Our post-MURTEC 2022 series of Executive Insight interviews features thought leadership from some of the restaurant industry's top innovative solutions providers.
Eric Symon, VP of Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
Please tell us about Panasonic System Solutions' mission?
For more than 40 years, Panasonic has been the premier provider of innovative hardware and software solutions for the food service industry. We’re constantly driving new technology to help our customers build their business and elevate the customer experience. Our end-to-end solutions, like ClearConnect®, optimizes operations and gives restaurant operators everything they need to successfully run the front of store and back of store — with more efficient and accurate Interactions with customers, superior assistance with taking orders, and moving customers through the drive-thru more efficiently.
What are you featuring at MURTEC?
ClearConnect® is our world-class, smart solution suite that offers everything to successfully run a restaurant’s operation, connecting both the front and back of store to the customer. Our smart food lockers are the only multi-temperature solution available that allows customers to easily and securely pick up orders at their peak freshness – whether they order online and pick up in store themselves or utilize their favorite food delivery service. In addition, we’re featuring brand new technologies and hardware to help operators better interact with customers inside and outside the restaurant. Everything from POS workstations designed for demanding, fast-paced environments, to ruggedized handheld tablets, to next generation drive-thru wireless communication and headset systems that ensure clear communication with the customer. Also, our customized digital menu boards, both in the store and in the drive-thru, allow restaurants to cross-sell, up-sell and promote special offers based on time of day, day of week or even a holiday.
What are some challenges restaurants are facing today? How does your product help?
A big challenge facing restaurants today is labor shortage and labor costs. With orders congesting the counter space, dedicating staff to monitor orders isn’t the answer. Our food lockers alleviate this problem by having staff focus on order taking and order preparation. Orders are safe and secure in food lockers for customers and 3 rd party delivery services to pick up the correct order at the desired temperature.
There’s also the overtaxing of the drive-thru. During COVID, the drive-thru became a real point of emphasis for QSRs. Now, probably 70% of their business is done through the drive-thru, and companies are always looking for ways to optimize this area. Our wireless communication system removes the background noise, so customers avoid repeating their orders. Plus, the headset batteries last an entire shift. Now, rather than waiting for customers, the headsets allow workers to do other tasks instead of waiting at a window, because our system alerts them when a car entered the drive-thru.