Innovation

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Apps and Appetites

By Yeamrot Taddese

Gus Lazzara holds his iPhone in the air to find out the name of the song playing at work and soon consults the same gadget about where to eat dinner.

With mobile applications “for almost everything,” this smartphone junkie and self-proclaimed foodie is one of many Torontonians whose appetite is linked to apps.

According to a 2009 report by Neilson Online, there are 3.9 million mobile Internet users in Canada.

Another report by PricewaterhouseCoopers claims that Canadians’ spending on mobile Internet access will surge by 45 per cent in the next five years.

Digital Menus

By Kaitlynn Ford

Touch-screen menus mostly come in the form of iPads, but one of their competitors is E La Carte, developed by MIT drop-out Rajat Suri. E La Carte, unlike iPad, also allows the customer to pay using the machine itself in a fashion similar to E-menu. E-menu and touch-screen menus are best suited for fine or casual dining establishments rather than fast food companies.

Social Media

By Yeamrot Taddese

Jill Clark’s job is to gracefully butt into people’s conversation every day.

To accomplish her “relationship marketing” mission, the hospitality social media expert engages members of the Twitter community into small talk.

Clark begins her work by looking for keywords related to the venue she is representing.  When she is on Fish Bar’s Twitter account, she searches for words like “oysters in Toronto,” “dinner in Toronto” or “Ossington Avenue,” where the restaurant is located.

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