In an age where convenience, personalisation and safety are a top priority, the hospitality industry is at the forefront of adopting numerous cutting-edge tech trends to improve guest and customer experiences.
Gone are the days of traditional (and often long and drawn out) check-ins, flimsy paper menus, or manual guest services. Nowadays, we are well and truly in a tech-oriented era where innovation and digitisation are at the heart of every hospitality experience.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about how tech is shaking things up in the hospo world, today is your lucky day. Whether you’re a hotel manager, restaurant owner or simply a curious traveller, we’re here to demystify the world of hospitality tech and show you how these innovations are enhancing your experiences.
So without further ado, join us as we explore the top tech trends that are taking the hospitality world by storm.
The rise of contactless payments has transformed the way we settle our bills and make transactions, and it’s no certainty different in the world of hospitality. This hands-off approach to payments allows guests to complete transactions with the simple tap of a card on an EFTPOS machine, or using mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay or Google Wallet.
Not only has contactless technology made the payment process quicker, but it has also aligned perfectly with public concerns for safety and hygiene. It’s an innovation that not only enhances guest experience, but also ensures that hospitality businesses can cater to the evolving accessibility needs and preferences of their customers in an increasingly digital world.
Did You Know: In 2022 alone, Visa’s global networks handled a whopping $13 trillion in contactless transactions. So, don’t miss out on the action. Get started on the contactless journey by exploring some of the cheapest EFTPOS machines on the market today.
Mobile check-in has become a total game-changer in the hospitality industry, offering guests a seamless and efficient way to start their stay or journey. In fact, chances are you’ve utilised mobile check-in on more than one occasion when travelling. Whether it’s checking in for your flight the night before, or completing the hotel check-in process remotely, mobile check-in technology has truly revolutionised the way we navigate the world of hospitality.
In the airline world, this technology allows travellers to complete the check-in process well before they reach the airport, reducing wait times and eliminating the need for lengthy front desk procedures. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is spend a significant amount of time waiting in long queues or dealing with metric tons of paperwork when they could be enjoying a stress-free vacation.
In the hotel world, guests are able to utilise mobile-check-in to enter their particulars, choose room preferences, and even receive digital room keys with the help of dedicated apps or web-based platforms. The days of joining long lines at reception after a long and tiring flight are but a distant memory, replaced by the convenience of a few taps on a smartphone.
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect mobile check-in to remain a cornerstone of modern hospitality and travel, making our journeys more convenient and enjoyable than ever before.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Most of us are familiar with the internet of things (IOT), but for those who aren’t, here’s a quick rundown. IoT refers to an interconnected network of physical devices and objects such as your smartphone that are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity capabilities. These devices collect and exchange lots and lots of data, making them super smart and responsive to their environment.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into how IOT is making waves in the hospitality industry. Firstly, IoT has paved the way for thousands of hotels and restaurants all around the world, enabling guests to control numerous elements with the touch of a button.
Thanks to the IOT, guests and customers are able to:
- Adjust room temperature with smart thermostats;
- Adapt lighting based on preferences with smart lighting systems;
- Automate room service orders through dedicated apps;
- Customise in-room entertainment with smart TVs; and
- Use smart locks and surveillance cameras that easily integrate with personal devices.
However, these IOT perks aren’t limited to just hotels. They are also being used in other realms of hospitality such as restaurants, where smart menus equipped with RFID tags provide information about ingredients and nutritional content. Diners are also able to make their orders with the scan of a QR code, reducing the need for physical menus and enhancing the overall dining experience.
If you’ve ever come across a robot waiter at your favourite restaurant, congratulations, you’ve beared witness to service automation in all its glory. Indeed, robotics and automation have quickly made their way into the hospitality industry, particularly in hotels and restaurants. From serving food and taking orders, to cleaning and even interacting with guests, automation is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to improve efficiently and reduce labour costs.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that this is a sore topic for many due to the perceived notion that it takes jobs away from real (human) individuals, but we’re not here to debate that. What we can say, however, is that these robots not only streamline service, but also create unique and memorable experiences for patrons and guests.
While the integration of robot waiters and service automation is still in its early stages, it holds great promise for the future of the hospitality industry, offering improved efficiency and novel guest experiences that businesses can and should capitalise on.
Contrary to popular belief, virtual reality (VR) isn’t just limited to zombie-slaying video games or the Metaverse. Over the last decade, this immersive technology has found a meaningful application in the hospitality industry, offering exciting opportunities to really enhance guest experiences in hotels, restaurants and other hospitality industries.
Hotels, for instance, use VR to provide potential guests with amazing virtual tours of their accommodations and facilities. Before making a reservation, travellers can don a VR headset and virtually walk through hotel rooms, amenities, and even experience the overall ambiance of the property. All without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Beyond guest experiences, VR is also proving to be an invaluable tool for staff training and development. Employees can undergo virtual training sessions that simulate real-world scenarios, enabling them to hone their skills in a safe and controlled environment. This technology is particularly useful for teaching customer service, crisis management, and complex operational procedures that are inherent and essential in the world of hospitality.
Learn more about how VR is changing the hotel industry here.
If you own a smartphone, you are already familiar with recognition technology. From facial recognition to the thumbprint unlock feature on your phone, these nifty technologies are part and parcel of our daily lives. It comes as no surprise, then, that recognition technology is also being widely used in the hospitality industry, in a bid to offer customers an experience that is not just seamless, but also more personalised and secure.
By implementing facial recognition and biometric authentication, hotels and restaurants can greet guests by name upon arrival, expedite check-in and check-out processes, and tailor services to individual preferences. What’s more, facial recognition can even be used to unlock hotel rooms, eliminating the need for keycards that often go missing and reducing the risk of unauthorised access.
At the end of the day, recognition technology not only simplifies processes but also aligns with the growing emphasis on contactless interactions and data security, enhancing the overall guest experience in the modern hospitality industry.
Data Analytics and Personalisation
Finally, another transformative technology that is taking the hospitality world by storm is data analytics and personalisation. Many establishments such as hotels, restaurants and even airlines are now leveraging data such as online reviews and booking patterns to gain valuable insight about customer behaviours. Equipped with this handy dandy data, hospitality businesses are able to personalise their services to a remarkable degree.
For hotels and B&Bs, this might include getting a room ready with a guest’s preferred pillow or bed sheet type, or even ensuring that the mini fridge is stocked with a guest’s favourite drinks and snacks. In restaurants, data can be leveraged to offer special menu items based on past orders or dietary preferences, ensuring a memorable dining experience.
Unsurprisingly, airlines are also in on the act, tailoring in-flight services based on passenger data. This may include meal preferences, in-flight entertainment options and seat choices. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel special and doted on, and these personal touches are a great way for businesses to set themselves up for long-term success.
And there you have it — 7 top tech trends that are revolutionising the hospitality industry. As these technologies continue to advance, we can only imagine what the next few years have in store. So whether you’re a hotel guest looking for an ultra-personalised stay or a restaurateur who is looking to harness the power of tech, you can expect these trends to play a major role in your journey.
This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Digital Next.