Jeremy Julian


134. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 134 – Synergy Consultants release Synergy Sync. A restaurant specific digital training tool

January 17, 2022

Join Jeremy and Mike Walls from Synergy Restaurant Consultants where they have a solution for staff training. They developed a restaurant specific LMS solution to help keep consistent training across your staff. Check them out Leading Restaurant Consulting Firm | Synergy Restaurant Consultants (

How AI Technology Can Help You Tackle the Current Restaurant Labor Crisis

January 11, 2022

Everyone working in the restaurant industry is only too well aware of the restaurant labor crisis precipitated by the COVID 19 pandemic.

COVID closures led to mass lay-offs of staff, but reopening businesses have not found that their talented and experienced staff are necessarily keen to rush back to work.

In fact, statistics from the U.S. Labor Department suggest that an astonishing 7% of hospitality workers quit their jobs in November 2021 alone.

The ‘Great Resignation’ of Restaurant Staff

This may be partly because many restaurant workers have got used to working from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring new opportunities.

And in a tightening labor market, even those who do want to return to full-time employment are able to demand wages, terms, and conditions that can place a significant burden on many outlets.

Fortunately, today’s restaurant technology offers owners and managers a number of ways to tackle this problem.

How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Help With Restaurant Recruitment

With experienced and well-qualified staff now able to take their pick of the most attractive positions, speed is of the essence for businesses looking to secure their services. 

That’s why emerging AI solutions such as “Olivia” are focused on using automation to streamline the traditionally cumbersome recruitment process.

Olivia is described as an AI-enabled conversation assistant that can save recruitment teams tremendous amounts of time by automating numerous tasks.

Candidates are enabled to submit their applications by text, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or whatever may be their preferred communication platform, using text, voice, or even video.

Fast and Efficient Candidate Screening

From the employers’ point of view, they can quickly and easily screen out those applicants who are unlikely to be suitable by responding to inquiries with a questionnaire.

This may be tailored precisely to the demands of the role in question, and as brief or long, as simple or complex, as required.

Then, once a number of potential candidates have been identified, businesses and candidates can communicate directly and instantly with each other.

Any questions the pre-screened candidates may have can be answered at once, and the system can also automate the scheduling of interviews – whether in person or by using video.

A Readily Available Pool of Pre-Screened Part-Time and Temporary Staff  

Not only does this expedited process help ensure that excellent candidates are not lost during an unnecessarily drawn-out process, it also provides considerable cost and time savings for employers.

With a list of pre-screened candidates always readily available, there is no need for a scramble to fill any unexpected vacancies that may threaten the provision of the quality service customers expect.

And on this point, the system can also maintain a list of qualified individuals who may be available to help with single shift, short-term, or temporary gaps in cover.

Getting Started with AI Recruitment Systems

Artificial Intelligence can be a great boon to many aspects of running a restaurant. But with an ever-increasing number of competing systems becoming available, it’s important to choose a system that precisely suits your needs.

And, perhaps most importantly, it’s crucial to train the individuals in your organization with responsibility for recruitment. After all, restaurants are perhaps the ultimate service industry. And there’s no more important factor in your success than the quality of the people you hire.

The great thing about AI systems is that they can learn from experience in a similar way to a human operative; so that with the right inputs you can expect your system to become more accurate in its screening and quicker to find exactly the right candidates for a given role.

Success depends, though, on having existing staff who are thoroughly acquainted with the system and how it works.

The old saying from the early days of computers – “garbage in, garbage out” remains true even in the era of AI. So constant monitoring of the quality of candidates and staff identified by the system, and the tweaking of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and screening parameters as required, is essential if the maximum benefit is to be derived from the system.

Rest assured, though, that this monitoring should be nowhere near as time-consuming as more traditional methods of hiring.

Tackling the Hospitality Labor Crisis

In what was already a highly competitive and low-margin industry, the shortage of labor and the increasing costs that have resulted from the recent pandemic represent nothing less than a crisis for many outlets.

In this context, and while still an infant technology, AI recruitment systems can be an invaluable tool for assisting with the rapid hiring of the talented staff on which your business depends.  

133. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 133 – How to create a growth brand with the CEO and CMO of Oath Pizza

January 3, 2022

Join Jeremy and the Oath Pizza Leadership Team – Drew Kellogg, President and CEO, and Stacie Colburn Hayes, the Chief Marketing Officer. The former Chipotle Mexican Grill executives discuss the emergence of their Nantucket-born better-for-you pizza concept and the digital infrastructure that made pandemic survival and upcoming company-owned and franchise growth possible. Check them out at

If You Don’t Know About Predictive Analytics Your Restaurant May Be in Danger – Here’s Why

December 28, 2021

Predictive analytics is a relatively new and rapidly evolving discipline that subjects huge amounts of historical data to statistical modeling and machine learning to make predictions about future events.

Banking and finance, retail, energy, and manufacturing are just a few of the industries that are already deriving great benefits from the use of predictive analytics in the detection of fraud, marketing, inventory management, and many other operational areas.

Restaurants, of course, can also make use of predictive analytics to optimize their businesses in all of these ways.

But right now it’s in the field of food safety and health code compliance that the new discipline is proving most useful.   

Avoiding Health Code Violations with Predictive analytics

There’s no surer or quicker way to destroy a restaurant business than to be found guilty of a health code violation. And even if the immediate issue can be relatively easily addressed, the reputational damage may still be fatal.

