|By PR Newswire||
|August 7, 2014 08:40 AM EDT||
TROY, Mich., Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Diggity Drive Up, a new restaurant featuring gourmet hot dogs and sandwiches coupled with a craft beer bar, recently opened their doors in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, on July 17 amidst a touch of controversy. Some local residents and journalists have voiced criticism over the apparent replacement of traditional restaurants servers with kiosks. Local news even reported that Diggity had come up with a brand new concept, a "server-free restaurant," sparking heated debate about jobs in the local economy.
Reports are missing one key concept, however. Instead of utilizing traditional full service, Diggity has adopted the Fast Casual model similar to other industry giants – Qdoba, Panera and Five Guys, to name a few – where servers are not needed in the cafeteria-style atmosphere. Fast Casual diners are looking for a higher quality of food not offered by QSRs (fast food) without the time commitment found in traditional, full service restaurants.
Critics are right about one fact: Diggity has opted to eliminate cashiers in favor of self-order kiosks coupled with remote ordering. Customers perform the data-entry for orders themselves, formerly the role of the counter workers at most fast food establishments. Self-order options promise to be faster and more accurate for guests as they eliminate miscommunication between the customer and the employees, and restaurants see benefits from increased customer flow and less food waste due to incorrect orders.
Minimum wage has recently become a controversial topic, with fast food workers nationwide striking to bring attention to the question of what constitutes fair compensation in the industry. Demanding a $15 per hour "liveable" wage – more than double current federal minimum wage – poses problems for restaurant owners who operate in what is widely considered a narrow profit margin industry.
For Fast Casual and Quick Service Restaurant business owners in a competitive niche, rising food costs coupled with other factors in a still-struggling (and still-inflationary) economy force them to consider alternative means to keep operational costs down while delivering an affordable meal featuring quality food paired with a great experience for guests.
Anoush Ansari, managing partner for Hemisphere Restaurant Group and Diggity, simply wanted to deliver great American food with a technology-driven experience. Hemisphere wasn't seeking to operate a full service restaurant with this particular concept as Ansari understands the costs associated with operating one. The main goal, Ansari explained, was to deliver great food in a Fast Casual atmosphere to keep costs low and deliver competitive prices for their guests.
"This is one way we can keep margins where we want them to be, with the use of technology," said Ansari. He continues to acknowledge that the rising cost of minimum wage affects the costs of dining, often passed on to the guest. In response to an online article criticizing the use of technology in place of servers, a representative of Hemisphere rebutted:
"Classics like dogs and beef sandwiches aren't usually served up table side by legions of the much appreciated, skilled service professionals working in full service establishments. The important questions are: how do customers benefit from the integration of affordable, scratch made food, service and technology? And how many new jobs exist as a result of this new restaurant?"
Customers interviewed by local news stations seemed to prefer the kiosks and didn't miss having a server, comparing it much to a typical experience using self-checkout at the local grocery store, or to experiences at similar Fast Casual concepts. Another leading concept, Panera, recently spent $43 million to develop a new system with self-order and mobile ordering playing central roles, similar to the system provided by NEXTEP SYSTEMS (http://nextepsystems.com) for Diggity.
Tommy Woycik, President of NEXTEP SYSTEMS based in Troy, Michigan, says that self-order options aren't replacing people, and are going to become more prevalent at the behest of guests, not just owners who want to lower operational costs.
"Self-order kiosks allow business owners to repurpose their labor to food production and customer service," said Woycik. "When you streamline the order process, you increase throughout, resulting in more orders and improved speed of service. The staff that were formerly standing at the counter just to enter orders are now free to help on the line, maintain appearances in the restaurant or give guests with questions their undivided attention."
But what about the guests? "From what we've experienced, once they try it, most guests prefer ordering online or from a kiosk, especially when we have features that remember their favorite orders," Woycik continues. "Self-order kiosks paired with mobile ordering eliminate two of the things people dislike the most about fast food – long lines and inaccurate orders. With our solution, guests get the personalized experience they want in less time, and the kiosk gets the order right every time."
"It's a win-win for guests and owners alike."
SOURCE NEXTEP SYSTEMS
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 656
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 1, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 152
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 1, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 481
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 326
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 517
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 1, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 453
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 178
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Aug. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 215
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 294
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 189
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 393
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 138
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Aug. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,689
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Aug. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 309
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Jul. 31, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 790