2017 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
Matthew Favier, CMO, SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions
Matthew spoke at the 2017 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, discussing the rapidly approaching world of artificial intelligence and automation, and how restaurants can begin forming the guest-to-AI relationship now. His session was called "Automation and AI are Knocking: How Will Your Restaurant Answer?" on Monday, August 28th.
Start Creating the Optimal Guest Experience of the Future, Now
The restaurant guest experience must evolve as other industries drive and grow consumers’ expectations in new directions. New digital technologies are continually reshaping consumer interactions, and it’s affecting how guests expect to interact with restaurants. Today, efficiency, convenience, and accessibility are three primary aspects of a successful consumer-to-business experience. To create a successful future for your restaurant, you need to identify where and how you can better provide these core needs.
So, how can you begin reshaping your restaurant’s processes to provide greater efficiency, convenience, and accessibility? Start thinking outside the box; identify where you can use technology to meld the new digital world that consumers live in with the way your restaurant interacts with guests. Think about each one of your restaurant practices and assess whether the process truly benefits your guests or not.
For example, how do your guests currently order take-out from your restaurant? Do they have multiple options? Is the experience efficient, convenient, and easily performed? Omni-channel ordering is one of the best ways to meet all of these guest expectations. The more channels you provide for guests to order from your restaurant, the better. However, with each channel, it is important to maintain seamless integration and high efficiency. Another option just for the sake of publicizing another option will backfire if restaurant guests find that the new channel is inefficient and inconvenient.
In our digital age, people can and do order all kinds of things online, through apps, over the phone, and even through artificial intelligence (AI) in home speakers and on their smartphones. So, why wouldn’t we allow them to order food like they do everything else? Multiple top brands are already utilizing several, innovative ordering channels, e.g. Domino’s Pizza and their partnership with Amazon Alexa units for ordering pizza with AI. Providing this level of accessibility and convenience is essential for restaurant success in the future.
According to a recent Fortune article discussing a Reuters/Ipsos poll and the decline in eating out, more than half of the Americans polled stated that they eat at restaurants for the sake of convenience. Also, the article states that the restaurant chains who are most likely to succeed in the midst of declining restaurant sales are those that offer the greatest convenience. So, how convenient are your services? Do take-out customers get put on hold a lot when trying to place an order because your in-restaurant staff is overwhelmed by the guests in front of them? If yes, get creative and think about ways that you can address this issue so that you don’t lose customers because of inconvenience. Your guests need to know that they can reach you quickly and easily because if they’re under the impression that you don’t offer that level of convenience, they will find another restaurant that does.
Overall, the best way to create the optimal guest experience of the future starts with knowing your guests. What do guests today and guests in the rapidly approaching future want? They want to order food when they want and how they want. That means if they’re in a hurry, they want an ordering channel that is really fast, super convenient, and reliably efficient. Do you offer that channel? If they’re on the road already driving to the shopping center where your restaurant and several others are located, can they call you and rely on your team to get their order right the first time? Once you’ve answered these questions and others, you can identify where you have room to improve, and then you can adopt new ways for your restaurant to meet and exceed guest expectations.
Find out more about digital, AI and other automation opportunities for restaurants at www.synq3.com.
More about Matthew:
For more than 15 years, Matthew Favier has significantly contributed to the restaurant industry by innovating and deploying technology-based solutions. As the CMO and cofounder of SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions, Matthew oversees marketing and sales channels and regularly contributes to the company’s innovative processes. With his industry-specific knowledge, he has led various innovative solutions including centralized, off-premise ordering technologies and voice-analytic, AI solutions. As a steward of restaurant technical adoption trends, Matthew is an extreme advocate for the use of technical solutions to exceed the rapidly changing expectations and needs of the restaurant guest.
Throughout his tenure, Matthew has developed many restaurant technology solutions and worked with numerous top brands. In 2005, he developed an IP-based centralized call center solution that was recognized by NetworkWorld. He has worked with several restaurants to implement process improvements inside their restaurants by deploying SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions’ centralized-ordering tools. Through the years, he has worked with brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Panda Express, P.F. Chang’s, Panera and Chipotle on designing and implementing specialized solutions.
Matthew received his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Colorado. And, today, Matthew operates and sits on the board of a non-profit organization in Colorado Springs that has donated more than $500,000 to local non-profit organizations over the past 7 years.