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04/25/2022

Innovator Helped bartaco Stand Up On-Demand Service Model

Kelly McArdle helped to oversee the success of bartaco’s pivot to off-premise ordering. Plus, new technology transformed the dine-in experience – allowing guests to seamlessly view a menu, place and pay for their order, all at from a mobile device.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Kelly McArdle bartaco VP of IT
Kelly McArdle is a Top Women in Restaurant Technology Innovator. She was recently promoted to Vice President of Information Technology at bartaco,

Kelly McArdle received the Top Women in Restaurant Technology – Innovator award at MURTEC in Las Vegas.

McArdle, who was recently promoted to Vice President of Information Technology at bartaco, has been working in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years. She started her restaurant career as a server at The Palm Restaurant before moving into management.  While there, she helped roll out the restaurant’s first POS system by assisting with training the servers.  When the IT manager left the company, she was offered the job.  “It was especially ideal because I have a bachelor’s of science in industrial engineering with a math minor. So, this was full-circle and I was proud to finally use my degree,” she explains. 

In July 2020 McArdle joined the team at bartaco as director of information technology, overseeing all technology initiatives and including systems integration that help improve the bartaco team’s efficiency as well as identifying the right technology partners to provide the best frictionless guest experience.

McArdle quickly got to work to implement transformative technologies, pushing bartaco forward to be one of the leaders of “hospitality on demand” through technology. She helped to oversee the success of bartaco’s pivot to off-premise ordering, an exceptional change in operations.

She brought on new technology partners including Wisely, Olo and OneDine, which transformed bartaco’s dine-in experience  – allowing guests to seamlessly view a menu, place and pay for their order, all at from a mobile device. This improves the guest experience while also pushing for higher profitability and more equitable wage distribution across hourly team members.

Bartaco is a company that has embraced technology and change. During the past two years, “It was full speed ahead and pivot, regroup and keep throwing that spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick,” she explains. “We were able to pivot quickly to change our entire dine-in experience and service model. We reinvented our takeout and delivery, added a call center, mobile app, ghost kitchen and cloud kitchen.”

When accepting the Top Women in Restaurant Technology Innovator Award, McArdle said,  “I'm most proud of what we have done with our new service model, our on-demand service model. In 2022, we will be enhancing that as well as the guest experience, and adding on our omni-channel cloud platform and dynamic KDS.“

Better Days Ahead  

McArdle remains optimistic about the future of restaurants.  “I am excited to see how restaurants will emerge after the pandemic,” she says.” We changed our entire guest experience moving from servers to our on-demand service model, and now we aren’t turning back. I see this digital hospitality space changing the traditional POS. It’s going to have to be a cloud-based, omni-channel, open architecture system that can dynamically incorporate all of the different handoff methods (dine-in, takeout, third-party marketplace, catering, etc.).

She sees opportunities to improve the traditional KDS.  “The KDS will need to be able to navigate with real-time analytics and how to maximize and prioritize the orders coming in via the different handoff modes,” she says.  

McArdle too oversees data and analytics development. “It’s always rewarding for me to see how we can harness the data and translate it into actionable insights to enhance the guest experience, improve operations, and learn more about our guests to increase frequency and make every visit to bartaco better,” McArdle says.

McArdle was one of 10 women recognized in HT’s sixth annual Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards, sponsored by Tillster, the global leader in powering online ordering and delivery solutions for restaurant brands.  

HT will profile each of the winners in the coming weeks and in the summer issue of Hospitality Technology

WATCH (60-second video):  The Top Women in Restaurant Technology for 2022.  

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top women award winner