How On-Brand Music Programs are Enhancing the Guest Experience

Music plays a pivotal role in a restaurant's ambiance. It helps to convey the vibe you want your restaurant to have. However, as Adam Melrose, the chief playlist officer of Control Play, says music tends to take a back seat.

But music can really enhance the brand experience in multiple ways, starting with the team members at the restaurant.

"Music has a lot to do even with just the energy of the staff members," says Melrose in the video. "If the staff is having more fun, their gonna have more fun with your customer."

Music on loudspeakers is common, but at most restaurants, there are also TV screens meant to add entertainment value. Mostly, sports or ChiveTV are popular programs being played for diners.

Melrose points out that in 2017, 25 percent of all music listened to all over the world was done while watching music videos. With that being said, playing music videos on screens has its advantages from an operator standpoint.

"Once the videos are part of the experience, people are staying longer and that equates to another drink or another shareable or a just longer stay time, which only increases how much money they're going to spend while there," says Melrose.

Unlike Pandora or Spotify, Control Play creates custom video entertainment specifically for restaurants and bars. With over 5,000 venues using the service in North America, Control Play curates a playlist specifically for your restaurant and the experience you want to convey. The playlist is constantly updated too, meaning the same old' songs won't be playing over and over to torture your staff.

What role does music play at your restaurant? Watch the On Foodable Feature episode above to learn more about Control Play and how music and video can enhance your customers' dining experience.

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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Robot Employees are the Latest Grocery Store Technology

2019 is proving to be an innovative year for the foodservice industry. Technological advances such as cashless stores and apps that help fill more restaurant seats with hungry diners aren’t the only latest trends.

Some of the latest innovations we’ve seen at Foodable are introducing technological advances, like robots, to the grocery store space.

Grocery chain Stop and Shop, is partnering with mobile market startup Robomart to bring a new method of grocery delivery to Boston this Spring. Instead of having customers order their groceries and deliver them to the door, customers will be able to order a remote-operated Robomart vehicle to their door via an app and pick out their own produce from a pre-stocked vehicle.

The Robomart app utilizes a patent-pending RFID “check-out free” system, charging customers automatically for items.

Another way technology is becoming more prevalent in the grocery store space is shown by Giant Food Stores.

Recently, the chain introduced a robot named Marty to its 172 United States stores. Marty is  built to roam around the store, looking for spills and trip hazards, which are reported to store employees. But that’s not all Marty can do, the robot can scan shelves for items that are out of stock, and perform price checks, looking for discrepancies between the shelf and the store’s scanning system.

Watch the video above to learn about other technological advances in the grocery store industry, and what companies are employing robots.

Produced by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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Philly Bans Cashless Stores, Should Amazon Be Worried?

Signage at an Amazon Go Store in Seattle |   Shutterstock

Signage at an Amazon Go Store in Seattle | Shutterstock

The city of brotherly love has passed legislation that prohibits businesses from going cashless. After July 1, businesses could be fined up to $2,000 if they don't accept cash payments.

Philly lawmakers in support of the bill argue that cashless establishments exclude a segment of the population without bank accounts or debit or credit cards.

26 percent of the city's residents are living below the poverty line, according to a spokesperson for Philly's Mayor Jim Kenney, who signed the bill into law.

"It just seemed to me unfair that I could walk into a coffee shop right across from City Hall, and I had a credit card and could get a cup of coffee. And the person behind me, who had United States currency, could not," said Bill Greenlee, Councilman and bill co-sponsor, to the "New York Times."

However, there are some exemptions to the law, including parking garages, hotels, and rental car businesses.

Philly isn't the only city considering this type of legislation either. Some cities, like Boston, already have this in place.

"Similar legislation is under consideration in cities including New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, DC. In New Jersey, the legislature has approved a bill which now just needs Governor Phil Murphy's signature to become law. Massachusetts, meanwhile, has long required businesses to accept cash," writes "engadget."

So how will this impact cashless, tech-focused stores like Amazon Go locations?

The law allows retailers with membership models (like Costco, BJ's) to be cashless, specifically cashless transactions are allow "at retail stores selling consumer goods exclusively through a membership model that requires payment by means of an affiliated mobile device application." But not everyone who uses Amazon.com is an Amazon prime member. This is also the case when it comes to the Amazon Go stores. So legislation like this could detour Amazon from setting up Amazon Go stores in certain cities.

Read more about Philly’s new bill at “engadget.”

So how do the cashless Amazon Go stores work? Watch our past video on the all-digital grocery stores below to learn more.

Is The Future of Dining Digitization? Allset CEO Thinks So!

We are living in a world with a live and thriving “on-demand” economy.

From having the choice to watch your favorite TV shows on your own time and schedule, to ordering meals and groceries through your mobile phone or online.

Companies seem to have finally figured it out…

Time is of the essence!

People seem to be willing to pay for their precious time to avoid time-consuming, mundane tasks. And with so many efficiencies taking place in different aspects of people’s lives, consumers are getting accustomed to speedy services so they can get back to what’s most important to them.

This phenomenon has us thinking… Is the future of dining digitization?

On this episode of On Foodable Feature, we learn from Stas Matviyenko, CEO and co-founder of Allset—a San Francisco-based application that aims to help restaurants provide a more efficient dining experience to guests who are short for time.

Watch the full interview to learn how this app can help increase a restaurant operation’s bottom line, how the technology integration would look like, and costs associated with the service!

Watch out Ziosk, the Restaurant Tablet Company Presto Raises $30M

Presto Tablet |   Presto

Presto Tablet | Presto

Presto, the technology company that offers pay-at-table services for full-service restaurants, announced earlier this week that it has raised $30 million from Recruit Holdings and Romulus Capital.

Other venture firms including I2BF Global Ventures, EG Capital and Brainchild Holdings have also invested in the tabletop tech company.

Presto has emerged as one of the leading solutions for restaurants looking to incorporate more technology when it comes to the guest experience.

The table-top tablets allow users to order and pay on the device, which helps to improve speed of service. The device can even be used to alert servers when a table needs them.

“I would say most restaurant groups are looking at how they can become more of a tech company… and adopt technology that could help them become more efficient,” said Raj Suri, Presto CEO to "TechCrunch." “The industry is moving in this direction in a pretty significant way and it won’t be long before you see our technology in every restaurant.”

Ziosk's rival Presto has partnered with large chains including Red Lobster, Applebee's, Denny's and Outback Steakhouse.

Besides enhancing the customer experience by accelerating service, the platform collects valuable customer data.

For example, the information collected can be used to help the restaurant's team determine how much of certain food item to order or how many servers should be staffed on Monday based on previous data.

But the software goes beyond offering internal analytics. "The platform leverages a variety of data inputs so that things like nearby sporting events or weather patterns can be integrated into suggestions about how many servers should be staffed on a given Tuesday," writes "Tech Crunch."

Read more about Presto's latest funding round at "Tech Crunch" now.

While Presto and Ziosk are streamlining the guest experience and providing valuable data, other systems like Nowait are improving front-of-house operations. This waitlist app is helping operators give guests an accurate estimate of when their table is ready, while also giving the operator daily analytic reports. Check out the video below to learn more.