The Daily Rail: Is technology leaving your older guests behind?

August 18, 2016

Today's Specials

This Week in eSports: Pro gaming is bigger than most pro sports

The Houston Rockets' GM compares eSports to basketball in the '50s (in a good way), eSports is crushing most major pro sports in social media audience, a Las Vegas school is offering a course on eSports, and a TEDx Talk video about eSports and evolution of labor rights.

Your 2016-2017 NCAA Football schedules are here!

The 2016-2017 NCAA Football season is just around the corner, and your sports bar or restaurant needs to know when the games are on to keep guests happy. Download our free complementary schedule (by time zone), so you know when and what station the big games are on.


Why it’s important to you: Here are some role models if you have growth on your mind.

Restaurant Business Insider in partnership with Technomics released their Future 50, a list of the fastest growing or industry-leading operations that are up and coming chains. We are extremely proud to congratulate seven of those Future 50 who are also Citizens of the Rail. They are in order of their appearance: #5 The Brass Tap, #15 Eureka! Restaurants, #31 Wings, Etc, #34 Paninis, #39 Arooga’s, #40 Blackfinn Pubs, and #42 Paxti’s. We aren’t saying that subscribing the SportsTV Guide and The Dailiy Rail are guarantees you’ll be successful, but it can’t hurt!


Why it’s important to you: Another day, another Olympic nightmare, but this time maybe they are not Brazil’s fault.

Much has been made of the nefarious nature of these Olympics and, frankly, the Brazilians are pissed. After Sunday’s incident involving four US swimmers, Brazilian authorities weren’t convinced their account was completely truthful. Consequently, Brazilian Judge Keyla Blank has ordered Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen to turn over their passports, and the other two swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were taken off their outbound flights yesterday. Unfortunately for Brazilian authorities, Lochte has already left the country. The judge said her ruling was based on inconsistencies in the testimony of Lochte and fellow swimmer Jimmy Feigen. Her goal was to give investigators more time to review their statements and further their research. Feigen, Bentz and Conger are currently still in Brazil and cooperating with authorities. Be prepared for this to get ugly.

And speaking of ugly…how about the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from Ireland who was busted at one of the Olympic hotels scalping tickets. Patrick Henry (no relation to the “Give me Liberty or give me death” guy) was arrested in Rio with more than 1000 tickets that had been sold for high fees that had been allocated to the Olympic Council of Ireland.

No formal charges have been placed, but the investigation is on-going, and Henry is in custody. When these Olympics started everyone was convinced that Rio was unprepared and their handling of them would be a disaster.

While there has been some proof of that, it hasn’t helped that their foreign guests aren’t behaving very well either. It might just be time to recognize the Olympics for what it is… a boondoggle and literally the World’s biggest party.


Why it’s important to you: Pokemon Go is a cultural phenomenon and you should be riding the wave.

It’s safe to say that Buffalo Wild Wings is a leader in our industry, especially for all you sports-themed operators out there. So kudos to them and Red Robin for being the only two full service restaurants on the list of Top 10 Pokemon Go (PGo) restaurant destinations. Starting in July when PGo was released, restaurants have been seeing traffic increases based on the games popularity and their own ability to leverage it for social media.

While the bulk of the list is populated with quick service options like #1 Little Caesar’s and #3 Jack-in-the-Box, it’s clear a focused strategy can bring you increased visits. It’s a perfect excuse to invite Pokemon players to visit your restaurant to search for that elusive creature. We suggest you pull out your smartphone and look around to see if there are any good catches near your location. At least then you can inform guests and even make special offer if they demonstrate they have captured that character near your location. Make it fun and let the viral nature of the PGo phenomenon lift your late summer traffic.


Why it’s important to you: Is technology leaving your older guests behind?

Remember the good old days when you had a phone in your home and that was how people reached you? Well that all disappeared over the past 20 years as cellphone technology improved, service became cheap, and the convenience was too obvious. Well, it appears that many operators are taking a page out of the consumer book by not having a working phone line associated to their business. This can be maddening to those that still rely on a simple phone call to interact with your location.

This is particularly vexing to seniors that have not joined the technology train. However, they are still real spenders in our industry. Given that the typical senior is less comfortable using a digital approach to making a reservation or asking for guidance form a restaurant, this essentially sets them on the outside looking in. Not a great spot if you want them to spend money with you. Do you still have a direct line? If not, email us and let us know why!