I was recently reading this article from QSR Magazine on the QSR industry digital revolution and, given this is a world I live and breathe every day; I had several thoughts about it I’d like to share.
- It’s here to stay. There’s a lot of great info in the article but the bottom line is clear, digital is not going way. As we all know, technology rules the world, and that certainly is the case in our industry. The risk, as the article points out, is that if restaurants wait too long, there’s a real risk of getting left behind by both the competition and customers. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your restaurants haven’t embraced new digital technology you better do it quick, because it’s only going to grow bigger. And unfortunately your competitors around the corner are probably about to embrace it too. You need to work fast to beat them to the punch.
- Experts can help. One thing the article doesn’t touch on is the fact that new technology can be a big pain. Who hasn’t gotten a new phone or computer and had no idea how to use the thing? It can be incredibly frustrating, but that’s why restaurants need to pick a good technology partner. My advice is trust the experts and let the people who know digital technology best do it for you. Save yourself the headache.
- There are ways to address integration issues. By far the biggest complaint I hear about restaurant technology is that it doesn’t all work together, there are too many systems in place and none of them talk to each other properly. (By the way, this is an issue not unique to the QSR industry; virtually all industries are experiencing it). In my experience, one technology simply won’t do it all; it’s just not the way things are built. Companies build technology with specific needs in mind. However, that doesn’t mean trying to integrate it all is futile. You just have to approach it differently. Instead of using a handful of different technology partners that each do something different, try to find just a couple trusted partners that offer many different solutions you can use. Start small by making a list of all your restaurant’s needs so you know what you’re looking for. Once you know what you want for it’ll be easier to find a couple strong partners that offer the majority of what you need.
The biggest advice I can offer with regards to the digital revolution is to remember it’s a positive thing. Technology exists to make our lives easier and even though it may be temporary challenging, the outcome will be worth it.