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Unlocking Growth: Key Strategies from RLC 2024

Published on May 10, 2024
By PAR Team

For over 25 years, the Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) has remained a cornerstone event for restaurant owners, operators, and franchisees. This year’s conference in Scottsdale, Arizona was no exception. From the power of integration to the importance of the employee experience, RLC 2024 dove deep into the current state of the restaurant industry, providing attendees with insights on exciting new trends, opportunities, and recent challenges.

PAR’s own Paul Rubin, Chief Strategy Officer, led an insightful session at this year’s conference. The panel discussion featured esteemed restaurant industry leaders Kevin Bentley, Head of Technology at Jollibee North America, Jeff Caplan, Chief Information Officer at Hooters of America, and Chris Schefler, Director of Brand Management at Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop. Collectively, they shared their expert insights on what strategies drive enterprise restaurant growth. The discussion boiled down to these essential growth strategies:

The Impact of Technology

To all panelists, leveraging modern and proven technology is the key to unlocking enterprise restaurant growth. Whether implementing cutting-edge point-of-sale systems or efficient back-office management solutions, restaurant brands must carefully craft a tech stack that aligns with their specific needs and goals before they can successfully scale and grow. Technology serves as the foundation for a restaurant brand’s growth, enabling streamlined operations, frictionless checkout processes, and most importantly, enhanced guest experiences. Additionally, technology opens the door for restaurants to reach guests on new channels, accept more payment methods, and enhance efficiencies.

The panelists emphasized that technology is a strategic investment for restaurants, as it ultimately helps them stay ahead of customer demand and market trends, ensures every aspect of operations is optimized for success, and paves the way for substantial growth.

Identify and Cultivate Partnerships

In addition to leveraging the right technology, the panel discussion highlighted the importance of cultivating the right partnerships. As important as it is for restaurants to leverage the right technology, it is just as important for them to ensure the vendor understands their unique challenges and is committed to establishing long-term success.

Strong partnerships lead to enhanced collaboration and innovation, ultimately enabling restaurants to adapt to changing market trends and customer preferences. Moreover, strong partnerships open the door for a plethora of benefits, including access to new technologies, additional resources, and expert insights and support. These benefits are essential for restaurants as they help drive growth and success.

At the end of the day, restaurants are doing business with technology vendors, not the technology itself. Therefore, it is paramount for restaurants to select a technology partner that aligns with their values and long-term goals.

Leverage Loyalty

The panel discussion also emphasized the importance of implementing a robust loyalty strategy in conjunction with technology and partnerships. Loyalty platforms play a critical role in a restaurant’s growth strategies as they provide access to market trends and customer preferences and behaviors. Restaurants leverage these reports to gain a comprehensive understanding of their guests and what they demand, predict sales and customer lifetime values, foster positive brand awareness, and drive frequency and repeat visits.

A key benefit of a robust loyalty strategy highlighted by the panel was the ability to provide personalized experiences tailored to each customer. By diving deep into loyalty reports and granular guest data, restaurants can create targeted marketing campaigns as well as provide personalized promotions and rewards, enhancing the overall dining experience and helping restaurants win over and retain guests.

By embracing technology, fostering strong partnerships, and implementing a robust loyalty program, restaurants can navigate the ever-changing industry landscape and drive enterprise-level growth. The Restaurant Leadership Conference 2024 underscored this, and PAR Solutions remains committed to providing the tools, support, and insights restaurants need to succeed today and well into the future.

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher

General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America, an omni-channel ordering solution to futureproof restaurant’s growing digital sales needs. Before taking on this new role in January 2023, she was an integral part of Punchh’s growth story. She has advised hundreds of customers over the past eight years on their loyalty strategies both from a base program standpoint as well as ongoing marketing strategies. Before Punchh, Tiffany worked for Schlotzsky’s where she supported the brand marketing team by leading loyalty, eClub, R&D, Franchise advisory council and marketing analytics. Tiffany has her Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from University of Oregon and Master’s in Business with a specialty in Marketing from Baylor University. An avid golfer, hiker and mom of two small children, Tiffany spends her limited free time entering into baking competitions.