Nate Riggs. Brandon Hull. Back with a new episode of This Week in Restaurant Technologies, our 19th episode.
This week we discussed just two topics of importance to the restaurant industry: this social sharing economy we now live in, and how the adoption of new technologies could warp the standard metrics restaurants have always relied on to evaluate sales.
At the 0:44 mark Nate fires up our conversation about how social sharing technology is infiltrating many industries, restaurants included. Joe Kefauver, managing partner of Parquet Public Affairs, writes in an article at Nation’s Restaurant News that a “new threat to the traditional business model of the industry is taking root and, ironically, the industry itself may be helping to cultivate it.”
Kefauver gives the example of Uber and Airbnb, arguing that just as they’re disrupting the taxi and lodging industries by circumventing long-standing laws and regulations designed to protect consumers, others could soon follow in the restaurant industry. In my opinion, disruption happens first, then the laws to accomodate and regulate follow — otherwise you kill innovation.
Having said that, I’m okay with constraints on the food industry. None of us want too many shortcuts surrounding how our food is prepared and served. Health concerns, people.
Michael Atkinson v. Sosh Concierge
At the 6:07 mark we transition to the news about Yet Another Restaurant Industry Startup. Sosh, which offers an app providing recommendations on events, activities, and places, has launched a branch of the app called Concierge. (Note: Sosh is only available in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. as of August 2014.
As TechCrunch puts it, “With the introduction of Sosh Concierge, the company will now give users same-day access to exclusive restaurants that are hard to book with on late notice, or perhaps that don’t take reservations at all.” With Sosh, a consumer pre-books and pre-pays for their visit.
But is this automatically a good thing for restaurants? Michael Atkinson says no way. “Restaurants that do this are either desperate or not fully thinking thru the impact of reserving a table for no shows and reducing the average guest check.”
Listen to our take on Sosh Concierge and Michael’s statements. There are some important points to consider on both sides of this argument.
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