At MURTEC on March 12, the session “Meet RTN and Help Mold Workgroups that Work,” was hosted by Patrick Dunphy, CIO at HTNG (Hospitality Technology Next Generation, www.htng.org). Workgroups are industry think-tanks that bring the brightest minds in technology together, both from the operator and the supplier side, to tackle pain points and publish best practices and standards. HTNG has been hosting its own workgroups for nearly two decades for the hotel industry, and they’ve published 150+ industry standards. We’re replicating HTNG’s successful model, and feel fortunate to have them involved in RTN’s workgroups.
Hungry for Change
The session was open to all, and packed with 120 restaurant operators and vendor technical talent.
“Many that attended expressed similar concerns and challenges which speaks to the need for and value of a group like this in our industry,” observed Dan Linker, Director Technical Sales, QSR Automations, and founding member of RTN.
By the end of the session, we had a huge wall of sticky notes filled with challenges including standards for: universal and standardized APIs; the RFI / RFP process for equipment & services; a reporting platform; integration formats between POS - BOH - Payroll / Finance; customer records and privacy; and security as well as best practices for connectivity; legal compliance without timely audits; common schema for online order integration; training standards; how to reorganize for an aging workforce, and more.
Great Minds Think Alike
“I appreciated the opportunity to be in the room with so many operators at once, directly hearing their common pain points,” said Joshua Nord, VP of Software Development at QSR Automations. “If they can coalesce on the specific challenges they are facing, they have a lot of power as a group to affect change within the industry. I am excited as a solutions provider to work together through those discussions and help design processes and standards that benefit operators, vendors, and ultimately the restaurant guest.”
Tamy Duplantis, CIO, Return on Information Consulting and member of RTN Board of Governors, identified the greatest pain point as when big POS vendors “hold customers hostage” by requiring the use of their own stack of systems, making it virtually impossible to integrate with other solutions in the industry (like PCI payment providers, back-office systems and catering systems). She wants to see this change, and for suppliers to do what’s in the best interest of the customer.
Angela Diffly is Director of Membership and Business Development of the Restaurant Technology Network. To learn more, visit www.restauranttechnologynetwork.com, call 973-358-4815 or email [email protected].