The restaurant industry has been around for a long time – since the dawn of Western civilization itself. Starting in Ancient Rome, some of the earliest known public restaurants, called thermopolia, were local hot-spots where the citizenry would go to socialize, be waited on, and fill their stomachs after a hard day’s work.
Although our way of life has undergone a complete metamorphosis into today’s modern society, restaurants themselves have changed very little. The basic guest experience today is fundamentally the same as it was so many centuries ago in Rome’s thermopolia.
Software is changing all of that. Just as the rapid evolution of software is transforming how we live at home (think Nest), how we drive in cars (think Google) and how we travel in airplane cabins (think Virgin America), software is also dramatically transforming how we eat at restaurants. In restaurants, there is an entirely new consumer-facing software layer of apps and services being deployed as we speak.
For example, tablets with sophisticated software for guest ordering and payment, are being placed on every table at major brands like Applebee’s, the largest casual dining concept in the country. Waitlists are being automated by NoWait and NoshList, online ordering being made ubiquitous by OLO and mobile payment is now finding its way into fine-dining restaurants by OpenTable.
Very interesting read about how we could all soon be dining…