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TechBytes Podcast

  • AI & Automation for Connected Kitchens

    17 GIU 2024 · In this week’s TechBytes Spotlight, host Rob Grimes sits down with Drew Holst, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, about Powerhouse Dynamics and their Open Kitchen platform. Connected kitchens and digital integrations are becoming more important to business operations - from reducing utility costs to optimizing equipment usage, these connections allow owners to remotely monitor and manage their operations more effectively. Drew also discussed how AI and automation will further advance connected kitchens in the future. Automation in the kitchen is the wave of the future and you don’t want to miss out. Tune into this week’s episode and learn how to get yourself better connected to the data coming out of your kitchen.
    Ascoltato 27 min. 55 sec.
  • The ResTech Ecosystem; An Industry Leader’s Perspective

    4 GIU 2024 · In this final episode recorded on the floor at the 2024 National Restaurant Association Show TechBytes host Rob Grimes is joined by Kelly Esten, Head of Marketing & Partnerships at Toast. The pair discuss their experience walking the show, Kelly’s perspective on various partnerships and the technology ecosystem at large.   Beginning with their show observations, the topics of robotics, AI and data are top of mind. When thinking of the future, data sharing is a key focus for Toast, who has over 200 application partners. “When you think of AI, data is the foundation… and POS can be that hub of data for the broader partner ecosystem” mentions Kelly. She cautions however, that data is not the full picture. Having a pulse on the industry also means having conversations to bring context to the data at hand.   The conversation shifts in the second half of the episode where Kelly and Rob talk about the future of the industry. Looking to the future of technology within the restaurant industry, it’s important to be able recognize shifts that are happening in real time - aka automation and AI. Toast credits much of its success during the last 10 years to taking advantage of mobile, and applying technology to make restaurant staff job’s easier.   Enjoy this episode of TechBytes and gain insights on how to create successful tech partnerships, using and sharing data, and enabling the exciting technology exhibited at the 2024 National Restaurant Association Show.
    Ascoltato 31 min. 40 sec.
  • The Association Weighs In: Data, Research, Trends and Perspectives on Restaurant Tech

    3 GIU 2024 · Unveiling the true potential of restaurant technology requires a blend of data analysis, research, accounting, and, most importantly, an understanding of the subject matter. From the floor of the 2024 National Restaurant Show, Rob is joined by Chief Information Officer Kevin Steele & Senior Vice President, Research & Knowledge Group, Hudson Riehle of the National Restaurant Association - two experts and perspectives from the association representing our industry. The trio start their conversation about the state of technology in the restaurant industry. According to an Restaurant Association survey, labor recruitment continues to be the biggest challenge for operators. And on the back of COVID, this continues to propel the use of technology at restaurants. Because technology is still so young in the industry, it’s imperative to for operators to understand what they are purchasing from technology providers - and be able to challenge those suppliers to making sure customer data, for example, Is safe. At the National Restaurant Show, technology is omnipresent. Where 15 years ago a Technology Pavilion did not exist, now tech can be found throughout the entire show and sessions. As it relates to technology, Kevin mentions the Association is focused on education, bringing practitioners together to find a mutual understanding, and finding solutions for the industry with growing challenges and threats requiring a focus on cybersecurity. Tune in to this captivating episode of TechBytes, recorded live at the National Restaurant Show 2024, to gain insights into the pivotal role of operators in comprehending technology and to discover the Restaurant Association’s initiatives aimed at facilitating this understanding.
    Ascoltato 32 min. 25 sec.
  • Tech From the Show Floor: The Industry Weighs In

    28 MAG 2024 · In this special edition of TechBytes, 4 industry experts invited by the National Restaurant Association Show, sit down tor a conversation with Rob Grimes at the IFBTA’s TechDesk.  Representing an association, an operator, and a technology supplier, each guest shares their thoughts on technology from varying points of view. The episode kicks off with Kelly Esten, Head of Marketing & Partnerships at Toast, and Kim DeCarolis, SVP of Strategic Growth with Craveworthy Brands who offer the supplier and operator perspective. The conversation concludes with a sneak peek of next week’s episode with the National Restaurant Association’s Hudson Riehle, SVP Research & Knowledge and Kevin Steele, Chief Information Officer. This year’s show was attended by more than 58,000 foodservice professionals from 124 countries, and boasted over 2,200 exhibitors, with 34% being first-time participants.  Tune in to hear our guests weigh in on their observations of technology featured at the show, their views on current challenges operators face, and how technology impacts the industry and helps to address these challenges.
    Ascoltato 40 min. 28 sec.
  • The Tech Beat: The Editors Weigh In

