During the 2023 NRA Show, Tabit – a mobile-first restaurant POS company – hosted a variety of students from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. The school partners with Tabit for their bistro-style simulation class. Attending the show from FIU were Ashlene Thomas, Ami Mistry, Rebecca Gibbs, Savannah Sammour, and Michael Eboka. To learn more about the tech company’s partnership with the university, HT first sat down with Nadav Solomon, co-founder and president of Tabit and then interviewed Sammour and Gibbs.
What is the history of Tabit and FIU’s partnership?
SOLOMON: FIU is a wonderful school, and its hospitality program is highly regarded both nationally and internationally. It also happens to be a seven-minute drive from Tabit’s headquarters in Miami. In 2020, Shivani Joshi, Executive Director, Global Philanthropy & Partnerships approached us about a possible partnership. During an in-person meeting with school officials, we found that the school was concerned with preserving human interaction. How do you get technology to work for the server instead of the server working for technology? How do you move from data to insights to action? Within a few months, Tabit was the technology solution used at the FIU bistro, and the tech behind the Advanced Food Production class taught every Wednesday at the school. Then it progressed to partnering with FIU to sponsor the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Tabit was even asked to judge a student competition with the theme Restaurant of the Future.
How has working with students informed the way your technology is designed?
SOLOMON: We know that eventually, students will become our end users: future restaurant managers. And what we’ve noticed is that they want to use enterprise products the way they use their smartphones. Don’t ask them to use a Windows 95 solution! As a technology company, you’re building a B2C product for B2B users. So, we’ve tested our products with these students to ensure that the user experience is very intuitive.
Should technology companies be looking at schools of hospitality to find the next generation of restaurant technologists?
SOLOMON: Absolutely. When you pull individuals who have years of experience working in the restaurant space into your tech company and they begin to develop and code important solutions and features, they’re working and thinking like operators. They’re creating tools that operators actually want to use and will find easy to implement.
- FIU Students Share their Tech Experiences
During The NRA Show 2023, HT sat down with two student representatives from FIU to discuss how they’re learning about and using restaurant technology.
FIU Student Savannah Sammour
Sammour will be beginning her senior year at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management this Fall. Her father has always operated restaurants and grocery stores, so Sammour feels like she was born into the hospitality industry. She currently co-owns with her father a successful fast-casual Mexican concept. She plans to continue her graduate studies at the Chaplin School at FIU so that eventually she can open an upscale dining concept that infuses both South Florida cuisine with her family’s culinary background.
During our conversation at The NRA Show 2023, Sammour mentioned that the POS system she uses in her own Mexican Grill is behind the times.
“Working with Tabit at FIU has shown me how seamless, convenient and adaptable a POS can be. On a positive note, I do feel that many POS systems are beginning to adapt to the times which is important because technology is our future,” she said.
When asked if she would ever consider working for a restaurant technology company, Sammour said she would be very open to working on the technology side of things.
FIU Student Rebecca Gibbs
Gibbs is an incoming Senior at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management this Fall. Gibbs is very passionate about the hospitality industry and fell in love with cooking during COVID when she had more time on her hands to learn about her family’s Haitian culinary history. She has been able to experience Tabit through the FIU Bistro, a student-run bistro that gives students hands-on experience with both front-of-house and back-of-house operations.
When asked about how she feels about restaurant POS systems, Gibbs said: “The systems that restaurants use are terribly out of date. Tabit was my first introduction to an online POS system that was actually easy to learn. Usually, it takes a while to understand the different things we have to do with a POS – sometimes it takes an entire class! But when they introduced us to Tabit, it only took about an hour for me to really know how to use it. It’s made my experience working at the bistro so much better!”
When asked if she would ever consider working for a restaurant technology company, Gibbs said she’s very technologically inclined and would be very open to it as a career path.