Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

What’s on the 2018 Restaurant Technology Horizon?

December 12, 2017

With 2018 right around the corner, we have been wondering, “what kind of technology are we going to see in 2018?” Luckily for our readers, we are here to look into our crystal ball and predict the future (we wish!). Just kidding. But, based on what we have seen come out in 2017, we have a decent idea of what we may be seeing in the coming year. So, take a seat and enjoy the ride!


The ‘New’ Web App
Folks love using apps because they are quick and easy-to-use, well, most of the time. Consumers love the web because of the robust information and larger, more recognizable calls-to-action.


Well, why not mix the best of both worlds?


In 2018, expect to see websites look more like their app counterparts, along with their own ‘bells and whistles.’ Progressive web apps – websites that have app-like features such as push notifications – may begin to replace the traditional mobile app, according to Matt Olsen, senior manager of digital marketing for Firehouse Subs, and Bill Long, chief financial officer for Snooz, an A.M. Eatery.


Memory capacity on a phone is more valuable than gold. And let me tell you, your app will not survive the space battle over selfies. It’s the cold, hard truth. So, operators need to adapt and pivot. And the best way to do that is via the web.


Be You. Be Authentic.
Authenticity remains one of the most important trends of 2018. Consumers are savvy enough to know if you and your brand is ‘faking it.’ Say you want to do a ‘behind the scenes’ video or company culture video. Instead of spending big bucks on a whole production team and making it super manicured, let one or more of your employees use their cell phone and record a couple Snaps, Facebook Live and/or Instagram videos. You will probably experience more reach and interest than producing a press release or slapping it up on your website in the ‘About Us’ section. Use the resources you have and allow your employees to use their creativity.


Apps Will Do More Than Just Order.
Brands only using their app for mobile ordering are missing out, says Jim Steinberg, director of enterprise partnerships for LoyaltyPlant, a mobile marketing platform. “App users are far more valuable than web users,” he says. “The brand is in [the consumer’s] hand.” Steinberg says operators should think bigger than just mobile ordering and incentivize consumers to keep coming back to their app by outfitting it with features such as loyalty and referral programs, targeted marketing campaigns and geofencing mechanics.


Push Personalized Menu Suggestions
We have said this before, but data is key. As technology continues to develop, sophisticated operators will be to suggest orders to customers based on their purchasing behavior and lifestyle. Therefore, you can push hyper-personalized items to customers to make the experience more relevant and special.


What do you think will be the biggest trends of 2018? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!


Need to pass the time between our next post? Then check out Custom Business Solutions for all your restaurant technology needs!

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