Maureen Gahan, Food and Beverage Division, Bord Bia - Irish Food Board
The Mobile World Congress that recently took place in Barcelona claimed to have been “the biggest and best yet”, with over 93,000 attendees from 200 countries. Smartphone penetration continues to rise, and in emerging nations such as Brazil and Indonesia, millions of citizens are using phones to connect to the Internet for the first time.
Today’s flagship smart phones are far more powerful than high-end desktop computers were 20 years ago, and foodservice operators continue to lead the way in using technology to enhance their customers’ experience and provide them with more convenience.
Domino’s Pizza in the US has launched an app that will let customers place and track orders from their Pebble or Android Wear smart watch. And in the week that saw Apple launch its Apple Watch, Panera Bread is among companies developing apps that will allow users to pay for food with their Apple Watch (worldwide sales of smart watches are expected to grow from 15 million in 2015 to 373 million by 2020, according to US research firm NextMarket Insights).
Closer to home, the AVIVA Stadium’s foodservice partner has teamed up with cloud technology company, Preoday, to launch a free 'My Order App' app that allows customers to pre-order and pay for refreshments at the venue and beat the half-time queue – another example of pairing advanced technology with smart phone capability to deliver improved customer choice and service.
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