About Irina Prolubnikova

I'm going to be your personal guide in the world of IT, hi-tech innovations and their role in receiving more profit in the restaurant business. I'm not a professional, but interested in technological innovations and the aim of my research is to observe changes that can be made in the restaurant business by implementing the information technologies.

Hi-tech design for McDonalds.

In this post I’d like to develop and continue Lanny’s theme by adding some more new trends in the eating out industry. According to the Technomic’s research on the trends of 2012 the restaurant business will be oriented not only on healthy food but will offer more meals like pizzas and wraps instead of “breakout items taken from less-familiar global cuisines”. Some new trends will be observed in design as well. The fast food industry are going to meet some modernization.

Do you know this place?

A perfect example of it is Mcdonalds.
Thus Mcdonald’s are intending to change its inner design completely turning from red and yellow colors to more smoothing shades of them and a lot of contemporary white, leaving the red only in the special boots designed for more privacy. Is it really a family colors, may be yes, because they are not aggressive at all, little patterns of calm yellow, green and orange make the interior to look not so dull, but cheerful and natural.
On the one hand, the decision, to return to an old concept of Mcdonald’s that was intended to become a family place but then turn out in another direction, crowded place for meeting teens, is a  dangerous marketing decision.  The whole world knows and recognizes this brand this very kind of design representing its consept for mor than 70 years. Is it worth it to invest so much money in redesigning, that would mean not only completely different interior, but the different concept?  Nobody can give now the answer, but this design is accepted only in France, the country, that loves Mcdonalds the most after the USA.

On the other hand, redesigning is, as it is pointed out in Time World, just another attempt of the franchise in France to get more acceptable by French gourmets, who are so accustomed to the haute cuisine. Does it attract more customers; I’m inclining to think positive. The first reason is that here from now would come not only teens but as well the families. And being not a great fun of McDonalds, it is more pleasant for me personally to sit and enjoy the calmness of hi-tech design then aggressive primitive tone of red and yellow. Moreover, we can as well here enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend. It’s become possible also due to an innovative concept in design (stolen from Starbuck) but nevertheless successful – McCafe.

In conclusion, I’d like to notice that interior design is a great field for a discussion. It can attract more customers, support the concept or help to change it. Is it profitable or not to invest in the enormously remarkable design? What specific role does it play in branding?

So looking for answers in my another post…

Facebook page for a restaurant.

In this blog I’ve promised you to report about  hi-tech innovations in restaurant business and tell what profit you can get by implementing them. But this post I’d like to devote the most interesting theme –marketing thus the last one is impossible to imagine without information technologies and business applications at all. Such kinds of advertising (let’s call it ads for short) like TV and radio is expensive for start-ups or small businesses and spreading the flyers is not enough to make your business really well-known, as well as it doesn’t give credibility to people at all.
So the best way is to promote your business according to Marc Brandau is social media strategies. This kind of strategies is going to be a trend in 2012. Millions of people are having their pages on facebook and chatting on twitter, spending a lot of time on the internet – so it makes more sense for the restaurant, café and franchise owners to attract these potential customers without investing a lot in promotion. Thus, Peter Riggs, vice president of brand development, Pita Pit considers that the best way of promotion is to talk with your customers in the most friendly way making them real friends of your own brand. Twitter and even better facebook give such an enormous opportunity. Just have a look on this very page, and you will get an idea what I’m talking about. ttps://www.facebook.com/ROCPitaPit
Such a page is very easy to control and to get in touch with potential clients, establishing new menus or presenting the customers some giftcurds or selling the invitation per facebook to some events or parties. You’ll get the casual and friendly contact with customers and will receive a lot of feedback to improve your own business strategy. On livebooking the author provides six pieces of advice to benefit from facebook. On the one hand they are really simple, but on the other one really important. So just in short some of them. First of all you have to set your goals, like in every business, and then according to it, come into action. For example, increasing a traffic or inviting more people to an event are completely different goals and requre different types of messages. Or when your ad is already created with a like button it is very easy to analyse whether it is appriciated or not. Such a button have a lot of websites that make a connection with socialmedia.

But the other question in this case arises:
Why is facebook and twitter and not websites? Gary Occhiogrosso, chief development officer, Trufoods LLC, has observed that the customers looked more on these pages then on the websites. The only reason that I see is that we all have on this page our relatives and friends to talk to and of course the best credibility for us is their opinion.
Even if we are out we chatting on facebook and twitter using our smartphones, iPhones or iPads. So that is a good reason for even a small eatery to have an account on these social pages, don’t you think so?

iPad in terms of profitability.

