April 2005

Cover Story:

Rules of the Road

Reid A. Paul, Editor-in-Chief

Sometimes guiding technology for a major hotel company can seem more art than science. Take Marriott, for example. With 2,600 properties and more than $9 billion in sales, Marriott is clearly the largest and most influential hotel company. And yet, as Marriott's CTO and senior vice president of information technology strategy Barry Shuler readily admits, running Marriott's IT department requires more negotiation than anything else.


A Glorious Buffet

Reid A. Paul, Editor-in-Chief

Having a coherent technology strategy requires more than just planning and a deep knowledge of the systems--it also requires communication skills. A true CIO or CTO, after all, is more than a technologist. An IT leader must be able to communicate how systems should work together and be able to convince a CEO, franchisees, management companies, investors and others that the strategy is coherent and will work. That's where an apt metaphor can really come in handy.

Front Burner:

CIO Honors


Luke Mellors, IT Director at the Dorchester Hotel was recently named CIO of the Year at the UK Technology Innovation & Growth Awards.

Friday's Turns Up Heat in Kitchen


Carlson Restaurants Worldwide selects ConnectSmart Hospitality Automation Solution from QSR Automations ( for its company-owned T.G.I. Friday's restaurants.

Hyatt, Embassy Suites Go Self-Serve


Hyatt Hotels and Embassy Suites have made major self-service check-in/out deployments.

Research Notes


According to data compiled in the Seventh Annual Restaurant Industry Technology Study, Driving Restaurant Profitability, productivity (47%) is the top priority for QSR restaurants IT projects, followed by cost savings (41%).

On Property:

PM Building Blocks

Sherree Geyer, Contributing Editor

Andrew Furrer, director of information technology for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, based in San Francisco, knows how important property-management systems (PMS) can be to business operations in the hospitality industry

Point of Service:

Technology To Go

Vicki Powers, Contributing Editor

Trends in the restaurant industry reveal a growing consumer demand for take-out/to-go options from casual dining and fast-food establishments; a market that accounted for 58 percent of total restaurant traffic in 2001, according to the National Restaurant Association. From wireless networks to online ordering, technology continues to play a critical role in meeting customer expectations for greater efficiency and speed.

Speed Solutions:

Room with a View

George Koroneos, Contributing Editor

In today's world of flat-plasma screens, powered by high-definition cable and satellite signals, the television has grown way beyond a 19-inch "boob-tube" hidden behind armoire doors. Today's designs are sleeker and sexier, and thanks to the advent of hard-disc recorders and "on-demand" services, hotels are now able to let guests watch their favorite movies and shows at their leisure.

Intelligent Biz:

The Passing Lane

George Koroneos, Contributing Editor

Digital Dashboard gives hotel and restaurant operators the data they need to speed by their competition

Vantage Point:

Bursting the Techno-bubble

Russell Dazzio, Guest Contributor

Hospitality industry still needs the personal touch

Three S's:


Lisa Terry, Contributing Editor

When it comes to IT operations of multi-unit restaurant chains, paper has long been the chef's special.

Feature Stories:

MURTEC Buzzes with Talk of Compliance, R.O.IT


At the recent 10th annual Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference (MURTEC), held March 9-11 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the buzzword on the strip was compliance. Whether it was Visa credit card, or Sarbanes-Oxley, concern for new mandates captivated the nearly 200 restaurant executives.


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