The main objective of this dissertation is to explore the impact of technology on places where people eat. In order to encounter, the impact of technology Yoko sizzler has been chosen. The interview-based questionnaires were distributed among 100 customers who were available at Yoko Sizzlers. Therefore, the gathered data is based on 100 responses, which includes both males and females. Technology has an immense impact on restaurants and hospitality industry; it has been encountered through several researches, and this research is another effort to contribute in prior work. It has been encountered that technology advancement plays an enormous role in attracting customers. It has also been encountered from gathered data and observational study that restaurant having higher technology have higher competitive advantages and can better handle their customers. However, inefficient use of technology can lead restaurants towards the disadvantage. It has been suggested that Yoko sizzler must utilize advanced technology and technologies that are most required are expert systems, POS, and online ordering system. These systems will allow restaurant to have increased customers, enhanced reach, and improved customer experience; that will lead Yoko Sizzlers to market its brand positively. Results revealed that the restaurant can increase it productivity through the help of technology and the most important advantages that Yoko can have customer attraction and online order handling. The overall data is a representation of positive technologic impact on restaurants and results of this study are in support of preceding researches.
World population is growing at a rapid pace, and it directly relates to the consumption of resources including energy, food, minerals and water. Developing countries have reported a higher growth rate of population in comparison to the developed countries where the rate of population growth is low. Moreover, the developing countries have scarce resources whereas, in developed countries, the food production and resource are available in abundance. The standard average production of food is 0.75 acres / person worldwide, where the rate of production in developing countries is below the average rate. There are many reasons, and some of the major reasons are, unskilled workers, less agricultural education, less access to technology and excess use of pesticides in the field. Similarly, the developed countries have higher, and more advanced technology whereas the developing countries have fewer resources and are not so much advance in technology. Because of having inadequate or advance technology, some of the industries of developing countries are not highly productive in comparison to the developed countries. With the advancing technology, today particularly in the developed countries technology influences almost every industry (Talwar, 2002).
One of the most popular and growing industries is the fast food industry. The advancement of technology has made a significant impact on the fast-food industry as well. The concept of fast food started back in 1912 and to further expand the industry, the concept of franchising begun around 1920. From the date, this industry has shown marvelous growth and acceptance in target market. A changing lifestyle and the fast lifestyle had a major positive impact on the fast food industry as people wanted food in a quick time. However, recently people have started to become more concerned about their health and this negatively (Talwar, 2002).
During 2008, restaurants in the UAE spent over $841 million to purchase food and beverages and were reported to expect to the increase of their purchases to $1.2 billion by the end of 2012 (IMB, 2009).
The fast food industry in United Arab Emirates is growing at rapid rate. The fast food industry in UAE reported around 15 % increase in the overall revenue last year and reached the level of 9.7 billion dirhams that is equivalent to around $ 2.6 billion (Jones, 2014). Moreover, this growth rate is expected to further increase in the next few years. UAE market is a growing business hub for different types of businesses. International investors are eyeing the UAE market, and the business environment is expected to grow further in the next few years. Fast food industry is reported as one of the fastest growing industry in UAE. In a study, it has been revealed that the acceptance of fast food in the population of UAE is the because of the characteristics of individuals, which is perceived as the most dominant factor in the decision-making process (Jones, 2014).
According to a manager at franchise development and marketing of food and life general trading, Rami Wardeh, the dine-in outlets in United Arab Emirates set a milestone of huge growth of 180 percent. This growth rate invites more new players in the industry (Chaudhury, 2005). The statistics reveal that UAE has more than 11 million tourists and business visitors from all around the globe, and this is also a major reason behind the growth of fast food consumption (Algethami, 2014).
In 2009, a survey conducted by Target Group Index unfolded that about 74 % of UAE’s total population had meal in regular restaurants, and this figure shows the growth of almost 10 percent as compared to the previous study carried out in year 2005 (Nair, 2011). The report also revealed that nearly 10 % of the population dine-out more than one a week and 30 percent express to have food in restaurants for two or three times in a month (Nair, 2011).
