Utopia Gastronomica

Best of Breed vs. All-in-One: The Ideal Strategy for Your Hospitality Business

Discover best of breed vs. all-in-one solutions for the hospitality industry. Learn which option is best for your business and how future trends will impact software choices.

In the hectic world of hospitality, business owners are faced with a difficult decision: should they go for an all-in-one software package that promises to solve all their problems in one fell swoop, or is a best of breed strategy that promises specialized excellence in certain areas the better choice?

This is a critical question because the right software integration can make or break a business.

In practice, many tend to see all-in-one solutions as the more convenient way to go because they offer many functions under one roof. The best of breed strategy, on the other hand, is often seen as more challenging and requires careful selection and integration of specialized software.

But before we dive deeper into the world of restaurant technology, I'd like to share with you an inspiring story of how targeted best of breed solutions have led to incredible success for our client L'Osteria.

L’Osteria’s dynamic approach to digital solutions

Introducing: L'Osteria

Known for its excellent Italian cuisine and welcoming atmosphere, L'Osteria has made a name for itself not only in the restaurant industry, but also in the digital world. The secret to their success lies in the fusion of traditional culinary practices with modern technology, spearheaded by Peter Schimpl, Vice President of IT & Digital at FR L'Osteria SE.

Peter Schimpl's journey is remarkable: from his beginnings as a programmer at McDonald's to leadership positions and eventually founding his own IT consulting firm. In 2021, he joined L'Osteria, where he has since been instrumental in driving digitalization, earning the role of Vice President of IT & Digital in 2022.

Best of breed or specialized software provides us with a customized and comprehensive solution that can much better meet specific requirements. This approach allows L'Osteria to implement its defined digital ecosystem according to its priorities and at its own pace.


L'Osteria's digital transformation: a flexible ecosystem

L'Osteria's strategy is characterized by an innovative approach. Instead of relying on standard solutions, they are building a flexible ecosystem tailored to the individual needs of each department. By using specialized software, they stay close to the standard, enabling customized solutions and a high degree of flexibility.

For Peter Schimpl, digitization is an ongoing process that is constantly evolving. For this reason, L'Osteria's digital strategy is not rigid, but rather a "breathing system" that adapts flexibly and dynamically to new challenges and promotes continuous innovation.

The first phase of the digitalization strategy begins with in-depth interviews to understand the specific needs of each department.

These needs are then visually represented through a series of "bubbles". These bubbles symbolize key areas or requirements and can adapt flexibly – growing, shrinking, adding, or disappearing entirely as needed.

L'Osteria Eco System: One digital eco system omni channel

L'Osteria then selects appropriate technology partners for each of these bubbles. For example, a specialized partner is chosen for customer relationship management, while appropriate choices are made for POS systems and analytics.

Special emphasis is placed on interoperability and open interfaces to ensure flexible access to different solutions while maintaining consistency across all markets in which they operate.

The focus on flexibility is evident in the decision not to pursue a universal, all-in-one approach, but to find the right partner for each specific requirement. This allows L'Osteria to easily replace inadequate solutions without compromising the overall structure of the company.

Data management: a key driver of success

Another critical pillar of the strategy is the transformation of raw data into actionable insights. Ownership and understanding of data play a critical role in enabling better decision making and operational efficiency.

This includes establishing a data lake as a central data repository to maintain full control over data, storing and managing it independently of the software solutions used.

Control of data sources is critical, from access to analysis – the future is in our hands.


This strategic approach allows L'Osteria to efficiently implement digital systems and flexibly adapt to new solutions as needed. At the same time, the individual selection and management of solutions helps to minimize potential security risks.

With a focus on flexibility and efficiency in digitalization, L'Osteria is ready to drive further digital transformation. The dynamism and innovation of its digital strategy enables L'Osteria to continuously meet market challenges and further strengthen its position.

Exploring the best of breed strategy in hospitality tech

Now that we've seen how L'Osteria is specifically using best of breed software solutions as part of its digitalization strategy, I'd like to give you a more detailed overview of the best of breed approach in the hospitality industry.

But what does "best of breed" mean? The explanation is simple:

Think of the best of breed strategy as a collection of specialists. Each piece of software is carefully selected because it excels in its area. These specialized solutions are tailored to best support specific functions or processes within an organization.

This means that the best possible software can be selected for each area of the business. The result is an efficient solution designed to meet the unique needs of the restaurant you own and operate.

