Millennials Forcing the Hospitality Industry to Keep up With Technology

While customer experience has always been a major driver for the hospitality industry, it has become an absolute necessity for running a successful hotel or restaurant in recent years. This is partially due to crowdsourced review websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp!, where disgruntled customers can put any restaurant or hotel on blast if they are upset with their experience. But an additional reason is the general mindset of the millennial generation.

Frankly, as a 27 year old and potentially the voice of a generation, we like things to be easy. And businesses have taken note with our want for simplicity and convenience. We can book an Airbnb through its mobile application or search through Hostelworld to find the perfect combination of cheap and livable.

Businesses need to continue this rapid pace of disruption. Software makes it easier for them to stay on top of the new ways customers interact with the hospitality industry. Many software products exist the hospitality market that make the lives of hotel and restaurant employees much easier. Those software products also have the happy consequence of making customer experience a breeze. Proper utilization of hotel management, hotel reservation and restaurant reservation software help to accommodate millennials and inevitably grow business.

Do-It-Yourself Booking: So Easy Even Mom Does It

The ability to book reservations online has far exceeded being a useful tool for millennials; it is quickly becoming the preferred method for booking. My mother sends me an OpenTable reservation when she feels like I’ve been avoiding her dinner invitations for too long. It’s the perfect way to make me feel like a bad son and ensure that I will actually attend the dinner. But the real moral of the story is that even she can make online reservations.

When running a restaurant or a hotel, it is now a requirement that your reservation software handle online booking because so many users take advantage of it. Do-it-yourself booking also helps save employees time, which might have otherwise been spent taking reservations over the phone. In general, providing an easy and intuitive format for booking improves the chances that a potential customer will make a reservation.

READ: The Consumerization of Corporate Travel: Airbnb and TripAdvisor

This is not a new phenomenon since nearly all reservation software solutions offer this feature. However, being able to record mobile bookings is a different story. Services that offer mobile applications with a seamless workflow are a huge advantage in the industry. I’ve booked more on the Airbnb app than I have on their website, not to mention how many times I’ve been bored on the train and browsed the price of a mansion in Kauai.

An effective online booking tool doesn’t necessarily require a unique mobile application either, just a mobile-friendly reservation system is enough. There are many hotel websites that struggle to keep their mobile booking process intuitive; they will most likely lose business. According to Statistic Brain, 65 percent of same-day hotel reservations were made on a mobile device. This segment of customers may be minimal in comparison to those that book ahead, but in a highly competitive industry, any failed bookings are a loss. I know that, personally, if it is difficult to make a reservation on either a website or mobile app, I’m most likely going to find a different place to stay.

There are a ton of ways hospitality software ensures  businesses stay on top of pesky millennial ways of life; efficient reservation systems are just one of them. In the United States, millennials spend roughly $600 billion a year on goods and services, and that number will only continue to grow. Those that fail to adapt to the millennial mindset will simply fall off. Finding a way to capitalize on that spending without losing older generations is the sweet spot for hotels and restaurants and, with the right software, business owners can accomplish just that.

Examples of popular hospitality tools on G2 Crowd include HotSchedules, TouchBistro and Hotello.

Looking for more hospitality and hotel technology resources? Check out ThatAgency’s tips for hotel digital marketing campaigns.