Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs — December 17, 2013
By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor
This week’s news shows growth among the fast-casual restaurant industry, increased hotel focus on booking from their own websites, and remote monitoring to assist with HACCP compliance.
Help Your Table-Service Clients Succeed With Apps, SEO
SearchITChannel says that the landscape of restaurant IT is changing. Sophisticated POS devices, mobile apps, thin clients, and cloud computing are becoming more commonplace in the industry. The fast-casual industry is growing and, along with the QSR (quick-service restaurant) industry, represents a strong client base for VARs. For table-service restaurants lacking a recognizable brand name however, search engine optimization (SEO) is key to ensure these, possibly unfamiliar restaurants, are easily found. In addition, redirection links between restaurants’ websites and mobile sites, apps, and social networks are helpful to ensure users can find information in any realm. As far as apps are concerned, table service restaurants need to be able to provide daily news updates, social media news feeds, and event calendars. These features can help your clients advertise larger events and create buzz to draw customers in and keep them coming back.
What To Expect In Hospitality In 2014
Bob Rausch for 4Hoteliers says that there will be a renewed focus on property websites in an effort to make the hotel’s own website the main avenue for online bookings. Hotels will need to provide customers with incentives in order to gain more bookings via the hotel’s website rather than through online travel agents (OTAs). In addition, with the number of smartphone owners increasing, social media and mobile will continue to be an increasingly important marketing channel. Rather than relying on traditional advertising, businesses will turn to content marketing using blogs, social media, newsletters, webinars, eBooks, photos, or video sharing/shared media content to market themselves.
Encourage Automation For Food Storage Recordkeeping
A QSRweb article emphasizes the importance of a remote monitoring system so your restaurant clients can keep up-to-date records and more easily address HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) regulation. These remote monitors can help clients maintain tracking of food and storage temperatures regularly and keep digital records, which are accessible either on or off the premises. Encouraging your clients to invest in automation is key to ensuring food temperatures/technologies are up to par to preserve their restaurant’s reputation and prevent food poisoning.
Restaurant Industry Employment On The Rise
The Sacramento Bee reports that the restaurant industry is steadily gaining momentum as restaurant operators become more optimistic. Eating and drinking establishments added a net 18,000 jobs in November, marking the 45th consecutive monthly gain. Over the first 11 months of 2013, food and drink establishments contributed nearly 300,000 jobs to the economy. This puts restaurant-industry employment on track to grow at a 3.3 percent rate. Restaurant job growth in 2013 continues to outpace the overall economy for the 14th consecutive year.
Real-Time Payments 5 Years Away?
According to CSPnet.com, a recent survey by ACI Worldwide shows that 83 percent of financial industry professionals expect real-time payments to replace batch transactions within five years. However, 77 percent of experts say silos must be removed in order to make real-time payments mainstream. Silos make it difficult to introduce new, innovative concepts and regulatory updates. A responsive, enterprise payments platform would be a better solution to address opportunities with real-time, online, and mobile payments.
Restaurant and Hospitality IT Talking Points
Bryan Pearson for Business 2 Community discusses the four major differences between European and U.S. loyalty programs.
xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase research has found that, in the UK, restaurant customers are turning to their mobile phones to do restaurant research. Nearly half, or 49 percent of mobile restaurant searchers rely on phones as their only form of media. In addition, 50 percent say mobile devices are the most important media form in their restaurant search. It is important that marketers target these researchers, providing them with locally relevant and timely offers as well as upfront contact info in order to increase bookings.