Please wait while the search results are loading...

Retail Technologies Advance for Restaurant Orders, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Retailers, especially grocery retailers, are investing heavily in new technology that will simplify transactions and increase customer service.  Many shoppers have become used to the abundance of product information and the ease of finding it online.  Brick and mortar retailers are having to find ways to offer similar information and convenience in stores.  A host of advances, such as touch-screen information monitors, hand-held scanners, RFID tagging and fingerprint identification, are now in place at many stores worldwide.
Online Ordering:  Online ordering skyrocketed during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Restaurants with online ordering systems already in place got the jump of those who had to scramble to enhance or create web sites and apps with fast, intuitive ordering systems.  Online ordering has quickly become a habit for many consumers, and it will likely continue beyond the pandemic.  At Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., online sales tripled in 2020, accounting for 61% of revenue in the second quarter.  The firm is building more stores with drive-through lanes dedicated to digital orders, called “Chipotlanes.”
Video Restaurant Menus and Ordering Kiosks:  A number of restaurant chains, including Sonic Drive-Ins, are installing video menus that have point-of-purchase (POP) dynamic content.  Customers place their orders using a touch screen, which are displayed complete with the total check amounts.  Suggested additional items appear, some including special discount offers or promotions.  The system is provided by MICROS Systems, a subsidiary of Oracle.  The technology raises average check amounts, and increases inventory efficiency, since it is connected with the restaurants’ overall networks.  If the POP is pushing a particular flavor of milkshake, for example, and customers respond, the system alerts owners to buy more ingredients.  Installation and maintenance run about $135,000 per restaurant.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and CKE Restaurants, Inc. (which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.) have widely implemented self-order kiosks using Dell Optiplex All-in-One devices.  Customers place their own orders and pay using credit cards or smartphone payment apps.  Kiosks relay orders directly to kitchens, increasing speed and accuracy, and staff can easily update menus with seasonal offerings or promotions.  The system also enables management to run sales and administrative reports, while employees can use the kiosks to clock in and out.
TGI Fridays locations equipped staff with rugged Windows tablets, loaded with MICROS software, to use in collecting orders from customers and transmitting the orders to the kitchen.  Leading restaurant chain Chili’s installed tabletop self-order devices made by Ziosk that can also receive orders, transmit them to the kitchen and handle credit card checkouts.  In addition, the devices offer games and news feeds for a small additional fee.  Chili’s reported reliable increases in average checks, and the machines automatically suggest a 20% tip for servers who deliver food and beverages.  With U.S. restaurants under considerable pressure to raise employees’ wages, many firms are keen to utilize advanced technologies that enable customers to enter and pay for their own orders, thus cutting down on the total number of staff members required to serve customers.
Virtual Grocery Shopping:  Grocery chain Tesco wallpapered subway corridors in Korea with shop-able billboards.  The long arrays of billboards are designed to look exactly like full-size shelves and refrigerated cases within the aisles of Tesco stores.  Commuters waiting for trains can walk down the lines of photos of shelves and order groceries by scanning quick response (QR) codes using the Homeplus phone app.  Scanned items are automatically added to the customer’s online shopping cart, where they can pay for the orders on their phones and schedule a time for home delivery (usually the same day as the order is placed).  More than 900,000 downloads of the related Homeplus app were made in less than a year.  See a video of these billboards in action at

SPOTLIGHT:  Restaurant Robots
With wages rising and unemployment figures at record lows in the U.S., the restaurant industry is beginning to experiment with robots.  At CaliBurger, a casual restaurant chain with about 50 locations, “Flippy” the robot has been installed in about 20% of its restaurants to flip burgers and clean hot grills.  Management believes the robots will free human workers to clean dining rooms and refill drinks.  Restaurants are experiencing record orders as well thanks to online orders and on-demand delivery services.  In February 2021, food delivery firm DoorDash acquired robotics startup Chowbotics, which offers salads and poke bowls prepared by a robot in under one minute.
Automats:  Once popular in U.S. urban areas during the mid-20th century, automats are making an entry in China.  Restaurant chain Wufangzhai has eight outlets in the Hangzhou province where customers order food via smartphone and pickup items from lockers connected to the kitchen.  The lockers open via smartphone connection, and drink dispensers operate in a similar fashion using QR codes scanned by smartphones.

A Representative List of Organizations that Have Used our Research and Products:


I’m amazed at how much information is available and the various ways to access it. This will be a major resource for our serious job seekers.

Career Services, Penn State University

Plunkett Research Online provides a great ‘one stop shop’ for us to quickly come up to speed on major industries. It provides us with an overall analysis of the market, key statistics, and overviews of the major players in the industry in an online service that is fast, easy to navigate, and reliable.

Wendy Stotts, Manager, Carlson Companies

I really appreciate the depth you were able to get to so quickly (for our project). The team has looked through the material and are very happy with the data you pulled together.

Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Manager

We are especially trying to push Plunkett since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Library Services, St. John’s College

We are especially trying to push Plunkett’s since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Gary White, Business Materials Selector, Penn State University

Your tool is very comprehensive and immensely useful. The vertical marketing tool is very helpful, for it assists us in that venue, as well as targeting customers’ competition for new sales…The comprehensive material is absolutely fabulous. I am very impressed, I have to say!

Tammy Dalton, National Account Manager, MCI

The more I get into the database, the happier I am that we’ll have it–REALLY happy!!! Between the quality and affordability of your product, its appeal to and value for our users, and the inestimably ethical and loyalty-guaranteeing conduct of your business, I will always have more than sufficient praises to sing for Plunkett Research.

Michael Oppenheim, Collections & Reference Services, UCLA

Plunkett Research Online is an excellent resource…the database contains a wealth of useful data on sectors and companies, which is easy to search and well presented. Help and advice on how to conduct, export and save searches is available at all stages.

Penny Crossland, Editor, VIP Magazine
Real Time Web Analytics