Any time I have an opportunity for first-hand conversations with our readers, I always ask them where technology is lacking in helping them meet their goals. Bringing to the forefront areas that need improvement is one of the most important services we can provide. Lately, the feedback from the restaurant community has been very consistent: they’re asking for integration.
This month’s cover interview with the CMO of Romano’s Macaroni Grill outlines the company’s exciting CRM efforts that will bridge the gap between guests’ virtual and in-restaurant experiences. Full roll-out is likely another 12 to 18 months off as the company’s technology partners work on integrating their systems. It will be an exciting win for the entire industry when their work is complete.
The hotel industry has put a spotlight on integration for some time through the efforts of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG). The industry association just celebrated 10 years of unifying hotel operators and technology suppliers under the common goal of creating industry standards. While progress hasn’t come easily, HTNG is making headway. Their successes will allow hotels to provide new services to guests, such as integrated guestroom control devices now made possible thanks to HTNG standards.
The need for standards in the restaurant industry is becoming increasingly important as multi-channel guest engagement becomes a top priority. I encourage both operators and technology vendors to focus on this collaboration. As the CMO of Romano’s says, open source thinking ultimately benefits all involved.