Breaking Bread ft. Rob Grimes, Founder & CEO IFBTA

Nick Belsito
Published in
3 min readJun 13, 2019


OpenCity’s CEO, Nick Belsito “Breaks Bread” with Rob Grimes, Founder and CEO of the International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) as they discuss the future of hospitality technology, what current-day restaurateurs should be thinking about, and the appropriate technology for different types of restaurants. Currently, IFBTA has 12 chapters including chapters in London and Vancouver.

When asked about the future of hospitality technology, Rob talked about the importance of looking at different industries for technology trends. Personally, he looks at the trends in the consumer technology industry because “if you want to bring the cost down, what you need to do is work with generic technology.” When thinking about technology, Rob looks at where the consumer trends are going and then thinks about how he can adapt it into the restaurant industry.

Rob described technology as an “enabler” that allows everyone in the industry to compete. Technology allows small restaurants to compete with large restaurant chains in today’s environment because of how it allows them to market, use cloud-based solutions, and collect the same data as the large chains. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for IFBTA!

About Rob Grimes
The IFBTA was launched at FSTEC (Foodservice Technology Conference and Showcase) 2014 which was founded by Rob in 1996, and is a non-profit professional association promoting and advancing technology and innovation for the global food and beverage industries.

Prior to establishing the IFBTA, Rob also founded ConStrata Technology Consulting and its predecessor companies, which have been providing information technology consulting services for the global hospitality, foodservice and retail industries and is headquartered in Potomac, Maryland since 1994.

Rob has been a regular technology columnist for several industry and technology publications and has contributed articles to many other publications in the U.S. and abroad as well as co-authored and contributed to a number of books. He has spoken at over 1,000 industry shows, conferences and events around the world. He is a Conti Professor in the Program of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (“HR&IM”) at Penn State University and also serves on the Industry Advisory Boards of the HR&IM Programs at the University of Delaware and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Rob has served on the Board of the National Restaurant Association and is an active member of the of The Young Presidents Organization (YPO) having served as the Chair of YPO’s Food & Beverage and Hospitality Networks. He is a triathlete having completed the Ironman in Lake Placid in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 and Ironman World Championship in Kona in 2005.

The International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA)
, a nonprofit trade association, promotes the use of technology within the global food and beverage industries with a specific focus on education, certification, standards, research and networking, while aligning with other industry associations and groups in support of their technology related initiatives; and to further the common business interests of the information technology industry by promoting the utilization of technology within all segments of the global food and beverage industry, including restaurant/foodservice, hospitality/lodging, gaming, onsite, beer/wine/spirits retailing, c-stores, catering, travel and other related segments of the food and beverage industry.

Governed by a board of top-level food and beverage IT executives, the IFBTA incorporates operator and supplier participation and input to promote technology education, networking, and solutions. The IFBTA addresses all areas of technology used in and enabling the food and beverage industries, including:

  • Infrastructure
  • Front of House
  • Back of House
  • Equipment
  • Food
  • Services