The restaurant technology ecosystem, otherwise known as the restaurant technology stack, is an ever-growing landscape.
Ten years ago, that stack traditionally consisted of the Point of Sale Software, a back-office solution (BOS) and maybe a labor scheduling tool. This stack was typically seen in the most sophisticated brands, where many others simply had the POS Software and the rest of the business was managed through Excel. Today, that once sophisticated stack is not only commonplace, but considered only table stakes. Today, a restaurant brand’s technology stack will not only consist of the aforementioned tools, but also includes Loyalty, Online Ordering, Third Party Delivery, CRM, Kiosks and more…and all integrated. Additionally, systems that were necessary for running the business, but not traditionally considered part of the restaurant stack, such as Accounting & Payroll, along with Acquiring Talent Systems (ATS) are all being integrated into the restaurant technology stack.
All of these separate technologies serve their own purpose in the industry focusing on either increasing sales, reducing labor, improving efficiencies, etc. By themselves, many could survive as non-integrated solutions. However, as the years have passed and society becoming ever more dependent on technology, the desire to integrate a solution with a central data hub, such as the POS has accelerated with no current sign of slowing down.
Today, it’s not uncommon to hire someone in your ATS or Payroll solution and push that employee record to your POS and BOS. Or have an Online Ordering, Catering and/or 3rd Party Delivery solution inject their orders directly into the POS and kitchen system to eliminate the need to re-key orders and increase order accuracy. Additionally, with data analytics ruling the strategic decisions of most businesses today, it’s not uncommon to push sales, labor and customer data into powerful analytics tools allowing business owners to forecast their business needs with a degree of accuracy like never seen before.