Two in five (40%) of consumers have said that technology has improved their hospitality experiences, according to the latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA.

It found that safety was no longer the main consideration when using technology, such as apps, in hospitality venues, with the biggest benefits given as speed and convenience (31% rated this their top benefit), ease of ordering (29%) and tracking orders (17%).

“What this new research shows is that having accepted the technology, consumers now see how it improves their hospitality experiences,” Alison Vasey, group product director at Zonal. “This is because technology not only removes pain points that have always existed, such as not being able to get the attention of a server or having to wait too long to settle the bill, but it also helps operators deliver more tailored and personalised experiences to their guests.”

The biggest frustrations for guests were struggling to get server’s attention to order (30%), the fact items they want are not available (22%) and being rushed to place their order (18%), according to the research.

“Letting technology take some of the strain of service also frees up staff to concentrate on those elements that consumers rate so highly like greeting guests and swiftly answering queries,” said Vasey.

The report also found that despite the acceptance of ordering through technology, just over half of guests (51%) still prefer to be welcomed in person when they arrive at a pub or restaurant.

Karl Chessell, CGA business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA, added:As they get back to eating and drinking out, consumers will be engaging with technology more deeply than ever before, and it is going to be a key battleground for market share in 2021 and beyond.

“Ensuring that all digital solutions provide a genuine benefit and balancing them with the face-to-face elements of hospitality that people have missed so much, will be crucial. The businesses that can make best use of tech at both front and back of house could well be the quickest to recover in the months ahead.”