The use of technology in hotel food and beverage has the possibility to revolutionize the way restaurants and bars operate. Automation, artificialintelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain, are just a few of the technologies that are poised to make animpact onfood and beverage operations.
Although we share concerns about potential job losses and guest perception, I believe that a holistic approach to automation can create a win-win situation. This would alleviate pressure on teams while simultaneously enhancing the guest experience, even in upscale four and five-star hotel food and beverage operations.
Automationis rapidly taking over manual processes, such as food preparation, cooking, mixology, stewarding, ordering, and payment, enabling restaurants and bars tostreamline their operations while reducing their labor requirements and recruitment challenges. Automated F&B systems can assist in ensuring thatfood and drinks are prepared and served in a consistent manner, maintaining high quality and safety, and ensuring that customers receive a more consistentexperience every time they visit.
AIand ML-powered systems can be used to identify which dishes and drinks are most popular among customers, as well as which times of day or days of the week are busiest. This can help restaurants and bars optimize their stock inventory, staffing, and pricing strategies, ensuring that they are always meeting the needs of their guests while also maximizing revenue and profit opportunities.
Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to enhance the customer experience in restaurants and bars. With AR, customers can use their smartphones to see virtual menus, view nutritional information, and even see how their food will look before they order. This can help improve service and provide guests with more information to enable them to make informed decisions about their dining or bar experience.
Blockchain technology can help to improve the traceability of food and drink menu items, reducing the risk of contamination and counterfeiting of beverages. Technology can also be used for sustainability tracking especially for restaurants and bars that source their ingredients from a variety of suppliers. With blockchain, restaurants and bars can validate sustainability, promoting the quality and safety of their food and beverages, and building trust with their customers through transparency.
The benefits of food delivery automation for hotels are numerous. Automation can help hotels streamline their food delivery operations, reducing the time and resources required to fulfil orders. This in turn, can help hotels reduce their operating costs while also improving the speed and accuracy of food delivery.
A report by Allied Market Research indicated that the global smart kitchen market size is expected to reach $8.04 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 19.1%from 2020 to 2027.
Inconclusion, the adoption of technology in food and beverage has many advantages, including improving consistency and quality, reducing labor requirements, and enhancing the guest experience. As our industry continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to see how these technologies transform food and beverage operations, allowing them to become more efficient, sustainable, and profitable for owners and operators while doing less harm to the planet. Restaurants and bars will position themselves for long-term success by adopting automation in their daily operations.
What are your views and your concerns around automation? Do you agree that automation could be a good thing for food and beverage in hotels?
Michael Butler is the founder of Captivate Culinary Connections and 365 Audits. A senior hospitality business executive with over 30 years of experience in the industry, he has held instrumental roles in the industry, working as a consultant with notable companies such as Hyatt International, Michelin-starred Chef Niklas Eksted, Nespresso, Morgans Hotel Group and China Grill Management. Previously, he served as the corporate Director of Food and Beverage for Hyatt International for five years, covering Europe and India. He has also held senior and regional management roles for companies such as Beatties, Jenner's department stores, Compass Group, Center Parcs, and Domino's Pizza.