3 Ways technology has helped the Hospitality Industry to evolve
Whether you have worked within the Hospitality industry or you are an individual who likes to eat out frequently, you will have noticed a change in your experience and service over the last few years. The emergence of the digital era has brought about transformational changes not only in the way the industry operates, but also in the way customers are receiving and placing their orders.
1. Mobile Integration
The use of mobile phones has become an extremely popular practice used by customers to perform actions that normally a receptionist, waiter, manager etc would do. For example:
- Room / table bookings
- Leaving reviews or feedback
- Planning journeys
- Selecting a seat / room
- Placing an order
- Making requests and asking questions
It is evident that mobile phone integration within the Hospitality Industry has become that of a technology-heavy market. Consumers now have expectations to be able to access bookings, reviews, contact and much more via an online app or website. Virgin Hotels have taken the idea of mobile integration within the hotel sector into a whole new ball game. Within their first location, the mobile app “Lucy” enables the guest to use their mobile as a remote control for almost anything, including; room temperature control, communicating with other guests, managing entertainment services and they can also select the room service they want. All from their mobile phone.
2. AI, Chat Bots and Digital Menu Boards
Customer service has been taken to a new level with customers being introduced to webpages as they walk through the reception doors by talking robots or a friendly font waving in their face... ”It's nice to see you again, Mr Pemberton”.
McDonalds restaurants are a classic example of how the digital era has become so technologically advanced – dare I say it lazy in some way – we now have everything an ordinary McDonalds team member can do for us on a self-service machine. McDonalds CEO, Steve Easterbrook, states:
“This approach to a more self-service fast food restaurant means putting the choice and control in the hands of the customers”. Fortune.com.
Every McDonalds now has their own digital menu screens that changes instantly at the click of a button. No more chunky menu boards that one poor team member has to climb the ladders and turn over for the next items.
Customers are able to access any company information they require through their mobile phones, allowing them to check routes, compare of prices and reviews and also ask any questions via a ChatBot on most service websites. This makes it ever more important for companies to ensure their online presence is visible to consumers and that they ahead of the competition in terms of online functionality and user experience.
3. Virtual Reality
One of the most magnificent transformations within the Hospitality Industry is the emergence of Virtual Reality. Primarily, VR is currently booming in the market as computer entertainment for the younger generation. However, companies are beginning to reap the benefits of using it as a marketing tool for consumers. Marketing Platform Hootsuite illustrates the key benefits to using VR as a strategy to boost engagement through marketing https://blog.hootsuite.com/vr-marketing/.
Across some restaurants and hotels, consumers are able to view the venue and take a "virtual tour" as if they are physically there. This again, makes the Hospitality Industry even more competitive as it increases the ability for guests or visitors to make comparisons of where they want to go.
One Aldywch, London, are a company who has invested in the Virtual Reality world by intensifying their consumers' experience at the bar. When guests order "The Origin" (Whisky-infused cocktail) they can have the option of using a Virtual Reality headset to demonstrate the origin and how their drink was made.
Technology has has a massive impact on the services of the Hospitality Industry over the last few years. It has helped to reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency and improve services and customer experience. Although technology is able to enhance customers experience, it will never replace the human element that comes with customer service.