OREANDA-NEWS. “The future is a moving target when it comes to technology and its applications, with plateaus punctuated with bursts of upward trajectory,” writes Dorothy Creamer, Editor, Hospitality Technology. “For the restaurant industry, predicting the trends of tomorrow involves having the vision to foretell how technology that may already exist can be further leveraged to positively impact operations and the service experience.” Excerpts:

“A fully networked restaurant/consumer relationship can be leveraged to make service completely seamless. Cognizant envisions that geo-fences will identify when a customer is in the parking lot. It is a very real eventuality that customers will be able to enter orders into a car’s search appliance (such as Apple CarPlay), that would be transmitted into the kitchen just as the customer arrives at the restaurant.

IoT will further come into play with inventory management and smart kitchen equipment that provides proactive maintenance, helping to not only reduce breakdowns, but streamline labor necessary to maintain them as well. Cognizant imagines a fully networked world where equipment itself will be able to send out messages based on operational performance guidelines, enabling automatic work orders to be generated for support staff. On the inventory management side, Cognizant predicts connected restaurants using centralized inventory systems for all restaurants under one brand, enabling materials to move between stores based on demand, improving inventory management overall.

In terms of technologies standing to alter the landscape most, Cognizant sees robotics significantly impacting both the kitchen and customer service in years ahead, but with human cooperation, likening the potential to the robotics currently being utilized in car manufacturing assembly lines. Cognizant expects that physical robots will come to augment or replace the human intervention once needed in certain procedures. Software robotics will also come to be deployed to manage order processes and menu updates, maintaining that humans do the exception handling.