I’ve been involved with hospitality industry technology for quite some time. When I think about technology there’s only one word that has always been top of mind for me. Opportunity.
In the hospitality industry the word opportunity can be taken one step further. We can morph it. Opportunity becomes competitive advantage. The ability to do something better than your competition. Something that perhaps they cannot do at all.
When I think about all of the various sectors of our broader industry, none are as exciting as the food & beverage sector when it comes to opportunities on the back of hospitality industry technology.
Why? Let me explain!
The opportunity with hospitality industry technology
Looking at at the major parts of the hospitality industry in broad categories we have travel, airlines, hotels, cruise lines, casinos and gaming, meetings & events and food & beverage.
When we look at each of these parts of our industry through a hospitality industry technology lens for the most part they are sophisticated technology enabled operations. In fact some of these sectors only operate on the back of technology driven workflows and platforms. If they didn’t in some cases there would be a global travel disaster. Have you ever been at an airport or a hotel when their technology is not working? Enough said.
Of all of these the one part of the hospitality industry that has only marginally stepped in to technology driven operations is food & beverage. Considering that it is 2020 it’s remarkable that for the most part industry en-masse has managed to deliver their product and service effectively when everyone else had to revert to a digital or technology delivered process.
I imagine many of you grinning and giving yourself a pat on the back. Well done! I would agree.
However, what has taken place around us while we have been working in this way is that world went digital. Then, out of nowhere along came a global pandemic, which forced an immediate change in the method of running a food & beverage business.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that the driver for technology in food & beverage is the Corona Virus. Technology is a long game. Although, as is the case in so many other parts of society and business, it has lit a fire under an already existing catalyst. Now that catalyst is accelerating.
When you consider the broader hospitality industry, while parts of it have adopted and adapted technology along the way, what is common to all is that now the customer is driving the digital adoption. In fact they are forcing it upon us at a pace that, from a business perspective, is hard to stay abreast of. Regardless, it is imperative to make a genuine effort to do so.
Right now, if you did not have a take-out or delivery aspect to your business you would be at least closed and probably out of business. You’ve probably also come to appreciate that it better include digital ordering if you hope to get any custom. Your diners just want to use their technology to interact with your business. This is only one part of your business.
It’s no different in the back of the house. Most of your suppliers who are usually operating at a scale beyond most F&B operations are insisting that you work on a technology platform or workflow to interact with their business. Do you have a choice? No. This environment is only going to continue to shift.
Follow your Nose
What is the logical answer? I anticipate that you already know. You need to make technology as much a part of your business as the quality of food & beverage and the customer service that makes your business stand out. Most importantly you need to take an active role in your use of technology for YOUR business, as compared to being pushed around by other parties.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not about technology. It’s about the business of technology and whether you can foresee it, believe it or buy into that concept, the world is pushing you there at a pace that is quite extraordinary.
It’s by no means gloom and doom. In some ways you might be overawed. The good news is that the capability, quality & affordability of technology available to the food and beverage industry today is extensive. It has the power to take your business to another level and extend your reach beyond what most would imagine.
We understand that it’s not realistic to have strategic technology advice and leadership on hand permanently. Although the decisions that you have to make are in every way strategic. They will have a long term effect on your business and in many ways impact your customer relationships, operational performance and profitability.
We know that. That’s why we formed FOODnBEVTECH. We intend to play that role with you and help your business move to its next successful phase through making the right technology choices.
I’m looking forward to working with you.