    21 MAG 2024 · In the very first edition of TechBytes, Rob Grimes has a tech conversation from the floor of the National Restaurant Show 2024, with Joanna Fantozzi, Senior Editor of Nation’s Restaurant News & Joe Guszkowski, Senior Editor of Restaurant Business. The trio started the conversation by discussing the world of restaurant technology prior, during and after COVID - coming into present day. Joe mentions that QR codes is one technology that was non-existent almost a joke prior to COVID, but now they are omnipresent. Ghost Kitchens have had the opposite trajectory. During the early stages of COVID, Ghost Kitchens were seen as the future of the restaurant industry however the support has fizzled as consumers expressed concern over food quality and real estate was put back in play as operations reopened.  And now things have morphed into Virtual Brands and Dark Kitchens. Moving over into the technology featured at this year’s Restaurant Show - the topic of Artificial Intelligence is brought up. Nearly every tech company at the show has some sort of AI offering.  What is behind all of this in reality, is the amount of data available and how the technology providers use it in their applications and make it available to their customers to help them operate.  Data makes the restaurant experience more personalized, gains insights about customers, and feeds AI applications. Other technologies broadly featured are robotics, kiosks, and of course POS. Tune in to enjoy the inaugural episode of TechBytes filmed on location at National Restaurant Show 2024 to see what those that cover the industry see, experience and predict in the tech that enables the future of restaurants.
    Ascoltato 42 min. 24 sec.
  • Tech Preview: The National Restaurant Show 2024

    6 MAG 2024 · The 2024 National Restaurant Association Show, considered the Super Bowl of foodservice events, is set to take place in Chicago from May 18-21. Now in its 103rd year, this comprehensive industry event brings together operators, suppliers, associations, education providers, media, and more from the global restaurant and foodservice industry. Highlights include the Technology Pavilion and Innovation Theater featuring industry-leading sponsors, exhibitors, and thought leaders sharing insights on front and back-of-house tech, supply chain, labor, loyalty programs, and other operational topics. Additionally, the inaugural 'Expo + Education' sessions will offer best practices across various industry segments. With over 400 tech exhibitors showcasing POS systems, signage, robotics, IoT, AI (including the next iteration of voice AI), and more, the National Restaurant Show promises to be a vital destination for operators seeking new technologies to enhance their operations.
    Ascoltato 33 min. 18 sec.
  • Game-Changing Tech: Transforming Senior Living for the Better

    22 APR 2024 · As seniors increasingly use technology in their daily lives, innovative solutions are emerging to cater to their unique needs across different industries. Terence Ronson, Founder of Pertlink, has leveraged his hospitality expertise to develop technologies for senior living residences, such as voice control for simple tasks and dietary tracking systems in hospitals. While integrating such personalized technologies into the hospitality and restaurant industries with shorter patron stays poses challenges, there is growing potential for these sectors to learn from senior-focused innovations. The intersection of advanced technologies and the specific requirements of the aging population presents opportunities for enhancing experiences and accommodating varying abilities across senior living, healthcare, hospitality, and dining environments.
    Ascoltato 40 min. 56 sec.
  • TechFocus: Innovation in Self-Service & Kiosks

    15 APR 2024 · Across almost every industry, self-service is being implemented in some format. Grocery stores have self-checkout, hotels have self-check-in/out, and of course the foodservice industry has embraced kiosk ordering.   Joining in an Accelerate Spotlight conversation this week with Rob Grimes is Tyler Wells, ISV & Strategic Accounts Partner Manager, Americas at MicroTouch. MicroTouch is a global leader in capacitive touch solutions and innovator in touch technology, with more than 50 million touchscreen installations in 80 countries worldwide. With a 10-year technical background himself, Tyler is an ideal conversation guest as a thought-leader on the future of self-service and touchscreens in the retail, hospitality, and foodservice industries.   The episode begins by defining self-service, what is a kiosk and where they are found in all sorts of operations. Tyler says that self-service is relying on the customer to make their experience quicker and more convenient. Kiosks are free-standing interfaces placed in public areas to engage with customers and display information. Rob adds that he believes COVID turned around the attitude towards kiosks in the restaurant industry.   When it comes to the adoption of self-service or kiosks within the retail, hospitality, and foodservice industries there is variation. Retail’s self-service technologies focused on inventory management efficiency and being able to track better what’s being sold and what’s in the store. In hospitality, the use of kiosks is enhanced efficiency and convenience in the customer experience. Orders are put in directly by the customer reducing human error, while providing better communications through language translation, graphics and ai-generated response and suggestions.   The evolution of customer interaction is paving the way for self-service and kiosks to play a significant role in the foodservice industry and beyond. Tune in to this special edition of Accelerate Spotlight to discover the reasons behind the staying power of self-service and kiosks, and how they are adapting to incorporate robotics, AI, and automation technologies. This episode is sponsored by Improve the speed and ease of transactions. Whatever your business or application, projected capacitive screens offer seamless convenience for employees and customers alike.
    Ascoltato 41 min. 51 sec.
  • Empowering CSR in Hospitality Tech Through Ed

