A report from leading hospitality tech firm Zonal, conducted by futures research company Trajectory, into the attitudes of young teenagers has found that technology will play a significant role in attracting future guests, with 42% of teenagers who use social media hourly saying they have visited a venue because they saw it on their feed.
The report Face-to-Face time, the teenage take on hospitality and technology, also identifies that traditional preferences still play a large role when it comes to choosing where to go. When asked about how they choose a café or restaurant to go to, the top teen answer was ‘the quality of food and drink’ (63%) followed by ‘how much it costs’ (52%).
It highlights the significant role technology is likely to have when it comes to attracting future guests and delivering the experience they desire. More than half of teens (55%) think businesses should use data in order to only show the best products, services and offers for them and the majority think digital payments are the way forward, with 57% believing they won’t use cash to pay in shops or restaurants when they are an adult.
The survey of 500 teenagers also found that they still prefer in-person interaction over virtual socialising, despite having grown up surrounded by technology and social media. While 69% of all teenagers surveyed believe technology has a positive impact on society, more than half (55%) prefer to spend time with friends face-to-face as opposed to online.
“This report highlights that today’s teenagers will increasingly expect technology excellence as an integral part of their hospitality experience,” says Zonal group product director Alison Vasey.
“At Zonal, we have developed a range of business solutions that support the operator and customer journey. We continue to innovate and create solutions that will benefit the sector for years to come and ensure that any technology enables customers to enjoy face-to-face social interaction and experiences that every generation craves.”
For the report, Zonal also canvassed the opinions of young people who work in hospitality, hosting a discussion at the Institute of Hospitality’s Passion for Hospitality event in November for 18 to 25-year-olds. This highlighted the potential for technology’s increasing role behind the scenes, with one young hospitality worker suggesting utilising voice-activated technology, such as the shopping list feature on Google Home or Alexa: “When you’re doing stock ordering, there is always one item you forget. If during the shift, you throw away your last bottle of vodka, you could add that to your Alexa shopping list immediately as opposed to waiting until the end of your shift. That would be useful.”
The findings in the report are based on a survey of 500 teenagers - split between 252 teenagers aged between 13 and 15, and 248 aged 16 and 17 – and two focus groups that took place via video call, with one group of teenagers aged between 13 and 15 and the other consisting of 16 and 17-year-olds.