Dinner scene at a restaurant

Technology continues moving apace and its effect on the restaurant business is only growing.

In fact, one burger chain in California is trying out a new kiosk system that uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to handle the customer’s ordering, payment and even the loyalty program.

The chain, CaliBurder, unveiled the technology at the end of last year at its Pasedena location.

“Face-based loyalty significantly reduces the friction associated with loyalty program registration and use; further, it enables a restaurant chain like CaliBurger to provide a customized, one-on-one interactive experience at the ordering kiosk,” said John Miller, Chairman and CEO of Cali Group. “Our goal for 2018 is to replace credit card swipes with face-based payments. Facial recognition is part of our broader strategy to enable the restaurant and retail industries to provide the same kinds of benefits and conveniences in the built world that customers experience with retailers like Amazon in the digital world.”

You may not be prepared to bring artificial intelligence into your establishment, but here are four tech ideas that are great entry-level projects for today’s aspiring restaurant owner:

Kiosks
These are becoming more and more commonplace. The kiosk is the latest trend that’s really an extension of the point of sale system. Guests can place their own order through a series of prompts and then the ticket is routed to the kitchen where the meal is prepared. Kiosks can typically provide faster service during peak times and they help ensure accuracy since the guest is entering all of the details about the order.

Order Ahead
Right behind kiosks, online ordering is the next trend experiencing tremendous growth. Again, this technology is an extension of the point of sale system. In essence, it’s a website that’s integrated with the point-of-sale so that a restaurant manager can track all ordering in one place and keep the menu consistent.

Most of the time, the website will be fully-responsive (meaning it will look correct on a mobile phone, on a tablet and on a desktop computer). In addition, the site can attract new customers if owners decide to use digital marketing and search engine optimization.

Self Checkout
These are a variation on the kiosk theme but the difference here is that these kiosks will not only take an order but also take a payment. It may be considered the all-in-one solution since the guest will not need to interact with a human except for when their food is being brought out to them. It’s not likely that that part of restaurant service will go away any time soon.

EMV Processing
This technology is not in the service realm like the other ideas but it’s still important. Using EMV, or chip card, technology will help reduce fraud and keeps customer credit card information private.

In Europe, it’s commonplace to use EMV processing along with table-side checkout. It’s not as common in the United States yet but if technology continues going the way it is, then you can probably expect it here soon.

Want to learn more about restaurant technology? Contact us today to find out how kiosks, order-ahead and EMV processing can help your business.

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