• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - ‘Digital first’ lessons from chain technology leaders

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

News RSS

‘Digital first’ lessons from chain technology leaders

From left, Upen Sachdev, principal, Deloitte; Adrian Butler, senior vice president, IT, and CIO, Dine Brands Global; Ramin Eivaz, senior vice president, digital marketing, analytics & CRM, Bloomin' Brands.

At our recent Restaurant Innovation Summit, we tapped senior technology leaders for lessons on how to pivot a traditional brand into a “digital first” leader.

Adrian Butler, senior vice president and chief information officer of Applebee’s/IHOP franchisee Dine Brands, and Ramin Eivaz, senior vice president of digital marketing, analytics and CRM for Bloomin’ Brands Inc., provided insights.


It’s all about the consumer

Eivaz: The big journey is how we move from mass promotion of things to one-on-one recognition. It’s about leveraging data and technology to get closer to one-on-one.

Butler:  Guest expectations are being set before the customer walks in the door. They have different personas, different experiences and different needs in different circumstances, and it’s all the same consumer. You can create a personal experience.


Managing up

Butler: Don’t talk through a technology lens. Think of the business’s capability. If we have new LTOs, we talk about them in the same way. They’re new products -- so part of it is about showing the team how this can work in a digital space.

Eivaz: Consumers already use Uber and Amazon, and expect the same type of service from other businesses. Show your organization the test cases. Educate them in a new set of metrics. We need to understand customer lifetime value, and there’s enough data out there to make that case.


Labor automation

Eivaz: With the reality of labor costs rising, we need to deliver productivity. If you’re not leveraging tech, you are cost-disadvantaged. The question is, to what degree can I deploy automation?

Butler: Guests still want the human touch. They want to know we are treating team members well. Automation can remove friction and inefficiency where there’s no value -- the wait to be seated, the wait to get service, the wait to pay. For the rest, we must ask how we can empower our team.

Choosing the right partners

Butler: We look at large and innovative players. Mature players are sometimes less nimble. To balance that out, we also look at the emerging market space and try to make sure we pay attention to the disruptors as well as those who are more mature. Get recommendations. The worst thing is to be disintermediated from the guest. A big part of the digital journey, and with partners, is to discover who owns the guest.

Eivaz: Getting the right talent is the most important thing. Start with a clear strategy. Work with key partners. Learn what you should be working on. Let your partners put the best minds and ideas behind that and take advantage of what tech companies are willing to share with you. If you’re in digital, the best asset you have is your data.

Learn more about the Restaurant Innovation Summit

 

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156