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RichardM

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Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by RichardM » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:06 pm

FROM SLASH DOT ORG.

The early diners are dawdling, so your 7:30 p.m. reservation looks more like 8. While you wait, the last order of the duck you wanted passes by. Tonight, you'll be eating something else -- without a second bottle of wine, because you can't find your server in the busy dining room. This is not your favorite night out. The right data could have fixed it, according to the tech wizards who are determined to jolt the restaurant industry out of its current slump. Information culled and crunched from a wide array of sources can identify customers who like to linger, based on data about their dining histories, so the manager can anticipate your wait, buy you a drink and make the delay less painful. It can track the restaurant's duck sales by day, week and season, and flag you as a regular who likes duck. It can identify a server whose customers have spent a less-than-average amount on alcohol, to see if he needs to sharpen his second-round skills. So Big Data is staging an intervention. Both start-ups and established companies are scrambling to deliver up-to-the-minute data on sales, customers, staff performance or competitors by merging the information that restaurants already have with all sorts of data from outside sources: social media, tracking apps, reservation systems, review sites, even weather reports.

FULL ARTICLE: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/dini ... .html?_r=0

So where to the HotByters fall on this issue, both restauranteurs and guests.

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Robin Garr

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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:12 pm

RichardM wrote:So where to the HotByters fall on this issue, both restauranteurs and guests.

I think it's going to be a while before this software is available to independent restaurants or before they're going to want to use it.

As a concept, though, once you get past that creepy feel, I'm actually happier having Google and Amazon know to show me ads that I might possibly be interested in, based on what they know about me, rather than waste my time on junk that flies right past. I think this is the same. My favorite coffee shop knows how I like my latte and which pastry I want, so if they know I always come in on Saturdays at 9, they'll have it ready? I could get used to that.

Of course, it's more likely that big business will use it for evil, so there's that. :twisted:
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Andrew Mellman » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:37 pm

More chains do it, as there is a fairly heavy up-front cost in setting up the system and they can afford it by spreading it across all the locations..

For example, Fleming's Steak House has done it for years, indexed to the phone number you used for reservations. When you go back to a Fleming's, you are greeted by name, the waiter will say something like, "I think you can stay and talk at this table, without being rushed (since last time you stayed without ordering an extra hour destroying our reservations you idiot), last time you ordered the Ripple from October, this time would you be interested in a slightly more interesting Thunderbird from last May? And by the way, if you liked your well-done strip steak last time I really think getting it with the balsamic mushrooms will add to the steak and to the wine" and so forth. When done well it's great for the restaurant in terms of up-selling, and as a customer I'm greeted, "recognized", and my tastes are pandered to (at least ostensibly).
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by RonnieD » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:23 pm

We were looking into a loyalty program several years ago that would data mine based on customers' purchases. It would tell us things like the typical time of day a guest was likely to visit, what they were likely to spend, and so on, really as much as you wanted to know (or as little). You just scanned your loyalty card and all of that data would pop up on the POS alongside the order screen. It would also send out coupons and offers to the guest via text to increase frequency of visits or visits during atypical times.

Was very interesting, but we ultimately passed
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Carla G » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:35 am

Hmmmm....Am I the only one that doesn't see a bunch of strangers nosing into my personal habits and sharing them with people I don't know as a bad thing?
"Oh look! Carla is having diner out with friends! The last 3 times she did this they sat in the restaurant for 2+ hours . Now would be a good time to break into her house. Here's the phone number and address. "
Put me down on the "no thank you" side. I'll manage without my duck or drink something other than that same wine.

What is wrong with people when they don't get exactly everything they want when they want it? What happened to adapting?
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Andrew Mellman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:30 am

Carla G wrote:"Oh look! Carla is having diner out with friends! The last 3 times she did this they sat in the restaurant for 2+ hours . Now would be a good time to break into her house. Here's the phone number and address. "


I sort of think you are in the vast minority here . . . just go on Facebook (if you do) and I almost guarantee most of your friends will show pictures of themselves on vacation (speaking of 'good time to break in')! You're correct, but people don't seem to care.

Big Brother isn't coming . . . he's here now.
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:44 am

Andrew Mellman wrote:
Carla G wrote:... Here's the phone number and address. "

I sort of think you are in the vast minority here . . . just go on Facebook (if you do) and I almost guarantee most of your friends will show pictures of themselves on vacation (speaking of 'good time to break in')! You're correct, but people don't seem to care.
Big Brother isn't coming . . . he's here now.

I think the real key is how much one shares and what one shares. I'm happy to post my dinner on social media, but I do not make my address or phone number public, and I think most people follow a similar practice.
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by SilvioM » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:03 am

Andrew Mellman wrote:Big Brother isn't coming . . . he's here now.


And people, for the most part, have willingly chosen to prop their doors wide open for him.
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by MarieP » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:26 pm

I find it creepy when I see ads or coupons for a restaurant pop on my phone after I've visited. Our cell phones are watching us...proof positive when I say something in conversation, and either I or the person I'm talking to get a related "suggestion" on Facebook or the web.
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Andrew Mellman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:33 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I'm happy to post my dinner on social media, but I do not make my address or phone number public, and I think most people follow a similar practice.


Don't want to burst your bubble, Robin, but unless you've been fooling us all by using a fake made-up name for the past many years any average hacker can find your address in a minute or two, even if it's unlisted! If you only use a cell phone, that will take longer, but still can be done.
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:03 pm

Andrew Mellman wrote:Don't want to burst your bubble, Robin, but unless you've been fooling us all by using a fake made-up name for the past many years any average hacker can find your address in a minute or two, even if it's unlisted! If you only use a cell phone, that will take longer, but still can be done.

I'm aware, Andrew, but the point is that it's not an immediate connection. A perp has to take intentional steps to track me down, and that can happen even if I have no social media presence. Back in the day, did our grandparents wonder about "Central" or the party-line neighbors listening in on that newfangled telephone?
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Re: Restaurants Turn To Data Mining

by Carla G » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:19 pm

Crimes against our fellow men run the gamut, not just burglary. I am appalled by the number of women I know that live alone that put as much info as they do on FaceBook alone. How many social apps are out there? Hmmm...dozens? Hundreds? Even before cellphones were so popular an inmate from Luther Lucket was able to get my unlisted phone number and terrorize me before I had him blocked. Offer up more info to the public for the convenience of getting a good table? No thanks.
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