The key word for understanding IT budgets in the hospitality sector right now is tight. While strategic objectives and investments recognize the need for innovation and meeting new customer expectations, budgets as a percentage of revenue are lower than a year ago, when the average restaurant IT budget was 3.7% of revenue. This year, 65% of respondents report that their IT budgets are less than 3% of revenue, with only 17% at last year’s sweet spot of 3.55%.
When we asked restaurants to identify budget allocation to specific categories, 54%, as expected, will be allocated to maintenance of existing solutions, reflecting the need to leverage existing assets for their full value. But we still see significant allocations for innovation and developments and implementations in the coming year 2022.