How Digital is Gastronomy?

As a restaurateur and entrepreneur, Ludwig Horn simultaneously keeps an eye on his guests and the smooth operation of his restaurant businesses. Digital tools help him to combine both perfectly.

Were you aware from the start that restaurants no longer function solely on an analogue basis?

That was more of a learning curve. My original approach was rather traditional. But then I learned that you have to develop in order to be successful. Over time, the number of customers steadily increased and it became more difficult for me to steer procedures in a controlled and efficient manner. So, after a year, I started using digital tools.

 

Where are they useful?

For example, in finances. I was one of orderbird’s first customers. I think a good POS system is the basis of any restaurant and catering business. In my view, digital solutions can help restaurant businesses manage staff, build a customer database and keep taxes and finances under control, as well as in the ordering and storage of food products.

 

There is no need to be scared of the digital transformation

Ludwig Horn

Which tools are you using?

In addition to the POS system orderbird, I use the digital personnel manager fragPaul for staff management, restaurant vouchers from eetmee, the virtual assistant Alexa and METRO-Reservation for booking tables. I could also really use a customer database and digital systems to help me pay external bills and manage kitchen and bar recipes. There’s some kind of app for most things nowadays, but they’re often quite disappointing.

 
Could digital solutions help you to prevail against franchise operations?

I don’t see any point in going against franchise restaurants. We have to accept this development and learn from it, while also finding our own way. I think it’s important to be different, show character, create your own image and not follow every trend. At the same time, it’s essential to keep an open mind about how to adapt your business to the needs of your customers, to go with the flow – and to choose the digital tools that help your own business. Not everything on the market is useful or necessarily makes sense, but there’s no need to be scared of the digital transformation.

 


About Luwdig Horn

7 years ago, Ludwig Horn (38) opened A.Horn at the Landwehrkanal in Berlin - next to his brother’s bike shop, so its customers could enjoy good coffee and food while they waited for their bikes to be fixed. In June 2017, he also launched B.Horn, a restaurant and bar in Neukölln. His winning approach for both locations: honesty and delicious homemade food.

Pictures: © Hartmut Nägele