The urgent need of the digitization of restaurants
French tables, tradition, urgency and digitization
Le 27 February 2021
The reception in restaurants is still postponed. Far from the eyes, far from the heart, the adage is all the more cruel for a sector which remains one of the few to mainly build customer relations directly. It is at the table that we forge lasting bonds. Perhaps this is why digitization of restaurants is slow and sluggish.
Also because the sporadic offer of solutions is difficult to access, too cumbersome to implement or unsuitable. Or because restaurateurs, like any business, need support. Or for the sum of these reasons. However, in the face of an emergency, the digitization of processes is essential. With the support essential to restaurateurs. A press box by Guillaume Ponsard, Founding President of French fintech CentralPay.
Techs and traditions, an unlikely duo ?
The gastronomy, the tables and the French art of living, registered in the intangible heritage of UNESCO, undoubtedly represent a set of rich traditions, French pride if there is one. For weeks, however, restaurant owners have not been practicing their profession as they would like. The tradition in the face of the pandemic is no match. But what about tradition in the face of new technologies? Are they soluble, compatible, complementary? It is evident that restaurants were not prepared to consider their business in the context of social distancing.
The click & collect, implemented off the cuff, remains for many of them very artisanal, when there is a web page to inform customers about the menu. Almost of the order of refusal, of opposition to technologies, restaurants only exploit the available solutions to a minimum and are often limited to a page open on a social network, possibly, for the most progressive, to a automatic reservation.
The lack of appetite, without a bad pun, for digital processes is illustrated on various levels. Only the most advanced have adopted payment terminals connected to the cash register and the kitchen. The paper order that we exchange from hand to hand or the formula that we shout through the hatch remain commonplace and participate, in their own way, in the tradition.
Customer relationship with technology
In short, French catering is far from being the FoodTech that we praise, but that is not the heart of the problem. Far from us the idea of pushing a chef to transform his art through digitization of restaurants. On the other hand, the point of view that we can bring to the new technologies would deserve to be renewed, because they can do a lot for the customer relationship which is so important, and rightly so, by restaurant owners.
Article originally published on December 9, 2020 and to be read in full on infoDSI.com.