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. AtkinsonNo time, so let’s wait.
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Orderscape Is Making Voice-Order Tech Ridiculously Simple for Restaurants

The restaurant industry has always been notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. But when it comes to voice-ordering tech, you can hardly blame them. As a concept, the idea of voice-enabling your menu — that is, making it possible to search for and order food from your restaurant via the likes of Google Assistant or Alexa — is unique and exciting. As a reality, however, restaurants have to develop and build out as another sales channel, voice is complex, expensive, and time-consuming — or in the words of Orderscape’s CEO, Michael Atkinson, “It’s overwhelming and God-awful.” more

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Ted CohnOrderscape Is Making Voice-Order Tech Ridiculously Simple for Restaurants
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Hello 2019

While 2018 was indeed, a heads-down year of learning and developing and evangelizing voice for hospitality and foodservice, I view 2018 as setting the table for a big dinner party coming in 2019.

Voice is here and it’s going to big beginning in 2019. According to Juniper Research estimates, voice assistants used to control smart homes will grow from 25 million today to 275 million in 2023.  Ok, there are all kinds of statistics and projections from smart industry insiders, analysts and researchers, but all them them suggest the future is about voice. My personal crystal ball says rapid consumer adoption is 12-18 months away, until voice shopping and voice search is a daily preferred activity over texting and certainly web browsing.

Our plans for 2019
We begin by closing out 2018 with a first of a kind public launch of Orderscape’s consumer restaurant portal that enables food-centric search on a mass scale. Voice search for food sucks and we are doing something about that. Our team, lead by Ted Cohn, is releasing Orderscape v.1 tonight, December 31st. Food search is a start, then food search plus web ordering via links, then finally, adding our commerce engine to enable food search, and commerce direct to the restaurant via the Orderscape platform. This is damn exciting, after a protracted R&D year.

For us, establishing and maintaining key pipe, gateway and menu partnerships enable us to scale rapidly and offer the consumer a superior user experience.

Written by Restaurant C-Suite Magazine

To share our insight and answer a few questions on where I think this is all going, Restaurant C-Suite interviewed me earlier this month. The interview can be viewed by clicking this link.

Happy new year!

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Michael L. AtkinsonHello 2019
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