Over the course of four days, the 2014 NRA Show showcased more than 1800 suppliers and offered operators a chance to see firsthand technology innovations that could potentially change the scope of their day-to-day operations. The technology pavilion was teeming with new releases geared to helping restaurants drive business profitability and shape the future of the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. Here are a few of the headlines that emerged as top stories.
Samsung Delivers a New Restaurant Experience at NRA Show 2014
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. is showcasing new possibilities for smart, immersive and interactive restaurant experiences at the NRA Show 2014, highlighting technology that helps restaurants attract new guests, improve customer loyalty and enrich the overall dining experience. Samsung’s digital signage solutions, Galaxy tablets, Chromebooks, award-winning multifunction printers and more will be shown in a number of real-world installations at booth #9166 at Chicago’s McCormick Place from May 17-20.
Restaurant Saves Thousands in Overtime and Cuts Wait Times in Half with Mobile POS Upgrade
“Smokey” John Reaves opened Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que and Home Cooking in Dallas in 1976. Up to this point, everything had to be tracked manually. The restaurant used an electronic cash register that spit out paper receipts, all of which had to be tallied, daily, by hand. Employee hours were also tracked manually, making it difficult for the restaurant to determine who was approaching overtime. In September 2013, Smokey John’s installed NCR Silver Pro Restaurant Edition, an affordable, iPad-based POS system that makes it simple to manage table assignments and server flow; access sales and other key metrics from a mobile dashboard; and route orders directly to the kitchen, bar or any other station.
Mobility and Guest Experience Drive New Release from Micros
MICROS Systems, Inc. is debuting its new MICROS mTablet E-Series and the new MICROS Engagement feature at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show taking place in Chicago, May 17-20, 2014. These newest MICROS innovations allow staff members to perform multiple activities from one device, including making guest interactions extraordinary, while providing advanced capabilities that will significantly raise the bar on modern point of sale systems.
Lavu Partners with Epson to Drive Mobile POS Innovation
Epson America, Inc., a supplier of value-added Point of Sale (POS) solutions, and Lavu, Inc., makers of Lavu iPad POS for restaurants, have announced at the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) that they are joining forces to bring smarter, more flexible iPad POS solutions to restaurant operators of all sizes. Lavu is the first Epson partner to adopt the Epson OmniLink™ i-Series all-in-one smart solution for receipt printing and peripheral device management for its iPad POS. In addition, Lavu will also leverage Epson’s market-leading TM-T88V and TM-U220B printers for receipt and kitchen printing. The two global market leaders are working together to deliver a cutting-edge solution that offers restaurant operators a trusted and innovative migration path to tablet POS.
New 360° Mobile Marketing Solution Integrates Loyalty and Payment
AppSuite and BluePay, who specialize in helping restaurants deliver efficient, smooth and impactful service to their customers will jointly present their new mobile customer loyalty and payment processing solution at the 2014 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. AppSuite, which builds branded loyalty mobile apps tailored to the needs of hospitality clients around the world is partnering with BluePay, a payment processor, to deliver their “360° of Mobile Marketing” program. The mobile solution includes 1-to-1 marketing tools, restaurant gift cards, mobile offers, events, mobile ordering capabilities, and social media in a “frictionless” process to increase restaurant profits and boost customer satisfaction.
Viableware Named a Finalist for the NRA 2014 Operator Innovations Awards
Viableware, innovators of the RAIL – a pay-at-the-table solution designed exclusively for full-service restaurants – has announced that it has been named a Finalist for the 2014 Operator Innovations Awards from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the leading business association for the restaurant industry. Viableware is one of three Finalists in the Technology category vying for Innovator of the Year – which will be announced live in Chicago during the NRA Show (May 17-20).
The RAIL is a handheld device designed to look like the traditional bill presentation folder used at most full-service restaurants – but unlike the original, the RAIL will accept EMV payments, allow guests to securely self-swipe credit or debit cards, auto-calculate the tip, split the bill multiple ways, pay-by-item, and receive email receipts.
Pay-at-the-Table Tech Snags Operator Innovator of Year Honor for Dickie Brennan's
Dickie Brennan’s Restaurants has been named Operator Innovator of the Year by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) for its use of the RAIL at its New Orleans-based restaurants. Dickie Brennan’s and Viableware were one of three finalists in the Technology category that were nominated for the award and were honored live at the annual NRA Show (May 17-20) in Chicago. The Operator Innovation Awards are the only program where foodservice operators recognize and celebrate their peers who are transforming the restaurant industry through innovation. Dickie Brennan’s and Viableware were selected by an independent team of restaurant operator experts from across the industry.
DIY App Maker Launches New Platform
Como™, the do-it-yourself app-creation platform, displayed the new Como Console at the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) international foodservice marketplace. With a redesigned look and feel, the revolutionized app maker provides an enhanced user experience that gives publishers an all-in-one solution for creating, promoting, and managing apps for all major mobile devices, with no coding required. Now restaurateurs—from family-owned establishments to national chains—can easily create and manage a custom app to integrate with their patrons’ mobile lifestyle and thrive in today’s mobile world.
Solution Drives Expansion with Loyalty and Data Analytics
KickBack Rewards, an Idaho-based rewards and loyalty solutions provider, will share its industry-leading technology capabilities with the foodservice and hospitality industry. KickBack offers highly sophisticated loyalty programs and data analytics specifically for the restaurant industry. Both proprietary and KickBack-branded coalition programs are available for all restaurant operators. Implementing a world-class loyalty solution can be the edge restaurant operators need to grow their business. Competition in the restaurant and hospitality industry is fierce. Many market segments are mature, meaning that the only new customers you get are those you get from other operations.
NoshList Debuts New Wait Waitlist App with Reservation Feature
NoshListh returns to NRA Show with waitlist app featuring text notifications. NoshList returned to this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) in Chicago, marking the company’s third year as an NRA exhibitor. The company displayed multiple devices showcasing how the NoshList waitlist app and text notifications are changing the restaurant guest experience.
End-to-End Food Service Tech Improves Customer Experience and Boosts Sales
Panasonic debuts new solutions to demonstrate how operators can improve guest experience, increase sales and productivity. Panasonic System Communications Company of North America showcased its latest integrated technology solutions for restaurants at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, IL. Panasonic's easily scalable, end-to-end solutions were designed to enhance business efficiency and improve customer experiences, and incorporate a wide variety of Panasonic hardware including POS workstations, wireless drive-thru headsets, handheld tablets for line busting and mobile POS and digital signage.