Technology and digital transformation is changing the way most sectors conduct business. Industries, such as restaurants, are always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience. We know how much mobile ordering and delivery has surged during the pandemic. So what is the next restaurant tech wave? Orangewood’s Alan Goldfarb gives us some thoughts.

“Consumers are looking for more convivence and better service. We think Covid has been an accelerator behind this fundamental shift,” Orangewood Partners founder Goldfarb tells us.

Orangewood is a New York-based private equity firm that invests in the consumer and franchise restaurant sector, among others. Last year, the firm acquired Pacific Bells, which operates over 250 Taco Bell restaurants.

Voice recognition, kiosks, kitchen automation/robotics and big data are among the tech themes that Goldfarb expects to be tested and rolled out more across the restaurant sector over the next few years.

Last year, Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), the owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and the Habit Burger Grill brands, bought food technology company Dragontail Systems Ltd. Dragontail’s software focuses on managing the entire food preparation process from ordering through delivery. Its artificial intelligence-based technology automates the kitchen flow combined with the process of dispatching drivers.

“Technology enhancement is growing much faster today than it was over the last several years,” Goldfarb says.

If you are PE restaurant investor that is looking for tech investments, I would love to chat. E-mail me at: [email protected].

Demitri Diakantonis