Background of the Research Study:
In today’s life, no one has enough time to wait in a queue of 20-25 people. Every single person wants to be served first. The challenge for the marketers is to place technology, staying stick to the core business values (Ip, Leung, & Law, 2011; Wilson, 2014). Integration and implementation of technology in the businesses has helped in enhancing the productivity and reducing the waiting time of the customers (Buhalis & Law, 2008).
The objective of one’s business is to increase loyalty of its customers by providing better quality and outstanding services and quick response to the customer’s needs, queries and customer services. The new technologies may increase the number of channels through which a firm can interact with customers. The firms that want to increase the quality of their services are advised to focus on data management services, insight-driven marketing strategy, self-service optimization and effectiveness of workforce (Meuter et al., 2000).
The touch-screen kiosks machine is one of the technologies implemented that has given the customers the freedom and has reduced the waiting time. Moreover, this has also reduced the labor cost (Bitner, Brown, & Meuter, 2000). These technologies and some others have been installed in many food restaurants like, Burger King and McDonalds. The animated and colorful screen menus enable customers to go through the entire menu and choose whatever they want; they can customize their food and pay the way they want (cash or credit cards). The technology is not limited to this only; information technology has also offered the application that can generate and place the order of every inventory such as tomato, buns, chickens, potatoes, etc. Thus, employees can detect the inventory at a certain minimum level and can place orders accordingly (Pipes, n.d).
Recently, some of the technologies that have been implemented and have improved the way of the restaurant business, and their service quality are (Pullen, 2012).
- Touch screen food vendors
- Using Tablet for restaurant management
- Automatic biodiesel converters (eco-friendly)
- LED alert system
- Webcam enabled monitoring
According to a recent article from a magazine, many restaurants in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and many other parts of United States are enabling consumers to place their order by using their gadgets and iPads. This could prove as a welcome sign for the industry and all its players in the industry. According to Vardy (2012), machine cannot replace the humans; a good waiter brings a restaurant culture which a machine cannot do. Human interaction is very important in the restaurant and hospitality industry (Vardy, 2012).
Angelsmith conducted a survey of around 500 individuals, having master level experience in the field. In this survey an attempt was made to find out how and what factors influence and convince the dining decision of others and how their personal choices are made (Oliver, 2012). The statistics show nearly half of the respondents seek information from their trusted friends. However, 80.1% respondents do additional study of the recommended restaurants (Oliver, 2012). The research study also identified that the word of mouth and restaurants websites, blogs and reviews, work simultaneously in the decision-making process of the individuals (Oliver, 2012).
Introduction to Yoko Sizzlers:
For this research study, the restaurant taken for study is Yoko Sizzlers. Yoko Sizzlers has a unique taste, and the service style of serving food on a wooden serving dish looks attractive and it helps in creating a unique restaurant culture. Yoko Sizzlers is a continental cuisine restaurant, and its headquarter is in UAE. The operations are spread over four countries i.e. UAE, Qatar, Oman and India. Tag Line of Yoko Sizzlers is “When you are tired of eating out, come home to Yoko Sizzlers.” This tag line appeals people to try a new taste. Yoko Sizzlers has customer centric strategy as it is offering quality food with continues introduction of new products. Its major competitors are Kobe Sizzlers, an Indian restaurant and Sizzlers, a US based restaurant. The vast variety of Sizzlers helps them to gather a good market share. From the Chicken, Steak, Vegetarian Sizzlers, Mutton, Yoko’s does not disappoint anyone looking to try a different taste or cuisine (Yoko Sizzlers, 2014).
In recent past era, technology has emerged as a key success factor for almost all industries around the globe. Technology has changed the market dynamics, and its conditions are changing continuously with the passage of time. To sustain and survive in the market, companies have to make long-term strategies to respond to the constantly changing conditions and in all this, the role of technology is significant.
