Digitization and the use of data have entered a heightened phase due to the current global situation, with new demands — including social distancing, enhanced hygiene, and diversification — forcing hotels, resorts, and restaurants to embrace new technologies. Implementing new technology in the industry can bring about a 135% increase in online revenue, a 71% reduction in client complaints, and 19% improved customer service ratings — as reported by Finances Online. What technologies are helping hotels and restaurants stay on the cutting edge and meet new demands as they arise?
Photo by Amina Filkins
Table Ordering Systems
Four- and five-star hotels often utilize restaurants as a means to attract guests and diners to their premises. The past year has propelled these establishments to seek out solutions that keep staff and diners safe while boosting efficiency, and digital ordering apps are enhancing safety by reducing face-to-face contact. Top apps and software such as StoreKit Order & Pay, Goodeats by Goodtill, and Pepper are all making it possible for diners to order and pay directly from their phones. Some (such as StoreKit Order & Pay) are apps, while others (such as Goodeats) simply require clients to scan a QR code, specify their location within the venue, order food, and pay — all without requiring person-to-person contact. These apps and software programs have an additional benefit — they enable establishments to entice customers with appealing imagery, which can boost sales by up to 30%.
Checking in and out of hotels is a big bugbear since it wastes time and forces groups of people to share the same space. Mobile check-in and check-out features allow guests to perform these actions directly via their phone. Additional uses for contactless technology include keyless entries (once again via mobile phone), voice-command technology for aspects such as lighting and heat and cooling, and the use of robots to deliver amenities, towels, and other items to guests’ rooms.
Artificial Intelligence for Personalization, Data Analysis, and Customer Service
Artificial intelligence will be playing an increasingly more critical role in an array of areas within the hospitality sector. These include data analysis to collect and analyze clients’ preferences, offer personalized packages and loyalty programs to clients, and customize the entire guest experience. AI can also power robotic concierges that help guests make bookings, recommend interesting sites nearby, reserve spa treatments, arrange transportation, and more.
Guests always wonder what their room, views, and hotel tech will be like, and virtual reality is an excellent way for them to ‘step into’ their room to discover exactly what it will look like from all angles. Currently, most top hotels offer virtual reality tour videos which can be viewed with a typical web browser. However, a deeper level of immersion can be achieved by guests using dedicated headsets. Companies like Amadeus are also using virtuality to ease the booking process. Travellers can look for flights, compare resort prices, and book rooms in a seamless fashion.
Technology is vital when the hospitality industry is working hard to recover from recent and current challenges. Just a few technologies leading the way include table ordering systems, touchless tech, and AI. Virtual reality for booking, price comparison, and room tours is the next frontier, with VR headsets making for an ultra-immersive experience.