High Tech For Restaurant Franchises At The National Restaurant Association Show
Written by Tim Morral
This year's NRA show in Chicago features a variety of high tech equipment to help independent and chain restaurants increase productivity -- and profits.
Success in today's dining industry is as much about technology as it is about great food, according to the exhibitors at this year's National Restaurant Association industry expo.
Blue MauMau is reporting that the recent NRA show featured a range of new technologies for independent and chain restaurateurs. From equipment that reduces operating costs to computerized inventory/ordering platforms to business intelligence technologies, the majority the showcased solutions were designed to target productivity and/or the dining experience.
Some of the most talked about technologies included computer-based POS systems with networking capabilities that enable them to interact with other applications. For example, several vendors were demonstrating software that links to POS platforms and allows customers to order and pay from their personal mobile devices.
"Fifty percent of our business takes place outside the restaurant and 15 percent of that is mobile or online," says Jeff Drake, president of fast-casual chain, Go Roma.
For small business owners and franchisees, the benefit of mobile applications is that the diners provide the hardware, which is usually the priciest component of technology initiatives. The restaurant's role is to simply identify and deploy the app(s) that are best suited to their targeted objectives and customer preferences.
Similarly, mobile technology was featured in several tablet-based tabletop-ordering systems. From a budget perspective, the innovative part of these systems is that the software can be leased rather than purchased, minimizing cost barriers for startup restaurants that want to leverage technology right out of the gate.
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