The Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) Workshop With new Technologies to new Guests was organised by the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija, University of Rijeka, in partnership with the Kvarner regional Tourist Board. The aim of this workshop was to (1) detect and analyse the level of knowledge and application of modern information and communication technology in restaurant operations in the Kvarner region. For this aim, students of FTHM conducted an on-line presence analysis of restaurants in the Kvarner region. The sample of restaurants for this research (2) To define the role and importance of online presence in restaurant business (web sites, social media,…), define opportunities, identify challenges, barriers and make relevant conclusions and offer concrete suggestions and solutions for application in science and business practice. The workshop started at 9.00 AM and ended at 15.00 PM.
One of the main goals of every market – oriented business entity, in the context of a restaurant is profit. In order to achieve this goal efficiently and effectively Information and Communication Technology is being applied increasingly and intensively. The focus of the workshop is on attracting new guests to the restaurant by using modern on line concepts and solutions of information and communication technology. A restaurant without Wi-Fi, without a website, without social networking, without online marketing, without an adequate online strategy, is nowadays almost unimaginable and certainly does not have a long-term future on the gastro scene. Almost 80% of restaurant visitors claim that technology innovations improve their experience, especially if they result in a faster service in any way. Looking at the business processes and their relationships in the context of ICT application in the restaurant business three important relationships can be emphasized a) On line presence – attracting new guests, b) ICT solutions – increasing direct sales c) ICT solutions and online digital presence – keeping permanent guests and impact on bringing new guests based on good reviews and comments. Attracting new guests through digital channel promotions is not viable without online presence. Providing high quality digital on-line presence is a complex activity that is measured based on a large number of factors. Website and other online content needs to be optimized for the search engine. A good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) needs to be done. SEO is a process for optimizing a large number of factors to ensure the best position in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) processed by the Google Algorithm. If this process is optimized and efficient, it will lead to an increase of the volume and quality of traffic on the page. Conceptually all channels in the on-line presence of a restaurant, as a business entity should direct the traffic to the restaurant web site. Increasing direct sales by using technology can be leveraged by introducing online orders, using in house additional restaurant apps, implementing different discount coupon models in other words enabling interaction, ordering and payment with mobile devices at the restaurant. Keeping in focus the retention of existing guests and bringing new guests based on positive experiences of “old” guests, special attention should be focused on on-line reviews. On-line reviews (experience of other people) is becoming an increasingly important factor in choosing a restaurant. Smart technology integration in restaurants with an efficient SEO optimization process can increase online visibility, boost the brand and steadily inflow new visitors to ensure a good position in an increasingly demanding market.