Sunday, February 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024
63° F Dallas, TX
Advertisement
Restaurant News

Ziosk, the Dallas-based Restaurant Tablet Pioneer, Is Introducing New Tech Solutions

Ziosk’s tabletop tablets have changed the restaurant experience. Now, CEO Jack Baum is introducing new tech through a partnership with Microsoft and eyeing institutional capital.
By | |Photography courtesy of Ziosk
Image
ROI Insights: Jack Baum says Ziosk’s clients are reporting a 300 percent return on investment.

In 2007, longtime restaurateur Jack Baum was teaching a class at SMU. The adjunct professor asked his students how they would expedite the payment process in restaurants, which traditionally takes between seven and 11 minutes. Three of his students developed a concept so convincing—a tabletop tablet that allows restaurant guests to order food and drink, play games, pay the check, and more—that Baum helped co-found the company.

Now known as Ziosk—with Baum serving as CEO—the Dallas-based enterprise has deployed 220,000 tablets across the country and is on pace to double that figure by midyear 2024. More than 1.3 million people engage with Ziosk’s technology every day, and Baum says that will balloon to 2.5 million in 2024. On those tablets, Ziosk processed $11.8 billion of merchant revenue through its systems last year. And by next February, Baum expects to be in more than 7,000 restaurants. Its largest clients include Chili’s, Olive Garden, Red Robin, Cheddar’s, Texas Roadhouse, and Outback Steakhouse.

It’s a big bounce-back from the pandemic, which nearly destroyed the company’s balance sheet. Despite the havoc it wreaked, Ziosk didn’t lay off any of its 100 employees. “We doubled down on our development,” Baum says.

After starting with one tabletop tablet model, Ziosk now sells a mini tablet, a “pro server” tablet, a tethered device for faster payments, and programmable sensors beneath tables that link to Ziosk’s new devices for faster checkouts. The company is also developing a new tech stack—supported by a $3 million research and development investment from Microsoft. “That new tech stack is so agile, we’re creating what we call a ‘hot-out-of-the-box’ solution,” Baum says. “Restaurants will be able to receive their tablets, get it all set up, and within an hour, that tablet is operating.” Prior to this innovation, it could take up to two weeks for tablets to initiate.

Ziosk is nearing the $50 million mark in annual revenue, and Baum is eyeing more significant growth fueled by a funding raise. “We are about to bring in some institutional capital,” he says. “We want to make sure that we are funding our growth with as much equity as debt. We have high-net-worth family offices and several billionaires invested, so this raise will not be a de minimis amount of money.”  

Author

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

View Profile
Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…

Related Articles

Image
Restaurants & Bars

La Casita Is Moving Into Dallas’ Flagship Half Price Books Cafe

La Casita is finally opening a Dallas location in the form of a coffee shop and tiki bar.
Image
Restaurants & Bars

Dallas Restaurants are Pivoting Through a Scarce Crawfish Season

A combination of drought and summer heat has resulted in small populations of crawfish being harvested, delaying seafood boils across North Texas.
Image
Restaurants & Bars

What To Do With Keith Lee’s Viral Visit to North Texas

The TikTok star has stopped at nine North Texas restaurants during his visit. Let's talk about what his visit says about our dining scene.
Advertisement