the impact emerging technologies will have on hospitality in 2024

The need to keep innovating has never been more important for hospitality, especially in the modern, technology driven era. Faced with challenges from labour shortages to the cost-of-living crisis, as well as escalating operational expenses and changes in consumer behaviour, hospitality must keep pivoting their services and products to keep up with their competition. The way to do this in today’s digitally driven customer world is by embracing the latest in hospitality technology.

There is a vast range of hospitality technology to choose from, including AI and robotics, self-service kiosks, mobile ordering and check-in, Point of Sale (POS) systems, data and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. They all bring a number of benefits to a business from improving efficiency and reducing costs, to enhancing the customer experience and relieving staff of certain duties. In this blog, we share a wide range of technological solutions for the hospitality industry to stay ahead in 2024 and the benefits of each.

1. Robotics and AI

Globally, it’s becoming ever more commonplace to be greeted or served by a robot, have your food cooked by a robot and even have your dishes cleared and washed up by a robot when visiting a modern restaurant.

It’s understood that using this technology in hospitality can save as much as 70% on staff costs in restaurants in the US. With margins tight and many businesses struggling to find and retain good staff, hospitality operators in the US could look to replace as much as 82% of workplace positions from serving staff to chefs as the technology evolves, and the UK is likely to follow suit. Brands in the UK such as Sakura and Bella Italia are amongst those already adopting this technology.

2. Self-service Kiosks

The self-service industry is no longer just associated with cash machines and petrol stations. Consumers are embracing the convenience and efficiency of using self-service technology such as kiosks and QR codes, leading to a rise in their popularity and widespread adoption across various hospitality settings from restaurants and fast food, to hotel check-ins, bars and pubs. Global revenue from the kiosk industry alone is forecast to reach $45 billion US dollars by 2028 – a leap from $28 billion US dollars in 2021.

This technology is changing and shaping the way consumers interact with your business, reducing wait times, giving consumers more control over the pace of their visit, and allowing operators to enhance experiences for customers. If these targets are achieved successfully and consistently, businesses are likely to see their sales increase as a consequence. On top of this, staff productivity will likely go up by allowing staff to channel their time on more important tasks like customer interaction, quality control and delivery of experience.

3. Mobile check-ins

The guest of today expects digital check-ins. In a 2021 report by Skift, 54% of travellers said over the next three years they would most like to see hotels embrace contactless check-in and checkouts permanently. Today, this technology continues to thrive.

Guests are attracted by the ease and speed of the technology. They can check-in to a location ahead of arrival, saving time queuing at reception, fill out their paperwork online without spending time speaking with an agent at the hotel front desk, and check out of the hotel at their convenience. It’s no surprise then that 71% of guests are more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service systems.

With this rise in self-check in systems within the hospitality sector, it’s only a matter of time before we see restaurants, bars and pubs embracing the technology, giving customers yet more choice to tailor their own experience.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems

Hospitality tech like self-service, online ordering, mobile and digital check-in systems present opportunities for businesses to harvest customer data. This data can then be used to personalise the customer experience and therefore, help increase sales and encourage repeat business.

To get the best from customer data, it needs to be properly stored and analysed, which is where technology such as CRM systems come into play. Firstly, conduct a data audit to establish what is contained within the data – how valuable is it and how can it work harder for the business? Use this insight to construct a single view of the data, incorporating all data sources from website analytics to past booking data. Then segment it by categories such as behaviour, age and location. This ‘mature’ data can now be used to tailor experiences to individual customers, allowing businesses to offer more personalised interactions such as promoting the ‘vegan specials’ to vegan customers, or the ‘family fun day’ to parents to entice them to visit. Upon arrival, staff will then know to have things ready such as highchairs. These enhanced experiences are what will stick in the mind of your customers, making them return again and again.

There are many hospitality tech solutions and systems available to today’s hospitality businesses. All have the same things in common – they save time and costs, improve efficiency and make it easier to enhance experiences for customers. Whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, café or pub, staying informed of the latest industry and technology trends is key to ensuring that your business keeps innovating – driving your business forward in a way that appeals to today’s digital-savvy customers. Whether it’s Front-of-house solutions such as booking systems table management tools and kiosks, Back-of-house tech such as inventory and kitchen management software, or Management products like CRM, data analysis and business intelligence; hospitality businesses today need to be selecting and adopting the right technology to suit the need of their business, staff and customers.

These are the challenges which our truly modular experience management system, three rocks® XMS, looks to solve. XMS puts the power to enhance experiences in the hands of hospitality operators. Not just aiding in the day-to-day running of a restaurant, bar or pub, but also the constant improvement and refinement of the experience they deliver to their customers.

If you’d like to hear more about our range of tech solutions, or find out more about three rocks® XMS, get in touch.