NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This year could be pivotal for technology in the restaurant industry. Tablets and smartphones are making it easier and more convenient for customers to order and to pay for their service.
It's about improving the customer experience, Austen Mulinder, CEO and president of Kiosk, told TheStreet TV's Ruben Ramirez.
Providing a better experience will likely lead to more repeat visits and increased advocating about that restaurant and its new technology, he explained.
Ziosk is testing with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers(RRGB) - Get Report and Darden Restaurants'(DRI) - Get Report Olive Garden. The company already operates in multiple Chili's locations, which are owned and operating by Brinker International(EAT) - Get Report .
Restaurants are still in the early stages of adding tablets to each table, but it's a trend that seems unlikely to slow any time soon.
But it's not just tablets, it's also smartphones. According to a recent poll, nearly 40% of consumers say they're interested in using smartphones to order and pay for food and beverages, Ramirez said.
Additionally, more than 25% of smartphone users have reported using their smartphone to place an order at a restaurant. One company looking to increase this frequency is Olo, the online ordering platform that caters to restaurants.
The company works with a restaurant's mobile Web site or application to allow customers to place orders and pay for them via a mobile device, explained Olo founder and CEO Noah Glass.
But it's not just the customer who benefits from the more convenient technology. Restaurants do, too, because they can build a profile that pinpoints customer purchasing habits and other tendencies. This allows the restaurants to customize their offerings and specials for each guest, Glass added.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell