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Fast food technology & how it's improving these careers

CareerBuilder | April 4, 2021

Fast food technology

Technology in the food industry is advancing the way employees work and helping them better serve customers.

It’s hard to believe there was once a time when the concept of fast food dining was considered a breakthrough in the restaurant industry. Placing an order for hot food that was ready to eat in a very short matter of time was an exciting wave of the future. Fast-forward decades later, when the explosion of mobile technology is reshaping the way fast food restaurants serve customers and provide a better experience.

Below are some of the latest technological advances to hit the fast food restaurant industry. Mind you, most of these advances are not engineered to replace restaurant employees, but rather assist them with their work and help establishments please and meet the demands of their customers.


Mobile ordering becomes the rule, not the exception.

As more and more people depend on the convenience of interacting with the world through their smartphones, restaurant owners have taken notice. Today, several fast food restaurants – such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Hardee’s – now have smartphone apps which allow customers to peruse the menu and place on the go. This feature enables restaurant to have customers’ orders ready and waiting for them when they walk in the door. Fast food mobile apps have become so commonplace, many restaurants are trying to gain a competitive edge by offering customers incentives for downloading and using their apps. It’s clear that, as mobile app ordering and rewards programs become the norm, the fast food restaurants that do not offer such amenities will fall behind.


Workers get “assistants.”

The latest technology is also making life a little easier for the people who work behind the counter at fast food restaurants, while helping to improve the quality of the food they’re producing. Cooks have access to tools that help them monitor the progress of meal preparation. This includes lighting systems that provide a visual point of reference for how much time remains for a certain dish. Technology also helps ensure that perishable food is maintained at safe temperatures and workers are alerted when food is approaching its expiration date. Additionally, inventory tracking software assists food workers by automatically placing an order to replenish low food supplies when it detects the inventory has dropped below a certain level.


Management gets automated help, too.

And finally, fast food general managers and fast food shift managers have been given a helping hand through new software that enables them to track a number of metrics. For example, from a human resources standpoint, managers can count on systems to create work schedules, track employee hours, and oversee compensation delivery. Franchise owners can also get access to data that identifies consumer trends and restaurant performance, enabling them to make informed decisions about the direction of the business.

Considering the fact that fast food restaurants were created to expedite the delivery of food to customers on the go, it seems fitting that technology has stepped forward to make that service even speedier. Fortunately, many of today's younger restaurant workers are already in tune with emerging technological tools and are, therefore, well-equipped to learn and use the latest technology that is helping move the fast food industry forward.

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