19 June 2023
19 June 2023
The hospitality industry is built on the foundation of human connection. From the friendly greeting at the front desk to the personalised recommendations from a server, connection plays a critical role in creating a memorable experience for guests.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this connection in previously unimaginable ways. With social distancing guidelines and increased sanitation measures, many businesses had had to rethink how they interact with their customers, and technology has since played an important role in maintaining the human connection essential to the hospitality industry.
Hospitality is about creating an environment that makes customers feel welcome and comfortable. This is achieved through various strategies prioritising human connection, including personalised service, attention to detail, and a willingness to go the extra mile.
A study by Oracle found that 64% of customers are willing to pay more for a personalised experience, highlighting the importance of connection in the hospitality industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented a significant challenge to this connection. Social distancing guidelines limited face-to-face interactions, and during this time many businesses had to pivot to contactless service options. This has made creating personalised experiences essential to the hospitality industry more difficult.
Technology has played an important role in facilitating connections in the hospitality industry during these challenging times. One of the most significant examples of this has been the adoption of contactless technology and the use of QR code ordering systems.
From contactless check-in and check-out procedures to mobile ordering and payment options, technology has allowed businesses to continue to provide service to their customers safely and efficiently. Many restaurants and hospitality venues have adopted the use of QR code ordering systems to provide customers with a more interactive and engaging dining experience. These technologies help to improve connection with guests and provide a competitive advantage for businesses looking to stand out in a crowded market.
While technology has many benefits in the hospitality industry, it has challenges. One potential risk is the over-reliance on technology, which can lead to a reduction in human interaction.
While contactless technology can help to maintain a safe environment, it can also be seen as impersonal and sterile. Technology can also fail or malfunction, frustrating staff and customers.
Finding the right balance between technology and human interaction is essential in the hospitality industry. Technology can help to streamline operations and improve efficiency, but it’s important that restaurants don’t lose the human connection that is so important to the hospitality industry.
One strategy for balancing technology and human connection in hospitality is to provide employee training and support for using technology. When employees feel confident and comfortable with technology, they are more likely to use it in a way that enhances the guest experience. Businesses can prioritise technology use in areas with the most impact, such as contactless check-in and payment procedures.
Another strategy is to focus on personalisation and the human touch in hospitality. This can include training employees to provide personalised recommendations and greetings and creating a warm and welcoming environment for customers. When customers feel they are being treated as individuals, they are more likely to have a positive experience.
Finding the right balance between technology and human interaction requires a nuanced approach considering each business's unique needs. While some businesses may benefit from a more technology-focused approach, others may prioritise human interaction above all else. The key is to find the approach that works best for each business and to use technology in a way that enhances the overall customer experience.
The use of technology within the hospitality industry provides many opportunities for venues, and by balancing technology and human interaction, businesses can create an environment that makes customers feel welcome, comfortable, and valued.
Ultimately, the hospitality industry is built on connection, and technology can help strengthen that connection in new and innovative ways.