Investing in technology Large restaurant chains invest continually in technology; it’s part of their budgeting process every year. This mentality should be adopted by independent restaurant operators. Chipotle, McDonald’s and Panera Bread continually tout their achievements through an ongoing investment in technology. Where are you in the technology continuum? In its recent State of the Restaurant Industry Report, the National Restaurant Association has illustrated the accelerated adoption of digital ordering by both restaurants and customers. (See examples throughout this magazine issue.) Tock, GoTab and other technology vendors can partner with independent restaurant operators to help them make food ordering easier and frictionless, while providing more ways to take in orders. Online and app ordering have become commonplace; these are two areas on which restaurant operators can easily focus. Online ordering capability on a restaurant’s website can help increase orders significantly. And due for the most part to the ubiquitous smartphone, in-app ordering is massively popular. If
developing your own app is cost- or timeprohibitive, consider a technology provider that makes it easy for restaurants to take in orders through a mobile app. The free-flowing creativity and pace of an independent restaurant company must be balanced with approaches that can keep a restaurant operation growing. By rethinking customer acquisition, learning to delegate and collaborate, and investing even modestly in new technology, restaurant operators can compete on the local scene and create an environment that is conducive to building/re-building sales.
About Rick Zambrano With nearly two decades consulting in food businesses, Rick Zambrano has experience in menu analysis, menu rollout support, financial analysis, video marketing and research. A thought leader specialized in menu analysis and restaurant trends, Rick’s insights appear in research reports, foodservice magazines and business periodicals. He is also the producer of The Swizzle Chill Channel. Zambrano began his career in the fast-casual industry, and can now be seen around DC scoping out new stories and consulting with clients.
NEXT ISSUE: Tech tools, employee of the future, 2021 baseball and more