Restaurant Workers Fired, Smartphones take their place!

Happy Christmas eve everyone! Now I know this blog post probably seems slightly odd considering its about restaurants and who eats at restaurants at Christmas? It’s all about the home cooked turkey and roasties, I know! But what better time to fall in love with cooking again and slate new inventions in restaurants than Christmas! In recent years, the digital impact on restaurant experiences and how people eat out is mind-blowing. It is now the norm to use smartphones when dining  in restaurants and the need for workers has lowered.

How far can technology really go? I mean soon we will probably have restaurants in space where aliens come down and deliver your food!

Example:

Weatherspoon’s is a perfect example of this technological advance. You can use smartphones to order your own food, by providing people with your table number you can get other people to send you food and you can pay your bill as well. What is the point in even having staff? The whole experience has become digital.

Pros:

I mean the cleverness of it is pretty cool and I can’t blame staff for doing it. It saves them money and it makes it easier for the customer. Equally, according to Buzz Time “37% of restaurant owners believe customer ordering is the single most important type of tech they should try”.

How many times have you been in a restaurant and been so hungry that you don’t want to wait for the waitress. You sit there starving and try to be patient when all you really want to do is order your bloody food! I can relate to that frustration … I get very hangry.

So I guess part of me loves the new technological advances and its customer involvement that has come along with it. It has certainly made the dining experience quicker and simpler.

Statistics also prove that I am not alone in this and as customers we find technology makes the whole experience more enjoyable. This is supported with an article by Nikki Gilliland in which she found that “57% of consumers agree that technology in restaurants improves their guest experience”.

There is no need for poor waiters and waitresses to be running around like headless chickens trying to make sure they see everyone. Instead we can whack out our smartphone and order what we want and refill our own drinks.

Personal Experience:

As a part time waitress myself I know the struggle of trying to juggle all of your tables and dealing with every aspect of their experience all at the same time. What I would give on a Saturday for customers to whack out their phones and order all of their food themselves. But nope I still hear Danielle screamed over 100 times.

Another example of this digital impact is in a restaurant called Inamo. I went to the one in London, where we were greeted with a staff member explaining how there is an iPad on each table and you order everything yourself. It really was an amazing experience.

Albeit slightly odd when we first went in because me and my boyfriend aren’t used to restaurants like this. The whole thing was well thought through and the way the restaurant functioned seemed to work perfectly and really was a more innovative fun dining experience.

Cons:

However, I can’t help but think how this is affecting restaurant workers? Surely there is no longer a need for as many workers if us as restaurant guests are doing everything ourselves through social media.

Similarly, it seems that all restaurants now feel obliged to offer WiFi. Why can us humans not even go through a whole meal without feeling the need to connect to social media and the internet? It is slightly worrying that even at a time where you are supposed to eat and communicate with the people you are with, smartphones still take priority.

Even restaurants that aren’t technically on board fully with the smart phone function are slowly getting there. Nandos for example, you have to go up to the till to order your food, you collect your own sauces and refill your own drinks. Some would argue that surely that is what restaurant workers are for?

Feedback:

Feedback is now another aspect of restaurant eating that has turned digital. The likes of websites such as ‘TripAdvisor’ are creating enormous amounts of online reviewing.

Veselina Dzhingarova discusses how digital reviewing is “innovative and has been modernised to suit the changing times”. Similarly,  according to the economic journal they found that “as little as half a star difference in a restaurants average rating can generate 19% increase in reservations”.

This means that a company is hugely dependent on how consumers rate them online. Stress!

To Conclude:

Overall, it can be argued that technological advancements and the digital impact on eating out in restaurants can be seen as both a positive and negative. It can be seen from both sides but cannot be argued that its advancements are innovative and were a smart move for companies!

Personally I’m just excited for the future of restaurants … keeping my fingers crossed for those aliens!

If you liked this one, check out my previous post:

Who even cooks anymore! Rise in takeaways

 

Till next time,

Danielle x