Online business trend is also a breed of technology. Online arena has significantly influences businesses and now almost every business has its presence in the online market or is planning to go online. Companies have repositioned their products/ brands, and have changed the marketing and selling strategies to cater maximum mass of the market. Dine-on the go is a concept backed by technology, which enable consumers to have the food while driving. Similarly, another concept of online ordering has also emerged in the last few years. The objectives of this research study are as follows:
The restaurants are already using technologies like mobile apps for reservation & ordering, kiosks machines, games while the customers wait and many others and all these technologies are important in enhancing the customer convenience and satisfaction. This study will help to reveal that at what extent these technologies are prominent in the mind of the consumers. Based on the findings, the researcher will be able to propose the strategies for marketing and selling of the brands/ products.
The main research question of the research study is as followed:
Is the technology having an impact where we eat: does technology assist in attracting consumers to “Yoko Sizzlers”?
With the relevance of the above main research question, following sub research questions will be investigated:
- Whether the consumers that are frequently visiting the Yoko Sizzlers restaurant believe that the technology plays a vital role for choosing Yoko Sizzlers.
- Whether Yoko Sizzlers should adopt new technologies. If yes, which one it should implement?
Responses to above questions will help the researcher to conclude this study and drive some practical suggestions for Yoko Sizzlers.
Significance of the study:
Technology evolved the trends and the ways the businesses had been operated couple of decades ago. Today every business has to make their way of doing business and drive maximum outcomes with limited resources. The world has become a global village with the emergence of internet and smart technologies, which has touched every facet of individual life. To remain in the competition, businesses have to adopt the latest appropriate technology, which helps the companies to maximize its customers and profits. Food industry is one of the leading industries across the world. During year 2011, the industry has reported as $1.85trillion industry worldwide with average annual growth of 8-10% (Murray, 2007).
Hence, the significance of this study lies in identifying the role of technology and its impacts on the food industry in UAE as a whole and on a single firm in the industry. The study also tries to figure out the prospect answers to the question, “Does the technology assist Yoko Sizzlers in attracting the consumers.” Consumer preference keeps on changing with the time, this research study, therefore, will be helpful for the restaurants to make strategic decisions based on the consumer insights.
Chapter 2: Literature review:
Technology has become an important factor for many businesses. Technology influences businesses and almost every industry significantly. However, it is important for first understand the background and have a basic idea of technology. The word technology comprises of two Greek words, “technikos” and the second part is “ology.” The part “technikos” has the meaning of “art, skills or expertise,” whereas “ology” means “information, knowledge” (Isman, 2012).
The term technology is an appliance of knowledge related with science for human life. Technology can be further defined as the knowledge of manipulation of nature for the human with the aim to satisfy the human needs or behaviors. These aims of technology include daily life matters, medical, industrial, educational, engineering projects, defense mechanisms and several others. In the last couple of decades, technology has progressed massively in terms of computers and information technology. In addition to this, many devices and gadgets have been launched that has helped to enhance the performance of existing technology and add multi-tasking features. All these technology has enabled its users to perform a different task simultaneously (Isman, 2012).
Technology and Its Usage in Different Industries:
With the passing time, new technologies and gadgets are emerging and introducing in the market. All these technologies are centered on the life of individuals and how the life of individuals is managed. Every technology introduces new ways to make life more comfortable and easier (Farnham, & Churchill, 2011). Technology influences different industries and in each industry, technology has influenced differently. However, in each industry technology has helped in improving the productivity. In a summarized manner, the impact of technology in different industries is presented below:
- Medical and healthcare industry: Technology in this industry has significantly influenced the industry and technology in this industry refer to the diagnoses of any disease and therapeutic functions of science and technology to advance the ways to manage the conditions.
- Information technology: technology in the past few years has helped people to share information more rapidly and easily than even before. This has been used in almost every industry, and people are using and sharing information in their professional and personal life.
- Defense industry: Technology has also significantly influenced in the defense industry as a collection of equipment including vehicles, communication system and equipment that are intended to use in combat. Guided missile system and military aviation are the examples of the latest technology in the defense industry (Medeiros, Cliff, Crane, & Mulvenon, 2005).
