Tech guru Burrus: ‘Transform’ your restaurant business or get left behind

Tech guru Burrus: ‘Transform’ your restaurant business or get left behind

GRAPEVINE TEXAS —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

Burrus, author of “Technotrends,” among other books, is a veteran business coach. The FS/TEC keynoter said it is easier to predict the future and benefit from it, if you consider known cyclical trends—there are 300, he maintained—and deal only with the things you know are true, or “hard trends.” —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

“We look at all the things we don’t know and it’s like we’re deer in the headlights,” he said. “We just don’t act.” —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

“Demographics are hard trends,…government regulation is a hard trend,” Burrus said of two areas businesses can study for clues about the future and ways to benefit from change. —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

“Everyone’s time becomes more valuable every year,” he said. —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

Technology advances—in computer processing, data storage and network bandwidth—are accelerating so rapidly “we’re not really ready for what is about to happen,” Burrus declared. —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

So great will be the difference in the way people communicate, do business and seek entertainment in the near future that the results will go beyond “change” to “transformation,” he said. Moving from large, vinyl records to compact discs “was a change,” Burrus noted, but putting content from a large number of CDs into a tiny MP3 player “was a transformation.” —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

Benefiting from technology does not always require cutting-edge tools or large investments, Burrus said. He said he advised critical-care nurses to provide pagers to families of patients to notify them of significant changes in condition—a strategy that eliminated more than three hours of phone time daily for many caregivers. The topper: Because pagers were an aging technology, some hospitals successfully solicited pager donations from businesses switching to cell phones. —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

Burrus said businesspeople need to ask themselves: “Are we becoming increasingly relevant? Are we actually looking at hard trends and playing off them?” —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

“Let’s not just be in crisis,” he said. “Let’s realize that it is a time of amazing opportunity.” He said everyone should “unplug” from the present for an hour each week to consider the “visible future.” —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”

“Don’t get sidelined by [distracting] cycles and things happening right now,” he said. —“When your customers are learning faster than you are learning, we’ve got trouble,” technology trends forecaster Daniel Burrus told FS/TEC 2008 attendees recently gathered here. “And let me tell you, your customers are starting to learn fast. Are we?”