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20 Years Later, What Matters at MURTEC

While I haven’t been around for the full 20, I’ll admit to being a part of the last 10 years. MURTEC celebrated its 20th anniversary when it brought restaurant technology executives together for three days of networking and education this past March.

If you missed the show this year, or simply couldn’t see it all, we’ve got you covered. Mailed with this issue of HT is the first-ever MURTEC in Review special report. Inside you’ll find educational insights gathered by HT’s editors, articles from several of this year’s speakers, and a collection of attendees’ top takeaways.

Looking back, MURTEC has grown significantly since its early days, from a couple hundred attendees to more than 500. Two years ago, we added MURTEC University, a collection of classroom-style sessions covering today’s hot topics, using a small-group format to allow for maximum interaction between instructors and students. This year, demand for MURTEC University was unprecedented, and we’re looking at ways to enhance its access next year. We also added the New Vendor Showcase a few years ago to bring in new technology companies.

MURTEC’s growth mirrors the explosive changes and opportunities happening in restaurant technology. With each new POS system, mobile solution, or data-driven insight comes increased enthusiasm for the potential of restaurant technology. Far more subtle yet equally meaningful is what hasn’t changed. In preparing for the 20th anniversary event, I dug through the archives to find old photos and agendas. Many of the topics — and several of the faces — endure. Things like Restaurant Technology in a Customer-Driven Landscape (from 2013), The Intelligent Enterprise: How to Make Smarter Decisions for Operations, Employees & Guests (from 2006), and the rather prophetic, Strategies for Increasing Efficiency and Profitability in an Interconnected World (from 2001).

Today restaurants are more interconnected than most could have imagined in 2001, and are still striving to find the best ways to use new technologies. And so after 20 years of MURTEC, here’s my top takeaway: the underlying technologies may evolve, but the objective for us all remains the same, and can be summed up in three simple words — how we thrive.

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