The hospitality industry is seemingly indestructible and will be around for eternity.
To put simply, human beings love to be able to be taken care of. Over the decades, (or even centuries) hospitality businesses have been around, there have unsurprisingly been many changes. If you are a business owner looking to boost your hospitality business, or if you’re just curious about trends in this industry then stick around.
This article will explore the most discussed and widely adapted pieces of tech that have been absolutely changing the way we go about hospitality. The best thing about technology is that it aims to make everything quicker and easier. This can lead to a lot of money-saving in the long run.
So, let’s dig right in and take a look at the latest tech trends that are changing the hospitality industry in 2022.
As with any industry, you will almost always find that technology will start to find its way into things in one way or another.
One of the most noticeable trends is technology. Technology can obviously mean a lot of things, but the technology used in a way to bring automation, in particular, has started to become more and more commonplace.
Asian countries like Japan and Korea seem to make use of technology and automation before anyone else, and a lot of the trends with this technology seem to come from them. Self-order kiosks at restaurants, sushi trains and even robots being used as receptionists at hotels have intrigued the world.
As the years go by, we start to see that self-checkouts and ordering kiosks are absolutely normal and nothing new these days - and are used by pretty much every country too. For instance, you may remember seeing a self-ordering kiosk at a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s a few years ago, and being caught by surprise. Now - it’s second nature for you to use one.
However, it is still quite unusual to witness technology and automation used in other types of businesses. This is where you’ll have the chance to make a move. But before you leap into it, remember to perfect it and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Although technology can be great in bringing about change and progression, you also need to make the transition seamless and meaningful. Why would someone want to use something that is inferior? Just think back to when you used a self-service checkout, and there was a technical issue or glitch.
If you have ever visited a website, you may have noticed that there is an increasing number of “chatbots” that are implemented into websites.
Businesses that require a lot of questions to be asked, like banks, tend to use a lot of chatbots. In hospitality, however, you can still see certain companies like restaurants having AI chatbots that are in an app.
For those who don’t know what chatbots exactly are, just think of them as digital/virtual assistants - like Siri or Alexa.
Chatbots, when designed correctly, can be a total game changer. They can save a lot of time and hassle for humans while also being fast and available 24/7.
Pretty much every chatbot will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to give you answers and make you feel like you are talking to another human.
The downside of chatbots is that they simply are not human. This can be an issue for things that are a little more technical in nature and will require a more human response. However, with the way AI is progressing, it should soon feel like you are talking to another human anyway.
Probably the fastest-growing trend on this list is digital signage. This is because it is so easy and effortless to implement. Everyone is going to be familiar with digital signage.
What is it? Signage that is digital and allows many more possibilities compared to traditional signage.
Again, you may have noticed this trend came about in the fast food world first; instead of using plain signage that isn’t electronic, people have started to use screens to display information and allow a lot more adaptation.
By having digital signage, you automatically make your store look fresher, clean, modern and updated. It also adds a little bit of sophistication and class. Try and picture how things would be if there was no digital signage in the future at all.
Thanks to digital signage, you can display a large variety of information that traditional signage does not allow. This can mean things such as live statistics, live ordering systems, photos, videos, etc.
The possibilities really are endless, and getting some digital signage isn’t going to break the bank either. You can usually just connect to your digital signage via an app and control everything with your phone too.
All of us are probably going to be familiar with QR codes because we had to use them to check in when going into public places during the COVID pandemic.
QR codes (QR standing for “quick response”) have actually been around since the mid-1990s. They have been used here and there mildly since their creation. But they only recently gained so much popularity, undoubtedly due to the pandemic.
In the world of hospitality, QR codes can easily be used - and people are quickly jumping onto them. So many restaurants now do not even have waiters. There is simply a QR code on the table that can be scanned, opening a webpage where you can order the food directly to your table.
Regardless of what particular hospitality business you fall under, there will surely be a time and place when you can make use of QR codes.
When virtual reality comes to mind, a lot of people immediately picture gamers in their heads. This makes sense, as the main use of virtual reality at the moment is for entertainment-related purposes - like gaming.
However, some companies have started using virtual and augmented reality. What is augmented reality? Think Pokemon GO, using technology that superimposes computer-generated imagery into the real world.
For example, hotels can make use of augmented or virtual reality in order to showcase their available rooms, allowing people to feel as if they are there. Restaurants can also showcase food in augmented reality to show off the meals in a futuristic way.
Businesses that sell products online use augmented and virtual reality already. Apple has made use of augmented reality for quite some time now. You are able to see what Apple products, such as iMac desktops, would look like if they were in your own office.
Augmented reality, for now, seems to be the one to go for first - simply because things are a lot cleaner and simple to take part in. Compared to virtual reality, augmented reality only really requires you to use your own phone.
By now, everyone should be familiar with things like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
At first, many people blew off cryptocurrencies as a trend that would eventually die. The thing is, they still remain hugely popular and are frequently discussed in the news. While Bitcoin is the king of crypto and is often the most traded, other coins like Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin, Solana and more are also used.
Many large companies also accept cryptocurrency - such as Tesla. Celebrities like Elon Musk are known to bring a lot of attention and awareness to certain cryptocurrencies, sometimes causing things to absolutely soar seemingly overnight.
Some view cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as the way of the future - fully eliminating the need for physical cash. Some people also believe that crypto is going to be the currency of the world. In fact, El Salvador officially recognizes Bitcoin as one of its currencies.
Still, there are a couple of small issues that may be faced when using crypto. There may be things like fees involved and long transaction times.
You will find that a lot of businesses will also display that they accept crypto in order to attract customers that are part of the younger generation. And it tends to work too.
Whether or not crypto is a fad, there is no major harm in accepting it. Again, cryptocurrencies - especially Bitcoin do not look like they will die in the near future.
By making use of the points mentioned in this article, you will help boost your business and make things run smoothly, and be able to contribute to the future of the hospitality industry.
It may be best to start on the smaller end and see how things go; try starting with digital signage, as it will bring guaranteed benefits and is relatively easy to use and understand. Eventually, things like QR codes and crypto can be used to drive a little more fun and interest.
If you find that your business is ready to jump straight into the advanced side of things and try out virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and automation - then go ahead. These options will likely be suitable for companies that are large and doing very well off financially.