The crucial role of best of breed in the restaurant industry

Best of breed strategies play a critical role in today's restaurant world. This strategy is invaluable for hospitality companies to be able to respond to specific requirements and needs within the business. Especially in the hospitality industry, where originality is a clear competitive advantage, a high degree of specialization is essential for restaurateurs.

How best of breed can transform your restaurant

But why is this strategy so beneficial and how can it help your business? Here are a few reasons why you can benefit from this innovative approach:

High specialization

When you choose the best solutions on the market, you can be sure that every aspect of your business is handled by experts in their field. Whether it's choosing the best ingredients for your dishes or the most efficient accounting software, with a best of breed strategy, you're committed to excellence in every area.

High flexibility, adaptability and independence

A best of breed strategy allows you to choose the solutions that best meet your organization's unique needs. Instead of being locked into a single solution, you can combine and customize different tools. This allows you to create a customized solution that meets the specific needs of your business.

 Cost efficiency

A best of breed strategy can also be cost-effective. Instead of paying for features you may not need, you can focus your budget on the solutions that add the most value to your foodservice business. This means you can spend your money more efficiently while improving the quality of your service.

Encourage innovation

By integrating different technologies and solutions, a best of breed strategy encourages innovation in your business. You can try new ideas and approaches to improve your operations and provide a better experience for your guests. By staying on the cutting edge of technology, you can stay competitive and stand out from the crowd.

 Improve the customer experience

With a best of breed strategy, you can maximize the quality of your products and services by selecting the best solutions for every aspect of your business. From order to payment, you can ensure that your customers have a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Waitress serves a dessert to a guest in a restaurant

Navigating the complexities of best of breed solutions

Despite the exciting benefits that best of breed software can bring to the hospitality industry, there are drawbacks (as there are everywhere) that need to be considered when choosing the optimal software solution for your restaurant.

Multiple user interfaces

One of the biggest challenges in implementing a best of breed strategy in the hospitality industry is the variety of user interfaces. Each individual solution may have its own user interface, which can make it difficult to train staff. This can lead to inefficient workflows and confusion as your staff switches between systems.

Licensing costs

Another drawback is the potential licensing costs associated with using multiple point solutions. Each software solution typically requires its own license, which can increase the total cost of ownership. This can be a burden, especially for smaller companies with limited budgets.

 Increased selection and integration effort

Selecting and integrating specialized solutions often requires more effort than implementing a complete solution. Organizations must invest time and resources to identify the right solutions and ensure that they work together seamlessly. The process can be complex and time-consuming.

 Compatibility of solutions

Another potential problem is the compatibility of specialized solutions. Certain software products may not communicate smoothly or exchange data correctly. This can lead to inconsistencies in data collection and reporting, which can reduce efficiency.

 System upgrades

Finally, organizations pursuing a best of breed strategy must also consider the challenge of system upgrades. With multiple specialized solutions in place, they must ensure that each is regularly updated to address security vulnerabilities and keep pace with new functionality. This requires additional monitoring and management.

All-in-One: comprehensive hospitality solutions

Imagine you are looking for the best products for different purposes. For example, you go to the bakery for fresh bread and to the candy store for desserts. That's the best of breed strategy – you pick the best of the best.

But what if you could get it all in one place? Enter all-in-one solutions. Also known as integrated systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, these solutions provide a complete software solution for your restaurant. They combine a variety of features that can cover different areas of your business.

The advantages of all-in-one solutions for restaurants

For many restaurateurs, all-in-one solutions are a convenient and time-saving way to combine all aspects of a restaurant business. From ordering ingredients to managing staff and customer satisfaction, a complete solution can offer many benefits.

 Business integration

A major benefit of an all-in-one solution is the seamless integration of different business processes into one system. Instead of using separate systems for accounting, inventory management, and ordering, restaurateurs can bring everything together on a single platform. As a result, restaurant operators benefit from greater efficiency and transparency, as data is easier to access and share across departments.

 Data consistency

With all information stored in one system, data consistency is greatly improved. It also reduces duplicate data entry, which in turn reduces error rates. As a result, you spend less time troubleshooting and more time on more important tasks.


ERP systems can easily adapt to a business's growth and changing needs. Whether you run a single restaurant or a chain of restaurants, an all-in-one software solution can grow with you and help you achieve your goals.

 Streamline processes

Integrated systems can automate routine tasks, and standardizing processes can increase the efficiency of restaurant operations. For example, orders can be automatically transmitted to the kitchen without the need for handwritten notes.

