Restaurant Operation Trends

For the recent operation trends, there are three main trends I would like to introduce and bring up front. Two of them are related to the ordering system, whilst one being to the motivation of the staff in the industry. From the ordering system, the trends of tablet menus and meal tick-ordering will be introduced, whereas for the motivation of staff, the method will be introduced.

Ordering System

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           Tablet Menus

One of the recent trends that came into the market due to high technology would be the use of tablet menus. This mainly replaces the traditional food and beverage ordering process into a more efficient and systematic process.

How it works?

A customer mainly uses a machine to place an order, instead of communicating their order directly to the waiter. A common example would be the tablet placed in City University’s AC1 canteen, where people can simply choose their dish through a touch-screen tablet and tap their octopus card on the card reader to process the payment. They will immediately receive a receipt and can already go get their drinks.

This is carried out in mostly fast-food restaurants, canteens and the room-services of hotels. For restaurants it is not so popular yet, as it is still under discussion on how the tablet can actually help. For example, some may see it as a tool to also keep children seated while in a restaurant compared to running around the place. However, they also have a higher potential of breaking the device.

Advantages of having the tablet;
–  Lower percentage of receiving the wrong order or even making a wrong order placement.

  • There is also lower confusion, since the receipt can be printed directly in the kitchen, rather that having the server come and pass them the order.
  • The process is much more efficient
  • Customer can actually see the product while ordering through its visuals
  • Reduces cost, in terms of the Human Resources needed
  • Customers can place orders at their own speed

Disadvantages of having the tablet

  • There is less “human touch” communication between the customer and the waiter
  • A system error could turn out to be very costly for the company
  • There is less hospitality involved
  • There is a need for high investment to secure everything


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    Meal tick-ordering

This is quite popular amongst Chinese Restaurants, especially those for dim sum as well as Japanese dumplings.

How it works?

The customers are given a menu and need to tick or mark the number of items they want to order and directly pass that sheet of paper to the waiter. This process also increases the efficiency in the ordering process, as it reduces the chance of preparing the wrong order.

The menus are mostly made of paper and are small in size. Thus, when customers enter the restaurant, there are papers and pens on the table, so that the customers can immediately begin their ordering.

Advantages of Meal-tick ordering

  • Efficient, no need to wait for the waiter to come and take order
  • Customer can keep a constant record of how much they’ve spent, by simply looking at the sheet
  • This is lower confusion when ordering the meals
  • Reduces the human resources cost

Disadvantages of Meal-tick ordering

= Waste of Paper (affects the sustainability)

  • Reduces connection amongst the waiter and the customer
  • If the paper is misplaced, the order may be lost as well
  • Inconvenient when having to change items on the menu

Motivation of Staff

With the ever-growing economy, many people have larger dreams and ambitions in doing different things. Thus, sometimes restaurant duties, are seen merely as a means of earning money but nothing very important, leading to the inability to collect good employees.

In order for owners to avoid their restaurants being positioned in a negative manner, they need to step up and change their employees to ensure the quality of their operations and business. One of the methods to motivate employees to perform better would be to increase the rate of competitions in their operations. To put the employees in challenging environments, where they can actually learn and get more than just money and also to feel good about it when achieved.


  • Increasing Rate of Competitions

In order to motivate employees, a lot of owners are now coming up with really innovative and creative challenges and competitions to motivate their employees to work harder and to maintain standards. Competitions however don’t necessarily mean those that will bring about conflict, but more of healthy competitions that would also grow the business

Common Examples of the competitions include:

Cash- Related:

For example, the employees are challenged to sell the monthly drink the company is trying to boost and the person that sells the most drinks that month would get a chance to win an additional $2000 bonus.

Fun Related:

For example, the company is required to sell out banana cream pies. However, although the employees know it, they were not working hard enough to attain the goals. Thus, the employer proposed a challenge that the employee that sells the most banana cream pies would win a banana cream pie to throw on the face of the owner. That sort of prestige and fun had motivated employees to try something they have never done before.

Thus, these are some of the new ideas that were implemented. However, there are still many more, depending on what task needs to be achieved, e.g. the cleanliness of the restaurant, the sales of products, the quality of the service…etc.


From the above research, I feel like it is quite different to what we learnt and saw in class, because those are more of the systematic processes involved. However, through this research I was able to actually find how creative and different owners now have to be to match the trend as well as the things restaurants have to do to increase efficiency, yet reduce the cost.


  • Garber, Megan. ‘The Menu Of The Future Will Make You Order More Nachos’. The Atlantic. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • Hayden, David. ‘Ways To Motivate Servers – The Manager’s Office’. The Manager’s Office. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.
  • com,. ‘Restaurant Tablet Menu | Imenucards’. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • Melamed, David. ‘How To Motivate Your Employees To Care About Growing Your Business’. David Melamed. N.p., 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.
  • com,. ‘Ding How Dim Sum Menu’. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
  • Small Business –,. ‘Top Ten Ways To Keep Restaurant Employees Motivated’. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
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