    10 APR 2024 · Hong Kong has always been ground zero when it came to hospitality, tech, innovation and education.  How this came to be, and was put to practical use was the subject of conversation with this week’s guest, Richard Hatter. Richard has an extensive background in the hospitality space, opening many hotels in the Asia-Pacific market over the last 25 years. Richard’s operations expertise led him to become an adjunct professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University which opened up new doors, putting his hotel background, love for technology, a desire to teach, all together to enable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives within the hospitality industry.  In the competitive Asian market, innovation with technology was seen as a way to teach students. As GM of hotel ICON, Richard put a technology prototype, development and testing center working with suppliers and hoteliers, and at the same time being a teaching hub for hospitality students. First, this gave suppliers a chance to test their products and viability with real guests, providing the ability to make adjustments to ensure a successful launch. A secondary benefit of this being that the hospitality students would go on to lead the market and be familiar with the suppliers who’s products were being tested.  In terms of technology, everything from robotics to sustainability in uniforms and reducing food waste was tested. Richard believes that hotels today can learn from these methods. As a center for innovation and creativity it’s very attractive to students and patrons alike. Students come for the education and hotel patrons desired more dynamic experiences during their stay. The hotels themselves could use the opportunity to update outdated systems. Tune in to this episode of Accelerate to learn more about the teaching hotels, and how education, hospitality, and innovation can become an ICONic experience.
    Ascoltato 41 min. 13 sec.
  • A Passion for Hospitality & Tech

    25 MAR 2024 · One of the problems the industry has always had, what is ‘technology’ in the first place?” jokes this week’s guest, Barbara Timm-Brock, CEO of E-Track. With a mutual passion for tech and operations with the foodservice industries, but coming from different starts in the industry, Barbara joins Rob as they examine the past, present, and future from their individual viewpoints. They begin by reflecting on their work experience, Rob at Marriott and Barbara at Pillsbury. The pair note how the approach to restaurants used to only worry about the guest who was physically in the restaurant. Now, it has evolved into dealing with 3rd parties and anyone with access to the internet. In leadership, Barbara says many senior executives are trying to figure out where to prioritize when it comes to technology. She likens it to a pool with different swim lanes. It’s important to define the different lanes of technology, to adequately assess what resources to supply them with. Restaurant workers are an important stakeholder in the process too. Looking at the future, Rob asks Barbara a series of rapid-fire questions about different technologies and what the path forward looks like. One example, Electrification of businesses, Barbara says it’s a sure thing and to jump on board now. She also says to use data to understand the peaks and valleys of one’s business will be important moving forward. Tune in to this episode of Accelerate to listen to two passionate problem solvers in the restaurant and technology industry discuss best approaches, lessons learned, and why it’s important to help operators understand technology better.
    Ascoltato 38 min. 32 sec.

Prepare to be amazed by the groundbreaking changes in the Foodservice and Hospitality industries! TechBytes, hosted by the renowned foodservice and hospitality technology expert Rob Grimes, is your go-to podcast...

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Prepare to be amazed by the groundbreaking changes in the Foodservice and Hospitality industries! TechBytes, hosted by the renowned foodservice and hospitality technology expert Rob Grimes, is your go-to podcast for the latest innovations and trends. With a fresh perspective, TechBytes brings insightful conversations with thought-leaders, introduces revolutionary concepts, and uncovers global trends to help you grow your business. Don't miss this opportunity to stay ahead and transform your industry. Brought to you by the IFBTA.
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