News Feature | September 19, 2013

Restaurant and Hospitality IT News For VARS — September 19, 2013

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By Anna Rose Welch, Editor, Biosimilar Development
Follow Me On Twitter @AnnaRoseWelch


Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving clients in the restaurant and hospitality market.

Fast Food Sales To Hit $118 Billion

A press release by Packaged Facts claims that limited-service restaurant sales will reach $188.1 billion in 2013, a 4.9 percent increase over 2012. Snack and beverage establishments will see a 4.6 percent increase to $29.1 billion. Factors influencing industry growth include but are not limited to brighter consumer outlook, menu innovation, limited time offers, and store re-imagining programs. More information can be found in Packaged Facts’ new report: “Foodservice Landscape in the U.S.: Chain Limited-Service Restaurants.” 

Restauranteurs Have Dim View Of Performance, Outlook   

According to, the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is down to 100.7, 0.6 percent less than June’s 101.3. This drop is the result of fewer sales, slower traffic, and restaurant operators’ dampened outlook for the economy.

The Current Situation Index and The Expectations Index are both also down 0.6 percent from June. The Current Situation Index dropped from 100.7 to 100.1, and The Expectations Index for July was 101.3, the lowest it has been in 7 months.

Mobile Wallets Could Make Your Customers More Appealing

Vibes Mobile Marketing recently released their Mobile Wallet Consumer report, reports. The findings reveal that 59 percent of consumers would find a retailer more appealing if the retailer began delivering digitized mobile wallet content. Similarly, more than 1/3 (36 percent) of consumers report using mobile wallet technology to shop in store. The study also reveals that apps are not necessary to deliver digital content. Only 19 percent of consumers preferred apps to deliver digitized content. Email (46 percent) and text messages (20 percent) are consumers’ preferred methods.

Sandwich Chains Are Most Satisfying To U.S. Consumers

According to, Empathica Inc.’s 2013 Quick Service Restaurant Benchmark Study revealed 52 percent of 10,000 U.S. consumers surveyed were most satisfied by sandwich chains. While burger chains were the most visited by both genders and all income levels, only 42 percent of customers strongly agreed they were satisfied overall. The report also noted that more women than men prefer pizza/pasta restaurants and that visits to pizza/pasta establishments are less frequent as age increases.

Global Hotel Prices On The Rise

Since 2010, global hotel room rates have been steadily increasing, eTN Global Travel Industry News reports. The average price of a hotel room increased 2 percent the first six months of 2013 globally, closing in on 2006 levels, pre-global financial crisis. North American and the Caribbean rates rose 3 and 5 percent, respectively, while Australian, European, and Middle Eastern rates only increased by 1 percent. Asia saw prices decrease by 2 percent because of the depreciation of the yen and rupee and the lowered number of inbound visitors to China.

Restaurant and Hospitality IT Talking Points

Agilysys discusses the benefits of using a mobile dashboard application to keep hotel managers informed of hotel operations. Some of the benefits include panels that provide up-to-date and detailed information on reservations, guest arrivals and departures, housekeeping, reservation summary, and revenue. Most importantly, a mobile dashboard application enables hotel managers to move freely over the property without being restricted to a desk. 

Australia Business Review writer Abigail Phillips claims that retailers should view mobile loyalty programs as a way to get to know their customers. In doing so, retailers will best be able to reach out to customers and provide them with personalized rewards and coupons, making the customer feel more rewarded. Phillips also claims that mobile shopping, in addition to rewards programs, is another important way for retailers to build and maintain customer loyalty.