News Feature | September 13, 2013

Restaurant and Hospitality IT News For VARs

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Retail Fronts2

Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving clients in the hospitality market.

Upscale Fast Casual Restaurants Show Growth

A press release from The NPD Group reveals that the total number of all restaurants in the United States has only increased by .5 percent from last year. Chain restaurants and quick service restaurants both showed an increase in units, while independent restaurant units declined slightly. The LA Times Online reports that Upscale fast casual chains, like Chipotle and Panera, grew 7 percent and showed increased foot traffic.

Sephora signage promotes mobile retail sales

The beauty and cosmetics store, Sephora, is an example of a trend among retailers hoping to increase their loyalty program through cross-channel means. According to Sam Lewis, associate editor from Integrated Solutions For Retailers, Sephora promotes their loyalty program and the store’s mobile app through the use of in-store signage. Signs guide customers to download a digital version of their loyalty cards, enhancing the relationship between customer and store and providing customers with alternate shopping methods.

Fewer People Visiting New Casual Restaurants

In a recent survey of 7,000 consumers, Market Force Information determined that fewer customers (11 percent) had tried a new casual restaurant in a 90 day period. This percentage has decreased from the 27 percent who had tried a new causal restaurant in 2011 over a 30-day period. Restaurants specializing in continental cuisine attracted the largest percentage of customers (19 percent), followed by steakhouses (11 percent) and seafood restaurants (8 percent). The results also found that social media played a large role in attracting consumers to new restaurants.

Study Illuminates Importance Of CET

Digital Signage Connection recently profiled the key points of Hospitality Technology Magazine’s second annual Customer Engagement Technology (CET) Study. The study showed an increasing number of hospitality businesses have begun to rely on technology for promotion and customer interaction. The study also found that consumer technologies, social media, mobile, and convergence are the four major trends causing the growth of CETs. The full study can be found here.

New Survey Reveals Americans’ Eating Habits

According to a new survey by BluePromoCode, 29 percent of families eat fast food at least two times a week.  This poll also includes a link to a 2012 national study completed by Monmouth University. The University’s study focuses on Americans’ restaurant and fast food eating habits.

Restaurant and Hospitality IT Talking Points

In his New York Times blog, “How Surveillance Changes Behavior: A Restaurant Workers Case Study,” Steve Lohr considers the effect surveillance technology has on behavior. Lohr profiles research that suggests surveillance can change employee behavior for the better and save restaurants from costly employee theft. His blog also includes a link to a recent academic paper entitled “Cleaning House, The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity.”

To help hospitality vendors control labor costs, Agylysys has compiled a two-part list of the top seven features of a workforce management solution. A few of the important features profiled include compatibility with other IT systems, user design, mobility, and real-time business intelligence.

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