The fast casual dining experience is all about blending the speedy service you need to fit the demands of your hectic schedule and the delicious food your stomach is loudly demanding, and these two restaurants are using technology to reach the perfect balance.

Wow Bao, a Chicago-based restaurant serving up Asian fare with a modern twist, introduced kiosk ordering in 2009 in order to speed up the ordering process without increasing labor costs, according to Wow Bao President Geoff Alexander. An added bonus- customers love the control the kiosks afford them when ordering dishes. Plus, staff doesn’t have to worry about making mistakes when entering orders. Truly a win, win!Although Alexander agrees that technology comes with its own set of problems, such as occasional minor malfunctions and the rare crash. However, the tech investment has most definitely paid off for the franchise as Wow Bao received its return in only eight months because of increased sales as well as labor savings.

Panera Bread is a popular name in the world of fast casual, and to continue its reign, plus beat out mounting competition, CEO Ron Shaich says “Panera Bread will be different in the future.”Welcome to ‘Panera 2.0’, a series of integrated technologies aimed to reduce wait times, improve order accuracy, and create a more personalized experience for the customer. The upgrade will include the integration of a mobile app for ordering and paying for food to go, as well as a designated counter for pick up without the wait.For dine-in customers, both kiosks (similar to Wow Bao) and an online ordering system will be available in addition to cashier stations, both of which will be able to remember your food preferences. The days of picking onions off of your sandwich are nearing an end! Plus, meals will be delivered directly to your table for added convenience.For now, only designated ‘Panera 2.0 Cafés’ will feature the 2.0 technology, however the company expects to have implemented the upgrade in the majority of its locations by 2017.

What are your thoughts about the growing presence of technology in the restaurant industry? Comment below, or let us know @gosirvo.