How Automation Is Redefining the Restaurant Industry

New technologies and capabilities for automation are changing the way restaurants operate their business. Here are the latest technology trends in the restaurant industry.

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In a society that prioritizes convenience in all areas, restaurant technology trends can solve problems for restaurant owners, managers, and consumers alike. Here are a few examples of how technology can help restaurants improve the guest experience and bottom line.

Online ordering 

Website and app accessibility

As more people use their smartphone for online ordering, restaurants need to provide a seamless experience on their websites and apps. This will improve the customer experience and reduce human error while also allowing businesses to keep up with the on-demand economy. If you don't want to build your own online ordering platform, DoorDash Storefront enables pickup and delivery orders directly from your website, powered by our industry-leading platform. 

There is no one-size-fits all solution for building off-premise restaurant operations—that's why we offer many products to help your business grow, including delivery and pickup, white-label fulfillment, and commission-free online ordering.

Front of house technologies 

Ordering kiosks

To streamline the ordering process, restaurants are revamping their in-restaurant operations with kiosks for convenient ordering and payments. Customers can browse menu options, customize their order, and self-pay for their meal without having to interact with your staff.

Digital reservation manager

Another emerging trend is the digital reservation manager, a type of restaurant software that takes care of a long list of hosting duties. It automatically books reservations and suggests optimal seating arrangements based on party size and time of reservation. Other functions include automated texting to walk-in customers about wait times and notifications when their table is ready. Restaurant staff will also have access to useful customer data such as favorite dishes and special dates like anniversaries and birthdays.

Back of house technologies

Bluetooth temperature sensors

Some of the latest restaurant technologies help back of house teams, such as Bluetooth temperature sensors to automatically monitor food and equipment and help staff pass the HACCP (food safety) checklist. 

Digital inventory

Automation in the restaurant industry is helping to revolutionize all areas of the business, including kitchen operations. Digital inventory tracking allows you to track and manage your inventory effortlessly from a smartphone device. Some programs even have an integrated system to automatically purchase supplies or send alerts when items are running low. Applying this new technology in restaurants ensures your business will never run out of any essentials. 


The challenges of managing employee shifts can be optimized with scheduling software, which helps managers can easily generate and distribute weekly schedules to all staff digitally.

Emerging restaurant technology trends 

A recent report from FSR magazine revealed that restaurants have improved efficiency and lowered costs with a range of futuristic restaurant technologies. One restaurant in Boston features a robotic "chef" that uses sensors to cook ingredients in a wok and serve them in a bowl. And Chipotle is piloting an AI-powered phone ordering system to help improve efficiency and accuracy across its 2,500 locations. 

Restaurants are also capitalizing on virtual reality (VR) technology capabilities to help onboard and train restaurant staff. In fact, Dairy Queen rolled out a VR training program to help new staff practice virtually preparing food and serving customers before doing it in real life. This advanced technology helps ensure that all employees have a consistent onboarding experience and are fully prepared to take on their daily duties. 

Become a data-driven restaurant

Learning about new technology in the restaurant industry should be a top priority for every restaurant owner. Digital tools provide valuable data on customer preferences and your restaurant operations. When you analyze this data, you can understand the different trends and make appropriate changes to your menu, marketing or staffing. 

For example, you can use data from online ordering apps and digital POS systems to understand customer spending habits and track the popularity of a new menu item. You can also track what time of day you receive the most delivery, pickup, and dine-in sales. With social media analytics, you can see which promotions and posts get the most traction. Armed with this data, you can develop a more informed business plan. 

Emerging technology in the restaurant industry can help you grow your business. The future is here, so take this as an opportunity to learn how technology is changing the restaurant industry and what it can do to improve your business and bottom line.

Want to learn how food delivery can boost revenue for your business? Sign up for DoorDash today and get ready to reach new customers.


Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy

Content Lead

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