Technology and Innovation in Hospitality and Catering… It’s Not Just for Millennials!
The Digital Age is here. It affects everything that we do, and is constantly adapting the way that people behave and interact. Love it or hate it, it’s happening all around us, and has been doing so since the 70’s, so it’s here to stay.
It seems to me that the challenge with technology is to work with it, use it and embrace it. Whilst understanding that it can and should be put to good, positive use. Possibly the most common perception of technology is that it makes everything “faster”, and therefore “worse”, because it’s a means of enabling very fast mechanical processing which makes people “redundant” and “useless”. But when used well, technology is in fact about enabling us to make better-informed decisions, implement them more quickly, and make sure that everyone that needs to know what is going on is informed promptly and without fuss. Freeing human beings up to do the things that we do well.
Food is a great example. If we thought of applying technology to food preparation and service from a “traditional” or technophobic stance, we may argue that all that it will achieve is to make sure that we are carted in and out of eateries on a conveyor belt, serving pre-packed food that was cooked and flown in from wherever it is cheapest to produce, in whatever box that is easiest to discard. But based on a recent survey of 823 caterers aged between 19 and 65+, technology is perceived as a way of achieving much more than that.
What was cited by this straw pole of expert caterers, over 50% of whom by the way cited that they are positive about the year ahead (the survey was carried out earlier in 2017), is that people want bespoke menus, cooked and served in a variety of ways that is specifically for them. So, no buffets or barbecues please! This food of choice needs to be created using ethically sourced, local produce that is not going to clog our arteries. And caterers see technology as the way of being able to define exactly what people want, and deliver it in the way and at the time that they want.
As for learning about new product and service offerings, not surprisingly 14% of caterers suggested that social media was the most beneficial route to their customers for them. In comparison, only 1% had bothered to use more traditional forms of advertising such as magazines, newspapers and other print media. Only 2 weeks ago, an innovative social media channel has just started up a food delivery service in East London based on exactly these principles, using Facebook as the medium to take and receive orders.
So, caterers appreciate that technology can be used to deliver locally sourced, healthy produce cooked exactly as the customer wants? Well that can’t be a bad thing can it…
We at TourTraxUK feel exactly the same. Used properly, we know that technology will only benefit human beings and the businesses that they operate. Certainly, the technology in our solutions will anyway. It’s a way of benefiting the environment by reducing the use of paper and energy, of keeping people informed of vital decisions and activities, of making sure that they are safe, and that customer needs and safety is always at the forefront of the minds of staff.
So that human beings can focus on the things that human beings do best.
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