The National Restaurant Association has just released its industry poll for 2012, and social media and branding are prominently featured in trends to watch for the year ahead. Among the trends:
Technology Trends in Restaurants for 2012:
What is the hottest technology trend in restaurants for 2012:
Smartphone apps for consumers (e.g. ordering, menus) 26%
Tablet computers (e.g. iPad) for menus and wine lists 25%
Social media for marketing/loyalty programs 16%
Mobile-wireless/at-the-table payment options 16%
Smartphone apps for chefs/restaurateurs (e.g. recipes, measurement converters) 11%
QR codes on menus, marketing, etc. 4%
Would you consider launching a food truck as an entrepreneurial business venture?
Among the rising trends is the prominence of food trucks. Local, independent food trucks have taken many cities by storm, and some offer smart phone apps so that fans can chart their progress and location. The next step are franchise food trucks. This concept is receiving decidedly mixed reviews.