Business Beyond Borders matchmaking events are designed to move through industries and give companies in each sector the opportunity to meet potential business partners. In October, the world renowned fair HOST for the hospitality industry will take place in Milan, Italy, and SMEs and Clusters in that sector will be able to attend BBB’s matchmaking sessions as part of the event. Before that exciting day takes lace, we have retrieved some key facts regarding the hospitality industry from Deloitte’s 2017 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook – namely, those concerning technology in hospitality.
Innovating and implementing technology is a given trend in any industry nowadays. For hospitality, technology can surely represent the means for improvement and market growth, although its implementation is not always necessary nor advised. One of the previous year’s lessons compiled by Deloitte is the need for technology to be well guided and accurately put in place.
Investment in technology can be exemplified by restaurants’ expenditure on IT. Even though it’s difficult to see a high investment of 4% or more from net revenue, there are some interesting figures to check. Looking at general IT investment, 14% is headed towards R&D, 28% is spent on building and scaling new systems and 58% on maintaining existing systems.
Hospitality Technology, Restaurant Technology Study, 2017, http://hospitalitytechnology.edgl.com/reports/2017-Restaurant-Technology-Study109028
The key to successfully implement technology in the hospitality sector lies on recognising what customers are ready to adopt. Innovation should, of course, remain intuitive and deliver the benefit of making things easier, not more convoluted. A good example of this last point is the implementation of ‘tablets’ as replacing hosts or menus. Such a measure has proven to be unnecessary and, in some instances, detrimental.
Instead of focusing on fixing what isn’t broken, hospitality giants, much as travel magnates, are aiming towards unleashing the power of mobile devices. According to the Deloitte report, 2017 will be the year when mobile apps for hospitality services transcend the ‘wow’ factor and become a norm.
Internet of Things, Cloud technology, Virtual Reality – just to name a few among an ever-growing expansion and raise of quality of telecommunications infrastructure and cultural development surrounding technology – are paving the way for the future of technology in the hospitality sector. If this sector is continues its efforts to enable technology, and listen to customers’ readiness and willingness to accept new and more digital interactions, there is no reason why it can’t enhance the hospitality industry instead of hindering it.
 Deloitte, 2017, p. 8.
 Deloitte, 2017 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook, 2017.
 Hospitality Technology, Restaurant Technology Study, 2017, p. 10.