Digital Ordering Technology Trends to Watch in 2024

The demand for convenience and personalization is accelerating digitization and automation across every channel of the foodservice and hospitality industry. From restaurants and hotels to casinos and cruise ships, the opportunity to stand out from the competition and appeal to more guests while optimizing food and beverage operations is now. Without acting, relevancy may be at risk in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Let’s explore the digital ordering capabilities foodservice operators can leverage in 2024 to increase convenience, improve personalization, and boost customer satisfaction:

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Leverage AI to optimize customer data and deliver a personalized ordering experience. Customized suggestions and automated upselling based on past orders have the potential to increase average check sizes. Meanwhile, reordering favorite dishes becomes faster and easier, leading to higher order frequency and enhanced customer loyalty.

Contactless Ordering: Digital ordering allows guests to navigate menus, customize orders, schedule pick-up or delivery, and manage payments. Beyond reducing reliance on physical menus and frontline staff, contactless ordering technology minimizes errors and accelerates service.

Omnichannel Experience: Being everywhere to meet customer demand requires the flexibility to support a myriad of ordering options. Seamlessly integrating dine-in, delivery, carry-out, and curbside pick-up with advanced ordering, QR code ordering, catering, and kiosks is a win for both foodservice operators and patrons. Providing a consistent brand experience across every channel should be the priority.

Voice-Activated Ordering: Integrating voice-activated technology with digital ordering systems enables customers to place orders without the need to increase staffing levels. This hands-free approach caters to customers on the move while meeting demands for more accessible food ordering options. The potential to improve guest engagement, increase revenue through effective upselling, and boost overall customer satisfaction is high.

Sustainability: 2024 is the year to implement environmentally friendly business practices in both the front- and back-of-house. Sustainable technology advancements such as self-service kiosks, QR code ordering, web and mobile apps, and kitchen display screens can contribute to reducing waste without compromising speed, efficiency, or food quality.

Ghost Kitchens: The popularity of on-demand delivery services and off-premises dining continues to fuel ghost kitchen operations. Preparing food for delivery requires less real estate and fewer resources, making it a more sustainable business operation. Ghost kitchens can also represent an opportunity for existing restaurants to appeal to a different market with minimal additional investment. Integrating a POS system and delivery orders generated through Marketplaces like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Skip the Dishes is a must to optimize operations.

Loyalty Program Integration: Start fostering customer retention and incentivizing repeat visits by integrating loyalty programs and perks across all digital ordering platforms. Make it easy and seamless for guests to accrue and redeem points on all of their food and beverage orders.

To stay relevant now and in the future, taking steps to provide a frictionless and personalized digital ordering experience is a must. While the online ordering and delivery technology that many foodservice operators adopted during the pandemic has evolved, so have consumer’s behaviors and expectations. A robust digital ordering solution like Tacit that seamlessly integrates with existing payment and POS systems, loyalty programs, and third-party marketplaces will support business growth in 2024 and beyond. As a result, there will be more time to focus on delighting guests and gaining a competitive edge.

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