Contactless payments, online booking systems and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme are the innovations the hospitality sector wants to keep going forward following the pandemic, according to new research.
Some 1,000 industry professionals, including 500 senior leaders, were surveyed by Nespresso Professional about their priorities going forward as the UK emerges from lockdown.
The research showed that 90% of businesses had adapted their operations over the past year, with over half (54%) of those questioned stating they wanted to keep contactless payments because it helped to run the business more efficiently, while one in four (42%) felt the technology was less stressful for employees.
Eat Out to Help Out, the government scheme introduced last August to encourage diners back into restaurants, was identified as a crucial innovation, which 75% of those surveyed found was very or somewhat effective in helping them to survive the pandemic.
Also important to operators was the introduction of touchless hand sanitiser, highlighted by 33% or respondents, and online booking systems (31%).
A third (32%) of senior leaders stated that social media was a key driver for business adaptation, helping consumers to remain in contact with hotels, restaurants and cafés, even when they have been closed.
Beth Langley, out-of-home director at Nespresso Professional, said: "It's been a hugely challenging year across the hospitality sector, yet the resilience, innovation and adaptability showcased has been incredible to see.
"It's clear that the digital aspects of hospitality are here to stay, with contactless payments, online bookings and social media all prominent features that have been adopted, expanded or delivered by business owners in the last 12 months."