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The hospitality industry has been experiencing a staggering rise in recent decades and especially in recent years due to the booming economy across the world and the popularization of global travel. No matter the occasion, no matter the length of their stay, travellers from around the world are exploring foreign countries and their own country’s states in bigger numbers every year.With the rise of the travel industry, the hospitality field has seen a surge of new competitors entering the market in hopes of snagging a sizable piece of the proverbial cake. The battlefield has shifted to the design and aesthetic appeal of the hotel room itself, so here is how you can plan a truly inviting hotel room that will set you apart from the competition.The bedroom layout Starting with the essentials, first you need to think about optimizing the layout of the room to appeal to your target demographic. Usually, this will be multiple demographics at the same time, ranging from business travellers, to creative digital nomads and maybe even families. In order to appeal to every taste preference, not all rooms should follow the same design scheme.As a general rule, the room needs to portray freedom of movement, functionality, and aesthetics, so make sure not to section off every area, but to let all parts form a unified whole. That means, for instance, that the foyer should seamlessly extend into the living room, with the bedrooms unobtrusively separated by screen doors.Pay special attention to the bathroom When it comes to making a decision between several room options of similar quality and price, the winner will be the room with the best and most beautiful bathroom design. Even if the price of your room exceeds the price of your competitors’ rooms, if the bathroom is elegant, functional, and spotless, the customer will gladly pay the difference.Make sure the design of the bathroom follow the theme of the entire room, but also elevates the experience with elegant details, natural elements, and plenty of natural light. Think about adding white amenities to wooden cabinets, an oak vanity, and ornate tile flooring. Top it all off with a grand mirror and use pixelated glass for the shower door.Make it cosy and personal Finally, the room needs to feel cosy, intimate, and serene. This is a place people will come to unwind and enjoy their vacation with loved ones, so they need to feel right at home. While you can’t expect to pinpoint everyone’s exact taste in design and decor, you can do your best to bring the homey vibe to the setting.To that end, you can introduce warm and colourful area rugs that will considerably enhance the comfortable feel. If you lack inspiration, you can always for browse through DecoRug’s extensive range of designer rugs and find the solution that will perfectly match the rest of the room design.Introduce desirable amenities The customer has certain expectations, and you have to do your best to supply your room with all of the necessities they wish to see in their room, such as clean, breathable bed linens and plush pillows, oversized bath towels, essential toiletries, etc.Think about complementary shampoos, bath salts, scented candles, toothpaste and toothbrushes, a blow dryer and everything else the customer might be thrilled to have. Considering every option and going the extra mile when it comes to room amenities can mean all the difference.Compliments of the hotel Speaking of complementary details, one of the most effective ways to earn positive reviews and attract new customers is to simply hand out free stuff. This can be anything from complementary drinks and snacks, all the way to leaving little chocolates on the pillows every morning. Combine these complimentary details with a few surprises in the form of a champagne bottle or a dinner for two for your esteemed guests and you will be reeling in positive reviews in no time.In the overly competitive market, hotel managers need to go above and beyond the call of duty to surpass their competitors and attract new guests. To achieve this, you will have to design a room your customers will simply adore, so be sure to follow these essential steps in order to pave the road to long-term success.
The Hospitality Management department at the Rochester Institute of Technology is housed in the College of Applied Science and Technology. I cannot imagine a more appropriate home for a hospitality program today, given the rapid incursion of technology in a historically tech-shy, high-touch oriented industry. Technology is everywhere: Josh Bersin notes that business models are being rapidly disrupted and organizations have to respond to the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Platform technologies and business models are displacing established ways of doing business. The hospitality industry is not immune to these developments “ witness Airbnb, a prime example of the platform revolution and its impact on legacy hospitality (if only at the peripheries at this point). Other technologies are advancing as well and as Carson Booth, Vice President Global Property Technology at Marriott International, notes, technology such as "AI will become embedded and ubiquitous" in the hospitality industry.The purpose of this essay is to understand some technologies that will impact the hospitality industry in the near future “ the year 2020 is arbitrary, I had first titled the article as 'Hospitality Technology 2025' but the pace of technological developments shifted the horizon! In a survey of the rapidly growing commentary stream on technology, it appears the following will have a great deal of impact on the hospitality industry: robotics, 3-D printing, internet of things and data, artificial intelligence, and "trust-through-algorithms-and-ratings". Each of these is elaborated in the next paragraphs. Caveat: This is a very quick overview. Each of these technologies is complex and is associated with a number of 'human' and moral questions. For example, who is responsible for a death if the vehicle causing the accident is a self-driving car? Are consumers ready to accept a high-tech, low touch hospitality environment? Is society ready to support displaced employees? And there are, of course, other technologies not covered here.Robotics has the potential to be a big disrupter of current hospitality industry models. A number of trends “ advances in robotics, the ability of robots to 'empathize', to touch, feel, the development of sensor technologies, and demographic and societal changes that accept robotics as a given in many service jobs means that robots will become increasingly common in the industry,. Already a number of hospitality organizations both large and small are 'proof-of-concept' testing robots in their front office and check-in operations “ for example Hilton (McLean, VA), and the Henn-Na Hotel (Japan). Other applications include in housekeeping and in the kitchens. Currently, Asian consumers appear to be more readily accepting of service and humanoid robot servers and support staff than in the West. The International Federation of Robotics predicts strong growth in a variety of applications to the end of this decade. This trend towards greater number of robots becoming inserted into the service-value chain is likely to grow stronger with advances in artificial