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From the editor: Technology is taking over restaurants

There’s been a lot of fuss lately about technology in restaurants. 

“Robots will replace workers,” say the hysterical. “We’re losing the human touch!” 

That isn’t likely to be true, at least not for some time. But restaurant operators have been thrust into a complex and rapidly changing world of technology that is changing they way they run their businesses. 

Much attention is given to customer-facing technology, like delivery, self-ordering and paying ahead. It’s tech designed for convenience. And if restaurants make the lives of their guests a bit easier, those guests are more likely to come back. 

Behind the scenes, however, technology is becoming a tool for efficiency. 

Restaurant operators are building smarter kitchens, weaving the thread of technology through the tapestry of operations in some pretty creative ways. 

Single Thread, Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s high-end restaurant, farm and inn in California’s Napa Valley, which opened in December, is using technology to fundamentally support an atmosphere of effortless hospitality.

The largest players in the restaurant reservation space are evolving to offer a lot more than online booking for restaurant operators. 

And restaurant shipping has taken off, especially as American consumers become more comfortable with the idea of ordering food online. 

If you live in Los Angeles and you really need a slice of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Chicago deep-dish, you can have it — at least in a few days. It’s yet another opportunity for incremental off-premise sales. 

If, as a business owner, you’re resisting the pull of the restaurant technology vortex, it’s probably time to give up and jump in. 

It’s not only about making your customer’s life easier, it’s also about making your life easier, and that of your staff.

In today’s world, it’s not enough just to be a smart operator. Better to be a smart operator who is tech enabled.

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