Why Data Ownership Should Be Key When It Comes to Tech in Foodservice

According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry 2019 report, “more than 8 in 10 restaurant operators agree that the use of technology in a restaurant provides a competitive advantage, and many are planning to ramp up their investments in technology in 2019.

This is great news for consumers but with so many choices in the technology sector, operators can be left feeling overwhelmed.

What’s important to remember is whichever tech advancement— whether it's their POS, online ordering, smartphone app, mobile payment, or loyalty program— operators decide to prioritize, it must make sense for their type of business and unique customer needs.

Watch the video above to learn how BurgerFi accurately figured out what tech advancements make sense for their business to get a proper ROI and how data ownership must be a priority in this day and age!

Produced and Researched by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writter & Producer


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3 Reasons Mystery Shopping Programs Will Boost Your Sales and Revenue

3 Reasons Mystery Shopping Programs Will Boost Your Sales and Revenue

Mystery shopping is still a very effective way to get an understanding of how your staff is interacting on a daily basis when you are not in the store. Trust me, when the “parents” are away, the “kids” are going to play and that’s happening in your restaurant.

What restaurant owners don’t always understand is how to track the ROI of a mystery shopping program, if outsourced to another company.

As you know, profits can be slim in this industry so we need to be able to track the ROI. So if you are choosing a company to do your mystery shopping, make sure they go deeper than just surface level issues. But I’ll get into that in another post.

Mystery shopping programs will benefit your restaurant in more ways than you can even imagine and one of those ways is boosting your sales and revenue.

“But how?”

I’m glad you asked!

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What You Can Learn From Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisee Incentives

What You Can Learn From Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisee Incentives

Finding the right investors for one's business can be an arduous task. Between meetings, presentations, and coming up with the best ways to market a concept– an operator can be left exhausted at the end of the day and sometimes to no avail.

One way to find investors to buy into your franchise is to start investing in your business yourself.

While there are many ways to help your business grow, like investing in your company culture, hiring the right kind of team, and improving the product quality of a business– when it comes to scaling, things can get tricky.

One effective way to get the attention of people with the big bucks is by creating attractive franchise incentives and limited-time offers that investors simply can’t resist.

A good example of this is currently being rolled out by Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip, which recently announced a “Buy 3 Get 2 deal,” along with 50 percent off franchise fee in 30 regional malls.

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Cost Control and Operator ROI with ENERGY STAR

The path to sustainability and energy saving doesn't mean you have to start running off the grid — it can be with a simple step in the right direction. In this episode of "Rock My Restaurant," join show hosts William Bender and Eric Norman as they sit down with Kirsten Hesla, product manager at ENERGY STAR, and Carly Burke, energy efficiency consultant at ICF International, to chat about how ENERGY STAR can take your brand to the next level.

The EPA's ENERGY STAR program is the largest, most successful voluntary energy conservation movement. Anyone familiar with the blue label knows to a certain extent that it means a product was stamped with efficiency approval, but what exactly does that entail?

Every year, ENERGY STAR products go through series of testing and are certified by third parties, signaling that those tools meet the highest standards in quality, performance, and efficiency — everything an operator should be looking for.

"So, that really means they're [operators] getting a high-efficient, high-quality product, and I think that operators who are looking to incorporate those types of products, or want to move to a more sustainable practice, or save money in general, these are the products that have been vetted through rigorous testing," Burke said.

ENERGY STAR also recognizes products through the Emerging Technology Award, which is an honor bestowed upon the best innovative technologies that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, all without sacrificing features or functionality. How can you find these products? On ENERGY STAR's commercial foodservice equipment page, operators can use a product finder tool that allows them to search for specific models or by category. There is even a rebate finder tool that allows buyers to find the best deals in their region.

The program aims to make the choice for sustainability and energy-saving easy. While some operators do not have the time or resources to research the best technology effectively, these ENERGY STAR tools take the guess work out through search engines and blue labels. But efficient products don't just save energy, they also save money.

As far as ROI, ENERGY STAR encourages the idea that they are two price tags associated with all equipment.

"One is the cost at the point of purchase. And second, and most importantly, is the cost of energy to run that product throughout its entire lifetime," Hesla said. "With ENERGY STAR, you know you're getting an efficient product, and your cost of energy over the course of [the] 10, 15 years you have that product, you're going to reap a lot of benefits as far as money."

Watch the full episode now!

Innovations from NRA Show 2016

At the NRA Show, the industry's biggest and most dynamic trade show and event, it is an endless sea of exhibitions, educational sessions, products, and new ideas across the 2.6-million-square-foot-space of Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. Needless to say, while every inch is filled with discoveries, it can get a little overwhelming.

In this episode of "Rock My Restaurant," show hosts William Bender and Eric Norman do the leg work for you. After walking the floor, they sit down and product review some of the best innovations they spotted at NRA Show 2016. Trying to figure out the latest software and technology to take your restaurant to the next level? Check out these finds and get ready to rock your restaurant.

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The Lineup

Noodoe: Noodoe could potentially be the next breakthrough in efficiency and speed of service. This device consists of a wristband, which servers wear, and a cube with different icons symbolizing different needs, such as a check or beverage refill, that the table of guests hold onto. These pieces of tech connect wirelessly to the cloud and effortlessly speeds up waiter-to-diner communications, and in the future, could lead to better communications to the back of house.

"I thought that [Noodoe] was pretty cool because it's fully customizable, too, so the owner or operator can put anything they want on there. So, depending on what side the little unit is sitting on, that's what translates to your wristband," Eric said.

Zenreach: Email capture and marketing is one of the most challenging aspects when it comes to improving your restaurant's client base. Through Zenreach, brands can build a database through their Wi-Fi. When guests log in by submitting their email addresses, Zenreach collects this information and brands can use these lists to drive sales in marketing, whether through sent reminders, customer loyalty programs, or other incentives.

HotSchedules: HotSchedules it a revolutionary, restaurant management platform. From talent recruiting, to a continuous training e-learning program, to flexible staff scheduling, to instant message communications, this software does a lot of hard work to make processes a lot easier. Not to mention other features such as inventory and asset management — what can't you accomplish with HotSchedules?

STUBBORN Soda: STUBBORN soda is a paragon of what craft beverage should be all about. Through its natural ingredients and unique flavors (Orange Hibiscus, Lemon Berry Açaí, or Pineapple Cream Soda, anyone?), guests will be thirsty for more.

"What this does is really allow an operator to be better, special, or different," Bill said. "They also have a wonderful dispenser for fast casual restaurants called a pumper."

TradingTable: Whether you are an operator, distributor, or supplier, it doesn't matter what side of the table you sit on — this digital, paperless ordering platform connects each party involved in the transaction. It is a seamless solution and is a total automation of a purchasing agent's duties. The system has algorithms set to help operators find the best prices for products, which they can then order through the platform.

Ovention: Ovention may look like a typical conveyor oven, but this high-capacity, high-speed oven has two shuttles, allowing chefs to cook different food items with similar cooking temperatures. Chicken strips cooking on one side (through closed cooking, which means no need for exhausts or hoods) can then switch over to cookies on the other. This maximizes versatility and speed.

Riage X3: Two words: massage chair. 

"You were able to fit that into your schedule?" Bill asked.

"Ahh, 20 minutes of pure heaven, man. I could hardly get out of the chair" Eric said.

Watch the full episode now!