Pubs must embrace new technologies in 2014, warns KPMG

Pub operators will need to take on new technology if they want to remain relevant in 2014, according to the director of KPMG’s Leisure Advisory Group.

Will Hawkley has stated that as more and more consumers adopt social media and smartphone technologies, pubs will need to keep up-to-date with these innovations if they want to stay profitable. There are five distinct sectors that Mr Hawkley believes that venues should focus on: big data, mobile payments, social media, wearable technology and funding.

Mr Hawkley said: “70 years ago, the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 Index was 75 years, today that has fallen to 15 years and in 2025 the expected life span will be five years. The winning companies of today could be losers very quickly if they fail to keep pace with the changes around them, no matter what industry or sector they are operating in."

The director added that examining customer data can make sure that companies build upon their long-term customer relationships, while cashless systems will enable individuals to feel like they can make speedy payments. It is vital that pubs remain as modern as possible if they are to maintain a healthy customer base and keep on generating hospitality jobs for local economies.

This announcement comes just a week after research by business advisory firm Zolfo Cooper was published, which revealed that 64 per cent of survey respondents owned a smartphone, 46 per cent of whom had used such a device to research a venue. Furthermore, 11 per cent of the sample had used contactless payments in a bar or restaurant in the past year, while 32 per cent would do so if they were given the chance in 2014.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.