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Celebrating Pride & Mourning Orlando: The Industry Speaks

June is Pride Month, 30 days celebrating gay life and commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan—a critical turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. But these days of rainbows and parades have been darkened by the June 12th massacre at Pulse, an LGBT-friendly nightclub in Orlando, in which Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and critically injured 53. The youngest was 19; the oldest was 50.

In response to what has been called the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, we spoke to LGBTQ leaders of the restaurant industry about their very personal reactions to the tragedy.… Read more

Introducing OpenTable Tab: Make Every Guest Feel Like a Regular

Introducing OpenTable Tab: Make Every Guest Feel Like a Regular

Today, we are thrilled to announce we’re piloting OpenTable Tab, a new payment experience that gives restaurants a unique way to deliver classic hospitality. Now, OpenTable diners can “put it on their tab” at restaurants in Los Angeles and get the true VIP treatment. OpenTable Tab is currently available at more than 75 restaurants in L.A. and will be introduced in more U.S. cities later this year.

“Restaurant goers in L.A. love to be treated like regulars and truly value a VIP experience,” said Catherine Porter, SVP of Strategy and Business Development at OpenTable.

“OpenTable Tab is designed to reinvent and simplify the way diners pay at restaurants and enhance the overall dining experience. By removing the cumbersome and time-consuming credit card swap, diners who use OpenTable Tab can focus on enjoying their fantastic meal and our restaurant partners can focus on delivering amazing hospitality.”

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9 Technology Trends & Topics Changing the Industry – and How to Thrive

According to a statistic shared by American Express at last weekend’s Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, 87% of operators believe technology can help them attract more customers to their restaurants. With new solutions and innovations popping up constantly, how can restaurateurs stay focused and get the most out of their tech investments?

Chef and restaurateur Tyler Florence moderated a panel with some of the most tech-savvy leaders in the business: Michael Jacobs, partner at Corner Table Restaurants, which includes The Smith and Jane; Nicolas Jammet, co-founder of healthy salad chain sweetgreen, and Maureen Cushing, Vice President of IT for Union Square Hospitality Group and co-founder of the TechTable Summit. Here’s are some of the highlights from a candid discussion of the hottest topics in technology and hospitality.

1. Data

We’re entering a new era of data mining, Michael said. First, everyone wanted data but couldn’t access it; now, restaurants have access to more data than they know what to do with. It’s overwhelming.

The next wave, he predicted, will be the “artificial intelligence” phase, when operators receive actionable data via systems that don’t require endless mining.

2. Customer Relationship Management

Maureen said that USHG is using “little data,” not big data, focusing on a few dedicated systems and platforms. The group uses OpenTable as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to aggregate and share guest notes and build relationships with repeat customers.Read more

This Week in Restaurant News: World’s Best Restaurant, Impossible Burger, Putting Empty Restaurants to Work

Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?

Osteria Francescana Is Named the World’s Best Restaurant — Bloomberg Pursuits

The Impossible Burger is Ready for Its (Meatless) Close-UpThe Wall Street Journal

Why Sourcing Local Food Is So Hard for RestaurantsHarvard Business Review

There Are 2,000 Empty Restaurants During the Day in New York — and This Startup Is Trying to Do Something About ItBusiness Insider

What Are You Printing for Dinner?The Wall Street Journal

Ravi DeRossi, New York Stealth Bar Owner and RestaurateurThe New York Times

Is New York Finally Becoming a Serious Barbecue City? — Eater New York

Leveraging the Pop-Up Restaurant — Restaurant Hospitality

Instagram’s Bro-iest Chef Turns Junk Food Into Upper Next Level CuisineWired

The History of Revolving Restaurants Lucky PeachRead more