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How to Do More With Less By Leveraging Omnichannel Communication For Hotels

by
Evelin Lima
4 days ago

One thing modernity has changed for good is how much customers have become impatient, expect a personalized experience, and have less tolerance for errors. The immediacy of social media and mobile access to real-time information have altered guests’ behavior into expecting to be answered on-demand no matter the stage of the buying journey they are in—what Google calls “micro-moments”. The alarming number of customer service channels is entirely new to hoteliers, while their response time window has shrunk more and more. Not to mention how previous interactions become a predicament as agents have to juggle different channels, trying to grasp some context to ensure guests feel heard and understood. This need to shorten the booking journey and have a broader view of simultaneous customer demands has brought omnichannel solutions to the table. That said, to better understand how omnichannel service software can change the game for hotels, we first need to think about the multichannel strategy.   What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel? Email and phone calls are not the only means of communication customers use anymore. Travelers want practicality and to reach hotels no matter the channel they are using at the moment. To be where travelers are, it’s in hotels’ best interests to diversify how people can find them—this is a multichannel strategy. But once hotels multiply their communication channels, how can they handle simultaneous incoming requests from Instagram, website chat, Facebook, Google Messages, and WhatsApp, for example? An omnichannel dashboard is the answer. Multichannel strategies have agents jumping between channels, trying to prioritize a constant flow of requests and questions. An omnichannel solution centralizes all channels into a unified inbox, while also keeping data shared between channels.   Why is omnichannel communication so relevant for hotels? When you broaden your reach with new communication channels, chances are you’ll be available when travelers are excited about the possibilities of a stay, ensuring more bookings coming your way. It is no coincidence that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers. On the profiting side, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a 494% higher order rate than those using a single-channel campaign. Google research shows that of all leisure travelers on smartphones, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, and nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel. Those are countless potential guests which hotels can reach by being present on different channels.   Innovation to save the day in the thick of hospitality staff shortage  An omnichannel solution has a more important than ever role to play for hotels. The present record shortage of hospitality staff the world over has hoteliers struggling to do all they can to prioritize tasks and ensure travelers don't feel the effect of yet another crisis. That is why this technology comes as a win-win. It creates unified workflows which catalyze a seamless experience for customers. It helps hotels drive the revenue they so desperately need right now. Additionally, an omnichannel strategy ensures managers assign the right agent to handle a certain segment or campaign. This way, you can distribute incoming queries and ensure that more experienced agents handle the most profitable opportunities.   Why is omnichannel communication so relevant for travelers? American customer service expert, Shep Hyken, advocates for a seamless experience and explains how having two or ten channels makes any business a multichannel provider. Rather, it is only when channels are interconnected that the omnichannel experience takes place. A report on the multichannel demands of customers showed that 63% of customers prefer a choice of channels to contact customer service, and that 50% of customers expect representatives to have access to previous interactions with the company. An omnichannel service platform ensures all communication channels are unified into a single window. Agents can not only see all the different channels in a macro view, but they can also track the chat history for every guest, ensuring a seamless experience. In practical terms, instead of accessing several tabs where one shows all incoming DMs on Instagram, another shows emails, and yet another all WhatsApp API messages, etc., agents have a broader view of each customer journey: Here is Mr. Smith, and he made first contact through Facebook messages two weeks ago, then he asked a question using the web chat, and now he is ready to book using email.   The Takeaway  Even if a traveler’s first touchpoint happened weeks in advance, a different attendant can take over without making them repeat themselves. Omnichannel communication service is a rock-solid way to five-star customer service. When agents are there to answer, travelers don't feel frustrated. In an industry where quality and timing are of the essence and workers are few, adopting an omnichannel solution has put many hotels ahead of their competitors. This approach creates a sense of continuity for guests and works as an extra pair of hands for agents, organizing the workflow distribution for hotels. As for hoteliers, this truly gets them more bookings out of less work by providing their teams with an optimized workflow that can clear out their plates to work on the prospects ready to make hotels run at full capacity.

