Hospitality Sector’s Labour Shortages Not Helped By The Lack Of Investment In Digital Transformation

The hospitality industry must adapt quickly in order to survive. This is the warning following new research that shows 63% of hospitality operators don’t believe their business has invested enough in digitalisation.

These are findings from The Digital Transformation of Hospitality Report 2021, a new study published by Vita Mojo in partnership with Hospitality Mavericks and KAM Media – the report is based on a survey of over 4,000 hospitality sites.

The new report urges hospitality businesses to act now and use digital transformation to support labour shortages and long term growth, as data from trade body UKHospitality shows almost two-fifths of hospitality venues have had to totally or partially close due to a lack of staff.

Michael Tingsager, Founder of Hospitality Mavericks says, “We’re facing major challenges recruiting talent due to Brexit and Covid. A lot of great talent is exiting our industry and we need to look at what we can do to keep them. Technology can be a key part of the solution and the benefits can be far-reaching. Leaders can equip their teams with better tools to streamline their operations while allowing their staff to re-focus on what’s most important – service delivery.”

The new research shows hospitality operators are concerned about the lack of investment in digital transformation:

  • 73% of operators agree that hospitality is behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation.
  • Fewer than 10% of operators believe their current technology systems are fully integrated, which adds complexity for operators.
  • Only 1 in 5 operators believe they are getting the most out of their customer data – most don’t know what to do with the data they have.
  • Only 20% have a set budget for digital transformation.
  • 91% plan on increasing their spend on digital transformation over the next three years.

Commenting on the report, Hugo Engel from LEON, said, “It’s not surprising to see that 91% of operators are planning to increase spend on digitalisation. This is great news for the industry. LEON adopted a digital-first mindset before the pandemic and it has transformed our business and enabled us to continue to grow throughout. We are now in the middle of rolling out kiosks across more restaurants, this is not to replace people in store, but to enable our teams to focus on what they do best, welcoming and serving guests in the most efficient way possible.”

Katy Moses, Founder & MD of KAM Media, says, “With the endless restrictions placed on the industry during the pandemic, digitalisation in hospitality has been key to its survival. But our research suggests the pace at which the sector is equipping its workforce with new digital skills and investing in tech is way behind where it needs to be. Both operators and customers see hospitality as well behind other industries when it comes to the effective use of technology.”

Commenting on the new research, Nick Popovici, CEO and Co-Founder of Vita Mojo says, “As ex-operators turned technology providers, we wanted to get a sense of where things were following the pandemic and the digital rush that ensued. Based on the research, it’s clear that the industry has had a massive shake up so now we need to look at what we can do to support that.

“Digitalisation and technology are ‘part’ of the solution to labour shortages. The best technology adds to the human experience and when implemented properly, it can stimulate business growth, which in turn creates more jobs. That’s how we need to be thinking. It’s not about technology to replace people in the industry, it’s about technology to support and keep people in the industry.”