Restaurant Technology Must-Haves: Free WiFi, Data Management

Foodable’s 2016 Restaurant Technology Guide is expected to release in just a couple short weeks. In the meantime, we’re talking to Jack Abraham, CEO of Zenreach, to discuss some of the most recent technologies in restaurants today. One such technology was created by Abraham.

“I’ve always been focused on how the internet is influencing the offline world and offline sales in particular. The vast majority of people are spending their time online, but 95 percent of the commerce in the United States is being done offline, and there are a lot of bridges that need to be built between those two worlds,” he said.

Abraham’s interest in offline data loops began with his first company, a local shopping engine called Milo, which he sold to eBay in 2010. Now focused on his new venture, Zenreach shows operators how many times individual customers actually return to their restaurant. Using a piece of hardware that allows operators to create a customizable log-in portal to offer free WiFi for their patrons, Jack aimed to grow owner’s knowledge of their customers using their online activity. When visitors log in to a location’s WiFi, they share an email address that can then be monitored during later visits to track restaurant visits.

Foodable Labs Data shows that Consumer-Facing Technology Adoption is up by 87 percent over 2015 while Restaurant Native Mobile Apps are down 31 percent. Abraham notes the reason for this gap is that sometimes consumers don’t want to download an another app to their phone.

“Even if you can convince them — even if you can put all the effort into trying to get them to do that — they’re probably going to delete it,” he said.

That’s part of why Abraham created Zenreach. He wanted to give restaurants the ability to gather data from their consumers while simultaneously avoiding the issues normally faced when providing free WiFi like security and management.

Find out how technology is changing and where it’s headed within the industry on this episode of On Foodable Weekly!