What’s In Your Tech-Stack?
First, let’s define “tech stack” – A technology stack, or tech stack for short, refers to a set of technologies, software, and tools that are used in the development and deployment of sites, apps, and other digital products.
Originally, the tech stack conversation could include terms like Linux, Apache, and MySQL, and the topic would be about website development. In modern day parlance however, tech stack simply means the combination of software solutions that an operator uses to run the business. Sometimes these software solutions are integrated, and sometimes they’re not. More and more, “Operators are looking for a complete restaurant ecosystem.” This Smartchain article in QSR Magazine (July 2019) describes the ecosystem well.
Elements of Every Tech Stack:
Every restaurant has a tech stack, and even the most basic operation will have three essential elements.
The first element, Point of Sale, is the foundation upon which every restaurant tech stack is built. Nearly every restaurant is using some sort of POS, and there are many good options today. No single POS solution is right for everyone, and good recommendations can only be made after looking at the whole picture.
The second element in most basic stacks is Merchant Services (credit card processing). Merchant services are usually integrated with the POS. The integrations are so tight and seamless to the operator it can almost seem like POS and credit card processing are one thing. In fact, they are each their own “thing” and should be treated as such. More on this later.
The third and final essential element is Accounting. Many single unit operators use Quickbooks, and larger enterprise operations use more robust accounting packages. Often, accounting is not integrated with the POS, but it’s possible to do so with the right combination of solutions.
Beyond these three essential elements there are hundreds of choices. Most good operators have a gift card program. They are easy to set up and use and can be integrated either through the POS or Merchant Services provider. Between 25% and 35% of gift cards never get redeemed so, depending on what you read, so implementing a gift-card program is kind of a no-brainer. It’s like finding money.
As restaurants become more and more sophisticated other layers are added — loyalty, online ordering, take-out and delivery, mobile apps, pay at the table, guest management, kitchen video, kiosks, and much more. More emphasis is being placed on hiring, labor management, and scheduling due to staffing challenges, which are only going to get worse. Far too few operators implement a good inventory/food costing system even though there are many excellent options.
That’s where we come in. We look at your whole picture and base our recommendations on your entire operation. We listen to your goals, objectives, and challenges. If you love your POS but need help with labor, accounting, or inventory control we can help. If a whole new ecosystem is needed, we’ll help you build one from scratch.