Most years there is a dominant tech solution at the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA). Not this year. This year, we saw a range of technologies clustered around a common theme: guest experience.
Wait list management apps, tablets for table top ordering, and customer guest loyalty solutions are all new solutions to old problems — not just incrementally higher-tech versions of the same solutions. Rajat Suri from E La Carte, a tabletop ordering tablet company, said it best: The modern concept of restaurants started in Roman times and has barely changed. But change is coming.
These new technologies are fundamentally different from the last generation of restaurant tools- they are less expensive, more functional and easier to use and maintain. This means for the first time restaurants are not swapping cost elements; they are replacing heavyweight legacy tools for margin-enhancing, operationally better solutions. I’ll repeat to make sure you didn’t miss it: margin-enhancing, operationally better solutions.
Technology and hospitality are no longer separate. Through deep integration we’re seeing restaurants improve the guest experience in ways we never imagined before now. The restaurant you grew up in, is not the restaurant you can run today, and is definitely not the restaurant you will run in a few years. And this is a good thing.
[Editors Note: Check out Pizzamarketplace.com for more insights into how restaurant technology is evolving.]
This post originally appeared on the Ordr.in blog.
** Photo Credit: Marc van der Chijs