• Working at the intersection of food and restaurant technology

    BRANDS • INVESTORS • INNOVATORS

  • So, what do you want?

    Your answer brings immediate clarity to our conversation.

    Maybe we can help deliver what you want in 2017.

  • Who we are

    Food Tech Strategics is a global food and restaurant technology consultancy. We provide business and revenue acceleration, strategic planning, market entry, corporate development and corporate finance advisory services to bands targeting the U.S. and U.K. foodservice industry. We are passionate advocates, entrepreneurs, consultants and practitioners, with decades of relevant experience. Uniquely, we speak the language of restaurants and technology.

     

    Principals

     

    Michael L. Atkinson, CEO and Founder of Food Tech Strategics, has more than three decades of experience as an operator, restaurateur, technology entrepreneur and financier. Michael advises clients on food and restaurant technology, corporate finance and corporate development matters internationally.

    Learn more about Michael here: About | LinkedIn | Media | Feature

     

    A. Scott Bobrow, Managing Director, has more than three decades of experience in food, digital media and entertainment. Scott advises clients on a range of issues including strategic alliances and partnerships, content creation/distribution, branded entertainment, converged media, digital, celebrity talent, experiential, and sponsorship.

    Learn more about Scott here: LinkedIn.

  • Why you need us

    At least in the U.S., the restaurant industry is on pace for the worst year since the great recession. Comp store sales are down across the board 2-5%. We can help find new sources of revenue, reduce costs, improve employee performance and unify your cloud technology systems.

     

    The Food/Restaurant + Tech landscape is big, evolving and now, a critical investment for any restaurant brand. We view 2017 as the beginning of the "Second Wave" of technology innovation for the restaurant industry. This means the bar has been raised for innovators while becoming confusing and challenging for brands and investors alike. So, appraising and evaluating solutions and choosing what's best for your company is more important than ever. We help find the signal in the noise while working along side key members of your IT team.

     

    The restaurant business is our domain. We have also been owners, operators, chain executives, marketers, technologists, developers and financiers with decades of experience. We help your experts and department heads with perspective and bring resources to leverage best-in-breed technology and make it work for you.

     

    The restaurant business is large and fragmented, with over 1 million restaurants just in the U.S. Knowing who to call, where to connect and what to say saves you time and money. We have access to key relationships that can help drive new business and streamline investment in technology.

  • Capability

    Food and Restaurant Technology Focus

    Professional Services

    We specialize in providing high-touch strategic advisory services to restaurant chains, technology innovators and investors operating in the U.S. and the U.K. Specifically, our consulting services fall into these three categories:

    • Venture, angel and private equity investors - Deal sourcing, company and technology evaluation and diligence.
    • Technology innovators - Product development, market strategy, product distribution, corporate development, corporate finance, demand generation and revenue acceleration.
    • Restaurant brands - Strategic advisory, digital investment planning, cloud technology assessment, management and vendor selection and implementation.

    Our assignments can be project oriented, short-term or long-term engagements, depending on the scope and need of the client. For information about how to engage us, please send us a note and we will get right back to you.

     

    Consulting services fall into two categories:

    (1) Hourly and periodic "pick our brains" and "strategy" sessions that can be very useful and affordable and a way to get to know each other. These sessions save you time and money by discussing your needs and wants with industry experts, connecting with valuable resources or just brain storming product, sales, marketing and general sector ideas, concepts and restaurant technology strategies.

     

    (2) Special assignments and projects where we provide sustained corporate development, restaurant technology and corporate finance advisory services on a retained basis.

     

  • Food + Tech

    A Food and Restaurant Technology Focus

    The restaurant industry will invest billions in 2017

    Food + Restaurant Tech investment is growing dramatically. Categories of opportunity for technology innovators include: Content Management Systems, mobile payments, e-commerce & Direct-to-Consumer services, wait-list management, online takeout, robotics, employe performance and communication, mobile workforce recruiting, online reputation management, conversational commerce and chatbots, social web analytics, mobile menu replacement and integrated API's and B2B2C consumer insights and brand analytics.

     

    We are advisers to innovative technology solutions providers and software development agencies and communicate with the chain and independent restaurant operators that need these solutions. Our experience in the restaurant sector and with Internet technology combined with our unique access to industry decision makers gives us a unique restaurant + technology perspective, adding value to our clients.

     

    There is massive opportunity for the well positioned, well informed restaurant/food tech company. Restaurant brands need innovative technology solutions and invest in new technologies every day. We can help navigate the products, solutions and provide a clean perspective to aid your leadership team.

     

    The Restaurant Industry

    The global restaurant industry massively relevant and vital to all economies. In the U.S. alone, over 1 million restaurants will generate more than $783 billion in sales and employed 14+ million employees in 2016. But, the $783 billion US restaurant industry may also be in recession. It needs growth to survive. Restaurants are on the hunt for fresh ideas and new channels to improve sales and maintain margins. They must discover new sales channels and leverage new technologies.