 Better analytics

Finally, integrated systems often offer advanced analytical tools that allow you to fully analyze your data and make informed decisions. By gaining insight into your sales, costs, and trends, you can make strategic decisions that drive your business forward.

Man working at a table on a digital tablet

All-in-one solutions: the weaknesses within the strategy

From inventory management to staff scheduling, the restaurant industry is full of stories about the convenient all-in-one solution that does it all. But before you get carried away by such promises, it is important to take a closer look at the drawbacks of an integrated system for your own restaurant business.

High cost

Implementing full integration can be costly. In addition to the cost of the software itself, there are hardware and training costs that can be a financial challenge, especially for smaller companies.

Complexity and time

Implementing an all-in-one solution can also be complex and time-consuming, especially if extensive customization is required. There is a risk that internal processes will be disrupted by technical problems or inadequate customization.

 Limited flexibility

All-in-one solutions that are too rigid can also limit your company's flexibility. This makes it difficult to respond quickly to market changes or individual customer needs.

 Resistance to change

Employees often need to adapt to new software and processes, which can create resistance and require effective change management in your organization.

 Vendor dependency

Full integration can also make organizations highly dependent on the software vendor, especially when it comes to issues such as support, maintenance, and updates.


While standardization has its benefits, it can also mean that the specific needs of individual departments or processes are not optimally addressed.

The perfect software strategy for your business

Returning to the question posed at the beginning: should you choose a complete solution or a best of breed strategy?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You must decide which option is best for your organization.

An all-in-one solution may seem appealing at first. But beware: it often carries the risk that no function is outstanding, because certain areas can be neglected. Although the market offers many such all-in-one solutions, not focusing on specific tasks can lead to difficulties, especially in complex areas such as inventory management.

⚠️  Watch out:

An all-in-one system runs the risk of not really excelling in any one area.


The decision to go with an all-in-one solution should be carefully considered based on the needs of the restaurant business, the resources available, and the willingness to commit to a comprehensive system.

And the decision to go with best of breed also depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your business. Consider the long-term impact on your IT infrastructure and operations.

In today's hospitality industry, it is critical that software vendors understand the needs of their customers and develop solutions that meet those needs. Especially in an era of data and integration, it is critical that software vendors view their customers as partners. They should be able to integrate their systems seamlessly and use their data efficiently. An open approach will always be more successful than trying to keep customers in a closed ecosystem.

💡 Pro tip:

In addition, I recommend that every restaurateur create a data lake to centrally collect all the data from the various systems. This can be done with a business intelligence (BI) tool, but also with other solutions such as sell & pick or free versions such as Metabase. Centralized data storage ensures that you always have access to your information. It is important that each company you work with provides the data you need.


Ultimately, it's about giving restaurateurs the flexibility and control they need to run their businesses efficiently and adapt to the challenges of the industry.

illustration of benefits and disadvantaged of best of breed and all-in-one solutions

The future of restaurant management software solutions

The hospitality industry is constantly changing: From technological advances to the evolving needs of guests. But what future trends are emerging that could influence our decisions about restaurant management software solutions?

For one, complete solutions are becoming increasingly important. With the growing demand for real-time data and analytics, restaurateurs can react quickly to trends and make informed decisions. The growing complexity of restaurant management requires a solution that combines everything from ordering to accounting under one roof.

At the same time, best of breed strategies are on the rise. As the restaurant industry becomes more specialized, there is room for solutions that focus on specific needs and provide a more seamless experience for customers. These systems are easier to integrate and adapt to changing conditions.

The decision between best of breed and all-in-one solutions will depend on many factors in the future. For example, the specific requirements, the necessary flexibility, and the speed of technological change. It will be interesting to see how these trends develop and which solutions will ultimately prove to be the most efficient.

Digitization success with the right software strategy

There is no denying it: Digitization plays a critical role in the efficient management of foodservice operations.

But how do you get started? When it comes to choosing between best of breed and all-in-one solutions, there are several aspects to consider.

On the one hand, all-in-one solutions offer the advantage of a comprehensive package that optimally covers all areas. On the other hand, best of breed strategies offer the flexibility to adapt to your needs.

When making your choice, it is important to weigh the pros and cons for your organization. Ultimately, the best software strategy is the one that meets your unique needs.

Whether you choose best of breed or a complete solution, the goal remains the same: optimize your operations to deliver a great guest experience and ensure your success in the restaurant industry.

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