Updated: Nov 30, 2020
In 2015, Mckinsey Global Institute published its Industry Digitization Index, highlighting industries across a spectrum from high-low digitization.
Hospitality fell into the latter. I grew up in the pubs my parents owned and operated and despite the low sample size attributed to that experience, I wasn’t very surprised.
Hospitality as an industry is wide but for the sub-category of restaurants - of which there are over 22,000 in Australia - I believe there’s a solid reason for the slow uptake in digitisation.
Time. Or perhaps more accurately, a lack thereof.
But before we go any further, what actually is Digitisation?
“The conversion of text, pictures, or sound into a digital form that can be processed by a computer.”
Text + Pictures = Data.
Data has enabled the industry to come a long way since 2015. The swathe of restaurant tech providers has helped owners & operators to realise it’s potential and close the gap highlighted in the Mckinsey report.
But not all of the gaps have been filled, and the relationship between some tech providers and hospitality business owners these past 5 years has been rocky to say the least.
Which is a topic of another conversation.
So what’s missing in Australia?
Online reservations? Done.
Online order/delivery? More than covered.
Filling empty tables? Meet Eatclub.
At table ordering/payment? Thanks, Mr Yum
And in a COVID world, we even have People Counting technology.
Granted, these are some pretty significant leaps for hospitality in Australia.
But I still feel there’s a key category missing from the list.
Business Intelligence. CX insights. Customer Analytics. Data & Insights to improve your business… Call it what you will, but the data points that customers provide have not yet been sauteed into the pan of digitalization nor have they found their way firmly onto the recognized restaurant tech plate.
And this leads back to the time issue. Like many other restaurant owner/operators my parents’ pub was a 365-day business. Ran primarily by my parents, myself, and a handful of staff.
The insane amount of hours being worked meant there was little time left over to do anything, let alone procure a tool (which didn’t exist) that could collect, aggregate, and provide insights around the customer experience.
So what could be done?
Social reviews? Not trustworthy, no integrity, bad data.
Ask the customer? How many times can you actually ask “how was everything?”
Traditional Mystery Shopping? People wanting a free meal, offline reports, opposite of digitalization.
Despite these poor alternatives, POS providers have been getting intelligent in the way they’re able to deliver spending trends and insights. But how can the table bill discern the customer experience before, during, or after their visit?
In almost every industry there are software platforms that collect, aggregate and visualize data points to help businesses improve. Or at the very least, identify issues.
And this is precisely the gap we’ve been trying to close since 2016.
This article is not a sales pitch, it’s a genuine question to the hospitality industry and its key stakeholders.
At Allow Me we have a hunch on the slow uptake. We believe ‘Time’ is a major factor. But trust plays another significant role.
If CX insights aren’t high quality, can’t be understood or actioned almost instantly, then the value and ROI simply isn’t there. We feel we’ve solved this problem and feel the data points (your customers) who are eating, drinking, and enjoying your venue hold the key. Not just to close the gap on a consultancy report but in helping your venue realise the potential of data in order to reduce your blind spots, optimise your teams, increase profitability, and much more.
But again, we want to hear from you. If you’re an owner or operator of a restaurant, cafe, pub or pop-up let us know your thoughts. Why, if at all, have you been reluctant to understand exactly what’s going on inside your customers’ minds that could improve your business?
If you want to know more about us. Take a look at allowme.world