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Hospitality Social Launches First Solution Available to the Hospitality Industry that Connects Interactive Wine Lists, a Rewards Network and a Social Media Strategy
May 21, 2011 (10:05 AM EDT)


Winning Strategy Increases Existing Business While Driving New Business

Product Roadmap Plans Hundreds of Rewards with Fully Interactive Menu

CHICAGO and NAPLES, Fla., May 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the NRA Show 2011 opened today in Chicago so did Hospitality Social.  For the first time, attendees got a glimpse of the future and how Apple Computer, Inc. iPads or Android tablets will revolutionize the experiences that hospitality venues can offer their guests.  By carefully weaving the dining experience together with expert wine pairings, menu selections, hospitality rewards and social media 'buzz' the strategy gives a unique and exciting option for venues looking to increase existing business and drive new business.

"Hospitality Social is the first company that we have seen to connect all the dots," said Richard Rosenthal, President of the Max Restaurant Group in Hartford, CT.  "Word of mouth has traditionally been the most important focus for restauranteurs and hospitality executives.  Social media now makes that viral.  The form factor of a pad versus a terminal just makes too much sense.  Combining this with expert advice to improve the dining experience will give a significant advantage to any venue that has it."

Convergence:  A Shifting Industry

Every day, billions of dollars are spent in the hospitality industry based on social networking. However, the landscape is changing, and the focus is moving from terminals to pads. By 2020, the number of interactive menus will outnumber paper, and that race has already begun. Interactive menus, combined with social media, unlock the door to new and increased revenue. Hospitality Social has connected this convergence into a winning strategy to ensure hospitality executives dominate in this new environment.

"This started simply as a way for us to recommend wines at our restaurant," said Jack Serfass CEO of Hospitality Social and co-owner of Naples Tomato restaurant.  "When we rolled out the app last year the response was unbelievable and the guest suggestions came pouring in, much of it had to do with social media.  Wine sales increased and guests started posting comments on the web.  We know this will be valuable to our customers because it already is valuable to Naples Tomato."

Hospitality Social has assembled a management team with broad success in technology.  Two members of the team have been in leadership of technology companies that have gone public.  Members have been responsible for managing budgets in excess of $1 billion and staffs of more than 3,000 employees.  More importantly, Hospitality Social has balanced this team with executives with deep experience in restaurants, cruise ships and other industry venues.

70 iPad Video Wall

As part of the launch, Hospitality Social put together a 70 iPad video wall in booth 2583 at the NRA show.  A YouTube video of the wall can be found here.

Stealth Mode Adoption - Low Entry Costs

Even before the launch of Hospitality Social, restaurants heard about the solution and have already committed to implementing it.  The startup package, which includes 5 iPad 2s, the Hospitality Pads, the Personal Sommelier app and the Hospitality Rewards Network is just $479 a month.

"We chose the 10 iPad package for $699 a month," said Richard Rosenthal President of the Max Restaurant Group.  "We are excited to offer this amenity of Hospitality Pads and the Personal Sommelier to our guests at Max Downtown.  No other restaurant in the area has anything like it.  This will be the first time guests in Connecticut get this experience and we are excited that Max Group introduced it.  We already have a demo unit and plan to go live before Memorial Day Weekend.  It's exciting.  There is a good chance we will bring it to more of our restaurants."

"For private clubs, young members are always important because membership is always aging," said Hopi Stradling, Managing Director of the 100 Club in Portsmouth, NH.  "This is a great way to attract those members, especially before other venues offer it.  Hospitality Social is an important and invaluable amenity to any clubs sense of building an environment that fits the need of the next generation."

Hospitality Rewards Network - Early Participants

Pre-launch, Hospitality Social worked with 3 vineyards to confidentially brief them on the launch plans. Honig Vineyard, Jarvis Winery, Swanson Vineyards all had a chance to see the software before the announcement and have provided video comment that is on the Hospitality Social web site.  Hospitality Social takes a portion of the license fee of the venues to purchase rewards that are given out to guests dining at venue sites.  This creates excitement, drives awareness and hopefully business for everyone involved.

"There is a common term in the software industry called 'share in the economics'," said Serfass.  "As a fellow restaurant owner, I don't like this.  Hospitality Social does not want to 'share in the economics', we want to drive and grow the economics so everyone wins.  The opportunity is there, especially for early adopters."

As the Rewards Network grows, guest rewards will include cookbooks, private wine tastings, wine merchandise, and private wine maker dinners.  Hospitality Social is showing examples of this in their booth #2583 at the NRA Show.  As rewards are won, they are posted on Twitter and Facebook to help promote the venue, reward recipient and reward provider.  

About Hospitality Social

Hospitality Social is a new company that debuted on May 21st at the NRA Restaurant Show.  Every day, billions of dollars are spent in the hospitality industry based on social networking. However, the landscape is changing, and the focus is moving from terminals to pads. By 2020, the number of interactive menus will outnumber paper, and that race has already begun. Interactive menus, combined with social media, unlock the door to new and increased revenue. Our company has that key: a winning strategy to ensure hospitality executives dominate in this new environment.

Contacts:  For Hospitality Social:  Tanya Fox tanya.fox@hospitalitysocial.com, 855-577-7555

SOURCE Hospitality Social