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How Hotels Can Prepare for a New Influx of Guests

by
Sandra Holland
2 weeks ago

Over the course of several months, airlines have felt a massive surge in travel while guests amp up for a summer of leisure. And while this may seem like an opportune time to acquire guests and drive revenue, it can also leave hotels feeling inundated with bookings and requests. Especially with the new wave of labour shortages. As summer nears and requests continue to grow we’ve put together key tips on how to navigate a new wave of guests. So you can experience smoother operations and a thriving guest experience.   How To Prepare Your Hotel For An Influx of Guests  Identify touchpoints that matter.  Your hotel is compromised of multiple key touchpoints that come together to create the full experience. In accommodating an influx of guests, it’s important to take a look at your journey and identify areas to enhance. These could be moments like check-in, the waiting room for a spa visit, or at the entrance of your restaurant. Each moment will be different for each hotel, however, understanding these touchpoints can help you anticipate opportunities to address and issues to resolve - all before the employee gets inundated with requests.  Educate and arm your team.  Your employees are present in virtually every aspect of the guest experience. Therefore it’s important to set expectations and educate employees on ways to improve the experience when there are more guests to tend to. This can be done by holding regular meetings and showcasing different ways to tackle cleanliness, check-in, requests and more. The idea here is to keep the team organized and equip employees with the knowledge to be proactive.  Automate redundant tasks.  Redundant tasks are essential for hotel operations, however, they undoubtedly take away from an employee's valuable time and resources.  Especially with more guests, it’s important that your team be readily available and focused on the guest experience without feeling overwhelmed. In this instance, automated technology should be a top consideration. For instance, a technology that schedules messages or provides actionable data to empower employees to do more with less. We see this in action, through a common hotel example; the check-in experience. Historically done at reception when a guest first arrives, check-in is one of the more pivotal moments in the guest experience. Providing a first impression, many hotels are pivoting to include automated or tech-focused ways of checking in. This reduces crowding in your lobby, a lineup at your reception and of course eliminates the need for employees to complete redundant tasks. Employees simply schedule an email a few days prior with a pre-populated link to input their information. Using tools to simplify redundant tasks allows employees to better the experience and alleviates operational burdens. Further, you can reduce staff at reception and amp up employees where it matters most.  Automate request management.  With more guests pouring in, manually managing requests can give rise to an onslaught of challenges. Not only is it prone to error, but can lead to long wait times, inundated employees, errors in service fulfillment, a less-than-personal experience, or never receiving the request at all.  However, with these challenges comes the opportunity to become more proactive. Using automated technology that enables ticket management, guest requests can seamlessly make their way to your staff no matter where they are on-site. In most instances, sophisticated ticket management software will provide a cross-department view of what’s in progress and what’s awaiting action - for complete transparency and efficiency.   Insight into a personal experience.  While an influx of guests can get overwhelming, that doesn’t mean the guest experience has to suffer. In fact, in order to maintain your hotel's reputation with a new wave of guests, the experience must be top of mind. In that, personalization is one of the key ways of driving a great experience. It promotes loyalty by showing your guests you care about their sentiments and preferences. In fact, in a study conducted by Accenture, “91% of consumers surveyed said they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them”’. Similarly, “83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience.” As a tactic, personalization can create strong bonds. It could be as simple as remembering the guest's name or offering a service they’ve used in the past. However, you can also take it further by proactively asking for their preferences via a survey and leveraging things they’ve mentioned (number of pillows, water brand preference, room temperature, etc.) for future stays.  Enable effective communication.  Communication is everything when it comes to managing new guests - and that doesn’t just mean externally. Not only do guests need to have an effective way to communicate with employees, but employees need to understand what their team is doing and how to ask for help when needed.  In this case, opting for an omnichannel solution with internal messaging capabilities is key. Not only will it provide insight into guest communication preferences, but also allow you to tag and include other departments for visibility. More customers mean a greater chance of miscommunication, so adopting a solution that can provide greater transparency before bookings get out of control, can help you make the most out of a wave of guests.  Flexible Policies.  Although we’re navigating a space where strict requirements on COVID-19 are lessening, the virus is still prevalent and isolation is still required for those that are sick. Not to mention travel delays are currently on the rise and expected in the future. Offering flexible policies is a show of good faith in your guests. It exudes compassion for personal issues and instills trust. Although at times operationally, it may be challenging, offering flexible policies reinforces overall care for the guest and their experience.   Final Thoughts Preparing for an influx of guests can be intimidating at first. Especially if you’re experiencing labour shortages. However, pivoting to effectively master the experience while juggling a handful of new guests is impossible. By taking the aforementioned steps to map the guest journey, empower your team and communicate effectively, you can proactively manage the influx of guests to streamline operations and provide an unforgettable experience.

