Sif Rai, COO of QikServe, provides insight into building a unified restaurant team for successful tech adoption.
From self-ordering kiosks to order and pay-at-table systems, technology has become a vital ingredient in delivering exceptional customer experiences and operational efficiency in the hospitality industry. However, achieving a successful tech rollout requires more than just selecting the right tools; it demands collaboration and buy-in from all corners of the business.
In this article, I’ll share some elements of the secret sauce for a successful tech rollout in the restaurant industry, with some specific methods that restaurant group IT departments can use to get the wider organisation on board.
Early Involvement and Collaboration
Create cross-functional teams that include members from IT, operations, and marketing right from the planning stages. This ensures that all stakeholders are aligned from the outset.
Hold regular meetings where IT, operations, and marketing teams can discuss the progress of digital initiatives, share insights, and provide feedback. Collaboration fosters a sense of ownership and engagement.
Clearly communicate the vision and goals of the digital rollout. Help operations and marketing teams understand how technology adoption aligns with the restaurant’s overall strategy and benefits both employees and customers.
QikServe’s customers regularly report a 30% increase in average order value when an order and pay at table system is rolled-out – what’s not to love about that?
Highlight the specific benefits and advantages that digital tools bring to operations (eg. being able to turn tables faster and empowering staff to focus on customer service rather than taking payments) and marketing (who can benefit from the expansion of loyalty programmes). Explain how these tools can make their jobs easier, more efficient, and effective.
Training, Support and Employee Advocacy Programmes
Ensure teams are well-versed in using the new tools and understand how to leverage them for their respective roles.
Train selected employees to become digital advocates within their respective teams. These advocates can champion the adoption of technology and help their colleagues embrace the change.
Provide ongoing technical support to address any issues or questions that may arise during the adoption and implementation phases.
Start with small-scale pilot programmes that involve operations and marketing teams. Allow them to experience the benefits of the technology in a controlled environment before a full rollout and encourage teams to provide feedback during these pilots, using their insights to fine-tune the technology and implementation strategies.
Set clear, measurable goals for rollouts and regularly share progress reports with every team. Transparency about the impact of technology can motivate teams to stay engaged, as tech rollouts can fall short when there isn’t enough focus on driving the adoption of tech. IT delivering technology to operations then considering their job done, results in a lack of brand alignment, so being clear on goals from the outset – whether that’s revenue generation, increased covers or a higher proportion of guests opting to pay at table – will ensure that you are aligned across departments and working together to achieve success.
By implementing these methods, restaurant IT departments can foster a culture of collaboration and enthusiasm around digital initiatives. When every team sees the benefits of technology adoption and have a voice in the process, they are more likely to become advocates for these innovations, ultimately contributing to the success of digital rollouts.