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On November 20, 2016, Caroline commented on Wild Technology for Wild Wings – a Restaurant with no Servers? :

Thanks for the interesting piece! Ordering through the iPad reminded me of some of my recent experiences in airports where restaurants have implemented this technology in the terminals ( Not only can you order food on the iPad, but also you can browse the internet, check email and play games, which makes the wait for a delayed flight a lot less painful! While this technology certainly helps streamline operations on a crowded day (or when there are thousands of passengers trying to quickly grab a bite to eat between flights), an element of the personal touch is definitely missing from the restaurant experience, which, while may be alright for an airport, could have adverse effects for a restaurant that is serving as a social gathering experience. Perhaps Buffalo Wild Wings could instead try to enhance the social element through the iPad by using it to facilitate games (i.e., trivia) within the restaurant, such that each table could participate through the iPad and interact with other restaurant-goers.

On November 20, 2016, Caroline commented on Hacking the TOM Beer Challenge :

Alex, thanks so much for sharing this cool technology! I agree with you that there are still some additional steps to take in order for this to be truly beneficial to the breweries/distributors. As we saw in the Beer Challenge exercise, the amount of time it takes for retailers to request and then to receive new inventory can be problematic. My concern is the large volume of sales that a more popular or more frequented retailer would experience on a particular night. Even if a large/popular retailer is able to see from this app that a keg is low, the retailer could potentially sell out of numerous kegs of the same variety in any particular night, and given the lag time in re-ordering, there could still be supply/inventory issues. I see this technology being most beneficial in either inventory control for smaller retailers or for large retailers to aggregate more specific data of demand points rather than inventory control/re-ordering.

On November 20, 2016, Caroline commented on Bright Cellars: The Pandora of Wine :

Thanks for sharing! While I agree with you that, in its current form, this technology may be limited to new entrants in the wine space who are beginning to learn what they like, I could see this moving towards a more experienced wine enthusiast with some adaptation. Perhaps the technology could be developed so that users input “favorite” bottles (complete with vintage, etc.) that they enjoy with a few key words of explanation, and the site could suggest other similar bottles to try based off an algorithm, similar to Pandora matching your music tastes. Since the more experienced wine drinker will not be starting from scratch, inputting specific bottle preferences would allow the suggestions and matching to be done on a much more detailed level. I do agree with you though that beyond the fun, experimental component that this may offer, many experienced wine enthusiasts enjoy wine because it is inherently a social activity, and taking away the human component could detract from this overall experience of sharing thoughts/stories with and learning from a sommelier.

On November 20, 2016, Caroline commented on The NextGen Way to Get Around :

Thank you for the interesting post! Having lived in NYC for the last few years, I can understand firsthand the frustration with traffic issues and congestion getting in and out of the city. Drivers are forced mostly to rely on apps like Waze, which uses crowd sourcing to pinpoint areas of traffic and then suggests alternate, faster routes. I like NextCity an alternative because it seems to be focused on earlier prevention, notifying the user with a push notification before he/she begins driving so the choice can be made whether to drive or to use public transit. I wonder though if NextCity has a mechanism to let users know when a train or bus becomes too full – perhaps there is highway construction so a disproportionate number of people choose to take the train. Will the app be able to convey how full the line is at a particular stop or how many seats are already occupied so that users do not waste time letting a full bus/train pass and waiting for the next?

Thanks so much for this post! I found your suggestions of ways to further bring digital innovation to the hotel industry really fascinating. For the higher end hotels, I’m also wondering to what extent new technology could be integrated to improve the more traditional concierge services? Perhaps the app could allow you to pull up on your phone personalized suggestions for dining or activities from the concierge based on previous restaurant choices you have checked into, or from aggregated data on past “favorite” experiences.

