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Where Digital and Physical Meet

Courtney Radke 2024 headshot
Courtney Radke, Vice President, Innovation, SageNet

Our data shows that AI is streamlining restaurant analytics, personalization, and inventory. What AI opportunities and/or challenges do you foresee in 2024?

AI's transformative potential extends beyond operational improvements—it's a double-edged sword that also impacts cybersecurity. While AI enhances restaurant analytics and customer personalization, its use in cybersecurity presents both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions can bolster defense mechanisms, identifying and mitigating threats in real-time. Conversely, in the wrong hands, AI could become a potent weapon for cybercriminals, automating attacks and evading traditional security measures. As we navigate 2024, it's crucial for restaurants to leverage AI responsibly, investing in robust cybersecurity strategies to harness its benefits while avoiding potential risks.

Kitchen automation, IoT, and robotics are booming. How do you believe they can help solve for rising costs and staffing challenges?

Amid the surge in kitchen automation, IoT, and robotics, it's imperative to recognize that reliable, fast, and secure connectivity underpins their effectiveness. As restaurants embrace IoT devices for inventory tracking, kitchen automation for streamlined workflows, and robotics for enhanced efficiency, the demand for robust network infrastructure intensifies. Seamless connectivity ensures that data flows seamlessly between devices, facilitating real-time insights and enabling automation to operate at peak performance. Investing in highly performant, resilient, and secure connectivity becomes paramount, empowering restaurants to harness the full potential of these technologies and tackle rising costs and staffing challenges effectively.

IT budgets continue to grow, including an increase in implementations of new solutions. What are some best practices for restaurant technology leaders seeking to maximize their investment dollars?

In the realm of expanding IT budgets and increasing implementations of new solutions, proper lifecycle management emerges as a critical consideration. Beyond the initial investment, businesses must ensure that technology adoption aligns with long-term sustainability and growth. This entails avoiding technology sprawl and tech debt by integrating new solutions into an ecosystem or platform that supports interoperability and scalability. By adopting a strategic approach to technology investment, prioritizing solutions that complement existing infrastructure and aligning with business objectives, restaurant technology leaders can maximize the value of their investment dollars and pave the way for sustainable innovation.

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