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How Hotel Owners Can Benefit from Mobile Tech Tools

by
Nikolai Kronborg
1 month ago

Firstly, mobile services allow hotels to improve their operational efficiency. Mobile digitalization facilitates the automation of tasks that otherwise have to be performed manually by hotel staff. These can be eliminated by having guests do it themselves in advance (e.g. fill in the information, registration card, check-in and out, online payment, choose and allocate rooms, chat, book spa, dinner, or golf reservations, etc). Besides requiring fewer human resources from the hotel that could be spared or employed in other higher-value tasks, the best part of this self-administrated service is that by transferring the tasks to the guests, it further improves their experience and satisfaction. Mobile digitalization gives freedom for guests to find their own convenience.   Connect with guests on-the-go and extend the relationship beyond the duration of the stay Secondly, mobile services lead to a more customer-focused service and create a more personalized and on-premise accessible experience. For instance, more than 50% of American leisure travelers would use an app to add extras on-the-go during their hotel stays. Mobile services also help to maintain long-term relationships and two-way communication anytime during the guest’s journey and better manage loyalty programs.   Optimizes the value per guest and targets their specific needs In turn, this widens the opportunity to target guests’ specific needs, hence allowing hotels to focus their strategy on the optimization of each guest’s value. Mobile apps have an additional advantage, they work as direct channels to guests by integrating with customer support and feedback systems, as well as with broader online review platforms. Lastly, mobile apps can potentially capture late bookers. Over 70% of same-day hotel reservations are made on smartphones, thus, an optimized mobile experience can be the key to unlocking the value of late bookers,- and re-bookings.   What are guests really expecting from mobile hospitality? Guests want pre-arrival check-in and avoid reception queues. A study conducted by Ipsos and Aeroguest asked guests what characteristics they would value the most in their hotel experiences. We found out that Wi-fi and breakfast are essentials for every stay and in most cases could be deal-breakers. However, if we look into what mobile hospitably can add to the stay, then the best experience includes being able to check in earlier, check out later and cut these two steps shorter by avoiding queues and crowds in the reception, thus supporting a more convenient and contactless hotel stay. These are also the top two benefits that both business travelers and tech-savvy hotel guests are hoping their hotels will make available.   QUESTION: CHOOSE THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF MOBILE HOSPITALITY (the size of the picture is proportional to the utility level. Only 11 features are shown, total utility sums to 100%)   Guests are willing to pay to select their own room Having a room with a view and being able to select a specific room within the desired room type is also among the most valued features. This capability directly addresses another aspect that this study found guests to be unsatisfied with their hotel experiences. “When I book a room, I want to know what I am getting” This feature breaks the uncertainty factor and provides the choice and transparency needed when evaluating which hotel room to pick. Guests will know if the room meets their needs, where it is located, what view it has from the window, and if the requested extras have been acknowledged. This is another feature that mobile hospitality providers such as AeroGuest support, but not all hotels, web services, and apps give this opportunity to guests,- it is very difficult to build and has to be two-way integrated to multiple PMS across the world. An even more relevant aspect though, is that hotel guests are willing to pay to select their own room. 42% of hotel guests and almost 60% of business travelers would be likely or very likely to pay for choosing a specific room, and these would be willing to pay, on average, an extra 7% of the room price to choose their ideal room.   QUESTION: HOW LIKELY WOULD YOU BE TO PAY EXTRA FOR CHOOSING A SPECIFIC ROOM BEFORE ARRIVAL?   QUESTION: HOW MUCH WOULD YOU BE LIKELY TO PAY FOR CHOOSING YOU OWN ROOM?   In sum, mobile services not only yield operational efficiencies but also allow to upsell of some completely new services such as room selection and adding extras before and during the stay and to better capture re-booking.  

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Guest Experience Tech Goes Well Beyond Messaging

by
Francis X Garcia
2 months ago

AI Conversational Guest Messaging is quickly becoming a “must have” not only for premiere hoteliers, but for all sectors. Implementing Smart Guest Messaging has been documented to increase daily engagement of in-stay guests over 500%, from the historical 5%-10% via e-mail and web to above 50% via SMS, WhatsApp, etc. This leap in hotel guest communications at some hotels will foster in new guest expectations for most, if not all hotels. This conclusion is supported by the findings of HotelTech’s behavioral research published earlier this year. Within the audiences most important to hoteliers, 1) Text messages have a whopping 82% open rate   2) Over 80% of text messages are read within 5 minutes 3) 78% of texters say messaging is the fastest way to reach them. So, after experiencing the conveniences of smart guest messaging in one hotel, they are not likely to accept inconveniences in other hotels such as waiting in long lines, calling the front desk for everything, being put on hold, silencing their concerns, calling to make reservations, ordering room service, or even using a “communal” telephone in a post pandemic world.

