hospitality industry digitalization

Hospitality industry embraces digitalization in the pandemic

The hospitality industry suffers the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic more than any other sector. To offset plummeting revenues, businesses are increasingly turning to digital solutions. With 57 out of a possible 100 index points, hospitality companies increased the level of digitalization three points year-on-year. hospitality industry digitalization

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These are the findings of the benchmark study, “SME digitalization index 2020/2021”. The study conducted by tech consult on behalf of Deutsche Telekom is already in its fifth year.

New business models mitigate coronavirus repercussions

“The switchover to digital processes was vitally important for the hospitality industry during the pandemic,” says Thomas Spreitzer, responsible for small-and-midsize enterprise sales, partner sales, and marketing at Telekom Deutschland. “Whether it’s an online shop, digital menu, online reservation, or contactless payment, many companies quickly realized that digitalization provides tangible assistance to the industry in the crisis. Digitalization is set to remain an indispensable part of the hospitality industry in future. Service can be enhanced as a result and resources used more cost-efficiently.” WFH products, like those Deutsche Telekom offers at telekom.de/homeoffice, also play a role here.

32 percent of hospitality companies have digitalized relevant processes so they can comply with hygiene rules while continuing to operate normally. Circumstances forced businesses to develop and establish new business models to ensure their future survival. Around half of businesses responded to the initial lockdown. Restaurants introduced online tastings, delivery services, and takeout. Many businesses switched to contactless payments. The hotel industry offered rooms on an hourly basis for “work from hotel” solutions or quarantining. The index for extending and renewing business models ticked up one to 49 points. Within the industry, the accommodation sector is the digitalization pioneer with 61 points. By contrast, many small, family-owned restaurants are still playing digital catch-up.

Digitalization promotes customer loyalty

In the customer relationships category, the hospitality industry increased four points year-on-year to an index figure of 58. The introduction of online ordering also helped businesses retain customers during the coronavirus crisis. Revamped websites and a greater presence in social media played an equally important role. Social media channels prove ideal for daily special offers. With usage at 53 percent, online reservation and booking systems are widespread in the hospitality industry. 33 percent of restaurants offer a digital menu.

Data analysis bolsters the success hospitality industry digitalization

70 percent of hospitality businesses already analyze data. Customer, product, and supplier data tops the list for 54 percent of businesses. 43 percent analyze transaction data, and 28 percent evaluate data from social networks. Around 70 percent of those businesses that analyze data become more competitive as a result. Almost just as many businesses improve their service and product quality in this way. Data analytics also help the hospitality industry organize its staffing rosters more efficiently. The data helps companies deploy a mix of temporary and core staff more efficiently. 37 percent already use these kinds of analysis processes.

The majority intend to maintain IT investment despite the coronavirus

47 percent of restaurant and accommodation businesses intend to maintain their planned IT investment. 17 percent of businesses even have plans to ramp up their investment in digitalization projects. To achieve this, businesses aim to invest 18 percent more on average year-on-year in 2021. By contrast, 36 percent of restaurant and accommodation businesses have plans to cut their IT investment in light of the coronavirus crisis.

Free self-check

For the study, analysts from TechConsult surveyed more than 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. The overall study and the individual reports on sectors are available free of charge here: www.digitalisierungsindex.de. Companies can also check their digital status quo themselves. The check is also free, goes online, and takes just a few minutes. It also enables a convenient comparison with other companies. hospitality industry digitalization


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Driven by wanderlust and a passion for tech, Sandra is the creative force behind Alertify. Love for exploration and discovery is what sparked the idea for Alertify, a product that likely combines Sandra’s technological expertise with the desire to simplify or enhance travel experiences in some way.