While attending the NRA (National Restaurant Association) Show in Chicago last week it became crystal clear what restaurants want: integration in the technology they adopt. Our booth was centrally located in the technology pavillion of the show where bulky legacy point of sale systems were replaced with sleek sophisticated tablet-based POS solutions. These cutting edge cloud-based systems and mobile applications were neighbors during the four day show and it got attendees to wonder: can they have the best of all worlds in one system for their restaurant?
Thankfully, for restaurateurs and merchants, the future for integration is looking bright. GoPago is deliberately moving to an open platform. At the prestigious Google i/o Conference earlier this month, it was announced that we have integrated with Google Wallet. The Google Wallet Instant Buy API is available on the GoPago app on Android devices, so now GoPago LIVE can accept Google Wallet payments alongside mobile orders and payments.
Through our own SDK (software development kit) we will be providing API libraries and developer tools to build, test and debug apps for GoPago LIVE. Through opening our platform, we get to extend the value for our merchants with the best industry apps developed by domain experts. With this openness, a sit down restaurant may want to use their favorite reservation app and have it integrated on their smart POS system, GoPago LIVE.
We are very aware of the highly competitive nature in the industries that we occupy, but we do believe that the winners will be those who work together and don’t position themselves as an all or nothing solution. During the conference, Seamless and Grubhub announced that they were joining forces, once again showing that there is more strength in working together than constantly competing as two separate entities.
In this spirit of working together we want to share some of the coolest new restaurant technology that we saw at the show. Rockbot, a fellow Bay Area startup, brings a new interactive twist to listening to music in a restaurant by allowing customers to treat their mobile devices as mini jukeboxes. Customers engage with each business through Rockbot’s app by voting for their favored songs from the business’ curated playlist. For Rockbot’s own curated list of top exhibitors and products they encountered at the conference click here.
OpenTable, who is located just down the street from our SF headquarters, continued to wow us with their technology and the fact that they have seated over 400 million diners. As much as we use them in our everyday life for sought after reservations, it was nice to hear from their engineers that they use us to save time and skip the lunch rush in the FiDi when they want takeout.
When it comes to guest experience, we were really impressed by the technology and people behind Buzztable. They allow restaurants to manage their waitlist (no pen and paper and no plastic pagers) while guests get to browse menus, food photos and recommendations on their mobile phones before they get a text message saying their table is ready. Furthermore, restaurants get the added bonus of being able to identify VIPs, neighborhood regulars, track social influence and view saved guest preferences, like birthdays and table preferences, with zero impact on restaurant operations.
Allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies through an integrated and smart commerce platform was the impetus for GoPago. In that same vein, we know that our competencies are in the ordering and payments space so we are open to other technologies to build on our platform.