- Communications technology, the instruments or gadgets designed to maintain communications systems. The electronic system that is designed to use for communications between two individuals or groups, which are physically not at the same place. Software introduced in the market in the last few years have also helped in improving the communication between people and groups (Hirst, Harrison, & Mazepa, 2014).
- Transport technology, the instruments used to move persons, goods or material from one place to another place and the other means to accomplish such movements. Significant developments have been made in the transportation industry such as Metro trains, improved and eco-friendly vehicles, bigger and fuel-efficient airplanes. Other may include Biotechnology, computer technology, alternative technology, industrial technology, disruptive technology and many others. As mentioned earlier, technology has influenced almost every industry, and it is not possible to highlight the impact and all the developments and advancements made in different industries.
Impacts of Technology on Human Life and Society:
Technology has major impacts on the daily life of humans, from the food that people consume to the way it was produced. Technology has cordon off daily life of humans. The development in the technology has always and greatly impacted the human life in different eras (Van Dijk, 2012). As the lifestyle changes and people be becoming more aware and knowledgeable, these changes have resulted in increasing the demand of technological instruments and machines. Technology is further improving and advancing with the passing time (Farnham, & Churchill, 2011). A good example is the Mobile phones, the mobile phones used in early 2000s are no more in demand today, and the demand has been changed gradually. Today, latest smartphones and tabs have captured the market, and people are demanding latest phones with special operating systems for mobiles such as iOS and Android (Van Dijk, 2012).
However, today’s new technology is a bit complex, and the increasing pace of technology is becoming a challenge for many to cope up with. Emergence of tools and technologies such as cloud computing, data sharing, video conferencing, online shopping, online marketing, social media marketing and many others have changed how businesses operate and how businesses are influenced by technology. Technological advancements have help organizations to increase the efficiency and work with more productivity as compared to preceding decades. Technology has changed the way of business operations performed earlier, and old methods of doing business have gone obsolete.
Technology has not only impacted businesses, but it has also influenced the society as well. Mobile phones, Smartphone, tablets and laptops are becoming highly important in the society. Moreover, the way people live is significantly influenced with technology (Van Dijk, 2012). Although technology has made life easier for people but there are several ways that in which it has damaged the routine life as well. For instance, technology has ruined the social life, as many people could not find leisure time because of technology and lastly technology has changed the way people learn things (Dell, Newton, & Petroff, 2011). People are spending a significant portion of their time on social media. Users are becoming more emotionally attached to new technological instruments (Farnham, & Churchill, 2011).
Changes in technology have also changed the lifestyle of people, and people are now looking for quick solutions for their problems and to solve their needs (Farnham, & Churchill, 2011). Fast food industry offers consumer the solution of having the food ready in few minutes, and this was one of the major reasons for the growth and popularity of fast food. The concept of fast food restaurants, online ordering, drive through counters, and several others have emerged because of the advancement in technology. O’Connor & Murphy, (2004) stated that the technology has become helpful for the restaurants as it has enabled them to create a database and keep records of the customers and then identify the preferences and previous orders placed by the customers. Thus, this helps in identifying the frequency of the customer and what he or she likes and by analyzing the data, the organization can target the consumer accordingly.
The Role of Technology in Organization:
It is obvious from the global perspective that the organization wants to incorporate changes and cope up with the changing pace. This is true in the case of the companies that are using high tech to improve their competitive advantage. The advantage of such technologies cannot be carried out by just implementing them. They are been efficiently carried out through proper altering of the processes and by indulging the element of patience. On the same time, organizational skills and procedures need to be properly designed in such a way that it could not hinder the new IT implementation.
Designing and implementing such an innovative and effective technology that it will easily be acceptable for the end user and provides the satisfaction is always a challenging task. On the other hand, technological advancement are growing at a very fast pace while, the problem of underutilized system still exists. Just focusing on the technical aspects of the implementation, neglecting the behavioral side issues often causes failure.
In this global world, the presence of information technology has become very important aspect. Large or small businesses are planning to integrate the best technology in their organizations to gain competitive edge over others. This is evident from the fact that many organizations now have separate departments for IT, and they are considered as an important part of an organization. Nowadays many business publications have technological sections for example business week have a complete story cover for IT sections. The appeals of IT information in each category have made people more knowledgeable and profitable too.
