Every day, new technologies are being integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. The food industry, being one of the biggest parts of that has no doubt already seen tons of innovation. From new methods of cooking to 3D printed food, technology has continued to change the way we think about, consume, and of course, pay for food.
When it comes to ordering and paying at a restaurant, long gone are the days of servers forgetting your orders (okay, maybe not completely gone). As pen and paper are quickly being replaced by gadgets like tablets and self-serve monitors, restaurants are becoming more efficient in every step of the process, such as placing orders, splitting bills, and processing payments.
One of the companies leading innovation in this industry is TouchBistro. Ranked as the #1 restaurant POS system in 37 countries, TouchBistro offers a solution packed with features to help make the lives of restaurateurs and their employees easier.
This month we spoke with TouchBistro CEO, Alex Barrotti, to learn more about their partnerships, how TouchBistro deals with regulations, and his thoughts on the biggest opportunities in the industry.
Trulioo: Congratulations on your recent partnership with Thinking Capital! Can you tell us a little more about your decision to join forces with Thinking Capital for a win-win partnership?
Alex: Restaurateurs often ask us if we have a leasing partner so they can conserve some capital, or they ask for referrals for business lines of credit. People spend a lot of money to start a restaurant and grow it. We are committed to providing restaurants with the best tools they need for success, so we thought it would be natural to partner with Thinking Capital to help restaurant owners relieve the cash stress.
Thinking Capital has provided financing to thousands of restaurants across Canada over the past ten years. It can evaluate a business and its operations in as little as 24 hours to get restaurants the capital they need. Restaurant owners have a much greater chance of securing financing through Thinking Capital as lending decisions are based on a more holistic picture of company performance and cash flow, rather than on personal financial and credit information.
Right now we are set up to refer restaurateurs seeking financing to Thinking Capital through the TouchBistro user online portal. In the next phase of our partnership, we plan to add more advanced capabilities allowing Thinking Capital to offer faster and smarter financing suggestions to restaurateurs.
Trulioo: One of the greatest concerns when it comes to fintechs is security. What would you say are some of the biggest regulatory challenges surrounding payments and KYC for you and your clients?
Alex: TouchBistro works very closely with all our payment processors to ensure a smooth and reliable payment onboarding experience. We spend months working with our payment processors before we go live, going through a very lengthy compliance process. This can require as many as 200 steps, including testing hundreds of transactions with our payment processors to ensure we are compliant with “out-of-scope” regulations. The payment processor is responsible for satisfying AML regulations, relieving us from that process. All our customers fill in the AML certificate when they open an account with any bank and are pre-vetted before they get to us.
Trulioo: We noticed that TouchBistro has extensive features on its platform, such as custom modifiers, in-app messaging and real-time sales snapshots — it has definitely made quite the name in the restaurant industry! Because TouchBistro keeps its finger on the pulse of trends, where do you see the most opportunity for the industry?
Alex: The biggest opportunity for the industry is in implementing mobile technology. Restaurants can be much more efficient when they do tableside ordering and payment processing. Restaurant operators report that when they implemented mobile technology they improved the speed and quality of their service, had more table turns, better customer satisfaction, and increased their bottom line.
Mobile technology reduces the time waiters spend running back and forth to the server stations as the orders can be entered into a tablet right at the table and transmitted instantly to the kitchen for preparation. Information like daily specials, preparation options, and allergens can be on the tablet as well, so there is no memorizing or errors that can create customer upset and take time to be corrected. The POS can also be programmed to remind the wait staff when taking the order about upsell opportunities depending on what the customer plans to eat, like adding mushrooms or a cheese sauce to his steak.
With the long business hours of restaurants and bars, many owners need to manage the operation even when they are not physically at the facility. A mobile POS supports this flexibility with summary reports and key metrics in real-time so good business decisions can be made remotely, from any location, on any mobile device.
Mobile technology will continue to evolve with more exciting advancements in the future. It’s the way the world is going. The restaurants that take advantage of this technology trend will have a definite competitive edge with lower overhead and a better customer experience.
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