In this episode of Restaurants Reinvented, host Jen Kern is joined by two-time authors and Digital Restaurant gurus, Meredith Sandland and Carl Orsbourn.
We discuss their new book “The Path to Digital Maturity” and their prediction about the next big restaurant concept that will emerge > the digitally native restaurant.
Both guests share their thoughts on 2023 trends that they didn’t predict in the industry, such as the ubiquitous rise of price premiums on third-party marketplaces and the impact of recent challenges in the startup and tech environment (SVB) on restaurant tech companies.
🔥 The Next Big Concept to Emerge in Restaurants
Carl and Meredith believe the next big restaurant category is rapidly approaching: The Digitally Native Restaurant. This combines Ghost Kitchens, Virtual Brands, Automation, Robotics, Delivery Fulfillment, etc. Once this segment is fully developed, they believe it will grow faster than the rest of the industry.
🔥 Why First-Party Data Matters More than Ever
Meredith and Carl shed light on the crucial importance of data ownership within the restaurant industry, particularly when it comes to third-party delivery services.They discuss how restaurants should aim to build direct relationships with customers and retain control over their data. By doing so, restaurants can create targeted marketing campaigns, better understand their customers, and ultimately drive sales and loyalty.
The conversation highlights the need for restaurants to prioritize first-party data and digital infrastructure as a critical component of their long-term success.
🔥 The Growing Importance of Off-Premise Dining
🔥 The Future of Restaurant Innovation in a Post-SVB World
The Role of AI and Automation in Restaurants
“The reality is we’re all being touched by AI and automation already. And it’s just about how that continues to grow.” – Carl
The Challenges of Transitioning to Digital
Meredith and Carl acknowledge that the shift can be overwhelming for some businesses, especially those with limited resources or technological expertise. However, they stress the importance of embracing digital solutions to remain competitive and meet evolving customer expectations.
“You’ve got to keep one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow, and that’s the challenge for restaurant operators trying to embrace all of this. – Carl
The Potential of Ghost Kitchens
“I think there’s a lot of potential in ghost kitchens, and it’s a great way for restaurants to be able to get their product out there to more customers without having to invest in a full sit-down restaurant” – Meredith