HFTP ANNOUNCES 2017 CHTP OF THE YEAR RECIPIENT

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), will honor Clint DeMill, CHTP as the 2017 Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) of the Year at HITEC Toronto this June. The CHTP of the Year award honors the individual that scored the highest on the CHTP certification exam within a given year. HITEC Toronto, HFTP’s second and largest HITEC of 2017, will take place from June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

DeMill began his hospitality career at a mountain resort in Utah USA in 1996. He later moved to The University Guest House at the University of Utah, which was preparing to host the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He has worked in hospitality accounting while earning a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism at the University of Utah. DeMill contributes to many areas of the hotel, conferences and events, and also received his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2016. He is currently working as associate director of administration at The University of Utah Guest House and Conference Center.

“I first learned of HFTP at its HITEC 2012,” said DeMill. “I was fortunate to join many others who specialized in both finance and information technology. I am honored to be selected as the 2017 CHTP of the Year by an esteemed association such as HFTP.”

Developed jointly by HFTP and the Educational Institute (EI) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA), the CHTP designation is the ultimate achievement in hospitality information technology by showing a dedication to both the hospitality and technology industries. The CHTP exam was first given in 1994 at HITEC in Dallas, Texas USA. Since then, more than 400 professionals have earned the CHTP designation around the world. HFTP also administers the examination and awards the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE®) industry designation.

HFTP’s certification programs are globally recognized for setting industry standards for hospitality finance and technology. Qualification for the exams is based on level of education and experience in the industry; student programs are also available. Active certificants have reported higher salaries and various career advancement opportunities. Becoming certified indicates and individual’s commitment to professionalism, continuing education and their chosen career path.

For more information on HFTP’s certification programs, contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at certification@hftp.org. For more information about HITEC and HFTP’s other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/. Download the all-inclusive HITEC 2017 multi-event app from the Apple Store or Google Play – information coming available as each event nears. For the latest news, stay tuned to HFTP Connect, HFTP News, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP) and Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC).

About HITEC
HITEC is the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.

Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. borders– in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This will be the first time the global association’s largest HITEC event – featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world – will take place outside of the U.S. In 2017, HFTP is producing its larger HITEC Toronto as well as two additional, inaugural HITEC events: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai.

For more information about HITEC and HFTP’s other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec. Download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.

About HFTP
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry’s problems. HFTP has members and stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world’s only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website.

HOTEL 2025: THE HOTEL OF THE FUTURE (ORACLE HOSPITALITY REPORT)

Oracle Hospitality (an exhibitor at HITEC Dubai) has released a new report entitled Hotel 2025.

The report identifies consumer attitudes to new technologies and how their implementation will shape consumer behaviour in the years to come.

Insights from the report highlight that consumers are most willing to engage brands with new technology if they feel that they are in control of their experience and that hospitality operators should be wary of implementing automation without personal service. Other insights in the report include:

  • 66% of consumers said that a virtual reality tour of the property would improve their experience.
  • 70% of operators believe that ordering room or hotel services by voice recognition software will be widespread in the industry by 2025.
  • 59% of consumers want to be able to control room lighting and temperature with a voice activated device like Alexa or Google Home

Download the full report here to find out more.

HITEC AMSTERDAM CONCLUDES WITH OVER 1000 ATTENDEES

Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology show in North America, successfully concluded its first European counterpart, the inaugural HITEC Amsterdam, from March 28-30, 2017.

Produced by Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP®), the show brought together more than 1,100 industry professionals from around Europe to learn and explore the industry’s best practices and latest innovations.

The show served as a platform to discuss the hospitality technology landscape via networking, education and exhibits. The educational program featured over 30 speakers, who addressed topics such as: disruptive technologies, e-payments, technology for profit, IT and more. The exhibits program housed 83 booths showcasing the latest in hospitality technology products and services.

“Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make HFTP’s inaugural HITEC Amsterdam an overwhelming success,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. “We had early indications foreshadowing the event’s popularity with the exhibit floor selling out in 72 hours last June to high pre-registration attendance numbers. HFTP is humbled to have surpassed its goal of producing the first European extension of HITEC, and look forward to the future.”

In addition to exhibits, 12 ambitious entrepreneurs pitched their breakthrough business concepts to a panel of expert judges at the Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) Competition, a unique platform that helps connect innovative startups with investors and industry players.

HITEC Amsterdam was just the first of three HITEC events that HFTP plans to produce this year. HITEC Toronto, the North American leg, will take place June 26 -29, followed by HITEC Dubai from November 14-15, the Middle East and India leg, produced in partnership with Naseba.

“It was very inspiring attending the show in Amsterdam,” said Naveen Bharadwaj, Naseba’s Production Manager for HITEC Dubai. “The attendance was great both in terms of quality and quantity, and opportunities created were phenomenal. We are excited to bring the great brand of HITEC to Dubai this November.”

Modelling the HITEC Amsterdam format, HITEC Dubai will offer an education program and exhibit booths. In addition, the show will feature a summit with one-to-one business meetings. Hoteliers attending the summit portion of HITEC Dubai will be pre-qualified to confirm their purchasing authority, budgets, timelines and solutions of interest.

HITEC Dubai is set to take place on the 14th and 15th of November at the Conrad Hotel Dubai.

NASEBA AT HITEC AMSTERDAM

Naveen Bharadwaj, Naseba’s Production Director, was in attendance for the inaugural HITEC Amsterdam event. Below he shares his thoughts on his experience meeting with HFTP and their team, attending the event and his thoughts on HITEC as a whole.

-Enter Naveen-

It’s a well-known fact that businesses that don’t innovate or evolve or lack clear direction eventually succumb to competition or just cease to exist in the grandeur they may have been used to. If it can happen to the likes of Nokia and BlackBerry, it can happen to any other business too. Hence it’s extremely important to stay abreast of the developments around us and cater to the needs of our key stakeholders. Be it a business or government or an association.
2 weeks ago I had the privilege to represent our company Naseba and participate in HFTP’s strategic planning meeting held in a beautiful city that boasts a great mix of retro and urban outlook, a city that’s way more than pot and prostitution – AMSTERDAM. As part of HFTP’s ongoing efforts to sustain and grow its position as the go-to-place for cutting edge knowledge sharing and networking, they gathered around 50 contributors – comprising of board and other key members – to provide fact and situation based strategic input.

Prior to the meeting, contributors were asked to answer a simple yet effective survey that would either reassure the core values and message of HFTP or help define its evolution. This may not have been the most enjoyable part, but the two days of the meeting certainly were as it was coupled with fun, effectiveness and interactive feedback gathering. There was constructive criticism, unanimous agreements, thunderous laughter and everything else that contributed to the core purpose of the meeting.

Through groups and scenario planning exercises, multiple permutations and combinations were drawn. Thanks to the facilitator Woody’s engaging delivery style and his patience to absorb the occasional jibe, all contributors got really involved and very passionate with the discussions.

Amongst several suggestions put forth to help HFTP’s immediate and long-term future, following are a few that stood out for me:

– Increasing the member base outside of North America and measuring the satisfaction of all members
– Enhancing the number of youth representation to ensure perspectives of GenY and GenZ become an integral part of the association’s discussions
– Reducing dependency on just one or two revenue generating streams and creating alternate sustainable options
– Forming communities of interest and or focused groups rather than pure chapters.
– Embracing an effective combination of physical and digital mediums to achieve goals and objectives of the association
– Encouraging members to attract members and benefit from credits or free membership or certification opportunity for a year
– Rethinking the membership model and adopting scalable options such as the freemium model

One of the things that I observed and enjoyed the most during the meeting is the passion most if not all the contributing members shared towards HFTP and the industry. Their feedback and interactions showed their genuine commitment to the development of the industry and further transformation of the association. Prakash, Carson, Mark, Daniel, Chris, Mathew and everybody there had one thing in common – passion for the association. Spirit of camaraderie.

