2023 Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape

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.

2023 Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape Map

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. 

At Brizo FoodMetrics we’re continually acquiring data and insights 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, both among the customers we work with and in the industry as a whole. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 

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 foodservice tech and automation today.

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Brizo’s Restaurant Tech Landscape is always expanding. Get on the Map

We’ve organized it in 10 tech categories—have a read through, and bon appétit!

1. POS Systems

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.

2. Payment Systems

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.

3. Online Ordering

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.

4. Reservation & Waitlist Systems

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.

5. Inventory, Accounting & Purchasing Systems

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.

6. HR & Staffing

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.

8. Marketing, Loyalty & Analytics

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.

10. Ghost Kitchens & Virtual Brands

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.

Get on the map

We’re continually adding to the Brizo Restaurant Tech Landscape map — let us know if you should be on our list!

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Brizo FoodMetrics serves up the most intelligent and actionable foodservice market analytics, enabling sales & marketing professionals, analysts, and data scientists to conduct powerful research, competitive analysis, and prospecting. Brizo FoodMetrics combines the power of data science, artificial intelligence and big data analytics with our world-class expertise in online monitoring to deliver North American foodservice market insights with unrivalled depth, accuracy, and freshness.

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