From vibrating cards, and QR codes to E-Menus: What technology will shape the future of the restaurant industry?25/10/2022
After the trend of vibrating cards put into operation by Highlands Coffee, The Coffee House chains, etc., QR codes and E-Menus are gradually becoming a new trend in the food and beverage industry.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the average annual consumption of food and beverages in Vietnam accounts for about 15% of the GDP. The total retail value of this industry will reach 54.9 billion USD in 2021. Accordingly, the Vietnamese market is one of Asia’s promising destinations for food and beverage businesses.
The change in operation in the F&B industry is increasingly focused, in addition to the factors of cuisine and taste. This is reflected in the level of service of the staff, the time to order, and the rate of wrong orders. Standing as a food service experience, customers are especially interested in time, in the general busy trend of society.
Many “major companies” follow the technology wave one by one
Haidilao – a famous hotpot restaurant chain from Taiwan, officially entered the Vietnamese market in 2019. Beside the experience and cuisine, this brand also brought a wave of technology applications to the F&B industry in Vietnam. Accordingly, each service table is provided with a tablet, with specialized software, to choose dishes or call support staff. The investment cost is not small, but this contributes to creating a “wow” experience when customers use the service.
Following Haidilao, many large and small brands also equip tablets to serve their customers. Golden Gate – the “big guy” of the F&B industry in Vietnam, also follows Haidilao to serve customers in the high-end segment. This trend becomes inevitable when customers want to be free to choose their favorite food, at the same time the restaurant is not at a disadvantage in terms of service time, and order information is transferred to the kitchen area without intermediaries.
Continuously innovating technology and the vibrating card controversies
In the early days of the coffee restaurant industry in Vietnam, the operation of information in the restaurant was only done manually through handwriting on paper and transferring between departments. In the first decade of the 21st century, management technologies and equipment began to be brought to Vietnam more with POS (Point-of-sales) software, and touch screens. And from 2010 up to now, the speed of technological change in this industry has become more and more obvious.
Since 2013, Highlands Coffee has boldly changed from a high-end coffee chain model to a self-service model. Customers will come to the counter to order and receive the vibrating card and return to pick up the item when the vibrating card is emitted. This helps this coffee chain to focus on ordering dishes in order of priority, minimizing the risk of ordering food so that the serving time will be faster.
After the success of Highlands, the trend of using vibrating cards gradually became popular in the market. However, this model still has many conflicting opinions. For example, the change from serving at the table to a vibrating card has caused The Coffee House coffee chain to receive a lot of negative feedback recently.
Commenting on this, Mr. Ngo Nguyen Kha – CEO of The Coffee House shared: “During and after the pandemic, we must comply with regulations such as using a disposable cup to avoid contact. From there, I see a different perspective: we can increase the speed of service. When I was forced to change in that direction, I found it quite good, because increasing the speed of service is very important in the F&B industry.”
The appearance of QR codes and E-Menus
A vibration card is a useful and popular application, but the investment cost for shop owners is still relatively high, accompanied by the probability of loss and damage. In the post-Covid-19 context, all expenses need to be optimized, instead of vibrating cards, the use of diners’ phones as a notification tool is gradually getting attention.
Accordingly, the electronic menu has been developed by several technology units as a new standard of operation. Mr. Vu Thanh Hung – CEO of iPOS.vn, a restaurant management software development business, said: “The electronic menu has become a new experience in the food and beverage industry. Instead of investing high costs when buying tablets or vibrating cards at the table, we take advantage of diners’ smartphones, to bring the same experience and convenience to them.”
The condition that most diners own at least 1 smartphone, along with statistics from the Department of Telecommunications, the smartphone ownership rate in Vietnam will reach 85% by the end of 2022. , the application of the QR code to become an electronic menu not only can scan the table location, but customers can also order food and request assistance from the staff at the table.
“Technology will penetrate deeper and deeper into the service industry in general and F&B in particular, the trend of digital transformation is irreversible, but it all has to stem from the real pain in restaurant operations when that new technology becomes practical” – Mr. Hung said.
Source: Nhip song Kinh te
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