May 12, 2023

The Rise Of Self-Serve In Hospitality


What Is Self-Serve?

Self-serve refers to any action that is typically undertaken by staff, which can instead be actioned by customers themselves. Self-serve technologies are already broadly implemented across the leisure, hospitality, and food & beverage industries – for example, when you order your food at a restaurant by scanning a QR code or check in to a leisure resort by using one of the on-site screens, you are participating in self-serve. 

Why Use Self-Serve In Hospitality?

Self-serve technologies come with an abundance of benefits for your business, most notably as self-serve can significantly streamline your processes. Research indicates that 49.4% of customers find self-serve options quicker than interacting directly with staff members – there’s no need to wait for staff to become available, and there’s no risk of human error slowing down processes when you utilise an automated system. Visitors also enjoy the level of convenience too, with 70% of people stating that they’d be willing to pay more for a more convenient service. 

Self-serve technologies are also simple to use – at Cloudline, we pride ourselves on how intuitive we have made our platform. Browsing, ordering and payment are all possible in just a few taps, making the user interface extremely simple for customers to understand. All orders are sent across to a Kitchen Display System (KDS) which is more intuitive and helps teams operate without having to count items on tickets when experiencing periods of high demand. This is true even if they have been operating outdated manual ticketing systems for decades. In short, integrating such impressive software that conveys your business as being ‘ahead of the curve’ is effortless to implement and get up and running, with installation taking as little as one hour..

Automated technologies also present ample opportunities to upsell. When the Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles implemented self-serve food & beverage kiosks across the venue, they experienced an increase in sales of 20%. Similarly, Cloudline’s digital Food & Beverage ordering system provides clients with an average increase in customer spend of 21.6%, demonstrating that self-serve technologies can be an invaluable asset to businesses looking to upsell. This is likely because of the manner in which customers are able to access food & beverage menus with self-serve: the autonomy afforded to customers via self-serve technologies provides them with all of their updated menu options, dietary information, product availability and prices without having to ask staff, who may not always be available. What’s more, with over 2 billion people using mobile payments every day, and many customers concerned about the risks of card cloning, mobile payments via self-serve technologies are fast becoming the preferred way to make purchases.

Speaking of staff availability, self-serve systems can take on more menial tasks such as taking orders, checking in customers and arranging payment for goods and services, which allows staff to focus on more meaningful tasks to drive your business forward. This is particularly beneficial if your business regularly suffers from being short staffed, as automated services ensure that your business can still function well with a smaller team and lower overheads. This does not mean that members of your hospitality team are redundant if you choose to implement self-serve technologies such as the Cloudline softwares – automated systems instead allow staff to prioritise more important tasks by taking care of the more simple yet time-consuming duties. In turn, this can actually contribute to an increase in staff morale and a reduction in staff turnover. 


Self-serve technologies can be used to help you automate a variety of tasks across your hospitality business:

Making Reservations

Booking activities or tables for your next meal can be done without physically walking up to a customer service desk to find a member of staff. Instead, customers can use progressive web apps which can be accessed by scanning a nearby QR code to book specific activities and see the availability of spaces, options and pricing in just a few clicks. This provides ultimate transparency for your customers which can further boost trust between consumer and business, not to mention that booking activities can be done in a matter of seconds.

Ordering Food And Beverage

Items can be ordered via apps or on-site screens that show up-to-date availability, detailed calorie and allergen information, and can enable users to customise their order before it is sent directly to the bar or kitchen to be made. No more errors in communication between customers and staff, and no more missed modifiers due to messy writing – your customers send their orders straight to your kitchen. This streamlined procedure can increase turnaround speed in the food and beverage sector by up to sixteen minutes. As a result, businesses can reduce delays and increase customer satisfaction. This is immensely important, as Cloudline’s research in How To Lose Revenue And Alienate Customers has demonstrated that slow response rates constitute a large number of customer complaints and poor review ratings. If wait times are a challenge for your business, self-serve technologies could be the remedy you’re looking for.


Checking yourself into resorts, restaurants and leisure facilities can be done digitally. This can mitigate frustratingly long queue times, especially during busy periods, and frees up staff to carry out other duties and tasks that cannot otherwise benefit from automation.

Frictionless Payments

Products and services across your business can be purchased online using digital wallets, without the need to find a member of staff to carry out the payment with you. This is a safe, simple and seamless way for your customers to purchase goods and services and is quickly becoming the new normal. In fact, a survey from Mastercard unveiled that 79% of global consumers prefer tap-to-go methods, likely due to the pandemic which saw contactless methods of payment become the preference for consumers who wished to avoid handling cash or touching pin-pads. 

One thing is for certain: self-serve is here to stay. 

If you’re looking to streamline your services, take the burden away from your staff, and create an ultra-modern customer experience that encourages your customers to spend more at your hospitality business, you can do no better than implementing self-serve technologies. The Cloudline platform can transform the way your hospitality business functions. From our intuitive order-and-pay systems that streamline your food and beverage delivery, to simple session booking that customers can easily navigate via their phone or tablet – we’ve truly mastered the art of self-serve. For further information on how Cloudline’s self-serve tools can streamline your processes, boost your revenue and simplify your staff’s workflow, fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

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