Technology has always had a strong, positive impact on the restaurant industry. But the pandemic has caused restaurant franchises around the world to dial up their technologies to serve customers faster and more safely — improving their overall experience with the brand.
New technologies in the restaurant and fast-food industries have impacted the way we do business in 2020 more than the last 10 years combined. Here at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a lot has changed in restaurant tech since we opened our first store in 2002. But, one thing has remained the same — we continue to do the right thing for the right reasons while following restaurant tech trends that make sense for our Guests experiences.
Let’s take an overall look at restaurant technology trends of 2020 and 2021.
Some technology trends in the food industry impact the customer, while others benefit employees and corporate practices. But one thing is for sure; technology impacts the bottom line and is instrumental in the future success of fast-casual restaurant franchises. The challenge is how to toggle between technology and human interaction effectively.
At Freddy’s, we continue to strive to keep a balance between using technology in the right places while retaining our friendly human connection, which is an integral part of what makes us one of the most loved franchises.
New technologies for restaurant customers.
Customer service and ordering.
From the way we order to the way we pick up our meals and pay, technology has changed our behaviors and expectations as business owners and as consumers. Some trends in customer service and ordering we are seeing out there are:
- Mobile apps for ordering, paying and earning loyalty points.
- Third-party delivery services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.
We found this quite interesting. According to financesonline.com, in recent years, food delivery service—mainly from third-party providers—is on an upsurge. Millennials are spearheading this trend with 74% expressing their preference for food delivery service. The rising number of delivery options is pushing this increase. Key insights on this include:
- Third-party online food delivery services will continue to increase.
- Many consumers prefer to have their food delivered versus eating inside or outside a restaurant.
- Drones and next-iteration driverless vehicles for delivery are in their testing phase.1
Biometrics payment technology.
Paying with physical cash and/or debit and credit cards is changing, too. Industry trends show that younger age groups are using fingerprint, Apple Pay, Google Pay and facial recognition technologies to complete their transactions at a variety of businesses. In major metropolitan areas, QR codes are becoming a staple to view menus, specials and as an easy way to pay at the table.
Even voice-assistant technology, like Siri and Alexa, are in the restaurant technology arena as a convenient way to order food from home.
Again, at Freddy’s we keep our focus on what is best for our Guests and our Franchise Owners in smart ways that retain the friendly service they love and expect from Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers.
Franchise Owner and corporate restaurant technologies.
Our Franchise Business Coaches (FBCs) support our Franchise Owners in making operations more efficient and streamlined, which includes tapping into the latest technology that benefits Freddy’s and provides data insights to improve efficiencies for our Franchise Owners and meet Guest demands. Read more about how our FBCs help ensure success for our Franchise Owners.
Training with tech.
Our world-class training program, Freducation™, has been optimized for efficiencies over the years. We use a technology platform that allows for a shared communication tool we call The Scoop. It’s easy to update and deliver consistent information throughout all of our locations. Everyone can get the same training documents, tests, videos and more. All key materials are available online at any time for easy access by Team Members, managers and Franchise Owners based on their employment level.
Data and analytics.
Tracking our Guests’ transactions and behaviors gives us insights to make adjustments and spot trends that make sense to us. We gather all Guest comments and reviews in a cloud-based platform in a report with sales, trends, reports, secret shopper scores and operations assessment reports. Every Franchise Owner has access to these reports and our FBCs are trained to use the data in guiding our Franchise Owners for restaurant operations.
Marketing keeps evolving.
From mobile push notifications to interactive digital ads, technology continues to drive new ways to reach customers through marketing. At Freddy’s, we assess the latest marketing tech based on if it fits our brand and enhances the experience for our Guests and business operations for our Franchise Owners — always with our friendly Freddy’s hospitality at the core.
We utilize traditional marketing avenues like billboards in many markets but are also running more digital, social media and streaming advertising to capture audiences on their mobile devices. The Freddy’s mobile app is also a large piece of our brand’s marketing and we continue to make it as user friendly as possible to order, earn and redeem rewards points. The latest technology simplifies loyalty programs by integrating POS systems with customer smartphones — and making it easier for our Guests which is what we are all about.
Make a smart move and join our Franchise Family.
It’s no secret that technology continues to change and we’re excited about what the future holds. If you’re excited to change your future by owning our fast-growing, fast-casual franchise with hospitality at our core, let’s get the conversation started.
Just fill out the form below and a Franchise Development Director will be in touch within one business day.