The 19th annual MURTEC® (Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference) took place March 18-20 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Produced by Hospitality Technology, MURTEC is lauded as the must-attend, “gold standard” event for restaurant technology executives and solution providers. MURTEC offers three days of compelling sessions and invaluable networking opportunities. This year’s MURTEC shattered all previous records of the show’s 19 year history, with more than 630 industry professionals, including restaurant executives and solution providers.
The 2014 event enjoyed a full roster of engaging speakers including restaurant executives from McDonald’s, Boston Pizza, Arby’s, Genghis Grill and more. Jim Carroll, futurist, innovations & trends expert, kickstarted the conference with his engaging keynote address, “Restaurants 3.0: A Global Futurist's Take on Consumer Trends, Food Service and Innovation.” The agenda also boasted a highly-attended session presented by executives from Facebook’s restaurant vertical.
For the first time, MURTEC included arrival day workshops, called MURTEC University. These educational sessions were filled to capacity and offered attendees the chance to learn from their peers about a variety of top-of-mind topics. Four sessions were offered and were comprised of: How to Go Mobile! Roadmap to Rolling out Guest and Enterprise Mobile Solutions; Getting Started with Cloud Migration: Data Storage & Email; Moving to Cloud-Based POS; and Utilizing SQL Reporting Services.
The three-day conference facilitates valuable networking as well as opportunities for restaurant executives to learn what peers are interested in or doing. Live polling during the event revealed that restaurant executives were most likely to be investing in POS initiatives in the coming year, with 26%. A close second was mobile devices with 24% and that was followed by loyalty at 20%.
“It’s always interesting to see the different sizes of companies that are represented at MURTEC,” says Michael Achord, director IT, DineEquity, parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP. “I enjoy coming to MURTEC because it is a dedicated technology show to restaurants and you are here amongst your peers.”
For Laurel Brackenridge, Dir. Restaurant Systems, IT, la Madeleine, Inc., MURTEC offers an excellent opportunity for face-time with vendors and old friends. “The vendor interaction is great,” Brackenridge states, “especially if you are in the market for something. If you are trying to find something, be it a new labor system or POS system -- they are all here.”