For many years, the restaurant industry was slow (or at least slower than other industries) to truly embrace technology. This is a people business, and the old guard was worried that technology would interfere with the guest experience.
That worry is now in our rearview mirror. Major trends that were gaining speed before the pandemic took off like a rocket during it. And we learned something funny along the way, something that more forward-looking operators had realized already—technology (deployed properly) can enhance the guest experience. That change in thought is evident here at the biggest FSTEC ever.
As time goes on, it seems more obvious that the operators who have most effectively deployed tech are thinking about its future unconventionally, borrowing ideas from other places or stepping outside the usual parameters of our industry.
Indeed, that is one of the themes that has emerged within our program. It will begin with a thought-provoking presentation from Rohit Bhargava on how to lead the future of restaurants with nonobvious thinking. It will end with a group of CIOs who all cut their teeth in other industries before leading tech efforts at some of our industry’s best-run operations.
In between we’ll hear many innovative voices, such as Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland A’s and one of the great nonobvious thinkers of the data age whose work has transformed how nearly all professional sports teams are run; several tech-focused c-suite operators from leading chains who pioneered innovations that are now commonplace; and many others.
Of course, technology challenges are solved with technology solutions, and you will find over a hundred technology companies on our FSTEC Marketplace floor—arguably the best restaurant tech store in the world. Hopefully you’ll have a successful shopping trip.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to stop me or any of our team and let us know if we can enhance your guest experience at FSTEC. And thanks as always for taking the time out of your very busy schedules to spend a few days with us.