Restaurants Rate "Attract Customers" Above "Business Efficiency" in Live Polling
If you attended one of Hospitality Technology’s educational conferences in the past year, you may have participated in a live polling survey. These surveys ask our audience of hospitality executives to respond to multiple-choice questions via text message; the results are then broadcast live and in real-time at the conference.
At the 2010 Restaurant Executive Summit, held September 29 – October 1 at The Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, Calif., HT asked its audience of senior-level restaurant executives to identify the initiative that is most important to their companies in the coming 8-12 months. Thirty-seven percent indicated that their companies are most focused on attracting more customers. A quick scan of current news reveals that a number of restaurant companies have invested in technologies that are designed to attract and engage customers. The launch of the Starbucks’ (www.starbucks.com) Digital Network (an in-store program designed to enhance the guest experience across 6,800 company stores by offering customers access to hand-picked premium news, entertainment and lifestyle content) and Maggiano’s Little Italy’s (www.maggianos.com) decision to test location-based marketing and mobile wallet technologies, are just two recent examples. In the same vein, and at a close second, 34% of attendees are concentrating on new revenue generating opportunities.
Coming in third, 24% are streamlining operations and seeking out business efficiency. There are again multiple examples of companies that have recently invested in technologies that can help meet this goal, including: McCormick & Schmick’s (www.mccormickandschmicks.com) labor management tech;
La Madeleine’s (www.lamadeleine.com) integrated catering and sales efforts; and Newk's Express CafÉ’s (www.newkscafe.com) labor management initiative. Only 5% are looking to invest internally to build company resources.
Hospitality Technology also polled attendees to determine the strategies that their companies are most focused on to attract new customers. Nearly half (46%) are focused on leveraging creative marketing through social media, mobile phones and more. Coming in at a tie for second, 25% of attendees are adding value with lower prices, special deals and coupons; 25% are focused on geographic growth through opening new locations.
Only 4% of operators are adding new menu items.