ORLANDO, Fla. — If there was an overriding theme at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, held Sept. 5-7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., it was that the Internet is quickly becoming another weapon in a restaurant operator's arsenal.
More than a dozen exhibitors at the show displayed technology to enable customers to order online, including Longwood, Fla.-based Orderup.com. Other vendors, such as Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Pinnacle Hospitality Systems, demonstrated digital surveillance systems that allow operators to check up on their stores remotely via the Internet.
Still, others demonstrated systems enabling operators to market their restaurants by e-mail or cell phone.
The crowd of attendees was significantly larger on Saturday, the second day of the show, as it became apparent that Tropical Storm Hanna wasn't going to impact the Orlando area.
"I've been busy giving demonstrations all day long," said Thomas Lay, president of Orderup.com. "The show has really been a good event for us."
Saturday's education seminars included "Energy Efficiency For The Hospitality Industry," presented by Marilyn Arnall of Florida Power & Light, "Sustainable Food," presented by Becky Malamut of the Green Restaurant Association and "The Fast Casual Phenomenon," presented by Paul Barron, publisher of Fast Casual magazine, and Linda Duke, president of Duke Marketing.
The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will continue through Sunday.