From trip advisor to top table, consumers have long had the benefit of technology to enhance their experience of eating out, with operators left scrambling to catch up. But, now is the turn of the operators as a new wave of apps, gadgets and novelty features has hit this season’s expos, we take a look at five innovative pieces of technology, to keep you ahead of the game
Front of House
Developed in the UK, Swipestation is a customer facing, in-venue device which allows customers to process vouchers and promotions. On high footfall occasions, for example, customers can pre-pay at home, print their tickets in venue and present them at the bar. It allows venues to offer real-time, instant promotions and can offer more insightful data on customer activity.
NDMAC Systems: ‘Liquid Distribution Table Device’ – Set up in 2013 by Jean-François Istin, a craft brewer from Brittany, France. This mobile unit was a Sirha Innovation Award winner. It includes a draw system from which customers can serve themselves, complete with pressure and cooling. Its electronic and computer systems allow operators to control the content and consumption of the device, and allow consumers to pay for each drink with a wearable wrist tag.
Just one of a wave of customer facing ordering apps, Orderella was crowned best new product in British hospitality at the Hospitality show in January. Waiting times are slashed, and customers are kept constantly updated about the progress of their order.
A relative veteran of the restaurant scene, US app Breadcrumb has been around since 2011, but was acquired by Groupon a year later. Based on iPad, waiters can send orders straight to the kitchen or bar, and take direct payment. It is more than just a mobile POS system, Breadcumb also takes care of payroll and analytics operations.
In the kitchen
Another winner at this years Sirha expo, E-Pack Hygeine is, its makers say, the world’s first HACCP “touch solution”. Tablet mounted, the app allows kitchen staff to record daily readings, store product labels, present reports and manage a schedule.