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What Does a Night Auditor Do in a Hotel?

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

If you’re considering a full time or part time night auditor job - or preparing to hire a night auditor - you’ve come to the right place. While many people are familiar with the job of a hotel front desk agent since it's during the day shift, the night auditor’s responsibilities aren’t as well known despite providing high paying entry-level positions at hotels. In this article, we’ll explain what a night auditor role entails, what skills will set you up for success as a night auditor, and offer advice for landing a night.

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Self Check-in Kiosks For Hotels: 2022 Hotel Kiosk Guide

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Are you grappling with a tighter budget at your hotel, a staffing shortage, or changing guest preferences toward contactless options? The hospitality industry is more resource constrained than ever and you're not alone. It can be challenging to deliver a high standard of service when faced with constraints like reduced hotel staff due to rising labor costs. However, the guest experience doesn’t need to suffer if you have fewer employees or less face-to-face interaction. Self-service options like check-in kiosks can bring a slew of benefits to guests, employees, and hotel owners and managers. Everyone knows that first impressions determine the majority of our perceptions about brands and people - the check-in experience is no different and it's highly correlated with overall customer satisfaction. In this article, we’ll explain what a self check-in kiosk can do, how it plays into the contactless hotel trend, and we’ll show you how your hotel can achieve better guest satisfaction scores, higher profitability, and greater productivity by implementing self check-in kiosks.

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Top Hotel Management Software in 2022

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

During the HotelTechAwards, hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue, and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations.

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How to Prepare Your Hotel Budget in 8 Steps

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Whether you're a general manager, sales manager, marketer or revenue manager - everyone has felt the pains of budgeting season.  This stressful time of year has become even more stressful in the wake of the pandemic which has rattled the hotel business and made planning for the future an impossible task. Ever wish you could peer into the future and see what your hotel’s occupancy or RevPAR will be a year from now? We don’t have a crystal ball, but preparing a solid budget for your hotel is the next best thing. If you’ve never set a budget, or if the words “budget season” bring back bad memories of hours spent huddled over spreadsheets in a conference room, then you’ve come to the right place. Preparing your hotel budget doesn’t need to be painful; in fact, it can be a valuable exercise to assess the current state of affairs and to brainstorm about your goals for the future. In this article, we’ve distilled the hospitality industry budgeting process into 8 steps. While it might be easier said than done, these steps can help you find synergy with other departments during the process and set a budget that takes into consideration a variety of internal and external factors. Let’s get started!

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5 Techniques to Collect More Feedback and Reviews from Your Guests

