News Feature | December 30, 2013

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs — December 30, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Mobile Device

In the news, analysts predict trends for hotels and restaurants and restaurant spending in 2013 was up — but visits were down.  

Encourage Hotel Clients To Go Mobile In 2014

Skift features a NetAffinity infographic highlighting 14 digital trends that will drive hotel marketing strategies in 2014. Mobile hotel bookings will continue rising — with predictions that 50 percent of direct online books will be made via mobile by 2017. Geo-targeting, analytics, social media marketing, and meta search are some of the other important or upcoming developments that will be necessary to increase hotel business.

2014 Trends Affecting Restaurants Include Demand For Convenience, Mobile

Gaebler.com lists five key trends that will affect the 2014 restaurant industry. These include: increasing disposable incomes, more demand for convenience dining, increasing beef and chicken prices, more “casual” fine dining, and rising usage of mobile ordering/payments.

Consumers’ Restaurant Spending Up In 2013

While consumers’ restaurant visits didn’t increase in 2013, their restaurant spending did, The NPD Group reports. Restaurant traffic remained flat for the year, but their spending in restaurants was up 2 percent year over year. QSRs in particular were up 1 percent, reporting a better year than casual/midscale/family dining. The NPD expects 2014 to be a better year for the foodservice industry, predicting a 1 percent rise in visits and spending gains of 3 percent. Gourmet coffee, donut, and fast casual restaurants will continue to show increases into 2014.

Restaurant And Hospitality IT Talking Points

Nation’s Restaurant News highlights Ace Metrix’s list of finalists for the most effective advertisers of 2013. On the list are LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Dairy Queen, Panera Bread, and Pizza Hut, among others. The article highlights each brand’s advertising strategies that brought the brands success in 2013.

A new Quick Service Restaurant Benchmark Study released by Empathica has found that QSR chicken brands have room to grow to improve customer satisfaction rates. The study found that the QSR chicken brands have a market average high satisfaction rate of only 44 percent.

According to USA Today, several hotels are partnering with Google to launch virtual online tours by the end of 2014. These tours, knows as Google Business Photos, are 360-degree tours that enable viewers to “experience the hotel” via computer, phone, or tablet. Because of the increasing importance of photos, experts expect virtual tours to be key in encouraging guests to choose a hotel. In fact, marketing professor Chekitan Dev from Cornell says that hotel companies will need to begin investing in some high-quality images to ensure they can stay in the game.

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