New research from CGA by NIQ and Fourth shows three in five hospitality leaders plan to invest in new technology solutions in 2024, with employees their main area of focus.
The latest edition of the Business Confidence Survey reveals 61% of leaders intend to implement new solutions over the next 12 months, while another 20% intend to do so within the next three years. Only 15% think all their required technology is already in place.
Leaders recognise the particularly important role of tech in managing and engaging teams. Just over half (55%) say staff scheduling and rota management is a top-three benefit from investment in technology, and more than a third think it helps with payroll (41%) and employee onboarding (35%).
Investment can lead to significant commercial advantages, the Business Confidence Survey indicates. Four in five (81%) leaders agree that it can increase productivity, while three in five (63%) think it improves employee engagement. It can also help businesses improve their stock efficiencies, with significant numbers citing better inventory management (43%), recipe and menu compliance (37%) and supplier management (24%) as top-three benefits.
Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “Following a year that has seen staffing challenges continue across the sector, our latest Business Confidence Survey reveals the essential role technology plays in supporting hospitality businesses with staff retention through engagement, scheduling and more. The current economic climate has also revealed the need for leaders to identify efficiency measures wherever possible, and investment in technology could hold the key to streamlining operations across the board.
“Software, such as Fourth’s Intelligent Scheduling solution, can enable operators to accurately forecast demand and simplify shift deployment, which in turn helps to empower employees and improve productivity. Investing in scheduling technology can also lead to higher levels of customer service and better margins, helping more businesses to focus on creating memorable experiences for guests.”
Karl Chessell, CGA by NIQ’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Technology is at the heart of hospitality now and these numbers show leaders recognise the need for smart and sustained investment. With recruitment and retention such big issues for all employers, digital solutions are going to be especially important in delivering good experiences for staff and retaining top talent. Capital is squeezed at many businesses, and many areas will be battling for investment in 2024, but deploying the right tech from the right partners can deliver big competitive advantages in a tough market.”