Keeping up in the Kitchen

As vital as good food and great service are to the survival of a restaurant, one thing that restaurants should also strive to do is to stay on the cusp of technological developments that could greatly enhance their business. From the front of the restaurant to the back of the kitchen, all sorts of innovative technologies are available to streamline many processes involved with serving patrons. Most customers, especially younger ones, greatly appreciate efforts made by restaurants to stay up to date with current technologies.


When it comes to quick service, most customers feel that the quicker, the better. That is why some establishments, like coffee shops and juice bars with more simple fare, are considering installing self-serve kiosks. These will allow customers who know exactly what they want to skip the lines at the cash register. Much like a simple vending machine, they are able to make their purchase and move on. Some of these will even be set up outside the restaurant, which is very valuable to consumers who tend to take their breakfast or lunch on the run. Also, it will help to make more space in the dining areas during some of the busier times of day.

To help servers be quicker on their feet, a few restaurants have begun using some type of personal device, much like a smartphone, for servers to take orders. This can help speed the order-taking process up immensely by eliminating lags between each step of the process. For instance, servers would no longer have to take notes by hand for each order, and then enter it into a computer to be transferred to the kitchen. As soon as the order is complete, it can be submitted to the cooks before the server could even make it back to the kitchen. Some restaurants have even experimented with the idea of letting customers use the device to make their own orders and submit them directly to the kitchen.


In almost any family-dining restaurant, customers who have to wait for a table are handed some sort of paging device that blinks and buzzes when it is their turn for a table. While they may keep the hostess from having to yell out a name and check outside every time a table opens up, they are still fairly inefficient. The systems are extremely costly, they do not allow patrons to stray more than a few yards from the restaurant, and they can transfer far too much bacteria from patron to patron.

Instead of using these, some restaurants have begun using a texting system. When a customer asks for a table, the hostess puts their name and cell phone number on a secure list, and the system texts the patron when a table opens up. Since nearly three quarters of American adults text, this is a viable option for almost any restaurant. Customers will appreciate the freedom to wait where and how they wish, and restaurants no longer have to invest in costly, germ-harboring devices.

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