Hotel and Restaurant Industry

A restaurant, is a business which prepares and serves food and drinks to customers in exchange for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on the premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services, and some offer only take-out and delivery. Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of cuisines and service models ranging from inexpensive fast food restaurants and cafeterias to mid-priced family restaurants, to high-priced luxury establishments. In Western countries, most mid- to high-range restaurants serve alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and light beer. Some restaurants serve all the major meals, such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner (e.g., major fast food chains, diners, hotel restaurants, and airport restaurants). Other restaurants may only serve a single meal (e.g., a pancake house may only serve breakfast) or they may serve two meals (e.g., lunch and dinner) or even a kids’ meal.

In many countries, restaurants are subject to inspections by health inspectors to maintain standards for public health, such as maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness. As part of these inspections, cooking and handling practices of ground beef are taken into account to protect against the spread of E coli poisoning. The most common kind of violations of inspection reports are those concerning the storage of cold food at appropriate temperatures, proper sanitation of equipment, regular hand washing and proper disposal of harmful chemicals. Simple steps can be taken to improve sanitation in restaurants. As sickness is easily spread through touch, restaurants are encouraged to regularly wipe down tables, door knobs and menus. Depending on local customs and the establishment, restaurants may or may not serve alcoholic beverages. Restaurants are often prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages without a meal by alcohol sale laws; such sale is considered to be activity for bars, which are meant to have more severe restrictions. Some restaurants are licensed to serve alcohol (“fully licensed”), and/or permit customers to “bring your own” alcohol (BYO / BYOB). In some places restaurant licenses may restrict service to beer, or wine and beer.

New food & hospitality entrepreneurs should be constantly researching and looking at current customer habits and trends that will bring them the best return on investment. Owners need to perform a tricky balancing act, managing human interaction, personalization and technology, to keep customers coming back for more.

  1. Connecting with People Where They Are: Personalizing Customer Experiences through Mobile Technology

Smartphones, tablets and wearables are only gaining in popularity, making mobile the top new technology focus for food & hospitality. Businesses can now reap the benefits of customers using their Bluetooth enabled mobile devices on property by providing two-way communication with localized beacons. Restaurants, airports and museums have successfully rolled out beacons, with hospitality slowly dipping their toes into the water to test if they can be used to add additional profits. For example, Marriott has placed beacons at 14 locations near spas, restaurants and bars, where they can send promotional messages to nearby guestsabout things like spa packages, drink specials or restaurant offerings. Starwood Hotels are now using beacons in select hotel lobbies to provide seamless mobile check-in, send guest names to front of house staff and any prior booking details from their mobile bookings. It’s only a matter of time before other features will be integrated, such as wayfinding, local tourist attractions, partnerships with local vendors, room service and personal shopping experiences.

2. With New Technology Comes Risk: The Importance of Security

With the steady increase in online services that require both personal and financial data to be sent through the web, investment in data security is quickly becoming a top priority. This will always be a hotly contested subject in food & hospitality tech circles, as hackers and cyber attacks become a greater threat. “People’s attitudes toward security are totally changed, and this area is highly funded,” says Hotel Technology Next Generation CEO Mike Blake. As new technologies like mobile room access to replace key cards emerge, guest privacy is a growing challenge that the industry must face head on. With more mobile and social channels broadcasting sensitive information, more and more money will be spent on intrusion detection and prevention.

3. Big Data, Big Profits: The Monetization of Big Data

With all of this new technology and the Internet of Things embedded into our culture, hoteliers and restaurateurs now have massive amounts of data from mobile bookings, PMS Systems, guest review sites and Google. What do you do with it all, and how does it convert into cash? Using this collection of hotel guest data to create a guest-centric culture can be even more effective than old school points systems at keeping loyal or repeat guests. Companies such as Cheerfy help the hospitality industry consolidate all of this information and make it more useable and actionable, ultimately delivering more remarkable guest experiences. Revenue and operations can useCornell verified study data that shows the correlation between guest satisfaction and increases in financial performance of a property.