by
Andrew Gogus
3 hours ago

With most of the world population having access to the internet, it has widely changed how consumers shop for virtually everything. Being able to surf the web and find out information about products/services, has become the common practice before taking any kind of action. This research helps the consumers feel comfortable and confident in the decision they are about to make. The fact is, 90% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.   Online presence and reputation are among the key factors in providing a constant revenue stream for your property. Online reviews have greatly increased in power while shaping a consumer’s behavior. They provide credibility to the hotel and help the guests make their decisions easier. The more reviews, the better - even the not-so-positive ones because it will give you a definite signal of what needs to be done in order to enhance your guest’s experience. This is one of the reasons that reviews are not only important to guests but to hoteliers. Sometimes it is hard to notice the little mistakes or improvements that need to be done, and that's why when a guest leaves a review on how the hotel can better itself, this can only be beneficial. Good reviews are important to hoteliers also because they provide free marketing. More reviews will boost your online visibility and will help your accommodation show up on higher rankings. That is why you should focus on collecting as many reviews as you can from your guests. This will help keep your reviews up-to-date and establish a deeper sense of trust.  In this article, you will find the latest techniques and some traditional methods to collect reviews from your guests.   Train Your Staff to Interact with Guests No matter how digital the world gets, real-life personal relationships are still and will always be the strongest form of bond between any two people. Train your staff in guest relationships and tell them not to be shy to interact with guests. At the end of the day, this is the hospitality industry. The most important factor is timing - do not try to engage with the guests if they are rushing, busy with something else, or just seem like they’re in a bad mood. The guest relationship is a very important factor especially in the hospitality industry, increasing your positive guest experience will boost your chances of them leaving a review.   Call or Text Guests During Their Stay Just to Check In Carrying out calls to your guests is an important part of your guest’s experience and in collecting more feedback and reviews. Implementing a system where your staff call the guests during their stay and check if everything is ok and if there is anything they need, will make them feel important and will show that you care about them. Along with in-stay calls, placing a follow-up call after the guest has left your property, to reaffirm that everything was satisfactory during their stay, is a good strategy to build your guest relationships and collect additional reviews.   Leverage Low Tech Comment Cards Sometimes old school tactics can be effective, but they are also more time-consuming and costly. Before the internet, this was one of the best ways to get honest feedback from your guests. Trying to design creative and funny cards that will encourage your guests to leave their feedback online and place them in strategic places at your property. You want your cards to be seen after all.   Master Automated Email Marketing Although some people may undervalue the power of emails, it is still the online communication channel that produces the highest ROI and having the right hotel CRM is critical. This is why it is very important for you to have your guests’ email addresses (with their permission of course) and to stay in contact even after they have stayed at your property. Emails save time, money, and are convenient for both the sender and receiver. This is the most efficient way to collect the most reviews. With a guest relationship management product, like the one HotelRunner offers, you can keep in touch with your guests 24/7 and provide immediate solutions to their problems and also send automated emails to your guests post-booking, pre-arrival, in-house, and post-stay. Thus, you can improve the guest experience and ask them to review your property after their stay.   Tap Software with Direct Integrations to Popular Platforms like Google Google is the leading metasearch engine, and with the most searches being done on their website, it is crucial your property has a positive presence. Review count and quality will help your accommodation’s visibility and allow it to show up on a higher ranking. Especially if guests are searching for local hotels, reviews will boost your property’s visibility so it shows up over others. Also, when potential guests search for your hotel on Google or Google Maps, having positive reviews and a high star rating will increase their chance of choosing your property. You can easily increase the revenues of your property by converting all the positive comments and ratings you have collected over time into bookings. The only thing you need for this is an integration that allows you to receive direct bookings via Google and Google Maps. With Google Hotel Ads integration, which you can start with a single click via HotelRunner, you can turn lookers who already have a good impression of your property into bookers.   Using these techniques and collecting more reviews will increase the quality and credibility of your property. As mentioned, not all negative reviews are bad too. It's important to keep an open mind, and understand where your guests are coming from. Learning, understanding, and improving on the negative will greatly improve your future guests’ experience. The key is to highlight your positive guest experiences while taking action on the negative feedback, which will eventually maximize revenue opportunities.  

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Get Smart: Are You Running an Intelligent Hotel?

