Restaurant technology isn’t replacing humans yet

Restaurant technology isn't replacing humans yet

At Panera Bread, you’re getting the option of dealing with a kiosk at the store instead of a cashier. Visit the local Chili’s and you’ll see tablets at the booth to help with orders. If you find the Domino’s app too reliant on buttons, don’t worry – you can start interacting with a computerized voice.

Buffalo Wild Wings is installing tabletop tablets for ordering chicken and listening to music. Wendy’s, Starbucks and Chipotle let you pay for and order your fries, coffee or burritos on smartphones. It goes on and on.

High tech arrives everywhere eventually, and restaurants are incorporating it as quickly as they can. Billed variously as a means to improve order accuracy and get customers to buy more food or to maximize staff efficiency, restaurants are becoming as concerned with databases as they are with dinner specials.

Companies fear falling short on technology will send patrons, particularly millennials, to establishments serving up digital convenience. Competition for the diner’s dollar already is a daily worry, and with traffic flat or down for many segments of the industry, they can’t take that chance.

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