Griffin (1998) stated that the technology is used by a number of restaurants. Jin-Zhao & Jing, (2009) believe that technology has changed how businesses particularly the restaurants operate and manage their operations. Fast food industry has also started to focus on IT companies. Players in the fast food industries have started to develop their own centralized IT departments. IT department can manage the operations, waiting time of the customers, ordering of goods and delivering of orders of the customers, managing the suppliers and several others things. IT department has helped these fast food businesses to manage their operations in a better way and to serve its customers more satisfactorily. Thus, Griffin (1998) stated that the technology has positively and significantly improved the business processes of restaurants and the better the restaurants manage its technology, it can lead to gain competitive advantage.
The organization has a vast scope as far as implementation of IT is concerned. It can be simple as purchasing a personal computer or installing a word processor to critical and integration huge machinery. Regardless of what information technology the organization has implemented, one thing is certain i.e. change. The change does not mean a drastic change. A change in the IT can act as a catalyst to change or can achieve the desired change. It is important that the organization and its management understand the change process and implement the changes in technology accordingly. Moreover, it is also significant that organizations know the reason for a change and then formulate strategies accordingly.
The use of advanced information technology can play a very prominent role in the supplier and customer relationship. The ability to get the information from up and down channels can bring organizations more closely to their customers and suppliers. The ability to transfer and ease of sharing information can lead to outsourcing, which has become a global trend in the market. For the fast food industry, with the integration of different branches or departments because of technology, the management can keep an eye on the stock and inventory level and order goods or supplies accordingly. According to Odoom (2012), in the restaurant industry it is critical that the restaurant keep a strong relationship with the supplier and technology plays an important role in this regard. Moreover, Ansel & Dyer, (1999) stated that the technology and its use in the restaurants can be helpful in offering better services and in managing the inventory in a more sophisticated manner.
The responsibilities that are been performed within the organization by its employees are highly affected by increase in modern technology and mechanization. Task are previously performed by human capital are now being mechanized, changing the control and enhancing the efficiency. One of the key advantages that information technology has provided is to simplify organizational processes and structures without changing the core elements. They served a benefit of coordination and ease and replaced the need for tall hierarchy. Nowadays firms with well-equipped information technology applications paved their way towards flat hierarchy system. The organizations with integrated and well equipped IT infrastructure cut down the tall hierarchy system as the flow of information becomes smooth and seamless. With the increasing adaption and implementation of IT in the fast food industry, the central department or the headquarter can manage different departments. Moreover, the need for many employees is no more a need as through information technology all the tasks are automated. Transformation of technology can be beneficial for the organization. Through managing integrated technology an organization can plan, execute, processed out and control all the technological operations effectively.
Factors Affecting Technological Implementation in Contemporary World:
Increase in information technology has brought many significant changes to human life. Such changes have moved the human interaction to computer. The design, process, acceptance and developmental phase have received tremendous attention in some past years. Many theoretical construct and framework are drawn to understand and explain end user behavior related to acceptance. From those entire, a new one is a unified theory of adoption & use of technology by Venkatesh et al. (2003) which was tested many times empirically. The model “unified theory of acceptance” is a robust model for describing the acceptance behavior of end user. IT systems managers, researchers, analyst and executive decision makers can benefit from UTAUT as a communicating and important tool to understand the behaviors of end user before or while applying a new technology (Venkatesh, Sykes, & Zhang, 2011).
