This article is part of Raydiant’s Future of The Restaurant Industry series which interviews top experts on their perspective of technology and trends that are shaping the industry.
The following is an interview we had with Rom Krupp, Founder and CEO of OneDine.
Outside of COVID, what have been the most dramatic changes you’ve seen in the industry over the past 3-5 years?
RK: I’d say third-party delivery and the growth of off-premise dining. Customers are now not just expecting, but demanding delivery and to-go options from restaurants across the spectrum, from QSR to full-service. This is a huge change from a few years ago, when delivery was generally reserved for pizza or for certain restaurants in large cities like New York or Philadelphia.
What are the top trends you see shaping the future of the restaurant industry in the next 3-5 years?
RK: The continuous growth of people using their own device is going to have a drastic change on how restaurants operate, from faster table turns to reduced staffing needs. In addition, as revenue from third-party delivery increases as a percentage of sales, restaurants will need to change their building designs—we’ll see larger kitchens and smaller dining rooms.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the restaurant industry in the next 3-5 years?
RK: 360-degree contactless technology that offers waitlisting, mobile menu browsing, ordering, payment, and loyalty programs. We’re already seeing how it’s changing restaurant operations now, during the pandemic. Customers won’t be willing to give up contactless technology and the convenience it offers once the pandemic wanes, especially since a portion of the population will remain high-risk indefinitely (those who cannot have the vaccine, or who have compromised immune systems).
What’s the future of restaurants?
RK: Restaurants are here to stay, but we will see more experiential restaurants as consumers are looking to combine other activities with dining.
Labor costs are also going to continue driving automation inside a restaurant’s four walls. Because of this, we’ll see a lot more self-service options, allowing guests to order, pay and serve themselves. Automatic beer taps, which allow guests to pour their own drinks, are one example that’s already taking off.