In 2021, restaurants will be operating in a very different environment from 2020. Once restaurant doors reopen and people are vaccinated, everyone will be going out to restaurants again. It will likely be your only chance to make a good first impression on your customers while welcoming them back. You may actually even have a change to grow your audience as people explore more dining choices.

That’s not to say that all problems will magically disappear in 2021. Let’s think back to the key problems that operators faced in 2019. Labor shortages are going to return to restaurants again as minimum wage rates grow and the gig economy flourishes. Guest experience is going to become a big priority.

A look again at 2019 tech trends will be essential to solving 2019 problems. Operators were seeking technologies to make their labor more productive and create a stand-out guest experience. We’ll see more of that in 2021.

Technologies for Staff Enablement

The labor shortage will result in adoption of technologies that attract people to work in restaurants. This includes technologies that will help them earn more tips and enjoy their work day better, such as server handheld devices, Pay At Tablemobile ordering and payments systems, and drive-thru systems that help with taking orders and payments more seamlessly. Adoption of these technologies will result in labor savings too.

In addition, technologies that help gamify the experience for staff and make their work day easier will be important. Staff will need these tools to go about their day being productive without stressing out too much.

Digital Tools for Better Guest Experiences

As people start going out more, we’re going to see more technologies being used to improve in-person guest experience. Technologies that improve guest experience, whether it’s at the drive-thru, dining room, or takeout window, are going to be rapidly adopted.

Personalization will be a huge trend. Providing technologies to speed up service and personalization will help restaurants stand out from competition. With personalization, concepts can deliver greater guest experiences and retain long-term repeat guests.

Improved Analytics for Operators

The third key area of technologies involves better analytics for operators. Restaurants need to capture, analyze, and use data in the right way to deliver value to their consumers, as well as better profits for their bottom line.

Today, restaurants can only really capture what happens through their POS. Computer vision captures the other 99% of what’s happening in a restaurant. This can be translated into data that helps restaurants deliver better service to their guests.

Enterprise-sized restaurants are going to benefit in 2021. They’re going to take the opportunity to make investments that other companies can’t to beat competitors in guest experience. They should be even more aggressive with their spending and investment in these times to have a sustainable advantage coming out of the pandemic. By partnering with Presto, restaurants will be well-equipped to deliver fast and friendly guest experiences across thousands of locations. Contact us at and we’ll help you get started.