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Study: Restaurant guests ready to embrace mobile payments

Study: Restaurant guests ready to embrace mobile payments

In a Cornell survey of nearly 1,300 consumers, paying with their cell phones or tabletop tablets rated higher than the traditional practice of settling bills with a credit credit. • See more Consumer Trends

Restaurant guests are ready to embrace the idea of mobile payments, according to a Cornell study.

In a survey of nearly 1,300 consumers, paying with their cell phones or tabletop tablets rated higher than the traditional practice of settling bills with a credit credit.

"Our study was conducted before Apple Pay was announced, but it's clear that restaurant customers are ready to use this kind of technology to settle their checks," said coauthor Sheryl Kimes, a Cornell professor of operations management. "We tested the use of smartphone apps and table-top systems on eight different measures. Technology beat out the traditional settlement method on all eight, including overall guest satisfaction."

Her fellow author, Mississippi State University associate professor Joel Collier, pointed out a potential bonus for operations that adopt the emerging technology: "(T)hese consumers said that payment technology would encourage them to spend more money on their next visit to a restaurant."

The employer's market is so over, one economist says.

Unemployment dipped below 6 percent in September, the first time it's been that low since July 2008. Many employers remain in denial about what that means for wages, but economist Joel Naroff says the party is over.

"The labor market has already tightened and it is just a matter of time before wages start to rise, and when that happens, the increases could be sharp," he observed in a blog for TDn2K, parent to analytics companies People Report and Black Box Intelligence.

"The implication for the restaurant industry is that costs for not just skilled workers but unskilled workers as well will be rising and that increase is likely to be greater than expected," Naroff continued. "Firms need to look back to the mid-2000s or even the 1990s and think about what it took to get workers. Even if the minimum wage is not increased, in most places, starting wages will be above the minimum by the end of 2015. Barring an unforeseen economic shock, those high wage gains should continue for a number of years."

Ferran Adria has no intention of reopening the legendary elBulli, at least not in any familiar, restaurant form.

The much-admired chef, addressing an audience at Harvard Universityâ•’s Science & Cooking public lecture series, said he will replace the restaurant with three projects: elBulli Lab, a private foundation based in Barcelona where a staff of 70 will tackle projects and exhibitions aimed at decoding the creative process; elBulli 1946, a visitor center that will trace the restaurant's history through exhibits and will open one month each year for limited dinners; and 6W Food, a 7,000-sqare-foot venue that will combine a science museum, art museum and more, and is intended to explain what cuisine is.

According to coverage of Adria's appearance, the three projects will open, respectively, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Meal delivery service lures chefs

(Continued from page 1)

Munchery, an expanding online food delivery service, is recruiting top talent away from restaurants.

The three-year-old startup, backed by venture capitalists, food truck guru Roy Choi and others, is dangling above-average salaries, extraordinary benefits and normal hours to convince talented chefs at prominent restaurants to jump ship.

Based in San Francisco, the company has plans to expand to Seattle, L.A., NYC and Washington, DC.

Students preparing for the rigorous Certified Specialist in Wine exam have a new option, an online class.

The nine-week course, offered through the San Francisco Wine School, helps participants master wines from the entire world.

Here's the course description: "Each week students will tackle a new subject in our virtual classroom with an industry leading instructor, engage in discussion with their peers, and complete in-depth tasting assignments. Students will have access to Virtual Lectures given by Master Sommelier David Glancy, in addition to the official Society of Wine Educator CSW Study Guide and the society's Online Wine Academy.

CSW exam fees are included with the $1,095 tuition.

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