Trends in Technology- Hospitality Edition
posted Mar 29, 2018 by Laura H. Yalanis, CPA, MST in the Restaurateur Blog
The hospitality industry in 2018 is the most advanced it’s ever been....and most of that is due to technology. It has become increasingly important for businesses to keep up with new trends and apps to enhance the customer experience. New technology can be time-saving, engaging and oftentimes necessary for hotel and restaurant patrons. They can, however, pose major security issues for business owners. Learn how your business can make the most of new technologies and remain cyber secure.
5 Important Trends in Technology
Tablet services- In some hotels, tablets are replacing room phones, and guests can order room service, make restaurant reservations, order wake-up calls and check airline schedules through their in-room tablets. For restaurants, this trend is also picking up. Many restaurants have “ziosk” tablets which allows guests to input their own food and drink orders, and settle the bill without needing the server’s assistance. This cuts down the time between when your guests arrive and are served, and provides a more convenient ordering method in some cases for both the server and the customer.
Mobile check-ins- The use of mobile technology is increasing everywhere and hotels and restaurants are no exception. Many visitors have at least one mobile device, if not more. It is crucial to adopt a mobile-friendly approach to help guests check in, request room service or contact housekeeping. Some hotels even offer a mobile key service where guests can enter their rooms using their smartphones. This technology has become expected by many guests as hotels and restaurants aim to enhance their guests’ experience and cater to their needs.
Cyber security tip! - Since you are likely giving very sensitive credit card information over your mobile device, be sure you are connected to a safe and valid server. There is also something called “geo tagging” which provides viewers access to your location, so be sure to disable that feature when you are in an unsure location.
Blockchain- Blockchain technology will benefit the industry in a big way. A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions (Check out our blog on the topic, “Bitcoin: Should I Consider an Investment?”) As ‘completed’ blocks (otherwise the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to the Blockchain in chronological order, market participants can keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping.
Blockchain has proven to be very valuable in hotels and restaurants. The Blockchain can track membership loyalty programs, allow for better revenue management, manage internal processes and asset distribution.
High tech meeting areas- The business community makes up a good portion of travelers to hotels and restaurants. It has become increasingly more important to implement technologically-friendly meeting spaces for traveling professionals. Hotels are adding charging stations and digital information centers and using new apps that allow visitors to request items prior to their stay, like coffee or specific room temperatures.
Cyber security tip! - Protect sensitive information exchanged during a business meeting or conference with a reliable network that customers can connect to and a system for data protection.
Internet of Things (IoT)- The “smart home” experience has made its way into the hospitality world. Technologies like sensor activated thermostats, digital room keys, and in-room streaming services are gaining popularity today. Voice activation (enabled by Amazon’s echo or Google’s home, for example) is also becoming more popular in hotels and restaurants. Guests can use voice activation technology in their hotel rooms to get restaurant recommendations, for example.
There is certainly a lot going on in the hospitality industry. Some businesses have even started to test the benefits of artificial intelligence in their establishments. I think we’ll be seeing robots and other “smart” technologies change the guest experience in the future.
The ease of doing business and providing excellent customer service can be greatly enhanced by technology. As your business implements new forms of technology, make sure your cybersecurity practices are up to date to support customer demands. Questions? Contact us.