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John Chisdey: It’s Time To Transform Technology in Restaurants

These days, it seems you can do just about anything from your smartphone. You can catch a plane. Order clothes. Book a hotel. Digitally hail a taxi. And then share it all through social media. But what about technology in restaurants? A recent Franchise Times article described the order-taking process as little altered over the […]

These days, it seems you can do just about anything from your smartphone. You can catch a plane. Order clothes. Book a hotel. Digitally hail a taxi. And then share it all through social media.

But what about technology in restaurants? A recent Franchise Times article described the order-taking process as little altered over the past 40 years.

But that’s all changing. At long last large restaurant chains are “Apping Up.”

“Chain restaurants are rapidly adding new customer-facing technology in the face of heavy competition and a belief customers simply expect these things,” the article said.

“The new technology is designed to get customers in the door more often, change the way they order their food and even let them complete a transaction without glancing at their wallet even once.”

Red Book Connect executive chairman and a former Burger King CEO John Chisdey chimed in, calling on restaurants to arm themselves with technology before it’s too late.

“You almost have to,” he said. “People have come to expect these things nowadays.”

The mad dash to adopt and implement a technology solution comes as restaurants experience tougher sales, which companies blame on the loss of to-go customers.

Restaurant chains like Panera are full steam ahead, beefing up their front of house technology to streamline operations and better serve their to-go customers with as much attention as their dine-in customers.

They’re calling it Panera 2.0 and when it rolls out, customers will be able to order via kiosk or through a computer or mobile device.

Chisdey noted people under 30 simply expect technology like this to be available at places of business, and those companies not employing it could lose those sales. And, he noted, they could lose employees. HotSchedules, Red Book Connect’s online and mobile app scheduling solution, enables those employees to access their schedule through an app.

He also noted technology is cheaper now, thanks to cloud-based services. “In the old days, even if you just had 50 employees, you had to have your own servers,” Chisdey said. “You had to store the data yourself. Today, with everything in the cloud, you’re not paying for servers. You’re not paying for individual licenses. It’s simple to process.”

You can read the full article at http://www.franchisetimes.com/May-2014/Apping-Up/.

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