As industries go, the food service industry may be among the most sluggish to change. Whether it’s the natural stubbornness of chefs or the undeniable effectiveness of a simple, well-cooked meal, the advances technology bring to restaurants often are not obvious or well-publicized.

Here are a few of the innovations that have made a lasting impact.

Tablets Just Plain Work

Though they are useful for browsing social media and watching Netflix while lounging, tablets like the iPad have completely changed point-of-sale and reservation management for the better. The ease of interface and minimized cost make it a perfect fit for operations of nearly any size.[1] Even better, having tablets that can swivel to face the customer streamlines the tip, receipt signing, and ordering process in numerous cases. That means faster lines, happier customers, and less overhead.

Lighting the Way

A simple but powerful adaptation is changing safety for restaurants around the world. Many consumers describe LED bulb light as too harsh for home life, but kitchens need that bright light to keep a busy kitchen organized and workers safe.[2] The hyper-efficient and eco-friendly nature of bulbs help to defray their higher upfront cost. And more recently, LED bulbs are seeing more use in serving areas, taking advantage of their dimmable settings to create precise moods with ease. LED bulbs are growing more popular every year and will soon be standard.

Replacing Lost Air

The makeup air unit is a piece of equipment that is as easy to miss as it is vital to a safe, comfortable restaurant. The air removed by a restaurant’s exhaust hoods is only partially replaced by air circulating from the dining room and from outside. The remainder has to come from somewhere. Enter the makeup air unit, which pulls and conditions outside air into kitchens to keep things balanced.[3] The advantages are so numerous and important for safety that many states require these units by law. From keeping odors corralled to eliminating negative air pressure systems to reducing drafts that are uncomfortable for your guests, makeup air units are not just worth the investment. They should be considered standard for modern and upgrading restaurants everywhere.

[1] https://www.shopkeep.com/blog/4-technologies-that-will-improve-your-restaurant-operations#step-1

[2] https://www.mullanlighting.com/blog/benefits-of-led-lighting-for-a-restaurant/

[3] https://aristair.com/blog/8-reasons-restaurants-need-a-make-up-air-unit-for-the-kitchen/