ORLANDO, Fla.—Oracle announced the findings of two research initiatives aimed at identifying consumer attitudes to new technologies and how their implementation will shape consumer behavior in the years to come. Insights from both the Oracle Hotel 2025 and Oracle Restaurant 2025 highlight that consumers are most willing to engage brands with new technology if they feel that they are in control of their experience and that hospitality operators should be wary of implementing automation without personal service.
“Given the heritage of service throughout the Hospitality industry, we’re not surprised that guests want a continued human connection with their food and beverage and hotel brands of choice, despite the emergence of new technologies,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager Oracle Hospitality. “Our hotel and restaurant management platforms OPERA and Simphony will continue to be enabling investments given their ability to provide a singular view of how guests engage and interact.”
The Hotel 2025 and Restaurant 2025 reports audited 250 restaurant operators, 150 hotel operators and 702 consumers in February 2017 on their reactions to technology’s role in the guest experience over the next 8 years.
Recognition and Personalization Will be a Driver for Future Technologies
—33 percent of restaurant and 72 percent of hotel operators say that guest recognition via facial biometrics will be in use within the next five years.
—31 percent of restaurant guests and 41 percent of hotel guests will be more likely to visit an establishment with greater frequency if they are recognized by a server or associate without having to give their name or show a loyalty card.
—Both restaurant (49 percent) and hotel (62 percent) guests agree that having this recognition would improve their experience.
—28 percent of restaurant customers would visit more often and 45 percent said it would improve their experience if service was faster because they were recognized.
—42 percent of restaurant guests find suggestions based on health invasive and 68 percent find suggestions based on digital footprint invasive.
—47 percent of hotel guests agree that using artificial intelligence to suggest items based on past purchases would improve their experience. 72% of hotel operators agree that AI-based systems that leverage guest preferences and buying history to make targeted dining recommendations will be mainstream by 2025.
Consumers are Warming to Voice-Activated Experiences
—36 percent of restaurant guests say ordering through a virtual assistant would improve experience and 17 percent would visit more often, along with 50 percent and 33 percent of hotel guests respectively.
—59 percent of hotel guests believe controlling their room via a voice-activated device would enhance the guest experience and operators agree. Hotel operators polled indicated that managing room control and ambiance management (78 percent) via voice activation would be widespread by 2025. Hotel operators also believed that ordering room or hotel services (70 percent) via voice activation would be adopted by 2025.
—Operators are keen on gathering customer feedback by voice; 61 percent of restaurant operators and 68 percent of hotels said this will be in use in the next 5 years.
Virtual Reality will Enhance the Booking and on-Property Experience in Hotels
—Consumers also indicated that virtual reality tours of hotel properties (66 percent) and virtual reality lounges for entertainment (44 percent) would improve the guest experience.
—Hotel operators also believe virtual reality technology will be widespread by 2025 with a variety of use cases: staff training (68 percent), guest entertainment on property (64 percent), and previewing meeting rooms (63 percent).
Robots Won’t be Replacing Hospitality Staff Anytime Soon
—50 percent of restaurant guests said being served by a robot would not improve the guest experience and 40 percent would visit less.
—37 percent of hotel guests said being served by a robot would not improve the guest experience and 22 percent would visit less.
—64 percent of restaurant and 58 percent of hotel operators say that the use of robots for cleaning is appealing.
Operators Begin To Consider Investment in Wearable Technology
—51 percent of restaurants and 63 percent of hotels say staff activity monitoring via wearable device will be in use in the next 5 years.
—59 percent of restaurants and 78 percent of hotels say that staff checking into work and onto workstations via wearable device will be in use in the next 5 years.