Step into the future of dining with the trailblazing companies revolutionizing the restaurant industry.
2023 Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape delves into the best restaurant technology companies driving innovation in the foodservice market.
Using Brizo FoodMetrics' powerful market analytics, we were able to unlock an in-depth view of the tech-in-use and develop a comprehensive landscape that can help businesses make informed decisions.
From payment systems to online ordering, AI to robotics, reservations to staffing, technology is playing an increasingly important role in helping restaurants automate labour-intensive processes, reduce error, and generally give customers the convenience they want, when they want, in the channel they want.
Acquiring data and insights
At Brizo FoodMetrics we’re continually acquiring market data around how and where foodservice operators use technology, and we’re kicking off 2023 with some of the topline trends that we’re seeing most in the restaurant industry. A few key insights from our kitchen…
Demand for delivery has remained strong, despite soaring prices. Not surprisingly, online ordering and food delivery is expected to reach almost $370B globally by 2030.
While 2021 was a year of plenty for restaurant technology, with venture capital pouring in and rapidly growing tech firms buying other companies, all of that ground to a halt in 2022 due in large part to inflation and fears of a recession. Rising interest rates rattled investors and forced companies to focus more on profits than growth.
Non-robotic forms of automation gained steam, especially AI voice. Bots were the stars of the National Restaurant Association Show in May, and across the board, restaurants continued to invest in automation. We saw the launch of (among other things) a cheeseburger vending machine, a robotic wok, and a number of new Flippy installations. The robotics trend defies an easy summary, which is to be expected for tech that’s moving beyond the test-and-learn stage and starting to scale. Robots’ uneven year could be seen as cautionary, but it’s more likely a sign that the technology is starting to mature.
Ghost kitchens continued to evolve in 2022, but the changes came more in the way of look and feel than in the technology they use.
2023 Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape Map
From key trends to major players: We’ve captured a bird’s-eye view of the leading innovators in restaurant technology in our 2023 Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape Map. It’s a comprehensive (though not exhaustive), at-a-glance overview of the leaders in restaurant tech today.
We approached this exercise by:
Identifying companies which serve US & Canadian foodservice markets
Capturing companies ranked and mentioned online
Identifying technology-in-use across market via Brizo FoodMetrics
We’ve organized it in 12 tech categories—have a read through, and bon appétit!
From humble cash register to high-tech heart of the business, POS solutions are the cornerstone technology of restaurants, and are often the platform that integrates with all the other core BOH and FOH systems, from accounting and inventory management to online ordering and delivery. Following are the frontrunners in the POS space.
So much of the customer experience in restaurants today revolves around convenience, and a big part of convenience is providing guests with multiple ways to pay. Whether they’re eating in-house, at home, on the go, paying via debit, credit or mobile app—these are the choices consumers expect today, and the ability to provide them can be important service differentiators. In this section we profile payment tech innovators.
Probably more than any other technology, online ordering has revolutionized the restaurant industry. Online ordering has enabled restaurants to reach new customers and increase their kitchen capacity. It’s prompted them to change menu items (in favour of items that travel better). It’s the driving force behind ghost kitchens, and during Covid, it helped many restos survive. And, of course, it has propelled the exponential growth of food delivery — now an entire industry of its own (see Section 7). Have a look through our list of leaders in online ordering.
Another form of automation that’s all about customer convenience is reservation & waitlist systems — increasingly a critical decision factor for potential guests choosing one establishment over another. Not only do these systems give guests more control and flexibility in reserving a table, but it can let them read reviews, browse menus ahead of time, receive text updates, and—two huge pluses for the operators—reduce abandonment and collect valuable information for future marketing. Following are the companies setting the standard in this category.
While restaurant innovation often focuses on the front-of-house customer experience, more establishments are realizing the tremendous difference backend automation can make in day-to-day efficiency — and even more so now when foodservice establishments face heightened challenges around supply chain and labor management. From eliminating the hours spent ordering supplies to simplifying complex spreadsheet tracking of multiple vendors, to identifying high and hidden costs, these systems are game-changers in what are the more tedious, often time-consuming aspects of restaurant operations. Check out these category leaders.
Few industries are as critically dependent on good people as the restaurant business. Great kitchen and wait staff are the reason guests continue to come back — so it pays to invest in technology that helps find and keep quality staff, while unburdening operators of having to do so manually. This is especially the case now in an environment of labor shortages and higher labor costs. Whether it’s hiring new servers, processing payroll, scheduling shifts, or keeping teams connected, there are now many options for automating and improving efficiency in this crucial area. Here’s our list of the leaders.
Like online ordering, delivery, pickup and drive-thru have also forever changed the restaurant industry — and were a life-saver when the pandemic struck and shuttered indoor dining. And just as these services dramatically change the dynamics of a restaurant’s operations, they depend on sophisticated technology to run smoothly — not only for the operator, but for the customers who may or may not come again depending on whether a meal is late, cold, or incorrect. Read our rundown of delivery, pickup & drive-through tech leaders.
With the restaurant industry more competitive than ever, establishments have to work harder to win customers (one online source reported in 2019 that attracting and retaining customers was a top challenge for restos). That means foodservice operators have to actively woo guests — and that takes getting to know them, analyzing their likes and dislikes, and personalizing communication to suit their preferences. Thankfully, today’s robust marketing ecosystems can aggregate guest info, mine it for insight, and enable operators to market across the channels their customers use (analytics > marketing > loyalty > more analytics). Following is our take on the industry’s top performers.
Few industries are more labor-intensive than the restaurant business. Couple that with current labor shortages — not to mention high costs — and you’ve got the perfect recipe for innovation. From building pizzas to brewing coffee, food kiosks to drone delivery, voice bots to robot bartenders, AI-powered tech is creeping into kitchens and revolutionizing their operations. Check out our list of leading innovators.
There’s an old saying: Necessity is the mother of invention. Ghost kitchens were the invention necessary to help many restaurants survive the pandemic. Now, they’ve taken on a life of their own. And it’s hardly surprising: Between more consumers eating in and more costly serving staff that’s harder to find — not to mention minimal space requirements, no need for special decor and dramatically reduced marketing requirements… Need we say more? Here are the major players in this rapidly growing space.
While the catering sector took a hard hit with the pandemic — along with the rest of the foodservice industry — it has been rebounding significantly since 2020, up by a whopping 16% in 2021 alone. That year, the total sector was valued at over US$9.5 billion, and it jumped another billion in 2022.
Technology has played a huge role in fueling this growth, with an expanding array of robust online platforms making it ever more effortless for diners to feast wherever their fancy takes them, whether it be home, office, private meeting, or party space. Check out our list of leaders in the catering space.
In some areas of foodservice, like online ordering and POS, tech-driven transformation has been underway for a number of years. In other parts of the sector, however, the innovation is still relatively new. Dynamic pricing… food safety… food waste management… these are among the aspects of the restaurant industry that continue to challenge operators, and which these innovators are helping to overcome.