Coca-Cola North America has a long history of providing restaurant owners with value-add products and services. Coca-Cola-branded cash registers, first introduced in the 1930s, are a good example. Today, the world’s largest beverage company is focusing on a different breed of technology solutions.
One such solution, announced this week, is a digital marketplace that will connect the company’s foodservice customers to more than 150 pre-vetted and pre-integrated restaurant technologies for front of house, back of house and outside of house. The marketplace is powered by Omnivore, a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform that offers seamless integration into roughly 90 percent of restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems.
This new marketplace, which is expected to launch in September, is the result of a year-long collaboration between Coca-Cola and Omnivore and one output of Coca-Cola’s investment in Omnivore, which was announced last December. Lead investors in the Series A investment of $10 million also included Performance Food Group.
Coca-Cola’s digital marketplace seeks to address the concern that, in the face of rapid technology innovation, it can be challenging and costly for restaurant owners and operators to research, test, integrate and deploy next-generation solutions. The goal of the marketplace is to make it easy for restaurants and other foodservice organizations to take the guesswork out of finding the best-in-class digital solutions that are the best fit for their operations.
The marketplace will offer restaurant operators affordable integration between any of the 150-plus technologies in the marketplace and a restaurants’ POS system. This seamless connection capability reduces the time, money and resources restaurants currently expend on technology integration and also allows restaurant operators to test the waters with a technology solution before making a large investment in time and resources.
The curated marketplace will include a wide range of restaurant solutions designed to improve consumer engagement and optimize all aspects of restaurant operations, including:
- front-of-house technologies (tableside ordering and payment, guest engagement, kiosk, digital menus);
- back-of-house technologies (inventory, labor, analytics); and
- outside-of-house technologies (online ordering, third-party delivery, loyalty and more).
Access to the marketplace and technology integration through Omnivore will be free for Coca-Cola restaurant customers. The cost for technologies in the marketplace will vary, but customers will reportedly receive more competitive rates than non-customers.
Partnering with The Coca-Cola Company last year, Omnivore developed MMS, a digital menu control panel, which focuses on the guest experience by creating “a single source of truth” for restaurants and other third-party technology providers with consistent menu curation, proper pricing, and brand standards. In addition, MMS integrates into the POS system resulting in order injection, data collection and control of content. MMS has the ability to smooth operational challenges that come with multiple third-party technology partners that all have digital menu dependencies.
This ecosystem, which has been in planning and development over the last two years, will be fueled by proprietary technologies, analytics and tools available only for Coca-Cola customers aimed at optimizing customer business operations and driving their profit growth.