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NRA Show 2017 showcases cutting-edge technology

TECH Talks offer best practices, trends
tech attendees demo products

Technology products and solutions that help to streamline business models, such as POS systems, inventory management and real-time scheduling, were just a few of the hot topics discussed during this year's 10 unique, fast-paced, TECH Talks 30-minute educational sessions. 

“I attended a few sessions, which I thought were great,” said a Show attendee. “The talks weren’t long, but they were jam-packed with new and actionable information. And the speakers stuck around afterward to answer questions one-on-one.”

Here’s a few highlights from this year’s TECH Talks.

Getting to know your customer

Evan Eakin, Executive Advisor at Datavail, presented a session on customer intimacy. He talked about how marketers should take charge of their data to create actionable personas that achieve effective marketing communications. Attendees discovered how to aggregate data from existing and public resources to learn important details about their customers, recognized why leveraging this data to know your customer is critical to their marketing strategies and revenue goals and identified ways to take charge of data to create effective personas and build marketing segmentation.

Robots back-of-house

Deepak Sekar, CEO and Founder of chowbotics, discussed the possibilities and challenges for robotics in foodservice. Sekar reminded the audience that in the 1800s, the world’s economy underwent the first industrial revolution, where textiles, metallurgy and transportation saw rapid adoption of machinery.

Today’s foodservice industry is on the cusp of another industrial revolution today, with robotics reaching prices suitable for mass adoption. Attendees learned how the use of robots may be inevitable for foodservice applications due to various trends, and they also discovered how it’s possible to use robots for improving food safety, for 24/7 availability and more.

POS in the cloud

Paul Rubin, Chief Strategy Officer at ParTech, Inc., engaged attendees with information about the next innovations in point-of-sale (POS) systems. He explained that POS technology has undergone numerous disruptions starting with the shift from electronic cash registers, to DOS-based computer POS terminals, to Windows and now the cloud.

Rubin further explained that cloud POS is crossing the chasm, and those operators who are late to adopt do so at their own risk. He continued to explain how cloud solutions have revolutionized restaurant technology with its open architecture design to enable powerful tools, such as loyalty and digital ordering, along with its ease of deployment and access to real-time business intelligence.

Dahlia El Gazzar, Tech Evangelist at Dahlia+, said attendees should leave the Show with three key takeaways from Tech Pavilion:

  • User generated content and how to infuse that in their overall marketing plans and across social media channels and web site.
  • The role of chatbots and how they’re changing marketing and simplifying workflow and customer service.
  • Integration of overall tech stack (a combination of software products and programming languages used to create a web or mobile application).

“The tech companies are using artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and chatbots in interesting ways,” El Gazzar said. “The intelligence and data lends itself to even more personalized guest experiences

Also, having all the content presented during Innovation Theater and TECH Talks, as well as the personal service provided at StartUp Alley and the Social Media Bar, gave Show attendees different experiences all in one spot. The content led to more conversations and was personalized to all in one central area.

This post is sponsored by The National Restaurant Association®

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