New Technology Solution Trends for Restaurants

Minsk, Belarus. May 2020. Costumer ordering food from car on McDrive, McDonald`s fast food restaurant. McDonald's employee in protective mask takes orders with tablet at McDrive

For many years, quick-serve restaurants (QSR), like McDonald’s, have had traditional drive-through and counter ordering options. Casual dining, such as Applebee’s, has always had a dine-in environment where you sit at a table, a server makes your experience enjoyable, and you don’t have to do the dishes. 

But now, new restaurant technology trends are changing how we eat. As tech advances and consumer preferences change, the restaurant industry is adding and adapting to cutting-edge digital solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated these trends in the restaurant technology landscape, requiring the restaurant industry to shift quickly in order to meet new market demands. These innovative processes are only set to keep profits high and maintain a healthy market in the future.

Here’s a look at the newest technology for restaurants coming to an eatery near you:

Robot Kitchens

Robots and AI together are showing us new ways our food can be made and have become one of the most exciting restaurant industry technology trends. SPYCE in Boston was created to provide low-cost, yummy meals, powered by robots. Customers can order from devices in the store or online, robots grab the food and drop it in the wok – humans are only needed to add the final toppings and provide an excellent customer experience.

On the other end of the spectrum, Alibaba, a supermarket in Shanghai, is using robots to deliver food right to customer's tables. Customers use an app to order and pick out fresh ingredients, then robots transport the food to the kitchen where the meal is cooked. When ready, the food is delivered to their assigned seat via a robot server.

Cloud/Ghost Kitchens

A cloud kitchen, or ghost kitchen, is a commercial kitchen space that allows businesses to fulfill delivery and takeout items without the overhead of a brick-and-mortar location. As more consumers order delivery from apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats, a cloud kitchen is one restaurant technology solution making it easier for entrepreneurs to open a restaurant. A cloud kitchen requires minimal overhead and is ideal for chain restaurants to expand the delivery arm of their business.

As restaurant technology trends toward increased delivery service, which has already increased 150% from 2019 to 2020, restaurants are facing delayed wait times for in-house guests. Separating delivery orders from the main business can help improve operations and ensure consumers are getting their food fast. New and veteran restaurant owners can leverage cloud kitchens and restaurant ordering technology to process orders faster.

Ordering Ahead – Mobile & Online

Mobile orders used to be a wee 1.5% of QSR sales in 2015, which jumped to 11% in 2020 and is expected to be a whopping 20% by 2025. Today, restaurants are managing orders from many different apps and online ordering services. As consumer preference continues to trend toward mobile ordering, restaurants are hiring curbside or mobile order staff dedicated to processing these orders with iPads. Constantly checking Uber Eats and Yelp can be overwhelming. However, there are new restaurant technologies that can aggregate orders into one centralized system. Cake software is an example of this technology that can make this process more manageable.

Charging Solutions for Mobile Devices

There are a lot of new restaurant technologies available that have the potential to change the industry forever. What works and what doesn’t work will drive new adoption in the restaurant market. One thing that all these technologies have in common is the devices that make them work. Whether an iPad is being used to place an order made by robots or receive an online order – those devices must be charged and ready to go. Charging stations, like those offered by LocknCharge, are the perfect solution to ensure there is no device downtime. One of the most popular charging stations that restaurant operators prefer to ensure their devices are always charged and available is the Putnam Charging Station.

The Putnam has light indicators to ensure restaurant staff know which devices are fully charged (green), and which need additional charging (red). Plus, it comes pre-wired with fixed lightning cables to ensure cords are there when needed.

Learn More About LocknCharge Products for Restaurants

Visit our restaurants charging stations page to see more examples of how restaurant operators are incorporating LocknCharge charging solutions into their restaurant technology stack.