     

    But this is only part of the story. The broader foodservice industry employs more than 20 million and combined, has a total economic impact of $1.6 trillion. That's 4% of the U.S. GDP. Even more impressive is the transformative effects restaurant tech is having on the industry globally, both B2C and B2B. Investors have sunk over $20 billion in restaurant technology startups in the last 7 years and ecosystem of cloud solutions can be confusing.

     

    We can help you navigate the marketplace for best-in-breed products, and solutions for your concept and brand while providing a clean perspective to aid your leadership team in making important technology investment decisions.

     

    We can help you learn about the restaurant industry from an operators' perspective and discuss winning product, growth, sales and marketing strategies.

     

    We can help you source and evaluate investment opportunities and provide domain and restaurant technology sector perspectives to help reduce investment risk.

    Growth Opportunities

    Food and restaurant technology have well and truly collided and quickly evolving as tech continues to find its place in kitchens and dining spaces, helping to streamline restaurant processes and efficiencies, all the while enhancing customer service and satisfaction.

     

    The continued use by consumers of smart devices for everything from reservations to pre-ordering food indicates that there’s no stopping technology from taking a seat at the table. We zoom in on Food Tech trends that are going to be important in the restaurant & hospitality industry.

     

    Forces of Change | 2017

     

    Technologies unification

    As more operators turn to tech to improve their performance, it’s easy to get carried away with the many applications and softwares that will end up complicating the process. Technologies unification involves integrating cloud APIs to deliver simplified functionalities that allow operators to track their restaurant’s progress in real-time. Real-time tracking enables operators to constantly identify where and why sales are behaving the way they are, and to act on it accordingly. Visual tools such as dashboards allows this collected data to be readily accessible to operators, key stakeholders and even staff. This democratization of information leads to greater awareness and understanding of the business.

     

    Conversational interfaces

    We also set our sights on the human interface and conversational commerce. This means using voice and text chatbots to enable consumers to order food, manage guest services, make reservations, manage guest satisfaction and engage interactively where billions of people are online already. The use of chatbots can also extend to B2B applications where operators from different verticals are able to order from other vendors. This accelerated ease of using chatbots on messenger platforms like Facebook, Kik, Whatsapp, WeChat and Slack are permeating the industry as operators seek more efficient ways to quell the growing demands of their guests.

     

    Food-maker robotics

    As the labor pool remains competitive and continues to shrink, the restaurant industry is particularly challenged to hire, train and retain quality and affordable FOH and BOH staff. Operators are no longer in control of their labor costs with state mandates for minimum wages increases and healthcare benefits. With thinning margins, naturally, restaurant concepts must evolve in these changing and challenging times. Enter the food-maker robots that make and serve hamburgers, yogurt, pizza and smoothies, just to start. We see low cost, high potential ROI's for entrepreneurs and existing operators and landlords. Food-maker robots and robot vending will affect how we conveniently consume fast food and snacks with no human interaction.

     

    See some of our investments, projects, clients and opportunities

    Learn more about Bailiwick Ventures

    Learn more about Happytables and Metristo

    Learn more about Orderscape

    Join the community at FohBoh

    Subscribe to the food+tech newswire at inFOH

    See Food Vending Robots: Momentum Machines, 6dBytes

  • Engagements

    Working at the intersection of restaurants and technology.

    Over the years, we have been fortunate to work with or provide services to many amazing brands and the people that run these companies. Because we triangulate our consulting practice between the brands that need solutions, the innovators that create them and the investors who fuel their growth, we have a unique perspective that our clients find valuable.

    Restaurant Brands

    Independents, groups and chains

    Operators value our perspective because we've been in the restaurant business for decades as developers, operators and financiers. We speak the language of "restaurant" and understand its complexities. Moreover, we also understand operator problems and seek out technological solutions that address them.

    Technology Innovators

    The cloud is a purveyor of critical options

    Software companies and data scientists value our perspective because we've been in the restaurant business for decades as developers, operators and financiers. While we speak the language of "restaurant" we also understand its complexities and the problem that need solving and why. We are also software and product developers and restaurant technology experts and understand the challenges software startups face, and help guide them on their journey to prosperity.

    Technology Investors

    Fueling the development and growth of innovation

    While brands need powerful new tools and innovators crave domain knowledge, they both need more customers to succeed. Investors also need a global restaurant technology perspective and industry expertise to help mitigate risks attendant to investing in early-stage software companies. We help investors and investment banks with diligence, domain expertise and strategy.

  • Accelerators

    Startup and Technology Accelerators

    Strategic Advisor and Cohort Mentor

    Blue Startups is a Top 20 Accelerator in the US (Techcrunch) focused on helping scalable-technology companies including web, software and mobile compete on a global scale. We mentor promising food and restaurant technology startups.

    Strategic Advisor and Cohort Mentor

    2017 Food+City Challenge Prize. We Mentor to promising food and restaurant technology startups.Based at the University of Texas at Austin, and born at the Food Lab at UT.

  • Contact us!

    Send us a quick email and we'll be in touch.

    Remember, just tell us what you want, so we can help.

     

    Silicon Valley | London