Having written about the tabletmenus and new iPad POS system in the restaurant business I thought I was comeletely done with this theme, an amazing piece of news, some pics and videos with examples of such restaurants, briefely discussed advantages and aha-done and nothing interesting left to write about, but some comments and especially the discution with Viola have revieled that there are still a lot of question to talk and discuss. And one of them is it really profitable for a restaurant to install a tablet menu?Or it can simply ruin the business and maybe even the whole industry of eating out?

So I’ve started my detailed investigation and now glad to present its results.

The first thing coming to the mind simply with the thought of implementing of digital menu is of course its cost. The fact, pointed by many authors, is that there is no direct answer on this question.

On the one hand, a restaurant with an iPad menu gets a clear profit. They don’t need any more to reprint an ordinary menu many times a year investing one or two thousands of dollar in order to adjust some changes but need to pay once for the digital menu and make changes with one klick even thousands times a day. The other advantage is that since an iPad menu installed the restaurants don’t need to pay the POS system having it at the same time on the digital menu that is easily synchronized with all App products allowing to overview the continuously change of items. And it’s impossible to drop out the „WOW-effect“ of entering the restaurant and getting an iPad instead of printed menu. Of course we are all living in a world of hi-tech innovations but even now there are a lot of people who have neither iPad nor iphone. For example, personally me) isn’t it cool to get some experience and to find out some information about sort of wine or enjoy big pictures to every kind of dishes?!

On the other hand as Viola has pointed out in her comment, the eating out is for most people a family ritual. In most cases it irritates when someone uses a cell phone during the dinner. So the same can be true for the digital menus, when all the waiting time can be devoited to the playing with it. Hence going out people are more eager to feel themselves relaxed and not like sitting in the office. Talking about profitability of such digital menus, we don’t have to forget the fact that they are easily destroid, the screens can brake or crack or simply the ipad can be stolen. Then it seems to make more looses then profit.

And to continue my post I’d like to give the last point, that is of great importance for me personally. For me the feeling of holding a printed, well designed menu, the smell of paper can’t be replaced. We work adn study, chatting with our friends a lot and thus to order the meal using again a technical device?! No, I’d like my eyes relax. And of course no digital menu can’t replace the real personal communication with a waitress/waiter and their qualified tips (we are not discussing here the cases when the stuff is incompetent). But the role of waiteress/waiter is a topic for another post…

An old industry with a touch of hi-tech.

Such an old business industry like a restaurant one, what can be new about it, the food, service, design – all of them are changed with the time but nevertheless stay the same as basis. We have already talked about new technologies, such as POS system, new hi-tech menus, that are used in order to make business more competitive and successful on the market, but what about the old basis things that I’ve already mentioned? What impact has the developing industry of modern technologies on them? These two questions were on my mind when I’ve started to think about my research for the following posts on our soulfood blog. From the very beginning I didn’t want to stick only to the technical side of restaurant business. Having looked for the information about hi-tech innovation in restaurant business, I’d come over a bunch of restaurants with interesting, unordinary and even astonishing design (http://blog.friendseat.com/10-weirdest-themed-restaurants-in-the-world). Also I came across the information about waterless one in Germany. When I saw the picture of Mars restaurant in NY I was wondering why I hadn’t waited for the opening hours to have some cocktail there. Actually I had dropped in, but at that time it had been closed, so I hadn’t been curious enough.

By reading all these different blogs a lot of questions were running through my mind, such as:

  • Is it so important for ordering meals to hold instead of a printed menu an iPad?
  • Is it really more entertaining to be occupied with the choice of the tablecloth having an interactive table as to make a life conversation who you are dining with?
  • What will happen with this industry if it becomes completely hi-tech? Are the waiters going to lose their jobs?
  • And of course the design and its influence on our taste perception can’t be left without any attention.
  • The last question in my post, I’m going to discuss will be what factors determines our choice of restaurants.