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Minsk, Belarus. May 2020. Costumer ordering food from car on McDrive, McDonald`s fast food restaurant. McDonald's employee in protective mask takes orders with tablet at McDrive
New Technology Solution Trends for Restaurants
Webinar - Smart Device Management Efficient Workflows Resturants
Webinar: Smart Device Management & Efficient Workflows in Restaurants

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Top 5 EdTech Trends to Watch

Usually, top trends lists are published at the beginning of the year. But there’s nothing usual about this year, especially when it comes to evolving trends. COVID-19 has become a catalyst for change, accelerating the adoption of digital technology across all industries. Under challenging conditions, education was completely transformed as schools scrambled to utilize the latest technology. That’s why we’ve decided to pause mid-year to reflect on what innovations in EdTech have recently emerged and what trends will likely stick around. 

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1. Immersive Learning Goes Mainstream

VR technology is an effective way to provide a personalized learning experience, enhance visual learning and save on physical equipment. Anecdotal evidence suggests that VR in the classroom increases students’ ability to retain information by 60-70%. It also allows training for hazardous jobs without exposure to high-risk environments. Furthermore, the mobility of technology ensures accessibility to world-class facilities for remote students without the burden of traveling or relocating.

Look for more institutions to adopt this state-of-the-art EdTech as VR headsets drop in price and immersive technology advances. Vocational education and training provider TAFE SA recently deployed 30 Lenovo Mirage VR headsets to aid education for their Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing Courses. Students have a 1:1 approach with the headsets to explore and experience high-risk areas they would not ordinarily see as apprentices.

2. Distance Learning is Here to Stay

Even as schools reopen for in-person learning, administrators are extending remote learning plans. Sorry kids, if you’re in the New York City public school system, no more snow days spent sledding and building snowmen. Because NYC districts distributed hundreds of thousands of devices during the pandemic, snow days have been canceled and replaced with online learning days.

In addition, schools across the country are adopting a hybrid approach and online learning options to meet the needs of students who thrive academically in a virtual environment. According to a recent Rand Corp. survey, about one in five districts are considering adopting virtual school as part of their portfolio post-pandemic. 

3. 1:1 Goes Global

Sped up by school closures and remote learning requirements, many districts reached their 1:1 device-to-student ratio goals years ahead of schedule. Even if schools worldwide don’t yet have a device in the hands of every student, they have distributed millions more laptops, tablets and Chromebooks than ever before. Acquiring a device for each student has led to another emerging trend—. As students and educators go back to school this fall, their loaner devices will be returning too.

Those districts keeping their 1:1 ratio long-term will need to address how to best store, charge and secure their new devices without burdening school staff. One solution to set up your school for success is to invest in easy-to-cable open-concept charging carts. Pre-pandemic, technology carts helped make a limited number of computers shareable among multiple classrooms. Now, these same resources will take on a new role. Carts enable educators to plug in 30 or 40 devices without worrying about having tons of outlets in each classroom. Students leaving their devices at school overnight can take advantage of the secure storage benefits of tech carts and smart lockers. In addition to security, they offer an easy way to redistribute the devices at the start of the school day.

4. Digital Equity Comes into Focus

Procuring and handing out devices is only one side of the remote learning equation. In the US, 14% of students between the ages of 3-18 can’t connect to the internet at home. Unicef reports that worldwide, over 400 million students have no access to digital or broadcast lessons.

Innovative educators and community partners are hard at work bridging the digital divide to ensure no child misses out on learning. Many new programs have emerged—from Wi-Fi-enabled school buses in California to SIM-enabled internet dongles in Victoria. All aimed at delivering internet connectivity to underserved student households.

Achieving digital equity also relies on preparing for the inevitable. School-issued equipment used at home for remote learning or homework will break, and cables will go missing. District CTOs and CIOs have learned over the past year that they can’t assume students have a backup device. If a device is damaged, most students can’t participate in lessons—which puts them behind until they return to school for a replacement. A better solution is to deploy smart lockers such as LocknCharge FUYL Towers in public places throughout a neighborhood. Ideal locations are open after hours, such as a community resource center, a Boys & Girls Club or a local restaurant. Stocked with replacement devices, smart lockers offer secure storage, no-contact pickup and easy access 24/7. Once a student reports a device requires attention, a staff member can assign that student to a specific locker. Using an admin-defined PIN, the student can swap their broken device for a ready-to-use one. By spreading Towers throughout the district near transit hubs, no family has to travel farther than another, making this a more equitable option that reduces learning loss.

