Omnico CEO, Mel Taylor, responds to questions from Preoday
What do you consider a ‘destination’?
A ‘destination’ is what we refer to as a theme park, resort and casino, or even a shopping mall. Anywhere that consumers go to enjoy an experience.
Do destinations need to move to a digital-first strategy? Why?
Every industry should consider a digital-first strategy. Today consumers are known as “connected consumers” and for the first time more than half of the global population is connected to the internet, according to Euromonitor International.
In Omnico’s own research, we found that 82% of workplace employees said that with mobile order ahead they would buy more often from their staff canteen. From a destination perspective, theme park visitors want a mobile app to be their ‘theme-park-in-their-pocket’ providing them visibility of queues for food and rides, and the ability to receive special offers and promotions.
Without these digital technologies in place to accommodate the connected consumer, brands will fail to achieve.
Are there any exceptions?
There are some instances where the human-touch is needed. While technology in food and hospitality can speed up the processes, reduce queues and allow greater ease and loyalty, consumers still crave a human interface, whether that’s still ordering direct from a server, to seeing the food being prepared by a passionate chef. A balance between the human touch and the right technology processes should always be considered.
We can’t escape the importance of data and personalisation. Why is that?
Through the proliferation of technology, we now come to expect a certain level of personalisation through the data we provide. In recent Omnico research questioning US-based visitors to theme parks, 75% said they are happy to receive offers and discounts based on their location and personal data via a mobile app. The figure was slightly higher among women (77%) and especially among younger consumers – 86% among 25-34-year-olds.
When consumers know that by providing this personal information, they will receive an enhanced experience, they are willing to give it. The important thing to remember is that brands must use it wisely or they risk disloyal and disgruntled visitors.
What are the key digital elements needed for a great customer experience?
The key element is to ensure a solid platform that underpins the individual mobile and digital technologies. With each working in siloes a brand cannot glean the customer interaction and transaction data needed to create a more personalised customer experience.
A single, unified platform that can link together the various systems, from food and beverage, to retail and merchandise, can create a complete 360-degree view of a customer. This then provides the ability to send tailored offers and promotions direct to that customer on the device of their choice.
One of the key benefits of this is for example a theme park that can monitor capacity across its resort and using the data provided by their visitors, ensure that if one restaurant is over-booked, whereas another is left empty, they can use push-notifications to particular visitors based on their location, to move visitors from one restaurant to another.
What are the key digital food and hospitality trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond?
With the growth in personalisation, technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning will become increasingly important as brands try to personalise experiences for the masses.
In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint and food waste we’ll also continue to see the use of the Internet of Things in food and hospitality. This greater connectivity will enable remote monitoring and predictive production / maintenance. Item-level sensors on products will enable companies to track these items through the supply chain until disposal. This will give brands unprecedented detail in terms of what consumers are doing, allowing them to make improvements to the experience they provide.
What can we expect to see from Omnico in the next year?
Our Business Intelligence tool will continue to evolve where we can help brands understand the perabytes of data they receive each day about customer interactions and transactions. With a better understanding of this data they can create a more personalised and enhanced customer experience.
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