Of all the things in the restaurant industry accelerated by the pandemic, technology adoption has been one of the biggest. That’s unlikely to change in the near future, a point underscored by new survey data from Technomic that notes 68 percent of restaurant operators “believe their technology spend will either somewhat or significantly increase” over the next few years.
The research firm’s recently released report, “The State of Foodservice Technology 2020,” surveyed restaurant operators in order to uncover both the factors accelerating tech adoption for restaurants and those hindering it.
Systems that enable contactless payments are one area of restaurant tech we’ll see a whole lot more of in the future. More than half, or 51 percent, of operators surveyed for the report said they already have contactless payments in place, and another 31 percent plan on implementing it.
What’s incredible is that less than one year ago, the word “contactless” barely existed. Now it’s a regular part of the restaurant vernacular. Front-of-house-focused restaurant tech companies rolled out “contactless” dining room kits in droves this year, all of which included the ability for a customer to pay via their own mobile device. “Contactless delivery” is now the norm, and major QSRs are redesigning their store formats to provide a more contactless experience to customers.
None of this is terribly surprising, seeing as we’re currently fighting a deadly virus that’s spread through human-to-human interaction. Investments in contactless technologies will be the norm going forward, even after the pandemic subsides.
That said, the model isn’t without its challenges, the biggest one being that it takes more than a mobile app or QR code to make a process truly “contactless.” Moving into 2021, we’ll see more restaurant tech companies attempting to solve this bigger-picture issue.