The right tech stack will enable a restaurant brand to operate more efficiently, drive guest lifetime value (LTV), maximize revenue, and scale. The key to success—and the biggest hurdle—is twofold:
- Identifying which solutions will meet your brand’s unique needs today and set you up for success as you grow
- Ensuring that your systems are fully integrated
When faced with the dizzying array of restaurant technologies available today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. For every restaurant pain point, there is a product (or 10) to address it—from back-of-house to front-of-house, off-premise, and everything in between.
And therein lies the problem: fragmented point solutions. In other words, restaurant systems that don’t talk to one another.
The Impact of Data Silos on Restaurants’ Digital Transformation
Data silos are single databases, repositories, or systems that are not interconnected, making data hard to access and analyze. And they are one of the most significant obstacles in the restaurant industry’s digital transformation.
In some cases, restaurant data is stuck in legacy systems that do not provide a way to export it. In others, the vendor blocks access to your guest data altogether. Even if brands can access their data, few teams have the time or technology to stitch it together.
When data isn’t shared between restaurant systems, brands aren’t getting a comprehensive view of the guest journey (e.g. purchase behavior, visit frequency, dietary restrictions, communication preferences, etc.). And they can’t leverage that intel across departments to make smarter business decisions.
Think of it this way: How valuable is a loyalty program if it’s not directly integrated into your online ordering platform? And how can you effectively retain dine-in guests if your POS doesn’t communicate with your restaurant CRM?
How Restaurant Tech Integrations Work
Restaurant systems can communicate with one another via direct or indirect integrations.
With direct integrations, your restaurant systems connect via common protocols like REST APIs or Webhooks. For example, Olo’s APIs not only ingest restaurant data but also facilitate the flow of data to the brand’s desired destination (e.g. marketing platform, business insights tools, data warehouses, etc.) to power business decisions.
You can think of webhooks as outbound, event notifications that contain payloads of helpful data. For instance, when an online order is placed, Olo can send a notification with information about that order to the restaurant brand’s desired destination.
Alternatively, indirect integrations use third-party software as middleware to enable two systems to connect. Our Omnivore API, for instance, provides indirect connectivity to POS systems.
The Benefits of an Integrated Restaurant Tech Stack
With a fully integrated restaurant technology stack, brands can optimize operations and enhance the guest experience to drive more revenue. Here are just a few examples:
- Track inventory so that your online ordering menu accurately reflects what items are available at all times
- Streamline communication between front-of-house staff and the kitchen to improve meal timing, reduce waste, and manage guest expectations
- Create behavior-based guest segments and send them personalized marketing communications to increase visit frequency and check size
- Ensure your restaurant is properly staffed at peak times
- Identify which guests have high lifetime value (recency, frequency, and spending) and ensure they get VIP treatment every time they dine-in
- Reward loyalty members whether they engage with your brand in-restaurant or off-premise
- Leverage your 360-degree view of guest behavior and preferences to acquire new guests who share those attributes and identify strategic real estate sites for your new locations
- View all present and future parties from a single screen at the host stand, with real-time table status updates tied to the POS
- See and respond to guest feedback from multiple sources (surveys, Google reviews, social media, etc.) in one place—alongside guest profile context from the restaurant CRM—and analyze trends
Without having to manually reenter data into each system, restaurant brands can reduce training, stress, and human error. And when staff can shift their focus to making every guest feel like a regular, everyone wins.
Ways to Ensure Interoperability
Implementing any new restaurant software or hardware is a big undertaking, so before you do, be sure to thoroughly vet the solution. There’s nothing worse than rolling out a new system only to find out that it doesn’t play nicely with others.
At Olo, we help our customers build integrated tech stacks by remaining a neutral, open platform and offering one of the largest restaurant tech ecosystems on the market. Our partner ecosystem is an agile and flexible way for Olo brands to adopt new and existing technologies, without the hassle of building in-house or settling for data silos.
In addition to consulting brands on best practices for building an integrated tech stack, we just launched Olo Connect, a value-based partner program designed to help restaurant brands navigate the increasingly crowded restaurant tech space.
Each of our Olo Connect Partners offers industry-leading integration and has demonstrated excellence on our platform. Qualifications include tenure on the Olo platform, the number of brands and locations currently supported, and proven customer satisfaction.
Remember: A future-proof restaurant technology stack is made up of systems that seamlessly share data. With proper integrations, brands can operate more efficiently, deliver an enhanced guest experience that maximizes LTV, make smarter business decisions, and drive revenue.
If you’re unsure whether or not two systems work together, ask the tough questions. And don’t be afraid to lean on your trusted technology partners for guidance.
Visit our Partner Directory to learn about our 300+ technology partners and Olo Connect, our new opt-in Partner Program. Contact us today for a restaurant tech stack consultation or to join Olo Connect.