IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN. The NRA Show 2012 in Chicago is less than a week away, and we’re ready to predict a few of the biggest NRA show trends for the restaurant industry this year.
NRA Show Trends
While thousands of savvy new products can be found at the National Restaurant Association show, most restaurant owners & managers we’ve talked to are looking for technology that will directly increase sales. That’s why we wrote this post. See below for our forecast of this year’s NRA show trends that are proving to boost both service AND business.
1. Not Customer Service. Customer Engagement.
Are you engaging your customers and getting them hooked on something fun while they’re there?
Going beyond sports on your TVs and social media “check-ins”, a wave of new engagement services are designed to make your customers stay longer, purchase more and bring their friends to your location. Keep your eye out for mobile recommendation gaming, fun restaurant music apps, automated restaurant orders (from your table), and other digital engagement tools at the NRA show and throughout the year.
2. Not Background Music. Social Music.
Every few seconds, somebody tweets a complaint about the background music at a restaurant or bar they’re visiting. Luckily, for all of us, background music is being replaced by social music.
New innovations in music service for business, like the popular Roqbot, make your venue’s music social, so customers can engage directly from their phones, while you remain in control. A San Francisco venue called Bar Basic using Roqbot recently cited increased traffic, longer engagement, and a sales boost of 26 percent. Also, check out other music apps like Shazam, which allow patrons to discover the music they like at your restaurant and share with friends.
3. Not TV Display. Customized Display.
As you know, digital signage is the modern medium for restaurants, cafés, and bars to engage with customers while they’re on site. You can expect a wide variety of digital signage solutions fighting for attention at this year’s 2012 NRA show.
In addition to showing sports games, restaurants are customizing the display on their screens to feature their own specials, upcoming events, and other promotions to drive on-site purchases. For example, the presence of large digital menu boards has been linked to direct sales. However, non-QSR locations often wish to avoid over-advertising and therefore choose an entertainment or social music display to balance promotions with something fun for customers.
4. Not mobile toys. Mobile tools.
To cap off our list of restaurant trends, we encourage you to look closely at the consumer electronics that you and other people love.
To some, the iPad and other tablets are just expensive toys that are worth your investment. However, you can expect this year’s restaurant technology trends to feature the iPad as everything from an upscale, interactive wine list to a head chef’s mobile cookbook. If you have a tablet yourself, think about how mobile devices can deliver everyday value to your restaurant or bar as tools.
NRA Show Trends For The Event In Chicago – May 5th – 8th, 2012
If you’re going to the NRA show this year in Chicago, let us know what else we should add to this list! To find out more about how customer engagement, social music, customized display or mobile tools can drive sales for your restaurant or bar, feel free to contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.