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MURTEC® 2015: Audience Insights & Session Highlights

Whether or not you were among the 500 executives from the restaurant technology industry to attend the 20th anniversary of MURTEC®, you’ll want to check out this recap of highlights from this year’s program. If you attended the event, you know that there was something happening in every corner of the show — from interactive workshops, to roundtable discussions, to the highly-anticipated MURTEC University sessions — and it’s impossible to see it all!

Coming in May, Hospitality Technology magazine will publish its first-ever MURTEC in Review Guide, chock-full of insights from the event’s educational sessions, plus some additional exclusives from our speakers. To hold you over until then, here are some highlights from this year’s program:

Live Audience Polling
Hospitality Technology conducted several live audience polls at MURTEC to get their take on emerging technologies, top IT plans for 2015, and more. Audience members sent text messages to reply to the live poll. Here’s what they shared:
When asked the question, “What emerging technology are you most excited about for your company?” the top answer choice was Big Data, Analytics & Intelligence at 43%, closely followed by Mobile Wallet (36%). Other answers included Location-based Technology (8%), Internet of Things (7%), and Social CRM (6%).

Restaurants are still wary of new tech, or so it would appear from responses to the question: “How frequently do you meet resistance when implementing new technology at your company?” The largest number of attendees said “quite a bit” (47%), followed by those who said it happens “just a smidge” (29%). An unfortunate 22% that said they meet resistance “every single freakin’ time!” Just one person said, “never, we live in the future!” (He’s probably a liar, or so the speaker running the poll suggested.)

When asked to send a text with one word that best identifies their top technology priority for 2015, payment security solutions were the clear winner, as shown in the world cloud below.


Speaker Highlights
MURTEC featured a broad array of speakers this year, including subject matter experts, exclusive research, and executives from across the restaurant community. Here are some of the comments they shared from the stage.

STRATTEN1.jpg“You hear about how important brand authenticity and transparency is, but what we forget to bring up in tenants of social is immediacy. How quickly we respond is almost as paramount. It’s a real-time game not to be managed by part-time people. If you’re not on in real-time, it’s best not to be on there. If you check it once a month, get off it. If you check it once a week, get off it. If you have tent cards on your table that say ‘tweet us,’ you’d better be there.” – Keynote speaker Scott Stratten, President, Un-Marketing; Author, UnMarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging

“Restaurants are prominent “soft targets,” and in the U.S., Orlando and Las Vegas are appealing targets for cyber criminals. Terrorists see them as symbols of western decadence.” - Curtis Levinson, advisor, NATO

LEELA1.jpg“When asked about the use of technology as part of their dining experience, 85% of consumers said they’d love to know how long the wait is before they arrive at a restaurant. This was the most important, followed by the ability to add themselves to that list.”  - Leela Srinivasan, Vice President, Restaurant Marketing, OpenTable Inc.

“Personally I am very wary of it [Current C/MCX Exchange]. I saw a news report that it’s already been hacked once. It’s trying to take place outside of an established payments infrastructure. With MCX, they’re going to have a large hill to climb in explaining to consumer how it works.”  William Sheldon, Former Vice President of Information Technology, Rubio's Restaurant


“85% of all data has a location-based element…location is the new cookie.” – Asif Khan, Founder & President, Location Based Marketing Association

“Open APIs? I think it’s huge. I am just astonished at how closed most of the vendors are. The government is ahead of this industry in terms of openness. That should make us feel a little strange.” - Scott Curry, Vice President of IT, Craftworks Restaurant & Breweries Inc.

For more coverage of MURTEC, watch for the 2015 MURTEC in Review Guide, coming in May.
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