Digital Menus Replace Paper Menus in Multi-Faceted Ways According to Uptown Network

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The Advent of Automated Staff Training and Testing Ushers in the Era of Digital Menus; 13,100,000 US Restaurant Employees Need Automated Mobile Training

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Having an automated, mobile solution for training will save us countless hours and significantly reduce operational costs. It’s a win, win, win.

Uptown Network today announced another step in replacing paper menus worldwide by making iPad automated staff training generally available to all hospitality venues. This new mobile product can reduce training expenses by over 80% and dramatically improve customer service.

“Shula’s is constantly looking for ways to improve guest service across our franchise system,” said Christian Dammert, Director of Operations for Shula’s Steakhouses and Shula Burger. “Having an automated, mobile solution for training will save us countless hours and significantly reduce operational costs. It’s a win, win, win.”

One of the big questions in hospitality today is whether mobile devices will replace waiters and waitresses or empower them. Several startups are claiming that mobile tablets can reduce or replace them. Uptown Network believes that servers should be empowered, not replaced by mobile devices. Apple has proven how successful this approach is in their retail stores. Training is a key element.

A recent MasterCard survey reports that 80% of all restaurant complaints are related to poor service. Education, training and testing are the root cause of the majority of these complaints. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 13,100,000 employees in the United States restaurant industry that need regular training. The worldwide number is significantly larger.

Anyone who has eaten, worked at or owned a restaurant knows how ineffective current training approaches are. Turnover is widespread, culinary knowledge in many cases is limited and enthusiasm can be lacking. Uptown Network is the first company to provide an automated mobile solution that engages staff and guests alike.

“Paper menus are certainly a thing of the past,” said Jack Serfass, CEO of Uptown Network. “This is fun. To turn our tablet based menus into thousands of local and mobile ‘teachers’ is fantastic. The real beneficiaries of this new product will be the guests in the restaurants of Uptown Network customers as they will get superior customer service.”

In addition to mobile, Uptown Network has taken into consideration local and social capabilities. As staff passes training and tests, they are rewarded with badges that they can post on their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media graphs. Additionally, all training and testing can be customized to local stores. An unlimited number of customized courseware and tests can be created for specific locations or one test can be distributed enterprise wide.

Uptown Network has filed for a provisional patent application protecting its invention of the integration of a MOOC with social, mobile and local apps in hospitality. This new product will be delivered as software as a service (SaaS), so there are no web servers or software to install.

About Uptown Network
Uptown Network is the leader in S.M.A.R.T. Services for hospitality and Mobile Menu Communities. Over 50,000 brands and guests are currently members of the Uptown Network. Every day, billions of dollars are spent in the hospitality industry based on internet and social technologies. However, the explosion of mobile and the Apple App Store is changing the landscape and spending habits of consumers. Mobile Menu Communities are emerging as the winning solution and Uptown Network is the leading company in this new category.

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Kristin Simmons

Kristin Simmons
since: 03/2012
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