Smart Tech Trends for the Front-of-House in 2024

Don't miss any of the installments in our series on 2024 trends!

In the ever-changing landscape of restaurants, staying ahead of the game in technology is a necessity. As 2024 begins, the front-of-house experience is undergoing a transformation as COVID is finally over and new smart technologies are emerging. From vibrant visual components to interactive audio, these new devices and systems are creating new opportunities for restaurateurs.

Let’s look at a few of the areas where this new smart tech may benefit your restaurant in the upcoming year.

Smarter Televisions

tv screens in bars and restaurants
(Photo: monkeybusinessimages, iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Televisions are taking a larger role in the front-of-house and moving on from showing the football game and UFC fights. 2024 has a wide load of new smart technology televisions that offer tons of options to use in a restaurant. Restaurants can use these new-gen televisions to provide information about the restaurant, including specials, karaoke nights, sporting events, and more. They not only provide great visuals, but also allow for interactive features such as game nights and provide a better overall dining experience for guests at a livelier, more active sports-style or gaming restaurant.

One of the biggest trends is the use of these smart televisions to promote content and menus for the establishment. Restaurants can use these TVs to show visual representations of the dishes being presented in a respectable way so customers can see what they are really ordering. This helps streamline service because it cuts down on customers asking their servers how a dish is or may look or taste. Smart televisions can help connect the customer to the restaurant, the space, and the environment. If you have televisions from 2000, let’s just say it is time to upgrade.

Immersive Audio

Sound plays a crucial role in all restaurants. Depending on the restaurant, you don’t want your music too loud or too soft. Many sound systems exist from a variety of price points, so you can get what you need to suit your space. Many new systems provide individual area creation. This allows you to determine the level of audio being pushed to any individual area of the restaurant.

Directional speakers and the acoustic design are used to ensure music and any ambient sounds complimenting the overall dining experience of your guests without making it hard to hear. The last thing you want is a guest asking a server to turn down the music because they can’t even talk to their date.

Restaurants using zoned sound systems allow for different audio profiles for areas. This can be for a lively bar area where you may want a bit louder music, to your dining space where you just want ambient sounds that provide an atmosphere for the guests.

For those restaurants with a livelier atmosphere, live music streaming is gaining traction. Many restaurants will curate playlists to add entertainment to the space. This trend helps elevate the experience and positions the space for those who may just want to visit the bar, have a few drinks, and experience the atmosphere.

Music and audio are always important. Understand your clientele and see what they like to cater your audio atmosphere.

live music in a bar
(Photo: 7Crafts, iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Dynamic Lighting Systems

Smart lighting systems have evolved over the years from basic illumination devices to interesting tools you can use to create a unique dining atmosphere. Many restaurants are starting to use dynamic lighting systems that are customizable so you can suit them to different occasions, customer preferences, or even times of day.

These smart lighting systems often integrate with control hubs, allowing for seamless transitions between any lighting scene you'd like to set up for your space. You can use these systems to adjust the lighting to create an energetic scene if you are a restaurant with music or a low-key ambiance if you may have someone coming in to propose to their significant other. You can also use these lighting systems if you are open from day to night to slowly dim the lighting to match the sun as it goes down, creating a relaxing and special atmosphere for guests.

Implementing color-changing lights adds the ability to change scenes, moods, and the feel of the space. You can also use lighting that matches the tone of music for a livelier atmosphere, creating a truly immersive experience.

Interactive Tabletop Displays

More and more higher-end restaurants are implementing interactive tabletop displays. 2023 showed many restaurants implementing these devices with great reviews, which means more restaurateurs will be implementing them into their establishments in the New Year. These dynamic displays offer a wide range of features including menus, promotions, and entertainment options for guests.

Customers will use these displays to look through the menu, customize an order to how they want it, and even play games with guests at the table. Higher-end systems allow for much more. This smart tabletop tech allows for efficient ordering and enhances the overall dining experience as the guests feel more involved with what is going on with their food and service.

2024 has many technology trends that will assist restaurant owners in creating better experiences for their guests, from smarter televisions to immersive sound systems and lighting that better suits the mood. Smart technology is always evolving to provide better experiences for visitors to your restaurant. Restaurants that embrace these technologies will stay ahead of the curve as guests look for unique experiences. These new experiences will leave your customers with many memories, leading them to tell friends and family about that one special night and helping you spread word of mouth about your business. 

Jason Fischbeck is the Owner of Automated Environments in Mesa, Arizona. Automated Environments have been installing residential smart home technology in central Arizona for over 25 years.


Are you registered for our Crave and Crave on the Menu newsletters? Sign up today!

Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 18-20, 2024

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 in Las Vegas. Visit

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.