Jeremy Julian

223. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 223 – Enhancing Your Hospitality Game: Key Takeaways from a Discussion with Scot Turner on Hotel Restaurants, Technology, and Creating Memorable Experiences

March 11, 2024

In a world increasingly dominated by technology and digital conveniences, crafting a memorable guest experience is paramount in every industry – but perhaps no more so than in hospitality. This was the central theme of a captivating discussion between Scot Turner, founder of Auden Hospitality, and Jeremy Julian, host of the Restaurant Technology Guys podcast. Their conversation covered everything from managing hotel restaurants to leveraging technology for an enhanced guest experience.

Making Hotel Restaurants Shine

One of the first points that emerged in their discussion was the need for hotel restaurants to find a distinct identity. Scot Turner advised against creating hotel restaurants solely for hotel guests. Instead, he strongly advocates for the development of restaurants that appeal to the local community. Such an approach, he argues, gives the restaurant its own identity separate from the hotel, potentially drawing in a broader customer base and subsequently enhancing hotel guest interest.

Personalizing Experiences Through Technology

In the conversation, technology emerged as a vital driver of personalized experiences, a pivotal aspect in fostering guest loyalty and satisfaction. Scot highlighted the effectiveness of platforms like SevenRooms that automate guest experience, allowing for more personalized guest interaction before arrival and after departure.

Systems that send personalized messages to guests or offer special deals based on previous interactions can effectively nurture a guest’s sense of being valued. In the age of social media and instant reviews, this kind of personalized interaction can greatly enhance the reputation of a hotel or a restaurant.

Utilizing Tech Tools to Increase Efficiency

Scot and Jeremy also discussed the importance of tech tools for enhancing operational efficiency. Scot mentioned the need to take what may initially seem mundane or everyday tasks, like room service or inventory management, and digitize them to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.

For instance, having digital ordering for room service can significantly improve the guest experience. By giving guests accurate estimates of their delivery time, hotels can manage guest expectations better and create more positive interactions.

Scot also emphasized the need to make it easier for guests to spend money across all hotel touchpoints. He suggested strategies like implementing digital menu boards and QR code ordering capabilities, especially in high-traffic areas like poolside bars and lounges.

Innovating for Future Investments

As their discussion turned towards future investments in hospitality technology, Jeremy and Scot agreed that hotels should aim for an ‘Amazon easy’ guest experience, mimicking the convenience offered by renowned platforms like Amazon. Scot cited the world of airline booking as an example, questioning why hotel booking couldn’t be as seamless.

One strategy could be to implement platforms that already offer these efficient, intuitive user experiences, like DoorDash or Uber Eats. To keep up with the pace of evolving guest expectations, hotels will need to continually innovate and adopt new technological tools and strategies.

Overall, the discussion reinforced that hoteliers not merely need to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital age. Instead, they should aim to harness the potential of hospitality technology to offer memorable guest experiences that will keep them coming back.

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