What is digital dining? And why do so many restaurants view it as a necessary tool for the current state of the foodservice industry? Read our ultimate guide to find out.

You may be surprised to learn that restaurants and technology have gone hand-in-hand for a long time. 

From POS systems to food processors, most foodservice establishments use these innovations to help with everything from simple meal orders to complex back-office operations. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the industry a few years ago, restaurant technology became a higher priority.

This decade, digital dining tools went from being a “nice-to-have” to becoming a “must-have.” The health and safety benefits of contactless dining became quite obvious as the pandemic unfolded. Fortunately, new contactless dining services began popping up left and right to help staff run their restaurants safely and to help increase their reduced bottom line. Some of these tools came with challenges – without proper implementation and staff training, for example, this latest flood of restaurant tech has proven challenging to adopt and optimize.

Why digital dining?

During the first few waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants had clear instructions to follow: open safely, or stay closed. Foodservice establishments had to find cost-efficient and safe ways to serve their customers without using the traditional service model. A large part of this challenge was following safety protocols without detracting from the traditional dining experience. After all, restaurants curate experiences that make them stand out from competitors or online ordering alternatives.

In comes digital dining.

We believe that the best digital solutions are the ones that allow restaurants to offer their best-in-class service with as little deviation as possible. With the rapid rise in mobile wallet technology, payment and menu management were due for an upgrade anyway. Waiting for menus and payment terminals can be a great source of friction in the dining experience. Traditional printed menus are quite tedious to update. And dine-in guests now expect greater flexibility in payment options due to advancements in quick service and fast-casual dining.

Health restrictions have been lifted in most areas for a while now, but guests have not forgotten about the convenience and speed of contactless dining. In fact, many guests now expect it from their favourite restaurants, which means it is time for you to consider making contactless solutions a long-term investment.

With this in mind, we put together this introductory guide to help you better understand these new services, provide you with best practices, and get you on your way to taking advantage of these valuable tools.

What this guide can do for you

If you’re a restaurant owner or representative, ask yourself these questions:

    • Is digital dining completely new to you?

    • Have you used digital dining tools and are curious about bringing them to your establishment?

    • Do you have digital dining tools, and want to get the most out of them?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading! This guide is perfect for you.

Here are some of the topics covered in the following chapters:

    • What is contactless dining

    • What tools are available for your establishment

    • Dealing with high commission fees

    • Aiding with staffing shortages

    • Marketing your restaurant online

    • Making the most of your social media channels

    • Creating your best digital menus

    • Adapting to new technology

    • Understanding omnichannel ordering

    • And more

Guide chapters

    1. 5 benefits of contactless dining

    1. 6 tips for creating the ultimate contactless menu

    1. Takeout and delivery: why you should offer your own (and how)

    1. 5 tips for optimizing your social media to increase online ordering

    1. Omnichannel ordering: why you should take (back) control of your restaurant

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Ready to take your dining experience to the next level? Start reading the first of five chapters below.