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Trends in Dining Technology in 2022

As a food service operation, staying on top of trends in dining technology will help you maintain a competitive edge, deliver a better customer experience, and can even help improve your profitability. As we approach 2022, a number of trends remain at the forefront of conversation.


The Transition to Cloud Point-of-Sale

The demand for Cloud has steadily increased over the past several years, and according to Reforming Retail, 60% of new merchants are seeking Cloud POS over legacy on-premise solutions. If you still haven’t made the transition to Cloud, it’s time to consider ditching your on-premise hardware and going Cloud for a few core reasons:

1. Access your data anytime, anywhere: As a business owner or operator, having to be physically located on location in order to access or make changes to your system is impractical. Cloud-based POS allows you to manage your business from anywhere, check reporting data, update employee information or schedules, change menu items, and more. 

2. Improved security: Cloud-based systems are segmented, which means that you are more likely to be protected from phishing or e-mail borne threats and attacks. Rather than the data residing on a local computer, it is stored in the Cloud, away from the local environment.

3. Easier upgrades and maintenance: With Cloud-based POS, updates and upgrades to software can usually be managed completely remotely. This can lead to cost savings as you won’t need technicians to come on-site to perform software upgrades.


The More Contactless Options, The Better

Although many customers are still using physical debit and credit cards, transactions performed via mobile wallet are steadily increasing. Physical cards are also having their ‘tap’ functionality utilized, which eliminates the need for the customer to press buttons on PIN pads or sign a receipt. If the trend in mobile wallet usage continues, over half of the world may be using a digital wallet by 2024.

Contactless payments extend beyond the tap of credit and debit cards, and are also increasing in the form of badge or account payments. Adding a meal plan or payroll deduction program that makes use of existing badges or door access control fobs is another increasingly popular option that operators are turning to in order to enable contactless payment methods at their food service locations.

While many locations are not necessarily outlawing cash altogether, operations that are providing their guests with contactless payment options are certainly on trend – giving customers the safe and fast checkout experience that they want. 


Loyalty Programs are Reasons to Visit

An overwhelming 75% of consumers are selecting businesses with loyalty programs over businesses without them. Rewarding your customer’s loyalty is critical to ensuring they continue to return time and time again, and helps them recommend you to others, as well. The industry is trending towards digital and mobile loyalty cards, away from the traditional stamp-style or paper loyalty program that is kept in wallets.

Loyalty programs help with customer retention, marketing, and increasing average check sizes, so it’s a no-brainer that they should be a critical part of your technology strategy in 2022. 


Artificial Intelligence in Dining Technology

The uses for AI in food service are bringing benefits to diners and operators alike. As one example, restaurants and food service venues struggling with the current labor shortage are turning to AI to help continue to deliver food through the use of food delivery robots. Robots are also increasing the speed of food preparation and delivery, making them an attractive option to consider implementing.

Leveraging data within the POS or loyalty system, other AI engines are being used to provide food recommendations to guests, customizing meals based on previous order history and preferences – meaning restaurants making use of these AI tools can help you choose meals that they’re almost certain you’ll enjoy! 

With the food service industry optimistic on a rebound post-pandemic, 2022 is a year full of hope for food service operations as they rebuild, with many exciting technology trends on the horizon. From food robots, to kiosks, to loyalty programs, there are plenty of options to consider at your location to make 2022 a profitable and exciting year for you and your patrons. 


If you’re interested in talking about technology for your food service venue, feel free to reach out to Volanté.

Shannon Moyes

Director of Business Development – Volanté Systems

Learn more about how Volanté can help your business.