5 REASONS WHY YOUR RESTAURANT NEEDS DATA SCIENCE (GUEST POST)

By Christopher Adams, VP Sales Food & Beverage, APAC at Oracle Hospitality

Safe Harbor Statement: The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Restaurant operators have a constant stream of data flowing into their POS terminals – from in-store transactions, to mobile apps and online ordering, many restaurateurs are sitting on a goldmine of data. The question is, how can meaningful insights be extracted from all that data and turned into profit?

This is where data science comes into play. Knowing more about what affects your business, and being able to analyse the factors that affect sales and efficiency, presents many opportunities for operators to enhance the customer experience, streamline business operations and boost the bottom line. That’s the power of data science.

Here are five reasons why your restaurant should consider data science.

1. Increase overall revenue. By having access to your business data and, more importantly, knowing how to interpret the metrics, you can significantly impact your overall revenue. There are many ways restaurateurs can leverage their data to boost the bottom line:

  • Provide targeted menu recommendations at time of transaction
  • Identify which products, store layouts and locations drive revenue and replicate this across other stores
  • Look at specific employee behavior and identify those generating higher revenue – then encourage other employees to replicate this behavior
  1. Sell more products with higher margins. Data science represents a huge opportunity for operators to know their customers more intimately and provide them with personalized service that will not only bring them back time and time again, but increase the probability of generating a larger purchase, by moving customers to a higher margin up-sell or cross-sell.

The concepts of ‘up-sell’ or ‘cross-sell’ are not new to the industry – ‘would you like fries with that’ has been around since the 60’s. However, as restaurateurs continue to collect more and more data, and customers demand a more personalized experience, we can know ahead of time that not everyone wants fries with that. For example a burger restaurant can provide personalized combos based on customer preferences, such as the addition of bacon, or extra cheese, to drive higher margins.

  1. Reduce costs. By identifying exactly how much stock to hold to avoid wastage or overstocking, or being able to identify labor scheduling challenges, operators can significantly reduce their operating costs. Being able to extract this data and analyse it to provide actionable business insights means being able to adjust inventory and staffing to increase savings and reduce waste.
  2. Improve customer satisfaction. Being able to provide a personalized service is paramount to a successful food service business and is often what will set your business apart from the rest. Personalization requires an in-depth knowledge about your customers – what items do they, what time of day, what extras do they like. This type of analytics is available today using many BI tools, however data science lets you find the dimensions you aren’t looking for. Data science to drive customer purchases with menu recommendations is a key area – think of the likes of amazon with ‘people who bought X also bought Y’ or ‘last time you purchased Z, would you like this again?’ By using both transactional data and unstructured data (e.g. weather patterns, demographics, local event information) timely recommendations can be provided to restaurant operators, to maximize every sales opportunity. This in turn improves customer satisfaction and keeps customers engaged with your brand.
  3. Increase customer return. If your business has happy customers, chances are they will return. To keep customers happy your business needs to continually evolve and innovate, and data plays a vital role in this. By tapping into your business data and knowing what to look for, your customers will benefit and will keep coming back. For example, you’ll have better knowledge about what new products to offer, allow your customers to re-order from previous times, keep track of customers’ purchase history so you can personalize their experience and offer appealing cross-sells and up-sells that actually get accepted.

The demand for personalized service will only continue, so data science will be fundamental to gaining a competitive edge. The key is to use it in a meaningful and timely way so that the benefits are tangible. This will include applying the science to all customer touch points – be it online, through the POS terminal, through 3rd party devices such as kiosk and digital menu boards. Data science is going to open up a lot of opportunities for innovation and will quicken the pace of the food service industry even further.

ORACLE HOSPITALITY IS AN EXHIBITOR AND SPONSOR AT HITEC DUBAI WHICH IS TAKING PLACE AT THE CONRAD DUBAI HOTEL ON THE 14TH AND 15TH, NOVEMBER 2017.