This may be the ideal time to sell technology solutions to restaurants. According to VSR’s sister publication Hospitality Technology’s (HT) fresh-off-the-press 2015 Restaurant Technology Study (RTS), restaurant IT budgets are on the rise, with nearly half of the restaurants surveyed expecting to spend more on tech in 2015 than in 2014. Moreover, the same restaurants are not planning to add internal technology staff as part of the plan, and a whopping 45% anticipate more spending on external IT resources.
Solution providers must be ready with innovative solutions that fit into those 2015 budgets, and sell and support the solutions most desirable right now to win the business. In March, the 2015 MURTEC (Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference) showcased emerging solutions, some of which were being piloted or rolled out for the first time to eagerly awaiting restaurant owners and operators looking to break away from traditional IT and embrace more personalized tools. As HT’s Restaurant Technology Study states, “Restaurants are focused on rolling out customer-centric tech. Technology leaders are shifting their focus from ‘keeping the lights on’ toward becoming a lightning-rod for customer engagement.” Results back up this sentiment, showing customer engagement / guest loyalty as major technology motivation in the minds of IT leaders, driving 53% of all projects, a close second to business efficiency.