Reimagine Your Hotel F&B Operations with the Right Technology

Five Software Solutions to Consider When Planning Restaurant Upgrades

By Larry Steinberg Sr. Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Agilysys | August 28, 2016

Food and beverage sales represent a huge source of revenue for full-service resorts and hotels. As a result, many properties spend a great deal of time and money refining food preparation techniques, menu selection, and even restaurant decor. Yet, these same hotels often ignore the area that can have the biggest bottom-line impact on F&B delivery — technology. Today’s best-in-class F&B software systems address every aspect of operations — from online reservations and mobile ordering, to point-of-sale and payment. So, whether you’re a small boutique hotel or a large resort property, consider these five technology solutions when planning your restaurant upgrades.

The right software systems can, quite literally, transform your hotel’s food and beverage operation — helping you cut costs, streamline efficiency, increase revenue and enhance guest service. Outdated and underperforming solutions, on the other hand, create inefficiencies, place extra stress on staff, and can even make your property vulnerable to security risks.

Today’s best-in-class F&B software systems address every aspect of operations — from online reservations and mobile ordering, to point-of-sale and payment. So, whether you’re a small boutique hotel or a large resort property, consider these five technology solutions when planning your restaurant upgrades.

1. Driving Performance Improvements With Flexible Point-Of-Sale

Over the last few years, point-of-sale technology has advanced from a basic, no-frills ordering and payment processing platform to the centerpiece of daily F&B management. In fact, today’s POS systems can have a dramatic impact on your business with their ability to streamline operations, drive business improvements, enable strategic decision-making and enhance guest service.

Mobile point-of-sale, in particular, has transformed restaurant operations by allowing servers to work in a wide variety of settings, such as pool cabanas, beverage carts, check-in queues, casino floors, and spa treatment rooms. And, because servers place orders from a tablet device rather than from a stationary terminal, they can spend more time interacting with guests. The result is a faster turnaround in order fulfillment, an upsurge in order amounts, an increase in table turns, and heightened guest satisfaction.

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.