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RTM Member Spotlight: Courtney Radke

What unique problem does your company solve for restaurants?

Restaurants have always presented threat actors with an attractive target. With the amount of customer and payment data flowing through restaurant networks, and the continued adoption of omni-channel technologies, restaurants now require higher performance and security to provide safe and consistent customer experiences. Fortinet provides restaurants with a truly comprehensive solution enabling both high-performance networking and industry leading security that can be run in parallel and without sacrificing performance or the customer experience. The Fortinet Security Fabric takes a broad, integrated, and automated approach with a level of comprehensive protection that is unique and allows restaurants to simplify operations and continue to drive digital innovation without having to compromise.

Why did your company join RTN?

As a highly regarded association in the retail industry we knew as an organization that there were so many benefits to Fortinet being a member of the RTN. Everyone involved with the RTN understands the importance of IT in the restaurant industry. Our membership provides numerous opportunities for Fortinet to learn from RTN members what is truly important in the industry while also affording the ability to provide our experiences and expertise in cyber security to RTN members.

What's your favorite personal past-time?

My favorite pastime(s) can be broken up into two categories; with kids / sans kids. With kids I love to go fishing and watch live baseball games. Without, I love to catch an early morning round of golf and be back in time to watch football on Saturday/Sunday mornings. Ultimately, the goal is for these all to intersect.

What three words would you use to describe what's happening in the restaurant industry right now?

Innovation. Resiliency. Consolidation.

What's your most-used restaurant app?

My most used restaurant app would have to be the Sonic Drive-in app. My children live for corn dogs, pretzel twists, and slushes.

Restaurateur you most admire & why.

While not a current restauranteur, my first introduction to the restaurant industry came by way of Sonic Drive-in which, at the time, was led by Cliff Hudson. Cliff was the consummate leader, always working to grow the brand through growing people. "Relationships as a way of life" was a core tenant at Sonic and one that Cliff exemplified every day from the glass office with an open door to leading the company in the singing of happy birthday at the monthly luncheons. During his tenure, which spanned over 30 years, Cliff saw the company grow from less than 1500 locations to the more than 3500 locations in operation today. Throughout this period of growth, which had its share of ups and downs, Cliff continued to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in his employees and worked to ensure all of them, and all Sonic customers, knew they were "Worth a Mint!"

What technology are you most excited about for the future of restaurants?

I am most excited about how AI and robotics can be operationalized to provide safer, more consistent, and more efficient restaurant experiences. The applications are endless and we have already begun to see how the benefits these two concepts, separately and in tandem, can bring to restaurants. From AI-driven kiosks to kitchen robotics, the deployments in these areas will see a much greater adoption over the next 3-5 years. The future is bright within the restaurant industry with technology paving the way!