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Samir Zabaneh| CEO |Chairman

TouchBistro: Serving the Vital Needs of Restaurateurs

Let us imagine a scene where a party of fifteen has arrived in a restaurant, and the server is jotting down the orders by hand. There is the main course and beverages, also some extra sides with customized toppings. Jotting down the whole list without mistakes takes the server time, and then he has to rush inside and deliver the same to the kitchen.

In a scenario like the above, a business looking to optimize its operational efficiency while minimizing the cost of human error would benefit from using technological solutions that help it elevate its performance. Solutions like those developed by TouchBistro.

TouchBistro has a line of products aimed at making the life of restaurateurs easier. Their systems help restaurant owners enhance the customer experience and streamline business operations relating to sales, cash flow, food inventory, and bookkeeping. The company also provides features like a payment gateway, order management, analytics, table reservations, creating and executing outreach campaigns, food costing, and a built-in marketing suite.

Today, TouchBistro powers more than 29,000 restaurants in the world, with 64,000 terminals deployed while processing more than $13 billion in payments annually. It has been awarded the Best Restaurant ICX Elevate Award in 2020 for its integrated restaurant reservation and guest management platform. It also won the Gold Stevie ® Award for Best App in the Food & Drink category in 2019 at the 16th Annual International Business Awards®.

Insights Success crossed paths with Samir Zabaneh, CEO and Chairman of TouchBistro, on its quest for Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies to Watch. Samir is a seasoned financial and operations executive with private and public companies, with experience in a variety of executive roles. Samir related to us the growth story of TouchBistro.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

What was the initial idea behind the inception of your company?

TouchBistro was one of the first companies to develop and deliver mobile point-of-sale solutions to restaurants, and the idea behind this innovation was to help restaurateurs utilize mobile technologies to increase sales, reduce operating costs and delight their guests.

The idea for TouchBistro was sparked by a simple question asked about a common issue faced by owners of busy restaurants everywhere – “Can you help me find a piece of technology that will make it easier and faster for my servers to take and place orders?”

Over the years, TouchBistro has stayed true to its founding mission of providing restaurateurs with innovative technology that makes running a restaurant easier. We continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of, and solve the everyday challenges faced by, the industry we so passionately serve every day.

Today, TouchBistro is an all-in-one restaurant management system that includes payment processing, online ordering, reservations, loyalty, and much more. And we’re not done. TouchBistro continues to evolve, developing even better solutions to help support the passion and success of restaurateurs around the world.

What are the primary objectives and philosophy of your company?

TouchBistro’s primary objective is to ensure our customers–which are restaurants around the world – are successful businesses. This philosophy has been part of our fabric since the company was first founded. The success of our customers is the foundation of our success.

What are your top-notch offerings that have a strong foothold in the industry?

Currently, TouchBistro is an all-in-one restaurant management platform, but we started as a point-of-sale business, and it continues to be one of the key attractions to our product – the robustness of the point-of-sale and its ease of use. This is very important for restaurants where there is such frequent labor turnover.

Our guest engagement tools are another key attraction of our platform. These tools, including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, enable restaurateurs to have a deep understanding of who their customers are, what they consume, feedback, and how best to engage with them. This helps a restaurant increase its base of loyal, repeat customers, many of whom post positive reviews and personally recommend the restaurant to others.

The tools also allow restaurateurs to put their marketing campaigns on autopilot with promotions delivered to the right guests at the right time by email or in-app texts. And the results of promotions are tracked so restaurateurs can determine what works best, eliminating costly hit-or-miss campaigns.

What are the roadblocks that your company faces in the ever-changing landscape of the business world?

One of the top challenges we face as an industry today is the continual changes in consumer spending behavior. How consumers want to spend and where they want to spend is changing all the time, so we need to anticipate what consumers might want so that we can stay ahead of the curve when specific services or products are demanded. Consumer behavior also influences how our technology evolves. We need to ensure that today, we are building the products of tomorrow–an equally interesting and exciting challenge.

What is your stance on implementing innovative technologies?

We are big proponents of developing and implementing innovative technologies that are useful for both our customers and their guests. That’s what our strong R&D team does every day in collaboration with all customer-facing team members that help guide our roadmap.

We were pioneers in mobile technology for the restaurant industry. We are also leaders in providing a deep understanding of restaurant customers through CRM and loyalty so promotions and services can be tailored to the individual customer level. We are also driving innovation through our seamless, fully integrated platform that puts all the essential functionalities of a successful business in the hands of the restaurateur at the tap of a button.

In everything we do, it’s about improving our customer experience and, of course, the experience of their guests. That takes a continual commitment to innovation. In what traditions is your company contributing to the communities? I think of hospitality as a community.

We are here every day supporting our community of restaurateurs through product innovation, easy-to-use technologies, and customer experience that is leading in its class. In the broad community beyond the business, our employees are passionate about a variety of social welfare initiatives. Over the years, we have supported causes that relate to homelessness, diversity, inclusion and helping youth in need. We also see ourselves as connected to the global community and have contributed to international causes on both a societal and humanitarian level.

What is the next chapter for your company?

Rather than a new chapter, we are continuing our successful model that has been the foundation of our continual growth. This is extending our best-in-class product offerings to complement what we provide today. In the near future, we will be delivering more tools for guest engagement and to help restaurateurs attract new guests. We will also be extending our back-of-house tools