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Why restaurant technology needs to be compatible and collaborative

Posted by the Wi5 Team6th March 2020Opinion

The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is usually used as an insult, suggesting someone dabbles in several things but is far from an expert. In a technological setting this translates to the popular theory that companies should implement a suite of best-in-class software, with each an expert at a particular thing, rather than opting for a single, catchall solution. However, the full phrase jack of all trades, master of none, though oft-times better than master of one’ is complimentary – suggestion that ‘Jack’ might also be a master of integration and collaboration, able to bring cohesion into the mix. Going back to the technological setting, this theory becomes one of interoperability and the idea that a non-expert ecosystem of compatible components is greater than the sum of its expert parts.

The key message is compatibility and collaboration – software, systems and the businesses behind them being willing and able to work together. As an Order & Pay solution, Wi5 is in the business of interoperability, working with all manner of operators and suppliers from POS and CRMs to SCVs and loyalty platforms.

Wi5 Chief Technology Officer Lionel Martin says, “The safest way to add technology to your business is to make sure each system is open and can be connected to the next. This will enable you to build workflows specific to your organisation’s needs. If your core systems aren’t open, your workflows will be restricted and you risk falling behind your competitors’ future innovations. And by using modern, specialist providers and products, you’re adopting a healthy and sustainable tech culture for your business; one that comes with easier implementations, reduced risk and seamless integrations.”

The hospitality industry is built on relationships between suppliers, operators and customers, and these relationships are as important to the interoperability of your systems as any API. We’ve found technology suppliers’ attitudes in this respect to be wide-ranging and sometimes at odds with their business practices. The example we see most often is that of POS companies which have developed their own technologies to be interoperable, yet formed business models and pricing structures that prevent operators from readily leveraging these to all parties’ mutual benefit.

To future-proof the hospitality industry, organisations must ensure their goals are aligned and the spirit of collaboration is embraced wholeheartedly. An example of this is the partnership between Wi5 and guest Wi-Fi provider Wireless Social. With joint clients, Wi5 and Wireless Social work together to provide guests with a best-in-class mobile Order & Pay experience, hosted by trustworthy Wi-Fi. Both work together to provide a smooth experience for customers and invaluable data to operators.

Wireless Social’s Marketing Director, Matt Smith, says, “I strongly believe in this approach. By working together to solve problems, we can add significant value for our customers and really help them to delight theirs.” He goes on to say, “We each have our part to play and our own areas of expertise. It’s when we come together and work openly that the customer gets the real benefit.”

Technology providers need to start by being transparent with operators about how interactions are managed so they can choose their tech partners wisely and with confidence and avoid any unwelcome surprises.

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