News Feature | June 4, 2014

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs — June 4, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Restaurant And Hospitality IT News For VARs

News this week includes word from the National Restaurant Association that its Restaurant Performance Index rose for the second straight month. Mobile apps are also in the news: A new survey app enables your restaurant clients to gather real-time feedback and address problems immediately, and the rising focus on healthy eating is driving mobile apps that enable consumers to select their dining venues.

Restaurant Sales And Customer Traffic Continue To Rise

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose for the second straight month, driven by a positive outlook among restaurateurs and rising same-store sales.  The RPI stood at 101.7 in April, up 0.3 percent from March and the strongest level since May 2013. Restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about sales gains in the months ahead.  Forty-six percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year).

Your Restaurant Clients Can Benefit From New Survey App

Managers can’t afford to wait for bad reviews to appear in social media. Therefore, they can take advantage of a new real-time survey app that allows businesses collect real-time, on-site customer feedback, according to a press release. The application can notify managers via text message when guests leave a negative response, allowing management to talk with unhappy customers immediately and address their concerns.

Mobile Apps Identify Restaurants With Healthy Options

A growing number of consumers are putting healthy eating first, and the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast reports that seven out of 10 consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers healthy options. FSR reports that HealthyOut provides consumers with an intuitive tool that allows them to match healthy restaurant dishes to their specified health preferences, from low-carb to gluten-free. Founder Wendy Nguyen believes her mobile app differs from others because HealthyOut works with all restaurants — not just those focused on health — but displays only the dishes that meet HealthyOut standards for healthy nutrition.

Restaurant And Hospitality IT Talking Points

Tim Hortons has unveiled a new bar code solution that provides a secure, quick, and easy scan-to-pay option at participating stores, once a prepaid Tim Card is registered on the company's popular TimmyMe App, according to a press release.  It is designed to improve speed of service and enhance the guest experience, and the new technology, is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the Panda Restaurant Group is rolling out a new test kitchen concept, system-wide online ordering, a mobile app, and a new branding campaign, all designed to remain relevant and maintain the brand’s leadership within the Asian limited-service category. The mobile app is expected to debut in the fourth quarter and will include a restaurant finder tool, a nutrition calculator, and the ability to pay using a credit card.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Hospitality Tech Center.