Hospitality venues have long worked toward creating excellent dining experiences that leave customers satisfied, more connected with friends and family, and excited to return to the venue. That remains unchanged.
But within this space, new technology is being created – and existing technology is advancing – which can help venues achieve these objectives. There’s a few technological innovations in particular that have continued to evolve over the years.
Point of Sale (POS) Systems
Before POS systems, staff would write down orders and the kitchen staff would have to decipher dockets. At the end of the meal, customers would pay by cash, which involved calculating the correct amount, and the change owed. The process could be relatively slow, with margin for error.
POS systems have evolved to the point where staff can take customer orders from anywhere in the venue using a tablet. Rather than writing the orders down, order options – including meals, drinks and sizes – are built into the system. Orders go straight through to the kitchen staff, payments and invoice receipts are automatically processed, and the data can be used later down the line for marketing and promotional campaigns.
Previously, getting the word out about a hospitality business could be difficult. There were traditional media outlets, fliers, pamphlets and posters. Beyond that, using a megaphone was the next best thing in promoting the venue.
Now, there’s a variety of platforms that allow for two-way communication between hospitality venues and their prospective audience. Venues can create websites which include customisable booking widgets that allow customers to make bookings. Social media and review platforms also enable business owners to speak directly with customers. These technologies have made it easier for venue owners to share what they are doing, and appeal to customers who are salivating at a photo or video of the newest dish.
Organising table occupancy could be a messy affair. Armed with little more than a pen, paper, a phone and a computer, hospitality staff juggled walk-ins and phone bookings while running the floor. Providing available times and tables for guests were often based on estimates, and there was little capacity for forecasting how busy the day, or evening ahead would be.
Now, with programs like ResDiary, restaurant owners and staff can view and allocate tables, accept pre-orders and payments at the point of booking, send SMS and email alerts for reservation reminders and accept deposits to deter no shows. This, among a range of other features, are incorporated in the platform.
With advancements in booking systems, it’s easier for customers to book, and for restaurants to view their bookings and organise accordingly.
While certain technologies may not be suited to every venue, there might be new opportunities to make advancements in ways that were seemingly unthinkable in the past.
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.