No one is a stranger to take-out food. Americans are busier than ever before. They rely upon fast everything, from food to dry cleaning and from drive-through banking to drive-through pharmacies. Americans order their groceries online, pay their insurance premiums online and consult a doctor or lawyer online. We have ordered our pizza online for many years, now. Why not order good chef-prepared food online, too? Tech news is trending now with virtual dining. Five-star chefs are transitioning from dining rooms to commissary kitchens, often starting up to eight or ten delivery-only restaurants from two or three commissary kitchens. We can now have wholesome, organic foods sourced locally delivered right to our sofas at home.
Why Virtual Dining is Attractive to Diners
Even if the minimum wage has risen, diners often are unhappy with restaurants’ habit of attaching a percentage of the bill for gratuity. Long lines out the door upset hungry people. Order and cook times often vary according to the crowd in the dining room. More often now than ever, restaurants not using locally sourced foods instead of GMO-infested “food” lose customers to those that do. Pricing is a delicate subject for both diner and restaurant owner. All of this combines to make hungry folks want to order in a pizza or make a run to KFC. When an app pops up describing locally sourced healthful food prepared by a professional chef, to be delivered in less than 45 minutes, nicely priced as well as tastefully presented, then most people will rejoice.
Why Virtual Dining is Attractive to Restrauteurs
There are certain problems arising from virtual dining. Renting a space for a dining room is obviously more expensive than just leasing space in a commercial kitchen. On the other hand, one’s product should bring in enough money to cover overhead, paying staff and keeping up with food costs. Paying runners or delivery persons is an integral part of delivery-only cooking. Top chefs as well as sous chefs and prep persons need to be paid. Alerting the public to one’s product can be difficult as well. Alternatively, virtual dining doesn’t need wait staff or hosts/esses, furniture or ceramic plates. Plastic or paper containers are bought in bulk; these are no-cost items that don’t run up your food costs. Chefs can concentrate better on product than on service in a dining room.
The Social Aspect of Virtual Dining
Believe it or not, there are some who don’t “do” people. This is one of the reasons customer service has suffered so badly in the last 20 years. Some prefer to order in so they don’t have to talk to anyone. They go on their social media sites to interact with other people, relaying good bargains, seeing what looks good in clothing that week or searching for a Lyft. The restaurateur, on the other hand, seeks social approval of his enterprise to grow his brand. He might offer lunch menus for local workers, or he might offer specials for students or those who exercise nearby and need to stabilize their blood sugar. He might even appeal to schools whose classes are small for special occasion lunches. Social media, for all its criticism, does offer a needed service for both diner and restaurateur.
The Tech Aspect of Virtual Dining
Diners are hungry for apps. Space on their smart phones notwithstanding, more people use dining apps than any other app. Apps diners use to save money on dining out include Valpak, OpenTable and Restaurant.com. These apps offer savings and/or points that can be redeemed at participating restaurants. Hungry now and can’t wait? Download NoWait. Don’t know what you want to eat? Yelp, FoodSpotter and TripAdvisor can help you locate something delicious. Hungry for organic or locally sourced food? Download Tasteful. Would you rather walk into the restaurant of your choice, be seated immediately, have your food delivered in seconds and pay the bill before you leave home? You’re in luck, because Settle allows you to do just that.
We provide interested food establishments with a handy little device that streamlines order taking, preparation and food delivery in your restaurant. We thought you’d like to know a little more about restaurant tech trending now, because we are part of it.