April 8

What benefits does online ordering integration offer in the hospitality sector?

The hospitality industry provides an unending amount of services to customers, such as accommodation, lodging, travel, leisure, food, and beverage services. This sector is diverse, spanning from hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, resorts, cinemas, and theatres. 

What has remained constant in the hospitality sector is change. The industry encompasses a variety of changes due to the fast progression of technology, demands, consumer expectations, and economic trends. 

70% of the hospitality industry is in favour of heavily implementing ordering and management systems to provide better levels of service. A notable transformation in the overall hospitality industry is the integration of online ordering systems. With the rise of the internet and mobile technology, online ordering has become increasingly prevalent across various segments of the hospitality sector. 

What are the benefits of online ordering integration on the hospitality front? 

Convenience: Online ordering integration allows customers to place orders from the comfort of their homes which eliminates the need for or development of physical locations. This convenience is particularly appealing to busy consumers who value time-saving solutions. This is useful for the hospitality industry that serves food and beverage; data shows that after the pandemic there has been a severe surge in demand for online food ordering up to a whopping 55%. 

Accessibility: By integrating online ordering systems, hospitality businesses can extend their reach beyond their immediate physical location. Customers from different geographic areas can access menus, place orders, and arrange delivery or pickup options, thus expanding the potential customer base. This widens the consumer base and the reach for industries to widen their stakeholder base and segment. 

Increased revenue: Online ordering can lead to a spike in sales for hospitality businesses. The ease of ordering and the ability to browse menus online may encourage customers to spend more or make impulse purchases. Online ordering systems often allow for upselling through suggestive selling techniques, personalisation, and customer-centric selling which further boosts revenue.

Streamlined operations: Online ordering systems streamline the ordering process for all stakeholders. Orders are automatically transmitted to the kitchen or bar, reducing the chances of errors compared to traditional phone-in orders. This efficiency can improve operational productivity, reduce wait times for customers, and boost customer experience and brand perception.

Data insights: Integrating online ordering systems provides valuable data insights for hospitality businesses. They can track customer preferences, order histories, peak ordering times, and other metrics to inform marketing strategies, menu planning, and operational decisions. This data-driven approach can lead to better customer perception and increased profitability.

Enhanced stakeholder experience: Online ordering platforms often come with features such as customisation options, order tracking, and secure payment gateways, enhancing the stakeholder experience. By offering a seamless and user-friendly ordering process, hospitality businesses can build customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Adaptation to industry trends: In an increasingly digital world, consumers expect convenience and accessibility in their interactions with businesses. By integrating online ordering systems, hospitality businesses demonstrate their ability to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and stay competitive in the market.

Online ordering integration offers convenience, accessibility, increased revenue, streamlined operations, data insights, enhanced customer experience, and adaptation to industry trends. As technology continues to advance, online ordering is likely to remain a crucial component of the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry.

What are the present-day trends in the hospitality industry? 

Hospitality businesses can stay ahead of industry trends and remain competitive by strategically investing in technology. 

  1. Implementing mobile apps: The development of mobile apps tailored to their business can enhance customer engagement and convenience. Features like mobile check-in/check-out for hotels, mobile ordering for restaurants, and loyalty programs can improve the guest experience.
  2. Utilising data analytics: Hospitality businesses can leverage data analytics to gain insights into guest preferences and booking patterns and identify spending behaviours. By analysing this data, they can personalise marketing efforts, optimise pricing strategies, and improve operational efficiency.
  3. Adopting contactless technologies: Contactless technologies are becoming increasingly important. Implementing contactless check-in/check-out, mobile payments, and digital menus can enhance safety and convenience for guests while reducing physical contact.
  4. Enhancing guest communication: Investing in communication tools like messaging platforms and chatbots allows hospitality businesses to provide real-time assistance and personalised recommendations to guests. This improves guest satisfaction and fosters loyalty.
  5. Integrating smart room technology: Implementing smart room technology, such as IoT-enabled devices and voice-controlled assistants, can enhance the guest experience by offering convenience and personalisation. Guests can control room settings, access information, and request services with ease.
  6. Embracing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR): VR and AR technologies can be utilised to create immersive experiences for guests, such as virtual tours of properties, interactive dining experiences, and virtual event spaces. This innovative approach can differentiate hospitality businesses and attract tech-savvy guests.
  7. Investing in sustainability initiatives: Technology can also be leveraged to support sustainability initiatives within the hospitality industry. Implementing energy-efficient systems, waste reduction solutions, and eco-friendly practices not only aligns with consumer preferences but also contributes to cost savings and brand reputation.
  8. Emphasising online reputation management: Hospitality businesses should invest in online reputation management tools and strategies to monitor and respond to guest reviews and feedback across various platforms. Positive online reviews can significantly impact booking decisions and brand perception.
  9. Training and development for staff: Investing in staff training and development to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively utilise new technologies. This ensures smooth implementation and maximises the benefits of technological investments.

Strategically investing in technology, hospitality businesses can adapt to changing consumer preferences, enhance operational efficiency, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market landscape.

How can trends in the hospitality industry be adopted through online ordering integration? 

Implementing trends in the hospitality sector through such integration involves a series of steps that businesses can take to leverage technology effectively. 

Trends are constantly changing which requires stakeholders across the board to stay abreast of these evolving and growing changes. The hospitality industry has to monitor market dynamics, consumer preferences, and emerging technologies to identify opportunities for innovation. This proactive approach allows them to anticipate customer demands and tailor their online ordering systems accordingly.

Businesses can prioritise integrating relevant features into their online ordering platforms. For example, if there’s a growing demand for contactless experiences, incorporating options for mobile payments, curbside pickup, or delivery tracking can enhance the customer experience and align with current preferences. 

Offering eco-friendly packaging options or highlighting locally sourced ingredients on the online menu can resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in the hospitality industry; 68% of stakeholders prefer personalisation and customised services in the hospitality front. Online ordering systems can leverage customer data to provide personalised recommendations, promotions, and offers based on past orders or preferences. By tailoring the ordering experience to individual preferences, businesses can foster customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.

Embracing automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can streamline operations and improve efficiency. AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries, take orders, and provide assistance, reducing the burden on staff and enhancing the overall ordering process. Automation can also optimise inventory management, pricing strategies, and order fulfilment, allowing businesses to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Integration with digital platforms and services is a strategy taken to capitalise on hospitality industry trends. Integrating online ordering with social media platforms, review sites, or third-party delivery services can expand reach, visibility, and traction to new customers and drive sales. Adopting and leveraging data analytics tools provide valuable insights into customer behaviour, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions and adapt their strategies in real-time.

Implementing trends in the hospitality sector by integrating online ordering requires a strategic approach that aligns with customer preferences and market dynamics. By staying informed, prioritising relevant features, personalising the ordering experience, embracing automation and AI, and integrating with other digital platforms, hospitality businesses can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

Consult WITMEG for an online ordering integration system 

EPOS solutions are not a luxury but a necessity for the hospitality industry to heighten experience, stimulate revenue and widen stakeholder bases. From streamlining operations and enhancing the customer experience to providing valuable insights and scalability, restaurant EPOS systems can drive growth and success.