Technology is moving at a faster pace than many of us can keep up with and now pressure to adapt to the latest technology has reached the hospitality sector where the Internet of Things in restaurants (IoT) is having many positive effects on customers and restaurants alike.But what exactly is an IoT system in a restaurant context?
In a commercial kitchen scenario, an IoT system involves sensors attached to freezers, ovens, cooker tops and other kitchen appliances that allow them to harvest an enormous amount of data. A cloud-based platform is needed to access and interpret the data and a smartphone app to notify designated personnel via emails or messages of specified alerts. IoT in the restaurant floor itself might involve a digital menu and ways of identifying customers as soon as they walk through the door.
Here are some ways the Internet of Things in restaurants is helping to revolutionise the way they operate:
Restaurants usually run on very tight profit margins and anything that can help to reduce waste can make an enormous difference to a restaurant’s profitability. Fresh good quality food that is essential to make delicious meals often has to be thrown out if it is not used. within a certain time-frame. Kitchen appliances connected to the Internet of Things can perform complex analyses producing real-time data that can be used to keep kitchen managers informed of what needs to be used and when.
Many industry leaders believe that the Internet of Things in restaurants leads to a significantly improved customer experience. Innovative features that range from allowing customers the opportunity to select the background music to popular loyalty programs – there is an app that recognises when a registered user has entered the restaurant – make for a more personalised customer experience.
The data supplied means that is very easy for a restaurant to deliver what feels to the customer like an incredibly personalised service. The benefits to the restaurant are also manifest. Imagine a scenario where a customer who has visited a couple of times before and ordered a regular coffee. The next time she enters, she can be offered an upgrade and a snack as part of a special deal. Research also reveals that customers order more items when placing their orders via a device rather than in person to a waiter.
Introducing the Internet of Things in restaurants can lead to a cooking environment that is much less pressured. Streamlined and highly efficient workflows mean that managers, chefs and assistants can all work more effectively. Employees no longer have to spend valuable time monitoring and recording the temperature of deep fat fryers, freezers, refrigerators, and HVAC systems. Automated supply and maintenance, integrated waste management
and overall reduced operational costs all help to create a working environment where everyone is enabled to provide high-quality food to their customers.
Has that piece of meat passed its use-by-date? Do we need to order some more self-raising flour? As well as reducing kitchen waste, IoT’s ability to generate time reports on all devices used to store and prepare food also makes it very easy to ensure food safety. IoT also helps to reduce energy costs
by managing appliances and machines with the utmost efficiency.
The Internet of Things in restaurants renders it possible to make informed business decisions based on sound data and the tools with which it can be analysed. Find out which are the most popular and economical meals at the touch of the button. Use the information which is now at your fingertips to improve branding and create a sophisticated marketing strategy with which to attract new customers and retain the loyalty of existing ones. Delicious food is the hallmark of a good restaurant but a restaurant that wants to continue to thrive in a highly competitive market needs to constantly consider ways of raising its game and the IoT certainly seems to be the best way of doing that.
There are so many reasons for restaurants to embrace the latest technological advances that should result in a more connected business infrastructure and more opportunities to increase profitability. The possibilities to develop your business and realise all of your ambitions are now more attainable than ever.