Darden Is Jumping on the Tech Bandwagon
There is a considerable technology shift happening in the restaurant industry and Darden is the latest company to take action. The company recently announced it will begin testing as well as implementing some new web-based and consumer facing technologies in Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse.
Olive Garden will debut online ordering this month with plans to complete a nationwide rollout by August. They also have plans to test tabletop tablets later this year.
LongHorn Steakhouse will test a web-based reservation system in June that allows customers to see wait times and place their name on a list. A text is sent when the table is available. They also have plans to test tabletop tablets later this year.
Darden is following other chains such as Chili’s and Applebee’s that have deployed tablets at their tables. This technology is a perfect fit for casual dining chains, allowing them to engage their customers directly and improve the dining experience, putting the customer in control and expediting the ordering and checkout process. The company is reportedly working with Ziosk on the tabletop tablet plans. Ziosk already has its tablets in Chili’s restaurants.
Darden’s tech plans are on hold for Red Lobster as they decide on its future and nothing has been announced for the company’s other concepts. The company is currently deciding whether to sell or spin off the Red Lobster chain.