Maitre D'igital Part III
April 15, 2006
By the numbers
120 Number of Colorado restaurants currently using OpenTable, including 63 in Denver, 15 in Denver suburbs, 23 in mountain towns, 12 in Boulder and 2 in Colorado Springs
44 Number of states where restaurants use OpenTable. Also in use in: District of Columbia, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Montreal, Puerto Rico, Toronto and Vancouver.
4,500 Approximate number of restaurants nationally using OpenTable hardware and software
1 million: Average number of reservations made on OpenTable every month
$450million: Approximate revenue generated by OpenTable reservations monthly for restaurants
3 million: Approximate number of diners who have made reservations through OpenTable since its inception in 1998
20 million: Approximate number of diners seated through OpenTable reservations since 1998
30% of all OpenTable reservations are booked online between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m.
80% growth of OpenTable reservations in 2005 over 2004. The number of restaurants using the service grew by 65 percent in 2005
36% of American consumers have used the Internet to visit restaurants' Web sites
31% of American consumers have viewed restaurant menus online
27% of adults say they would use wireless Internet access at restaurants if available. (43 percent would use customer-activated ordering and payment terminals.)
70% of American restaurants have some form of Web siteSources: OpenTable.com; National Restaurant Association
Brave new lunch
Technology has become such a big deal that the 87th annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant Show this May in Chicago will feature a Technology Pavilion that includes informationon hardware, software and services, along with free e-mail kiosks and a cybercafe. Other technologies used by restaurants besidesWebsites, online reservations and e-mail marketing:
• Handheld ordering devices: Servers take orders at the table and deliver them to the kitchen without going to a terminal to input information or going to the kitchen. One example is the Mobile MICROS. (Information: www.micros.com/Products/MobileMICROS.) Some upscale restaurants offer handheld wine lists.
• Cams: Besides their use for security purposes, cams allow Web site visitors to see what's happening at a restaurant or bar. For a local example, visit the Web site for Denver's Falling Rock Tap House: www.fallingrock taphouse.com
• Cooking technology: High-tech kitchen additions range from a programmable oven to the "anti-griddle" that lowers the surface temperature of foods to 30 degrees below zero. Information: www.cuisinetechnology.com
• Online delivery and pickup services: Technology makes ordering for take-out and curbside pickup much easier.
• Wireless Internet access: Allows customers to use laptop computers and devices at hundreds of restaurants and cafes, including Aviano, Monkey Bean, Common Grounds, Panera Bread and the Brown Palace Hotel lobby in Denver. For a Colorado wi-fi list: www.wififreespot.com/co.html
• Self-serve ordering and payment: Primarily at fast- food restaurants, these ATM-like terminals make it easy for customers to place orders, pay with credit card and pick up food at the counter. Information: www.kioskmar- ketplace.com
• Teleconferencing: Restaurants outfit private dining and banquet rooms with teleconferencing equipment for use by businesses during daytime.
• Software: Computer systems allow real-time observation of food costs, ordering and sanitation such as Action Systems' Restaurant Manager software used at Outback Steakhouses, The Melting Pot and Wendy's. Information: www.actionsystems.com
• Employee training: E-learning systems allow restaurants to offer employee training at in-house terminals or via the Web at home. For an example, see www. waiter-training .com
• Cellphone blocking: It is illegal to install technology that blocks cell signals, but passive blocks such as steel mesh in walls and ceilings are not.
• 3 out of 10 table-service restaurant owners plan to spend more on technology in 2006.
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