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Partnership5 Things to Look for When Selecting A Restaurant Technology Partner

selecting a restaurant technology partner

Posted by SICOM | February 1, 2017

 

If someone asked you what you look for in a restaurant technology vendor, what would you say? If your answer begins with, “For which solution?,” you may not be fully realizing the value that the right technology partner can bring to your business.

Guiding your search for the ultimate technology provider begins with the recognition that the right vendor actually isn’t a vendor at all. In fact, the right restaurant technology provider performs far more like a partner, assisting you in achieving your business-critical objectives while meeting daily demands. There is a difference between a company that simply sells technology and one that is focused on enhancing your business and listening to your needs.

If you’re in the midst of the vendor search, make sure to look for the following five criteria.

 

1. Comprehensiveness & Integration

The ability to make real-time, data-driven decisions has become integral to a quick service or fast casual establishment’s competitive advantage. As a result, integration across your various technology solutions is more critical than ever.

While it is important that your point of sale, digital signage, kitchen management, speed of service and restaurant management solutions are all best-of-breed in their own right, it is equally important that these solutions seamlessly integrate with one another in a comprehensive technology footprint.

Establishing an integrated, end-to-end technology landscape is a prerequisite to unleashing the data you need to maximize efficiencies, shape strategy and drive sales. Selecting a single vendor that can deliver all of these technologies will reduce the burden of integrating with and managing multiple vendor relationships and infrastructures.

2. Specialized Focus & Longevity of Experience

The needs of the fast-paced quick service and fast casual restaurant are distinct from the needs of other restaurant and retail sectors. It makes sense that a technology provider’s segment focus shapes the functionality that it brings to market. As a result, it is critical to identify a technology partner that claims quick service and fast casual as its primary focus, and manifests this focus through purpose-built solutions.

In addition to specialty, look for longevity of experience. A partner that has seen the market through multiple paradigm shifts will know how to lead your business through monumental shifts in the future. Most importantly, look for a partner that has demonstrated its value through enduring relationships with global brands.

3. Problem Solving & Support

Equally important to solution functionality is solution support. Restaurant technology is only as valuable as its ability to be leveraged on the front lines. Seek a technology partner whose solutions are designed to solve the real problems franchisees and restaurant managers face. In addition, look for a partner that has committed to delivering responsive in-house support. Your technology infrastructure is too business-critical to rely on an outsourced or sub-par support organization.

More than focusing on delivering discrete solutions, your restaurant technology partner should be maniacally focused on the role that these solutions play, and the value they deliver, when leveraged in context.

4. Flexibility & Agility

In the crowded quick service and fast casual space, time is of the essence. With consumer expectations and competition at an all time high, leading brands are set apart by their ability to quickly adapt. That means you’ll need a technology partner that is comfortable moving fast, and is willing to flex in order to meet your specific demands.

Unfortunately, a partner set apart by its agility can be challenging to find. Many offer long implementation processes, with rigid and disintegrated product offerings. Restaurant technology should be a powerful business enabler, not a bottleneck.

5. Innovation & Vision

In the evolving quick service and fast casual landscape, one thing is certain: change. As technology continues to advance and industry realities continue to shift, the role of empowering technologies will also continue to evolve.

In order to keep ahead of the competition and ensure the longevity of your investments, you’ll want a partner with a clear vision for the future of restaurant technology. By partnering with a forward-thinking provider that is committed to innovation, you’ll ensure that the technologies you implement today will remain relevant tomorrow.

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