Influencers use social media to sell everything from cosmetics to shapewear to travel destinations. Now, students at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management are teaming up with tech company, Tabit Technologies, to bring that technology and other marketing strategies into the on-campus dining experience at the FIU Bistro on the Biscayne Bay Campus.
In the era of COVID-19, restaurants are using technology in their operations. Online ordering, self-service kiosks, voice assistant technology and even robot chefs and servers are now being used by businesses around the world.
Tabit debuted last month at the Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Lab at the Chaplin School. Here, students in the advanced culinary management class host three-course dinners every Wednesday. In the fall, the menu will include lunch as well.
Half the class makes the food, the other half serves it. The new technology is a restaurant cloud-based point of sale (POS) and table-side mobile-first ordering system that streamlines a restaurant's operations by making everything from order taking to kitchen productivity to payment easier.
"We're building the restaurant of the future together," said culinary management professor and chef John Noble Masi.
Here's how it works. Diners make reservations online. Servers greet the guests with their party's personalized profile already in the system. Customers can either order through the restaurant's online menu, or table-side via a server, but all the orders are sent back to the kitchen electronically without having to enter the order details in to separate POS station. Everything is easier - for both the restaurant staff and the diners.
Students can then use emails from reservations to reach out to customers about future dinners and events via social media or direct marketing. The technology mixes customer service and business management skills, which students need to operate and succeed in any type of business in the future.
"We are excited to bring the latest in digital and mobile-first hospitality technology into the teaching environment at FIU’s Chaplin School," said Nadav Solomon, co-founder and president of Tabit.
Students are trained to use the tablet during class with the help of a Tabit professional. The technology was also incorporated into the winning concept of the FIU Bacardi Center of Excellence Bar Project 2021 student competition. The winning team got to bring that concept to life inside the FIU tent at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival® last May.
For students like Ava Barnd, the skills she's learning now are invaluable. "It had us looking toward the future," Barnd said.
Service at the FIU Bistro is scheduled to begin in September. Please visit the FIU Bistro page on the Chaplin School website for more information.