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MURTEC Day 1 Highlights: Metaverse, Security & More

We kicked off MURTEC 2023 with TopGolf and a series of inspiring and informative breakouts touching on every aspect of restaurant operations!
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Our first day of MURTEC 2023 was packed with fun, networking, and educational sessions! Below are some quick highlights from a few of the sessions that happened on Day 1. 

MURTEC Day 2 Highlights: Digital Transformation, Start-Up Alley & More

MURTEC Day 3 Highlights: The Need for Speed, Award Winners & More

The Metaverse 101

  • The metaverse is not a new concept. The first VR machine was created in 1956 and simulated riding a bicycle. The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992.
  • Global shipments for AR/VR devices by 2024 will be 76.7 million. Meta Reality Labs has so far invested $10 billion trying to standardize the use of metaverse. By 2024 the projected value of the metaverse will be $800 billion.
  • If you don’t think the metaverse matters for our industry ask yourself: Why are major restaurant players like Wendy’s, Chipotle, McDonalds, Burger King, Panera, Hooters, Yum! Brands, Chik-fil-a, Inspire, Wing Stop and Bojangles buying real estate and creating experiences in the metaverse? They’ve done the research and they know that it’s worth their time and money.
  • The metaverse is just another channel for marketing to guests. It’s a new type of marketplace. Gen Z and Gen Alpha (age 12 and under) are consuming information in new ways and brands need to advertise to them, where they are.
  • Kevin Seo’s  Food Fighters Universe brand put together a game in Roblox where gamers could farm potatoes. Marketing campaigns might impact up to 100k individuals. Social media campaigns might impact a million. But Food Fighters' Roblox campaign meant 4 million people saw the brand.

Kevin Seo, Chief Megaphone, Food Fighters Universe/Bored and Hungry
Skip Kimpel, Principal of Independent & SMB Consulting, ConStrata Technology Consulting 

You've Been Hacked. Now What?  

  • As cyber crime reaches unprecedented heights and sophistication, many restaurants remain unprepared for a potentially catastrophic breach. 
  • “Restaurants are creating more touchpoints than ever, but that means we’re also creating more vulnerability to hackers,” says Courtney Radke, CISO, Fortinet 

Courtney Radke, CISO, Fortinet
Tom Seeker, CIO, Earl Enterprises
Brian Lucy, VP IT Security/CISO
CKE Restaurants
Amit Verma, CTO, Comcast Business

Tech Disruptor Series 

  • Restaurants are using ML/AI to gain accurate data and actionable insights.
  • “If you can understand performance on one side of the restaurant, good or bad, you want to understand what is happening on the other side of the restaurant,” said Luke Irving, Fingermark.
  • Richard Newman, Acumera, and Pavel Krasner, Taco Bell, took to the stage to talk about Taco Bell’s tech transformation. Their segment kicked off with a video of Taco Bell’s Defy location, a 2022 MURTEC Breakthrough Award winner.
  • Behind-the-scenes, Taco Bell is embracing “edge computing and moving away from on-site services,” explained Newman. “This positions Taco Bell for a lot more innovation to come.”
  • In general QSRs including Taco Bell are “moving away from monolithic pieces of software. Everything happens at scale,” explained Newman.
  • Ingo Stork of PreciTaste explained how the computer visioning solution is helping operators and their team members become more efficient in the kitchen.  The solution is custom-tailored to each restaurant.

Luke Irving, Founder & CEO, Fingermark
Richard Newman, Chief Product Evangelist, Acumera
Pavel Krasner, Sr. Manager, IT Architecture, Taco Bell

Ingo Stork, CEO and Co-Founder, PreciTaste

Powerful Voices: How AI is Changing the Game 

  • "When McDonald’s acquired Apprente in 2019, to bring voice technology to drive-thrus, this was a very forward-looking acquisition. It was one of the first big acquisitions in the conversational AI industry and it validated the concept of using AI to supplement customer service, and use conversational AI to supplement operations. It was 'The Big Bang of AI.'" -- Bradley Metrock
  • "It’s hugely important to be #ethical with the use of data garnered by AI. Voice is the second most revealing part of a human experience – according to physicians. We can learn more about you from your voice than anything else, short of your DNA." -- Jon Stine
  • "AI is the accelerator of automation throughout the value chain. Ask yourself: What’s the sustainable value and advantage for your organization? When you know sooner you can decide smarter and act faster. Voice is a remarkable technology and most of us don’t realize that its like an iceberg where most of the value is 'under the water.'" -- Jon Stine

Bradley Metrock, CEO, Project Voice

Jon Stine, Executive Director, Open Voice Network 

POS Software Trends: A Buyer's Guide

  • During this session, our panelists discussed POS needs vs wants vs wish list; critical considerations such as costs (e.g., cloud-based POS vs server-based), a flexible API for current and future integrations, and new demands such as mobile guest experience, tablets at table, and more.
  • “There’s a very clear delineation between legacy solutions — an enhanced cash register — and today’s cloud-based solutions, which enable future thinking,” Brian Pearson, CTO, Mendocino Farms.
  • The POS has truly evolved to do so much more than its original concept.

Joe Tenczar, CIO, Restaurant CIOs
Brian Pearson, CTO, Mendocino Farms

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