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Apple Watch Update: Rolex and the Hospitality Industry

09/28/16

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For those who caught Apple’s live stream event earlier this month - you may have seen Tim Cook boast how the Apple Watch ranked second in the top 10 list of global watch sales in 2015. It was the only smartwatch on the list, beating out reputable brands like Omega, Cartier, and Patek Philippe. But which brand was number one? Swiss luxury watchmaker, Rolex. 

After failing to beat Rolex, the company seems to have rethought its strategy for the second Apple Watch Series - offering more cost effective models and steering away from their luxury 18-karat gold variant. The Apple Watch Series 2 also features two new functionalities - GPS support and swim-proof, making it more fitness tracker esque than luxury timepiece.

So what’s next for the Apple Watch? The future is unclear, but NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer seems to have found a new use for it.

Announced at the TechTable Summit, Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group has partnered with reservation system start-up, Resy, to bring Apple Watch into front-of-house restaurant service. When Meyer’s 30 year old Union Square Cafe reopens in Manhattan next month, every floor manager and sommelier will be wearing an Apple Watch, Eater reports.

What will this do? Allow for wearers to receive notifications on a variety of important things such as guests who are waiting too long to order, a new table that was seated, an arrival of a VIP guest, or if a menu item has run out. All of which will be controlled through a new app, ResyOS. By having an iPad loaded with ResyOS at the restaurant's host stand, the watches can pull in information and hopefully eliminate any operational hiccups.

Instead of sommeliers waiting for managers to relay wine order information, they’ll get the alert to their watch. When a guest finishes dinner a manager will get a notification, allowing them to ping the coat room attendant for the guest’s coat.

If successful, the app and Apple Watches could be implemented into other USHG restaurants. 

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen restaurants or food establishments incorporate Apple products to improve hospitality - thinking of those with iPads or iPhones as POS systems. But using the Apple Watch for notifications may help cut out steps and increase response time. Curious to see how this goes!

 

 


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