MURTEC was online everywhere April 13 and 14 and featured innovative tech solutions, networking and group problem solving. In the wake of rapid digital transformation, leading brands including Taco Bell, HOA Brands, Another Broken Egg, Spyce, McAlister’s Deli and more shared their Big Shift − how they adapted and what’s next. All MURTEC sessions are on demand in the Auditorium in the MURTEC Content Hub. Plus, check out the Solution Center for more technologies you can use now and in the future.
The Connected Restaurant:
How Edge, IoT and E-commerce Can Transform the Industry
From edge computing to the connected restaurant, native e-commerce and IoT, MURTEC attendees got the scoop on what’s happening now and what’s on the horizon in this thought-provoking keynote by Vadim Parizher, VP of Technology, Engineering & Analytics at Taco Bell. Parizher shared the QSR’s approach to edge computing and what the connected restaurant means for Taco Bell.
“What a year it has been for technology,” Parizher said. “This intermediate period has launched so many conversations around technol-ogy. Our business, which has been straightforward for the past decade − customers come in or through the drive-thru ... that model has been replaced by multiple channels. And the data is hitting the restaurant all at the same time, because customers are now ordering online, through delivery aggregators, drive-thru and walk-ins at kiosks.”
Connected Restaurant Defined
All the technology inside the restaurant needs to work together. “Just like a team of football players, there are different positions. But at the end of the day, you got to move the ball to the finish line. Our equivalent of the ball, there’s an or-der and we have to execute that order,” explained Parizher. “And everything in the restaurant, all the equipment is all working together. Hence the term connected restaurant.”
How Taco Bell Leverages Edge Computing
“The term edge computing is still making its way through several industries including ours, and we’re all trying to adapt it to our operations,” explained Parizher. “For us − we are 100% in the cloud when it comes to above-restaurant processing. We try to process as much data as possible in the cloud. You, of course, can’t process everything in the cloud; sometimes it is latency, sometimes it is the availability of the network. That pushes part of processing on-premise and when it is on-premise we call it edge.”
Edge should be self-sufficient in case of power or internet outage, so the edge and cloud can get back in sync, he advised.
Once and for all, “let’s get away from the term ‘e-commerce’ because it pigeonholes you into a very specific web-based transaction. That’s not how our customers interact with us,” explained Parizher. “For them a purchase is an order. We started thinking where is the commerce platform? Where does it reside? How does it process?
“There are multiple channels and our computer systems will be plugging into that.”
An omnichannel experience that is the same regardless of where the order is placed (internet website, delivery channels, drive-thru, kiosks and at the traditional POS, etc.) should be the end goal. Looking to the future, “Our journey is going to be a lot faster but the end result is the same — this omnichannel customer experience,” said Parizher.
“Technology needs to be integrated so that you don’t have a disjointed experience.”