Keeping ahead of the game when it comes to digital technology is a good strategy to increase hotel revenue, hone your competitive edge and stand out from the hospitality crowd.
Emerging technologies are changing the way bars and clubs operate across Australia and the world. Getting digitally savvy is a clever way to build efficiencies, increase revenue and wow your customers, enticing them back to your venue time and time again.
But with the news packed full of stories about augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), it can be hard to know what digital trends will impact the hospitality industry first. While AR and AI are destined to revolutionise most industries, there are some exciting digital trends already making waves in bars and clubs.
So, what's to come in 2020? Future-proof your business and increase hotel revenue with these four tech trends:
Digital driver licences
While you may have missed it, digital driver licences were first launched a few years ago in 2017 in South Australia. Making the news cycle again, NSW has also rolled out digital driver licences in late 2019, while Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia are considering trialling the new technology.
The new digital licences are available through secure government apps on smartphones. And while they don't replace the traditional card licence, they are legal to use at licensed venues such as bars, clubs, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, hotels, petrol stations, supermarkets, convenience stores and tobacco retailers.
While it might sound like a digital licence is easier to forge, both the SA and NSW apps are packed with features to ensure they are legitimate and secure, including one-time-use barcodes for verification and animated backgrounds to prove the licence is not a screenshot.
This technology is convenient for your patrons and sits comfortably beside tap-and-pay functionality as we move towards a cardless customer experience. In fact, in NSW, members, guests and visitors of many registered clubs can use the digital driver licence to sign in by scanning the venue's QR code upon entry.
Ordering via a digital menu
Are paper menus on the way out? They just might be with all the benefits digital menus are offering venues. Digital menus encompass digital menu boards (bye-bye chalkboard specials!) and touchscreen tablets at tables or kiosks.
A digital menu board makes menu changes and daily specials a breeze for venue managers, who will no longer have to wait to print a new menu seasonally, or manually write the specials up daily. Instead, changes and additions can be made on the fly without hassle.
Introducing a tablet menu, enabling customers to browse and order at their leisure, can lead to an increase in sales thanks to smart features like suggested food pairings, chef selections and featured items. Plus, as with most things digital, you will have access to useful menu analytic reports highlighting top performers and items that are underperforming. Thanks to the digital nature of your menu, you can quickly adjust your food and beverage strategy to make the most of these insights, therefore increasing revenue.
Self-serve beer taps
The self-serve beer trend is well and truly underway in the United States, and venues in Australia have begun to catch on. As the name suggests, this technology allows patrons to pay for and pour their own beer, without staff involvement. The software empowers customers to fill up their glasses and pay by the millilitre without the frustrating wait in line to be served by a bartender.
Far from replacing bartenders, self-serve beer taps are freeing them up to interact more with customers, improving the overall venue experience, and enabling them to focus on designing and serving more creative drinks.
Whether it's installing a Bitcoin-enabled ATM or accepting cryptocurrency at the bar, future-minded venue managers are taking note of how digital currencies are changing operations in hospitality.
While the choice to accept cryptocurrency at your venue is quite a bold one, it may be an opportunity to increase revenue and entice fresh customers into your establishment. Before diving in headfirst, smart business operators will educate themselves on cryptocurrency and the risks involved.
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of cryptocurrency, a lower risk option is to upgrade to an ATM which can connect to customers' digital wallets, enabling them to withdraw from their crypto accounts. A smart ATM like this can attract more foot traffic, improve transactional revenue and set your venue up for the future.
How can your venue be prepared and stay ahead of the pack?
You've already taken the first step—reading this blog post! Knowledge is power, and you're now in possession of the hottest bar and club trends of 2020 and beyond.
While innovation is essential to keeping your venue's competitive edge sharp, it's also important to consider if implementing a trend makes smart business sense for your bar or club. Not all trends are created equal and some will not suit your venue or customers. Take the time to do your research, complete your due diligence and always work with reliable and reputable vendors.
But that's not all! There are many ways that successful pubs and clubs around Australia are getting ahead of the game using digital strategies to increase revenue. Find out how in our Pubs and Clubs of the Future ebook, which includes real-life examples of some of the nation's most popular venues.