Tech advances change the way hotels handle operations, guest experiences

(Banquet technology)

Hotel foodservice is benefiting from advancements in planning tools, ordering software and point-of-sale applications. The tech is changing the way hotels handle day-to-day operations and guest experiences.

“Technology is changing and we are just on the verge of understanding where it can go,” said David Morgan, vice president of food and beverage for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

In the past five years there has been almost full automation of the order process, he said.

“It’s hard to believe we used to be mailing banquet menus and in just a short period it has become more interactive,” Morgan said. “For instance, if you pick a particular dish we can offer wine suggestions.” 

In the past year, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Conference Center implemented an online application for banquet scheduling, which has been a game changer for the staff, according to Michael Hiltabidel, director of event planning and catering. The team can now see the banquet schedule and we can push out the menu to the team, he added.

“It’s a better way of transferring information,” Hiltabidel said.

The Gaylord employs 200 cooks, 350 banquet servers and 140 stewards. The old way of communicating a change in the banquet schedule required a scheduling office to make about 50 phone calls, he said.