Cornell research analyzes current state of restaurants' online food ordering and introduces a hote..

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.255.9780, jmh222@cornell.edu

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Cornell research analyzes current state of restaurants' online food ordering and introduces a hotel competitor analysis decision-support tool
 
Ithaca, NY, September 15, 2011 – About one-quarter of U.S. restaurant takeout operators are accepting online orders, according to a study released by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). The study, "The Current State of Online Food Ordering in the U.S. Restaurant Industry," by Sheryl E. Kimes, is available at no charge from the (CHR) at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/abstract-15779.html. Kimes is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor of Asian Hospitality Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

For her online food ordering study, Kimes surveyed 372 U.S. restaurant operators (of all sizes) that accept takeout orders. "On balance, the restaurant operators who use the internet for ordering have been pleased, and they reported that online ordering has met or exceeded their expectations on ROI," Kimes said. "One thing that we noticed that does not support the conventional wisdom is that these operators did not see substantial increases in average check with online ordering. But online ordering boosted their order frequency."

"We also saw that the operators overestimate their customers' need for personal interaction," Kimes said. "Additionally, operators didn't have the same view as their customers on the convenience and control in online ordering. Operators thought that their customers had a higher view of that control and convenience than the customers actually did."

The CHR has also posted a new spreadsheet-based tool called the "Hotel Competitor Analysis Tool (H-CAT)," which was developed by Cathy A. Enz and Gary M. Thompson. This tool helps hotel managers make strategic comparisons among competitor hotels on critical success factors. It is also free for use at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/tools/tooldetails-15799.html. Enz is a professor of strategy and the Louis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the School of Hotel Administration, where Thompson is a professor of operations management.

Enz and Thompson developed the H-CAT to allow hotel executive teams (and managers at other levels) to determine where a particular hotel stands against its direct competitors. "This analysis allows managers to identify each hotel's success factors and then rate the hotel against its competitors," Enz said. "We formatted the worksheets both to make summaries of a hotel's strategic position against its competitors, and also to compare specific aspects of the hotel, such as rooms inventory, F&B outlets, and any other revenue center, including a spa. Once managers have this information they can set their strategic plans accordingly."

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 75 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.

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