Restaurant Tech Headlines of 2015
Even the most restaurant-tech obsessed [points finger at self] get a little burned out by the incessant headlines, predictions, complaints, and the like that show up at year’s end. In an effort to take a step back and giggle at some of the ridiculousness, here’s the Chefs+Tech Official Exclusive List of 2015 Headline Predictions.
I’m particularly excited about the “surge pricing” at Chilis, natch.
Bad Practice: Another Restaurant Shames Customers on FB
Will we never learn that posting bad things about other people on the internet is a bad, bad idea? yet again, a restaurant (this time in the UK) posted a photo of a family that skipped out on the check. Completely possible that they forgot to pay; completely possible that they flaked on purpose, but until the restaurant knows the reason, maybe don’t put their image on Facebook?
As we’ve seen a ton of times, anonymity on the internet can lead people to write and post things they would never think of saying to a person’s face. (For its part, the restaurant deleted the image, but not until 600 people posted comments.) As GrubStreet points out, there’s been too much of this kind of thing on both sides. Admittedly, customer complaints and critiques on the internet happen more often than the other way around, but these nasty posts keep making headlines. Let’s consider this a teachable moment and stop and think before posting. If you can’t say anything nice (or constructive or at least not damaging), keep it offline.
OpenTable’s Open for Business Blog
To read this year: a new blog from OpenTable aimed at restaurant owners. Open for Business “is dedicated to exploring how to open and run a restaurant as a business” and launched with some advice from Ruth Reichl. Early content includes tips from successful restaurateurs and the requisite predictions for 2015.
I like this a lot. It encourages transparency and open conversations, and is a great resource guide — even if you’re not looking to open a restaurant of your own in 2015.
The Real 2015 Predictions
What’s actually to come this year? From Nation’s Restaurant News, a prediction that we’ll see “a much more substantial integration of the technology into the typical restaurant operation.” Meaning: there will be more technology in more parts of restaurant operations, and that technology will be more accessible (and cheaper) than ever before. The piece also specifically mentions upgrades to POS systems and dynamic pricing, which is an interesting concept should it come to fast-casual restaurants. (Would you pay more for your burger at 8pmthan you would at 5?)
The Financial Times predicts a few similar things: the new trend of paying for a reservation will become more popular, as venture capital firms inject money into companies like reservations start-up Resy and restaurant ticketing system Tock.
At any rate (and I’m serious this time), I do expect these companies to grow in 2015. They’re already popular with a small user base in the tech-savvy cities they serve; as more people — customers and operators — are introduced to the service, use will certainly increase.
DEPT. OF OBVIOUS
Twitter: a Boon to Food Trucks
This is an old concept, but now these “findings” have become official with the release of an actual study that proves Basically: since Twitter allows mobile food trucks to broadcast their exact locations in real-time, it solves a significant problem, creating a new, sustainable business model.
This is, I believe, one of the original great use cases of Twitter’s infancy, and I love talking about it — now with “proof.”