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 Rodion Yeroshek, co-founder and CEO of Poster.
Outside of COVID, what have been the most dramatic changes you’ve seen in the industry over the past 3-5 years?
RY: Over the past five years, the restaurant market has changed dramatically, primarily due to active digitalization and automation.
The shortage of professionals in the hospitality industry is forcing owners to produce the same quality product, but with fewer staff. More and more restaurateurs have integrated technology to optimize service speed and save on labor costs.
All-in-one POS-platforms have become more than just a trend in the restaurant industry, but are now considered an essential tool for restaurant owners and managers to integrate point of sale technology, analytics, online ordering, inventory management, and more.
What are the top trends you see shaping the future of the restaurant industry in the next 3-5 years?
RY: Online ordering and delivery will be the main industry-shaping trends for the next few years. Millennials’ demand for fast, convenient food anywhere and quarantine restrictions on restaurant visits make these technologies an ideal approach for these new circumstances.
However, the rules of the game in this market are constantly changing. Nowadays restaurants are increasingly looking to develop independent delivery services, to avoid paying commissions to third parties platforms. But the latter are also constantly trying to come up with new creative ways to attract more users. Food ordering platforms started to propose new subscription models that eliminate shipping charges in favor of a flat-rate subscription, which could give them a true competitive advantage.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the restaurant industry in the next 3-5 years?
RY: Restaurateurs are already using artificial intelligence to optimize their businesses, but AI use will continue to increase, as the technology becomes cheaper and more affordable. The benefits of AI in the restaurant industry are not limited to robots and voice assistants. AI can also help restaurant owners analyze data to improve the customer experience, get smart prompts to reduce waste and manage their inventory more efficiently, forecast labor demand, and control theft.
What’s the future of restaurants?
RY: A person comes to the casual restaurant, orders their favorite meal on their smartphone. The meal is prepared quickly with significant automation in the back of house, delivered to the table by robots, and the bills automatically deducted from the client’s account while he walks out the door. This is the restaurant of the future.