No time, so let’s wait.

I hear this a lot from operators when they are evaluating technology for their restaurants…they say “I don’t have the time, so let’s wait for when the time is right and we are passed all the other initiatives we are implementing right now, and then we will consider something new”. This reminds of when people say they are considering a making a stock purchase when the market is in flux…it’s akin to saying “I’ll jump in the market when the market settles down”. Right, sure you will. The market never settles down and the time is never perfectly right to do anything. You just do it. Or don’t do it. This applies to almost everything – diets, exercise, buying or selling stocks, bonds, real estate, and for corporate decisions on really, anything. I get it. While it is indeed another sales objection to overcome, it is a hard one.

It seems there are a lot of restaurant operators evaluating or replacing their point of sales equipment right now and also trying to integrate and centralize all their systems. Good idea. They are also looking to hire forward-thinking restaurant technology experts as CIO’s (Chief Innovation Officer), to help with a “tech-stack” refresh and manage their digital marketing and multiple online sales channels – generally, handle innovation and drive automation with an eye toward sales, cost reduction and better customer engagement and insights. All good to have and it is great to see this finally happing in the foodservice industry. But I am concerned with over-reaching capability and trying to do too much all at once. One brand I know is replacing their POS, digital ordering provider, delivery partner, rewards and loyalty provider, while trying to integrate all systems at once. That is one way to go. Perhaps this is a little aggressive. But, we’re waiting…in line…to bring voice capability when everything is just right.

The time is prefect now

I know of anther restaurant brand waiting until they decide what to do about their delivery strategy before making a decision on whether to have us voice-enable their menus for voice search and restaurant discovery. Deciding on whether to hire 200 drivers or keep a third-party partner is a big strategic and economic decision that could take quite a long time. Meanwhile consumers will be unable to find their menu or learn about the restaurant when using Alexa or Google Assistant.

So here’s my point. Knowing this is a real objection, restaurant technology vendors must become good listeners and also be patient. They should also present a viable solution that addresses the brands concerns about timing, budget and roadmap by operating in the background as much as possible, or independently collaborating with other vendors to coordinate implementing multiple solutions with the least about of interruption.

For example, Orderscape needs about 1 minute of the operators’ time to start our process of voice-enabling menus for search and commerce. We need just one minute. We have spent considerable minutes developing a business model that frankly doesn’t really require any investment in time by the operator once they say yes. So, our goal is to make even the process of getting to a yes quick and painless and then execute in the background without requiring any commitment in time. So, how about free?

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Michael L. Atkinson

CEO & Founder, Orderscape. Restaurant operator, technology visionary, investor, restaurant technology advisor and corporate development executive.

Michael L. AtkinsonNo time, so let’s wait.

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