In 1959, President John F. Kennedy was quoted in a speech in Indianapolis that said, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for ‘danger’; the other for ‘opportunity.’”
The quote was later deemed an incorrect interpretation of the language—but it’s a great way to illustrate the two-sided coin of a crisis. And it's an apt summary of both the financial crisis of 2008 and the pandemic of 2020.
These events shoved, pushed, threw, thrust, drove and heaved financial institutions and restaurants into a new world and new kind of industry. It forced organizations to turn theories and goals into execution and results—fast.
We can see that the immediate strategy for restaurants looks eerily similar to that of banks shortly after the crisis. But, what insights from that crisis can we carry over to the restaurant industry, beyond the immediate near-term? It’s hard to say, but we know that after 2012, banks:
- Increased spending and focus on security – as digital solutions became predominant
- Began replacing legacy “core” solutions that were built on decade-old platforms in favor of modern architectures that were nimbler in the digital age
- Explored and deployed open-API architectures that gave them the flexibility to adapt
Will we see the same acceleration of these concepts in the restaurant space in coming years?
I wouldn’t bet against it.