After a long Saturday of incessant grazing at the food booths, my waistline begged that I try a different approach for walking the show on Sunday morning. Bypassing the tempting aromas emanating from the South Hall, I made a beeline directly toward that wonderland of guilt-free bytes in the Technology Pavilion.
Honestly, I was a bit intimidated at first. My mind is pretty low-tech and discussions with my company I.T. guys tend to fly right over my head. But luckily, I met some really nice â€˜geeksâ€™ who were able to explain their innovations in a way that even I could understand. Once again, I found some cool stuff.
1) Online ordering and delivery systems
Operators can have them customized directly for their unit or chain’s unique needs, or operators can join other operators on a consumer-facing zip-code searchable site that allows consumers to search the menus of nearby restaurants and place an order. At http://www.orderup.com, the order prints directly to the kitchen, without waiting for service staff to check emails or faxes to see if anyone has ordered.
2) Text-based waitlist management systems
Forget annoying buzzers and beepers, these systems allow operators to text â€˜your table is readyâ€™ messages to the cell phones of waiting customers wherever they happen to be. Later, operators can send out loyalty promotions to increase guests’ frequency of return. One system called MobileWaitâ„¢ even allows operators to track wait times and consumer usage for continual improvement and more focused marketing efforts.
For cocktails that bubble like witch’s brew, these handy dry ice holders are designed to contain the ice securely in their plastic jaws and double as trendy swizzle sticks.
4) Light-up write-on wipe-off specials boards
Shiny things always catch my eye. These resemble your average hand-written specials boards, but they light up and create a neon-like effect. A great idea for the countertops of dimly lit bars and clubs, or any place that needs a little pizzazz.
5) NUVO Sparkling Liqueur
Okay, you got me. This one wasn’t in the Technology Pavilion. It was in the International Wine, Spirits, and Beer Event. And its pretty pink, perfumesque bottle just seem to wave â€˜helloâ€™ to me, so I had to try it. A bubbly citrusy vodka beverage, it was refreshing on its own and is available with lots of great ideas for mixing in cocktails.
See you tomorrow, live from the Show Floor!
_From Guest Blogger Sabrina Robb