The Role Of Restaurant Tech In The New Normal with Kelly MacPherson

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What does your dream resume look like? Well, odds are it’s not as good as Kelly MacPherson’s actual resume. 

Feel free to check out Kelly’s LinkedIn page for her complete timeline, but suffice it to say that she’s a 30+ year restaurant industry veteran, who has been serving from the c-suite for just about as long. 

She’s been Chief Information Officer at top-notch brands such as Hard Rock Cafe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Burger King, Restaurant Brands International, and others, but what’s most exciting (at least for us) is that she is also the newest Ovation team member! 

As our lead advisor, her experience blending technology and hospitality is already helping us further our mission of enabling businesses to measure, build, and maintain trust with their customers. 

On this episode of Give An Ovation, Kelly talked about the future of technology in the food industry and what specific things restaurateurs should be doing in the post-COVID-19 environment. You should really watch the whole thing, but here are a few brief takeaways: 

1. Don’t Overthink Technology

Often in business we lose sight of the true problem a piece of software is supposed to solve, and we focus on the software itself. Tech should streamline processes, not drive them. 

Kelly also cautioned businesses from trying to plan for every possible scenario when building out software and slowing down the process. Remember that it will never be perfect on day one. 

2. Analytics and Automation Are No Longer Optional

The only way to understand what’s happening from a guest or operational perspective is to have good data. “I grew up in restaurants, and the mantra was always ‘cash is king'”, Kelly said, “but I think data is a close second to that.”

Automation of tedious and repetitive tasks is also crucial in freeing up the time of managers to go out and make sure their guests are having a positive experience. 

3. Utilize an Omnichannel Approach

As the pandemic has led to less revenue from dine-in, it’s imperative to bring in income from everywhere else. 3rd-party delivery, curbside and take-out, online ordering, etc. However, make sure your back end systems and operational flows can handle a new channel of revenue. 

4. Guest Feedback Is Central To Omnichannel Approaches

People have varying levels of sensitivity to COVID-19, so you need to provide options for all to eat comfortably. If you ignore a customer base, like 3rd party delivery, those customers will go somewhere else more convenient. 

The consumer base wants to be heard. They expect a quick response from any feedback they give more than ever before, and there are tools out there that make building that relationship smooth and easy.


Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on YouTube,, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts. 

And don’t forget to follow Kelly on LinkedIn for more from her!

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