News Feature | December 23, 2013

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News for VARs — December 23, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Fine dining table

The news includes advice on hotel loyalty programs, a projection that the holiday shopping season will be “positive overall,” and a question posed about whether Bluetooth could become the standard for mobile payment.

Will Bluetooth Replace NFC?

Bluetooth has released Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth LE. According to CNN Money, the various capabilities of Bluetooth, along with the fact it is a familiar technology, make it an ideal candidate to replace near field communication (NFC) as the standard for mobile payments.

Survey Gives Insights Into Successful Hotel Loyalty Programs

Phoenix Marketing International has found that online travel sales over the past five years have grown from $93 billion to over $160 billion. Online hotel reservations account for roughly 40 percent of this total volume. Online Travel Agency websites (OTA) have been particularly important channels for hotel reservations, with one-third of online hotel bookings coming through an OTA. However, while 70 percent of Hotel Frequent Guest Program (FGP) members know about OTA loyalty programs, only 29 percent of FGP members are also OTA loyalty members. Alerting customers to the booking channel options and providing an easy-to-use reservation platform is key to success. 

Holiday Season Could Be “Positive” Overall

Nation’s Restaurant News features its exclusive series with the financial performance benchmarking company, Black Box Intelligence. According to the November Restaurant Industry Snapshot from Black Box Intelligence, same-store sales growth for the restaurant industry was 0.8 percent in November. This was a slight drop of 0.2 percent from October’s growth rate, however same-store traffic improved for the fifth consecutive month. While the late Thanksgiving holiday makes it difficult to predict how the industry will do this holiday season, Black Box predicts it will be “a positive season overall.” For one, the Consumer Edge Research Restaurant Willingness to Spend Index reached 93 last month, 7 points higher than October, suggesting holiday sales growth and larger guest counts. 

A Well-Designed Website Draws Millennials

The Sacramento Bee shares hotel marketing company buuteeq’s suggestions to help hotels optimize marketing for Millennials booking travel online. In order to capture the quick-to-dismiss Millennial customer, a hotel’s website needs to be quick to load, informative and easy to navigate. After all, a website has 4 seconds to grab an online user before they leave the site for another. Millennials in particular are later to book than older guests, so last minute booking options are essential to gaining this generation’s business. Because of the rising usage of mobile for last minute booking, hotels should invest in a responsive mobile site. In addition, website design should be refreshed every year, with content and new services being added regularly.

Restaurant And Hospitality IT Talking Points

QSR Web has compiled a list of the social media “hits and misses” in 2013. The article discusses some of the creative social media campaigns retailers have launched that garnered positive PR. It also highlights five specific incidents where employees went rogue and how the chains responded.

Elacarte.com has gathered up a variety of quotes and passages from various sources discussing Applebee’s recent announcement that it would be launching tableside tablets in 2014. The quotes showcase some of the benefits of launching tableside tablets, particularly emphasizing speedier payment processes for customers desiring more control in their dining-out experiences. 

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Hospitalty Tech Center.

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