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Culture, eLearning and Innovation Heat Up this Winter’s Industry Events

Around the world in 80 days! Or, well, we’ve at least officially made it through the winter conference season . From CHART to Pizza Expo to MURTEC , our team caught firsthand glimpses into the latest innovations and technology disrupting the restaurant industry. Restaurant franchises, groups and independents alike came together to share their talents, […]

Around the world in 80 days! Or, well, we’ve at least officially made it through the winter conference season .

From CHART to Pizza Expo to MURTEC , our team caught firsthand glimpses into the latest innovations and technology disrupting the restaurant industry. Restaurant franchises, groups and independents alike came together to share their talents, interests and concerns in what ended up being one of the most thought-provoking events season to date.

What takeaways resonated with us deeper than all the new connections we made?

1. Your Culture is King

With restaurants having such a wide array of goals and motivators, it’s hard to find the one-size-fits-all answer to achieving operational excellence. That’s why every company needs to start with their why. Industry influencer Danny Meyer spoke extensively about the importance of ‘why’ at the Pizza Expo.

“Wherever your center lies, know it, name it, stick to it and believe it”

-Danny Meyer

Discovering your “why” is no easy feat for restaurants, who are often forced to change their priorities and strategy at a moment’s notice. The key to making it work? Stay true to your why by having great culture.

We heard a similar tune after talking with the king of culture, Tom Frank, to discuss how culture can improve engagement and retain top talent for your restaurant. His insights mirrored Meyer’s, emphasizing how culture produces results, and to change your results you must first change your culture. If restaurants can effectively communicate their mission and culture before hiring, training, or in company-wide meetings they will be able to alleviate some of the struggles that come from bad hires and hopefully reduce the 66.3% turnover rate (that often feels like 110%) the restaurant industry is known to have.

2. Lean on Restaurant eLearning Systems

Having a website with your mission, vision and values listed is one thing. Keeping your staff engaged and motivated and always living up to those values is much harder. It takes time and ongoing training that can be tracked. Which is why elearning was such a huge topic at the winter CHART conference.

Zach Phillips, the eLearning Specialist at Newk’s Eatery, spoke at the event and shared why choosing the right learning management system for restaurants should be a top priority. Newk’s Eatery was recently recognized for investing in employee education and career advancement with our cloud-based learning management system, HotSchedules Train (powered by Schoox). By investing in employee education and career advancement , Newk’s has been able to educate team members about the culture, standards and core processes that drive the brand.

3. Innovation is Inevitable

With each speaker and across all of our conversations, technology was the star of the conversation.

EKN Research , a boutique research and advisory firm that focuses on business-technology insights presented at MURTEC in depth findings on the current and forecasted status of restaurant technology. The group projected:n

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    • Restaurants are spending heavily on system maintenance at the expense of innovation

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    • Restaurants will increase tech budgets this year to focus on cloud-based applications and customer engagement solutions

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    • The top three R&D projects for restaurants in 2016: Cloud-based software | CRM/loyalty | Mobile payments

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“At the end of the day you have to turn data into something actionable.”

-Raymond Howard of Ziosk, MURTEC attendee

Late last year we predicted what trends would hit the restaurant industry in 2016 , and if these events are any indication as to how the rest of the year will go, then let’s just say we’ll be well prepared for what’s to come!

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