management Software
Although restaurants, bars, and cafes are already using inventory management software systems, the future will witness new and advanced features to improve food and beverage stock tracking.
Cutting-edge inventory management software with automation features will allow managers to anticipate quantities, schedule reorders, and avoid time-consuming and daunting tasks.
According to Hospitality Tech, inefficient inventory management, and increased food wastage cost restaurants, cafes, and bars over $100 billion every year. Therefore, implementing inventory management software in your restaurant can reduce food and beverage wastage.
Virtual Inventories For Suppliers/Distributors
Suppliers and distributors have to deliver efficiently and faster now than ever before. The surge in small-medium-sized businesses, including restaurants run by millennials, make efforts to revamp their supply and distribution by introducing new technologies.
The purpose is to implement innovative software or tools, such as KEXY Deals, to keep pace, increase sales, and bridge the gap between their businesses and clients. Growth and competition are the most significant factors that drive the supply and distribution operations in the F&B industry.
However, Digital List Mag reports that 45% of businesses believe that new technologies are even more important than growth and competition regarding supply chain transformation. Therefore, companies focus on virtual inventories to streamline their supply and distribution with fewer risks and complications.
A virtual tool or software can help suppliers and distributors to establish an inventory across multiple locations and pick out the most appropriate place to optimize the delivery process and achieve better results.
Blockchain Technology For Suppliers/Distributors
Blockchain is a secure, decentralized, and anonymized digital ledge technology. It has gained popularity in recent years, and most businesses in different industries leverage the power of this innovative technology.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers will have a higher likelihood of using blockchain technology for their supply and distribution in the F&B industry. It will help businesses log and track shipments and optimize the administrative side of supply and distribution.
Suppliers and distributors in the F&B industry will use blockchain to improve supply chain and distribution transparency, carry out secure payments, use data safely, and increase customer confidence.
For example, IBM’s Food Trust Technology is one of the best systems to improve food visibility via the supply chain. So, blockchain technology will allow suppliers, vendors, and distributors to improve communication/collaboration and build trust via secure data usage and transactions.
Big Data Analytics
Today, businesses generate massive volumes of data. However, data management is one of the most daunting and time-consuming tasks for companies. Unlike companies run by baby boomers and Gen Xers with manual data processing systems, millennials and Gen Z’ers are most likely to leverage the power of advanced data analytics.
For instance, the primary goal of using analytics software is to improve forecasting and efficiency and become more responsive to clients’ needs. Predictive analytics on POS terminal data stored in a signal repository will help your business anticipate and measure clients’ demands, allowing for better cost-saving adjustments, improved inventory management, and faster delivery.
Why is KEXY the Future of the F&B Industry?
KEXY offers an innovative platform for restaurants, cafes, bars, suppliers, and distributors in the F&B industry. KEXY offers KEXY Deals for suppliers and distributors and KEXY Suits for restaurants and bars.
For instance, KEXY Deals allow suppliers and distributors to reach existing customers, find new customers, and streamline their targeting operations through real-time data analysis.
Today, companies run by millennials use KEXY Deals to leverage geo-targeting capabilities, allowing them to find establishments interested in their products. KEXY analytics enables you to analyze clients’ purchasing behavior and generate valuable insights to modify your strategy accordingly.
Thus, you can increase sales and generate higher ROIs. Some of the most practical benefits of KEXY Deals for suppliers and distributors are:
- Wider Sales Reach
- Create Targeted Promotions
- Two-Way Communication
- Customer Purchasing Patterns
- Behavior Analysis
Most companies consider KEXY a point-of-sale or POS system. Remember, this is a misconception because KEXY is neither a POS system nor an inventory management tool.
KEXY is an innovative and cutting-edge platform that allows restaurants, suppliers, and distributors to overcome communication barriers, streamline business relations/operations, and optimize processes to create a win-win situation for everyone. Above all, KEXY is free!
Technology has dominated the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. It also plays a critical role in optimizing business operations for suppliers and distributors in the F&B industry.
Because millennials and Gen Z’ers will run and lead the restaurant/supply/distribution industry in the future, developing and using advanced technologies have become even more critical.
The reason is that these generations are technology native and consider tech/IT an integral component of their lives. KEXY is a one-of-a-kind cloud-based system with multiple features to ensure restaurants, suppliers, and distributors connect efficiently, use data analysis effectively, generate insights, and overcome problems to improve their overall business bottom line.