How Mobile Ordering Will Lead the Way in Recovery
The hospitality industry as we know it, is on hold. Hotel occupancy is at an all-time low. Bars and restaurants, who would be preparing for peak season remain closed, and the majority of live festivals and sporting events around the world have been cancelled.
For restaurant owners and hoteliers alike, the consequences of coronavirus and a worldwide lockdown have been catastrophic. As of early April, nearly 80% of hotel rooms in the US have been empty, with hoteliers estimating revenue losses of more than 50% for the first half of 2020.
So, what happens next?
There is no doubt that digital technology will be one of the business-critical solutions. Already, the hospitality industry (along with the rest of the world) is relying on video conference and social communications technology to manage operations and communications during the pandemic, with platforms such as Zoom becoming the daily norm for domestic and commercial users.
There is one hot hospitality topic that will be a key enabler for a return to business as usual – own device mobile ordering.
While mobile ordering has been on the market for a while, with a sharp rise in adoption over 2019/20, its true benefits have come to light in recent weeks. Hospitality outlets, particularly QSR’s who have deployed mobile ordering have been able to pivot to take out throughout the midst of the pandemic, keeping kitchens open and customers happy while they plan for the relaxing of lockdown.
As hospitality brands work out how to adapt to a new socially distant era. Mobile ordering is set to continually drive sales and play a key role in recovery plans, here’s why…
It’s a Contactless Service
Offering a mobile, contactless service is no longer just a benefit; it is now an integral factor in foodservice and hospitality since the deployment of new social distancing directions. Jason Perry, president and CEO of Trident Shield, an emergency preparedness and crisis management firm, believes that hotels must minimise contact and advises guests to ‘limit time and exposure in high-touch traffic areas within the hotel, such as restaurants, elevators and lobbies.’
Mobile ordering and payment allows guests to browse, order and pay for F&B items and hotel services from their own mobile device from their table, hotel room, lounge area, or even by the pool.
Mobile Ordering Aids the Guest Experience
In phase one, hospitality venues will need to encourage guests that have adapted to lockdown life to use their services and feel confident and safe in doing so.
A document submitted to UK ministers devised by the trade association UKH, alongside other industry leaders claims that new health restrictions could signal an end to physical menus, standing at the bar and the much- loved hotel buffet.
This is a huge cultural shift that will prove a challenge to getting revenues back, and own device mobile ordering with optimum user experience at its heart is the answer.
wi-Q’s app free mobile ordering solution not only enables guests to browse menus at their own convenience, it also allows them to view nutritional content, see specials and promotions in real-time, request additional extras and send notes and delivery instructions to staff – all in their own language if you choose.
A recent PwC Travel Sentiment Survey revealed that 55% of consumers aged 18 to 40 years said they would spend more to feel safe when travelling.
It is Reactive & Resilient
Unlike physical menus, cloud-based, online menus can be quickly adapted if new problems occur, for example, a menu item can be replaced if suppliers are unable to deliver a particular item due to short supply or travel restrictions.
Cloud-based technology provided by wi-Q also offers hotels the ability to easily expand room service menus and deploy new dishes from one central point. This management feature alone will allow hospitality operators to stay reactive, make cost-effective decisions and be more resilient if another Covid-19 spike were to occur.
‘’Room service menus are being expanded, delivery is moving to “knock and drop” at guest doors and ordering is done via customers’ mobile phones, such as that offered at over 3,200 Marriott hotels.’’ – American Hotel & Lodging Association
Mobile Ordering Drives Revenue
While all these factors help to increase consumer confidence and stay operational as we continue to fight Covid-19, driving revenue will be the key to recovery.
Mobile ordering is a platform that can be used to showcase hospitality brands, offer tailored services and stay competitive. Promotions, creative imagery, and up-selling techniques can be used on mobile ordering platforms to drive revenue and encourage another visit.
Restaurants using wi-Q’s mobile ordering solution prior to the coronavirus pandemic saw revenue uplifts averaging 15% within a month, with an instant return on investment as the software can be implemented with minimal capital expenditure. When restaurants re-open and adjust to the new normal, we expect to see this figure to dramatically increase further with the rapid growth of own device ordering.
A key lesson learnt from this pandemic is the importance of offering a digital service and being able to interact with guests without the need for human interaction. A digital trend that will soon become the expected standard in every hospitality venue.
Want to learn more about how your our cloud-based mobile ordering can aid your recovery? Get in touch with our friendly team for a no-obligation chat and demo.