It’s very important for restaurateurs to keep up with the trends of the moment.

For a number of reasons: the public soon gets used to conveniences first experienced elsewhere, and launching new services means increased earning potential, while surprising customers favourably gains their loyalty; new services can improve your reputation and make you stand out in the crowd. And, last but not least, many of the innovations introduced in recent years have actually improved the way people work in the restaurant industry.

Speaking of innovation, it is well worth discovering the 4 key trends in catering technologies for 2024

Making customers more independent with self-ordering solutions 

In the world of catering – and beyond – there has been a growing desire to personalise the customer experience in recent years. Customers coming to a restaurant increasingly demand an authentic,complete, custom-tailored experience, something they can control in every way.

This is one reason why self-ordering services are so widely appreciated these days: technological solutions allowing customers to order their own meal with no need for a waiter.

Customers can place an order using their own smartphones, framing a QR code which may be printed on the table, on an ordering totem, or on a touch screen on the table itself to access the menu.

Self-ordering offers numerous benefits, from personalising the customer experience to saving time.  

Booking a table online 

If you have experience working in the restaurant business, you will know very well that classic telephone booking can involve considerable risks.

Such as a phone that keeps ringing during meal service, or the risk of mistakes when writing down the arrival time or the number of people in a party, resulting in major problems at meal time.

The latest digital solutions for catering allow customers to book a table online with a few simple ‘taps’, eliminating the hassle of phone calls for both the customer and the restaurateur; the restaurant’s management software will take care of the rest, simplifying restaurant organisation and reducing errors dictated by purely “manual” management.  

Payment right at the table, via smartphone or the waiter’s handheld device 

We have noted that the tech trends in catering in 2024 include greater customer autonomy.

And this doesn’t stop with ordering: even payment can be managed comfortably and completely independently by the customer, again using a smartphone, with a credit card or other digital payment service, as is currently the case of home orders.

Aiming to eliminate all inconveniences from the payment process, such as queues to pay at the counter, modern cashier software also allows you to manage payment at the table with a POS, simply using the waiter’s handheld device – the same one as is used to collect orders.  

The growing importance of QR codes 

The latest tech trend of 2024 for the catering industry actually confirms a previous trend: use of QR codes continues to grow, for self-ordering from the restaurant table, independently ordering drinks on the beach from under a sun umbrella, or allowing customers at home to connect to an online ordering app using a QR code printed on little paper menus delivered to potential customers.

These scannable codes allow you to create a valuable digital bridge with your customers, improving order accuracy and reducing staff workload.