90% of hospitality businesses have adapted their operations over the past year, changing the way they serve guests to adapt to evolving needs.
As most countries emerge from lockdown restrictions, forecasts by CGA show that radical changes brought by the pandemic are here to stay. As a result, both online and offline sales as mutually beneficial and profitable is something that customers not only want but now expect. Operators are also onboard with embracing technology innovations beyond the pandemic after such changes have helped them run more efficiently (The Caterer).
So, as you begin to serve guests in an offline environment once again, how can you be sure to meet guests’ expectations in 2021?
1. Personalised Experiences
Customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product. Instead, their loyalty lies with companies offering the best customer experience.
According to a survey carried out by SuperOffice, 86% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
We’re talking, personalised promotions, digital menus, nutritional preferences and even tailored ordering and payment methods to suit different languages and cultural preferences.
2. At Home Hospitality
Consumers have grown accustomed to the luxury of enjoying their favourite meal from their favourite restaurant at home and not just from quick service restaurants – we’re talking three course fine dining meals on wheels!
89% of consumers want the restaurant brand they’ve had at home to continue delivering after lockdown restrictions end.
At-home hospitality is here to stay. Moving forward, the creativity that operators have exhibited by forging their online offering will be essential to stand out and drive opportunity. This is something very exciting and will be a pillar for our F&B strategy in the future. – The Savoy
3. Touchless Payments
Heightened hygiene measures alongside the accessibility and ease of tap payments have led to 87% of Britons preferring cashless payments, with 50% admitting to paying with cash less since the start of the pandemic.
Check out wi-Q’s payment partners here.
4. Mobile Ordering
Over the last year, more consumers have quickly grown comfortable with mobile transactions. In fact, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months.
Evolving the customer journey for most brands into providing guests with what they want, when, how and where. Keeping up with on-demand customer expectations with a long-term mobile ordering strategy is now a priority for big brands in hospitality.
84% of companies that claim they are customer-centric are now focusing on providing a mobile customer experience.
5. Offline Changes
Digital ordering has also driven many offline changes since the pandemic. For instance, QSRs such as Shake Shack, Chipotle, Costa and Starbucks have built out store infrastructure to address increases in volume and desire for contactless interactions – providing guests with a safe, quick and convenient service.
6. Social Media
A third (32%) of senior leaders stated that social media was a key driver for business adaptation, helping consumers to remain in contact with hotels, restaurants and cafés, even when they have been closed.
Keep your customers up-to-date with the latest updates, covid measures, promotions and opportunities via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the latest phenomenon, TikTok.
Don’t underestimate the importance of meeting new guest expectations:
According to an industry analyst, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. While if the customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more.
Beth Langley, out-of-home director at Nespresso Professional, said: “It’s been a hugely challenging year across the hospitality sector, yet the resilience, innovation and adaptability showcased has been incredible to see.
“It’s clear that the digital aspects of hospitality are here to stay, with contactless payments, online bookings and social media all prominent features that have been adopted, expanded or delivered by business owners in the last 12 months.”
As we head further into 2021 and out of covid restrictions, now more than ever, you need your online offering to mirror your offline experience in order to satisfy your guests now and beyond the pandemic.
Ready to heighten your guest experience with mobile ordering from wi-Q? Learn more about our product features here, and for a free demo, please get in touch.