Paul Rubin, the VP of Brink Software here at ParTech, Inc.; was recently interviewed at the 2016 MURTEC conference as part of their executive Q&A series to share his thoughts regarding the future of the hospitality technology industry.
The 2016 Restaurant Technology Study identifies that a portion of the industry – about 1/3 – are innovators. Most are just keeping up. What capabilities do you see as critical to a restaurant’s ability to stay ahead of technology trends in 2016?
In order for a restaurant to stay ahead of technology trends in 2016, the critical capabilities are centralized data (Cloud data center as opposed to decentralized data), back office servers, open APIs, and a platform that supports/encourages multiple avenues of customer engagement such as:
- Customer Self ordering – online, mobile, instore (personal device and/or kiosk)
- Assisted ordering – instore counter, instore mobile, phone
- Digital menu boards
- Loyalty/Rewards throughout
- Utilizing retail hardened hardware and not succumbing to the attraction of consumer grade hardware.
During the Audience Choice Vendor Insight panel, there was a lot of discussion around the need for open APIs for system integration. An attendee asked how vendors can help each other overcome pushback to allow for this collaboration. What are your thoughts on this? Does your company support open standards?
We not only agree with this attendee’s question, but adopted this approach as a basis for our platform. A contemporary platform should support frictionless integration of today’s best-of-breed customer facing technologies and provide protection of investment for tomorrow’s technologies. Further, the platform should strive to provide a baseline functionality of customer engagement technologies to enable QSR and Fast Casual small to medium businesses that will be tomorrow’s Tier 1 brands.
Let’s talk about removing friction for customers — mobile apps, payment, CRM, engagement — your choice: how can restaurants reduce friction via the use of these or other digital tools? Who is doing it right? What is key to that success?
All customer facing components – ordering, loyalty, rewards – should be accessible everywhere. New customer acquisition should be accomplished in a single step and not re-direct guests to another portal for completion. Further, Brands should have the flexibility to choose which/when/how the components are implemented.
Where is your company focusing its R&D efforts on in 2016, and why?
In 2016, Brink is focusing its research and development efforts on Software – Scalability, Kitchen 2.0, and Digital 2.0, to ensure that our explosive growth is met with high availability and quality customer facing components.
PAR’s innovative, Brink POS software keeps customer data safe and secure in the cloud. Restaurants that deploy Brink can effectively integrate with online/mobile ordering and loyalty programs, along with faster software updates. It’s monthly payment, SaaS model means there are no long-term commitments!