These days, even the best business ideas can be hampered by a lack of strong technological backing. Investing in better technology for your hospitality business can be a bit like investing in property or buying a franchise. It might seem risky or intimidating at first, and it involves careful research and planning, but the benefits you’ll reap are too good to ignore. A lot of people stick to the mindset that updated and reliable technology is just as vital to success in the industry as good hospitality training, and so far, that approach has served them well.
For starters, technology makes many transactions easier.
Recently, PayPal launched a new feature in its app for mobile phones: Pay at Table, a feature that gives restaurant customers the ability to pay for their bills from their table, eliminating the need to call a waiter or stand up to pay. And that’s just one example! Guests can make online reservations or check your menu online via their tablets and mobile phones prior to visiting your establishment. Making transactions more convenient for your customers increases the chances of them coming back and becoming regular patrons. (By the way, we’ve talked about having your restaurant or café menu online before.)
- Through technology, you can keep your customers engaged and entertained. Slowly fading away are the days when a television inside a restaurant or cafe is the primary means of entertainment for guests. With an increasing number of tech-savvy people who are likely to swipe and flick through their tablets, play games on their mobile phones, or listen to online music players when hanging out at a cafe or restaurant, having an accessible Internet connection for them to use is a must.
- You can also use technology for quickly promoting your business or disseminating information to a wide audience. If you have a social media account, you can create a profile page for your business where you can put your menu, location, contact information, operating hours or even funny or interesting pictures and articles related to your service. Interacting with your target audience through social media helps you reach out to your potential customers. In fact, your online reputation is a significant factor in determining how your audience perceives your establishment and helps potential customers decide whether or not they want to visit your hospitality business or not.
- With integrated systems, you can keep track of the different aspects of your business more efficiently. Many businesses are now using cloud-based systems to keep track of their expenses, cash flow, and other financial matters. This makes it easier to consolidate data, generate reports, monitor profit and create solid action plans for better management and service.
- Having good technology can also keep your costs low. Actually, it’s not that expensive to step up, technology-wise. Cloud systems don’t really require any special hardware add-ons or full-time maintenance, and investing in mobile hardware and software involves relatively low capital expenditure. Coupled with the efficiency that comes with using technology, you’ll see your costs go down and your profits rise in no time.
- Lastly, updating your technology means keeping up with the rest of the world. It’s good to have a system capable of facing the challenges posed by the global market. These can range from dealing with international languages to monitoring possible areas for expansion, locally and abroad. If you’re planning to grow your business or perhaps even look at opportunities in faraway lands, you need to have a reliable and up-to-date system in place.
In today’s fast-paced world of tech-savvy customers, you’d certainly want your restaurant, cafe, or hotel to be able to cater to your guests’ needs. Thus, it’s important not just to utilise software or hardware to enhance your business, but also to keep track of the latest trends in technology. This way, you’ll keep your hospitality business operating at peak efficiency (and at the top of the food chain).