Even as technology became increasingly prevalent across industries around the world, the hospitality industry resisted it, citing the importance of the ‘human touch.’ But the global pandemic made hotels and restaurants turn to technology to stay relevant albeit, ironically, to keep physical touchpoints to a minimum.
Post COVID, consumers around the world now have access to an unprecedented level of convenience with the proliferation of technology driven solutions, consequently opportunities in the F&B and hospitality sectors have become massive and untapped.
In an industry that has traditionally been slow to adapt, technology is the big sea change as it revolutionises how the F&B and hospitality industry remains competitive while, simultaneously, enriching end user experience.
Digital technologies, the rise of Industry 4 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are creating a vast range of opportunities, and challenges. There are thousands of subtle ways that technology has crept into the hospitality sector. Many are taken for granted, more are overt.
In food and beverage manufacturing, advanced data analytics, the cloud and smart sensors have the potential to sustainably transform manufacturing plants. Enhanced product quality, reduced energy consumption and optimized processes, all technology controlled, are crucial to staying competitive and meeting consumers’ constantly changing preferences.
Big data is changing the world dramatically and its effect on the F&B industry is transformative. Quick access to information allows business owners to make quick and efficient decisions about changes to improve customer service or quality. When owners know exactly what their customers are doing, their preferences, and who their customer is, they can make pinpoint decisions that drive their business.
With everything online, consumers have access to more information about the food they eat. Digital menus let the customer browse online before visiting a restaurant. But, a new transparency means that along with the description of their meal, they can also discover complete nutritional facts and ingredients which makes ordering, especially for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions, easier and more confident.
Robots and AI are having a greater influence on the F&B industry. Many restaurants have digital menus allowing customers to review and order food without the need for a waitperson. Following the meal, they can use the same digital tablet to pay for their food. That means that restaurant owners can track sales in real-time, no receipts to count, nothing to tally, and no spreadsheets to fill out.
Technology is even changing ordering and delivery options. Most F&B vendors offer a website or mobile app so they can order food wherever and whenever they want. F&B delivery services and robots offer delivery options making ordering out more effortless than ever before. Although there is less interaction with other people, the F&B industry can save substantial costs by automating ordering and delivery tasks.
There is no doubt that technology is changing the F&B and hospitality industries for the better. It is providing consumers with the ultimate convenience they are looking for while facilitating those in the sector to take their businesses to the next level.
As technology advances, more innovations will emerge to help shape the industry’s future. The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom's largest and most influential trade event for the hotel and hospitality sector, leads the way for providers to highlight the latest technology and potential innovations which will influence the F&B and hospitality industry of the future.
Taking place 6-8 September 2022, at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Saudi Arabia, the Hotel Show Saudi Arabia offers unparalleled opportunity for anyone in hospitality industry to source products and services for their upcoming projects, network with decision-makers and connect with leading suppliers.