What These Restaurant And Food Tech Investors Are Hungry For In 2024

The continuing surge in food delivery culture has not only transformed the way we enjoy our meals, it has also paved the way for groundbreaking advancements in restaurant operations technology.

As consumers and investors taking part in the delivery boom of recent years, we are enthusiastic about the novel technologies that help restaurants better serve and adapt to evolving consumer preferences.

In this current era of food and dining, where mobile-based food ordering and omnichannel food operations have become a standard, we, at Chingona Ventures, are hungry for more — more innovation, more efficiency and improved dining experiences for all. Here’s why:

Technology-enabled dining experiences

The pandemic accelerated a shift in how we dine, with food delivery becoming a staple of modern living and restaurant dining experiences shifted from primarily on-site to omnichannel.

Samara Hernandez
Samara Hernandez of Chingona Ventures

Today, millennial and Gen Z diners seek technological advancements in restaurants, particularly for ordering and delivery. Consumers now expect their meals to be available via delivery and restaurants are adopting technology to implement additional service models such as curbside pickup, delivery, wholesale and catering.

The advent of major outsourced delivery services such as UberEats and DoorDash in the 2010s has allowed restaurants to quickly implement tech-enabled delivery solutions. Similarly, many tech-enabled features like mobile ordering applications, contactless payments, online reservation systems, cloud-based point-of-sale systems, and kitchen management software have now become ubiquitous across restaurants.

A new challenge for restaurants

However, the proliferation of single-point technologies has introduced a new challenge for restaurants.

Grisel Hernandez
Grisel Hernandez of Chingona Ventures

While customer expectations for seamless, tech-driven solutions are rising, companies are struggling to manage multiple softwares with fragmented processes while simultaneously handling restaurant operations. This, in turn, impacts quality control and the customer experience, as evident in reviews highlighting delivery mishaps and service inconsistencies.

Looking only at delivery, restaurants may be managing several delivery models and fleet types: same hour, same-day and next-day-delivery; single fleet, multifleet, crowdsourced fleets and in-house fleets; delivery from the store, curbside pickup, delivery from robotic warehouses, and others. Coordination and oversight of various outsourced fleets can lead to inconsistencies and dissatisfaction in service quality following the loss of ownership over the customer experience.

Delivery or takeout guest satisfaction is up to 3x lower than that of a dine-in guest, creating a larger potential for a lost customer. On average, social ratings lose 1.5 stars when a third party is mentioned. A company’s social reputation can be negatively impacted when customers publicize poor third-party delivery experiences. And, with many diners admitting to dining choices being influenced by online reviews, online ordering experiences play a crucial role in attracting and retaining customers.

The addressable opportunity

The global food market represents a substantial one. In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 750,000 restaurants and 15.5 million restaurant employees that together comprise about 4% of GDP.

This current challenge presents an opportunity for businesses seeking to streamline restaurant operations.

Innovations in fleet orchestration technologies, for example, offer restaurants the opportunity to improve deliveries through route optimization algorithms, real-time tracking and dynamic dispatch systems that streamline the delivery process.

Meanwhile, the U.S. online food delivery market reached $26.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% through 2028.

By implementing efficiency-focused technologies, restaurants can reduce delivery times, improve order accuracy and enhance overall customer satisfaction. Moreover, it allows for better resource allocation, ensuring that deliveries are prompt and efficient even during peak hours.

Businesses that deploy these solutions will gain a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive market. With the ability to simplify operations, businesses can meet these new customer standards and technological preferences while focusing on food and the customer experience.

Dining on innovation in 2024 and beyond

Optimization technology will continue to redefine the landscape of the food and restaurant industries in 2024 and beyond. The paradigm shift toward omnichannel dining experiences, coupled with the ever-increasing expectations of tech-savvy consumers, signifies a pivotal moment for restaurants and businesses seeking to serve them.

As we look to the year ahead, we at Chingona are eager to embrace the exciting developments that will shape the restaurant technology landscape in the years to come.

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