This post is sponsored by Upserve (formerly Swipely).
Behind every successful restaurant is a good manager — and they’re usually looking for ways to improve their systems. New technology is trending toward mobile- and social-enabled apps, deeper data analysis and upgraded point-of-sale systems, making owners and managers more effective — and profitable.
In thinking about upgrading restaurant management solutions, it’s important to evaluate mobile, cloud-based solutions that integrate with existing tools and devices. Restaurateurs can also completely replace the existing system to take advantage of the latest technology advancements. This year, operators say they plan to increase spending on front- and back-of-house solutions.
A National Restaurant Association Restaurant Trends Survey reveals:
- 31% of restaurateurs plan to increase resources for service-based technology
- 19% intend to spend more on customer-facing devices and technology
- 19% have earmarked additional funds for back-of-house technology
New apps are changing the way restaurants are run. Upserve Restaurateur, for example, makes analytics easily visible with a cloud-based, mobile-enabled dashboard summary of an operation, two trends that are becoming ubiquitous in restaurant management solutions. (read more…)
Hal Hamilton founded and now is co-director of the Sustainable Food Lab in Hartland, Vt., which helps companies adopt sustainability practices, gathers data on sustainability efforts and shares that information to promote the sustainability movement. He talks with SmartBlogs about how the lab works and the future of sustainable agriculture.
How did the Sustainable Food Lab get started and what are the priorities?
The Food Lab first convened in June 2004 as a two-year leadership journey. Over the past 10 years it has expanded to include more than 60 member and partner organizations, including brand manufacturers like Unilever, Mars and Stonyfield; food service companies like Sysco, Sodexo and Aramark; retailers like Costco and Marks & Spencer; and NGOs like The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance and Oxfam.
The reason the Food Lab has grown is that businesses are integrating sustainability into their value chains and need to learn from one another about how to do this more effectively. (read more…)
The overarching theme at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show this year was clear: Know your customer. This theme resonated throughout keynote and breakout sessions and on both levels of the EXPO Hall floor. Whether you’re a food retailer or a restaurant operator, there was something for everyone on how to get to know and engage customers using multiple channels. Here is a look at some of the retail and restaurant technology trends seen on the show floor that help connect businesses with their customers both within their establishments as well as online:
1. Online brand monitoring
Many companies showing in the EXPO Hall were there to show brands how they can help them make sense of the ever-growing social diner. New Brand Analytics is a company that does just that by harvesting social media mentions of specific brands and aggregating them into a dashboard for restaurants and other businesses.
The company takes unstructured social feedback and organizes it by more than 70 different metrics such as service, attentiveness, menu, food quality and prices, according to NBA Sales Director Adam Hack. (read more…)