It’s no secret that the hospitality industry can be a tough business. Restaurants, bars and hotels face unique challenges in achieving and sustaining profitability, growing a recognizable brand and attracting customers. Behind the scenes, small- and medium-sized business owners wrestle with a complex array of paperwork, financial priorities, management roles and other tasks that may not seem so obvious – but that increasingly occupy their time.
Fortunately, technology can free business owners to focus on exactly what they need to: Running their businesses. New, integrated and wide-ranging software and hardware solutions offer huge potential for business in hospitality to track, learn from and improve upon their results. They can even create scalable solutions that build repeat business. From connecting with customers to managing staff, improving payments and promoting their business, now is the time for business owners to get in the technology game.
This article from Veea shares three ways technology is helping to reinvent the hospitality industry and empower businesses:
- Fast-Tracking Personalization to Build Loyalty
Building customer loyalty is a key step on the path to success in the hospitality industry. New platforms have significantly improved the customer experience through on-demand mobile technology. For restaurants, a “virtual waitlist” can alert customers automatically when their table is ready – no more waiting around anxiously in restaurant foyers. It can even allow businesses to engage with customers before they arrive, establishing a connection earlier in the marketing funnel. Location technology and marketing beacons allow for targeted promotions and personalized deals for individual customers, promoting loyalty.
Some commentators erroneously fear that personalized tech services and wider integration can turn off customers accustomed to “white glove” service from trained professionals. But that’s simply not true, and the two are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, according to a recent survey on restaurant technology, 73 percent of restaurant-goers say technology improves the dining experience. If anything, technological solutions like these help businesses of all sizes raise the quality of their customer service.
- Streamline Back-Office Processes – So You Can Focus on Your Core Business
Restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses know that they can’t compete without providing their core service in a unique, memorable and skillful manner. Yet restauranteurs and business managers are increasingly saddled with paperwork, complex payments, staffing issues and marketing needs that occupy too much of their time – and distract from the purpose of their business in the first place. As online ordering and delivery continue to offer huge opportunity and pitfalls for hospitality, businesses need to make the most of these chances without distracting them from the purpose of their business in the first place. Fortunately, new technologies can automate loyalty and marketing, streamline reporting, expedite back office functions and assist with staffing.
Even better, many of these technologies have proven to be more accurate than the alternative. Gone are time-consuming efforts to rely on several other apps and set employee schedules, calculate commissions, keep track of inventory on a separate portal, and more. Half of restaurants currently pay for 2 to 5 technology vendors, but an increase in comprehensive platforms with integrated, all-in-one POS solutions offer huge benefits to the hospitality industry.
- Embrace Analytics, Improve Your Business
Analytics tools have one major lesson to give: The better you understand your customers and what is driving your business’s challenges and successes, the more efficient and effective it can be. Business intelligence platforms that tap into every corner of your business – down to which tables perform best, which servers are most efficient or what food truck locations drive the most revenue – can unlock the secrets to a smarter, more successful business.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices, for example, can improve payments, in-store tracking and other functions throughout the hospitality industry. Next-gen AR/VR technologies loom on the horizon and could fundamentally change the experience of dining, going out and entertainment. And the ever-growing presence of connected devices, improved Wi-Fi technologies and other innovations offer unimaginable potential for hospitality.
It's time for restaurants, bars and the rest of the hospitality industry to take notice and adopt technologies in a smart, integrated way – those that don’t could risk missing out.