How is tech changing the restaurant industry?

Technology in the restaurant industry continues to demonstrate that restaurant operators and customers have options and alternatives for crafting the dining experience. Convenient, efficient service that generates more profit isn't an esoteric concept for an operator. They have so many ways to reach and serve their customers efficiently. Customers know this too — if a restaurant isn't catering to their specific needs, like online ordering or delivery, they'll find one that is.

What do you see in the future for restaurants?

Generally, I see a move toward "smarter" restaurants as a whole. With so many powerful restaurant technologies available, operators need to make sure that each one integrates with the others. These integrations are what's going to enable restaurants to offer the best service to their guests and create more revenue streams like off-premise dining and delivery.

What is one of the biggest challenges for restaurant owners?

A big challenge right now is choosing the right technology. There's plenty of solutions available to restaurant owners that all claim to make their jobs easier. Knowing which ones have the features they need can be overwhelming. Furthermore, operators don't want to invest in a new restaurant technology system that they'll be ditching a year or two down the road. Finding that "protected" investment, one that's going to grow with them and their operation, can be a challenge. 

How is a spike in off-premise orders (takeout and delivery) impacting restaurants?

I think it's causing a lot of restaurants to consider technology that they wouldn't have in the past. It's a whole new way to invigorate interest in their products and serve more guests. Off-premise dining isn't likely to die off any time soon. If your restaurant doesn't offer an off-premise option, guests will find one that does. All restaurants need to embrace that reality if they want to succeed.