This integration is one small example of a larger trend: restaurant technology companies working to integrate seamlessly to provide the best solution for restaurateurs in a sea of options.
— Kristen Hawley
Last December, guest management software company SevenRooms announced an $8 million round of funding earmarked, in part, to “ build new partnerships and integrations that will drive real impact to our clients’ bottom line,” according to SevenRooms CEO, Joel Montaniel.
The company is making good on that promise, today announcing an integration with the Toast point-of-sale (POS) system, debuting at nine restaurants in Seattle’s Ethan Stowell Restaurants group.
In the fragmented world of restaurant technology, integrations like this one aim to streamline the technical systems that run a restaurant. In this case, attaching a customer’s spend and order histories to information about food preferences, birthdays, and other personal details in an effort to paint a clear picture of the diner.
“We are always searching for cutting-edge technologies for our business, and are happy have partners that not only work together, but proactively solve the problems we’re thinking about — or haven’t thought about yet,” said Ethan Stowell Restaurants director of operations, Michael Pagana. “For the first time, we’re able to understand order and visit history, and use that data to proactively personalize service for our guests. We’re using these insights to improve service across our entire organization, from understanding the allergies someone has in their party, to having two glasses of champagne waiting on a table for an anniversary”
When a restaurant knows more about guests they can tailor service accordingly. “From a sommelier being able to more proactively recommend wine selections to a guest, to a server being able to suggest new dishes based on previous order history, our platform helps make exceptional experiences possible through data,” said SevenRooms head of product and co-founder Allison Page.
It’s true, the right mix of data does make exceptional experiences possible. It also makes money. Restaurants can also use this data to proactively market directly to guests, targeting specific preferences. Because SevenRooms works across restaurants within a group, all associated restaurants can share the data.
“Our open platform enables us to deliver on this promise by integrating value-add technology partners like Toast, which help restaurateurs personalize service and marketing,” said Montaniel in a statement.
According to Toast’s recent Restaurant Technology in 2017 report, 78 percent of restaurants have either recently upgraded or plan to upgrade their restaurant technology within the year. This speaks to restaurants’ desire to have the most up-to-date, efficient, and effective software. At the same time, restaurants are often working with disparate systems that, in some cases, don’t work with each other.
There’s no shortage of options for restaurant technology, and plenty of these companies offer APIs or integrate with each other in some form. SevenRooms works with over 30 POS systems “including may of the large legacy players,” according to Page. The Toast POS system integrates with a long list of technology partners, from inventory management to mobile payments to online ordering and more.
Still, these sorts of partnerships are indicative of the industry’s trajectory toward streamlined, customizable products that work together in the background.