Deborah Matteliano, Global Head, Restaurant Service Providers of Amazon Web Services, received Hospitality Technology’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology - Innovator Award at MURTEC in Las Vegas.
Mattelianowas among 15 women recognized for their accomplishments. Hospitality Technology's Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards, sponsored by Paerpay, are now in their seventh year.
Matteliano didn’t plan for a career in restaurant technology. “I studied creative writing, English, and art in college … but I’ve always loved eating, and can read Michelin guides for ages. After spending a number of years in corporate business development, Uber hired me to launch several of its first Uber Eats markets. I loved the idea of helping creative food makers unlock new audiences and larger markets.”
In her current role at AWS,Matteliano supports third-party delivery providers, restaurant technologies, and virtual dining concepts that innovate on behalf of restaurants, by way of the cloud.
The Impact of Mentorship
Mentorship has been “a driving force” in her career. “I am a bit of a zany person who likes to drum up wacky ideas, and at the start of my career, I doubted whether I could succeed in a corporate role,” Matteliano explains. “An early mentor showed me how to power that energy into results. And I think I’ve been addicted to that ever since – channeling creativity into making things happen.”
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Matteliano is most proud of her efforts to mentor the leaders of tomorrow. She estimates she’s spent almost 1,000 hours mentoring others. “Lighting the way for others has always illuminated a path forward,” she says.
Creator at Heart
Matteliano, who describes herself as “a creator at heart” who “loves witnessing technology’s ability to help spread a great idea.”
“Many restaurateurs,” she adds, “are creatives who happen to run businesses – so I am ever-curious about new ways that technology can empower business owners to make smart decisions.”
She points to what is happening through big data, or AI/ML advancements. “One of the most promising areas I am seeing is computer vision,” Matteliano says. “In the near term, most every restaurant could benefit from more automation, and for certain brands, robotics can remove some rote work to free staff up for more ‘creative’ endeavors.
The Future of Restaurant Tech
In addition to the continual rise of computer vision, robotics, and automation, Matteliano said he is jazzed to see 3D virtual reservations take off, as well as dynamic pricing and what she calls “nudge” technologies that maximize table turnover. “Operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and loyalty will steer us towards the future,” she said. On receiving the Top Women in Restaurant Technology - Innovator award: “I hope that someone who took an untraditional route into tech can feel inspired that anybody with a passion for innovation can succeed here. Lots of innovators consider technology to be limited to the IT department, but that’s false. Technology is a paint brush – or pressure cooker – and people with big ideas shouldn’t be afraid to use new tools. Look at the tech as Lego blocks for that thing you want to build, and learn what those Legos are and how to use them, so you can make your vision real,” she says.
About the Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards
After a call for nominations, Top Women in Restaurant Technology Award winners were chosen by Hospitality Technology magazine and members of its Research Advisory Board. The winners were announced and honored during an awards program on March 8 at the 28th annual MURTEC (Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference), in Las Vegas. Nominations for the 2024 awards will open in mid-October.