Why Tech Doesn’t Need to Bust Your Budget

QSR Magazine – According to the 2017 Restaurant Technology Industry Report—conducted by POS provider Toast—a whopping 95 percent of restaurant owners and operators believe technology improves their efficiency and operations. That’s just one of the reasons why even small and independent brands are adopting technologies that make a proven difference in unit performance and the bottom line.

But how do you get the most bang for your tech buck without spending an arm and a leg? Like everything else these days, it all starts with the cloud.

“Traditionally, concepts have partnered with POS dealers that sell them expensive hardware and upfront software licenses,” says Scott Langdoc, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners, a consulting firm for restaurant operators. “On an ongoing basis, they have to schedule upgrades and pay for new features and functions.”

With the introduction and evolution of the cloud, however, smaller operators are able to pay a lower upfront cost thanks to subscription-based models for everything from POS to food-cost tracking. At the same time, they can also take advantage of the iterative updates and improvements these solutions provide on an ongoing basis, Langdoc says.

It’s impossible to determine a hard-and-fast cost that every small brand should allocate toward advancing its technology since it varies widely based on the type of brand, size of company, level of service, number of employees, and other factors. Nevertheless, Langdoc adds, switching to cloud-based, subscription-fee models for any number of restaurant technologies can save brands big bucks.

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Food Customers’ Expectations Rise as Technology Evolves

Convenience Store Decisions – Digital technology continues to shape customers’ expectations when dining out. According to a new report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP) and Windstream Enterprise, rapidly evolving guest expectations and digital technologies are driving a major transformation in the restaurant industry.

“The Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations” report, based on research conducted by Incisiv and sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise, combines findings from surveys of 1,225 restaurant guests and 60 restaurant executives.

“As guest expectations continue to rise, restaurants must transform their business with new technologies to make the dining experience more seamless and frictionless,” said Scott Langdoc, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Unfortunately, many restaurant brands and franchisees have a long way to go to catch up to guest expectations. The good news is that restaurants are aware of the gap and their future plans include enhancements to key areas that guests deem important for a great experience: ease of ordering and payment, WiFi availability, and mobile POS.”