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|HT Top 5 Trends March 2019|
Top five stories grabbing attention on the web at Hospitality Technology prove that restaurants are hyper-focused on convenience and customization.
5) Shake Shack Details Plans for Future Growth
With the announcement of new hires, including a fresh CMO and a new CIO, it’s not surprising that Shake Shack is hyper-focused on continuing its digital innovation. Recent earnings calls have revealed that the chain’s revenue increased 28% to $459.3 million while sales increased 28.6% to $445.6 million. For Q4 and FY18, same store sales increased 2.3% and 1%, respectively. Part of this growth could be that the brand offers five ways to order: in person, using a self-serve kiosk, using the mobile app, the Web ordering platform or via one of its third-party delivery partners. CEO, Dave Garutti reveals that Shake Shack “is building a digital toolbox that allows us to connect and engage with our guests like never before.”
4) EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: Integration & Visibility: Keys to Future-Ready Restaurant Accounting
Restaurants are complex businesses as they are a hybrid of production and service – producing product while also needing to deliver on customer experience. Even relatively small operations with revenues of less than $50 million a year have multifaceted supply chains that could change on a weekly basis depending on any number of factors. Third-party delivery and online ordering aggregators for off-premise dining are contributing to an environment where restaurant in-store traffic might be down, but sales are up. Add to this an equally complex workforce with a mix of salaried, hourly and tip-earning staff. All this results in a proverbial soup of potential accounting nightmares that could make the most skilled financial experts take pause. Recently, HT, with support from Restaurant 365, conducted a survey of nationwide restaurant operators from a mix of segments, ownership models and sizes to get a sense of the current state of restaurant accounting and sentiment. Having a central source of data is a key concern for restaurant operators and having data in one ecosystem eliminates the need to navigate through multiple platforms, which takes time and delays impact decision making.
3) Drive-Thru Updates Are Top Strategic Priority for Jack in the Box
An impressive 70% of Jack in the Box business comes through the drive-thru, Chairman and CEO, Lenny Comma explained during a Q1 earnings call with analysts. About half of its dining room orders are for takeout. “…Drive-thru enhancement is probably the number one area of focus for capital investments,” he said.
2) Kitchen United Announces Locations for Kitchen Centers in Austin and Scottsdale
Kitchen United is expanding its presence as the demand for off-premise grows. Its commercial kitchen spaces provide restaurant operators the ability to increase revenue by expanding their off-premise delivery, pickup and catering business, as well as enter new markets without the expensive build-out of a new restaurant. Kitchen United has signed lease agreements for kitchen centers in Austin, Texas, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The locations are expected to open in the third quarter of 2019 as part of the company’s national expansion plans, which includes opening 15 kitchen centers through the course of the year. Kitchen United currently operates locations in Pasadena, California and Chicago, and recently announced new lease agreements in Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio.
1) Pizza Hut, FedEx Team Up to Test Autonomous Delivery
Pizza Hut is collaborating with FedEx, specifically to explore the use of the FedEx SameDay Bot, a new autonomous delivery device aimed to revolutionize local delivery. When tested this summer, the bot will serve as support to existing delivery staff in an effort to improve efficiency of the delivery process without compromising the quality of the pizza.