the Restaurateur Hospitality Trends in Technology and Cyber Security January 29, 2015 New technology can greatly impact your customers experience, be sure your cyber security is keeping up in a changing marketplace. There are many applications for new technology especially in the hospitality industry and it has become increasingly important for businesses to keep up with new trends and apps to enhance the customer experience. New technology can be time-saving, engaging and oftentimes necessary for guests of hotels and restaurants. They can, however, pose major security issues for business owners. Cyber security is a concern for all. For hospitality businesses it poses unique challenges. 5 Important Trends in Technology Mobile check-ins- The use of mobile technology is increasing everywhere and hotels and restaurants are no exception. Many visitors have at least one mobile device, if not more. It is crucial to adopt a mobile-friendly approach to help guests check in, request room service or contact housekeeping. Some hotels even offer a mobile key service where guests can enter their rooms using their smartphones. This technology has become expected by many guests as hotels and restaurants aim to enhance their guests’ experience and cater to their needs.Cyber security tip! - Since you are likely giving very sensitive credit card information over your mobile device, be sure you are connected to a safe and valid server. There is also something called “geo tagging” which provides viewers access to your location, so be sure to disable that feature when you are in an unsure location. Kiosk and tablet services- Tablet use in restaurants is growing, most commonly to cut down the time between guest entry and order placement and provide guests with an easier and more comfortable method of ordering. Kiosks in hotels offer similar time-saving benefits by reducing the time spent in line at the check-in counter, not to mention they are both green! Wi-Fi- There has been increased demand for free Wi-Fi for all guests at hotels. Some establishments offer an incentive based program in which you receive free Wi-Fi if you are enrolled in the hotel’s loyalty program, for example. Millennials expect Wi-Fi wherever they go, so it has become an essential part of any establishment.Cyber security tip! - Be aware that some hotels request an email address in exchange for the free Wi-Fi. Make sure customers are comfortable giving it out! Also, be sure that your Wi-Fi is secured and protected, and always be cautious about visiting unprotected sites and releasing confidential information on an unprotected network. High tech meeting areas- The business community makes up a good portion of travelers to hotels and restaurants. It has become increasingly more important to implement technologically-friendly meeting spaces for traveling professionals. Hotels are adding charging stations and digital information centers and using new apps that allow visitors to request items prior to their stay, like coffee or specific room temperatures.Cyber security tip! - Protect sensitive information exchanged during a business meeting or conference with a reliable network that customers can connect to and a system for data protection. Online reviews- High tech services will likely wow customers but it is important to keep those customers returning, and to provide incentives for others to visit the establishment as well. Make sure your business has an updated and detailed online review because more often than not people will search around online when deciding where to stay or eat. The ease of doing business and providing excellent customer service can be greatly enhanced by technology. As your business implements new forms of technology, make sure your cybersecurity practices are up to date to support customer demands. Questions? Contact us.