236. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 236 – Embracing Technology in the Fast-Casual Space: A Deep Dive with Bobby’s Burgers

In the rapidly evolving world of fast-casual dining, embracing technology is no longer a choice—it’s a necessity. This sentiment rings especially true in our latest conversation on the Restaurant Technology Guys podcast, where we were thrilled to host Patric Knapp, Vice President of Operations at Bobby’s Burgers by Bobby Flay.

The Vision Behind Bobby’s Burgers

Bobby’s Burgers is not just another name in the crowded burger marketplace. It is a concept that marries traditional fast-casual dining with the culinary expertise of renowned chef Bobby Flay. According to Knapp, at the heart of Bobby’s Burgers lies a deep commitment to quality and innovation—values that are evident in everything from their cooking techniques to their use of technology.

Leaning into Technology for Execution

In a fascinating discussion on the role of technology in the kitchen, Knapp sheds light on how Bobby’s Burgers uses cutting-edge equipment to ensure consistency and quality across their outlets. One of the standout pieces of technology they employ is clamshell grills, which allow for perfect medium-cooked burgers every time, at the press of a button.

Further integrating technology into their operations, Bobby’s Burgers leverages a system called Kitchen Connect—a real-time dashboard that monitors and analyses kitchen activities. This system not only facilitates seamless kitchen operations but also ensures a high level of consistency in food quality by providing insights into recipe execution, equipment maintenance, and menu management.

Innovation in Customer Service and Engagement

The podcast also delves into how Bobby’s Burgers uses technology to enhance customer service and engagement. With an emphasis on making every aspect of the dining experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible, Knapp discussed the implementation of kitchen video systems for better order accuracy and speed, ensuring hot food arrives hot, and cold items remain cold until they reach the customer.

Off-Premise Dining: A Tech-Driven Approach

One of the most captivating parts of the conversation was how Bobby’s Burgers approaches off-premise dining. Recognizing the shift towards online ordering and delivery, the brand has embraced technologies like order ready screens and has even explored the use of delivery robots for faster service. Their focus is on packaging innovation and meticulous order fulfillment to guarantee the same high-quality dining experience, whether the food is enjoyed in-store or at home.

Looking Towards the Future with AI and Expansion

Looking to the future, Knapp expressed enthusiasm about the potential of AI in improving various facets of the restaurant’s operations—from voice AI for order taking to analytics for personalized customer experiences.

As Bobby’s Burgers continues to grow, with plans to expand their footprint and welcome new franchise partners, it’s clear that technology will remain at the forefront of their strategy. The brand’s focus is on being the best in the burger business, not necessarily the biggest, with an unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and hospitality.

In conclusion, our conversation with Patric Knapp offered a compelling glimpse into how Bobby’s Burgers leverages technology not just for the sake of innovation but as a tool to enhance every aspect of the dining experience. It’s a testament to the power of technology in reshaping the fast-casual dining landscape, ensuring that customers enjoy not only great food but also an exceptional service that keeps them coming back.