Contactless ordering gives hospitality industry lifeline amid labour shortage

AI and contactless ordering is not only making ordering easier for patrons and making marketing and engagement easier for venues, it is also keeping the hospitality industry alive during the labour shortage. Everyone I talk to across the industry is struggling to get staff. Venues are offering incredible incentives and deals to attract and retain staff.

How efficient is contactless ordering?

Introducing contactless ordering is one of the best things we have done at The Botany View Hotel. Not only has it enabled us to place staff where they are needed most, it has also reduced ordering mistakes as well. Staff can now focus on ensuring food and drinks are prepared and served quickly. It has also reduced the handling of monies as well.

We are experiencing far less loss as a result. Our customers have the option of ordering in person or using our app. 95 percent use our app and find it really easy and convenient.

You don’t have to get out of your chair. You simply open your phone, hover the camera over the QR code and the menu comes up. Ordering is easy and you simply pay through the app once you have selected all your items. I am encouraging people to take advantage of the new tech that venues are offering. It is making life easier for the hospitality sector and also enabling venues to stay open, even when they can’t get enough staff.

The tech is also reducing the load on venue owners, managers and staff as well. Once upon a time, staff needed to be briefed on what deals were being offered every night. We spent a lot of time briefing and training people up to ensure everyone was across all the new offers when staff arrived for their shift. Thanks to tech, floor staff don’t even need to know.

Clients can order through the app and get exactly what they ordered. All the information is loaded up into the app by management so customers can access the deals directly.

How has the tech helped amid labour shortage?

Contactless ordering and payment has probably reduced staffing by up to 30%. With staff wages increasing significantly due to the labour shortage, this means we can focus on supporting our team where needed and channel funds into other areas of the business.

With power and other operating expenses going up, tech and automation is helping us to cut costs in areas which is critical in the current operating environment. Hospitality is a very service-heavy environment, but the tech is helping to make things more manageable.

AI and generative chatbots like Chat GPT are also helping venues to create content and push out information to their market base faster. Without tech tools and capabilities like this, venues would go under – so while people state that tech is taking our jobs, the reality is that in the current environment it is helping to keep venues alive and save jobs.

Luke Reimann is the Venue Manager at Botany View Hotel. He is a profile and respected hospitality personality and the licensee for a number of key Sydney venues.