The food industry is hardly new - people have been producing and selling edible wares since the time of bartering. Today's food service industry is a much broader prospect, with global cuisines being served in sit down restaurants and fast food settings alike. In recent years, technological developments have offered the industry rare opportunities for change. As restaurateurs and entrepreneurs connect with new concepts and embrace the opportunity to onboard new technologies, the face of the industry continues to change.
Both consumers and employees are drawn to the advent of this new technology, which provides customers with the option to choose their dietary options and modifications thereof on a convenient touch screen device. This multi-purpose tool frees up human employees for food preparation and other necessary functions, saving time and money. In addition, the touch screen system prevents verbal miscommunication and misinterpretation, allowing the user to indicate exactly what they want. The person preparing the food is presented with a ticket indicating the exact order, including additions and modifications.
Restaurant management is a complex job, which is why many managers of sit down and fast food restaurants alike are eager to implement the use of tablets in a management capacity. Tablets offer managers access to the restaurant's network where they can look at a seating chart, wait list, employee schedule, inventory and more crucial information with the push of a button. This can save busy managers from having to run around asking questions or searching for data in the middle of a rush, cutting stress and improving efficiency drastically.
In the days before technology, it was up to an eagle eye or a particularly stringent inventory count to identify things like health code violations and theft. The use of webcams to monitor activity throughout a restaurant can help management to catch destructive behavior in the act and react accordingly. This can help in the prevention of serious code violations that can result in penalties or restaurant closure and can also help to minimize employee theft. Employees who are aware that they are being monitored are less likely to act in an unprofessional or illegal manner, making the webcams a popular choice among management teams.
Devices like the popular Ziosk have been popping up on the tables of sit down restaurants near and far. These convenient devices allow customers to place orders for appetizers or desserts, order refills on drinks and easily pay the bill whether their server has delivered a paper copy or not. This can minimize the amount of running a server has to do, making them able to perform more efficiently. When the kitchen or bar receives a ticket, they will begin preparing the item in the order in which it was received and the service time it would have taken for the server to enter the item into the POS system is eliminated. Additionally, tabletop devices can track information about items being ordered and be used to correlate server sales percentages for bonuses.
A far cry from the "soda fountain suicide" beverage often consumed by kids, the popular new Coca Cola Freestyle machine allows users to choose from a number of the beverage giant's products in unique flavor combinations not previously available. The technology has become especially popular in sit down restaurants in which customers still obtain their own drink, because the vast number of flavor varieties made available by the machine far exceeds the capacity of a traditional soda fountain. Many businesses are successfully making the move toward replacing old soda fountains with Freestyle machines.