The survey, which polled owners and managers of franchise eateries and small independent restaurants, was commissioned by NCR to offer a better feel for how technology is used and perceived in the foodservice marketplace.
“Restaurant owners and managers often work in fast-paced environments in which they tackle a variety of business challenges from inventory management to customer service to employee training and retention,” said Chris Poelma, president and general manager of NCR Small Business. “It’s clear they need complete technology solutions that simplify their business and help improve efficiency and drive revenue.”
While the majority of respondents are experiencing a positive impact on profits, only 31 percent of respondents have an internal employee who can manage technology for their business. Further, a majority of respondents (83 percent) ranked costs to maintain or upgrade technology as one of the biggest obstacles that keep them from upgrading to new technologies. More than half (53 percent) also stated they lack the staff to manage IT upgrades.
Despite challenges, technology still plays a significant role for restaurant owners and management. Sixty-two percent of respondents view technology as “important” or “very important” to their businesses. When looking at which solutions they relied on most, mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems outranked mobile apps:
· Cash registers (91 percent)
· Wi-Fi (74 percent)
· Mobile point-of-sale (60 percent)
· Accounting software (58 percent)
· Inventory management (54 percent)
· Time clock software (53 percent)
· Voice and broadband services (52 percent)
· Mobile apps (42 percent)
One of the primary benefits of technology is its ability to improve restaurant performance. Eighty-nine percent of respondents attributed cash registers and credit card readers to boosting productivity at their business. Eighty-four percent said Wi-Fi improves efficiency, and 78 percent said the same about mobile POS solutions.
Additionally, more restaurants are going online as a way to connect with current and potential customers. Almost 70 percent of the surveyed restaurants have accounts on social media, and 63 percent have traditional websites. Only 17 percent of the respondents still lack an online presence. At the same time, 81 percent of respondents do not offer their menu items through mobile takeout apps like GrubHub and Eat24.