Why the pandemic left restaurants relying more heavily on technology for FF&E logistics

Photograph: Shutterstock

While many industries have been impacted by COVID-19, the food and hospitality industries have been among the hardest hit. Layoffs from a corporate level have left restaurants and hotels trying to manage projects with fewer people, leading to a heavier reliance on technology and logistics partnerships to drive business forward.

Coordination of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) is often a pain point for restaurants, and with fewer people to manage the process, this problem has been exacerbated throughout the pandemic. To enhance partnerships with customers as a third-party logistics provider, Suddath® grew its project management staff resources to better support restaurant and retail brands that no longer had sufficient resources. In addition to the added manpower, customers also needed connectivity from the beginning to the end of a project. Suddath sought to simplify this process and give customers a way to take control of their supply chain while providing visibility and accountability to each step. The result was SiMPL, an industry first technology application that gives complete visibility into the manufacturing and logistics supply chain.

With complete visibility from the time an order is placed through manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, delivery, installation and even warranty and repair, this technology makes it easier to manage projects. It gives a single view into all aspects of the supply chain to ensure timelines are protected and deadlines are met. This is huge for brands fighting to stay above water during the pandemic, because it means problems can be identified and solved before they affect the business.

As locations are coming back after shutdowns, they don’t have the same workforce intact. Companies may no longer have the staff to track and trace rollouts, remodels, new builds and vendors, so they have to rely on technology and logistics organizations for project management support.

Suddath customers want enhanced quality control, a priority that’s becoming more and more important as the industry continues to run on lean staff. Whether an organization has 50 or 20,000 locations, technology can help provide consistency and accountability around large-scale projects. A project manager doesn’t have to be onsite to ensure that everything is delivered, properly installed and in working order when they have the technology to see every aspect of a project and get photos of delivery and installation to verify accuracy.

Another benefit of SiMPL is that it can pull data from multiple locations to get a birds-eye view of what’s really happening with vendors, enabling businesses to make changes that can save time, money and resources. Analytical data can answer important questions such as:

  • How many orders have shipped on time?
  • What percentage of a project is completed?
  • How many installations have occurred?
  • How much of a certain product is the company buying?

The industry was already hungry for this type of technology before the pandemic, but the need to operate lean and the reduction in workforce have pushed the need for visibility and control forward faster. Companies that are interested in learning more can get a SiMPL demo by contacting

To learn more about Suddath, visit

This post is sponsored by Suddath


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