The year 2013 is waning, but a look back at the headlines that grabbed HT's readers' attentions proves that 2014 will surely be a vibrant one in the hospitality space. A drive for knowledge of the latest technologies in both mobile POS, customer engagement, cloud technologies, and overall property management will serve as a basis for exciting developments in the new year. Here are 13 of the top stories that were the most-read of 2013.
POS Software Trends 2013
Any technology investment is a balancing act. Roll out a new technology and run the risk that something better (more affordable, durable, simplified, etc.) will soon be developed. Or wait for “something better” to come along at the risk of being a bit too far behind the competitive curve. For restaurants, the de facto approach has been less technology investment, more customer service, until recently. Technology capabilities — and particularly those that can positively impact the customer experience — are driving new investments. The point of sale (POS) is a central focus for restaurant innovation and investment, and Hospitality Technology’s annual “POS Software Trends” report shows that operators are looking to add a variety of new capabilities in 2013.
Check out the 2014 POS Software Trends Report here.
Restaurants Make the Move to Cloud POS
Real-time, enterprise-wide access to data from any Web-enabled device, easier PCI compliance, and less IT management: these are just a few of the benefits restaurant operators are realizing from making the leap to a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS). As more vendor options become available — including uptime guarantees and backups in place for downtime — many believe the cloud is the wave of the future.
2013 Restaurant Technology Study
In this annual study, HT reveals the latest technology trends that are influencing the food service industry as a whole. The report covers a comprehensive range of topics including: budgets, business health and metrics; investment strategies; top IT department challenges; mobile and social initiatives and plans; POS; payment security and more. The survey's findings show how the industry as a whole is under pressure to enhance the customer experience on the front-end, while still increasing efficiency in the back-of-house.
HITEC Showcases the Latest Tech Innovations for Hospitality Industry
With the ever-changing nature of the hospitality industry, hotel operators are always seeking ways to improve operations and offer superior services to their guests. The hotel technology community recently gathered in Minneapolis, MN, for the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®). More than 4800 hospitality professionals from 45 countries attended the conference to network and see the latest and most effective ways to streamline business and increase revenue. Here we recap some of the major news that was making headlines throughout the event.
Robert Irvine One-on-One: How Restaurants Can Make Tech Work for Them
HT recently had the opportunity to get some inside tips from famed British chef Robert Irvine. The blunt Brit, who is known for telling it like it is on his hit Food Network show, Restaurant Impossible, recently partnered with Comcast Business Services to spotlight how technology can help improve workplace efficiency and enhance the guest experience. Here are some insights from the man who makes it his business to know how to turn failing restaurants around.
2013 Lodging Study
HT's annual Lodging Technology Study reveals the trends, challenges, and priorities of hoteliers across a range of topics, including budgets and business drivers, in-room tech priorities, property management and back-of-house, and front-of-house tech. The findings from this research reveal both priority and satisfaction levels, exposing where technology performance is and is not meeting the needs of operators.
Benefits of Online Ordering Go Beyond Increased Sales
To a large degree consumers have come to expect — and take for granted — the ability to place restaurant orders online. They don’t give the process much thought. Restaurant owners do, however, and they are adopting some new and innovative ways to simplify the lives of their customers while boosting their own ability to track customer activity in ways that enhance their analytics.
LodgeNet Interactive Rebranded as SONIFI Solutions
LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, which was acquired by private equity firm Colony Capital in March, announced during HITEC that it has been rebranded as SONIFI Solutions. The move is part of a broader strategy intended to give more visibility and control to the company’s hotel and healthcare customers, as it shifts its business model to work in partnership with those it serves.
Next-Gen POS: Taking Payment Tableside
Tableside ordering and payment technology is not new. With benefits like increased speed-of-service and faster table turns, as well as the security of a customer credit card never leaving the table, restaurant operators have long considered the technology a next-gen option. Despite the benefits, many full-service restaurants feared that customers would see the technology as getting in the way of a personalized service experience. Coupled with concerns over the high cost of enterprise solutions, adoption has been limited to boutique locations and independents. Now, it seems the tide is finally starting to turn.
The Property Management Puzzle
Technology innovations are changing all aspects of the lodging industry. While significant resources are being funneled into modernizing the guest experience — from bandwidth, to in-room technology, to mobile solutions — there are equally massive shifts taking place behind the scenes. Hotel management systems are shifting from on-property to cloud-based, from tethered to mobile, from data-heavy to insight-rich. Some lodging companies have been at the forefront of testing out new innovations, while others are waiting and evaluating. Over the long-term, the result is the same: a massive, impending re-architecting of how properties are managed.
Should Your Restaurant Ban Foodstagramming?
Consumers are passionate about exceptional dining experiences. They’re also passionate about social media, so it was only a matter of time before they transformed these two passions into “foodstagramming”—a trend in which restaurant diners Instagram or TwitPic images of their favorite restaurant dishes.
Smartphone VS Tablet: Prep Your Hotel For a Mobile Future
In 2011, mobile was responsible for $2.6 billion in travel bookings. By 2013, the number is projected to be $8 billion, according to a PhoCusWright study released in January 2012. It is becoming clear that valued customers are now shopping and booking on their favorite mobile devices. Enabling mobile users to perform almost every function necessary to make reservations, view images, compare pricing and leverage geo-location services among other things. Optimizing for mobile has become increasingly important, however, what often remains misunderstood when developing a mobile strategy is the difference between optimizing web performance for smartphones versus tablets.
10 Reasons Execs Don't Trust IT Managers (Part One)
There are often conflicts that can make it easy for executives to be skeptical of IT managers. Toby Malbec draws on his 30+ years of experience in restaurant IT, including time spent as the director of POS for IPC/SUBWAY, to provide a first-hand—and often humorous — look at some of the most common reasons executives don’t trust IT managers, and along the way provides some guidance for course correcting. This week Malbec shares the first five of ten issues that can sometimes stand in the way of true synergy between IT and upper management.
Related Content: 10 Reasons Execs Don't Trust IT Managers (Part Two)