Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Connected Restaurant

What: The Connected Restaurant
When: Tue, May 24, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Where: TechNexus, 20 North Wacker Drive #1200, Chicago, IL


Jeffrey Dirrenberger, Founder/CEO of Vault Innovation

With a well rounded background in business, design, and execution and over 10 years of experience as a innovator and leader in the Chicago tech scene, Jeff specializes in taking new business ideas or products to market in the digital space. 

Jeff founded Vault Innovation in 2012 with the vision of putting a team and process together to identify opportunities and utilize mobile and web technology to help companies fulfill their potential.  Vault has worked in many industries but has spent a lot of time innovating in the hospitality industry for both consumers, retailers, and operations.  Some of their recent hospitality clients include the National Restaurant Association and Kuma's Corner.

Vault Innovation Group is an agency focused on growing businesses through mobile and web innovation.  We pride ourselves on delivering the entire software development cycles from beginning to end.  This includes research/consulting, user experience design, visual design, branding, development, and post launch services.

John Yi, Co-Founder at NextME
John was born in Chicago. Raised by a single mother immigrant from South Korea, he learned early in life the meaning of responsibility and hard work. At the age of 6, John and his brother James started their first business walking dogs out of their mother’s dry cleaning store. After graduating from DePaul University in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology, John worked as a project manager for Arbor Investments LLC before launching his second business NextME, where he currently serves as CEO.
NextMe's digital wait list is a mobile app for restaurants that help hosts manage walk-in reservations. Once a table is ready, a diner is notified via text message to be seated. While waiting, diners can view their position in line via a web link found in their text message and also gain access the restaurant's menus, bar specials and social media pages to help diners pass time.

These days restaurants are no longer able to rely exclusively on offering good food, a pleasant ambience, and traditional advertising. Restaurants are realizing that they must embrace digital technology such as Web site marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and mobile apps so they can stay competitive.
Digital technology has already been embraced by restaurant customers. They can use Web and mobile applications to locate restaurants, make reservations, view menus, order food for delivery or take-out, pay for orders, and enroll in loyalty programs. Social media sites allow customers to connected with restaurants and be updated on specials and promotions.
Digital technology allows restaurants to promote themselves and create a relationship with customers. Restaurant owners and managers need to interact with with customers on social media, take online and mobile food orders and payments, increase repeat sales and respond quickly to issues and comments. With so much competition to reach customers through digital technology, restaurants can’t afford to neglect being online.
There has been a strong growth of online and mobile ordering, mobile payments, and customers to use social media to determine where they dine. The potential for restaurants to grow their business through digital technology is in the tens of billions of dollars per year. Mobile and Web ordering is already playing a big role for chains including Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s. Mobile payments account for a significant percentage of Starbuck’s revenue. A growing number of restaurants are offering mobile loyalty programs and online gift cards.


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