NTN- UNLV Presentation A perspective on Restaurant technologies
Agenda • What constitutes technology in hospitality? • Do technology and Hospitality mesh? • Why has the hospitality industry been slow to adopt technology? • How are the technologies distributed? • What technologies are available? • What barriers may still exist to any technology? • What might you consider when selecting a technology? • I may answer more than I have listed…
Why hospitality technologies? • Creative industry – almost artistic • Entrepreneurial - many passionate people • Experimental – restaurant owners are always willing to try something new • My job is safe - Restaurants will always need help with technology
Past • Cash register mentality • 5-10 years behind the “real” business world • First technologies provided simple solutions (late 1980’s – early 1990’s) • Hospitality technology got its biggest push when Point-of-sale solutions (POS) were introduced • The Barriers to adoptions were significant
Barriers to Adoption • Technology was a burden, not an opportunity • The restaurant was an art first, business second • Restaurants viewed technologies as intrusive • Technology detracted from, rather than enhanced the customer experience • Technology was impersonal • Restaurants feared the complexity of implementing and managing technologies • Technology was ‘costly’ • There are obviously exceptions • Marriott, McDonalds created POS companies
Examples • Hand held terminals • Liquor control systems • Self order kiosks • Reservations solutions • Result • If the technology impacted the customer experience, it was left behind • Logical business decisions did not pass the ‘ambiance’ test
Distribution as a Barrier • POS companies came first • Cash and basic process control was first • Solutions were proprietary (firmware) • Expensive to purchase, implement, and maintain • Development mentalities were insular • A highly organic and fragmented market was difficult to approach • Distribution was costly • A market dominated by independents / small chains • Result: The reseller model evolved
Business Problems Solved (POS) • Cash and Cost control – theft and abuse • Data collection, aggregation, processing, reporting, and connectivity to additional solutions (Reporting) • Automation and consistency - replaced manual processes • Added systems where there were none • Replaced manual transactions and processes
Types of Technologies • Cash control • POS, PMS • Process control • POS, PMS, Kitchen solutions, bar solutions • Cost control • Inventory, Labor control • Services • Internet solutions, reservations • Revenue Generating • Loyalty and frequency solutions • Local and enterprise level for all solutions
Balancing Act • Can technology enhance without being intrusive? • If the technology provides a direct/indirect benefit to the client it has a chance • Direct – Internet reservations • Indirect – Technologies that improve work environment for employees • The higher the ‘price’ that the customer pays for the service,the less likely the technology will succeed • It cannot detract from the customer experience • How ‘apparent’ is the technology?
Desired goal • Technology should tell us the following • What works and what does not • Where money is made and lost • Where the problems are and why • Who our customers are and how to treat them • Where do decision makers most need to invest their time, and why • This is still a difficult goal to attain
Solutions Characteristics • Basic evaluation criteria • Scalability – single unit or enterprise • Supportability – requirements and services • Choice and flexibility – Migration path • Function - Ability to meet current and future requirements • Cost – short and long-term (cost of ownership) • Impact – On the business and the customer • Distribution – Direct or indirect, integrated or vertically integrated
The Future… • Technology is already driving changes (Internet) • Reduce costs or increase revenues? • In general, restaurants adopted the first already • Increase, decrease the footprint of technology? • Generalization: The less expensive and quicker the food, experience is, the more welcome technology is • Collect more data or interpret what you have? • Catch up with the ‘real’ world, or stay an artist? • Can you do both? • Specific technologies to watch (ASP’s) • What is the basic value proposition required?
Solutions Gaining Momentum • ASP models • Enterprise solutions • Reservations and guest solutions • Kitchen video • CRM tools of any kind (as long as they are not intrusive) – few will succeed • Basic Business Intelligence – Alerts and centralized reporting • BI does not exist in this industry yet