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2012 Tech Budgets on Rise

With tax time shedding light on dollars in and dollars out, we deem it appropriate to provide an overview of hotel and restaurant technology budgets for the year ahead. Overall, hotel and restaurant IT budgets are on an upswing as recession-era belt tightening comes to an end.

According to the 2012 Restaurant Technology Study, approximately one-third of restaurant companies will spend more than $300,000 on technology this year; another third will spend between $75,000 and $300,000, and the remaining third will spend less than $75,000. The greatest portion of tech dollars will go to hardware (30%), followed by software (20%), and internal personnel (18%).

In hotels, calculations from the 2012 Lodging Technology Study show that luxury hotel companies have an average IT budget of $1.6 million, and both midscale and economy hotel companies spend approximately $800,000 on technology annually. The biggest chunk of hotel tech budgets will go towards guest-room technologies (20%), followed closely by property management systems (18%) and networking (13%).

Perhaps the greatest insight we have into our industry’s technology spending comes in understanding what business objectives both hotels and restaurants are trying to meet. In 2012, the most important business goal impacting tech spending is the need to drive greater revenue (67%), followed by enhancing guest services (52%). In restaurants, productivity and efficiency reign as the most important business goal for technology projects (at 66%), followed by guest services (53%).

While both hotels and restaurants are focusing their tech spending on revenue/productivity-enhancing projects, serving the guest is a close second, and will likely become even more important as consumer-facing technologies continue to evolve and become a critical component of hotel and restaurant guests’ experiences.

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