Restaurants typically ran the same way for more than a century, that is, until technology took over. These days you'll find tablets to play games on your tables, mobile apps to quickly order food, and hand-held devices to help the wait staff serve more efficiently. Chili's Grill & Bar recently adopted Android table tablets. Customers can use them to look through menu items, order, and pay. The tablets also have access to news sources as well as games for children. As technology continues to grow, it'll be interesting to see the new ways in which restaurants incorporate these devices into their daily routines. Click here to read more.
A new iPhone app, KNFB Reader, allows blind people to listen to an audio read-back of printed text. Thanks to the relationship between Raymond Kurzweil, an artificial-intelligence scientist and senior Google employee and the National Federation of the Blind as well as Sensotec NV, this $99 life-changing app was created. People with refreshable Braille displays can also use the app to snap a picture of printed text and have it transformed into Braille instantaneously. This app will also be available soon for Android phones. The possibilities of this KNFB Reader are endless, giving blind people a new level of engagement in everyday life, from skimming magazines to reading menus in restaurants. To learn more about this innovative technology, click here.
What is the easiest way to reach and reward your loyal customers? Smartphone apps! Restaurant loyalty programs layered into apps make it easy for customers to enroll while simultaneously giving your brand a competitive edge. Starbucks Corp. has pioneered the loyalty app space and now many others follow. Drew French, founder of Your Pie, explains that as a fast-casual restaurant, allowing loyalty members to order their toppings as they wait in line and scan their phone once they reach the register is extremely efficient. Customers are able to pay and obtain their loyalty points instantly. Giving back to customers is a great way to keep your business growing and easily accessible loyalty programs do just that. Click here to learn more.
On October 1st, Subway will launch one of the largest deployments of mobile payment capabilities with Softcard. This technology was created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Verizon Wireless and is providing customers with an easy way to pay and save at over 26,000 Subway locations. What can we expect through this new partnership? In the coming months, Subway will include the Subway Card Rewards Program in the Softcard app, making it that much easier to collect Reward Points. This app is sure to be a hit with millennials because four in ten already wish they could pay for their quick-service restaurant orders by mobile or wireless device. Already a well established leader in the quick-service industry, Subway is now pioneering the movement towards easy, secure wireless payments with Softcard. Click here to learn more.
Not only is the iPhone 6 bigger but... the iPhone Plus is BIGGER. With a larger canvas, it is time for marketers to capitalize on the opportunity to market larger as well. This high-definition experience is ideal for an engagement advertising video for marketers. iOS 8 Notifications are also another new aspect of Apple's new creations which can come to benefit marketers in the near future. What other aspects of Apple's new products will change the marketing world? Read more here to find out.
Apple has once again changed the way the world uses technology. With the release of Apple Pay, iPhone and Apple Watch users will be able to purchase virtually anything through their mobile devices, without having to pull out a wallet. Fortunately, many fast casual and QSR restaurants have already adopted this new payment service, including some of the top competitors in the game: McDonald's, Panera, and Starbucks. Currently, the process of using mobile applications for purchasing purposes is rather tedious. Apple Pay has the ability to make this process super easy, secure and private for it's users. Read more how Apple Pay is affecting the restaurant world here.
Two of the top iconic brands in America have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind magical experience.
Starbucks and Disney World have collaborated to create a sustainable, innovative, and interactive store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. As the first Starbucks Reserve Store in the world, this location offers a rare batch of coffee from around the world. Elegant seating for customer/barista interaction was designed to give the look and feel of as if you were at a bar with a personal bartender. A replica of Starbucks Siren logo can be seen in the store in which it is made out of moss, to get the Disney-like whimsy that brings serenity to the store. LEED certified, the store offers an interactive wall that tells the story of Starbucks from beans to cup, as well as interactive touchscreens that gives customers the ability to create sketches of their desire, and a built in camera to capture your visit. To read more about Starbucks at Disneyland click here.
3D printed food has become a new topic of discussion thanks to the clever and innovative project entitled The Foodini. Sounds super cool, but what will it taste like?
In Rome, you can have a chance to test out the Foodini at Innovation Week Maker Faire Rome from October 3rd-5th. Over 500 projects will be shown at this event, such as a similar 3D printer that uses fruit-flavored juice as it's printing material. This type of technology cis creating opportunities for food customization, including the production of quality, organic goods that can be used in polar and space stations. 3D food printing opens doors for low-waste production, sustainable distribution, and eventually, 3D food printers in households and restaurants, even NASA plans to utilize it in space. The way we create food is changing! Click here to learn more about this incredible innovation.
A report by Nielsen revealed that Millennials are the largest group of smartphone owners and will continue to grow in the coming years. Interestingly enough, over half of the smartphones owned in this age group are Androids, with iPhones following close behind. The lower cost of the Android is probably why it holds the number one spot with this age group.
However regardless of operating system, millennials love their smartphones, averaging around 14.5 hours a week on them. The 18-24 age bracket seems to be on their phones the most, utilizing social media, entertainment, and other communication apps. With the multitude of messaging apps that exist for smartphones, the question is, which one will be the next big thing? Only time will tell but one thing is for certain, Millennials are not giving up their smartphones any time soon. Click here to learn more.
Yet another advertisement being thrown at us during our casual scrolling through twitter feeds, WOO! "Buy" buttons are now visible from artists, brands, and non-profit organizations in which gives tweeters the ability to easily just by clicking the items seen through their timelines. Think this seems rather annoying? Well, not so much. the feature of relatively small size, and you can only see them if you are following the advertisers that use this feature. Not too bad, right? Don't worry, this is only limited to a small about of users for testing purposes including Brad Paisley, The Home Depot, Soundgarden, 9/11 National Day of Service, and the Nature Conservancy. Read more about twitters new feature here.
Beacon technology is relatively new, but the multi-function uses for this new device continues to grow. By intergrading iBeacon technology and the new Clover restaurant software, restaurants are now able to track table occupancy without staff constantly checking where customers sit down, and when they leave. Through remotely monitored technology, this is all possible. By embedding beacons into each table, the Clover software is able to detect when a customer sits down within ten seconds.
The other concept behind this application is to give customers the ability to check the sum of their tab before continuing to order, just in case they ordered one too many cocktails for their budget. This technology will also give customers the ability to place or reorder, in case their server is busy. Read more here about these 'smarttables.' Read about DigitalCoCo's VenueBeacon here.
Say hello to the future! Apple has introduced Apple Pay, an easy, more secure way to make purchases using an iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. Restaurants will be one of the first to adopt this new platform, making the consumer experience that much more enjoyable. As early as October, retailers such as Panera Bread and Starbucks will be accepting Apple Pay. Big names such as Chipotle, Nordstrom, and Disney Seamless are also expected to adopt this new technology by the end of the year. With the privacy and simplicity that Apply Pay provides, we can expect more secure, digital payments and enhanced digital marketing capabilities. Apple has truly revamped the way we complete mobile payments and with that, has changed the industry like never before. Click here to learn more!
Our connection with human interaction gets hindered yet again! The ability to wipe out a large portion of jobs available in the food service industry is closer than ever. Pizza-Hut is in the development stage of creating a touchscreen table that allows you visually to place an order. This new interactive design has the ability to detect your mobile device, registering your order personally. Not only does this tap into your main contact information, but this device has the ability to detect your credit cards, asking to choose one for payment purposes. I'm not sure if I'm more worried about privacy issues, or totally geeked out by this new concept. Read more here.
B-Dubs makes headlines yet again this football season. GameBreak by Buffalo Wild Wings gives football fans the ability to interact with the restaurant from any location. By integrating all of the competitive games offered last season into one interactive platform, B-Dubs makes sure all guest interactions are a simple and enjoyable experience.
Now what is a game without prizes? B-Dubs is offering many different prizes for those that participate in this new interactive battlefield, some of these prizes include restaurant gift cards, in-restaurant perks, combo prize-packs, and a grand prize of two premium season tickets to the home games of their NFL choice. Count me in coach! Read more here.
As the tech and digital world grows rapidly before our very eyes, the biggest names in the commerce game are attempting to keep up. We all recall Visa announcing last month the launch of their newest payment option, Visa Checkout, which eliminates the hassle of entering 16-digit credit card numbers during e-commerce transactions. Instead of the lengthy process, Visa resorts to a username and password method for online purchasing, similar to the popular PayPal accounts. With the addition of a dozen new partners such as Bank of America Merchant Services, First Data, TSYS, Vantiv, and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, Visa has taken the challenge to compete with PayPal in e-commerce consumer transactions. Will PayPal continue to dominate the market? Read more here.
There's a whole bunch of technology out there to manage your business and attract new customers to your restaurant, but do you really have to pull all of your data from each app and streamline into one integration to get results? Not anymore! DineAbility has combined digital tools such as integrated email marketing, online ordering, online reservations, CRM & POS management, and restaurant/marketing/technology/client management in to one handy-dandy service. WOW! Sounds like a lot of stress off your back. Want to learn more? Read here.
Armed with credit cards and burner phones, Uber independent contractors are single-handedly destroying their competition by hiring 'brand ambassadors' to sabotage the Lyft service. As Lyft has recorded 5,560 fake bookings since the war has begun. For those Uber contractors that make it inside the Lyft-mobile, they attempt to recruit their drivers to leave Lyft and come to the Uber dark-side. Now, even through driving for both Uber and Lyft is acceptable, it is not recommended. Since the competition has become so vicious, drivers are not allowed to pick up a Uber and Lyft customer simultaneously in case a cat-fight breaks out in the back seat. Sheesh. Read more here.
If you think Americans are obsessed with their tech products, just wait till you hear this!
In a recent study conducted in the UK on mobile habits and usage, Brits have found significantly high numbers compared to US users. Findings reported that 70% of users check their phones before prior to waking/going to bed in which only 58% of Americans do the same. As a marketer, we should be more aware of this statistical data in order to target our consumers at the times in which they are using their devices. Technology has become a part of our everyday lives, and understanding when consumers are engaged will give us, and our clients, an advantage to gain maximum social reach. Read more here.
Dallas Maverick owner and SharkTank chair, Mark Cuban already has a timeline of success stories to accompany his fame and fortune. Yet, Cuban is bringing another success story to the table in the world of mobile marketing. The Cyber Dust App gives users the ability to protect their conversations by 'self-destructing' in thirty seconds. Along with the Mission Impossible texting option, Cyber Dust offers the ability to blast text and photo content to entire contacts. This specifically has been setting off advertising idea bombs in the minds of marketers. Read more here about Cyber Dust.
The 6-second wonder app has attracted users of all ages, giving them the ability to capture raw footage and share with their followers. But by throwing the professionals into the mix, Vine is allowing its users to import videos. In doing so, users are able to use high production before posting it to the Vine application, creating more of a 'staged' feel with their content. This works great for the advertisers, due to the ability to create better quality of videos before posting. But is Vine going to lose their younger population of users? Read more here.