In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Restaurant Technology Network (RTN) began executing weekly calls with 50+ restaurant technology suppliers to build an Off-Prem Playbook. As the restaurant industry moves towards cautious reopening, it’s clear that off-prem dining will continue to be a primary way to serve consumers. We reached out to a few contributors to gather insights about the process and the outcome.
Dan Dillon, VP of Operations, Yumpingo, pointed out that the restaurant industry is at an inflection point, where our collective well-being is dependent on the survival of many. “A sense of community has developed, bigger than our specific business needs. It takes a village, and it’s time to rebuild together,” he noted. Eric Soll, CEO, Soulman Marketing, agreed. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have the best-of-the-best in a (virtual) room to collaborate on such an important endeavor.”
“We were able to rapidly identify universal needs and create best practices,” said Christy Trinkler, senior director of product, Trabon Group. Robert Gibson, CRO of Jolt, pointed out that the collaborative process gave him a 360-degree view, with visibility into how each company uniquely serves the same industry vision.
Ryan Pershad, global operations manager at GetSwift, noted, “We had folks from all different types of products that service dozens, if not hundreds, of specific pain points for restaurants. It was a bit of a melting pot, which was exciting.”
Favorite Off-Prem Playbook Tips
Online ordering. “The ‘start somewhere’ approach makes a lot of sense for a restaurant that’s never worked with online ordering tools, and the Playbook offers an easy-to-understand plan for growth.” Mark Cline, Senior VP Sales, Netsurion
“The common theme of consumer confidence and contactless. To win back our customers we need to make sure we are addressing both of these concerns.” Robert Gibson, CRO, Jolt
“The Playbook sets a great baseline for optimizing delivery and takeout with clear directives on packaging, menu optimization and training. Delivery and takeout has been sustaining our struggling industry, so it makes sense to fortify its value, but the magic of our collective effort lies in reclaiming the energy of the dine-in experience, while still retaining the off-premise gains.” Dan Dillon, VP of Operations, Yumpingo
“Anticipate the acceleration of voice-enabled menus and ordering platforms. Start asking now before you need it.” Christy Trinkler, Senior Director of Product, Trabon Group
“Having and sharing a philanthropy story. Acts of kindness, being of service to others and doing good works is infectious.” Robert Peterson, VP, Sales, Qu
Silver Linings Playbook
Our contributors offered these “silver linings”:
“Consumers’ hierarchy of needs have changed, and operators are expected to digitally engage, which can yield margin efficiencies by reconsidering menu costs, service models, and the payment process,” said Yumpingo’s Dillon.
“Whether through the adoption of data standards, investing in technology or rethinking best practices, restaurant brands and solution providers are dependent on each other to create a new norm of customer experience,” noted Qu’s Peterson. “We’ve seen service models and user experiences relatively unchanged for 50+ years change overnight. We owe it to loyal customers, guests and future generations to be more flexible, nimble and connected.”
To access RTN’s Off-Prem Playbook, visit https://restauranttechnologynetwork.com/page/RTNTechnicalDocuments.