Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Does your restaurant need a Chief Technology Officer?

Guest Innovations RezkuTablet

Thirty years ago when software for business started to take off, restaurants were probably among the last businesses thought to have a need for it. Now restaurant technology is found everywhere, from the host stand to the kitchen, inventory to menu planning. With so much technology, gone are the days of simply hooking up the internet and having a friend or relative design a webpage. Now even small restaurants are seeing the need to hire or consult with technology experts. 

Many restaurants now recognize that not only will technology help them with internal streamlining and cost savings, but with a competitive edge as well. First it was software developed for the restaurant business owner, now there's a slew of guest facing apps designed for the diner. Between the two types, it is easy to have a half dozen or more software programs or apps used in your restaurant.

Paul Katsch, CEO at Guest Innovations (GI), works with restaurants as they install GI's software products. "When we launched Rezku, it was one of the first fully cloud-based solutions on the market.  While it brings added efficiency, and an improved bottom line.   Rezku, along with the growing list of vendors and suppliers going to the cloud - requires the restaurants to invest in a stable internet solution.  When we consult with new partner restaurants it’s one of the first things we address.  This internet dependency and the accelerated urgency to have it has been eye opening to many restaurateurs.  The truth is, the days of hiring a contractor to simply hook up a router and connect to an internet provider are long gone. IT professionals are a vital part of the executive and management staff now and will continue to grow in importance."

Restaurant groups and chains now employ Chief Technology Officers (CTO). A CTO will be knowledgeable about all aspects of technology including internet setup, program types, and hardware needs. More importantly, they will ensure consistency across all restaurant locations.

Small restaurants should consider contracting with a technology expert, someone who can be called at any time to handle a computer crash or debug software. You may have a tech savvy employee or manager, but they might not have the skill level to handle multiple types of software and hardware. Investing in a tech expert will save you when a crisis hits. 

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