New Year’s Resolution: Make Smarter Technology Decisions
There is an art and a science to buying and deploying technology in the restaurant industry. Procuring the appropriate innovations for a brand is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Technology executives must arm themselves with the skills to be able to assess what technology is needed.
Restaurant CIOs Joe Tenczar and Brian Pearson have worked with brands like Sonny’s BBQ, Hard Rock, Stacked, Ruby’s Diner and BJ’s Restaurants. With demand for CIO-level expertise skyrocketing in the industry, the two saw an opportunity to package their highly desirable experiences into a new educational and leadership training platform known as cio.school. Through cio.school, Tenczar and Pearson will offer technology-driven coursework for restaurant IT executives looking to advance their personal and professional profiles in the industry. The educational tracks will be based on topics most relevant to restaurant technology leaders, and when successfully completed and tested, will result in official Restaurant Technology Network (RTN) certification.
A free, first-preview course focused on Technology Procurement will kick off at HT’s MURTEC March 11-13, where restaurant executives can test the waters and sign up for RTN membership, coursework and certification.
“We wanted to bring the first certification to life at MURTEC, so restaurant executives already at the event can get a taste of what the program has to offer,” commented Angela Diffly, director of membership for RTN. “This community will shape industry standards and share technical guidance to help restaurateurs run more successful businesses, so it’s really tailor-made for all flavors of restaurant IT executives.”
What You’ll Learn
The Technology Procurement course teaches restaurant executives how to:
- Understand the technology procurement value proposition
- Effectively communicate and evaluate what your company needs
- Effectively assess whether or not a solution meets your company needs
- Understand the complete RFI/ RFP process
- Close the deal, making the best available choice
The bulk of coursework will be on-demand, digital modules, designed to be digested in less than 15 minutes. The instructors also host live sessions to review the coursework and provide a real-time opportunity for questions, answers and advisement.
Official Technology Procurement Certification
RTN’s Technology Procurement Certification includes hands-on training and certification to arm restaurant operators with the know-how to master the total technology buying cycle, from effective evaluation to technology assessment and ultimately closing a deal that is operationally and financially beneficial.
“Making the wrong decision when choosing a technology solution can cost your restaurant company huge money, and may not consider company requirements for today and into tomorrow,” commented Tenczar. “We find people are creatures of habit, or lean towards suggestion, basing something on what you've done in the past or what your peers are doing. This will not ensure you end up with the best solution for your company. It’s imperative to learn how to make selections based on facts and future-proofing your company instead.”
Who Should Participate?
If you have a good knowledge of restaurant technology and a desire to become a better technology leader, then the answer is YES. Anyone who makes technology purchasing decisions or recommendations is strongly encouraged to sign up for this class.
The Bottom Line
Technology touches everything in a restaurant today. RTN’s certification courses are designed to help shorten the learning curve inherent in understanding all the restaurant-specific technology that affects a company. Certification will also fill the void that has existed in the industry for formalized training.
“Restaurants need technology leaders who can make decisions based upon value to the company,” Tenczar says. “Beyond keeping the lights on, this training will mold IT leaders into strategic thinkers and that will have measurable positive impact on your company.”
Diffly hopes IT execs will join the RTN at MURTEC to see what the courses offer. “The big-picture opportunity is to join a restaurant technology community that provides year-round leadership and training for you and/or for your IT staff," Diffly says. "We’ve created a tangible way to arm your IT department with ongoing leadership, training and learning that ultimately adds more value to your entire organization.”