Technology now a necessity in pubs, report claims

By MC Allegra FS

- Last updated on GMT

Technology now a necessity in pubs, report claims
Technology in pubs, bars and clubs is perceived as improving the customer experience by 52% of people and as many as 67% of people in the 24-35 age group, as consumers’ expectations have shifted to view technology as a necessity not a novelty.

That is according to a report by Orderella and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) on the use of mobile payment systems in the on-trade which found that 74% of people have used chip and pin to pay in a venue and 19% have used contactless payment.

The emphasis is on creating a frictionless customer experience that negates the need for a lengthy payment system to allow staff to spend more time speaking to customers and upselling instead of handling payments.

Queuing is perceived as having a negative impact on an evening out by 77% of survey respondents who said long queues or slow service dampened their experience.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR called this a “milestone year for payment apps” following an explosion on the types of technology.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion on the role of mobile technology in the hospitality sector, Dennis Collet, chief executive of Orderella, said although some operators seem frightened about the use of technology, it is coming and should be viewed as an enabler not just used for the sake of it.

He argued that the payment process adds no value to the overall customer experience, technology could be used to create a frictionless experience and the staff can focus upon interacting with customers rather than being occupied by a lengthy payment process.

From an operators’ perspective Allan Harper, who heads up Burning Night Group, said the implementation of Orderalla in his venues across the country is helping reduce the company’s bottom line by lowering staffing costs by up to 20%.

The Payments Council has predicted a sharp rise in cashless payment next year – over the past year 7% of consumers have completed a contactless payment but next year it is predicted to rise as more young people are becoming less cash reliant.

The response from ALMR members found many falling short of this demand for technology with just 24% able to offer tablet or mobile device ordering and 59% offering cashless payments

The report also highlights a discrepancy between what operators consider to be good service compared to their customers. 76% of the ALMR venues believe staff interaction with customers is ‘very important’ compared to just 50% of consumers. Likewise, operators ranked knowledgeable bar staff (75%) as the most important element of good service compared to just 16% of consumers.

In comparison, consumers rated quality of food highest (39%) and short or no queues at the bar as equally important as having knowledgeable staff. 77% went further to state that a long queue or wait for service would negatively impact their experience at a venue. Lengthy waits are also impacting tips with 22% of consumers saying they would tip more for quicker service in a bar or pub and 42% saying they would in a restaurant.

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