The drive to provide frictionless food-and-beverage ordering and payment is accelerating at all levels of the hotel industry. “It’s no longer just about online food delivery but has expanded to include multiple venues and concepts, as well as supporting traditional table service,” said Gary Hickman, senior director of product management at Agilysys.
Guest self-service not only enables guests to order and pay when and where they prefer on property but also accelerates table turns and gives management more staffing flexibility in times of a tight labor market
Conversational ordering is still important, especially with the four- and five-star properties, Stange said. Customers don’t want to see servers have to run back and forth to a fixed POS terminal to input orders or take care of payments. Good mobile POS technology also needs to be intuitive so that it becomes second nature to servers.
Reasons for Mobile Sales
Customer tolerance for wait times is short these days and can be exacerbated by tight labor conditions on property. Hotels that cannot meet the changing demands of guests and staff alike risk lower guest satisfaction, fewer return visits and higher staff turnover.
“The need to delight guests, empower staff and grow revenue in this environment is driving many technology solution upgrades, including POS,” Hickman said.
The pandemic-era trend of self-service has further propelled the need for good mobile POS systems, said Mark Pearman, co-founder and CFO of Xn protel. “It’s the same theme continued—help the greatest number of people as quick as possible and guest self-service does that,” he said. “It doesn’t work in all environments obviously, but people are used to viewing menus and ordering on their phones. Some guests even prefer the service efficiency over the server interaction.”
One added benefit for hoteliers and guests is that multilingual menus are often available with mobile ordering, Pearman said: “If you have the right program, everything can be in real time—the daily specials, if you’ve sold out of an item.”
More hotels are looking for complete POS, mobile-ordering and payment systems, Pearman said, so servers can have everything they need to serve and for guests to pay