4 Brands That Are Embracing The Next Frontier In Restaurant Tech

In 2020, collaboration between digital solutions providers and restaurant brands is stronger and more innovative than ever. As a result, today’s in-store eaters, takeout drop-ins, and delivery recipients alike are delighted by efficient, personalized, and seamless digital experiences.

Artificial intelligence empowers restaurants to personalize guest experiences en-masse. Automated order, payment, and customer solutions platforms like OneDine enable restaurants to create top-notch dining experiences while operating with up to 20% less waitstaff.

And as digital orders continue to surge industry-wide, more powerful digital ordering systems are solving logistical issues. With the next frontier in restaurant tech coming to market quickly, innovative industry leaders are embracing new digitally focused strategies and solutions.

Here are four ahead-of-the-curve brands to keep up with:

1. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Rising digital sales account for nearly 20 percent of Chipotle’s revenue, and the fast-casual chain is working to ensure a seamless pickup experience via testing new in-restaurant features. Six Chipotle locations, both new and retrofitted, are currently piloting digital-friendly designs featuring “Chipotlane” drive-thrus, urban storefronts, walk-up windows, and different seating arrangements. This innovative chain with over 2,500 restaurants will gauge the performance and practicality of various formats before rolling out one nationally.

2. Taco Bell

The fourth-largest fast food chain in the U.S. continues to invest in guest-facing technologies.

Most recently, in collaboration with technology solutions provider Certona, Taco Bell revealed plans to implement AI-powered, in-app customer personalization. The company will create a custom app experience by serving users relevant menu items, promotions, and other content based on order history, dietary preferences, location, and other variables.

Last year, with the help of solutions provider Elo, Taco Bell installed digital kiosks equipped with 22-inch touchscreens in almost all locations. With that initiative, customers were enabled to order entirely digitally in-store.

3. Domino’s Pizza

The world’s leading pizza brand’s VP of Global Infrastructure, Dan Djuric, has gone as far as to call the forward-thinking chain “an e-commerce company that sells pizza.”

Over the years, Domino’s has made good on its promise to offer customers fast service and reasonable prices through consistent digital innovations and adaptations. In 2008, the pizza tracker, which allowed customers to track the progress of orders on computers and later smartphones, won droves of new fans.

In 2010, a new digital strategy including overhauled digital ordering paid off big time: between 2011 and 2017, overall sales rocketed from $1.6 billion to $3.4 billion. And by 2019, 65% of all Domino’s orders came from digital channels. Recently, CEO Rich Allison projected $25 billion in sales by 2025.

4. Sweetgreen 

Serving up salads and innovation, Sweetgreen was the first chain to implement multiple production lines (2010) and mobile orders and payments and pickup shelves (2013). In 2018, Sweetgreen’s “Outpost” program placed pickup shelves in corporate offices, building lobbies, and apartment buildings, with free delivery to all 800+ Outposts. Today, the 107-location company’s digital orders account for 50% of its sales, highest of any non-pizza restaurant chain.

Is your restaurant ready to embrace the next frontier? Schedule a OneDine demo today!