The food and hospitality industries have taken a hit this year. With the pandemic raging and unemployment rampant, fewer people want to travel or stay at hotels. Not as many are ready to eat in restaurants again, either.
However, logic dictates that the pandemic will not last forever. Medical science will produce a vaccine, and things should gradually return to normal.
This is great food and hospitality industry news. These two areas must try to weather the storm and come out intact a few months from now.
Technology is part of how they’ll do that. Here are some hospitality and food industry tech examples that have debuted recently and that customers already love.
Self-Service hotel guest check-in options
Self-service guest check-in options were popular even before the pandemic, but both hotels and guests are using them more than ever before. These are popular options because:
- They allow guests to check-in quickly and easily
- They never have to talk to staff face-to-face, so there are fewer COVID-19 risks
There are some different ways to set up these systems. Some hotels now have self-service lobby kiosks. You can use them by themselves, or some hotels also allow you to use an app to speed up the process.
Some of these automated kiosks allow you to pick up your room keys right there. They have an FAQ section if you want to know about the pool or gym hours or what restaurants are in the building. If you need face-to-face interaction, you can also call a lobby attendant from the kiosk.
Hotel booking apps
Many hotels also have customized booking apps now. You download them to your smartphone in mere moments. Once you have the app, you can:
- Book a reservation in seconds
- Change a reservation if you can’t make it
- Look for the best available room or one with special amenities
Most hotels have apps, but you can also download more general ones. These options let you, scout, around for deals if you’re in a city, and you don’t know what hotels are nearby.
This is ideal if the weather grounds your plane and you need to stay somewhere near the airport overnight. You can plug a price range into the app, as well as any other criteria. You can have that hotel booked and ready to go before you leave the airport.
Restaurant table-ready notification devices
If you went out to eat frequently before the pandemic, or if you still do so now, you’ve probably used one of these devices before. They look like small frisbees, and you get them at a crowded restaurant’s door.
You can sit down somewhere or walk around a bit while you’re waiting for the staff to get your table ready. Once they’re prepared to serve you, the frisbee will buzz and light up. That lets you know you can come back so the staff can seat you.
These devices have been around for a while now, and they make waiting for your table so much easier.
Restaurant delivery apps
Many individuals are using restaurant delivery apps right now. Ones like GrubHub, Doordash, and Uber Eats are one of the only things keeping the food industry alive.
You can sign up with them for free, and you include a driver tip when you place the order. You can set it up for several hours later, so the food gets there shortly after you arrive home from work.
You’re keeping local restaurants going this way, and you’re also making sure your family has a hot meal on the table at mealtimes. You probably don’t want to cook every night, and this is one way to avoid that.
Restaurant review apps
You also probably use apps like Yelp often these days. Maybe you don’t think about it very much, but when was the last time you tried a new restaurant without first looking at its reviews online?
Restaurant review apps give you some idea of whether you’ll like a place or not. You can also go on them and see a detailed restaurant menu. This helps if you’re a picky eater or you have special dietary requirements.
Technology, hospitality, and food industries go hand in hand in 2020. While much has changed this year, technology is still out there, and many of us take advantage of it every day.
It should be interesting to see if companies are developing any new food and hospitality industry tech that will debut in 2021 and beyond.