Expert Opinion | 5 mins
The future of Hospo is in holistic tech
by: Claire, our most opinionated team member
The history of holistic tech - a time travel experiment
Cast your minds all the way back to 2007. Your original iPod probably had at least one of Fergie’s three top hits, even if you wouldn’t admit it then (or now). If you were fancy, you had a BlackBerry and could send emails on the go using that unfathomably tiny keyboard.
There you were, just wearing your favourite extra low-rise jeans, listening to the dial up connection tone on your desktop, wondering if you should migrate your digital persona from Myspace to Facebook.
Then Steve Jobs came along and dropped a nice lil bomb. The release of the original iPhone.
It didn’t just change the phone industry. It changed modern life. With a device that was the first to competently tick all the smartphone boxes, at a price point that wasn’t completely prohibitive, Steve Jobs and his merry band of Macworld developers basically rewrote the future. While smart phones had in essence existed since the early nineties, they didn’t do enough things, well enough or cheap enough to get the world on board.
Now, the iphone does everything we thought we needed five separate devices for, and more. Our apps talk to each other, making sure the flight we booked shows up in our calendar. The little pocket rocket brought iPod, computer browser, email, socials, alarm clocks, calendars, maps, apps, personal pagers, and of course the humble telephone, together in one. Nowadays, for better or worse, most of us don't know how we survived before smart phones.
And we reckon a decade from now, hospo won't know how it survived before holistic business intelligence. Or how any industry did, for that matter (but we’re not really experts in other industries like we are in hospo, so we can’t go making sweeping generalisations).
Restaurant management software of the future
If you’re running a café, restaurant, food franchise or bar, and especially if you’re running multiple sites like us, you probably want to be a benevolent boss ... and also get sh*t done.
You want to know everything is going smoothly across your site/s, even when you’re not around.
You want to be able to send help to where it’s needed, and know when it's not.
You want to push the slackers just enough (let’s be honest). Or even better, you want to stop them having the opportunity to slack off in the first place. HR-approved version: you’re all about accountability.
You want to check ops without hassling your managers, because they probably have better things to do, like help you run a great show.
You want to really know how you’re doing financially without having to call your accountant.
You want to be completely across your entire business and run a great show with good profit and healthy accountability within your teams.
But you still want a 'normal' number of hours in your working week, with time to see your friends and fam and do something nice for yourself.
You want to be in charge of your business, but not need to have it consuming your life just to make some cash.
You get the picture. You painted the picture.
The good news is: it’s possible. But not without good tech.
For all of those things to happen, you need 100% visibility over EVERY part of business. But you don’t have time to make endless calls, dash around to all the sites to see the action on-the-ground, flick between POS accounts, reconcile and count, calculate benchmarks or pull reports from your many different software systems to cross-check.
You don’t have time, because you’re busy in the physical world, running a business. Or two, or ten. Taking care of customers, making sure the food is flawless, managing a casual workforce. And hopefully, after all of that, living your own personal life in a meaningful way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running one or 100 businesses, ain’t nobody got time for spreadsheets.
What you want is total communication across your site/s, with all the important numbers in one place. What feels like a great roster might not look so great when it’s put against purchasing and compared with another site.
When your accounting and rostering and POS all communicate on a singular platform alongside ordering, stock management and timekeeping … that’s when your business can actually reach peak performance.
Why? Because to perform at peak, we need to know how all the numbers interact and affect each other. Restaurant Management Software, but not like you know it. Refining one aspect of business with clever tech is good. Of course. But refining the business as a whole is a whole lot better. And once we start looking at the whole picture, we can start predicting the future.
Because the whole machine needs to run as one if you actually want to make any money. We know it’s not that popular to talk about, but it needs to be said: passion doesn’t pay the bills.
We need tech that knows everything we’re doing and everything we’ve done before, so it can help us predict what we should do in the future. No spreadsheets please. We need software that directs us towards improved profits, as quick and easy as a GPS gets us where we need to be.
Business visibility should be simple, instant, agile and responsive. Is it too much to ask? We know we’re not the only ones. You want to pucker up and kiss spreadsheets goodbye. Hell no, you won’t miss them.
Okay, it was always coming: I'm talking about our software, and we believe that if you’re a business owner, operator or manager holistic restaurant management software can change your life.
Actually, we know that it will change lives. Because it’s already changing them.
We’re just hospo people like you, trying to get ahead. But just like our mate Steve Jobs* with the iPhone back in the noughties, we’re ready to reimagine what a complete solution could look like. We’re ready for the restaurant management software of the future.
*We were not actually mates with Steve, RIP. We just really like the feeling of drawing comparisons between our small but mighty tech company in South Australia and one of the world’s most successful technology brands ever. Can you blame us?