The UTAUT is model that is based on social cognitive theory with an amalgamation of eight different IT acceptance model. The eight models are as follows:
- The theory of reasoned action TRA
- The theory of planned behavior TBP
- The technology acceptance behavior TAM
- Motivational model MM
- Theory comprised of technology acceptance and planned behavior C-TAM-TPB
- Innovation diffusion theory MPCU
- Socio cognitive theory SCT (Venkatesh, Sykes, & Zhang, 2011)
The UTAUT model is based on four core determinants of usage and intention (social influence, effort expectancy, performance expectancy, and facilitating conditions) and four moderators (gender, age, experience and voluntariness). The study reveals that the performance expectancy (PE), efforts expectancy (EE) and social influences are core factors that regulate user adoption. Among them, performance expectancy is closer to perceived advantage. Efforts expectancy is nearer to perceived ease of use and complexity. Social influence is closer to abstract norms. UTAUT has been considered as a tool to explain the end user’s behavior towards a specific information technological change (Venkatesh et al., 2003).
Performance expectancy indicates the perceived usefulness concerning usage of mobile internet. This can improve user’s working conditions and efficiency. As stated in the expectation confirmation theory, user will be satisfied when user’s expectations is fulfilled. Therefore, performance expectancy reflects customer’s satisfaction. Efforts expectancy reflects the perceived obstacles/complications of using mobile internet. Some of the critical constraints of the mobile terminal such as small screen disturbed input have made it very probing for the user to search for the relative information ton mobile internet they are looking for. If user needs to put into lots of skills and efforts to use mobile internet, the customer cannot feel satisfied (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Therefore, efforts expectancy has a negative impact on user’s satisfaction. The user then might discontinue using the mobile internet if they are not able to provide a user-friendly interface. Social influence determines the effect of referee’s perspective on individual user’s satisfaction and perception. In accordance with the social influence theory, users tend to obey other referees’ who are important to them. They respect their suggestions and obey them (Venkatesh et al., 2003).
Facilitating conditions refers to that; users have the potential resources and understanding necessary to use mobile internet. Users need to carry all the costs such as services fee. In supplement to that, they also need some extra knowledge to work on mobile internet, which represents an emerging technological trend. If users, however do not have the resources and knowledge capacity they may not be able to continue their mobile internet usage (Zhou, 2011). In the case of mobile internet, the prospective users would probably compare all the features of mobile internet usage with previous mobile calls and internet access expense. The price value will be positive when the benefits perceived are greater than the monetary cost that is incurring (Venkatesh et al., 2012).
Perceived playfulness point out the pleasure and enjoyment of the user concerned with mobile internet usage. Perceived playfulness is an intrinsic sort of motivation that concentrates on usage process. On the other hand, perceived usefulness is an extrinsic sort of motivation that concentrates on the result.
Restaurant Industry Globally:
The restaurant industry has been forecasted to reach $ 2.1 trillion in next year i.e. 2015. The drastic increase is because of the changes in the lifestyle and increasing preference for eating out and increasing demand for takeaway foods (King, 2013). Increasing the number of restaurants, snack bar and cafés shows the significance of the industry as a whole. Youngsters with higher disposable income are attractive more to restaurants, with a busy lifestyle and less time spare. Key success factors for the industry are franchising concept, the ingredients, and the service have helped to boost the industry in the recent past years (King, 2013).
As the world economy has been recovering from the recession of 2008 and 2009, the industry showed the strong comeback strategy in 2010. In the next few years, it has been predicted that the world will be facing issues of rising commodities price due to political turmoil in Gulf countries and in Middle East pose the uncertain situation to the industry, but confidence and nonstop response of the loyal customers took the industry into another record year. The market situation and favorable economic indicators also forecast to have real sales growth in 2013 and afterwards.
Yahoo! Finance (2014) revealed that there are around 8 million restaurants globally and approximately 300,000 restaurants companies in the world. The industry is divided into four distinct categories and these categories are:
- Full service including family restaurants
- Fast food restaurants, including sandwich, hamburger and Mexican food
- Grill/buffet type eateries
- Dinner houses
The fast food industry of the world is expected to make $240 billion, and the industry is expected to show a growth rate of 19% by the end of this year 2014. The performance of the industry shows that the industry would reach a volume of $249 billion in transaction in fiscal year 2014 (King, 2013).
