Findings from the 2021 Restaurant Technology Study

The 2021 Restaurant Technology Study from Hospitality Technology is the latest report showing us where restaurants are at currently when it comes to their IT strategies and budgets. In this article, we’ll highlight a few interesting statistics that came out of the study.

It’s no secret that the past year has impacted the restaurant industry from every angle. Between supply chain disruptions, implementing social distancing and sanitary requirements, and accelerating their technology adoption and deployment, the food service industry has managed to stay afloat through it all.

Recently, Hospitality Technology released their annual restaurant technology report that highlights what leaders in the industry are planning for the upcoming year related to IT, and how they are allocating their budgets (especially with only 2% of their overall budget going to IT). The report also features some insight into their current strategies and the challenges they are facing.

View the full “Restaurant Technology Study: Building the ‘Next Normal’” Report

Surveyed respondents for the report were IT decision-makers from thousands of restaurant locations across the United States. This includes 51% from full-service and 44% from QSRs restaurants.

Here are a few statistics that stood out to us as a technology business that provides services in the restaurant industry:

Maintaining Existing Systems

According to the report, 54% of restaurant budgets will go towards maintaining existing IT systems. With over half of the budget eaten up by maintenance, this could mean a challenge for those that are looking to invest more in upgrading their technology stack or are wanting to hire a technology partner.


Maintaining Existing Systems


Implementing New Solutions


Research and Development

Need for Technology Services

Speaking of wanting to hire a technology partner. 13% of respondents say their top technology challenge is their lack of skilled resources in-house while another 13% say their top challenge is integrating with legacy systems. As stated before, this need to hire outside resources could be hindered by insufficient IT budgets as restaurants continue to try to keep up with the systems they already have.


Lack of Skilled Resources In-House


Difficulty Integrating with Legacy Systems

Ineffective Data Strategies

More and more restaurants are stepping up their back-of-house technology game with predictive analytics, operation optimizations, and reporting. So, it’s surprising to find out that 79% of restaurants surveyed would consider their data strategy for sales and service prediction/optimization to be only moderately, slightly, or not at all effective.

Overall, it’s interesting to see where the restaurant industry currently stands in regards to technology and how they plan to move forward into this next phase as we all try to recover from the effects of the pandemic. These are just some of the highlights of the report, but there’s so much more to discover! You can view the full study here.

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