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Feb, 05 2015

Technology spices up the restaurant business

Until few years ago there wasn’t a single restaurant that was using technology for targeting customers but now the list is long. Right from the international level brands to the lowcost start ups, every food brand is trying to delight the customers with

Get inside a restaurant, take your seat and without waiting for someone to come and take the order, pick a tab and order your favourite food within seconds. This is what food loving customers of today want. However, few feel that the welcome of technology in the Indian restaurants is reducing the personal interaction with the patrons. Whatever it may be, the use of technology has drastically increased in the past couple of years and the f&b Industry is geared up to serve top most technology with top food to the customers. TFW gives you a bite of the delicious tech offerings incorporated by the restaurant industry!

Be it the use of aerial drone technology to deliver pizza, tap and pay technology or numerous mobile apps used in the Indian restaurants, the tech culture is re defining the restaurant traditions.  The Indian food industry stood at around Rs 247,680 crore (US$ 39.03 billion) in 2013 and is expected to grow at a rate of 11 per cent to touch Rs 408,040 crore (US$ 64.31 billion) by 2018. The sudden increased use of technology may help lower overhead costs to the restaurants but still there are many food places that prefer to deal directly with their consumers instead of meshing them in between heavy gadgets.

Bite size getting bigger

= Last year in June, US based restaurant, Chili's Grill & Bar had the largest rollout of tabletop tablets in the U.S. which included the installation of more than 45,000 tablets across 823 Chili's restaurants.

= Ice-cream brand, Baskin Robbins had also selected Mobivity Holdings Corp's SmartReceipt technology internationally to deliver targeted offers and promotions to its customers, printed on their purchase receipts. SmartReceipt reads purchase data in real-time when generating a printed receipt. This enabled Baskin-Robbins to ensure that coupons and offers are relevant and personalised given what the consumer actually purchased, rather than generic non-targeted offers.

= Indian at heart brand, Pind Balluchi by JS Hospitality, has 30+ outlets in India and even has foothold in Singapore.  The brand has a control system called 'Shawman' that is a software which is a point of sale and material management system which helps to control the costs and wastage.

= Internationally recognised, Pita Pit entered India in 2013 and has adopted new and faster technology at its outlets. An ERP solution is used by the brand to collect, manage and interpret data from many business activities including product planning, cost, service delivery, marketing and sales, inventory management and payroll management.

= American fast food restaurant chain, Carl's Jr is set to open its outlet this year in India. The brand is in talks to have an app which is similar to one they use internationally. The brand uses 'the new revamped Super Star® Rewards, formerly known as Happy Star Rewards. Super Star® Rewards features a streamlined check-in process that allows you to check-in to any Carl's Jr. or Hardee's across the country. Each check-in earns you points that you can redeem on the spot for Carl's Jr./ Hardee's products or you can save your points for a high value Carl's Jr./Hardee's reward. It also offers menu optimisation, store locator and point and rewards system.

Embracing technology

Pita Pit has been successfully franchising globally since 1997 and it is through the route of franchising that the company has now more than 500 stores worldwide. Mentor Hospitality got the master franchise rights for Pita Pit to North East India. The first outlet was opened in November 2013 in DLF Cyber Hub and now there are three outlets in NCR with one in Select City Walk Mall and their flagship store in GK1. Anun Dhawan, Director, Pita Pit India says: “The ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system helps us manage our inventory in a more efficient and cost effective manner. This ensures the quality and freshness of ingredients used in the making the finished product, at the same time reducing the wastages that occur. Especially in the case of QSRs, technology enables you to effectively manage multiple outlets across different geographical regions.”

A Gurgaon-based Spanish restaurant, Pintxo-Tapas uses technologically upgraded gadgets in its cooking techniques. Restaurant Gadget 'Sous Vide' helps the brand to cook food in the water that enhances the flavour of the dish. The brand will soon install tablets table-side, so that customers can check the dishes in the digital menu, can order, pay via their tab, and play games while waiting for their food. Rajiv Tanwar, Managing Director, Pintxo expects a growth of 20 per cent in the business after introducing the tablets.

Food portals, playing a major role

Online food portal, TastyKhana.in has introduced the 'Express Box' which will facilitate the restaurant owners to receive orders in real time. Restaurants need to just click a button and the order print out comes in the form of KOT (kitchen order ticket) - a standard ordering format which the restaurants want. Further, they can also choose the delivery time based on their existing order load and customer gets an instant delivery communication regarding his order. This would especially help the portal during their offer/peak days as order processing would be simplified leading to better ordering and delivery experience. TastyKhana has a tie up with 9000+ restaurants in India.

Challenges

= JS Chadha, Chairman, Pind Balluchi opines: “Cost is a challenging point and then maintaining these technologies is another. One needs a team of professionals and trained manpower that can operate on the technological gizmos. After the technological advancements in Pind Balluchi, our efficiency and optimisation has gone up. The footfall at the restaurant has increased by 30-35 per cent. Pind Balluchi is planning to open 20 more outlets by the end of 2015. It is even looking forward to reach out to foreign locations like the Middle East.”

= Pita Pit is in the process of building its online ordering system and mobile app. As per the brand, constantly innovating can be a bit challenging along with the other challenge of implementation where considerable amount of effort is required towards training with high attrition rate as constant challenge.

= Samir Chopra, Group Chairman & Founder, Cybiz Corp that will operate Carl's Jr in India comments: “Restaurants are now a day's very technologically advanced with tablets replacing menus, apps for check in into the restaurants, pre ordering facilities available and online ordering facilities. Sometimes the advancement is not consumer friendly. As the advancement increases the complication of using it also increases.”

Sokrati

Sokrati, India’s one of the leading ad technology and analytics company founded in 2009 believes that the Indian restaurateurs are left baffled with the complexity of advertising and promoting their businesses. Santosh, Gannavarapu, Co- Founder & CTO, Sokrati says, “We make sure that the enterprises' phone rings and their footfalls increase. This enables restaurants to stay ahead of the race in the competitive market and create a niche for themselves.”

Swastik Infotech Services

Swastik Infotech Services is in the industry since 2008 and has been constantly developing solutions for restaurant industry. The brand has clients like Tandoori Nights, India, Café Amri-Sacramento, USA, CFJ Chinese Fine Cuisine – Elk Grove, USA etc. Alok Kumar Tibrewal, CEO, Swastik Infotech Services says, “Whether it is small restaurant or big, all want ease of use. Things like, getting reviews and feedback to increase their customer database excites restaurants and with tablet and mobile solutions it is very easy and handy.”

 

 

 

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