Technology: Transformative tech


The hospitality sector’s labour shortages have not been helped by the lack of investment in digital transformation, according to Vita Mojo...

The hospitality industry must adapt quickly in order to survive. This is the warning that has been issued by Vita Mojo, following its new research that shows 63% of hospitality operators don’t believe their business has invested enough in digitalisation.

These are findings from The Digital Transformation of Hospitality Report 2021, a new study published by the technology company and former restaurant business, in partnership with Hospitality Mavericks and Kam Media. It is based on a survey of over 4,000 hospitality sites. 

The new report urges hospitality businesses to act now and use digital transformation to support labour shortages and long-term growth. It comes as data from UKHospitality shows that almost two-fifths of hospitality venues have had to totally or partially close due to a lack of staff.

Michael Tingsager, founder of Hospitality Mavericks, says: “We’re facing major challenges recruiting talent due to Brexit and Covid. A lot of great talent is exiting our industry and we need to look at what we can do to keep them.

“Technology can be a key part of the solution and the benefits can be far-reaching. Leaders can equip their teams with better tools to streamline their operations while allowing their staff to re-focus on what’s most important: service delivery.”

The new research shows hospitality operators are concerned about the lack of investment in digital transformation:

  • 73% agree that hospitality is behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation.

  • Fewer than 10% believe their current technology systems are fully integrated, which adds complexity for operators.

  • Only one in five believe they are getting the most out of their customer data – most don’t know what to do with the data they have.

  • Only 20% have a set budget for digital transformation.

  • 91% plan on increasing their spend on digital transformation over the next three years.

Commenting on the report, Hugo Engel, digital executive for Leon, said: “It’s not surprising to see that 91% of operators are planning to increase spend on digitalisation. This is great news for the industry.

“We adopted a digital-first mindset before the pandemic, and it has transformed our business and enabled us to continue to grow throughout. We are now in the middle of rolling out kiosks across more restaurants. This is not to replace people in store, but to enable our teams to focus on what they do best: welcoming and serving guests in the most efficient way possible.”

Nick Popovici, CEO and co-founder of Vita Mojo, added: “As ex-operators turned technology providers, we wanted to get a sense of where things were following the pandemic and the digital rush that ensued. Based on the research, it’s clear that the industry has had a massive shake-up, so we now need to look at what we can do to support that. 

“Digitalisation and technology are part of the solution to labour shortages. The best technology adds to the human experience and, when implemented properly, it can stimulate business growth, which in turn creates more jobs.

“That’s how we need to be thinking. It’s not about technology to replace people in the industry, it’s about technology to support and keep people in the industry.”

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