Rob Grimes, President of the International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) recently interviewed Niko Papademetriou, a 10-year restaurant industry veteran and Vice President of Business Development at Qu, to learn how Qu is enhancing operator and guest experiences for enterprise restaurants.
Watch the two-part video interview series below (with summarized transcripts) where Rob and Niko discuss Qu's mission and vision and the evolving role of POS in the restaurant tech stack.
Part 1: Let's Get to Know Qu
Q: How do you describe Qu?
It’s simple: Qu delivers technology solutions to help restaurant operators better engage their guests and simplify the management of their systems. We focus on digital-forward enterprise restaurants – typically with more than 20 locations. Our mission is to take restaurant POS beyond its current fragmented state into a manageable, unified experience for enterprise operators and guests alike.
Q: What is Qu’s vision for the enterprise restaurant POS industry?
Our vision is to provide a consolidated platform—an enterprise technology suite—to restaurants that enables them to centrally manage their ever-growing order channels by seamlessly blending our ordering solutions with best-in-class solutions for their business, and wrap it all around a pre-normalized data model. Nobody was doing a great job simplifying the omni-channel ordering process with one single solution, we felt like the market was empty there, so it was an opportunity for us to problem-solve.
Q: What’s Next for Qu & Enterprise Restaurant Operators?
Historically, integration partners and other workaround solutions for POS have been marginally successful, but the problem is they're not bi-directional and they don't create a single source of truth by providing a single place to manage your business. We're releasing a new suite of deeper integrations to make the data flow and process bi-directional (and unified) so you can manage your business from one environment.
Q: Where do you see Qu three years from now?
In three years, we will continue to provide the best enterprise point of sale (POS) platform to operators, while taking it a level above with our extendable API-driven approach. We also have a few new products planned to launch in 2020 that will simplify the lives of enterprise operators from a data perspective—I can't wait to talk to you about those in our next interview!
Q: What’s happening at Qu today?
From day one of the company, the goal was to scale into thousand-unit chains and go global. We signed our first thousand-unit chain earlier this year and are working with a few more national brands, and we're super excited about that! And we've continued to move upmarket as we've built the product to meet the needs of those enterprises.
Part 2: Enterprise Restaurant POS Trends & The Role of Third-Party Integrations
In part two, Rob & Niko discuss industry trends, particularly opportunities with third-party delivery that enterprise restaurants need to watch out for.
Q: What are the major technology trends in the fast-casual & quick-service restaurant industry?
The third-party marketplaces and delivery service providers have been the latest in a long line of innovators over these last five years who are turning the industry upside-down. I think one of the problems—and this is a constant in the operator's world today—is that we all want to implement something new, something to engage our guests better, and there’s always another cost to it. That's always the driver of these technological shifts. But, not many technology partners think through the technical integrations or the cost implications longer term.
Q: What's the role of third-party integrations at Qu?
At Qu, we ensure our entire platform is built to communicate bidirectionally with the largest players in the marketplace. We’re empowering our customers to manage their menus with UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub (with others coming) from our back end and accept those orders directly into our POS. This is of great value to operators and is a dramatic shift from the work-arounds they're having to deploy today.
We never want to build something if we can't do it better than anybody else out there. We don't want to just create some product suites so that we can give customers one throat to choke and give it to them real cheap.
Q: Does Qu provide operators with access to data collected from third-party integrations?
Yes, our native, bidirectional integrations with UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash provide a unified data set today.
Q: Can you consolidate the data from third-parties?
Not only can we consolidate through our core, omni-channel platform, but we can actually help you bring that customer back to the restaurant even when they engaged you through a third-party marketplace. It's something we'll be bringing to market next year, it's something that we're really proud of.
The data is extremely important. The guest engagement is most important. For operators to be able to be successful into the future, they still need to know who their customer is today and they need to be able to engage them better tomorrow.
The IFBTA is a nonprofit trade association, that promotes the use of technology within the global food and beverage industries with a specific focus on education, certification, standards, research and networking.
Governed by a board of top-level food and beverage IT executives, the IFBTA incorporates operator and supplier participation and input to promote technology education, networking, and solutions.
Qu leverages technology to help restaurant operators better engage their guests. We are an enterprise scale restaurant technology company. Our mission is to transform restaurant POS beyond its current fragmented state into a manageable, unified experience for enterprise operators and guests alike.