As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to start looking towards 2019. 2018 was a big year in pizza delivery, with car manufacturers pairing with pizza companies to develop self driving cars, and robots making pizza. What new innovations await us in 2019?
Looking Back on 2018
Americans like their pizza, and they showed it this year. In 2018, the United States pizza market was worth an estimated $45.7 billion, according to the PMQ 2019 Pizza Power Report, and according to Technomic, 83% of consumers eat pizza at least once a month.
Meanwhile, in Canada, there were more technology-driven changes in the restaurant industry in the past five years than in the fifty before. Technology is now front and centre in the restaurant industry, in a way it never was before.
Third Party Online Ordering
Third party online ordering may have entered the scene in 2017, but in 2018 it grew by leaps and bounds. This was the year that many third party online ordering apps gained acceptance by the general public. Aaron Allen & Associates predict that the online food delivery and mobile ordering apps market will continue to grow throughout the next few years.
Grubhub, one of the larger third-party ordering services, grew tremendously in 2018. The company expanded rapidly throughout the United States, though recently their stocks have taken a hit.
We’re interested in seeing if these services continue to gain in popularity in 2019. Either way, restaurants using third party online ordering sites are going to search out services that make the process easier for them in 2019, including integrating orders into the POS.
Online ordering has moved from being a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for restaurants over the past few years. In a recent interview with the NYPD Pizza Hunter’s Creek owner, Jeff Longo explained that he was encountering customers who would not order from him because he did not have online ordering for his restaurant: “A good percentage would call in, but some people would not order by phone. We didn’t offer online ordering, and they didn’t want to call or walk-in. So they didn’t order from us.”
In 2019, we predict that restaurants will stop being satisfied with just having an online ordering site, and begin to demand better websites. That includes better loyalty, point of sale, and custom integrations, and a better customer experience.
Restaurant customers are no longer only comparing online ordering from one restaurant to another; they are comparing ordering food online to their other online experiences, like ordering items from Amazon or Google Play. In 2019, we will see more restaurants looking at their online ordering experiences more closely, and looking for mobile-first and user-friendly sites.
In 2018, many restaurants around the U.S. offered customers the option to pay at their table with credit and debit cards. More tablet options for point of sale systems were made available on the market, as well as more EMV PIN pad options.
KiosksIn 2019, we predict that more pizzerias and delivery restaurants will offer customers the option to pay by credit and debit upon delivery at their door. Last year, SpeedLine introduced Pay@ the Door, which allows pizzerias to accept EMV PIN pad payments outside of their restaurant at their customer’s location. We predict this trend will gain momentum as consumers become accustomed to the increased security and convenience of card-present EMV transactions.
Restaurants Canada is “seeing more and more automated customer-service kiosks in quick-service restaurants” according to an interview with the Globe and Mail. As of 2018, many of these kiosks are appearing in large chain and franchise locations, but we predict more independents and smaller chains will begin to implement them in 2019.
2018 saw a rise in minimum wages across North America, and many restaurants are being forced to be creative to stay competitive. Kiosks are appealing, as they reduce the amount of labour pizzerias need for order-taking.
The coming year is set to be a another big one for restaurant technology, and we look forward to the unveiling of new innovations and advancements for pizza and delivery businesses.