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If the Profile Fits

I’m not sure how Michael VERDESCA of FOCUS Brands would have answered our survey questions for the 2016 Restaurant Technology Study, but after reading the interview he had with HT, I felt that we had a real-world case study of innovation on our hands. Verdesca and the team at FOCUS Brands are aligning nicely with what our research identified as Restaurant Innovators. Surely you’ll read the full study, but in the meantime, here’s a fast checklist of how innovators do things differently:
  • Innovators have lower maintenance costs, freeing up capital for digital engagement projects.
  • They feel the pangs of system integration — they’re on the front lines of wanting platforms to talk to each other.
  • They’re more focused on customer engagement and loyalty than the average restaurant.
  • Innovators are aggressively pursuing mobile payments.
  • They have executive leaders in place, in particular a CIO, and are looking at analytics expertise next.

Verdesca was brought into the FOCUS operation to help create system unification across a diverse platform of brands and technologies. His roadmap aligns exceptionally well to these Restaurant Innovator attributes. He’s bullish on open APIs because integration is a must-have going forward. Mobile is already table stakes, and a mobile wallet application will be critical to removing friction from transactions going forward. He’s working with a team of data scientists and consumer insight specialists to make sense of the new data created by these digital solutions.

The study is data-rich and will give you a benchmark to measure against. If you want to know how those measured qualities play out in the hands of an accomplished IT leader, check out this month’s cover story. It’s a profile that fits.

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