On November 7, 2016, Caroline commented on Delta – Combat Climate Change by Flying into the Future :

Sairah, I really enjoyed your post! I agree with you that weather issues can exacerbate Delta’s fuel usage/emissions, as planes have to re-route longer routes around storms or are stuck for longer periods of time on the tarmac waiting to take off due to inclement weather. It is great to hear that Delta is working to improve its fuel efficiency by 1.5% per year, but I wonder if there isn’t more that they could be doing. Perhaps they could work with manufacturers to help redesign more efficient planes, or as you mentioned, could make more of an investment in renewable jet fuel as an alternative. Given the large numbers of passengers that Delta facilitates each day, they have the opportunity to serve as more of an advocate for change and could raise awareness for more national and federal environmental legislation. I have seen some airlines highlight onboard that they recycle, but are there other services that the airline uses that could be made more sustainable, such as sourcing of the packaged meals, composting or reduction of waste, or more energy efficient lighting/electronics?

Ayhan, I found your article really insightful. At first when I was reading, I didn’t necessarily associate Uber with sustainability when thinking about a private ride rather than pool – I thought of the private Uber ride more as a replacement for another similar private ride (taxi or driving one’s own vehicle). It’s really interesting that Uber is making a push to bring riders a 100% electric trip that is free of carbon emissions. I know that buses and other forms of public transportation have been working to do this, but I think that the concept of bringing sustainability to a private ride would be more successful and well received. I would be interested to see how Uber plans on converting its “fleet” though, since the cars are owned by the individual drivers rather than the corporation. If Uber would need to offer some incentive to its drivers to purchase electric cars, would the cost ultimately be passed down to the consumer?

I really appreciate you surfacing the new regulatory standards for fuel economy by 2025. I was not aware of these measures, and, to your point, the lack of consumer awareness is a large issue for GM and other automakers. Unfortunately, GM does shoulder the responsibility for beginning to lead the charge, but this should pay off for them in the long run. Though demand may not currently be high, General Motors should take the opportunity now to invest in R&D and technologies to best position the company to reach these targets in 2025. GM has the chance to take advantage of a relatively early mover opportunity in the mass market space and should be able to crowd out companies in the future who have not been as proactive, as they will need to invest significant resources in developing these efficiencies and will likely have to pass on the cost to consumers. Additionally, GM should work on targeted advertising and promotional campaigns to raise consumer awareness of this new regulatory standard.

On November 7, 2016, Caroline commented on Intercontinental Hotel Group: Making Sleep Sustainable :

Your article raised a number of interesting points about the steps that IHG is beginning to take to increase sustainability, such as setting water and carbon reduction targets for their portfolio of hotel brands. Because of the nature of the hotel business, in which guests occupy a major portion of each property, and therefore have a large impact on how much energy, water, etc. is used each day, I wonder how much of a trade-off management feels that they have to make between providing a more upscale, luxury experience versus working to shift towards a more eco-friendly, sustainable visit. At the more upscale, premium hotels, is there a dichotomy between providing ultimate service and customer satisfaction while suggesting guests hang up towels rather than request new ones or hold off on having sheets replaced? This is an interesting question for the hotel industry to ponder as we move into an age of increased focus on sustainability. How will management work to influence and inspire guests to act in an eco-friendly manner, and ultimately, how much control over the actions of guests will hotels have? Is there a risk that IHG could lose guests to other luxury competitors who don’t require this of guests?

On November 7, 2016, Caroline commented on Imagine A World Without Lobster Rolls :

Thank you for the great article! I find it interesting that Luke’s Lobster chose to vertically integrate and take control of the processing portion of its supply chain to better verify the sustainability and traceability of its lobster. We can draw parallels between this and the case we recently read on IKEA (sustainably sourcing of its timber). Given that Luke’s Lobster has over 20 retail locations, I wonder if the company could supplement the sustainability it has realized in its supply process by instituting additional measures to increase efficiency and to reduce energy consumption at its retail locations, such as employing solar panels for electricity or setting up a composting program to reduce waste?