Electronic Kiosks and Tabletop Tablets: A Dynamic Technology
This blog was written to explore the opportunities, broader applications and impacts the technology has had on the hospitality industry.
- Help improve customer relationship management (CRM) by personalizing various aspects of the dining experience.
- Offering promotions tailored to the customers preferences
- Example: when a customer with vegan preferences logs into the table-side tablet they will be offered only veganoptionsas that tablet will know that information (via survey or a waiter inputting that preference in the diners account).
- Allowing a waiter to focus on the experience by eliminating a number of tasks
- Example: patrons can request the bill, extra sauce, more drinks etc. through the tablet thereby freeing up the waiter’s time to focus on the hospitality side of his/her job.
- Improvement to a business’s bottom line
- Revenue Streams added: games such a poker, blackjack and/or children’s games to keep them occupied thereby attracted the profitable family segment can be programmed into the table-side tablets
- Cutting labor costs: by eliminating waiter tasks one can potentially reduce wait staff
- Tips have increased because it is easier to pay the already offered 20% at a click of a button than manually inputting another number.
Data gathered can be used for:
- Training- identifying which waiter needs to brush up on second-round skills
- Integration with third party technologies to provide granular data that can be leveraged powerfully
- Example: the tablet can be integrated with a POS to generate very detailed capacity reports
- Facial recognition- can be integrated to elevate the customer experience
- Example: in China, a fast-casual concept allows customers to pay with a smile
Impacts on Hospitality: There are critics that view the technology as taking away from the customer service experience and ultimately affecting the hospitality side of the restaurant operation negatively
- May seem off-brand: a nice steak house with linens shouldn’t have a display board offering promotions as it lowers the perceived value of the restaurant
- Eliminating waiter tasks eliminates touch-points guests have with the staff therefore diminishing the personal aspect that wait staff bring to the dining experience
- Potential of being hacked
- Storing data means that it may be hacked.
- Example: Chipotle (2016)
The positive’s outlined above need to be weighed against the negative potentials before deciding to implement. Once implemented, constant monitoring must be standard, as a hack can be devastating to the business.
Written by: Ariel Landa: Global Hospitality Leadership (MPS)
Date: May 18, 2018