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Technology’s role in hospitality’s future success

By Richard Carter

- Last updated on GMT

Technology’s role in hospitality’s future success

Related tags: OrderPay, Richard Carter, Technology, Coronavirus

OrderPay co-founder Richard Carter on how why a frictionless customer experience will be critical to retaining existing customers and capturing next-generation loyalty.

Over the past few months, the Covid-19 crisis has triggered an acceleration in demand across the hospitality sector for technology solutions which help businesses minimise person-to-person contact, adhere to social distancing restrictions and operate safely.

However, as the sector moves from reopening to rebuilding over time, it’s important for us all to picture a post-Covid world and consider how technology can support and power the sector beyond solutions that offer just a basic order and payment solution.

A frictionless customer experience will be critical to retaining existing customers and capturing next-generation loyalty. But firstly, it’s about having the right digital tools in places, used in the right environments and at the right times to win back customers and make the experience as seamless as possible.

While the ability to pay via phone or app has been around for some time, businesses will need to look for more innovative tech solutions which enhance their offer to remain competitive and front of mind with consumers.

Streamlining the whole customer experience such as removing or reducing the need to queue and providing an alternative to the traditional methods of purchase will continue to be sought after for the foreseeable future.

For example, OrderPay has incorporated a pioneering ‘tap and go’ function into its app which will particularly appeal to quick service retailers, enabling customers to tap their phone on a shelf label to pay for an item without the need to queue and pay - with operators such as Wasabi already on board with this.

Operational solutions

One of the major challenges in this area as we look to the future, if not the biggest, is consumers’ usage of apps. There is plenty of research showing people use only a very limited number – and only keep newly downloaded apps for a short period.

We’ve seen many operators go down the route of launching their own app; but faced with this reality, it seemed obvious to us at OrderPay that there was a need to build an app that services a whole suite of brands – a hospitality ‘super app’.

We strongly believe that consumers will download and keep an app they’d use at least once a week, or once a fortnight, at a range of different venues, if the right functionality and experience was available in the palm of their hand.

OrderPay provides a simple ‘one stop shop’, incorporating multiple easy-to-manage operational solutions which can be easily integrated into any given operator’s brand.

Outside of a venue, our platform takes the form of an aggregator app, able to list restaurants, pubs and bars by geographical location, but once customers walk through the door of a specific venue, through beacon technology the app “reskins” so only that brand’s menu is accessible, eliminating the requirement for consumers to download numerous native apps.

Personalised experience

In a sector that has historically been so dependent on the ‘personal touch’, there will inevitably be concerns that implementing this kind of tech will mean that hospitality becomes less personalised.

We understand that, but strongly feel that technology is here to support and enhance the great service that our partners provide to their customers, providing them with a hyper-personalised in-venue experience.

For example, functionality which streamlines the customer journey such as browsing nearby partner venues or viewing menus on a mobile phone can guide guests directly to what they’re looking for.

Looking to the future, operators will shortly be able to benefit from a multitude of features such as capturing real-time feedback, gifting, loyalty schemes and bespoke promotions.

Choosing the right solution will be critical to delivering a powerful platform that facilitates guest communication, helps to drive and manage customer footfall and engages a community of people that are selective eating and drinking out venues.

What’s more, a solution that provides operators with relevant and actionable data can help businesses distinguish what’s popular with customers and flex their offer wherever necessary, giving an ever-superior customer experience.

OrderPay helps hospitality operators provide seamless service, everywhere. Founding members include Five Guys, PizzaExpress, Stonegate and Cote and have been joined more recently by Hawthorn Leisure, Wasabi, Tortilla, Drake & Morgan, Chopstix, K10, Dim T, Pho and Wildwood. The deals will enable over 6,000 venues to offer a string of mobile-first order-and-payment solutions. For more information visit www.orderpay.com

What is OrderPay?

  • A collaborative Ordering and Payment service for UK hospitality brands
  • Provides a single point of download and acts as the ‘app of apps’
  • OrderPay uses beacons to allow the app to ‘reskin & lock’ to take on your brand look and feel when a customer enters any of your restaurants
  • Partners have access to customer usage data and actionable insights 
  • Profit-sharing coalition where 30% of OrderPay profits are shared with the network members
  • No monthly fees, and a simple 1.95% transaction fee that includes all payment charges

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