MURTEC 2024 Reminds: Don’t Cling to Tradition

MURTEC is an event that’s keenly looked forward to every year by restaurant mavens. Being a part of Restaurant Technology Network’s Startup Alley 2024 there was a huge opportunity for Cyntra

We were invited to present our conversational AI-driven self-service kiosk as semi-finalists at the Alley. Honestly, the experience was overwhelming due to the sheer tenacity of inventive ideas permeating the space. As the founder of a tech company specializing in restaurant technology, I always find myself energized by such inspiring events.  

We demonstrated how our AI-powered self-service kiosk— BREEZ, can bust long drive-thru queues with reduced order wait times. BREEZ’s interactivity caught the attention of a lot of visitors in the super-busy event, who wanted to try out order placement for their business, visualizing the application in a drive-thru restaurant. 

We explained how, when entering the drive-thru, the order journey starts with an automatic number plate recognition system. Using cameras and visual identifiers, a ticket is created based on the car number plate. The car later moves to a BREEZ kiosk further down the queue to create an order on the ticket generated earlier.  

Initiating the conversation with a simple "Hello BREEZ," the self-service kiosk leverages its proprietary conversational AI capabilities and a highly receptive user interface to facilitate swift and accurate order placements. Meanwhile, it also smartly upsells products based on basket analysis of a customer’s ordering habits. Following the order confirmation on BREEZ, our Customer Display System shows updates of the order queue timer. 

BREEZ is a part of our much larger integrated product ecosystem which leverages point of sale systems, kitchen & customer displays, digital menu display and a QR menu ordering platform, combined with a powerful analytics app essential for understanding customer trends, making it an indispensable tool for data-driven decision-making and strategic business planning. Through this ecosystem, we want to transform the restaurants with innovative concepts to reduce operational overheads and inspire ease of doing business. 

Efficiency in this area leads to cost savings from streamlined workflows, minimized order errors, and improved staff productivity. Ultimately, our goal is to empower restaurant chains to focus on exceptional customer experiences. 

Being on the same platform as the winner of the event—Expo, and innovators like Devour and Voosh was an accolade in itself. All semi-finalist features in the RTN Startup Alley resonated a bright future that restaurants will ultimately navigate into. 

We didn’t win any laurels at MURTEC, but the study sessions and breakouts did give us some additional, highly educative takeaways: 

  • Technology adoption - Restaurants must recognize the critical role of technology. Industry technologists should advocate confidently for tech stack enhancements to drive revenue, challenging the conventional notion of deferring tech implementation. 

  • Integration and collaboration - Restaurants should integrate vendor technologists as integral members of their engineering teams, fostering collaboration to tackle challenges. Rejecting collaboration represents the worst possible outcome. 

  • Small sustainable goals - Restaurants should prioritize multiple small sustainability initiatives over singular large-scale changes, acknowledging their compounding impact over time. 

  • Diverse ordering methods - Restaurants should diversify ordering methods, including kiosks, QR codes, paper menus, and mobile apps, to accommodate varied customer preferences. This enhances guest satisfaction and boosts order volume. 

The F&B industry is at crossroads and while clinging to tradition might feel safe, it's a recipe for stagnation. MURTEC served as a stark reminder that the future is here, and it's brimming with potential. It's time to shed the scepticism and embrace what’s to come. The technology exists to transform your business – from mom-and-pop diners to established chains. 

The question is, are you bold enough to step into the future? 

Authored by:​

Sanjeev Varshney,

Founder, Cyntra.AI

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