"It adds that ‘wow’ effect,” said Manny Belete General Manager of Bull & Bear at The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida. “It puts an exclamation point on the level of service that we provide.”
In the growing hospitality software segment of Consumer Engagement Technologies (CETs), Uptown Network is setting the industry’s leading course. The company currently has offerings in cloud-based digital menus and social exchange of digital restaurant moments. That is why they have been selected as one of Food and Beverage Tech Review’s “Top 10 Food Service Management Solution Providers - 2019”.
“When we think of Uptown Network, we not only think of our technology but the network of industry leaders that we collaborate with,” explains Jack Serfass, Co-founder and CEO. “Most of our team has both technology and restaurant experience. When elevating consumer engagement for top hospitality brands both competencies are required.”
Uptown Network currently works with industry leading brands such as Darden (Seasons 52 and The Capital Grille), Disney Cruise Line, Hard Rock Casinos, Hilton, Marriott, Benihana and others.
The Digital Menu Product is available in two formats, an enterprise scale version for large brands and a self-service version for independent restaurants, bars, kiosk restaurants and food trucks. Both products offer the flexibility to offer everything from appetizers, entrees, wine lists, cocktails, spirits, after dinner drinks, desserts and even things like cigars.
Increased revenue is usually an immediate benefit with results ranging from 20 percent increase in total revenue, 30 percent increase in dessert sales and over a 200 percent in cigar sales.
“Pictures and information translate into buying confidence,” says Serfass. “Seeing a beautiful picture of a dessert or reading the tasting notes of a 98 point wine inspire guests to spend more money and at the same time elevate their experience in your restaurant.”
The product is a seamless fit to any brand with a focus on sustainability. Additional benefits are operational efficiencies and staff empowerment.
“What I’m finding is our service team is now utilizing Uptown Network as a teaching tool for themselves,” said Tom Donahue, Food & Beverage Director, Hilton/Shula’s Steak House in Naples, Florida. “Well-prepared, well informed servers are professionals. They are not order takers, they are sales people.”
A recently announced product from Uptown Network is Restaurant MomentsTM
, a product designed to boost the quality and amount of online reviews while increasing a restaurant’s rating. Using an iPhone or iPad and Uptown’s software, restaurant staff takes a picture of guests while visiting the restaurant. Automated workflow with ties into social media takes it form there. From the restaurant or when they get home, a guest can choose custom branded frames such as ‘Happy Birthday’ branded with the restaurant logo. Integrations with social media make it easy to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TripAdvisor and more.
According to TripAdvisor, 60 percent of U.S. diners say that photos influence their dining decisions. According to Nielsen, even a small increase in ratings has a direct correlation on overall restaurant revenue.
As Consumer Engagement Technologies become more mainstream, we expect to see more innovations from Uptown Network. This is an important company to engage with as this market matures.