Recently we at FoodRazor had the opportunity to be part of some meaningful conversations held during the Hospitality Unites event, a 2-day virtual summit dedicated to supporting the Australian hospitality industry, with a focus on restaurant tech. Being relatively new to the Australian market, this was a great way for us to learn more about the current situation of the industry and speak with experts in understanding the specific issues troubling the industry right now.
The main focus of this virtual summit was to bring to light how technology can be utilised to alleviate some of the recent challenges brought about by covid, with a focus on revenue loss and staffing. There was also an emphasis on the importance of diversifying the business model as a way to diversify risks; how technology can assist in facilitating business innovation; and the implications of technology on the various aspects of a restaurant’s operations. The general tone was one of (what I would call) sober optimism. The pandemic has been particularly brutal on the hospitality industry, and the hard-earned lessons give room for hope, provided we proceed with caution. Technology alone will not save the industry. Rather, it will facilitate its evolution.
Here are some takeaways that I picked up from the event:
Technology as a way to adapt
It's important to have the right technology(ies). It is equally important to make sure that the technologies are connected to each other to maximize operational efficiencies. For example, POS systems should talk to invoice management tools like FoodRazor and tools like ours should talk to the accounting system.
"If this is done right and the front of house is linked to the back of house, then the technology can run in the background and venues can focus on what they do best, the business of hospitality."
Better technologies will also be able to recommend specific courses of action. For example, with the right suite of tools, you should be able to automatically generate and send purchase orders to suppliers when ingredients are running low. This is one example of the power of data. When companies talk about empowering businesses with data, this is what this means. It saves a huge amount of time and frictions and if done right can also help restaurateurs make efficient decisions that will lead to lower costs.
This is the direction FoodRazor is moving towards: finding ways for restaurateurs to exploit their own data.