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Culinary OS

How Galley Integrates With Every Food Software Out There Via Open API

November 1, 2021

There’s a paradigm shift occurring in real-time, and it’s happening fast—faster than software buyers and evaluation committees know what to do with—and it all comes down to this question: “What integrations do you have?”

Tech stacks across the food industry have become more complicated, and so have integration requirements. The problem is, the dozens of connections it takes to run a growing food business have become so web-like that maintaining integrations has become more of a liability than an asset.

We’re watching the food industry shift gears away from integrations and move toward an even more flexible and scalable solution: the Open API.

In this article, we’ll explore why buyers looking for Food ERPs, food costing software, and other tools should put less weight on integrations. We’ll cover:

  • The emerging philosophy of clean food data (+ why integration are going out of style)
  • How webs of integrations put a ceiling on efficiency
  • 3 best practices for evaluating food production software that’s future-proof

If you’re evaluating a software change and want to make sure you equip your business with a tech stack that opens doors long into the future, read on.

Software Integrations are Liabilities

Dozens of logos of integration partners splashed on a homepage once signaled that software was flexible. That your food, customer, or sales data could be pushed and pulled to different tools at will. How handy!

These straight-line conduits of data have turned into complicated relationships that need managing, however, and they seem to take up huge amounts of time.

  • Integrations keep you stuck in the past. Sending data from one tool to the next sounds great, but once you’re comfortable, you’re locked in. Switching software and modernizing systems become a huge burden because it means you’ll have to rework all those connections between tools again.
  • Engineers are tired of fixing broken integrations. Software updates are notorious for breaking connections between tools. Ask your IT department and engineers how much time they spend rebuilding integrations, if you dare.
  • One integration is manageable, twenty is chaos. Adding new tools to the mix, each with their own integration rules and limits, creates a web of complexity that leads to messy and fragmented data that’s hard to analyze and act on.

Food industry leaders we work with often say their IT teams spend far more time maintaining integrations than they do building and improving systems for the business. Each new integration is an added marginal cost—and not a small one.

It’s no wonder why modern technology is quickly moving beyond the era of integrations and toward an infinitely more flexible and scalable method of communicating clean data. And the API movement that’s emerging has thrilling potential.

The Universal Language of Clean Food Data

Imagine opening up the hood of the software that runs your business and being able to connect individual pieces of data like a telephone switchboard. It doesn’t matter whether you’re connecting a POS system, an inventory manager, or a food costing tool—every granular data point can be pulled from one app and sent to another.

For example, if you want to know the profit made selling one dish during a dinner service, you could connect the dots between that dish’s ingredient cost data and the POS sales data for the night to discover (1) how many units of that dish were sold, (2) the profit margin on each dish, and (3) the total profit from that dish for the night.

Your food data can and should behave like a universal language that every tool and system in your arsenal can understand and use.

At scale, this could mean calculating the total COGS and margin of your next month’s food production in an instant. Or making a list of exactly how many cases of tomatoes and boxes of pasta you need in order to produce the following week’s spaghetti dinner sold in a dozen college cafeterias.

This is what an Open API accomplishes. It’s a new-tech interface that allows the software to access data at the most granular levels, pick individual data points, and communicate back and forth immediately.

There is no more flexible and detailed way to build software, and it’s why we’ve built Galley’s Food Data Platform with an Open API that unlocks your data and makes it accessible to your other tools and systems, like POS systems and accounting software.

This Major Food Brand Gave Up On Integrations

We recently partnered with a 700+ unit food brand that was still sending recipe presentations to each individual franchise location via email. Their legacy software (that you’ve heard of) had countless integrations, yet they still couldn’t accomplish their ideal workflow—somehow sending emails was still the most effective communication method.

As you can imagine, these emails caused all sorts of problems. Missed emails, differing version histories between locations, near-impossible collaboration. It’s an operational nightmare that has plagued this business for decades.

By streamlining their food data and giving them Open API access to it, all teams and franchise locations now have a single hub of all food data they can draw from. Every team, every other software can get the right data they need, when they need it.

Now that the data problem is resolved, this brand is well on its way to scaling via a new ghost kitchen wing. You can read the full transformation here.

Best Practices for Evaluating Food Data Flexibility and Scalability

If you’re a software buyer that’s exploring new opportunities for your tech stack, this shift away from an integration focus means you can change the way you evaluate tools. Here are three things we recommend keeping in mind that might not have been as important before.

  • Pursue best-in-class before all else. With an Open API, buying the most connected software no longer matters, because any integration can be built through the API. Rather, you can focus on buying the most capable and best-fit software for your unique use case and business.
  • Don’t manage data where it doesn’t belong. Oldschool integrations used to mean the POS was the best place (but not great) to review all the data across sales, inventory, scheduling, and more—that’s no longer a requirement worth basing a decision on. An Open API means you can analyze your data anywhere, whether that’s using platform-native tools, other software, or custom-built dashboards.
  • Data access safety and security. Every food business handles some amount of sensitive information, especially for providers of hospitals, senior living centers, and other campuses. Make sure to evaluate a software’s ability to restrict and anonymize data for various user levels.

The most meaningful difference in an Open API for your software search is that you can measure tools with an API on merit, not integration popularity. To all the teams you represent—culinary, marketing, sales, operations—this will be great news. How much more opportunity can you access with the best possible tool for your business?

Want to Test Run the Most Advanced Food Data Platform and API?

We built the Galley food data platform from the ground up to feature the most flexible and clean Open API exclusively for the food industry.

Want to see how it unlocks the power of your business’s food data in a quick demo?

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