How to Be a Next Generation Restaurant of the Future

Often, the answers to what the future holds can be found by looking at the past. To better understand the future of the restaurant industry, one may find the answers lurking in the present. Barbara Castiglia, Host at Modern Restaurant Management, says the future of restaurants is here. Robotics and automation are remaking the restaurant, not tomorrow, but today.

KitchenTown, out of San Mateo, California, is a restaurant innovator leading the charge to bring transformative change to the industry. One such innovation is Mezli, the first fully robotic restaurant, launching in San Francisco on August 28, 2022. Mezli will serve high-quality food at affordable prices. “It’s about 30,000 square feet, and it’s going to offer affordable bowls, convenient quality food,” Castiglia said. “It’s hit on using technology to give guests what they want.”

More prominent players in the QSR industry have also gotten into the restaurant re-imagining business. Wendy’s is undertaking a total redesign called “Global Next Gen.” Enhancements include sleek and modern designs with optimized layouts and the latest technology innovations. Additional features include mobile order parking and in-restaurant pick-up shelving. Convenience and efficiency will be front and center, and Wendy’s first Global Next Gen restaurant aims to open in New Albany, Ohio, in the spring of 2023.

The key ingredient fueling the innovations occurring in the restaurant space today is the same as it always was for guests. Guests drive all present and future decisions restaurants make. “What guests want now is technology,” Castiglia said. “They want things to be very convenient for them. They’re very tech savvy themselves, so they want their restaurants to be tech-savvy as well. We’re going to be seeing more of this on a wide scale. All restaurants will have to get on the digital bandwagon to compete and meet what their guests want.”

What are some of these technical innovations guests want more of in the restaurant of the future? Online ordering systems and delivery apps. With a global food delivery market estimated at $150 billion, restaurants not offering these services could lose out.

And restaurants can utilize technology to help their bottom lines, including automated inventory management systems. AI-powered inventory management companies are giving restaurant owners and managers powerful tools to help cut food waste and costs. The innovations are here and available. Restaurants do not need to wait for the future to prepare for it.

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