From the front counter to the back of the house, restaurant chains are launching
IT projects that aim to reinvent the way they do business. In this highly competitive sector, breakthrough technology can help restaurant owners break away from
the pack, creating more loyal customers and more e;cient operations. With the
global consumer food service industry hitting US$2.7 trillion in sales last year,
according to the market research company Euromonitor International, the pay-o;s aren’t just small potatoes for fast food and “casual dining” chain restaurants.
;e projects garnering the most attention are using tablet and smartphone
apps to change the way customers make reservations, place orders and pay.
According to tabletop tablet maker Ziosk, a company with a client roster that
includes the Olive Garden and Red Robin, when customers order from a tablet
instead of a human, appetizer sales spike by 20 percent. After U.K.-based Pret a
Manger rolled out chip-and-PIN credit card reading machines in its locations in
Europe, Asia and the U.S. last year, transaction times fell by 20 percent, speeding up lines. And when Chili’s completed a project to roll out 45,000 tabletop
tablets at 823 U.S. locations in June 2014, dessert sales rose by 20 percent, the
“You have to embrace technology projects if you want to be a relevant
restaurant chain in today’s marketplace,” says Jason Smylie, CIO and CMO
of Capriotti’s, a sandwich restaurant chain based in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
His organization has been rolling out a series of technology projects in recent
years to track point of sale, ordering and other operations data. (See case study
on page 38, “Made To Order.”)
“Everywhere from Turkey to
Taiwan we are seeing a boom
in restaurant technology
—Aaron Allen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates