After flying to New York for the National Retail Federation Trade Show in January, it is time for Retail Tech to now travel west. Unfortunately, some of us Minnesotan’s are forced to leave the beautiful snow for sunny Las Vegas. The Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference, starting tomorrow, will attract hospitality personal as well as sponsors like Retail Tech from the technology industry. MURTEC is not only a way for hospitality operators to partake in a peer-to-peer ideas exchange, but for exhibitors to truly understand the diverse requests of all our clients in a “low-pressure” environment.
Similarly, MURTEC attracts top-notch speakers from the likes of Ruby Tuesday, Carl’s Jr., Whataburger, Papa Murphy’s, Noodles & Company, and many more successful operators. As a Marketing Manager, I could not be more excited to listen to these people speak on topics ranging from: The Journey from Social Negligence to Social Prominence, Vendor Selection Process: Best Practices, and Cashing in on SocialMedia, just to name a few!
By attending trade shows and conferences, Retail Tech is spanning the nation and delving deeper into the industries we serve. In order to best supply our markets, understanding the trends and technology outside our small niche is just as important to us. As I was browsing through the January edition of Nation’s Restaurant News, I discovered some interesting hospitality trends that I want to pass along…
According to the article Big Burger Business, 2010 was the “year of the burger.” More than ever, pure burger joints saturated the market and the law of supply and demand allowed them to survive. American’s demanded this food and like always, we seemed to get what we wanted! As stated in the article, quick-service restaurants including Wendy’s, Burger King, and even McDonald’s felt a pressure to release an “upscale” offering of this American favorite. Restaurants also felt the pressure to differentiate their burger. So will this trend continue? Will 2011 produce another better-burger frenzied nation? I guess we will have to wait and find out!
As I continued to browse through the magazine, another article caught my attention, The Magic Touch highlighted the “power of digital upselling.” Specific to technology and Point of Sale, The Sizzler, grill-and-salad bar chain, used kiosks and digital devices to increase sales by 15-20%! People are infatuated with digital technology and the Sizzler discovered a way to “get some guests to spend more through the use of images or video of food, beverages and convivial settings as well as automated text prompts, such as those asking consumers if they want a premium topping on their sandwich or steak, to add a beverage or to make room for dessert.” I also discovered at National Retail Federation, consumers are looking for a new experience. Whether it is food or clothes, shoppers may be willing to spend a little more in order to receive a non-traditional experience. What are you doing to prepare your stores for the digital era?
Although I found many more great stories, I will spare you my attempt to summarize and instead tell you to check out the other terrific articles that Nation’s Restaurant News has to offer. It is an exciting time in the restaurant industry and I cannot wait to learn more in Vegas. If you happen to be at MURTEC, make sure to stop by and say hello to Retail Tech in booth 10!