Historically the restaurant industry has been reluctant to embrace technology for several reasons:
Previously we were in a heavy cash-based industry, about 90%, and operators felt the use of technology would infringe upon the benefits of being in a cash-based business. I will let you read between the lines.
01/23/2013 ET Updated Feb 11, 2013 Huffington Post …, dining is rapidly becoming a cashless experience. Last year, 81 percent of the money spent at full-service restaurants in America was charged to debit, credit or pre-paid cards, up from 72 percent in 2006 and 66 percent in 2004. At quick-service restaurants, many of which only started taking cards in the early 2000s, just 37 percent of sales were charged in 2012, but the trend toward plastic is the same.
Limited services offered.
Today’s restaurants and food service operators have to offer multiple services, like take out, curbside, delivery, meal replacement, catering, and participate in multiple marketing efforts like loyalty programs, social media, podcasts, blogging, text marketing, mobile apps, and email campaigns, just to stay competitive.
Technology was very expensive and maintenance heavy.
I bought my first restaurant POS system in 1992 for $22K. Due to cloud technology, legacy systems that required a local server and the maintenance that goes with it are quickly going away, giving way to Cloud Based systems. The result is less maintenance and lower-cost entry points, typically without contracts, on a month to month bases. Many of these systems have a functional FREE version you can try on for size.
Technology was not so, “User Friendly.”
I worked 5 years for a restaurant inventory software company and saw many clients spend a lot of money never to actually use the software. Upgrades, often broke computers and servers, setting clients back on mission critical work. We were actually, the number 2 inventory software in the nation. All over the industry, help text didn’t help much, and was written in programmers’ language not basic English.
Much data input was required.
a. The saying, “Garbage in is Garbage Out,” is both true and painful. The simple act of entering all your recipes and inventory is a daunting task, typically undertaken by multiple staff, each with different methods of data entry, resulting inconsistent databases. For example, Martha may spell the condiment we use for hamburgers, “Ketchup,” while Jim may spell it “Catsup.” You can imagine how that could affect invoice entry.
b. I remember 25 years ago, after a 14-hour day of cooking/managing, trying to sit down and learn my accounting software—it never got implemented.
Where are we today?
With multiple revenue streams, a better informed customer base, a trend towards convenience, multiple forms of digital payments, more trust worthy software, better accessibility to data, reduced cost of entry, more available industry intelligence, increased competition, and a trend toward cultural relevancy in business, it is IMPERITIVE, the restaurant operators of today, use technology to run their businesses, and ultimate have them as integrated as possible.
This I why Dr. Food Cost has partnered and will continue to partner with leading tech companies that focus on the food service industry. While we have vetted these companies and will continue to vet more and more each month, we are in no way married to either of them. We will work with any company that is the best fit for your organization.