Technology and Restaurants

Sunday night I received an SMS message(aka Text Message) from Twitter. It was a tweet from one of the accounts that I follow to my phone. The message was from @BUDALounge, the Twitter alias for the amazing sushi lounge on Mass Ave.

The message read:

We obviously dropped everything and headed down there! Yes, their sushi rolls are that good, very untraditional.

The next day I received another SMS message from @Zingrestaurant, the relatively new, small-plate restaurant in a triangular building on Indiana Avenue. This time informing me of another delicious sounding deal:

I happened to be out of town and couldn't make it, but I did forward it along to some friends who told me that the Brats were wonderful!

Well yesterday I received yet another Text message that had me salivating enough to change my plans. This time it was from the Facebook account of Chef JJ's Backyard in Broad Ripple. Chef JJ's Backyard is an experience dining establishment that just recently opened along the white river in Broad Ripple. Participants learn how to grill different specialties. (I've signed up for Hell Night)

We had an amazing time! We enjoyed the FREE grilled specialties and the delicious beer from Indianapolis' newest brewery, SunKing Brewing. Their story and their beer is worth giving some attention.

Text messaging seems to be changing the way that restaurants market to their customers. In addtion to these offers I've mentioned, I've also received offers from Scotty's Brewhouse and Yats, to name a few... (And don't forget the $25 gift certificate from The Hungry Brick)

On a recently trip to Boston, many of their bars were linked to a innovative system called BarCast. This was a SMS message service where patrons could actually communicate with other patrons at any of the bars in the system. This created quite a bit of entertainment and we stayed longer than we probably would have otherwise. It also helped make our decision about which bar to head off to next.

A friend of mine has recently started working on a restaurant text messaging service, textaurant, that will even further establish a connection between patron and restaurant. His concept would be an SMS delivery service that would change the way you wait for a table. It also promises to help improve customer service.

In reading "What Would Google Do?" by Jeff Jarvis, he lays out an example of the restaurant of the future. He talks about an interactive menu, highlighting how often an entree has been ordered, or a wiki where patrons can adjust menu recipes. He writes about how a restaurant will eventually become a platform to bring the diner an even more customized experience.

The future definitely looks yummy!

What other cool or innovative ways are restaurants marketing to you? What are your thoughts about how technology is changing your dining experience?

1 comment:

JoshSamBob said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Phil. Textaurant is definitely looking to change the way people wait for tables!