Overcoming Challenges for Emerging Restaurant Operators with Jeremy Julian and NRN

Jeremy Julian, our CRO and founder of Restaurant Technology Guys, provided insights in an article with Nation’s Restaurant News about why tech emerging is the biggest challenge emerging among operations. He highlights the misconception that everyone has technology figured out, stating, “There’s this perception that everybody has tech all figured out, and the truth is, most don’t.” He advises operators to look at their closest competitors and emphasizes that not every piece of technology that others have is necessary, saying, “You don’t have to have [every piece of technology] that everybody else has and you can still run a sustainable, viable business.”

In today’s competitive restaurant industry, emerging operators face the challenge of adopting and investing in digital technology to enhance guest experiences. While tech leadership was once dominated by large brands, the shifting consumer demand towards omnichannel convenience opens doors for smaller operators to leverage tech-driven solutions. However, cost remains a major concern hindering operators from embracing new technologies. In a recent survey conducted by Nation’s Restaurant News, 74% of operator respondents ranked cost as one of their top considerations when vetting or investing in technology.

Some of the articles highlights:

Understanding Your Brand Needs: One common misconception is that everyone has technology all figured out. However, Julian stresses that this is far from the truth. He advises operators to assess their closest competitors and avoid the assumption that they need every piece of technology that others have. Instead, he suggests confidently understanding both customer-facing and employee-facing operational needs to determine the essential technology solutions. Julian states, “You don’t have to have [every piece of technology] that everybody else has and you can still run a sustainable, viable business.”

Making Informed Decisions: To ensure tech efficiency, it is crucial to make informed decisions regarding technology investments. Julian encourages operators to thoroughly research and evaluate potential solutions. For example, when choosing a point-of-sale (POS) system, simply signing a contract with the most well-known provider may not be the best approach. Julian recommends asking tough questions, requesting prototypes, and assessing integrations with other vendors. By investing time and effort upfront, operators can create a better system that aligns with their specific operational requirements.

Avoiding Unnecessary Technology: While many emerging brands may consider building their own app, Julian advises against assuming it is a necessity for every operator. Assessing the customer base and use cases can help determine whether an app is truly essential. Instead, alternative options like white-label third-party solutions and robust mobile web experiences can provide user-friendly online ordering systems without the need for a dedicated app. The focus should be on meeting brand-specific needs rather than succumbing to trends or unnecessary features.

Finding the Right Tech Partners: Vendor selection plays a pivotal role in achieving tech efficiency. While larger POS vendors may seem like convenient one-stop shops, Julian advises against putting all your eggs in one basket. By diversifying technology partners, operators can maintain negotiating power and find solutions that best suit their needs. Julian emphasizes the average number of vendors used by consulted restaurants is around 15-20. Finding the right mix of partners allows operators to leverage specialized expertise and tailor their tech stack accordingly.

Long-Term Investments and Value: Considering long-term value is crucial when building a tech stack. Julian cautions against assuming that expensive technology is always better and highlights the importance of assessing how well a tech provider integrates with the existing stack. Operators should evaluate if the long-term investment justifies the upfront cost. By ensuring compatibility and scalability, operators can avoid outgrowing their technology stack as they scale their businesses.

For emerging restaurant operators, achieving tech efficiency is not about replicating the complex technology stacks of larger chains. By understanding their brand needs, making informed decisions, avoiding unnecessary technology, and selecting the right tech partners, operators can leverage digital solutions effectively. Jeremy Julian‘s insights shed light on the importance of assessing costs, researching options, and focusing on long-term value to achieve tech efficiency and enhance guest experiences. With strategic investments, emerging operators can compete in today’s tech-driven restaurant landscape and deliver exceptional dining experiences to their customers.

To read more about this – here is the full article on Nation’s Restaurant News – https://www.nrn.com/technology/why-tech-efficiency-biggest-challenge-emerging-restaurant-operators-today 


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