Insights / Industry Perspectives / A Digital Smorgasbord: How HTEC and DISH are Transforming the Way We Dine


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A Digital Smorgasbord: How HTEC and DISH are Transforming the Way We Dine

DISH Hospitality - Server using pad to type in order

The hospitality revolution is here—and it’s made possible with the touch of a finger.

DISH, the premier digital solutions provider for bars, restaurants, and more, has long been a pioneer in steering hospitality businesses into the digital realm, simultaneously enriching the customer experience. As part of Metro AG, DISH accelerates the digitalization of the hospitality industry across the board.

Whether providing point-of-sale (POS) systems to thousands of businesses across Europe or improving business performance for thousands more, DISH is committed to driving change through innovation—and handheld devices.

We sat down with Hans Van Buren, Director of Engineering at DISH, to learn what his company is doing regarding digitalization and automation, their challenges, their partnership with HTEC on their digital journey, and what he foresees in the coming years.

Digitalizing hospitality

Based in Germany, DISH has created the largest ecosystem of software built specifically for the hospitality industry. They aim to digitalize and automate the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, and Caterers) sector, and the company prides itself in being able to provide that support end-to-end, from hardware to software and beyond. And while the company does not produce hardware devices, its developers build the software to the highest standards, encompassing everything from food ordering, point of sale, payments, making reservations, staffing, dashboarding, etc.

DISH Hospitality - Waitress taking order on tablet from group of people

The company currently operates in 16 countries. Its business model revolves around enabling hospitality business owners to focus on building their businesses and providing exceptional customer service rather than being bogged down with manually ordering stock or tracking performance.

“We’re doing this to give the hospitality entrepreneur all the insights they might need. What was today’s turnover? Which promotions ran well, and which ones didn’t? Which member of staff did well, or which one could improve? How well am I upselling and cross-selling? All these factors, once digitized, will help the entrepreneur succeed, but also focus more on the customer,” explains Hans.

Through the company’s extensive domain knowledge, they’ve perfected the art of gathering feedback from business owners and their clientele. Most importantly, they know how to translate that feedback into action.

The company has nine development teams working on different parts of its software ecosystem. As a result, feedback comes in from all sides, which is filtered through to the market product managers and eventually translated into new features, improvements, and even products.

Solving the talent dilemma

DISH is not immune to the challenges facing many other businesses with consistent and dedicated software development needs. The biggest obstacle? Finding and deploying the right talent quickly. The last few years have highlighted the importance of pivoting towards digitalization to meet customer needs and evolve. Naturally, this means skilled technology engineering talent is in high demand.

When asked what makes HTEC stand out for him as a trusted technology partner, Hans was quick to place reliability and flexibility at the top of his list.

Partnering with HTEC solved DISH’s immediate staffing challenge and provided the company with a team that will guide them toward success through innovation.

When asked what makes HTEC stand out for him as a trusted technology partner, Hans was quick to place reliability and flexibility at the top of his list. To him, partnerships are collaborative and mutually beneficial—sometimes you give, sometimes you take, all in the interest of developing the right solutions together.

Of course, skills and a deep-seated knowledge of the business challenge at hand are also a significant factor.

Order up! HTEC steps in

As a best-in-class product and platform engineering firm, HTEC is developing and maintaining a suite of DISH applications, from utilizing Google’s Flutter technology to providing continual technical improvements and ensuring seamless and timely integrations with other systems.

Performance issues plagued the company’s legacy software and hardware. HTEC’s engineers resolved these issues and offered comprehensive support to enhance the app’s performance. This involved the adoption of the Google Flutter framework, which also makes it easier for the team to build web, native iOS, and Android apps all from one code base. Prior to this, each app had to be developed individually.

Together, DISH and HTEC designed a solid, scalable architecture with software that produced measurable results.

The plan now is for HTEC and DISH to continue growing and evolving the software ecosystem together, and Hans looks forward to future innovations that await the company. He foresees even easier ordering and payments in 2024, but more importantly, he sees them coming together on one system. HTEC is already working on developing a system that will allow customers to order and pay from the same handheld device or even a phone.

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