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Hospitality operators are being encouraged to consider greater use of biometrics and other forms of technology as new research shows facial recognition, virtual assistants, wearable technology and virtual reality are proving popular among consumers.
However the report, from Oracle, warns that consumers are most willing to engage with brands through such technologies when they feel that have a degree of control over their experiences.
The research, which canvassed the views of 250 restaurant operators, 150 hotel operators and more than 700 consumers, found:
33 per cent of restaurant and 72 per cent of hotel operators think guest recognition via facial biometrics will be in use within the next five years.
Both restaurant (49 per cent) and hotel (62 per cent) guests agree that having this recognition would improve their experience.
47 per cent of hotel guests say using artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest items based on past purchases would improve their experience.
72 per cent of hotel operators agree that AI-based systems that use guest preferences and buying history to make targeted dining recommendations will be mainstream by 2025.
“Given the heritage of service throughout the Hospitality industry, we’re not surprised that guests want a continued human connection with their food and beverage and hotel brands of choice, despite the emergence of new technologies,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Hospitality.
According to Research and Markets’ recent report, Global Biometrics in Hospitality Sector 2016-2020, one of the main reasons for increased demand for sophisticated security technologies, including highly reliable and accessible personal authentication and identification systems, is because of rising data theft and other criminal activity in the sector.
As a result, the report forecasts that the global biometrics market in the hospitality sector is set to grow by around 27 per cent over the 2016-2020 period.
Authentication allows hospitality operators to scale back their use of manually inputs and identity card exchange, as well as keeping track of employees’ start and finish times. The research suggests that using fingerprinting devices for employee attendance tracking can save hotels an average of 2.2 per cent of gross payroll annually.
Biometrics is not as cemented in the hospitality sector as it is in others, such as travel, where airlines are adopting the technology to improve security and check-in processes. But biometric adoption is set to grow in the sector in the years to come as operators increasingly recognise how it can enhance security, customer service and prove an effective cost management tool.
Ploughshare has many biometric developments and face recognition in particular