Companies Changing Technology in Franchising: Omnivore
Companies Changing Technology in Franchising: Omnivore

As technology continues to influence the restaurant and hospitality industry, Omnivore provides a platform for franchises to drive business opportunities.

After decades of working to create innovative cloud-based solutions, Mike Wior and Mike Taczak recognized major technological challenges in the restaurant and hospitality industry and decided to launch Omnivore. Founded in 2014, Omnivore is a universal application program interface (API) that connects restaurants, developers and employers while streamlining the point-of-sale (POS) process.

1851 Franchise Magazine connected with Omnivore Director of Marketing Tammy Smith to learn more about how Omnivore’s technology is revolutionizing the restaurant and hospitality industry.

1851 Franchise: Could you tell me about how Omnivore’s technology helps restaurants increase revenue and drive business opportunities?

Tammy Smith: Omnivore allows restaurateurs to improve any part of their restaurant with technology that works with their existing POS system. With Omnivore’s API, restaurants can add online ordering, delivery, payment and more and have it all fit in with their current operations and require less training than an add-on system. The next level of having all this restaurant technology integrated is that restaurateurs can then get more complete data on their customers and their numbers, allowing them to make better business decisions.

Restaurants have been seeing up to a 30 percent increase in sales when adding delivery, but now a restauranteur can know what’s really affecting their profit margin and whether their servers are more successful upselling the bruschetta or the nachos.

1851: What are some of the main challenges Omnivore can help restaurants solve?

Smith: The main challenge that Omnivore solves is how restaurants keep up with their customers, not just this year, but for the next 10 years. Right now, we’re seeing restaurants trying to figure out mobile ordering and delivery because customers want to order on their phones. Two years ago, restaurants needed more secure payments, but in another year from now, something else will have evolved.

Now, it’s true that there are some delivery companies that offer POS integration, but that only solves for the delivery piece, which means a restaurateur has to start over with the next change they need to make. Omnivore makes it so that once our platform is installed, a restaurant’s POS can handle any improvement they want to make and have the different sources of data work with each other. A restaurant can add delivery now, and when the next change needs to be made, the integration piece is already done for them. It’s simply plug-and-play after that.

1851: How has the company grown and developed since its founding? How do you go about attracting and recruiting clients?

Smith: Technology in the restaurant industry has been an uphill battle. At an enterprise level, you’re dealing with widely varying locations and operations, different POS systems and a lot of fragmented solutions meant to fix very specific problems. Omnivore was founded to create a secure, single integration to connect the various POS systems and locations so that a restaurant chain can easily use new technology across its entire company, no matter where a store is located or what it’s promoting.

Since creating the initial platform, we’ve grown and developed by building relationships across the industry, from POS dealers and app partners to restaurant executives. The only way we can truly give restaurateurs and their customers a seamless experience is to not only bridge the gap technologically, but also on a very human level, which shows that no matter how much technology you use, hospitality always comes down to people.

We introduced the Omnivore Marketplace, where restaurants can choose the best curated technologies to enhance customer experiences and increase revenue streams. The relationships we’ve built in the industry have been a major part in attracting clients. We’re now at a point where we can show them that the platform works with our app partners and is making a huge difference for our existing customers.

1851: When it comes to technology, how important is it for restaurants to stay ahead of the curve?

Smith: Right now, we’re seeing some amazing innovation from the largest chains. Subway experimented with accepting Bitcoin. For most restaurants, that isn’t necessary, but customers are forcing restaurants to innovate as their habits change. When foot traffic is down and online sales are up, your restaurant automatically misses out on the customers who are ordering from their couches. What’s really important is being everywhere your customers are, or you risk losing business to the growing demand for convenience.

1851: What are some of Omnivore’s goals for the future and how does it plan to continue innovating in an ever-changing restaurant and technology industry?

Smith: Right now, we’re working to become the standard for POS integration. Not only do we want to make the technology piece easier, but we also want to give restaurateurs the freedom to choose the partners that work best for them and their customers. By offering a selection of reliable app partners and supporting in-house development, we don’t trap restaurateurs into partnerships that don’t benefit them. We’re going to continue to innovate by making it easier for restaurants to use technology that allows them to serve more people at scale.