Digitalization & Technology for a restaurant  

Restaurant digitalization and technology

For online businesses and physical stores alike, digitalization and technology are two very important factors to master in the restaurant industry if you want your business to succeed. When implemented correctly, these tools will help you manage your restaurant while also enhancing your customer experience. If you want to learn about the best and most important ways to incorporate digitalization and technology into your restaurant, this article is for you.

What will be covered in this article  

Digitalization and technology can be difficult topics for restaurateurs. The need to be up to date with the seemingly endless and constantly emerging possibilities can be quite overwhelming. For this reason, we created a list of basic ways to digitalize your processes and implement technology to serve you and your customers best and enhance the efficiency of your business.

In this article, we will be covering the following areas:

  1. Online Appearance
  2. Dining Experience & Customer Service
  3. Digital Restaurant & Staff Management
  4. POS Systems
  5. FAQ - Digitalization & Technology for a Restaurant

Our tips in all these areas will help you simplify the way your run your restaurant on a day-to-day basis.

Why Your Restaurant Needs an Online Presence

1. online Appearance for a restaurant 

It might seem obvious to you, but a spot-on online appearance is crucial to your restaurant’s success in today’s digitalized world. While you don’t need to hop on every new online trend, there are certain basics that will enhance your customer experience and help build a wider consumer base. 

Benefits of a Restaurant Website

1.1 Your Restaurant Website

Your website is like your digital shopwindow. Here your customers can peek in and see what they can expect when they visit you. They get a taste of your style and atmosphere, they see your menu and prices, and sure enough, they will decide within a very short time span if they want to come in.

Your website should therefore be professional, beautiful and to the point. You’ll want to include professional photos of your restaurant, your food, and your menu, but also provide information about yourself. It’s up to you what kind of information you want to include. As long as it is short and sweet, you can share something about your team, your restaurant philosophy, or your special way of sourcing and preparing food.

The tips that follow below for your online appearance should all be included features in your website as well.

Google Business for a Restaurant

1.2 Google Business & Social Media

To be found by new customers, it is essential for you to register your restaurant with Google. This enables you to be found on the search engine and show up on Google Maps when customers look for restaurants in their area. Registering your restaurant with Google will also help you build a repertoire of great customer reviews that are publicly available for new potential guests. Keep all info up to date and make the reviews work for your good by taking note of what your guests have to say and trying to implement their suggestions.

A social media presence, on the other hand, is not a must have. But for some restaurant types a social media account can be very useful. This is where you can build relationships with your customers, show daily specials or behind the scenes footage and announce upcoming events. If you run a bar-restaurant that hosts musicians frequently for example, you could announce each artist a few days before the event on your Instagram or Facebook account while simultaneously maintaining an overviewing list of all the upcoming dates and events on your website.

Online Food Ordering & Delivery

1.3 Online Food Ordering & Delivery

There has been a spike in online food ordering since the pandemic hit in 2020, but even before that, the demand for online food ordering and delivery services was on a constant rise.

If you want to scale your sales, online food ordering is a game changer for you, whether you do it on your own website or through a delivery service partner like Uber Eats, Delivery Hero or Deliveroo. Keep in mind that many people just go to the leading delivery service providers’ websites to look for a restaurant option instead of looking on google maps to find which restaurants are near them.

Restaurant reservation tools

1.4 Booking Tools for your Customers

To simplify your customers’ life, you should include a booking tool on your website for guests to book tables in advance without having to call your busy staff. This way, your customer can see exactly how many and which tables are available on their preferred day of visiting and can make a reservation all by themselves. This feature will also save your staff time and hassle.

Some popular options for booking tools are „OpenTable“, „SevenRooms“ and „simpleERB“.

Improving The Customer Experience with Digital Tools

2. Dining experience & Customer Service at your restaurant  

While your online presence is important for your potential customers and those who want to inform themselves about your offers, the actual on-site dining experience itself can also greatly benefit from the right technology. Below are some tips to inspire you in this area.


2.1 Digital menu in your restaurant

If you are looking for an innovative way to improve your restaurant efficiency and reduce costs at the same time, a digital menu is a great idea. Providing your guests with a QR-Code instead of a traditional menu can do that for you.

While a digital menu is not something everyone will be able to handle, it is certainly an option for a younger customer base.


2.2 Handheld cash register

A great way to simplify table service is to equip your waiters with handheld cash registers. The automated process of taking orders and the possibility to carry out the paying process directly saves your waiter the running back and forth to get receipts and leaves more time for interaction with the guests on the table.


