As the Presenting Sponsor of the 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report from the National Restaurant Association, SpotOn is proud to help restaurant operators find the right solutions to navigate the hospitality industry’s changing landscape. There’s a lot of data and insights to unpack in the new report (you can find our full press release here), but one recurring trend stands out—moving forward, both restaurant operators and consumers agree that restaurant technology plays a key role in creating a seamless dining experience.

Restaurant customers support restaurants and embrace technology as part of the dining experience

If there’s been one saving grace for restaurants during this inflationary cycle, it’s that consumers have continued to support restaurants. Last year, SpotOn reported that restaurant customers tipped 9% more over the first half of 2022 compared to the prior six months. According to the 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the trend is holding strong.

Not only do consumers want to continue supporting their local restaurants, but many expect technology to enhance their restaurant experience.

  • 64% of consumers say restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle
  • 55% would prefer to order directly from a restaurant for delivery
  • 70% are likely to order & pay using a restaurant website, contactless, or mobile payment
  • 67% would rather spend money on an experience over purchasing an item from a store
  • 69% like having the option to sit outside on a patio, deck, or sidewalk

These findings suggest some clear opportunities for your restaurant to boost efficiency and increase revenue by leveraging technology.

  • First-party online ordering enables guests to order directly from your restaurant, eliminating costly third-party app delivery commissions and helping your back-of-house operate more smoothly with direct POS integration
  • Handheld POS devices and QR ordering enable your staff to serve more guests faster, even shorthanded, and are particularly effective for patios, parklets, and other outdoor dining areas
  • A digital reservation system can combine your reservations, waitlist, and events, helping you keep your tables full by making it easy for guests to book a table or special dining experience

Operators seek to upgrade their restaurant technology in 2023

According to the 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report, more restaurants say their tech is “lagging” rather than “leading.” This trend is particularly true with quick service and family dining, where 30% of operators in each segment say their technology is lagging.

To address this, 40% of restaurant operators from all segments indicate that they plan to invest more in front-of-house and back-of-house technology to improve efficiencies in 2023.

Where do they plan to invest? In the areas of biggest revenue opportunity and where they face the most difficult challenges. We’ll dive deeper into each of these issues in future articles, but here are the quick takeaways.


According to the report, 62% of restaurant operators say they don't have enough employees to support customer demand. Here again, order and payment technology such as handhelds and QR ordering can help you improve throughput and cover the labor gap. Further, a restaurant labor management solution can help your managers save time while boosting efficiency and retention with data-informed staff scheduling and faster (automated) tip distribution.

Rising costs

92% of restaurants cite higher food costs as a significant challenge, according to the 2023 report, and are seeking to compensate by reducing costs in various ways:

  • 59% of operators plan to change menu offerings
  • 48% plan to reduce hours
  • 38% plan to postpone expansion plans
  • 32% expect to cut staffing

In all four use cases, advanced point-of-sale reporting can help operators make better-informed decisions to cut costs without having a negative impact on their guest and employee experiences. From menu auditing to fine tuning your employee scheduling and hours of operation, real-time data is essential to your success when reducing costs.

Online ordering

As noted above, restaurant consumers want to order takeout and delivery from their favorite restaurants. The 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report also indicates that a whopping 90% of limited-service, casual, and family dining concepts plan to continue offering delivery.

First-party online ordering such as SpotOn Order offers numerous benefits to address this huge revenue opportunity, including:

  • Cost savings compared to third-party delivery commissions
  • Direct integration with your Google Business Profile to reach more guests online
  • Ability to build your guest database for marketing purposes
  • Pacing controls to keep your kitchen from getting swamped
  • Software integrations for local delivery, including CaptainAI (for managing your own delivery drivers), DoorDash (for outsourcing delivery at an affordable flat fee rate), and Itsacheckmate (for funneling third-party orders into your restaurant POS system)

There’s no shortage of challenges you face running a restaurant, but you’re not alone. Click below to talk to one our restaurant technology experts and discuss how we can help you increase your profit margin. And be sure to subscribe to Heart & Hustle to get more insights and advice on all the topics covered in the 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report and more.

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