Look for Tech Partners Who Innovate Quickly & Have a Culture of Testing, Learning

Raj Suri, Founder & CEO, Presto

Being nimble with technology has become more important with the pace of change in restaurants overall and technology. What should restaurants look for in hardware
and software partners to foster this flexibility? 

SURI: Restaurant operators need to find technology partners who innovate quickly, have an ethos of rapid iteration cycles, and a culture of testing and learning. When implementing new technology, there will always be improvements needed in both the technology and operational process. As a result, overall agility is critical for an expert technology partner. Vendors should also adhere to the highest security standards to allow restaurants to make the switch seamlessly and securely. 

Systems integration remains a focus and top goal for restaurants moving into 2020. What strategic steps will be necessary in order to achieve this? How must technology suppliers support operators to enable integration?

SURI: Restaurants need to find vendors who are comfortable with an open platform approach. It is important that every technology vendor that they pick is open to integrating with other technologies, and excels at it at a large scale. Both new and existing technology vendors need to be cooperative and have strong technical stamina to integrate well. 

Identifying ROI continues to be a top challenge for restaurant operators in 2020. What suggestions can you offer to operators to justify investment in upgrades or self-service technologies? 

SURI:  Restaurants need to think about how to adapt their ROI mindset to evaluate guest experience. For example, some brands can measure improvement based on increases in OSAT scores. Restaurants can also look at other metrics such as labor savings, PIN-debit savings, increase in surveys, and loyalty sign ups that affect the overall brand experience and growth. A large restaurant chain with 700 locations, for example, could save over $1 million per year just by deploying PIN-Debit technology. 

How must restaurants make sure that all areas of business have the most up-to-date and appropriate data to make effective, well-timed decisions? What must integration and reporting look like to make insights impactful and profitable?

SURI: To fix something when it really matters, a restaurant needs to first be able to measure it in real time. Real-time data is especially relevant and important to the hospitality industry. To meet this need, Presto publishes that data to a restaurant events stream. That means multiple devices can act as sinks—which means they can receive data—to that event stream. For example, alerts are sent out in real time about overly long waits to Server Handhelds that staff carry, enabling them to take action immediately after that data is captured.

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