News Feature | October 25, 2013

Hospitality IT News for VARs — October 25, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

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This week, news focuses on the influence technology will have on the restaurant industry, changing demands for loyalty program technology, and Millennials’ technology-related preferences to find travel information.

Technology Could Redefine Restaurant Industry

The Nation’s Restaurant News discusses the influence technology will have in the restaurant industry, predicting that restaurants will only be categorized as either served-service or self-service. Kiosks, desktop tables, and tablet computers will be key for quick-service, fast casual, and lower-end causal restaurants to redirect service duties from people to technology.  Higher-end, fine dining institutions will focus more on refining hospitality, using social media to allow servers to directly communicate with regular customers and build customer loyalty. The Nation’s Restaurant News also predicts that hiring at restaurants will be an online venture. Employers will train employees using smartphones or tablets with multimedia modules that include plug-ins for specific tasks.

Loyalty Program Users Lack Technology For Customized Offers

CMS Wire provides an overview of the latest Forrester report entitled “The State of Loyalty Programs 2013.” The report surveyed 50 loyalty program marketers in a variety of industries. Current business objectives for customer loyalty programs include data collection, customer satisfaction, customer experience, and providing customer service. However, only 37 percent surveyed using programs based on customer intelligence believed they have the technology and analysis to begin offering customized offers. Similarly, only 34 percent believed that internal systems were integrated enough to enable the business to utilize customer insights and responses.

Your Customers Could See ROI From Data Collection, Analytics

The Wall Street Journal features an article about a report by Aimia entitled “Inflection Points: Seizing the Moments in Customer Loyalty.” The research found that many retailers are missing the opportunity to consider pre-and post-purchase insights. According to Aimia, the most influential loyalty program is one that pays close attention to every interaction a consumer has with a brand. The report found that most successful loyalty programs capture data through all parts of the purchasing process, including browsing and post-transaction. Similarly, capturing data throughout the whole purchase process and linking customer data to provide relevant, personalized offers were other necessities for a successful program.

Millennials Will Be Key Travel Customers, More Likely To Use Apps

Research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals that the Millennial generation will be the key customers for airlines, hotels, and travel companies over the next 5 to 10 years. The report provides information on the differences between Millennial and non-Millennial travelers — such as Millennials’ use of travel apps. Members of the millennial generation are more likely to use smartphone travel apps and rely on user reviews, experiences, and online contents when booking trips.

Hospitality IT Talking Points

In Crowdsourcing a Mobile Wallet, Diarmuid Mallon discusses a study completed by SAP that examines what customers believe constitutes a mobile wallet. The results reveal that consumer’s envision mobile wallets as a device enabling them to buy goods of any value, large or small, online and in a shop. Consumers also expect to be able to use a mobile wallet to check the status of anything ordered and to be able to use loyalty cards with the mobile wallet.

In The Wallet Is Dead: Mobile Payments And Peer-to-Peer Cash Flow, Rachel Kaufman discusses how some companies are turning to mobile to establish peer-to-peer payment methods.

The National Restaurant Association has announced the release of the 2013 “On the Menu: Restaurant Nutrition Initiatives” report. The report discusses recent trends and initiatives in the restaurant industry, including the federal menu labeling standard, children nutrition programs, and food safety training affecting restaurants.

According to a study by Deloitte, hotel loyalty programs today do little for encouraging brand loyalty and rarely impact travelers’ purchase decisions. The report reveals roughly 30 percent of hotel loyalty members are “at risk” of switching their preferred hotel brand, and nearly 50 percent of travelers’ annual hotel spending is not with their preferred brand.

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