by
Sean Beardmore
3 hours ago

There’s no question that, in these unprecedented times, hotels are facing serious challenges. With the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic impacting so much in the hospitality sector – and these effects varying from season to season and, even, month to month – hoteliers are trying to fulfill the needs and desires of loyal and new guests like never before. To remain open and build the seeds of resurgence for when the coronavirus has receded and, mercifully, the pandemic is behind us, owners are coming to the realisation their hotels must become more intelligently-run enterprises. They need to become hotels run as efficiently and effectively as possible – they need to become ‘intelligent hotels’. But what does this mean in practice? What does an intelligent hotel look like? It comes down to the systems implemented and maintained, on a daily basis. It’s about trying to maximise profit by ensuring a hotel offers direct room-booking and that marketing activity and revenue management blend and work together seamlessly – and then using this symbiotic relationship to increase the revenue-per-available room (RevPar) to drive up bottom-line revenue.   Intelligent Advertising So, if you’re seeking to run your hotel more intelligently, where to start? Well, advertising the property and its available rooms in the smartest way possible, direct to potential guests via pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads, isn’t a bad place to start. This is because it would ensure your available rooms are advertised not just when they become available, but also to exactly the kind of people most likely to book them. Indeed, to run their property ‘intelligently’, then, a hotelier may well seek out top-of-the-range ‘intelligent ads’ software to complement and enhance their PPC activity. Such a solution would be designed to exploit the hotel’s data insights, in order to drive and improve Google Ads performance, by targeting the most likely bookers and so, in turn, maximise room reservations and increase additional spend on services and amenities. Now, if this kind of digital marketing sounds state-of-the-art, that’s because it is. ‘Intelligent ads’ software solutions like this are at the sharp end of room advertising, ensuring hoteliers can reap the rewards of the latest integrated marketing techniques and digital technology. They seek to drive up revenues at a time when the industry’s facing great instability; when hoteliers are seeking certainties to remain competitive, progress and look to the future with confidence instead of mere hope. ‘Intelligent ads’ solutions tend to be automated; you can set them up as you want and leave them to do their thing – confident they’ll get on and do exactly what they should. For instance, once you’ve set the objectives and the spending limits for your PPC campaigns, you can trust the module to run the campaigns without you having to step in, check on or oversee anything. The software doesn’t just target the right audience but also works out the most profitable target keywords, uses them in ad campaigns and – by scouring past market data drawn from previous campaigns – recommends new keywords for use.   A Great Guest Management Platform All that notwithstanding, any ‘intelligent ads’ solution will be enhanced if it’s capable of connecting and interacting with an outstanding guest management system (GMS). Why? Because if the software is fully integrated with a GMS, it means a hotel owner can maximise their data to convert exactly the guests they desire into bookers. So, what does such a comprehensive management system look like? Well, as a fully-GDPR-compliant, all-in-one platform, it will deliver full guest-data-intelligence to hotel owners. It will be capable, too, of interacting with practically any property management system (PMS) and social media platform to enhance its analysing, quantifying, segmenting and predicting of loyal guest behaviour. In essence, then, an ‘intelligently run’ hotel would be making use of a management system that’s really a GMS/ CRM-plus; being able to harness its AI functionality to not just collate guest data but analyse details of guests’ social attributes, stay behaviour and historical spend. In turn, this would provide a hotelier with invaluable knowledge of their core customers, ensuring the platform can aid intelligent-ads in reaching these customers with pertinent, personalised content and offers – thereby converting them into bookers precisely as and when needed. Moreover, from its single, central dashboard an ‘intelligent’ GMS of this kind would take control of messaging. It would manage marketing emails and social media messages to all the hotel’s followers, as well as analyse these followers. It would create and send out personalised surveys to all or specific guests – before, during and after their stays. Plus, it would enable hoteliers to analyse guest reviews and respond to these reviews – not just on social media accounts/ platforms but also on much-used hotel review sites – thus, making sure they can fully manage their hotel’s online reputation.   A Brilliant Booking Engine Finally, to operate as an ‘intelligent hotel’, a property has to be backed up not just by an outstanding GMS and be able to fire off intelligent ads, but also exploit the advantages offered by a brilliant booking engine. Why? Because a guest’s experience with a hotel doesn’t begin when they walk through the front door and stroll through the lobby to the front desk; it starts far earlier. A guest experience begins as soon as they start to book a room at the hotel – it starts with their experience of that hotel’s booking engine. No hotel can be run intelligently unless it’s using a top-of-the-range booking engine. Such a booking software solution, then, delivers exactly what hotel owners require. Offering exceptional tools and features, it can be customised to fit a hotel’s brand needs. A fully-functional booking engine like this ought, too, to be fast-operating and easy-to-use; designed to provide a consistent experience on hotel websites that appeases customers and makes them far more likely to book direct rather than through an OTA (without redirections or pop-ups). It’s all about building loyalty among guests and, therefore, maximising conversions. Moreover, a state-of-the-art booking engine will enable customers to compare room prices with those offered by online travel agents (OTAs) – when the room price available is cheaper than those offered by OTAs. Plus, being able to integrate with hotel marketing/ management platforms, it should help hoteliers better understand and engage their guests, so they can gain insights to improve overall guest experiences, drive up ancillary revenues and boost direct booking revenues.   Conclusion Without doubt, the world – and, by extension, the hospitality sector – is going through unprecedented changes. Yet, with or without the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re living in the digital age and, with that, comes rapid advancements and opportunities. For hoteliers, that means taking full advantage of the chance to deliver and increase direct hotel bookings and boost revenues, thanks to integrated hotel management platforms, intelligent marketing/ ad campaigns and customisable booking engines. Should they not do so, hotel owners will lose ground to rivals in these uncompromising, unpredictable times. Put simply, every hotelier should join and fully prosper from today’s digital age – by making their hotel an intelligent hotel.  

