Technology has entered every sphere of life, and it’s an irreplaceable part of the modern-day success formula: people, tools, and processes. But many spaces, including the restaurant industry, find it challenging.
In this episode of Restaurants Reinvented, our host Jen Kern is joined by Amir Hudda, the CEO of Qu. Amir shares the reasons for the slow pace of technology implementation in the restaurant industry, what the future holds for the space, and how to build a company culture that will turn your employees into your brand’s best ambassadors.
🍽️ Company: Qu
🍽️ Noteworthy: Amir is a technology entrepreneur. He has founded and grown four startups over the past two decades, raising over $100 million in equity (public and private markets) and debt transactions. Amir has acquired, scaled, restructured, and sold several businesses and has mentored and invested in young entrepreneurs and companies.
🍽️ Where to find Amir: LinkedIn
🎙️Our goal should be to reduce, not eliminate, friction. With the large number of tech solutions in the restaurant industry, it is not an attainable goal to expect to fully eliminate friction.
”How do we make technology invisible in restaurant operations? It cannot get in the way. Part of the reason it gets in the way is … all these different technologies came about, new companies came about very quickly and were successful in selling their application. But it increased costs and reduced efficiency for operators […]
My hope is that we can make the process more seamless, cost-effective, and efficient but that that restaurants have fewer moving parts and pieces, with fewer partners.”
🎙️What the Future Holds for the Restaurant Industry ”The innovation aspect is critical. We have to get together and work with restaurants and other technology providers. It has to be a collective effort. We, on our own, cannot keep innovating and expect to have a meaningful impact.
We can take the lead like we’ve been doing, but we need to make sure that this is a collaborative effort, particularly with our brands. And, I think we do that pretty well.”
🎙️The restaurant industry does implement technology; it’s just slow-paced. Amir says that innovation is a part of the industry and is here to stay. ”It’s not a shortage of talent; it’s not a shortage of ideas—the restaurant industry is challenged by margins. There’s just not enough capital. But when technology changes do happen — it’s well thought out and well-planned; it doesn’t happen at the pace that we might like, as a technology company, but it does happen.”
🎙️You must take care of your employees if you want them to take care of your business. Restaurant owners who want to ensure an exceptional guest experience must put their employees first, build a culture of trust, and turn employees into brand ambassadors. “We’ve tried to do our bit in creating a family-type atmosphere. We talk about family as one of our pillars and not just our employees, but also our customers and our technology partners, all of us coming together — because the underlying pillar of a family is trust.”
You can talk about providing great guest experiences and great food. But all of that is impacted by your people and their passion. And your culture — cultivating why they come to you and stay and go the extra mile to give that extra experience to your guests.”