At least one hospitality industry professional has touted the benefits of AI and contactless ordering not only in making ordering easier for patrons and making marketing and engagement easier for venues but also in keeping the hospitality industry alive in the midst of the current labour shortage.
According to Luke Reimann, industry professional and licensee for a number of key Sydney venues, introducing contactless ordering is one of the best things they have done at least at one of the hotels he oversees, The Botany View Hotel.
Reimann said, “Not only has it enabled us to place staff where they are needed most, it has also reduced ordering mistakes as well. Staff can now focus on ensuring food and drinks are prepared and served quickly. It has also reduced the handling of monies as well. We are experiencing far less loss as a result.”
“Everyone I talk to across the industry is struggling to get staff. Venues are offering incredible incentives and deals to attract and retain staff,” Reimann noted. “I am encouraging people to take advantage of the new tech that venues are offering. It is making life easier for the hospitality sector and also enabling venues to stay open, even when they can’t get enough staff.”
Reimann added that the tech is also reducing the load on venue owners, managers and staff as well.
“Once upon a time, staff needed to be briefed on what deals were being offered every night. We spent a lot of time briefing and training people up to ensure everyone was across all the new offers when staff arrived for their shift,” he said. “Now, thanks to tech, floor staff don’t even need to know. Customers can order through the app and get exactly what they ordered. All the information is loaded up into the app by management so customers can access the deals directly.”
Reimann added, “Contactless ordering and payment has probably reduced staffing by up to 30 per cent. With staff wages increasing significantly due to the labour shortage, this means we can focus on supporting our team where needed and channel funds into other areas of the business.”
He stated further, ”With the cost of power and other operating expenses going up, tech and automation is helping us to reduce costs in some areas which is critical in the current operating environment. Hospitality is a very service-heavy environment, but the new tech is helping to make things more manageable.”
Reimann noted that tech such as AI and generative chatbots like Chat GPT are also helping venues to create content and push out information to their market base faster.
”Without tech tools and capabilities like this, venues would go under – so while people state that tech is taking our jobs, the reality is that in the current environment it is helping to keep venues alive and save jobs,” he concluded.
This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.