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How Hotel Tech Can Help with Labor Shortages

by
Sarah Duguay
3 hours ago

As travel opens up, so comes a surge of travel. Pent-up desire for holidays has resulted in what some are calling ‘revenge travel.’ After some hesitation, hoteliers are reporting more demand than ever since the beginning of the pandemic. This has resulted in a challenging scenario. Before COVID-19, the hospitality industry was no stranger to employee retention and acquisition issues. But suddenly, faced with low bookings, many hotels had to make the difficult decision to lay off staff. Fast forward to today, some hotels have been forced to turn away guests because of even greater staff shortages than before. While theories abound about shortages, accompanied by HR strategies to attract new hotel employees, we’re here to remind you to take a deep breath because hotel tech is here to help! Tried and true, existing hotel tech can help your hotel with labor shortages by making operations more efficient and less time-consuming while improving the guest experience.   PMS Features and Integrations Alleviate Hotel Labor Shortages According to Revinate, 95% of hoteliers are facing a staff shortage while occupancy is experiencing record highs. One hotel in their report said their shortage has them operating with only 70-75% of their staffing levels. This is the norm, not the outlier, in today’s market. But, as many independent hotels learned during the pandemic, those with a cloud-based property management system (PMS) already have a leg-up on their ability to streamline operations and maximize staff. Because, as the name implies, cloud-based PMS exist in the ‘cloud’ (they run online), operators can manage their hotels from anywhere at any time. Hotel managers no longer need to drop everything and dash back to the hotel to deal with accounting issues or make rate changes. Front-desk duties, such as group management and availability calendars, or back-office tasks, like rate management and financials, are all at your fingertips, wherever you are.   Automation. Nothing streamlines operations like automated systems! At the heart of operations, the PMS automatically coordinates reservations, inventory and availability, housekeeping, and reporting, centralizing data to streamline front- and back-office tasks. For example, instead of manually sending routine emails to guests, set up and send templated emails from your PMS automatically based on defined triggers for booking confirmation, pre-arrival, check-in and post-stay communications, waitlists, group bookings, rental agreements, and more.  A cloud PMS is easily integrated with your other hotel systems — including payment gateways, OTAs, point-of-sale systems, locking systems, CRMs, and revenue management software, etc. — to automatically share relevant reservation data with those systems so that staff don’t have to manually re-enter information into multiple systems. System integration with your PMS at the core is an important part of automating processes and maximizing efficiency.   Self Check-in: Let guests jump the queue with online registration and self check-ins — saving you time and resources in the process. Typically, hotel guest check-ins — with forms to sign and policies to review — take around five minutes per guest and often result in queues, occupying your front desk staff and frustrating guests. By moving this process online, all agreements, waivers, screening, and guest information collection is completed online by your guests in advance of arriving at the hotel, improving the guest experience by not having to wait in a physical queue, while simultaneously saving staff a lot of time! With automated email or SMS communications, payment gateway and mobile key integration, the entire check-in process can be automated.   