Hospitality's Biggest Investments of 2017 (So Far!)

2017 may be halfway over, but it’s never too late to start thinking about business investments for the back half of the year. Today, we're reflecting on where people in the restaurant & hospitality industry have been focusing their time & money thus far (in case you're in need of a little inspiration!) 


From back-of-house to front-of-house, restaurants across the country are upgrading their tech. Expect to see more businesses investing in things like tableside ordering services, enhanced digital delivery and order tracking options, cloud-based employee scheduling, and mobile payment options (in fact, in a recent study, 67% of restaurants named mobile payments as their no. 1 innovation priority for 2017). Many businesses are also giving their BOH a facelift -- things like digital time clocking not only reduce wage and time theft such as buddy clocking, but it can also boost retention among employees (learn more about Harri’s digital time clock with facial recognition here).

Training & Development

Smart restaurateurs understand that your service is only as good as your people -- that’s why many businesses are turning to new and improved employee training programs as a means of improving their service, thus boosting return visitors and engagement. And with the talent market as competitive as its ever been, it’s crucial to retain good people and grow from within through a comprehensive development system. Whether it’s through a more streamlined onboarding process, partnering with third-parties to create updated training videos, interactive training sessions, or enhanced packages and growth opportunities, employers are getting creative about how they train and retain their staff. (Read more about Harri’s team management tools here.)

Customer Engagement

Many businesses gambled on rolling out a digital loyalty program in the first half of 2017, hoping that by personalizing communication to already highly-engaged customers, they could prolong the relationship as well as encourage them to organically spread the brand’s goodwill to new customers. (Read more about how to win over customers here.)


It’s amazing how big of an impact a little update can have. Whether it’s purchasing new furniture, artwork, or kitchen utensils and supplies, restaurateurs around the country are choosing to invest in their environment. This not only shows an audience that a business is able to stay with the times, it’s important for employees to take pride in their work space. (We’ve got the lowdown on the future of restaurant concepts - learn more here!)  

Data and Analytics

Restaurant operators who leverage software will have a competitive edge in the marketplace in 2017 and beyond. Using automated data and analytics, restaurateurs are able to understand on a deeper level what is truly driving their business. However, getting this type of specialized insight can be a challenge -- it’s hard to figure out the best way to view these numbers. Luckily, platforms like Harri’s Livewire are changing the game; allowing employers to view sales and labor side-by-side, gather important feedback from their employees, and make smart decisions about forecasting (learn more about Livewire here).