Our team recently attended the National Restaurant Show, one of the year’s largest gatherings of professionals in the food industry. Exhibitors ranged from major hotels and food chains to technology partners, deployment experts, and supply chain management groups. As part of our continuing commitment to be a leader in our own space, it was only natural for Worldlink to send a contingent over to the conference to learn from, network with, and provide solutions for potential partners also in attendance.
Now that our team has had time to settle down and look back at what they saw from the show, we have been able to boil everything down to two key industry trends: Simple POS and Technology Innovation.
No longer are the days of giant, strung out POS systems acceptable in today’s economic environment. Companies are now pivoting towards providing a seamless integration of their POS systems into the customer experience. Whether it’s simplifying the buying process by taking the checkout away from the typical desk at the front of the store or finding ways to integrate customer relationship management into an everyday purchase, technology has been focusing on Simple POS efforts more than ever in 2019. Our team was especially impressed by these two offerings:
- Revel has created software that allows businesses to run credit cards and process the payment, even when offline. This could be a game-changer as more businesses are focusing on becoming lean and nimble in their efforts to attract more customers. With Revel’s solution in place, businesses that were previously constrained by their WiFi signal will now be able to open pop-ups and temporary new locations at a moment’s notice.
- Lavu, one of our valued partners, is also making a name for itself in the Simple POS space. They’ve created a point of sales system that helps businesses increase revenues at checkout. Their new program allows customers to order quicker, businesses to sell faster, and companies to train employees easier, all from the convenience of an iPad. Visitors will no longer be limited to only using a checkout line, as associates can now bring the checkout to them instead.
We are seeing technology partners raising the bar in 2019. Innovations which may have seemed far fetched just five years ago are now showing promise to take the industry by storm. The trend here is towards adopting new technologies that improve the customer experience in the restaurant space by making the buying process as quick and painless as possible. When it comes to this brave new world, two companies from the conference came to mind in particular:
- eatsa has made its mark in the food ordering space with its convenient kiosk offerings. Their restaurant operating system is built with the digital era in mind and cuts out much of the overhead that organizations can typically expect when running such a business. After ordering on a tablet, customers are free to walk around while they wait for their food to be prepared. After which, they receive a notification on their phones to move on to one of the service units built into the venue’s wall. Once the buyer activates the unit, it opens up and gives them their order. Those who have already adopted this innovation say it has led to 30% labor savings and a much smoother buying experience overall.
- LSI Industries spoke with our team about the innovations they’ve seen in menu board signage, both outside and inside the restaurant. We’ve seen the growth of AI throughout the restaurant industry, so naturally, the next step is finding a way to link all the technology solutions together. LSI’s SmartVision™ solution could be just that. Their technology helps companies operate their businesses more efficiently, while also providing a way to engage with their customers, all within the same platform. In an environment where customer experience is paramount, LSI has honed in on how to deliver the right message at the right time from the time they enter the restaurant to when they leave and are offered a PROMO on their next visit.
Our team had a great time seeing what the National Restaurant Show has to offer, and is excited to partner with organizations on implementing some of the new technologies we mentioned in this article. If your business is interested in taking its IT infrastructure to the next level, we encourage you to schedule a meeting with our team using the Calendly plug-in on the upper right corner of this page. We’ll reach out to discuss your unique technology goals so that we can begin crafting a solution that best fits your needs. If you’d like to read more of our thoughts on technology trends for brick and mortar locations, check out our blog here.