And to be very honest its not easy to manage all aspects without help in some form or fashion. Technology plays a very crucial role - it has been for the last decade or so. But technologies come and go and its important to stay on top. POS is just one crucial system, but we think tech in restaurants is way beyond that. The next generation of restaurants will be operating in a different spectrum where all of the aspects we mentioned above are done at scale and done in confluence. We think that the below trends in hospitality technology will help drive it. And early adopters will be successful in the longer term. By that we are not talking about the billion dollar chain restaurants that have large corporate offices and teams, but small and medium chain restaurants.
Trends for the next decade in Hospitality Technology
- Restaurant Analytics
- Internet of Food (IoF)
The simple truth is that owners and managers do not have deep insights on all the areas of their restaurant operation. Restaurants are operating in a very agile and evolving environment. So, its important to ask a lot of questions and get clarity on different aspects of their business on a regular basis. Analytics plays a significant role in answering those important and seemingly unimportant questions to be able to stay ahead and win.
Internet of Food (IoF)
While there is a huge gap in getting to answers from existing systems, there is also a lack in systems that collect data which can help answer futuristic/ strategic long term questions. These new systems will help accomplish the last mile problem. Winning means extracting maximum efficiency out of all the resources. Increasing the efficiency from 99% to 100% means staying ahead of the competition and that's where the Internet of Food (IoF) comes into picture. Being able to put in place systems that can collect and store data from wide and varied resources within your restaurant and leveraging analytics to understand what is happening is what is referred to as IoF. For example, we think that IoF can play a role in the following areas
- Ordering from the Table
- Paying from the Table
- Ordering Ahead
- Crowd sensing
- Noise and Air Quality sensing
- Temperature Sensing
- Kitchen Operations
For extracting maximum efficiency its important to compare, contrast and correlate different aspects of the business supported by data and analysis to get to the single version of the truth. Restaurant A achieved record sales last month. Great! Was it because Consumer Confidence had a record high last month or we ran great promotion that lot of people utilized or was it because of the celebrity tweet praising that unique crab dish in the restaurant or it was because of a local carnival or was it the new POS system or the analytics system that you recently subscribed to? What is it? Its very difficult to answer what drives success if we don't/ cannot look at the entire spectrum of data, systems and processes working together. And the only way to accomplish is to build connectivity. Connectivity does not always mean that all systems talk to each other. While that is the futuristic state, the first step for the time being is to acknowledge and make an effort to bring it together - with the help of people and processes and systems. For example, at GENIUS - Restaurant Analytics, our goal is to establish integration with all aspects of a restaurant to give a 360 degree view.
How can restaurateurs adopt and leverage these trends? Good question. Hang tight. We will talk about that in the next few posts.