2022 has been the biggest year of discovery, but how well prepared are hospitality providers when it comes to embracing technology in the year ahead?
2022 – the year of discovery
When he looks back on 2022, Peter Moore, CEO and founder of hospitality tech specialist, Lolly, believes it has been the biggest year of discovery. He comments:
“We have seen so many new technologies emerging in the sector over the last year. Personalisation, in particular, has stood right at the forefront of so much system development, from calorie counting functionality to carbon footprint monitoring.
“The metaverse, facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality, is spoken about a great deal. But its ability to create revenue opportunities is still many years away, because consumers aren’t ready to completely embrace it. There remain vast amounts of technology hurdles to overcome before it becomes truly mainstream.”
The adoption of AI will accelerate
As we move into a New Year, Moore does believe that AI adoption will further accelerate, tied into the customer experience.
“Today’s hospitality customers are already looking for slicker and more personalised hospitality experiences, whether that is ordering grab-and-go food and drink or sitting down for a dining experience. From biometric payments to robot waiters, AI has the power to facilitate working environments – significantly reducing the incidence of human error.
“Hospitality providers are already seeing simple and mundane tasks being replicated in an AI world, for example auto-fryers and waiting-on tasks being AI-managed. And as they see their costs being driven down, they will be encouraged to replace further functions within the business. 2023 will be all about the power of AI.”
Data will remain a challenge
Moore is quick to warn that data will continue to be the underlying challenge.
“Because they have grown up with technology and immediate access to information, the alpha generation doesn’t seem too concerned – as yet – about data privacy. But the system and storage providers have a responsibility and need to make sure they provide protection, keeping the focus firmly on cybersecurity.
“Although challenging, there is real excitement around AI and its ability to create actionable data. This, in turn, provides businesses with real insights that help them to make more accurate decisions and predictions – moving us into a world of greater collaboration.
“Going forward, being able to extract insights from historical data can unlock the most successful areas of a business and guide the future of the company. Using data in this way can present rapid growth opportunities – supporting decisions such as the creation of new services or diversified activities.”
The sustainability agenda
Moore continues: “The sustainability agenda notched up a level in 2022, and this will accelerate further next year. From product sourcing to energy consumption levels, organisations will have even greater expectations of their suppliers.
“One of the biggest challenges our sector will face is the slowdown in the economy. Sadly, larger organisations focused on growth will fall over when their supply demands are not being met.