MURTEC surprises and delights as I get a peek into the chain restaurant industry
I had the opportunity to attend one of the larger shows for the restaurant industry, MURTEC 2029 in Las Vegas. Over 500 executives from over 300 brands all across North America were here to take a look and share ideas about some of the latest technology in the restaurant industry. From how to better serve guests in-store to ways that restaurants can capitalize on takeout and delivery options like GrubHub and Uber eats, there was a ton of discussion to be had.
While it’s easy to concede that there is no replacement to providing the best customer service by being face-to-face, the industry is aware that customers are increasingly looking for ways to consume on their own terms.
From the outside looking in
It was great to look at this industry as a total consumer with an outside perspective on the way restaurant operations run. A lot of people, myself included, I’m sure take for granted everything that goes into a great dining experience. We complain when the Wi-Fi is slow, someone messes up our order, the food is cold, or some detail is off. But what we continuously look past is the amount of work that it takes to keep those establishments running, especially at scale and how much time and effort is put into creating the guest experience. It doesn’t always go perfect and I’m not saying that’s an excuse for screwing up my order, but it was definitely fascinating to see the things that are involved in the operational side of large and small chain restaurants.
“I’m not a tech expert, but I’m an avid tech consumer”
In a fantastic address, Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue, highlighted some common sense that was used to create new technologies in their organization.
They did not set out to create new technology policies, systems, or an operational backend, they set out to solve problems. Working from the top down and with an “outcome first” model, they were able to build into what their customers were requiring of them in order to stay loyal.