Rate Management: Flexible rate management tools make monitoring and adjusting pricing a cinch, from creating group discounts and package rates to instant overrides. Yield management functionality allows you to automatically adjust prices based on predetermined occupancy rules — talk about a time saver! If you haven’t already added a commission-free online booking engine (OBE) to your property’s website, this is your first order of business. Integrated with the PMS, reservations made by guests using the OBE are automatically updated in the PMS, and live rates and availability are always displayed online. Not only will you save valuable employee time from taking reservations by phone and email but today’s guests expect (and many even prefer) to book online. While OTAs are a great way for guests to find you and book online, why not offer your own online bookings and save on commissions? Speaking of OTAs, you’ll also save time by integrating your OTA channels or channel manager with your PMS to synchronize live inventory, rates and availability across channels, instead of managing each separately. Plus, all reservations coming through your channel partners are automatically updated in your PMS so no matter where guests book, they always have access to up-to-date availability. Integrating your PMS with your online distribution channels is a must for maximizing time and preventing overbooking.    Housekeeping reports: While a PMS cannot perform housekeeping duties, it can make housekeeping processes more efficient, which is essential with a lean staff. With a mobile housekeeping report, staff can check their housekeeping schedule using their own mobile phones, to see which rooms are vacated and ready to be cleaned and to mark rooms as clean as they go, adding housekeeping notes and maintenance alarms as required. The front desk is kept in the loop in real time with the same system. Furthermore, checklists for each room keep staff on track to ensure nothing is overlooked — because as you know, when it comes to cleanliness, guest standards are higher than ever before due to the pandemic.   Mobile keys: Keyless entry is an elegant accompaniment to online registrations and check-ins. While it may seem small, keyless entry technology removes the headache of keys altogether, whether it’s actual keys or cards. No more sanitizing, organizing, re-setting, or distributing. With keyless entry system integration with your PMS, guests can simply unlock their room door with their mobile device. Along with online check-ins, keyless entry integration allows guests to bypass the front desk altogether! Imagine no guest lineups at the designated check-in time and no key drop-offs at check-out. Did we just hear a sigh of relief?   Save time, resources, and money by employing smart room technologies. Allowing guests to adjust room temperature and lighting with their phones puts comfort into the palm of their hands. Better still, IoT offers the ultimate in personalization with room light levels that adjust with the time of day, and keeps the room temperature at exactly the right level — automatically. This kind of efficiency decreases demand on housekeeping and maintenance teams and helps with your sustainability initiatives.    Chatbots: Hotel Chatbots are an excellent way to assist your online guests 24/7 without any extra effort from staff. Integrated with your hotel's website and/or within your guest messaging app, an AI or rules-based chatbot can assist guests with booking, requests, FAQs, upsells, and local recommendations. Younger generations are the most comfortable seeking help from chatbots, with many guests preferring to search for answers this way than connecting with a real human — which frees up your human employees for in-person help.   Robot room service: A couple of years ago, robot room service was exclusively seen as a novelty service to delight guests. But in the age of COVID-19, it’s obvious to see the practical utility of employing robots by reducing human contact (and thus germs) and by reducing the need for bellhops. Because labor shortage is a trend that existed even before the pandemic hit, perhaps investing in robot room service is no longer pie in the sky. Isn’t technology an amazing thing? Instead of providing a lack of care or impersonal service (a common fear about using technology), today’s hotel tech provides hoteliers with a way to upgrade the guest experience even in the face of decreased staffing. If your property does not have one already, a robust and innovative cloud PMS like WebRezPro can set you on the path toward hospitality excellence and higher revenue, not to mention less stress.  

