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Six technology trends you'll learn at FSTEC

Consumers are smart and the adoption rate of technology in our industry is gaining momentum to meet their high demand. Facebook, tablets, mobile ordering—the list goes on. What technology do you have in place? How are you using it to keep the customer experience high? What is your strategy to continually engage them? You can find those answers and more at this year’s FSTEC NexGen, a conference focused on the tech needs and interests of multi-unit foodservice operators. Here is a peek into some of trends that will be discussed in the case studies and other presentations scheduled for Scottsdale this September 22-24.

Big Data

We have so much data on our hands that it can be daunting for even the most advanced technology expert. The conversation goes beyond the units and the price of your preferred beer product combined with the purchasing history of said beer and continues with what your guest is sharing on social media about their experience. How do you understand that data and what are you going to do with it? Plus, how do you use the cloud to maximize the data? Representatives of Aramark, Fox & Hound and Pita Pit will help you make sense of the Big Data conversation and leave with a strategy that fits your organization.

Use of smartphone, tablets and other mobile devices

Already at an all-time high, use of handheld mobile devices will continue to increase with e-commerce as one of the top features consumers use. And it isn’t just for retail. Many foodservice operations are adopting both online and mobile ordering to complement customer dining in the unit. Units need to assess if this technology is right for their unit and weigh its pros and cons. During FSTEC, Buffalo Wild Wings and California Pizza Kitchen will uncover the new technologies that can build revenues, and which will enhance the brand’s image while overall improving business.

Payments and data security

The security of your business and your customers should be a top priority. The rules and requirements are changing. At FSTEC, speakers will examine the multiple uses of payment security and how you will need to adjust your business in relation to how you handle payment.


The intersection of operations and technology will be a key theme this year.  With so many options available to technology professionals and the requirements on unit managers continuing to grow, collaboration seems like a no-brainer. But multi-unit systems need to have the right tools, which means a deeper understanding of what’s needed and what’s available. Plus, the guest has to be a driver. The experience is driven by the technologies in use both in front of the guest and behind the scenes.  This intersection puts operations squarely in the decision-making process. They’ll hear at FSTEC from executives of Brinker International and Ruby Tuesday.


New models for sourcing technology service and support will be a major point of discussion.  How can companies adopt new technologies that require increased support due to the number of their applications?  Insourcing to outsourcing to hybrid alternatives are all being investigated.  Even tech support for guests using apps and other brand-associated technologies has to be considered because the experience affects customer perceptions and service.

Digital marketing

It’s evolved into the Number One vehicle for reaching consumers today. Digital, web, mobile, social, email and video have to be addressed in a single strategy. The inaugural Foodservice Digital Marketing Summit, a one-day event tacked onto the end of FSTEC, will focus on the conversion of digital vehicles for a complete brand strategy.

See you in Scottsdale!

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