There’s a lot of growing up around technology in food retail that needs to happen. Such innovations enhance the dining experience while boosting convenience for guests and delivering a wealth of insight on customers’ habits that help brands further refine their offerings. For restaurants, the change is significant: innovations seem fun or unique now – like ordering from touch-screen tables to chatbots taking orders will become the dividing line between two types of restaurants.
Experimental and lower-end restaurants whose service is fully automated. But with use of both these models – businesses may pay 20-30 percent of profits to the experimentation or full automation, but they increase their customers by 30-40 percent without needing to pay for the space for accommodating those customers.
Well-conceived and executed technology is generally enhancing operational efficiency, and consumer engagement. Patrons across the industry have embraced guest-facing technology, such as online reservation systems, mobile apps, payment apps, and tablet-based systems, and may in fact look for such technology when deciding where to dine. Guests’ reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, with 70 to 80 percent of consumers citing the benefits of guest-facing technology and applications.
Restaurant operators have also cited benefits of guest-facing technology, for example, the use of electronic ordering, which led to increased sales as such systems can induce the purchase of more expensive menu items and side dishes while allowing managers to store order and payment information for future transactions.
Technology is not static, it’s flexible, and just like processes and services in hotels, it needs to adapt to quickly changing guests’ expectations and market demands and, if possible, anticipate them. Hotels need to be able to add, tune, upgrade or even completely change their technology stack quickly. Scalability and adaptation to market changes must be a hotel’s mantra when choosing a technology provider.