Technology that improves the customer experience, routes into the family purse, misleading statistics and a reminder of the Christmas fundamentals
An interesting range of views by four prominent people in the Industry and well worth reading
Authors: Kate Nicholls, Jack MacIntyre, Paul Chase and Stephen Waters
Venues that get technology right by Kate Nicholls
Twenty five years ago this week, I went to the cinema to see Back to the Future II. Set in the futuristic-sounding 2015, it promised a world of flying cars, hoverboards and, most worryingly, home nuclear fusion reactors. The closest the plot writers got to predicting our future was the watch that forecast the weather, and Nike are set to finally sell self-tying laces next year.
Clearly, the idea of a pocket computer which would allow you not just to speak to but also see and write to anyone in the world, while at the same time choosing where to eat based on an online review and getting there using real-time navigation, with street views as well as maps, was unimaginable at the time. But it is the biggest single technological change affecting not just our sector but our lives as a whole. We can monitor our health, check calorie content, broadcast what we think about our experiences and, at the end of the night, contact a nearby taxi and watch it travel towards us in real time.
When it comes to technology I’m a (reasonably) late adopter but a very enthusiastic one, and I’m also childishly excited when it works and makes the experience better. I recently attended the Peach 2020 Conference and found myself in firm agreement with Vanessa Hall of YO! Sushi and David Campbell of Wagamama, two of the best users of technology to make the guest experience better, who were clear that, just because the technology can do something, doesn’t mean we should use it. Above all, technology has to enhance, not get in the way of, great customer service.
Royal Caribbean may have installed the first robot bartender, which can shake, stir, muddle and serve any drink on the menu at the speed of two drinks per minute, and Sydney boasts the first waiter-free restaurant, where diners order, collect and pay for their meal on screen. But to me, that is not what eating and drinking out is all about. It is about theatre, experience and social interaction and no computer can ever deliver that.
So here are some of the places and technologies that I think do get it right: MORE