7 painless ways restaurants can stay up to date with new technology trends

On top of all their other tasks, restaurant owners must stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies for restaurants. The apps, screens, and software that make up the world of restaurant tech are an essential part of the industry today.

Fortunately, it’s not that time consuming to keep up with the latest technology trends if you incorporate these 7 habits into your life. Even if you’re not tech-savvy you may find that knowledge is power.

Why is staying up to date with technology important for restaurants?

First of all, staying on top of restaurant technology trends can help you streamline operations, increase revenue, and offer better hospitality even when labour is tight. Just as important: Your guests expect it. People want to find restaurants on social media, use their phones to order up dinner, and settle the check without touching their wallet or signing a receipt.

Here are 7 easy ways to stay on top of restaurant tech that can fit into your busy life and tight budget:

1. Find a mentor

You likely already have a hospitality mentor or a business mentor. The same may not be true for technology. If you don’t have a person to turn to for tech information and advice, it’s not too late to seek one out.

Keep an open mind about who this teacher could be. In many cases, mentors have more experience or are older than you. But when it comes to technology, consider the younger people in your life.

Your tech mentor could be someone on your team with a passion for social media, someone in your personal life who likes to talk tech, or even another business owner in your network. Don’t rule anyone out.

2. Check out webinars

Industry experts pack these online classes and events with tons of up-to-date information. Watching a webinar or attending an event for operators in the hospitality industry can help you build skills and knowledge about restaurant tech and related topics. Plus, you’ll stand a chance to expand your network.

Some good places to find them include:

3. Join an organisation

Most regions have a local restaurant and hospitality association. Membership can help you stay up to date on technology trends, restaurant trends, and economic trends. You’re likely to connect with others who want to share information and resources. Often these local groups offer educational events you can attend in person.
On a national level, consider joining organisations like UKHospitality. In addition to education, including technology education, you’ll gain the opportunity to become an advocate for the industry and access to other services.

4. Keep up with the latest news

TThere are many sources online that can help you stay up to date on restaurant technology news. These are a few good places to start. Consider signing up for email newsletters for updates in your inbox.

5. Listen to a podcast

If you spend time commuting, a podcast may be a better way to get your dose of restaurant technology information. There are millions of podcasts, but Restaurant Technology Guys zeroes in on this topic from across the pond. If you enjoy listening and learning, there are many other restaurant and technology podcasts you can find with a quick search in your podcast player.

6. Sign up for “new feature” alerts

Go through your current tech stack and make sure you’ve signed up for email updates about the products. Companies want to let customers know when the latest cutting edge features become available and how to use them. If you don’t get these alerts, you may miss useful features that could save you time or money.

7. Hire IT help

You always have the option to bring on someone who does restaurant technology support. These professionals usually offer an hourly or project rate and you can schedule their services regularly or as needed.

It’s also worth seeking out help from the customer service offered by the companies that power your restaurant tech. You may already have access to an expert who can help you get more out of your restaurant technology. If you have OpenTable, you have access to best-in-class customer support whenever you need help.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the fast pace of restaurant technology, but you can get in-the-know faster than you think. Start with one of these options for building your knowledge base and add on from there.