By: Andrew Gibbon, head of growth at ePOS Hybrid, the start-up that’s disrupting the hospitality sector with market leading point of sale and payments technology.
There’s a wealth of technology emerging across the hospitality sector to not only elevate the consumer experience, but to drive automation, increase efficiency and grow profits. However, while digital transformation has accelerated substantially across the industry over the past year, many venues have been much slower to adopt technologies that could be supporting them long-term.
Research we commissioned recently revealed 40% of consumers welcome the technological evolution of the hospitality industry and think it’s important the sector adapts to survive. Although when it comes to exactly which technologies should be embraced and which should be avoided, there are various factors to consider with half (48%) admitting it’s important that experiences remain social and not convoluted by technology.
Consumers across the UK are however calling on hospitality venues to utilise technology to reduce their environmental footprint, with 49% admitting they think it’s important for businesses in the sector to adopt more technology to reduce energy usage.
Our nationwide study of more than 2,000 consumers also revealed 23% of consumers are excited about more energy-efficient/sustainable dining environments, echoing the need for venues to be utilising technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) to reduce their carbon footprint. IoT is a network of internet-connected physical devices with the ability to collect and transfer data over a wireless network.
The survey also confirmed consumers would like to see this technology help improve safety, drive greater efficiency and advance connectivity within venues. In fact, 43% admitted they would feel safer if venues implemented more technology into security checks such as facial recognition, detecting suspicious behaviours and managing crowds effectively. While 46% prefer contactless ordering and would like businesses across the industry to continue adopting this and 40% would like to see more venues adopting technology to improve efficiency and deliver a more seamless experience.
The pandemic highlighted a real gap in the market when it came to contactless technology, as reducing human contact became a priority across the board. Now customers can order from their phone straight to their table using an app or a QR code, while paying the bill there and then. Not only has this helped to significantly reduce the need for human contact within certain processes, but it enables employees to focus more on creating the best experience possible for consumers. This has been incredibly valuable in recent months and ultimately reduces wait times, streamlines workflow and takes the pressure off employees already trying to navigate countless changes in the way the business operates.
It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to reduce their environmental footprint as consumers become more purpose-driven and opt to buy from operators who align with their personal values from a sustainability standpoint.
Not only has IoT been incredibly beneficial in enabling businesses across the hospitality sector to create more sustainable dining environments by reducing their energy usage, but we’ve also seen some venues adopt this technology to create safer spaces for their patrons. The benefits of this technology really are endless, also improving overall operations due to greater connectivity, in turn enhancing the guest experience.
As IoT technology has enhanced significantly in recent years. It really is paving the way for businesses across the hospitality sector to make considerable improvements to everything from the customer experience to doing their bit in working towards the Government’s net-zero target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.
There’s no doubt the hospitality sector has had a challenging time. However, it’s clear the industry is incredibly resilient and, thanks to the advancement of new technologies, which many operators have already started to adopt, we have seen automation significantly improve operations. Not only has this resulted in greater efficiency and improvements to the customer experience, but also increased profitability – which will contribute heavily to the recovery of the industry.