Restaurants’ Growing Interest in Technology Solutions Demonstrated at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show

 
Technology Pavilion, educational sessions to highlight hottest trends in foodservice technology

(Chicago, Ill.) Quickservice restaurants have been the industry leaders in using technology solutions in their operations to boost efficiency and customer service, but fullservice restaurants are catching up fast. According to National Restaurant Association research, 35 percent of fullservice restaurants say they are using more technology in their dining rooms today than they did two years ago, and 30 percent say they do so in their kitchen and office areas. The 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, will highlight the latest developments and future trends in foodservice-and-hospitality technology products and services.

“Foodservice-and-hospitality technology offerings have increased rapidly in the last several years and there are now more industry-specific products and services on the market than ever,” said Peter Kilgore, Association acting interim president and chief executive officer. “These products and services continue to offer ways to improve customer experiences through faster service, more options in ordering and payment, entertainment features and more. On the restaurant operator side, technology helps increase efficiency, train employees, track inventory, streamline point-of-sales, enhance marketing efforts, and much more. Operators looking to increase their bottom line will find that no other industry event provides access to more technology solutions than the 2007 Show.”

The Technology Pavilion, located on Level 3 of the North Hall, will feature exhibitors who offer interactive demonstrations of their technology products and services; a Cyber Café lounge with wireless Internet access; free e-mail kiosks; and several innovative seminars held by leaders in the hospitality technology field, including:

Wi-Fi: The Must Have Amenity for Your Guests!
Sunday, May 20, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Learn how leading foodservice operators are benefiting by offering this high-demand amenity across all categories to comply with consumer request. John Marshall, CEO of Wandering Wi-Fi will present case studies, and Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer of First Watch Restaurants will share his proven results by effectively offering wi-fi in their operations.

Online Video: The New Way to Promote Your Restaurant
Tuesday, May 22, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Online video presents itself as an inexpensive new frontier for restaurant operators to clearly convey their concept, showcase key staff, atmosphere, and unique food offerings. Hear from a panel of restaurateurs who have explored this new marketing tactic with success. Presented by Chris and Jennifer Mc Bride, founders of SavoryCities.com.

Technology can be a great way to enhance the restaurant experience for guests, as many show interest using tableside technology while visiting their favorite restaurant. According to Association research, 46 percent of Americans say they are likely to use customer-activated ordering and payment terminals if available in their favorite tableservice restaurant. Younger consumers are more likely to do so, as 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds, and 64 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds say they would. About half of all adults – and roughly two-thirds of those aged 18 to 34 – say they would use a self-serve order and payment terminal at a quickservice restaurant if it was available.

On the operator side, technology and the Internet are now two of the most commonly used tools to pursue a wider consumer market. According to Association research, seven in 10 fullservice restaurant operators – 91 percent of fine-dining operators, 73 percent of casual-dining restaurants and 55 percent of family-dining restaurants – have their own Web sites, up from 50 percent in 2000. Forty percent of family-dining operators, 52 percent of casual-dining operators and a strong 75 percent of fine-dining operators report that they will use e-mail to market their restaurants in 2007.

The Association has partnered with Fishbowl Marketing, the leader in permission-based e-mail marketing for the restaurant industry, to provide its members exclusive rates on e-mail marketing services. Fishbowl currently provides services to over 12,000 restaurant locations-from independent operations to multi-unit companies-across the nation. For more information, visit the Association’s booth #6300, at the entrance of the North Hall, Level 3.

In addition, Association research publications will be available for purchase in the NRA Show Celebrity Bookstore. The 2007 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 2007 Tableservice Restaurant Trends, and 2007 Quickservice Restaurant Trends contain the Association’s latest research on technology solutions.

For a full schedule of technology seminars at the 2007 Show, visit the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show, among the educational sessions under the “Events” tab. All seminars will take place at the Pavilion’s Technology Theatre and are free to Show attendees.

Now in its 88h year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals the Western Hemisphere. As the industry’s premier business venue, it offers attendees the best opportunities of the year for networking and exploring new trends, as well as insight on myriad industry issues via seminars and special events. The 2007 Show will be held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts close to 2,000 exhibiting companies and nearly 73,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries. For more information, please visit the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.