January 31, 2018
Hospitality tech – Best of January 2018
Hospitality tech – Best of January 2018

January – a month of fresh starts, new goals, resolutions and most importantly – new tech! Check out our list below to find out what’s been hot in Hospitality tech this month. Expect burger ordering via facial recognition, Tesla à la carte, an introduction to Generation Z and the start of a long farewell to cash.

Tesla branches out into quick-service hospitality

Electric vehicle specialist Tesla is to open a drive-in themed, quick-service restaurant at one of its charging stations in Los Angeles. The announcement was made on Twitter by CEO Elon Musk, who says the restaurant will use technology to improve the diner experience, with a menu appearing on the car dashboard as soon as a customer parks into a spot.

Tesla has been drawn into the food and beverage industry through the need to entertain and provide refreshments for customers as they wait for their vehicles to charge.

Digital payments on the rise as cash plummets

A new study by Oracle indicates that cash is on the decline and customers are calling for greater flexibility in payment options.

Among the findings are:

  • 54% of global consumers agree that they expect to use cash less over the next 5 years
  • 27% of global consumers agree that they usually opt for mobile payment in quick service food scenarios and 30% in hotels
  • 84% of consumers say quick and efficient service is important in judging dining experience
  • 78% of guests rate the ability of being able to pay quickly when the time is right highly

Read the full report here.

Starbucks opens its first cashless store

Our favourite West Coast-borne coffee chain is trialling its very first cashless store in downtown Seattle. Starbucks has taken the lead from Shake Shack and Sweetgreen and ditched cash in an effort to increase efficiencies and gather big data.

A move towards cashless restaurants and an increase in digital payments is one QikServe’s top Hospitality technology predictions for 2018 – along with an increase in digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

Enter Gen Z

Hospitality operators are being encouraged to start putting more focus into attracting Generation Z (those born after 1995) as well as catering to Millenials.

Though young, Generation Z already spend a whopping $78 billion a year in restaurants – and that’s without a drop of alcohol!

QSR magazine offer their top tips to get Gen Z through the door, including:

  • Ensuring you’re utilising all available digital channels, Gen Z is a technology-savvy generation that expect to be able to fully interact with your brand before stepping through the door.
  • Simplify the dining experience using technology such as kiosks and table tablets.
  • Expand your menu – incorporate fusions, global cuisines and ethnic foods (and make sure you’re showcasing them on Instagram!) This is a generation enthralled by travel and new experiences.
  • Focus on nutrition and clearly communicate ingredients to the consumer. 67% of American Gen Z state that they care about the nutritional content of their food.

Order your meal at Caliburger using facial recognition

A Caliburger location in California has implemented an AI-driven NEX ordering system with facial recognition, where a customer’s face is used to access data on their loyalty programmes.

Caliburger hopes to develop the system to allow for customers to authorise card payments using their faces by the end of the year – a goal that might not be as far-fetched as it sounds given the pace of visa’s biometric payment card development.

The NEX ordering system is part of a growing trend of Hospitality technology using artificial intelligence to ensure efficiencies and allow for personalization of orders. Find out more here.