Restaurant technology can feel like a minefield: The options are dizzying, new niches are emerging to support functions across restaurant businesses, and the economic climate is leading to both consolidation and the launch of new players. If you’re among the many operators planning to invest in restaurant technology this year, it may help to have a roadmap to help navigate the possibilities. The Spoon recently released its 2023 Restaurant Tech Ecosystem Map, which plots out companies by category. It’s worth a review if the array of options and applications in this space feel overwhelming.
If you’re considering tech investments this year – and most restaurant operators are – your approach to the human side of new systems is just as important as the technology itself. By identifying the main problems you need to solve (drilling down to the specific information you need at the level of the transaction, for example), you can clearly defining your priorities and focus on the tools that can address them. What roadblocks – in the form of existing contracts and systems – are currently in your way? How will any new tech integrate with your existing systems and allow for greater customization and flexibility down the line? Consider how to blend these systems seamlessly. That involves getting the right people involved to account for how existing and new tech is used, who throughout your operation is using it, and how it can deliver for those people in ways that will improve their ability to do their job without a difficult training process. This can also help you foresee what might go wrong and minimize the chances of it happening. Identify some ambassadors at various levels of your organization who can help tout the new system, demonstrate it to others and answer questions as people get up to speed.