What’s the future of restaurant technology?
Last week we attended Restaurant Tech Live and Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation at the ExCeL exhibition centre, London. Both exhibitions offered rich insight into the innovations and concepts transforming the restaurant and hospitality industry.
In this feature blog, we share our top 3 takeaways from the Show.
Top priorities are ease and speed
The key theme emerging from the Expo seminars, and the exhibitors themselves, was the increasing importance of ease and speed within the restaurant customer journey.
Neil Manhas, MD of Pizza Hut UK and Yum brands, delivered an engaging keynote on how Pizza Hut’s growth has been achieved by transforming their guest experience.
Retail Assist is proud to support this, as our Help Desk supports Pizza Hut’s restaurant estate with 24 x 7 IT Support services.
Neil shared that 75% of Pizza Hut’s sales now come through digital channels, thanks to an acute focus on improving the online user experience. Since overhauling online ordering UX, Pizza Hut’s customers experience a 61% faster checkout requiring 50% less clicks – showcasing the importance of ease of journey, and speed of order.
With continuous improvement embedded into their company culture, every day there are 50 different Pizza Hut website releases with ongoing testing. Emphasising the importance of omnichannel experience, Neil concluded that “there is little point having great digital experience if the rest of the journey isn’t solid”.
This also goes for the physical restaurant experience. Statistics shared at the Expo stated that the number one frustration in restaurants is waiting times. With an average of 20 minutes to order/get the bill, this must be addressed in order to improve the customer experience. This also means that businesses can’t afford for their IT and technology systems to go down.
The latest frontier in biometric payment technology
By 2020, it is expected that more than $5.6 trillion in payments will be secured by biometric technology. Apple’s latest generation of iPhones have already shown signs of the shift towards biometrics, with the iPhone X using Face ID for security functions instead of the traditional fingerprint.
So how does biometric payment work?
Your vein pattern within your finger is completely unique, and remains the same during your lifetime. Unlike fingerprints, it can’t be damaged, stolen or faked.
Fingopay Vein ID reads the pattern by using infrared light, and then converts this scan into a digital ID key. Customers’ bank details are then stored with payment provider Worldpay, in the same way you can store your card details when shopping online.
After taking the mainstream media by storm last week (you can read a feature here from the Telegraph, featuring a video of the technology in action), we were keen to see the technology in action at Restaurant Tech Live. And it really didn’t disappoint – with the entire payment process taking just 3 seconds.
Biometric payment takes convenience to a new level, whilst offering the security of no more cards, cash, PIN numbers or passwords being required, which offers complete authentication certainty, (and relief for those prone to losing their wallet…)
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this technology to see how quickly it’s adopted by mainstream retailers.
Technology is an enabler, by freeing up staff
The last innovation from Restaurant Tech Live demonstrated the advantages of using technology as an enabler for restaurant staff. Much has been made of technology automation rivalling traditional customer service jobs, but the Expo advocated the two going hand in hand.
App-based ordering and payment systems, such as Qkr used by Wagamama, offers huge benefits for customer convenience, and is great for large restaurants with low service attention. For the fast-paces hospitality sector, integrating new technology is essential for remaining competitive.
Our project management services can help to implement any new technology or digital devices to ensure you’re providing the best possible experience to your customers. With a growing number of hospitality customers, download a case study here to see how we take the pressure from your internal teams to deliver business transformation projects.