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30+ Stats that Show Hotel Self Check-in Kiosks are the Way of the Future

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Searching for a way to handle more check-ins with fewer staff members? Or seeking to take on-property experience to the next level with shorter wait times and technology that will dazzle your guests? The future of hospitality is a lot closer than you might think: self check-in kiosks are becoming more popular, and when we look at statistics from airline, retail, and restaurant industries, it’s easy to see why. Across a variety of settings from quick-service restaurants to supermarkets to sports stadiums, self-service and tech-driven solutions can drive results like reduced wait times, higher order values, and overall satisfaction. In this article, we’ll show how self-service and contactless technology can elevate not only the consumer experience, but also the experience as a hotel guest. Self-service options in hotels can include not only check-in kiosks, but also a range of contactless options like digital room keys and tap-to-pay technology. By the end of this article, you’ll be excited about the benefits your hotel can realize by adopting self check-in kiosks or similar tech features. After introducing automated passport control kiosks at customs control points, both JFK and Newark Airports saw a 22% decrease in wait times from 2013 to 2014. During the same timeframe, other airports that did not install kiosks saw no decrease in wait times. This trend can be translated into the hotel industry, meaning that self-service options can make any type of check-in process more efficient, and shorter wait times generally boost guest satisfaction. A 2019 study found that, in quick service restaurants, 30% of customers preferred to order from a kiosk rather than a cashier if lines were equal length. In restaurants, customers have quickly adapted to tech-enabled, self-service options, which shows that hotel guests would likely be quick to adopt self-service options too. 49.4% of retail customers use self-service checkouts because they find the experience to be faster, while 34.7% use them because they have shorter lines, according to a survey by PYMTS. Like shoppers, hotel guests may prefer to arrive or depart your hotel at their own pace. When the Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles installed kiosks to handle concessions orders, average order value increased by 20%. If your hotel is seeking to increase average check at your F&B outlets or boost conversion on add-ons like late check-out, kiosks could be a great solution to help you achieve those goals. Nearly 50% of supermarket customers say they use self check-out options on at least 75% of their shopping trips, while a further 30% say they opt for self check-out on about half of shopping trips. Like in restaurants, consumers show a preference for kiosks, but it’s important to note that there will always be exceptions. In hotels, we can expect some guests to still prefer interacting with a front desk agent, even if a majority go for self-service options. Two-thirds of consumers who use self checkout options choose self checkout because they believe it to be faster than a standard cashier check-out lane. When guests are in a hurry, they might get frustrated if the only option to check in or out is to wait in a long line of other guests. These guests may prefer a faster self-service option. According to a 2019 study, younger consumers show a stronger preference for self-service checkout options than their baby boomer counterparts; 59% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported using self checkouts regularly, while 39% of 55- to 65-year-old reported using them regularly. If your hotel is trying to engage a younger demographic, self-service solutions for checking in and out can be a great way to deliver the experience this group desires. COVID-19 accelerated a widespread shift away from cash payments and toward contactless payments via ApplePay and GooglePay. A survey conducted by Rapyd found that 60% of consumers plan on using contactless methods instead of cash, which, for hoteliers, means guests can check themselves and pay for their stays on a kiosk, rather than relying on front desk staff to handle cash. Contactless payment isn’t just growing in popularity in the US; a recent Mastercard study showed that 79% of consumers worldwide, and 91% in the Asia-Pacific region, opt for tap-to-go payment methods instead of physical cards or cash. Hotels that welcome many international travelers, especially those traveling from Asia, can meet the preferences and expectations of these travelers by offering contactless payment options. In the same Mastercard study, a majority of respondents cited cleanliness as the main reason for their preference toward contactless payments. In your hotel, guests can feel more comfortable checking in and out if they can use contactless methods instead of handing their credit cards to a front desk agent to swipe. Citing COVID-19 as the impetus for a shift in payment preferences, a 2020 McKinsey study found that 78% of Amercians use some type of digital payment, such as digital wallets (ApplePay, etc.), in-app purchases, or scanning a QR code to pay. This statistic is important for hoteliers because it shows that consumers are comfortable using digital payments like what a self-service kiosk would require. 65% of consumers feel that contactless methods align with their priorities for health and safety. Hotel guests are already conscious of cleanliness initiatives at your property, so offering a contactless way to check in and out can make guests feel even more comfortable during their stays. 34% of consumers say that contactless options will continue to be important after the pandemic is over, showing that contactless solutions like kiosks are here to stay. As a hotelier, if you’re on the fence about investing in kiosks now, know that they will stay relevant even after the pandemic is no longer a concern. Contactless payment methods are quickly becoming widespread in hotels; in a 2020 study, 43% of hoteliers had already implemented contactless payment options on-site.  