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Technology Gap in the FoodService Industry

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By Ian Said

April 19, 2012

It is understandable that the concepts of “foodservice” and “technology” are not necessarily deemed as a likely fit, but the fact is, foodservice are more dependent on technology than most restaurateurs realize, and foodservice as a whole lags far behind when it comes to incorporating technological advances into their marketing and operations.

Stock Control POS When thinking technology in foodservice, there are the obvious items like state-of-the art stoves, ovens and microwaves, which will allow you to cook your food faster and more efficiently than older models, but then there are the not-so-obvious types of technology; such as computers and the software that is run on them as well as interactive digital signage or even an up to the minute website.

Obviously, the slim to modest gains that most restaurants see leave them little to no room for sophisticated gadgetry, but as the next generation of consumers (those who have been immersed in computers and computer technology since birth) come of age, they will be expecting something more sophisticated than the same old thing that has been around for generations.

Benefits of Technology

And yet, more importantly than the expectations of an upcoming generation would have to be the benefits that even the smallest restaurants would gain from 1) developing a web presence and 2) from installing (and taking advantage of) the latest in computer software aimed at inventory tracking and restaurant management.

Let’s look at these separately.

Comprehensive Website:

When it comes to establishing a web presence, it’s really quite simple, if your customers can’t find you, they can’t buy your food. With a whole new generation of consumers who never bother to open a Yellow Pages, it can mean the difference between life and death for a restaurant if they don’t opt to develop a solid web page that advertises their establishment and which is searchable not only from a desktop computer, but by mobile searches as well (a technique that you will most likely need a professional web developer to achieve). Remember to stay away from heavy “Flash” websites. Why? Because Adobe Flash, the much-heralded plugin providing music, animation, video and interactivity to websites isn’t supported by many mobile devices.

Computer Software

As for the computer software for restaurant management and inventory tracking, the benefits should be obvious. By streamlining your operations and by establishing an inventory tracking system that calculates even the smallest details, you can save yourself a significant amount of money and develop new methods and techniques of staff and resource management (as well as food preparation) that will enable you to increase your profits.

While more and more of the larger chain restaurants are making the jump to high-tech (both websites and software) many small establishments are being left behind, unsure of how to proceed, or unwilling to invest in something they have (before now) never needed. But even with the transition under way, the food industry as a whole lags far behind other businesses when it comes to technology.

Is your restaurant utilizing the many benefits of technology? Leave a comment below and let us know.

For more info on Ideal Software’s Inventory Management system follow the link IdealStockControl

Ian Said
Owner, IdealSoftware.co.za

Ian Said, entrepreneur and founder of Ideal Software, a software development company specializing in Inventory Control and POS software for restaurant / hospitality industries.

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Posted by Brian Carrick on 4/20/12 at 10:02 AM EST

For those who wish to be at the forefront of their industry rather than lagging behind and quite possibly falling onto the trash heap of foodservice history, technology is the key to any successful business endeavor. All one has to do is to watch the purveyors hook up their phone ordering device to transmit the order over the phone or to watch them go through the digital order book to know that one needs to keep abreast of the times. Great post, thank you, Chef Brian Carrick, 40+ years foodservice career, worked in California, Hawaii, and Washington State, ACF Member, publishes the online culinary journal, Elemental News of the Day.

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