That are the main points I’m going to research further, to the first one I’ve already devoted the post, and hope to make our soulfod blog informative and interesting with the help of Lanny and Timur. May be it is another way around just to have these questions in my head and trying to find the appropriate information on the web as to come across one blog and then another and aha have a great idea what to write about. But every researcher finds his or in my case her own way what to write about, isn’t so?) Hope to keep you interested.

iPad POS is a real competitor of an outdated POS systems

Starting my first post with the news about hi-tech technologies in restaurant business, I’m going to inform you further about not only different innovations in this tasty world of eating-out, but also try to get acquainted you with some technologies without which the successful run of this business is impossible to imagine. To such technologies is accounted a POS system, in other words a point of sale system that enables the restaurants managers not only save the time but as well to keep the complete track of the inventory being out of the restaurant itself. In other words, such system records all sales when they are occurred. Hence the potential losses can be easily eliminated and the whole productivity enhanced because the POS system makes all calculations and provides the correct information about the prices.  Such systems are always being developed and being improved. So if one wants his business to stay competitive on the market, he needs to install up-to-date POS system, for example an iPad POS system. In comparison with the traditional ones, it has a number of advantages – it has to, taking into consideration its expensiveness. According to the Michael Grothaus the iPad POS system make the savings approximately 90%. Of course it can be visible only with the time. For instance, if the installation has been already provided, the following advantages can be enjoyable:

–          with an iPad POS system a lot of different useful softs can be easily and free synchs.

–          In addition it offers a robust design, the easiness of usage and the ability to excess to the data of business sales from every device.

–          via such a system the orders can be directly transmitted to the kitchen, the bills are easile paid with the credit cards and get some recommendations for the customers.

With an ordinary POS system it works a little bit different: it has to be updated every four years and in the best case every year because it goes very fast outdated.  But on the other hand a lot of restaurants are working with such systems for a long time and don’t complaint, so the question is aroused if it is really worth to install apps device in such an old business industry, when the basic functions can be provided with an ordinary POS system?

http://www.felasofi.net/2011/10/28/digital-ipad-pos-rivals-outdated-pos-systems/

http://www.pslyon7.org/new-technologies-can-improve-your-restaurant.html

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/04/27/company-to-begin-testing-resturant-ipad-pos-system/

Emenu or restaurants are going high-tech.

Could you imagine yourself coming in an ordinary restaurant and being offered instead of an ordinary paper menu an iPad? A dream? Nowadays it is becoming a reality. A new technology, introduced by Steve Jobs, is getting its special place in a restaurant business. Is it going to replace old blackboards and paper menus we are all so used to or it’s just the waste of money which is hardly seemed to be paid off? Like an every innovative technology e-menu is examined by restaurants founders mostly critically. An overview of the numbers only submits this point: only 2 percent of restaurants use it now and they can be easily enumerated by names.
The “Mundo Global Tapas” in Sydney – to be considered being the pioneer in replacement paper menus by emenus offering their visitors an iPad.

Inamo in London is one step forward by implementing the digital tables, where a custormer can not only order the items but also choose the table clothes, play interactive games while waiting for the order or listen to the music.

NY’s “4food” – an interactive burger restaurant, where you not only order but creat your own dishes via iPad, smartphone or just at home. And if your creation is successful and ordered by someone else, you are credited. Not so bad, isn’t it?
And Germany doesn’t stay aside. In Munich and Düsseldorf the chain “LaBarocca” also attracts their customers with touchpads. According to the newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” 1 mil. euro was invested in the development of software.
Is it worth?
From the customer’s point of view, it is really entertaining to choose the dishes via iPad. There are always the appropriate photos to all of them that makes the ordering more interesting. Secondly, it is amazing to spend the waiting time interactively, which is reduced as well. There is no need to wait for the waitress to come.
And as for the owners of restaurants, there can be not less but even more advantages of implementing the emenu. The very first one is increasing in revenues and sales. It is supported by the attraction of all categories of customers and by easy system of ordering. For example, when the wine is ordered the customers have an opportunity to read all about exact sort of it without waiting for a waitress. Secondly, emenu offers the better option for payment, the secure one. Moreover if changes in menu pricelist are made it is much easier and cheeper to provide them. With old paper menu an owner has to give out more for the reprinting.
And of course the system of digital menu provides easily central management, what amount of what kind of dishes to what category of customers are sold. This determination has as well the impact on profit for example whether to include some items on the menu or not.
So the restaurants are gong hi-tech and the main innovation in this business is introduction of iPads in every day eating out, so in this connection and to conclude my first post I’d like to ask you a question, I have started with – Do you think the emenu is going to replace in the future the paper one?
There are the links to the blogs, I’ve used for my post:
http://www.aquarius.biz/en/2011/03/31/digital-dining-tablet-devices-and-potentials-for-points-of-sale/
http://www.micros.com.au/en/industries/franchises/expert-advice/blog/11-10-20/The_dynamics_of_Digital_Menu_Boards.aspx
http://www.emenu.co.in/successstory.html