So having advance notice of any potential problems is crucial, and that’s where predictive analytics comes into its own.

At city level, regulators such as the Chicago Department of Public Health are using these new tools to track violations across the city and to predict where the next outbreak of food-borne illness might occur next.

What Restaurants Need to Do in Practice

But at the level of the individual business, there are also important steps that can be taken that will provide significant protection against potential violations.

By providing predictive algorithms with data regarding kitchen cleanliness, staff hygiene, and time and temperature control in food storage areas, it’s possible for your systems to access pooled data from other similar models, and to highlight potential risk factors before they become problematic.

Pre-emptively addressing these factors may be as simple as upgrading handwashing signage for staff. But it may also require more complex solutions such as a revised system for maintaining and correcting temperatures in food storage areas.

But whatever the scale of the problem or solution, predictive analytics can help by making all the operations of a restaurant highly visible and transparent.

Tools such as AI graphics, updating in real-time and accessible through a comprehensive dashboard, make it easy to spot emerging problems and potential violations.

In the age of the COVID pandemic, these dashboards also offer surveillance and analytical tools that can help track the spread of the coronavirus, flu, and other contagious illnesses within the premises and amongst staff.

Predictive Analytics for Business Efficiency

Using predictive analytics for staff scheduling so as to minimize disruption due to absence, and the risk of infected team members passing on the illness to colleagues or customers is an important aid to business efficiency.

But predictive analytics can do much more for business efficiency than that.

The use of Internet of Things (IOT) sensors and monitors in kitchens, food storage and preparation areas, and delivery vehicles can provide tremendous quantities of useful data.

Combine this with the big data made available by the monitoring of supply chains, and you have a powerful tool for improving the productivity of any business. 

Machine Learning and the Future

With all the competitive pressures facing restaurants in the post-COVID era, it’s tempting for owners and managers to dismiss predictive analytics as just one more entry thing on an ever-lengthening wish list of things it might be good to do.

But in the long-run big data and its rapid analysis by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools will be a huge time-saver. And it will give a huge competitive advantage to businesses prepared to explore its many applications.

132. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 132 – Schatzy with Branded Strategic Hospitality

December 20, 2021

Join Jeremy and Michael “Schatzy” Schatzberg where they talk all things restaurant technology. From early stage investing to what new technology everyone should be looking for. They also talk about Branded Hospitality, Michaels investment wing where they look at new tech companies. Check him and Branded out here. Michael “Schatzy” Schatzberg | LinkedIn and Branded Hospitality Marketplace: Overview | LinkedIn

Returning to Profitability after COVID – How Restaurant Video Technology Can Help

December 14, 2021

While the restaurant industry remains in constant flux due to ever-changing COVID restrictions, a focus on return to profitability is crucial. Restaurant video technology will be front and center in those efforts.

At the time of writing it remains to be seen how the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus will play out; or how and when a formal end to the pandemic may come to pass.

But it’s already certain that it has brought tremendous changes to the restaurant business, and that many of these changes are likely to be permanent.

The competitive pressures in what was already a high-risk, low-margin, industry have increased significantly, and it’s only those restaurants that are prepared to fully embrace the efficiencies offered by new restaurant technology that can hope to survive or prosper.

What Today’s Restaurant Video Technology Can Do

Many new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning have already begun to transform the way the restaurant industry operates.

But older technologies like video still have a huge role to play in areas such as customer experience, food safety, staff training and performance, and security.

Safety and Security

Perhaps the most important use of video at the moment is in the surveillance of food preparation and kitchen areas.

Managers are able to monitor both in real-time and retrospectively which members of staff have had access to the kitchen and food preparation areas, and what they did while they were there.

Any failings in food preparation or hygiene practices can be corrected immediately, as can any issues with waste or theft. And the monitoring of all these things can be conducted by senior personnel both on and offsite, enabling multiple outlets to be viewed simultaneously.

Video Auditing

Closely related to the video surveillance of different restaurant areas is the relatively new technology of video auditing – essentially a way of removing the need for managers to sit watching hours and hours of unedited footage.

Video auditing makes use of a technology called “computer vision”, a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that allows computers to interpret and understand the real visual world and to react to the visual stimuli they receive.

What this means in practice is that computers are now able to recognize and count real-world objects such as drinks and food items.

The information provided by video in this way can then be checked against the data provided by till records or POS systems to allow for an audit. Any discrepancies can then be tracked to the exact date, time, and location on which they occurred.

This kind of video technology has a number of applications in inventory management, the management of waste, and the tackling of any issues with employee theft.

The Customer Experience  

Video enables managers and senior staff to monitor serving and bar areas in real-time. Any undue delays in customers being seated, served, or given their checks can be noted, and sometimes immediately corrected. And to the extent that any such delays are the result of problems with staffing levels, the necessary steps can be taken to remedy the problem.

Congestion among guests in the waiting or bar areas will be immediately apparent, as will any slowness or problems with the attitude or appearance of staff.

The Staff Experience

Finally, for any program of video monitoring to be really effective, it’s important to get staff onside.

Any suggestion of a “Big Brother is watching you” approach is likely to be detrimental to staff morale and ultimately counter-productive; something you can ill afford when experienced staff are at more of a premium than ever.

But if you can assure team members that video is ultimately for their protection as well as that of the business, and provide them with private areas out of reach of the cameras, then you can make video a very useful tool in your journey back to prosperity. 

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