News Feature | February 26, 2014

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs — February 26, 2014

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By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs

In the news, one survey shows more than half of consumers have used mobile payments — and would likely do so again, and a second survey reveals loyalty programs influence increased restaurant visits.  Also, smaller pizza chains and independents might suffer from lack of online ordering capabilities, and restaurants’ websites are evolving into online storefronts.

Survey Shows Consumers Will Use Mobile Payments

Nation’s Restaurant News discusses the evolution of customer facing technology in restaurants. According to an American Express MarketBriefing/Technomic survey, 46 percent of consumers have paid for a meal after completing a mobile order via the restaurant’s app. Thirty-one percent of consumers surveyed have paid for their meals in a restaurant using the restaurant’s mobile app. Square Wallet or other mobile wallet systems have also been used to complete payments by 26 percent of restaurant customers. More than half, or 63 percent of consumers that have tried mobile restaurant payments said they’d be very likely to use mobile payment again.

Loyalty Programs Benefit Your Clients, Study Finds

Restaurant loyalty programs are key for seeing increased guest visits, the second annual Loyalogy Consumer Study found. Consistent with the first study conducted last year, consumers estimate that a restaurant rewards program would increase their visit rate to a specific restaurant by 35 percent. In terms of rewards, 43 percent of consumers prefer points that are converted into rewards, which may be spent like cash in a restaurant. Similarly, 43 percent of consumers prefer programs that enable them to earn a free item after a specific number of visits.

Small Pizza Chains, Independents, Lack Online Ordering Resources

According to the Wall Street Journal, online ordering has become increasingly popular for bigger pizza chains and has stunted growth of smaller chains and independent pizzerias. Indeed, the three largest chains — Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut all report that 40 percent of their sales are accrued from digital orders. While some smaller stores turn to companies like GrubHub or Seamless to receive online ordering capabilities, a majority of smaller companies lack resources for online ordering platforms.

Restaurant Websites Evolve Into Online Storefronts

A QSR Magazine article focuses on the role a restaurant’s website plays in bringing customers in to try its menu. One global restaurant consultant says restaurants need to treat their website as a storefront rather than just a “static brochure.” Restaurants should evaluate and change up their websites every three years. A successful website will provide location, menu, and contact details in a visible location; integrate social media; and will allow customers to order online or buy gift cards.

Restaurant And Hospitality IT Talking Points

According to the Khaleej Times, one restaurant in Dubai has changed its tables into interactive tablets. On the surface of their table, a customer can now browse the menu, view pictures of each dish, order, and even connect to the Internet. Once the meal has been ordered, the customer can watch the meal being prepared in the kitchen via “Chef Cam.” Or, they can simply check Facebook, choose a “tablecloth” image, surf the web, send greeting cards to other tables, and even order a taxi home.

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

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