Next generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and voice activation are to become mainstream in the hospitality sector. Here is a selection of stories on these topics and much more in our October update:

Voice activation will be the next big ordering trend
According to QSR Magazine, 25% of 16-24 year olds use voice search on their mobile and it is predicted that 50% of all searches will be through voice by 2020.  Digital ordering, including voice activation, accounts for 20% of sales at Wingstop and it has recently moved using Amazon’s Alexa allowing customers to use voice prompts such as ‘Alexa ask Wingstop to order wings’ to complete their orders.  Domino’s is also ahead of the curve when it comes to voice ordering launching Dom – a computer generated male voice that takes orders on Domino’s app. Domino’s is now linking this to Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices to create a ‘true conversational chat box’.

Mobile ordering predicted to drive more reusable cup adoption in the US
Coffee drinkers in the US throw away 50 billion disposable cups away each year according to Coffee Talk.  Chains are trying to combat this waste by charging for a reusable cup and offering money off when reusable cups are used.  It’s predicted that mobile ordering and loyalty influences customers behaviour and can improve customer adoption of reusable cups.  The idea is that a cafe encourages a loyal user of its app to sign up to the reusable cup scheme.  The guest pre-orders their drink, collecting it in a reusable cup.  The next visit, all they need to do is swap their used cup for a fresh drink in a fresh cup and the café cleans and uses the cup for the next pre-order.

Millennials demand meals be served their way at any hour of the day
Millennials (those born between 1980-2000)are shaping food service and delivery according to QSR magazine.  Features of this highly influential demographic include:

  • They focus on the overall experience including taste, cost and convenience
  • Convenience is very important to them
  • 63% have at least one QSR app on their phone
  • 73% have used mobile apps within quick serves
  • 35% use mobile every time they visit a QSR

AI and VR to be mainstream in Hospitality by 2025
A recent study by Oracle, as reported by Kiosk Marketplace, found:

  • 74% of hotel operators support using facial recognition to ID guests and 70% support using it for room access.
  • 62% of guests support facial recognition and 41% say it would encourage them to visit the property more often
  • 49% of guests said facial recognition would improve their restaurant experience
  • 53% of restaurant operators see VR improving restaurant flow
  • 34% of consumers say AI would improve their restaurant experience and 36% would like to have this option
  • 32% said being automatically charged using AI without waiting around would improve their experience
  • 31% feel ordering with a virtual assistant would improve their experience and 42% would like this option
  • 46% of guests are comfortable releasing information about food preferences and allergies 

Offering in-app exclusives listed as top tips for optimizing mobile apps and loyalty programs
Restaurant Business Online offers 5 top tips for maintaining an effective and engaging loyalty program via an app:

  1. Easy sign-up: many users sign up because there’s an offer they want so make sure acceptance of membership and reward is provided quickly.
  2. Consumer insight: offer rewards for consumers who provide personal/behavioural information to drive more personalized campaigns in the future.
  3. Address the customer’s needs: offer value, provide a new offer every week and allow customers to sign up for just the alerts or offers they want.
  4. Offer exclusive offers and perks for those customers who use your app or sign up for your loyalty program.
  5. Deliver on promises. Plan ahead on offers and make sure your sites can accommodate everyone who may want to use it.