After a two-year hiatus, the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York returned to the Javits Center on March 6 to 8, bringing together hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of restaurateurs and food and beverage professionals. Highlights included the presentation of the new Humanitarian Spotlight Award to Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, which has been providing nutritious meals to people in devastated regions of the world, including war-torn Ukraine. Additionally, Anita Lo, a Michelin-Star chef, Iron Chef winner and Top Chef Masters competitor, received the Torch Award, given yearly to an outstanding chef or restaurateur, while celebrity personal chef/restaurateur Millie Peartree, founder of the nonprofit Full Heart Full Bellies, won the Beacon Award for leadership and service by a woman in the industry.
PMQ’s Tom Boyles was there to scout out all of the cutting-edge products and technologies for pizzeria professionals. Here, he shares a few of his favorites.
impulseGUIDE Digital Menus
Digital Signage is point-of-decision communication. Whether interacting with customers or employees, digital signage is an effective way to get a point across, and impulseGUIDE has a solution that lets you use any TV to connect to their hardware for digital signage. Connecting a digital screen to a computer or playback device creates up-to-date, relevant content and information that can be updated quickly. Their cloud-based software contains patent-pending tools that keep content fresh with minimal effort on your part. Their scheduling tools make planning your marketing strategy a breeze. You can access the software from any internet connection, whether you’re in the office or lying on the beach! If needed, their installation team can efficiently install the systems and are educated on the different options and styles to fit your needs and have the tools to get any job done correctly.
Sometimes you see an old idea and realize it’s still a perfect solution. That’s the Café Caddie. This tabletop condiment organizer gives customers instant access to napkins, straws, seasoning packets—just about anything to make sure the customer doesn’t have to wait for your staff. It accommodates a wide selection of condiments in an organized manner and can be customized with logos, names and messages. Café Caddie has a built-in removable recycle bin that’s easy to use, washable and convenient. It will help keep your tables clean, healthy and sanitary, and it’s perfect for restaurants, catered events and outdoor dining. These designer tabletop organizers are attractive and come in black or white. Café Caddie holds creamer pods, sugar, spice packets, napkins and straws to make your diners’ experience easier. The whole unit is dishwasher-safe and refrigeration-safe.
Here’s a company that can handle all of your digital needs. QSR customers expect their food to arrive fast. Flipdish’s digital ordering software and hardware can help you do just that. Through a custom website, app, kiosk and table ordering, restaurants can digitize their operations, reduce reliance on third parties, and retain and activate customers in one convenient platform. Automated loyalty and retention campaigns drive offline and third-party customers to your fully owned first-party channels, maximizing the lifetime value of your customer base. Keep customers coming back through custom marketing campaigns via text messages and push notifications, resulting in an ROI of 532%. Flipdish also lets you reduce queues and increase average order size by 30% with their in-store kiosks, a smart way to drive efficiency and revenue while solving current industry challenges. Safe, convenient and efficient table ordering from Flipdish lets your customers order directly from the table, using their own phones, and from the same app powering your delivery and pickup services. Table ordering increases average order size and reduces your costs. Flipdish is a simple, convenient way to build your digital channels and increase revenue, and you can be up and running in days.
Revel Systems is the leading cloud-native POS platform and has built a solution specifically to meet the needs of pizzerias. Revel’s cloud infrastructure makes it quickly and easily adaptable for marketplace changes, so it’s perfect for pizza restaurants, which have long been trailblazers in the restaurant tech space. With native options for delivery, online ordering, drive-thru, kitchen management and more—not to mention ingredient-level inventory tracking—Revel’s platform is ready for pizza prime time no matter how you slice it. The intuitive interface is housed on the iPad, and with a central business dashboard, it’s ready to scale as you do.
Customer reviews can make or break a restaurant, and this company has a seamless and easy way to help. Ovation was voted the No. 1 guest feedback platform in a nationwide RestaurantOwner.com survey. Ovation uses a two-question SMS-based survey as a “digital table touch” that has redefined guest feedback. Through frictionless integrations with online ordering platforms and other tools, Ovation allows restaurants to easily resolve guest concerns in real time, get more five-star reviews, discover insights to improve, and drive revenue. It’s also a great tool to build your database, which leads to more effective and lower-cost marketing. As an approved vendor of Domino’s Canada, Ovation is a great platform for pizzerias looking to connect with their guests. Rocquisha Whyte, director of corporate affairs at Domino’s Pizza, saw Ovation increase her review velocity by 257.9%, add 2,500 guests to her database, save 149 unhappy customers, and increase her locations’ star ratings by 0.9. “With Ovation, we get direct contact with the customer, and I love it!” Whyte says. “I think customers are actually happier knowing that there’s somebody that can respond right away. I’m so happy.”