Influence of technology in the restaurant industry is that the vendors have developed complex systems to support the main functions of the restaurants. One such example is of table management system that tracks table status and thus improves the timeliness and turns for the table. In addition, the system is used for floor plan management, reservations tracking, table availability, wait list management and customer paging. The customers are carrying out the tasks that were performed by servers in traditional setup. The new technology enables the customers to play the customised order and also pay bills through kiosk on respective tables.
Another influence from technology is of production management systems that allow vendors to perform additional tasks besides labour scheduling. The systems are used for pricing formulation, menu engineering, and inventory and purchase control and production forecasts. The activities are integrated with the POS systems to aid decision-making. However, high financial investments are required for this type of technology and hence only big national chains are able to align themselves with the systems. Hence, technology can result in competition gap between the independent and national chains given inability of independent restaurateurs to invest money in system up gradations to the level of national chains. Social networking is the most effective strategy that can be used to overcome the gap.
Independent restaurateurs can use the platform with minimal costs to participate regardless of the business size. Only one factor that affects the success of the platform is continuous participation by the independent restaurateur for which it is necessary to possess required navigational abilities and knowledge of the social networks. Social media is the new paradigm to communication and marketing of the businesses and using social media smartly can lead to competitive advantages. One of the factors affecting restaurants as a result of technology is reviews. Given current use of technology around the world, restaurant industry has completely changed because of popularity of social media and blogs. The patrons share their experiences immediately through online channels and thus result in spreading of priceless awareness and publicity. Thus, the online reviews and blogging is critical for the restaurant marketing managers. Another important influence that is convenience of mobility. Modern technology allows the restaurants to meet the customer expectations in time-saving, portable and accurate manner. There has been drastic cut in the wait times at restaurants as the servers are able to turn over the tables faster and customers are able to place orders ahead of time and use designation order stations. Technology allows the restaurants to keep customers updated about the changes in menu and services because of seasonal demands, local events or chef interests.
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