Date17 March 2020
Restaurant chains that can quickly upgrade to new and useful technologies are at a huge competitive advantage. Unfortunately, most restaurants use outdated IT infrastructure, which makes incremental improvement difficult.
The tactic used by many restaurants is to overhaul the whole IT system periodically -- for many restaurants, this is every five years or more.
A key problem is marshalling data; operators in the restaurant industry face a mammoth task. Customer bookings, enquiries and other interactions pour in from across numerous channels, creating a mass of valuable data on customer behaviour.
If each channel stores this information separately, data becomes siloed. Subsequently, when a restaurant integrates new technology, it needs to function across several disparate channels -- a difficult technical process that means many restaurants continually defer rolling out new technology.
Pizza Express: One Connection -- One Switch
Pizza Express decided to roll out a new booking system that would allow them to see all bookings in one place and communicate with customers more effectively.
They were taking bookings from many different channels, and it was a challenge for the restaurant teams to stay on top of bookings. This led to overbookings, wasted time and annoyed customers -- multiplied by over 600 restaurants this was costing the business millions every year.
Pizza Express found a new booking system they wanted to trial -- which was when the integration problems emerged. They were faced with a poor choice:
Continue using their existing dysfunctional system or take on an integration project that would require massive development resource.
The Pain of Changing Booking System Provider
Changing booking systems has historically been a risky, expensive and time-consuming process. The challenges include:
New booking systems need to be integrated separately with several different apps and websites.
Upgrade costs escalate, and IT teams are drawn away from other important projects.
Worst of all, there is no guarantee that the new system will even be right for a business. Issues will only become apparent once the booking system has been set up and activated -- all that time and resource has been spent, only to create a different set of problems.
What is required is the ability to trial the new system in a few restaurants to identify and fix potential problems and make an informed decision on whether the system is right for the business.
So, for example, you could set up ten restaurants to use a new booking system and use the data analysis to quickly and easily build a detailed picture of how effective the new system is for customers.
The Event-Stream Model
Event-Stream sits between your booking system and customer channels, meaning that when it comes to changing the booking system, only one integration has to be implemented --- providing a low-risk way to test out new systems while allowing your legacy system to operate as usual.
This has a few key benefits:
One-time configuration; only a single connection needs to be set up each time you want to change your booking system. It's simple, easy and cheap to integrate the new booking system with Event-Stream.
Event-Stream can handle multiple booking systems simultaneously and point them towards different channels. This enables you to test out new systems without needing to roll the dice on a new system across your whole estate.
Gain the Technological Advantage
Today, our world is dominated by technology and driven by data. Customers expect a seamless experience when engaging with your business -- from the first contact, through to booking and follow-up marketing.
Using Event-Stream allows you to integrate new technology into your business. Taking advantage of new technology suddenly will be something to look forward to rather than dread. It saves you time, resource and gives you a competitive advantage over your competition.