Complex Made Simple

Restaurants’ appetite for tech growing: Made to order tech menu

Restaurants stand ready to adjust their businesses to the digital transformation happening all around them and adjust to the technology needs of their customers.

KFC Canada has starting accepting crypto currency to buy "The Bitcoin Bucket" via KFC’s website Named Presto Vision, the solution automatically tags and analyses in real-time the motion of hosts, staff, guests, and other individuals A freestanding machine, which is still in trial phase, is engineered to focus on the production of high-volume, customizable pizzas

 KFC started from a room in a gas station into a global dominant fast food franchise. 

Now, it is leaping into the future with some fantastic high tech ideas that are just what the customer ordered.

It is not alone, several other franchises are  leaping into a brave new world of tech-driven innovation that smart and meeting the changing needs of customers.

KFC- “Techtical” changes

Today KFC is owned by Yum! Brands and revealing tasty new bytes.

To start, KFC has announced that they are trialing plant-based “chicken” as more meal options in Atlanta, Georgia, by working with Beyond Meat, a plant-based protein company. 

KFC Canada has starting accepting crypto currency to buy “The Bitcoin Bucket” via KFC’s website. 

Everyone is waiting for a KFC Chicken Sandwich to be launched into space

Moving into staff training, KFC is using tech like voice-activated devices, social media, and VR codes towards improving their workforce’s skills. 

In China, franchises are also experimenting with facial-recognition to help create “smart restaurants“, where a customer’s previous choices are remembered and orders are personalized accordingly. 

Read: McDonald’s UAE digitally transforms to serve UAE’s $9.7 billion food services market

McDonald’s’ KYC strategy

McDonald’s recently invested $3.7 million in mobile app developer Plexure to flip its back-end and front-end features, customer functionality and customer targeting.

This came after McDonald’s purchased Dynamic Yield, a tech company focused on personalization and artificial intelligence to improve drive-thru interactions. 

Other sumptuous tech ideas 

The first comprehensive computer vision solution for restaurants is currently being piloted at Outback Steakhouse. Named Presto Vision, the solution automatically tags and analyses in real-time the motion of hosts, staff, guests, and other individuals. 

Interaction effects such as host availability, individual wait times, and customer bounce rates are measured and guest experience scores forecasted.

Also, a working prototype of a new machine, dubbed the first intelligent, automated assembly platform for restaurants, has arrived. The machine can be installed almost anywhere, from dine-in restaurants to delivery and takeout joints where high volumes of food are needed in a short amount of time.

Another technology unveiled by Picnic can be configured in any number of ways to produce all of kinds of food dishes using any number of ingredients.

For now, the freestanding machine, which is still in trial phase, is engineered to focus on the production of high-volume, customizable pizzas. The machine is controlled by a customer-facing app. Restaurant customers can customize their toppings. The system requires only one worker, whose tasks are limited to placing the pizza dough into the assembly line and replenishing the toppings. The machine does all the rest.

Read: Food to Go, new cloud kitchen receives first round of funding for nationwide expansion

Delivery tech

Restaurant industry sales are forecast to reach $863 billion in 2019. Eight in 10 restaurant operators agree that use of technology provides them a competitive, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report.

Growing demand among consumers will make off-premises options important drivers across the industry this year. Nearly 4 in 10 operators plan to invest more in off-premises dining.

Six in 10 family-dining, casual-dining and fast-casual operators say their takeout sales are higher than they were two years ago. 

Specific technologies where operators will devote more investment and resources include:

  • Front-of-house, customer servicing technologies such as online or app ordering, mobile payment, delivery management and reservations. 70% of quick service (where patrons generally order or select items and pay before eating) operators plan to invest on these technologies.
  • Back-of-house technologies such as point-of-sale, inventory and table management, customer-facing tech devices such as tablets, iPads, tableside ordering and kiosks.

 A majority of operators in each of the industry’s six major segments say they plan to devote more resources to both social-media and electronic marketing in 2019. And a majority of operators plan to devote more resources to customer-facing, service-based technology, such as online or app ordering, reservations, mobile payment, or delivery management.