A New Wave of Tech in Restaurants is Coming…Are You in the Dark?

With many technological solutions available for restaurants today, Chef Jehangir Mehta wisely takes the sniper approach. Still fond of low-tech operations to keep it simple, Mehta carefully finds tech solutions that make sense for his restaurant.

In deciding which technology to use, Mehta kept his focus on optimizing the quality of the food, space, and staff without breaking his budget. Without a hostess, OpenTable has been invaluable for securing and organizing reservations, assigning tables, recognizing repeat diners, and remembering the individual restaurant’s preferences. It also opens up the restaurant to the OpenTable network of diners. Mehta feels this is a technology that has been invaluable on multiple fronts, including their bottom line.

In terms of additional technological management tools, one Mehta is leaning toward is electronic payment. “One thing that I definitely want to look into in terms of the future, something I feel the industry will completely move towards, is mobile payment,” he says. Mehta views mobile payment not as a question of “if” but “when.”

He explained this will be the next advancement in restaurant technology and will undoubtedly pursue aggressively. It’s clear that mobile payment is here and embracing it within the restaurant sphere is the next logical step. It is a matter of staying in touch with the consumer base and universal technological changes that will keep his restaurant efficient and with the times.

That being said, Mehta confesses, “In terms of technology, I wouldn’t say that we’ve gone that berserk with our restaurant. I think, more so, because they are so small.” Mehta’s theory is to keep it simple with technology and to remember if it’s not contributing in a significant way to optimizing management, then it could be an unnecessary added expense.

A platform carefully selected by Mehta, however, is BlueCart. As he explains, “BlueCart is very helpful because it manages inventory easily and prevents over-ordering or duplicate ordering.” With a simple, user-friendly system, Mehta and his team can easily manage inventory, check-in items, as well as receive visual verifications of the items to be received. “With the way society is moving, I think people become very distracted, and BlueCart creates that order and flow with minimal distractions.”

Finally, for those looking for technological solutions for their restaurant, Mehta gives wise advice. “It is not necessary to have all the bells and whistles if you are starting on a small scale. In a small restaurant, technology can be an added expense, and a restaurant can run efficiently without it,” Mehta explains, “People think you need a lot of infrastructure, but sometimes you just need a good product. This is an area to not overdo it on and feel the pressure of the technological era. It may be an added expense that “can help, but is not needed.”

Continue to follow along as Tim Ma, Tanya Holland, and Jehangir Mehta joins forces with us under the Zero Kitchen Waste Program.

Be sure to check out the full interview in May 2017's Edition of Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine. Article written by Founder and Publisher Shawn Wenner.