From online payments to robots, digital menus and more, the importance and use of technology in the restaurant industry has never been greater. In fact, more than 8 in 10 operators say the use of technology in a restaurant provides a competitive edge, according to the Association’s 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry.
 
The report also found that 7 in 10 adults say they would be likely to order and pay for food or beverages using a restaurant website or pay using contactless or mobile payment options. Further, younger customers are open to tech-forward options like food prepared by robots or delivered by driverless cars.  
 
While tapping into consumer preferences and incorporating evolving technology yields tremendous benefits for restaurants and customers, it also comes with challenges on the policy front.
 
Often technology advances faster than federal legislation or regulation pertaining to it. Other times, state legislatures pass laws in the absence of federal activity, creating a patchwork of different policies in which restaurants that operate in multiple states must comply.
 
For instance, some states have enacted information privacy and data security laws, while others are tackling transparency and fairness in third-party delivery platforms. When it comes to excessive credit and debit card payment swipe fees that restaurants incur, Congress and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are considering ways to introduce competition in the marketplace to reduce transaction processing fees.
 
In collaboration with coalitions and other trade organizations, the Association actively monitors technology-oriented legislation and regulation that would adversely impact restaurants in all sectors of the industry and engages Congress and regulatory agencies to defeat policy proposals that would harm restaurants and consumers.