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8 Essential KPIs for Measuring Hotel Chatbot Effectiveness

by
Richard Conn
2 months ago

Chatbots are integral to any great ecommerce strategy. In the hotel business, bookings and customer support requests often take place over asynchronous communication channels like email. This can be slow and frustrating for both customers and your business.  But chatbots are taking the hospitality world by storm and revamping the overall guest experience. Integrating chatbots into your business strategy can be hugely beneficial for any type of hotel. Whether you run a boutique hotel in the countryside or a luxury hotel in the city, chatbots can help you provide customers with the answers they need without waiting in hold queues or getting lost in endless email chains. There are plenty of business processes examples that can be automated with the use of an AI chatbot. It’s not enough to simply install a bot on your hotel website or social media page and just let it do its thing. Like any other part of your business strategy, your chatbot needs to be measured, analyzed, and optimized. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help you do just that.

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The Top Channels to Connect with Your Hotel Guests For An Engaging Stay

by
Sandra Holland
2 months ago

Today there’s no shortage of new and engaging ways to connect with your guests. From modern channels like Twitter and Facebook Messenger to more traditional channels like email or SMS, understanding what channels you should leverage is key to developing an exceptional experience. In this blog, to help you select the right channels and uncover what’s trending in hospitality, we’re sharing the top channels hotels should be considering. Let’s explore.   Considerations Before Adopting Channels Before jumping into what channels are thriving in the hotel industry it’s critical to understand what will work for you specifically. In order to uncover this, consider; Channels your guests are already using  Channels that resonate with your overall objective Channels that align with specific tasks or service opportunities  Having these points top of mind will help you select channels with a more strategic mindset. In turn, providing the tools to drive loyalty and maximize return.   4 Channels To Consider For Your Hotel It goes without saying that over the years, guest preferences have changed greatly. As new channels emerge and capabilities expand, it’s important to always be in the know. Below we highlight some of the top-performing channels to date with a promising future in hospitality. Email For decades email has been a top communication tool with guests. And while historically, email has been used to send booking confirmations and check-in/out details, today, email is used for much more. With the “always-on” mindset, email is a great way to connect with guests during their stay. Inviting them to excursions, informing them of upcoming specials, and communicating with them about any requests. Further, email is a great way to collect feedback, encourage reviews and most importantly opt into your marketing flow. Once they’re in, it’s easy to upsell, cross-sell, and provide timely updates on hotel happenings. WhatsApp Over the years, WhatsApp has grown tremendously, offering unique features that cater directly to businesses. As a benchmark, today 2 billion minutes of WhatsApp calls are made every day, and the number of WhatsApp users in the United States alone is projected to reach 85.8 million in 2023. For hotels, this growth is even more apparent, as it’s grown in popularity due to its real-time capabilities. Connecting with reception is simplified and since most travellers use the app, it's a great way to encourage conversation. Further, using WhatsApp and its business features, hotels can set up their own business  profile, templated messages and offer features like read receipts, video calling, group chats, status updates and more. It’s a great way to engage guests from the moment they walk onto your property to well after they’ve left.   Phone A traditional channel that’s still used quite commonly, a phone call is an effective way to encourage direct communication. Connecting guests to different departments like reception or housekeeping, it allows guests to address their issues in real-time. That said, with phone calls, there are a few downfalls including; reception being inundated with requests, no digital receipts and as more and more digital channels emerge, less appeal. In this instance, it’s important to monitor your customer's preferences, along with industry trends.   Tablets In and Out of Room Whether you have a tablet in-room or have a tablet beside reception, using a digital screen is a great way to offer room service options, communicate with various departments, promote any upcoming specials/events and ask for feedback. The great thing about tablets is that they’re intuitive, offer flexibility, and simplify the experience for those who don’t want to download an app or are hesitant about calling in. In addition, tablets can collect a range of information about your guest and their preferences. Over time this can be useful in understanding upcoming trends with future guests, or to personalize a stay.   Communicating on Multiple Channels While offering one channel in line with customer preferences is a great place to start, the key to a thriving guest experience is offering multiple channels that work together for a cohesive experience. This means adopting an omni-channel mindset. One that considers customer preferences and ensures that if a guest decides to hop from one channel to another, the brand experience doesn’t change. This is crucial as today, many businesses adopting multiple channels aren’t keeping experience top of mind. In fact, 61% of surveyed customers claim they haven’t been able to easily switch from one channel to another when interacting with a brand. For hotels, streamlining the process could be as simple as dedicating specific employees to address conversations, allocating hours of the day to check the various channels you offer, or more efficiently, adopting a customer experience solution that consolidates all messages.   Considering a Solution To Streamline Communication As mentioned above, the idea of adopting an omni-channel program can seem overwhelming, especially for a hotel. However, with the help of a sophisticated customer experience solution, managing communication between customers can be simplified through a consolidated inbox. Taking all the channels you offer a CX solution will bring them into one inbox and showcase sentiment in real-time. This deters employees from having multiple windows open and potentially missing an incoming message. In that same breath, having a key CX solution can also help in terms of hotel request management. With the ability to tag and route messages to their appropriate department, the request is always seen by the right employee for a prompt and accurate response. In addition, employees can message each other internally for any out-of-scope questions and mark the inquiry as resolved to ensure there is no overlap. Lastly, a customer experience solution can help you better understand your customers and their preferences. With analytics on channel type, location, time to respond, employee performance, trending topics, and more, you can offer channels that align with your objectives and correct service to ensure a seamless experience every time.