2.3 Loyalty Programs for customers

To increase your customer engagement and retention, you’ll want to offer loyalty programs. Your guests will come back to your restaurant if they can collect points and save costs on a meal after a number of orders. To keep the process simple for you, modern loyalty programs can be linked to your POS system (more about that below).

Instead of handing out loyalty cards, customers will be registered by your POS system, which automatically adds to their loyalty points with each purchase. The collected data can also be analyzed and used to tailor your business to your customers’ buying patterns.


2.4 Free WIFI in your restaurant

This one almost goes without say, as free WIFI is almost implicitly expected of restaurants nowadays. Of course, you want your restaurant to be vibrant and alive with people enjoying conversations with one another. However, it is a smart business decision to offer your guests free WIFI. Many people go to cafés for team meetings or even check their emails and work during lunch. All of them would greatly enjoy and benefit from your free WIFI.

However, depending on your restaurant style and type, you must think carefully about this option. If you want to prevent people from only ordering one drink and staying for hours in your restaurant just to use your free WIFI, you can think about limiting the access to a specific amount of time for example.

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Managing Staff, Inventory and Orders

3. Digital Restaurant & Staff Management

Restaurant Inventory-tracking Software

3.1 Managing inventory

As mentioned in our article about „How to reduce restaurant expenses“, keeping very close track of your inventory is important to keep your costs low and manage your restaurant finances well.

Using an inventory-tracking software will save you a lot of time, ensure greater accuracy in numbers and remind you of when would be a good time to stock up on certain items again. Even the best before dates can be easily viewed. This way you can use your resources to the maximum capacity and reduce your food waste by significant amounts.

Restaurant scheduling software

3.2 Scheduling staff

If you have created a team schedule before, you know what a long and painful process it can be to shift everyone around multiple times until the puzzle finally fits. Scheduling your staff efficiently can be a struggle, but you can use scheduling software to simplify this process and to keep better track of your employees’ individual working hours.

Kitchen Display System

3.3 Kitchen Display Systems

The restaurant kitchen is the place where the magic happens for your guests. While it can get very busy during rush hours, responding to the taken orders doesn’t need to get overwhelming and chaotic for your kitchen staff. While printed tickets with food orders can diminish your team’s workflow, a kitchen display system that is well visible and readable can enhance it. The possibility to see the different orders at once on a screen with the exact time they were placed, allows for a better organization and prioritization of tasks.

Point of Sale Software for Restaurants

4. pOS Systems for your restaurant

Restaurant POS System

A Point of Sale (POS) is the interface between a business and its customers for a sales transaction. This can be a physical cash desk or checkout counter as well as an online checkout tool. When a customer orders an item online, buys a parking ticket or puts his or her items of choice on the counter in a grocery store - all these scenarios describe Points of Sale.

POS systems provide you with the hardware - like an electronic cash register, card readers and barcode scanners - and the software you need for your sales. Your transaction process gets automated and important sales data is collected with the right POS System in place.

However, modern POS Systems are much more than „only“ a Point of Sale. They can include many different software features like monitoring inventory, showing orders on the kitchen display, keeping track of sales patterns and more attributes to optimize retail operations.


4.1 Choosing the right POS system for your restaurant

To increase the efficiency of your business, it is important for you to figure out which POS system fits your needs and your budget best. To make a good choice, consider the size and type of your restaurant. Investing in a POS system that includes features to handle most or all the points mentioned above will save you much time and money in the long run. We encourage you to research well to find the best possible solution for your restaurant. This online comparison site for restaurant POS systems would be a good place to start.


4.2 Customized and Cloud POS systems

If you can’t find the perfect match for your restaurant’s needs, there is a possibility to work with custom POS solution providers that can build customized software to fit your business. There are also already specific POS Systems for different restaurant types like Café POS, Bar POS, and more.

Our secret tip for you when searching for the right POS system is to look at cloud POS systems over the traditional ones. Cloud POS systems are by far the most advanced, customizable, and versatile all-rounders on the market, as they include the most features for your restaurant all in one place.

In the age of digitalization, it is important for your business to be well positioned with the right technology and a spotless online appearance. Taking our list as an inspiration of basic ways to digitalize your restaurant processes will help you take the right steps into a successful future for your restaurant!

Frequently Asked Questions

5. faq - Digitalization & Technology for a restaurant 

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