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NFC RFID System Lets French Restaurant-goers Access Reviews On-Site

The solution, developed by Cityvox and Orange, enables diners to use their mobile phones and an eatery's RFID stickers in order to read and write ratings for that establishment.
By Claire Swedberg
After finishing a meal, a customer may receive the receipt in a folder containing another NFC tag. In this case, that person taps the phone against the tag to automatically access a server for posting reviews regarding that establishment. The visitor can then simply type in his or her comments, and also select a number of stars to rate the business. The reviews are presented on Cityvox's Web site for others to view, either from a PC or a phone, and the company collects the ratings in order to determine which restaurant within a particular local area is most popular, and thus deserves "Selected" status.

The tags were sent to restaurants that pay for a Cityvox membership. The eateries were not charged for the tag placed at the entrance, though restaurants do pay for the receipt folder, as well as any additional folders. For example, they could order a sufficient number of tags for each table.

Orange's Laurent Michel
The stickers have been deployed for several weeks, Michel reports. The business owners initially "seem interested" in the concept, he says, though he does not know how many of the stickers have actually been placed at entrances to date. "This is a great, interactive way to get and to share reviews," he says. For restaurants, he adds, the technology can draw more customers into their establishment, based on the favorable reviews they read on their phones.

Orange designed the tags to be sturdy enough to resist rain, and expects them to last for at least a year before replacement becomes necessary. Michel says he visited some of the Paris restaurants that trialed the system for several weeks this fall, and that the owners were pleased with the results. However, he cautions, it is too early determine the extent to which the technology may be increasing traffic into those establishments.

Restaurants are already familiar with Cityvox's "Selected" stickers, Michel says, because the company traditionally sends such stickers (without NFC tags) to those that earn such recognition, as a form of promotion.

For Cityvox, the NFC-based solution's benefits come not only from sales of the receipt folders, but also from publicity generated by the new technology.


Parker Smith 2014-06-17 04:45:19 AM
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