You’ve probably heard the term in dog shows, but what exactly is “best-in-breed” when it comes to the restaurant technology industry? Finding the best-in-breed and forming alliances with companies that fit this description is a valuable thing that can help progress your business, but a lot of people neglect to seek them out.
Companies that are best-in-breed have the connections, the know-how and the technology to help you improve your business, but how do you know which best-in-breed providers to associate with? How do you even know if they are the best? Today we are looking at all the information you need to make the right decision about how to shop around for these companies and how to decide if they are right for your business.
How to Identify Who the Best-in-Breed is For Your Needs
The most important thing is to first identify what your needs are. Any gadget you look into implementing should be something that enhances your brand and fills a need. From this point, you can begin your investigation. Contact your provider, your friends in the industry, become a member of the National Restaurant Association, watch some webinars and start to get familiar with what options are out there and how they are being used.
Another great way to find tech that would be helpful in your restaurant is to see what restaurants you admire. If you go to the Cheesecake factory and notice that they are using a neat pay-at-the-table option, contact your tech provider and see if they have something similar and how to implement. If not, do your research! Look up what companies have a pay-at-the-table tech at the Cheesecake Factory and see if you can get it in your restaurant.
What Questions to Ask
The first thing to do is do your research. If you see a machine made by Ziosk at a restaurant, Google it. Look up what the brand is, what they provide, do they have an open API, are there other brands that provide the same machine? Figure out what problem this machine is solving and if you are a smaller restaurant, find out if they scale down to your size if they don’t- chances are there is a similar brand out there that will.
What is an Open API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a way to communicate data between applications in an open way that is published. Some applications don’t have open API while others do. An example of this would be if you are signing in to say Expedia and you are given the option to log in with Facebook, these applications are able to share data and communicate with each other, and in the business world this is very helpful because it means you can have everything you need to know in one place and is a major indicator of being best-in-breed.
Who Should You be Talking to?
Almost every point of sale solution has an ingrown point of sale KDS solution, so you should look at what they have. However, one of the front-runners is a company called QSR automation. As far as capabilities, maturity and installation, no one rivals this company. It is by far the best-in-breed solution, of course, there are other cheaper options that are still good, but they are the best.
Enterprise Resources Planning Tools or ERPs have plenty of options out there to fit the size of your business. They handle most of a restaurants accounting needs. For a medium-sized business, Microsoft tools is ideal, for smaller operations Quickbooks or Peach Tree is all you need.
As far as feature functionality and maturity, scalability, and growth, the guys at Hot Schedules have got it going on. It is by far the best scheduling tool out there and offers the most features and flexibility. It may come at a higher price than you’d expect, but when it comes to labor, you don’t want to mess around. There are many minute labor laws out there and having a system that has the expertise to keep you and your employees safe is always worth it.
Paytronix are the guys to go to when it comes to setting up loyalty in your restaurant. You can go to them with any of your ideas and they will set you up with what you need. Level Up and Punch are fine too and are valid loyalty options that are more cost-effective, but if you are looking to step up your game and go deeper with your loyalty programs, no one can beat Paytronix.
More restaurants have been getting into online ordering and the market is pretty saturated with companies that offer this feature, however, the company that really has the market cornered is Olo. They have gotten to the point where they probably won’t deal with small restaurants, so Snap Finger or another company may be better for that, however, they are by far the best-in-breed for online ordering.
How do You Make Sure the Best-in-Breed is Still the Best?
The most important thing here is to stay informed. Go to restaurant shows, talk to people in the industry, read, listen to podcasts, watch webinars, whatever it is you need to do just make sure you are staying relevant. When you understand your brand, what your guests are looking for and what brands are out there, you can make an educated decision and choose the best best-in-breed tech for you.
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