5 Tech Tools Every Restaurant Needs to Stay Ahead of the Curve

The restaurant industry is a constant dance between tradition and innovation. While the sizzle of a perfectly cooked steak or the warm hospitality of a seasoned server will never go out of style, technology is rapidly changing the way diners experience their meals.

From contactless ordering to data-driven insights, embracing the right tech tools can be the difference between a bustling scene and an empty table.

Here are 5 essential pieces of technology that can elevate your restaurant game, using local favorites Brick & Bourbon in Maple Grove and Shrub in Chester as examples:

1. A Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale (POS) System

Tech Tools Every Restaurant

Gone are the days of clunky cash registers and mountains of paper receipts. A cloud-based POS system is the beating heart of any modern restaurant operation.

It streamlines everything from order taking and payment processing to inventory management and staff scheduling. Brick & Bourbon, known for their extensive bourbon selection and mouthwatering burgers, utilizes a cloud-based POS that allows their waitstaff to take orders and split checks tableside on tablets. This not only enhances the dining experience but also ensures speedy service and reduces errors.


  • Improved Efficiency: Cloud-based systems are accessible from anywhere, making real-time data readily available. This allows managers to track sales, analyze trends, and make informed decisions about menu pricing and staffing.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Features like contactless payments and digital receipts add a touch of convenience and speed to the dining experience.
  • Reduced Costs: Cloud-based systems often require minimal upfront investment and eliminate the need for expensive hardware maintenance.

2. Online Ordering and Delivery Platform

In today's fast-paced world, convenience reigns supreme. Diners crave the flexibility to order their favorite dishes from the comfort of their couch.

A user-friendly online ordering and delivery platform can significantly expand your reach and tap into a whole new customer base. Shrub, a plant-based haven in Chester, uses a popular online ordering platform that seamlessly integrates with their POS system. Customers can browse their seasonal menu, customize dishes, and schedule deliveries right from their phones.


  • Increased Revenue: Online ordering opens a new revenue stream, allowing you to cater to customers who prefer to dine at home.
  • Greater Convenience: Diners appreciate the ease and flexibility of online ordering, especially during busy hours or on weeknights.
  • Improved Brand Awareness: Online platforms help you expand your reach and attract new customers who may not have discovered your restaurant otherwise.

3. Kitchen Display System (KDS)

The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, and ensuring seamless communication between front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) staff is crucial. A kitchen display system (KDS) replaces the traditional paper tickets with a digital display in the kitchen.

Orders are sent directly from the POS system, ensuring accuracy and eliminating confusion. Brick & Bourbon, with its bustling open kitchen, utilizes a KDS that allows chefs to see incoming orders clearly and prioritize dishes efficiently. This keeps service smooth and ensures food reaches the table hot and fresh.


  • Improved Accuracy: KDS eliminates errors that can occur with handwritten tickets, leading to fewer mistakes and happier customers.
  • Increased Speed: Orders are delivered to the kitchen instantly, improving overall service speed and efficiency.
  • Enhanced Communication: KDS provides a clear visual representation of the order queue, allowing chefs to prioritize tasks and communicate effectively.

4. Inventory Management Software

Food cost is one of the biggest expenses for any restaurant. Inventory management software helps you track your ingredients, identify potential waste, and optimize ordering. This can significantly reduce costs and improve your bottom line.

Shrub, a champion of local and seasonal ingredients, uses inventory management software to track their ever-changing menu offerings. They can easily monitor stock levels, receive automated alerts for low supplies, and adjust their ordering based on real-time data.


  • Reduced Food Waste: By keeping track of inventory, you can ensure ingredients are used before they spoil, leading to significant cost savings.
  • Optimized Ordering: Inventory data helps you predict demand and order only what you need, preventing overstocking and waste.
  • Improved Profitability: Streamlined inventory management leads to better cost control and ultimately, higher profits.

5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Building a loyal customer base is vital for any restaurant's long-term success. A customer relationship management (CRM) system allows you to collect customer data, track dining preferences, and personalize your marketing efforts.

Brick & Bourbon uses a CRM system to create targeted email campaigns based on customer preferences. They can offer birthday specials to loyal patrons or highlight new menu items to specific clientele.


Increased Customer Loyalty: Personalized marketing campaigns can help you build stronger relationships with your customers, leading to repeat visits and increased revenue.

  • Valuable Customer Insights: CRM systems provide valuable data on customer preferences and dining habits. This allows you to tailor your menu offerings, promotions, and overall experience to better meet customer needs.
  • Improved Marketing ROI: Targeted marketing campaigns through a CRM system are more likely to resonate with customers, leading to a better return on your marketing investment.

The Takeaway

Technology is no longer an optional extra in the restaurant industry; it's a necessity. By embracing the right tech tools, restaurants like Brick & Bourbon and Shrub can streamline operations, enhance customer experience, and stay ahead of the curve.

Remember, technology is just a tool. The true magic lies in using it strategically to elevate your brand, showcase your culinary talents, and create a dining experience that keeps your customers coming back for more.

Looking for more tech inspiration? Here are some resources to get you started:

  • National Restaurant Association: [National Restaurant Association technology ON restaurant.org]
  • Toast POS: [Toast POS restaurant technology ON toasttab.com]
  • Olo: [Olo online ordering ON Olo [invalid URL removed]]

With the right blend of technology and culinary passion, your restaurant can thrive in the ever-evolving world of dining. So, ditch the paper and embrace the future – your customers will thank you for it.

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