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Hospitality technology: A review and reflection

Purpose – Technology is a combination of tools and crafts, a balance of hardware and software. Hospitality technology has advanced through innovation in the application of both machines and tools, and systems and organizations. The purpose of this paper is to offer perspective on past technological advancements and some predictions for those just on the horizon in the hospitality field. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the definition of technology and the changes that have occurred in the hospitality industry in relation to the technology used. It then goes on to make some forecasts about the use of technology for the future through past studies and an insight into the technology of today. Findings – Technology is heading in a direction that will produce more dramatic change than at any time over the past 100 years. Expected changes are to turn the hospitality industry from the age of labor to the age of wireless – as equipment becomes more efficient, less labor will be required. As the consumers and employees become more wireless in their orientation, restaurants, and hotels must be accommodating to these changes. Practical implications – Restaurants and hotels are adapting to technology at a slower pace than other organizations and that could mean problems as the technology continues to change at an extremely rapid rate over the next decade. The changes that are occurring will help with human resource practices in screening applications, bringing more knowledge of the brand to consumers and employees, processing of orders in a more efficient way, and eliminating some of the inefficiencies of old. Originality/value – The paper takes a look at the past and projects the current scenario related to technology and hospitality into the future. Human resource practices will change as the technology for training and recruiting gets more cost-effective, and guest services will improve as marketing can be done to the guests where they live – online and wireless.