A lot goes into a technology decision, and no one likes to make a mistake. But sometimes the fear of making a wrong choice causes restaurant operators and technology committees to place too much weight on specific factors:
- Some focus on things like longevity, install base, and references—because there’s a comfort factor in choosing an established partner.
- Others focus on a specific technology or feature—because they want something modern and new.
And absolutely, those are valid considerations.
But when fit doesn’t get equal weight with function in the decision, you can end up with a quality solution that doesn’t fit your business.
Too many restaurant operators find themselves well into a rollout, or with weeks or months sunk into a lab test or pilot, before they realize that their technology choice—despite a long track record and fantastic references (and the best of intentions)—doesn’t match the way they do business.
And while many things can be configured and adapted in software, the devil is in the details.
The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to be clear about what you need today, and your best forecast of your future requirements—and understand what compromises you’re making before you dive in.
Take a look at your concept and what makes it unique.
- How important will delivery be to your business model going forward?
- How much customization is required in your menu pricing?
- Is catering a consideration?
- What’s the impact of your different business models? Will you want to operate multiple brands under one roof?
- What other factors are critical to your operation?
You don’t have to be a technology expert to avoid a technology mistake. The piece of the puzzle you know inside and out is your own business. So start there. Be clear on your needs, and work with your technology vendors early to understand the gaps.
Use your knowledge of the way you operate—and how your guests like to interact with you—to pre-screen any new technology for fit.
The most successful technology rollouts happen when restaurant companies do a great job up front of working through the future possibilities. How is this solution going to fit into your plans both today and five years from now?
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Posted by Jennifer Wiebe
Occasional contributor of On Point, Jennifer led the marketing for SpeedLine from 2002 to 2018. She loves, books, yoga, playing at the beach, and commenting on bad TV with her family.| Author's website