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© 2019 Yumpingo Ltd

Past, Present, Future series: Restaurants & Tech

July 31, 2019

 Yumpingo gives restaurant teams accurate, trustworthy insights that improve food and service so more guests leave happier and return more often. With more than half of all tables completing a 1-minute review after their meal, you can stop guessing what your customers think and start knowing instead. Find out more at www.yumpingo.com.

 

 

Past, Present, Future series: Restaurants & Tech

 

 

We talk to Yumpingo's CTO George Wetz on restaurant tech: what's had its hey-day, what's hot right now and what is prime for innovation in the future...

 

 

What is your role at Yumpingo?

 

As CTO I head up everything to do with developing our products and services covering design, product development and software engineering - so it’s certainly a diverse role. Right now we’re really focused on trying to make our data really simple to interact with - from diners generating the data (by leaving a review) to restaurants understanding and actioning it (through our insights dashboard). 

 

 

In the world of restaurant tech, what do you think is stuck in the past? 

 

Having bad WiFi! 

 

Restaurant operations are increasingly intersecting with web-based technologies these days - think of new cloud POS systems for tills, wireless terminals for card payments, KDS systems for kitchen ticketing, sound systems for the music, reservations and seating software, online training modules. None of these processes used to need wifi at all; now lots of them rely upon it. So these business-critical tools can be operating on the back of a connection that may have originally been installed to simply cater for a few customers connecting now and then to check their Instagram feed. 

 

Sometimes the problems leading to dodgy connections can take some investment to solve but I really think it’s a worthwhile endeavour because WiFi dropping during a busy service can be really disruptive. Plus the strain on your WiFi networks is only going to get heavier as systems continue to migrate to being cloud-based so it’s a case of future-proofing. In the way you need a decent kitchen to cook your restaurant’s food, you need reliable WiFi to keep your systems running. 

 

 

And what restaurant tech do you think is rocking it right now?

 

Omnivore (a data connectivity platform) are really opening doors for restaurants to work with more of the excellent third-party software and services being developed in tech, without repeated time-consuming individual integrations. They basically translate a POS provider's sales data into something that companies like Yumpingo can connect to, which is a key piece of the ‘data unification’ puzzle. 

 

And on a rather different side of ‘restaurant tech’, I recently tried an Impossible Burger when visiting a restaurant conference in the States and it totally tastes like a beef burger! I found it almost indistinguishable from the real deal. The research and innovation that has taken is remarkable - there’s an interesting Freakonomics podcast with the Impossible founder if you’re compelled.   

 

 

What about the future - where do you think restaurant tech is heading that excites you?

 

I’m really interested to see where we head with the way restaurants interact with diners via their own smartphones. The opportunities are almost endless but I’m really interested to see what sticks with consumers. What can be woven into the guest experience in an organic way? People are already using their phones to get directions, make a booking, post a food pic on Instagram, maybe leave an online review, so how can restaurant tech innovators leverage and slot into that existing journey in a way that feels natural and right, that forges a better connection with guests? What will resonate and be sticky from a user perspective? 

 

There are a lot of tech prospects dancing around mobile interactions in the dining process: loyalty of course, plus order at table, digital menus, tipping. We are working on a pay-at-table solution at the moment which we are really excited about and feels an organic fit with our existing diner feedback product, as our focus so far has been on that ‘end-of-meal’ section of the diner journey. Watch this space!  

 

 

Anything you're pleased is making a surprising comeback?

 

QR codes.   

 

Since consumers started using them a few years back, adoption has really stepped up in the past couple of years. The key to unlocking their wider potential has been Apple and Android building in a QR code reader into their device cameras by default.

 

Their use now is to allow users to reach a potentially complex digital ‘destination’ with minimal typing or clicking - so you can send a user to a unique or even personalised web-page or area of an app without them typing a long URL or entry code for example, just hovering their camera over the QR code. It reduces the friction for guests to immediately digitally engage with you, from their own device, which opens up loads of possibilities.

 

 

And lastly, the same quickfire questions for outside work…

 

Had its hey-day: Single use plastics. Lots of food outlets have already found alternatives, but there's still so much further to go.


Rocking it right now: Hamilton, the West End show! Words can’t describe. Just go and see it. (Lewis Hamilton is not doing too bad either.)


Ripe for the future: English sparkling wine. One small silver lining of the impact global warming is having on Kent...


Making a comeback: Cricket. Hoping the world cup win and now the Ashes is going to re-energise our love of the game.

 

 

George Wetz, Yumpingo CTO

 

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Yumpingo gives restaurant teams accurate, trustworthy insights that improve food and service so more guests leave happier and return more often. With more than half of all tables completing a 1-minute review after their meal, you can stop guessing what your customers think and start knowing instead. Find out more at www.yumpingo.com.

 

 

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