5. More Evidence-Based Procurement Decisions

When faced with stretched budgets, schools are getting smarter with their technology investments. According to ResourcEd, “Schools are much more likely to invest in technology based on evidence that it supports their school’s learning requirements and challenges.” Schools searching for tech that integrates easily within their existing infrastructure are looking for solutions that won’t quickly become obsolete.

Most technology in schools is replaced every 3-5 years. Investing in future-proof technology can have a significant impact on budgets and employees’ time. For example, imagine the costs and time your district could save by not replacing charging solutions every time new devices are rolled out.

The only certainty about the future of education is that it’s uncertain. The trick is to be ready for whatever scenario comes your way—including developing an EdTech plan that empowers students and teachers to focus on the task of learning. Learn how best to navigate educational technology in an ever-changing landscape.

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Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

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Webinar: Smart Device Management & Efficient Workflows in Restaurants

Presenter: Josh Davis, Sr Director of Customer Engagement at LocknCharge

In this webinar, Josh shares LocknCharge’s “secret sauce” to device management in restaurants. He walks through some recent customer success stories and highlights how the Putnam Charging Station is perfect for charging, storing and managing devices in a restaurant environment.

There is a lot that goes into a restaurant's tech plan: AI for order taking, digital menu boards, online ordering, drones for ordering and delivery, and much more. But many of these initiatives are time-consuming and expensive to implement.

For restaurants that are implementing mobile point of sale technology, LocknCharge offers a simple solution to improve transaction times with a charging station that ensures devices are always charged and ready for use. The right decision now can make an instant and lasting impact on your bottom line.

Watch this webinar to learn about:
  • Individual franchise customer success story
  • Large restaurant chain customer success story
  • Why restaurants are choosing the Putnam 8 or 16 Charging Station by LocknCharge to efficiently manage their mobile technology
  • How LocknCharge can help improve your mobile POS plan today.

We are more than a vendor. We view our customers as partners. Our goal is to find the best charging solution to fit your business.

Learn more about how LocknCharge helps restaurants deploy mobile technology on our dedicated restaurant page. 

Schedule a Live Product Demo

Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

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Managing Mobile Devices in Restaurants with Putnam

There is a lot that goes into a restaurant's tech plan: AI for order taking, digital menu boards, online ordering, drones for ordering and delivery, and much more. But many of these initiatives are time consuming and expensive to implement.

For restaurants that are implementing mobile point of sale technology, LocknCharge offers a simple solution to improve their transaction times with a charging station that ensures devices are always charged and ready for use. The right decision now can make an instant and lasting impact on your bottom line.

Watch this video to learn about:
  • Large restaurant chain customer success story
  • Individual franchise customer success story
  • Why restaurants are choosing the Putnam 8 or 16 Charging Station by LocknCharge to efficiently manage their mobile technology
  • How LocknCharge can help improve your mobile POS plan today.

Learn more about how LocknCharge helps restaurants deploy mobile technology on our dedicated restaurant page. 

Schedule a Live Product Demo

Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

Continue Reading

Evaluating Charging Solutions for Your Restaurant

Many restaurants are planning to or already have implemented mobile point of sale in their restaurants to speed up transaction times and increase sales. We're here to show you how selecting the right charging station for your program can make an instant and lasting impact on your bottom line.

As a restaurant owner, we know you have hundreds of things you could be doing other than evaluating charging stations. So, we're taking the guesswork out of that process for you.

Watch this video to learn about:
  • Evaluating charging solutions and roadblocks you may face
  • Reasons why restaurants are choosing the Putnam 8 or 16 by LocknCharge
  • Features of the Putnam that make life easier for restaurant owners/managers and employees
  • 3 Simple options to order a Putnam Station
  • How easy it is to setup your pre-wired Putnam Station

Learn more about how LocknCharge helps restaurants deploy mobile technology on our dedicated restaurant page. 

Schedule a Live Product Demo

Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

Continue Reading