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Smart Guest Messaging Quickly becoming a “Must-Have”

by
Francis X Garcia
3 months ago

Losing the human touch has traditionally made some hoteliers reluctant to embrace technological innovations such as in-stay guest messaging or texting via brand App. The pandemic has changed that. Both guests and staff now desire more contactless engagement such as contactless check-in while staff shortages require new and innovative solutions. One example being AI conversational guest messaging which significantly reduces the number of guest calls to the front desk and housekeeping. Smartphone use is now universal amongst guests and travelers and most of us now depend upon our mobile devices to inform, answer, clarify, notify...and vent! Of course, the “human touch” is still expected of our hosts, but travelers now also want, or demand that their mobile phones be used to enhance the quality of their travel.   From “Nice to have” to “Must have” Imagine the advent of the in-room landline telephone. At first there was likely a hesitancy by hotels to add these contraptions to every room as it was expensive and likely to just add more headaches to the staff by making it easier for guests to make requests, complain or simply ask monotonous questions. Ultimately however, a room without a telephone was destined to be a room without a guest. A “must have” as they say. The guest experience with the telephone in the room for the first time must have been exhilarating! After experiencing this, how acceptable would it have been for most guests to then stay in a hotel that did not provide that same telephone convenience? As we now know, it became…unacceptable. When we consider guest messaging, and especially AI conversational messaging, there are many similarities to the mandate for land lines in every room. The main difference with the comparison is that we all already have smart phones, so the mandate for in-stay mobile guest communications will likely be more urgent, and less costly, after guests experience the benefits of a robust, seamless Digital Concierge. Given its many conveniences, smart guest messaging is here to stay, and it will soon, if not already, be considered a “must have” within the industry. Eventually, guests will become accustomed to the conveniences of AI conversational messaging, and they will no longer be willing to accept; waiting in long lines, calling the front desk for everything, being put on hold, silencing their concerns, calling to make reservations, or ordering room service…   In-Stay Guest Messaging evolves to Smart AI Guest Messaging    There is another, very important reason that guest messaging is relevant. It typically increases in-stay guest engagement by more than 5X over the traditional e-mail communications. So, during a given weeks stay, whereas about 5% to 10% of in-stay guests may e-mail or visit the hotel website to gather information, that percentage skyrockets to well over 50% of in-stay guests communicating with the hotel via AI guest messaging when available. So, what is AI conversational guest messaging and how is it different than traditional “guest messaging”? The simple answer: intelligence. With its AI, the Concierge becomes a self-learning communication robot that leverages big data and machine learning to continuously get better and better. The ultimate result: happier guests (which equates to return guests!) and more productive staff. Houston, we have a staffing problem! So, why not make the current staff more productive by freeing them from many menial and repetitive tasks? How does this connection between AI guest messaging and a more productive staff work? One example is front desk calls where we see AI guest messaging reducing the number of calls by 25% or more. This makes the staff more productive and the guests happier because they are getting their answers more quickly via their smart phones, while waiting in shorter lines and being attended to more quickly when at the front desk. This giant leap in guest engagement means a hotel is consistently communicating with over half of its in-stay guests, and hotels begin to experience transformative capabilities and results. Dramatically increased guest communications mean dramatically increased guest feedback & real-time response, guest purchases & upsells, contactless guest check-in and more. Ultimately, the entire guest experience blossoms into a tsunami of incremental guest data that the hotel can now leverage, potentially ushering in a true renaissance in the hospitality industry.  

