Published 8 June 2021
Marc Bertorelli, Business Development Manager, Paperchase Accountancy
Technology in hospitality is now playing a major role at every stage of the customer journey, with 40% of diners agreeing that technology has improved their hospitality experiences
During 2020 the safety of the consumer was a major consideration and technology was paramount in delivering that safe service through delivery and take-away, however that is no longer the case. Consumers now see the top benefits of technology as being: speed and convenience with 31% of people rated this as their top benefit, as well as 29% saying ease of ordering, with 17% saying the tracking of orders. With many aspects of hospitality gradually becoming more digitised before the pandemic, the last 12 months have accelerated this adoption, with 40% consumers now agreeing technology delivers an improvement to their hospitality experience.
Technology is now removing pain points that have always existed, such as: not being able to get the attention of a waiter, or having to wait too long to settle the bill, it also helps operators deliver more tailored and personalised experiences to their guests. Technology can also free up staff to concentrate on those elements that consumers rate so highly like greeting guests and swiftly answering queries. Whilst 51% of consumers prefer to be welcomed in person when they arrive, technology is helping operators personalise arrivals, such as showing guests to their preferred table or suggesting menu items based on past orders.
Recent research reveals when ordering, or paying the bill, top guest frustrations were:
30% – struggling to get the server’s attention
22% – items they want not being available
24% – waiting too long for service, food and drink
18% – would prefer to pay immediately using technology
20% – would like to pay using a wider choice of payment options
Digital solutions can free up serving staff to spend more valuable time with guests, and could ensure these frustrations are addressed, whilst helping servers to better answer customer queries, as well as accessing real-time stock levels and other crucial information.
With hospitality back, consumers will be engaging with technology more deeply than ever before, with digital solutions providing a genuine benefit and balancing them with the face-to-face service that the public have missed so much in the last 12 months. The businesses that can make best use of tech at both front and back of house could well be the quickest to recover in the coming months
*Research reference – ZONAL and CGA