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Technology trend doesn't hold with local businesses

By Amelia Wester
On April 20, 2012

It seems technology runs the world with many larger businesses taking advantage of technologies such as tablets and apps. Despite this overall trend, Oxford businesses have generally not taken advantage of this new technology.

In the case of Kona Bistro, management has decided not to invest in tablets because it, "doesn't make economic sense for our space," Manager Tom Elliot said.

Elliot said such technology is appropriate for larger restaurants, however for smaller restaurants, such as Kona Bistro, the, "cost doesn't always outweigh the benefits."

While Elliot said the use of tablets and technology in general is good in business, he also believes there are a couple downsides. He said if the business becomes too technology-dependent, things would come to a crashing halt if that technology fails.

Elliot said the upkeep of tablets would be too great for Kona. According to Elliot, tablets are expensive and the company would run the risk of damaging them in the hectic restaurant environment where there are lots of food and liquids around to cause potential harm.

La Bodega Delicatessen Manager Phillip Conners said tablets, "would be a good organizational tool," and would greatly help organize orders and receipts, although La Bodega does not currently use tablets.

Conners did not shut out all possibility of tablets being used more often in the future as the company expands and gets more involved in catering.

According to Conners and Elliot, both restaurants use computers and cash registers but nothing more advanced.

Elliot said at La Bodega the manager, head chef and owner have computers, which are mainly used for running their MUBucks system, as well as running their payroll system.

Besides size, the type of business is also important when considering the type of technology used.

"There is just no need for tablets in our retail setting," Tamar Lask said, manager of the clothing stores Juniper and Magnolia.

Instead, Lask said Juniper and Magnolia have computer systems that fit all their needs.

Along with their lack of tablet use, neither establishment uses apps to reach customers, according to Elliot and Conners.

Additionally, Jake Korineck, manager of Mac and Joe's Restaurant and Saloon, said the restaurant does not use tablets in its daily operations. Instead, it uses a computer system. When asked if he thinks there would be any negative consequences of such technology, he said, "If anything, tablets would be a distraction."

Despite this lack of apps and tablets in local businesses, sophomore Jaime Coaker said creating apps would be an efficient way to advertise.

"Technology in general is obviously a good way to advertise because we're on it 24/7," Coaker said. "But students aren't going to go to every business' app or website."

In order to remedy this, Coaker said students in her entrepreneurship class last semester began to create a website to unite all local businesses and advertise in a centralized location. According the Coaker, the proposed website is www.theoxvegas.com.


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