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Boost Hotel F&B Revenue with Workflow Management

by
Kamini Patel
3 months ago

Today’s hotel guests are not only looking for a comfortable place to stay, but memorable dining experiences as well. Over the past couple of years, however, new trends have significantly reshaped the hotel industry’s F&B operations and workforce. Hoteliers must find new ways to satisfy guest demand and increase profit margins. The right technology helps you better manage F&B workflow and boost your bottom line. Today’s hotel guests are not only looking for a comfortable place to stay, but memorable dining experiences as well. With consumer’s pent-up demand for restaurant service remaining high, food-and-beverage (F&B) service can be a major contributor to your hotel’s positioning in the market, helping you drive unique guest experiences and differentiating your business from competitors.  Yet the past couple of years have reshaped the hotel industry’s F&B operations in ways that have significantly impacted profit margins. According to the 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, food, labor and occupancy costs are expected to remain elevated. And 40 percent of restaurant operators are not yet open to full capacity for on-premises dining, with 7 in 10 reporting that it’s due to staffing shortages. On top of this, there’s increased demand for curbside pick-up, take-out and delivery services. A key way of addressing these challenges lies in choosing technology solutions that optimize management of F&B workflow. The right solutions can mean the difference between becoming more lucrative or experiencing a quick demise. With an advanced hotel application, you can improve key aspects of your F&B workflow as well as your bottom line.   Create Efficiencies with Mobile Reservations Making restaurant reservations via phone calls is quickly becoming a thing of the past. A hotel app that offers guests the ability to book a table online offers a number of benefits for the guest and your F&B workflow. First, it improves the guest experience by giving them the freedom to plan in advance and make their bookings while on-the-go. Research from the 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study revealed that 53 percent of your guests expect the ability to make their dining reservations online. On the operations side, a mobile-first reservation system helps you better manage waitlists and provide speedier seating, eliminating the cost and hassle of pagers by letting you text guests when their table is ready. An automated system eliminates reservation mix-ups and accidental double bookings that can occur due to the stress of front-of-house (FOH) staff dealing with constantly ringing phones. And because an app offers the capability to include additional comments, you can plan ahead to personalize service for those guests needing a high chair or celebrating a special event.   Streamline In-House Dining with Online Ordering Providing the ability for guests to place F&B orders via your hotel app using their personal mobile devices is another efficient and easy-to-use digital option that benefits workflow. For in-house dining, because you’ll no longer require servers to take each order, you can operate effectively with less staff. In fact, 80 percent of restaurant operators say that labor savings is a top benefit they’ve experienced when implementing online ordering, along with easier order processing and higher average checks. The entire system is expedited because guests can place orders as soon as their ready. This translates to less wait time, faster table turnover, and thus greater revenue. Online ordering increases accuracy since guests are communicating any meal customization and special requests themselves. And it satisfies the expectations of today’s guests, particularly younger travelers, with 43 percent of Millennials and 55 percent of Gen Z-ers preferring to order food and beverages via an app on their smartphone.   Improve Food Delivery Services with Online Ordering Mobile ordering also creates efficiencies with room service and food delivery. Since no human is required to take orders, guests are no longer stuck on hold while team members juggle calls during peak hours. And GPS location within an app makes it easy to deliver food or cocktails directly to guests on your property, whether they’re in their room or lounging poolside. The self-service aspect of online ordering simplifies the process and allows for revenue-lifting increases in order volume. On average, restaurant operators see a 43 percent increase in order frequency for takeout and a 29 percent increase for delivery orders. Another benefit is that apps collect F&B analytics from guest orders. Hotel restaurant operators can use this data to track fulfillment and delivery times, monitor inventory and analyze which dishes are most popular. The data also allows you to develop promotions designed to build off-peak demand, target specific guest segments and create discount strategies. Over half of restaurant operators state that these tailored promotions are much more effective than standard promotions.   Digital Options Improve Menu Management & Marketing Switching from physical to digital menus gives you the flexibility to include multiple menus within your hotel app, such as separate menus for your in-house restaurant, room service and group events. You can also develop custom menus, reducing time-consuming phone calls with questions about ingredients or gluten-free options, and satisfying the majority of your guests that expect the ability to preview menus and nutritional information online. Menus can be changed and updated instantly without the need for staff to physically swap them out in the restaurant or waste time replacing them inside in-room compendiums. Unavailable options can be removed in real time, helping you avoid guest disappointment. You can also boost revenue and streamline F&B marketing by promoting specific menu options at optimal times, such as offering a special on warm, comfort foods during cold days, suggesting specific food and drink pairings, and highlighting menu options that give you the highest profit margin.   Enhance Internal Communication with In-App Text & Chat In hotels, texting or chat for internal communication offers immediacy as well as the ability to track conversations. It speeds up workflow by allowing tasks to be communicated and handled more quickly. And it also expedites the tedious and time-consuming job of employee scheduling. Contacting a large number of staff via email or phone call isn’t practical, especially when it comes to time-sensitive notifications such as shift changes and event updates. Automated text messaging within a hotel app creates an efficient way for hotel restaurant operators to instantly contact staff. It also makes it quick and easy for employees to handle tasks such as searching for substitutes, trading shifts with co-workers or requesting vacation time.     Mobile Payment Simplifies BOH Operations The standard payment process is time consuming, requiring manual card entry, verification, reconciliation, chargebacks and disputes. Mobile payment through an integrated app allows restaurants to simplify back-of-house (BOH) operations by directly linking dining POS systems to your hotel’s PMS. This lets you easily assign a specific guest room to an F&B order so that the invoice is applied to the guest’s account with just one click. When guests pay directly through your app, it also diminishes mistakes and drastically reduces reconciliation times. Furthermore, you enhance satisfaction and loyalty because you’re meeting guests’ expectations, with 84 percent of all demographic groups preferring restaurants accept digital, contactless payment options.   In Summary  An integrated hotel application provides an ideal platform for improving overall hotel F&B performance by incorporating self-service reservation booking, mobile menu options, online ordering and payment solutions along with internal chat and texting features. When you implement the right solution, you create a winning synergism that delivers significant efficiencies to your F&B workflow while improving guest satisfaction and profitability at the same time.

