3 restaurant technology trends from MURTEC 2022

Last week, we attended the Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference (MURTEC) in Las Vegas to connect with industry leaders and share how Radar empowers restaurant brands with location data for curbside and order pickup, location-based marketing, and competitive intelligence. MURTEC brings together the leading minds from the restaurant industry to share innovations in technology and strategy that can impact customer loyalty and revenue. During the conference, we had the opportunity to learn from restaurant leaders, partners, and customers about how technology and innovation is transforming the restaurant business.

Here are three restaurant-industry trends from MURTEC worth paying attention to given their potential impact on customer loyalty, engagement, operations, and revenue and a summary of our solutions partners who are helping to power restaurant technology innovation.

Innovations in the restaurant industry

1. Spectacular experiences as a competitive advantage

In 2020, as a result of COVID-19, brands were forced to quickly develop order ahead and pickup experiences. Industry leaders have leaned into continued customer demand for order ahead and pickup by investing in technology and processes to shorten wait times and exceed customer expectations. For these restaurant brands, continuing to deliver exceptional experiences curbside or at the drive-thru window will enable customer loyalty and revenue.

The next step for innovation within restaurants is to focus on improving the experience while consumers are on-premise. As customers return to booths, bar stools, and dining rooms, restaurant brands have a unique opportunity to develop loyalty by winning on in-restaurant experience. Mobile apps, which drive order ahead and pickup can also be used for new applications, such as rewards programs, location-aware experiences, and contactless payments. Digital innovators who capitalize on this moment will be able to attract new customers and drive retention through dining experiences that are memorable for all the right reasons.

Additionally, restaurant brands can use the same tools that power location-based order ahead and pickup experiences to gather new data such as app engagement while in-restaurant, impact of on-prem offers, and foot traffic. There are many options available for data organization, many of which integrate with other solutions restaurants already have in place. Together, Radar and Amplitude make it easy for restaurant brands to organize data related to on-prem behavior into actionable insights that help reduce wait times and increase revenue via repeat visits — all while maintaining privacy-conscious standards.

2. Increased demand for seamless tech stack integrations

The trends toward new digital solutions to drive digital transformations highlight the importance of seamless integrations with existing tech stacks. Solutions that integrate easily into existing technology allow IT teams to decrease costs while delivering ROI to operations and marketing teams. As restaurants implement new technology, they need to ensure smooth communication between these solutions and their existing tools without reinventing the wheel.

Hathway, one of our Solutions Partners known for driving revenue through digital experiences, held a session during MURTEC led by EVP Kevin Rice, titled “Evolving Your Martech Stack,” featuring leaders from 3 restaurant brands: Dutch Bros, Red Robin, and Jack in the Box. The interactive session covered what these brands have learned to prioritize after they have launched new features for customers like online ordering and rewards programs. The group discussed the importance of seamless integrations as restaurants bring on additional tools. One such recommendation was to consider tech stack integrations in tandem with strategy development.

With Radar’s open-source SDK and our tech ecosystem, we’re equipped to support tech teams and business leaders in all practices.

3. Emerging technologies

Leading brands are pivoting quickly with flexible technology to meet consumer needs. The conversations at MURTEC emphasized the importance of innovation as a critical function for marketing, operations, and IT leaders in the restaurant industry. We’ve seen tremendous growth and success from restaurants that have taken advantage of cutting-edge solutions like beacon and place detection technology to support accurate on-premise experiences.

MURTEC keynote speaker, Jon Taffer, spoke to the positive effects that technology solutions have on the restaurant industry, opening doors for back-of-house (BOH) efficiencies and front-of-house (FOH) guest experiences.

Wade Allen, SVP & Head of Innovation at Brinker International led a session around the use of drone technology to deliver next-generation experiences for consumers and streamline restaurant operations.

Radar’s partnerships fuel industry innovations

During MURTEC, our team connected with many of our technology and integration partners like Olo, Braze, mParticle, Hathway, Attentive, and WWT and we’re excited to continue growing these partnerships to continue driving innovation in the restaurant tech space.

These discussions with other industry solution providers continue to reinforce the need for innovative partnerships that support seamless integrations for restaurants. As we grow our partnership ecosystem, we continue to unlock new ways for restaurants to use location technology to increase customer engagement and brand loyalty, opportunities for location in order ahead and pickup experiences at restaurants, and location-based marketing with SMS messaging solutions.

Looking to the future with Radar

We’re so excited to be a contributor in the restaurant technology industry and look forward to future opportunities to connect with leaders and learn more. If you missed us at MURTEC, we’ll be at Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) in Phoenix, AZ on April 10-13 at Booth #511.

In the meantime, schedule a time to talk with our sales team and continue powering innovation at your restaurant.