Factors That Drive Consumer To Fast Food Or Take Away Restaurants:
The focus on the quality of food and services served in the restaurants has increased over the last few years. Food processed at industrial level was supposed to be unhygienic, fatty, and had a major contribution to increasing waste (Schlosser, 2012). Increase health awareness of the public about the consequences related to fast food have raised a few questions regarding having fast food regularly (Powell, Chaloupka, & Bao, 2007). The fast food chains have to respond and need to come up with a healthier strategy that could make these types of rumors turndown and help to portray vigorous image in the consumer mind (Schlosser, 2012).
Increasing health awareness has made it tough for the players in the fast food industry to continue with the same processes (Powell, Chaloupka, & Bao, 2007). The main portion of the target consumers of the fast food companies loves to have healthy and fresh food items in their favorite restaurants. Restaurants now have to add more and more options in their menus like food items with minimum fats, organic food, beverages with low chubby, fresh salads, and fresh cut meats, etc. These strategies can be helpful in further re-attracting the consumers that have gone away as well as in retaining the customers.
Restaurant Industry in UAE:
Key driving forces for the restaurant industry in UAE are the tourist/ visitors, changing lifestyle, increasing disposable income and health awareness. United Arab Emirates has reported as the second fastest growing economy in the Muslim world because of its rank as a free trade zone and oil reserves. Immigrants make up a large percentage of the UAE workforce, majority of them are Asians. UAE has very dry climate with very low rain (Canada.ca, 2010), which are the causes that UAE imports about 80% of its required food items (Dubai Chamber, 2014). This also invites different companies to open a restaurant in the region. There are about 3,100 restaurants. According to a study, the characteristics of the UAE population are attractive and the reason behind the popularity of fast food items (Horizons, n.d.). Restaurants in UAE had purchased food and beverages of almost $841 million in 2008, and it is expected to further increase. The transaction probably will reach $1.2 billion in the next 4 to five years (Baltaji, and Shahine, 2013). The dine-in outlets in UAE reported massive growth of 180 % at the end of 2005 (Horizons, n.d.). Gulf News reported that some 11 million tourist and business visitors check-in the hotels of UAE (Nair, 2011). Thus, the market of UAE is highly important and significant, and it is growing with the passage of time.
Technologies Used In Restaurants and Hospitality Industry:
Technology is no longer an innovation for the food and hospitality industry and represents the picture of the future restaurants. According to Magnini, Honeycutt & Hodge (2003), use of modern technology, restaurants can market their products and services in a better way. Moreover, technology is helpful in coming up with more successful marketing strategies. The role of technology is highly critical in attracting and retaining customers in the restaurant industry. Koutroumanis (2011) reveals that approximately 70% of the restaurants use technology to retain and attract customers.
Connected with tablets:
Technology always empowers people and those who use it. Many restaurants incorporated the online system, which enables patrons to search for a better deal near to them, based on waiting time, food quality and menus.
IPad order kiosks:
Technology aims to reduce the waiting time of the consumers. People now can place their orders at a kiosks machine. This machine is fully automated and helpful for both, the customer and the restaurants. The machine could help to prevent a walk away and result in speedy orders.
Credit-card fraud is very common today, so customers are not willing to let waiters take their card away and run it up at the register. By the use of this technology, hand over the iPad, customers can self-checkout where their card does not leave their sight.
Games while you wait:
McDonalds is initiating gesture-enabled games in its restaurants. These games are targeting kids to keep them busy while they wait for their meal to deliver, which leads to happy kids and happy parents.
The use of internet and social media has significantly increased in the last few years. Restaurants have been using these technologies to increase their sales. Parsa & Kwansa, (2014) stated that Restaurants have been using social media and websites to communicate with the consumers as well as to build a relationship with them. Moreover, Restaurants are also using their websites to book orders and to make reservations (Parsa & Kwansa, 2014).
Many other technologies that are being used in the industry are digital menu boards & smart phones, ordering using social media, ordering online from the website, tablet restaurant management, mobile apps and breadcrumb (point of sale solution). According to Buchanan (2011) technology is helpful in attracting customers. Therefore, restaurants need to use the technology appropriately to ensure that it can encourage the new customers as well as retain the old ones.