Evolving Technology for Restaurant Operations

In early March at Oracle's Food & Beverage conference held prior to the COVID-19 outbreak shutdown, Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine discussed the company's plans for products and services designed to help Mom and Pop restaurants with Chris Adams, VP of Strategy for Oracle F+B about their future plans in the above video. Since then, the whole world changed and we checked in with Adams to see how Oracle was moving forward. 

According to Adams, the team hit the ground running and worked with its partners to helps tailor programs to help restaurants pivot their business models. 

"Everything has changed," he said. "We were able to deliver a roadmap to restaurants with real-time analytics and KPI's so they can remain agile."

Oracle did reflect on recent restaurant partnerships and how they are faring in the pandemic. 
Fafa’s, a Finnish pita and salad restaurant chain currently with 45 stores with a goal to grow to over a hundred in the next two years, reports conditions have not dampened their outlook, as they have systematically opened new stores across northern Europe.

“We understand our customers extremely well,” said Ville Myllyniemi, CEO at Fafa’s. “They are young, ambitious and aspire to tread lightly on the planet and value sharing healthy food with friends and family. Our customer is at the center of every business decision we make, from what we serve to how we serve. It’s that level of intimacy that gives us the confidence to continue pursuing our growth targets.”

Fafa’s desire to expand their business, while ensuring the safety of employees and customers is as strong as ever. In 2018, as the company pursued expansion, restaurants were finding wait times were exceeding the desired level. Orders from online channels and delivery partners had to be manually entered into its previous Point-of-Sale (POS) system, and manually delivered to the kitchen. They also had a tremendous amount of data from disparate sources with no way to efficiently aggregate and analyze inventory, customer preferences and more.

The modern fast-food company has partnered with Oracle to help them lead this change. Fafa’s implemented Oracle MICROS Simphony Point-of-Sale and kitchen display systems throughout its properties in 2019 to achieve several key objectives: improve speed of service and customer experience through integrated sales channels and better leverage restaurant data and analytics across their business.

In collaboration with Oracle Food and Beverage and cloud ecosystem partners, Fafa’s has streamlined their order process and kitchen operations to reduce wait times and increase customer satisfaction. From self-service kiosks to online orders from their website, social media, app and in the future, chatbot-ordering, Fafa’s can now ensure customer orders are accurate and timely.

We have seen exceptional resilience from restaurateurs across the globe.

“Oracle have helped us turn our vision into reality. Taking the spark of an idea, turning it into strategy, and implementing it. That’s why we are passionate about it, and that’s why we like Oracle’s so much,” said Myllyniemi.

While Italy was one of the hardest-hit regions during the current health crisis, restaurants are finally being permitted to slowly reopen among heavy restrictions. Panino Giusto is embracing technology, including Oracle MICROS Simphony Point-of-Sale to help pivot and deliver a safer, pleasurable experience to customers.

“Our mission has always been to bring everyone a slice of Italian life while respecting the individual and the environment. Now more than ever we want to protect our customers and staff,” said Antonio Civita, CEO of Panino Giusto. “Technology is helping us to reimagine our restaurants and our customers’ experience without losing any of the quality and warmth they have come to know and love.” 

With Simphony as its central information hub, Panino Giusto is introducing several new options and operating models to drive revenue, preserve margins and deliver a high-quality consumer experience. Oracle collaborated with Smart Technologies Limited, Get Your Bill and Tas Group, to help Panino reimagine every part of the business from delivery processes that intelligently use in-house staff or aggregators based on business objectives, to multiple options for contactless payment and pickup that minimize wait times.

Step one was extending Panino’s loyalty app, My Panino Giusto, so customers could order, pay and account for their loyalty points all in one place. While this project normally would have taken months, Oracle, Smart Technologies and the other partners had it completed in just weeks.

“Oracle moved quickly to mobilize a partner network that allowed us to navigate the crisis and prepare for the rebound,” added Civita. “Patrons will now be able to order and prepay for dine-in or take out, and payment will be tokenized so customers can be identified by their loyalty program membership to accumulate or redeem rewards with no additional effort. We could not have done this so fast without Oracle’s and our other partners amazing support and service.”

Orders from the app go directly into Simphony, helping ensure they are queued quickly and timed based on delivery or pick-up—even accounting for the distance from a Panino location the order will be delivered. The next phase in the evolution of their customer experience will be allowing customers to pre-book tables and orders to ensure easy, contactless service and social-distancing based on local guidelines. All of this helps Panino better manage inventory and kitchen costs by gaining deeper data insights into what customers are ordering and when.

“We have seen exceptional resilience from restaurateurs across the globe,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, Oracle Food and Beverage SVP and GM. “Panino Giusto was fast to recognize the need for a digital transformation mindset and tackled that head-on with thoughtful and inventive ideas. Oracle is inspired to be part of a collaborative team using technology to test new concepts, assess effectiveness and adjust accordingly.”