In restaurants, the common rule of thumb is that one self-service ordering kiosk can handle the same volume as 1.5 cashiers could. Translating this statistic to a hotel context, if you were to add two check-in kiosks to your front desk, you could either eliminate the need to hire three front desk agents, or you could redistribute the responsibilities of those three front desk agents to other tasks or departments. According to a roundup of self-service success stories in Harvard Business Review, Taco Bell’s average order value increased by 20% after the chain implemented in-app ordering. Taco Bell said the reason for the increase was because customers were more likely to order add-ons. In hotels, this same trend could appear; hotel guests may be more likely to purchase upgrades or add-ons like late checkout via a self-service platform than at the front desk. But it’s not only restaurants that saw growth in order value; after Cinemark launched self-service kiosks in their theatres, concession sales per person grew consistently for 32 quarters (as of 2015). This statistic makes it obvious that the benefits of self-service ordering aren’t confined to restaurant technology, so hoteliers like you can be confident you’ll also find guests to spend more money on property if self-service options are available. A study conducted by Oracle Hospitality found that sports fans were happy to spend an additional $20 on food and drinks if they could spend half as long in line. In hotels, we can expect that guests would be more likely to order a drink at the lobby bar or splurge on an upgrade if they didn’t have to wait so long in the line at the front desk; self-service kiosks can shorten those lengthy wait times. At McDonald’s and other quick-service restaurants, order accuracy is higher for orders placed on a kiosk compared to orders placed with a cashier. In your hotel, requests submitted via a digital platform like a kiosk or app can be handled more accurately than those submitted over the phone or by guests walking up to a busy front desk, where staff could easily forget to write it down or follow through. Consumers don’t just want to pay for purchases in a self-service way, but also get answers. A recent study by SOTI showed that 70% of consumers expect a self-service method to resolve questions and complaints. This is a powerful statistic for hoteliers, since it shows guests don’t always need to head to a front desk agent to find resolution; with a kiosk or other self-service option, guests could resolve their own complaints. Furthermore, guests with simpler questions could handle them self-service, while front desk agents would have more time to tackle trickier situations. Servion Global Services predicts that artificial intelligence will power 95% of customer service interactions by 2025. For hoteliers, this means that guests will become accustomed to interacting with kiosks, chatbots, or similar tech-powered services in all other aspects of their lives, and they’ll expect the same standard in hotels. Artificial intelligence is already quickly becoming a regular part of our daily lives; in 2018 just 21% of people interacted with AI daily, while in 2020 a whopping 54% of people reported daily interactions with AI. These numbers show not only consumers’ growing comfort with AI and self-service technology, but also just how fast technology is adopted by the public. Hoteliers can be confident that people will continue to expect more tech-powered options in the near future. According to McKinsey, businesses could free up 69% of their time by automating data processing tasks. Front desk agents, for example, spend hours swiping credit cards, inputting contact information, and compiling reports. A self-service kiosk could automate many of these tasks, enabling front desk agents to focus on more meaningful guest interactions. After the widespread rollout of ATMs, the number of bank teller positions decreased, but the job was not eliminated completely. Between 2020 and 2030 the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 17% fewer tellers will be needed. This shows that technology doesn’t make human interactions totally irrelevant, so even if your hotel adopts kiosks, there will still be opportunity for front desk agents to build relationships with guests, although you may benefit from lower labor costs. Bank customers who use a self-service kiosk can do their banking activities with a 13.5x shorter wait time than those who work with a teller. The average wait time for a teller is 9 minutes, while kiosk wait times are around 40 seconds. In hotels, guests could also enjoy significantly shorter wait times if they use a self-service kiosk to check in or out. McDonald’s predicted that rolling out kiosks in their restaurants would boost sales by 5 to 6% in the first year. Hoteliers should note that in addition to a likely increase in guest satisfaction, kiosks can deliver revenue growth because consumers tend to spend more money on transactions handled on a kiosk. McDonald’s found that their customers tend to spend more time perusing menu options at a kiosk versus when standing in front of the cashier, and with this extra “dwell time,” customers are more likely to order additional menu items or add-ons, increasing average check size. Hoteliers could realize the same benefits; guests might want a little extra time to read about upgrade options before deciding to buy the upgrade. People are more likely to make “hedonistic” and experiential purchases on a touchscreen, a 2017 study found. A combination of the tactile nature of touchscreen use and consumers’ thinking styles makes us associate touchscreens with fun. When hotel guests are on vacation, they’re already in the experiential mindset, so offering touchscreen options (like kiosks or tablets) for upgrades or room service orders can increase purchase volume. The global market for self-service kiosks in all industries grew by 11.8% between 2019 and 2020, showing that even though the pandemic depressed outlooks for many industries, businesses are continuing to adopt self-service kiosks. For hoteliers, now is a great time to jump on the self-service kiosk trend and realize the revenue-boosting and cost-saving benefits. Hoteliers are already planning for the future of self-service functionality. In a 2020 survey, 27% of hoteliers had already implemented or were in process of implementing self check-in options, and a further 42% were planning to add self check-in in the future. Ready to bring your check-in operations to the next level? By implementing self-service kiosks or similar tech-enabled solutions, you can boost guest satisfaction, decrease wait times, and increase incremental revenue at your hotel.