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Hotel Sustainability: 27 Statistics Illustrating the Growth of ESG in the Hotel Industry

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 months ago

Are you wondering if the industry’s focus on sustainable practices is just a passing trend or if the sustainable hotels movement is here to stay? Or are you looking for inspiration as you strive to make your hotel more diverse and inclusive? It’s not only travelers who are increasingly looking for more sustainable and ethical options where they can stay at hotels who focus on initiatives for a clean carbon footprint and minimal environmental impact like food waste reduction and reducing high impact guest experience touch points like daily room cleanings. Investors, hospitality management professionals and owners are recognizing that hotels that rate highly on the ESG scale are not only attractive investments, but they also provide the services and benefits that both guests and employees are looking for. Hotels are a large stakeholder within local environmental ecosystems and given the hospitality industry’s carbon intensive nature (i.e. flying on an airplane) hoteliers are sensitive to ensure that once guests arrive at their destination that they do everything they can to minimize impact. The good news is that there are tons of great options today like low-flow toilets, reusable refillable bottles, digital key cards, organic food, composting straws and energy-saving air conditioning. In this article, we’ll explain what exactly ESG means for hotels and run through 27 statistics that show ESG in the hotel industry is here to stay.

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50+ Hospitality Statistics You Should Know (2022)

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 months ago

Wondering just how big the hospitality industry is? Or curious to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic affected hotel employment, revenue, and occupancy? In this article, we’ll dig into over 50 shocking statistics about the accommodations industry tapping critical datasets such as the bureau of labor statistics, travel industry organizations like the AHLA and Statista. These stats touch on global trends, history, brands and independents, and even guest preferences and loyalty. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of employment in the hotel industry and booking trends too. By the end of this article, you’ll be a more knowledgeable hotelier with a pulse on the latest hotel industry news. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!