Is technology the key for engaging Generation Z?

By 2020, it is thought that 70% of the world will be using smartphones and 90% of the globe will be covered by mobile broadband networks.

Technology is no longer ‘nice to have’ but is an essential tool for reaching business goals. While this isn’t news to any hospitality organisation owner, a dangerous situation they may find themselves in is thinking that ‘adequate’ technology will suffice.

A lot of hospitality organisations are susceptible to the risk of settling for sufficient restaurant technology. While rational – updating software and hardware nationwide can be a frightening thought – stagnant tech could be the cause for the lack of engagement with your staff and your customers.

The hospitality industry is fickle; customers change their minds and the staff turnover is high. An organisation within the sector has to be at the top of its game when innovating how to utilise its tech to its full advantage in a bid keep employees and customers loyal to their brand. Lagging behind on the technological spectrum not only creates a less engaging environment for your customers to dine but also a less convenient one. Not to mention obsolete tech will cause problems for your employees and potentially create a much more difficult and hostile working environment.

With Millennials and Gen Zers being the future of your business custom and workforce, it’s important to ensure that their need for tech is satisfied. Born into a world of digital, visual and interactivity, their use of technology in everyday practices is innate. They don’t just desire digital ways of working and living; they expect it. For a restaurant to continue to grow with its employees and customers, and to have a future in the 21st century and beyond, it must constantly be implementing new technological practices into the everyday.

This can be difficult if you don’t regularly update your software and hardware or even if you’re not mindful of the risks of outdated technology. This isn’t to say that you should introduce robotic waiters just yet but you should be applying innovative ways of working into the monotony of your prosaic tasks.

Processes like staff scheduling, menu or price changes and stock management can all be administered much easier if your data is hosted in a centralised database and directly linked to a good EPOS system and other Business Intelligence solutions.

Not only will a congruent log of data make life easier for your board of leaders, your management and your floor workers but will give valuable insights into your customers as well. Knowledge really is power – having clear visibility of your organisation, staff productivity and consumer buying habits will allow you the capability of being able to see what areas of your business affect one another and how you can make changes in order to improve said areas.

Implementing digital process behind the scenes, making life easier and more engaging for your employees, means you’ll be prepared to introduce cutting edge technology front-of-house too. You’ll always be ready for the next tech trends and you’ll know what your customers want and expect so that you can always provide them with a fulfilling dining experience.

Engagement is a hot topic in the hospitality industry and a subjective one at that. No doubt it has its rewards but knowing where to start can be difficult. A good place would be to make sure employees are engaged first which in turn will generate positive and meaningful encounters with customers. There are many proven ways to engage staff including practices such as gamification, which can be easily managed through your EPOS to encourage friendly competition and increase productivity. Other examples include employee apps (hosted on a device they pick up every hour of the day) which allows them to select availability, swap shifts with colleagues and view task lists, making their working life as easy and convenient as possible.

Engaged and content employees leads to better customer experiences in-store, increased productivity and increased profitability. People learn better when they’re comfortable with the delivery environment so speaking their language and using technology as a tool to engage will likely see better results.

If you would like to more about how technology can encourage engagement within the hospitality industry, you can contact PXtech on 01332 921 300 or

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