Figuring out how to integrate mobile technology without slowing down the line remains key for an industry built on speed.
Noodles CFO Dave Boennighausen stressed the importance of vetting the best opportunity in the mobile payment space to maintain speed. The company already offers a way for customers to order and pay via app but does not offer iBeacon technology.
"We're going to be towards the head of the curve, but we're not going to be bleeding edge," Boennighausen said.
While Raymond Blanchette, CEO of Ignite Restaurant Group, said he's not a fan of tablets at tables, he does see technology as a way to combat rising minimum wage rates.
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"It's going to materially affect the business model in casual dining," said Blanchette, whose company is the parent of Joe's Crab Shack and Romano's Macaroni Grill. "Certainly how we're thinking about it internally is: What are the ways you can leverage technology to expand a person's footprint in the business, so do more service with less people, which is ultimately where you're going to have to go with the minimum wage heading where it's headed."