Edit

Technology

The latest news and trends in restaurant technology
Technology

The integrated strategy

Zeroing in on 1 million fans on its Facebook page, CiCi’s Pizza is ready to branch out to other social media platforms, most notably Instagram and FourSquare, two places where its guests are spending a lot of time.

Technology

Tools of the trade: What is your must-have, can't live without, technology?

With all the hubbub about mobile payments and tablet menus, it’s easy to forget that technology, as defined by Webster’s, cuts a broader swath; it’s defined as “the practical application of knowledge, especially in a particular area.”

Menus are among the first things that a customer looks at when trying to decide which restaurant to visit. Restaurants with outdated menus on their websites—or even worse, no menus at all—take the risk of being passed over by would-be diners. Especially if the restaurant down the street has its menu online.

Beginning in mid-January, McDonald's carryout bags and fountain beverage cups are featuring a new packaging design with quick-response (QR) matrix barcodes.

Mobile smartphone apps are quickly becoming the go-to platform for ordering takeout. According to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Fast Food Marketing: How QSRs and Fast Casuals Are Getting Quicker and Faster,” more consumers are making their dining decisions en route via the smartphone.

Looking to remove the pain factor from the seating process, casuals like Chickie’s and Pete’s are turning to restaurant seating apps, such as NoWait, NoshList or Table’s Ready, which are designed to optimize table turnover while releasing guests from tiresome wait lines.

Last October, Hash House A Go Go—known for its “twisted farm food”—launched a free smartphone app, part of an integrated marketing strategy that leverages the concept’s Facebook and Twitter platforms, while delivering menu, specials and location information.

It’s easy to get blinded by the newness of mobile payment technology, but the security issues aren’t that much different from older methods of taking payments.

If a thief steals your credit card data, expect to be out at least $80,000, estimates cyber-security firm ANXeBusiness Corp. in Southfield, Michigan. “Oftentimes, these restaurants feel like they’re being victimized a second time,” says Atlanta hospitality lawyer Charles Hoff, who counsels breached restaurants.

Christopher Schroebel was not your typical junkie. While he lived with his dad in Keedysville, Maryland, the 20-year-old supported his heroin addiction by stealing $120,000 over the space of four months.