general intelligence, deep machine-learning, and neural networks.3-D Printing is another area that may have profound effects on a number of hospitality operations areas including in the kitchens, engineering, guest amenities and related areas. If spares can be printed on-demand, associated costs will probably change. On a larger scale, even complete hotel buildings can be 3-D printed “ an extension of the modular construction methods adopted by a number of hotel companies in Europe and in the US. A number of companies are experimenting with 3-D food printers for the domestic markets. How much longer before 3-D printers render room-service obsolete? When 3-D printed foods gain wide acceptance in the domestic markets, it has implications for take-away and eat-in restaurants alike. Together with robot kitchens that produce chef quality meals, 3-D printing will transform the F&B industry.Data Mining and the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly becoming important in industry. John Keller notes that "billions of sensor-driven devices [connected] to each other, the Internet, national networks and distant cloud-based applications" carry large amounts of data "that can be captured and analyzed" to enhance business operations. He identifies the hospitality industry as one that depends on the IoT to personalize the guest experience. Mobile devices are used by guests to check in and enter their rooms, sensors adjust room temperature and lighting to guest requirements and help provide the guest a unique experience. Data collected from guest stays help rationalize the use of power and utilities in hospitality operations. Some utility companies can now remotely manage home thermostat settings to reduce the consumption of fuel and provide economies to both homeowners and the utility. The data generated from the various devices that guests and hospitality associates use can provide valuable insights that will enhance guest experience; customized, individualized experiences will be only a button away.Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears to be the lifeblood of the advancements in robotics and IoT. Experts distinguish between generalized and specialized AI. Specialized AI is about using algorithms to figure out increasingly complex but narrow set of tasks; generalized AI refers to the ability to discern actionable patterns out of masses of data using neural networks and deep learning. The driverless car, IBM Watson's abilities, and Google's DeepMind project are examples of generalized AI. As AI becomes more sophisticated, a number of tasks in the service value chain can be replaced with AI driven robots “ for example, hotel room pricing decisions or inventory management. Already concierge services, room service delivery, and housekeeping operations are supported by AI. For the hospitality industry, simultaneous translation capable robots may replace consumer contact service individuals.Trust through algorithms and ratings is an area that has great significance for how hospitality operations are managed. EBay and Airbnb are examples of this: both buyer and seller rate each other and this defines the level of trust and propensity to do business again. It also defines the ability of the seller to attract new buyers. In an increasingly algorithm and ratings mediated business environment, organizations have to perhaps reimagine their customer relationship models “ how is trust in a brand generated? The ability to build trust through algorithms and the advent of the 'gig' economy may change the employer-employee relationships and have an impact on hospitality industry employment practices.Conclusion Hospitality organizations will have to respond as these various technologies are adopted at a higher rate in the general organizational environment. It is important that they adopt a proactive and strategic stance and fundamentally (re)design themselves as technology-centered organizations. Technology-driven transformations will impact the structure of the industry as well: in some organizations, technology will be used visibly front and center (for example, service robots) in guest interfaces and back-of-the house operations with the aim of economizing. In others, technology will be used in back-of-house and support operations but have human guest relations experts at the guest interface to provide the 'high touch' experience that those willing to pay premiums for it will demand. Back of the house operations such as inventory management, room pricing decisions, or human resource management are likely to be equally technology driven. The choices made about technology and human interfaces with guests will distinguish groups of organizations.Thus, it appears that the industry is on the cusp of a very big transformation driven not only by technology but also demographic and economic changes.
Along with the kitchen, the hotel laundry is one of the most resource demanding departments in the hotel, as it goes through large amounts of water, power and time every single day. Keeping all the hotel linens, bedsheets and towels clean is a never-ending process and it can be quite expensive, unless you find ways to minimize costs and optimize the laundry department. Outlined here are the strategies on how to have smooth laundry operation, lower expenses and labour costs. Operate at optimal capacity Your laundry equipment and appliances such as the washer and dryer are hard-working machines designed to operate at a certain capacity, established by the manufacturer. If they are constantly overloaded or underloaded, they are under risk of malfunctioning and having their lifespan and effectiveness shortened. In such cases, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong: cleanliness will be below acceptable standards, as well as the vibrancy of the materials. The machines will also use up much more power and work over time to compensate for inappropriate use. Underloading is also a great issue as it causes imbalance and damages internal bearings, so be sure the laundry staff weighs every load so it is in accordance with the washer capacity. Maintain equipment regularly Since the laundry equipment and appliances are under constant strain, they are prone to malfunctions, breakdowns, damage and subpar performance due to wear and tear, and if not addressed, that can turn out to be quite a costly problem. Luckily, the solution is simple: regular equipment maintenance and a qualified mechanic on site. This will significantly improve equipment performance and prolong its lifecycle. Two pieces of equipment are particularly important: the ironer and garment steamer. They are the ones that produce perfectly pressed not towels and sheets for the hotel and clothes for the guests. So, in order to conserve energy, labour time and elude negative feedback from the guests, make sure these two pieces of your laundry equipment operate flawlessly at all times. Upgrade After a certain period of time, usually ten years, regular maintenance is no longer enough and you’ll need to replace and upgrade your laundry equipment. If the machines break down often or frequently need repairs, it will eventually cost more than 50% of the machine’s initial cost. One part of equipment that is particularly important for the smooth laundry operation is the hot water system. By replacing your old tank with a contemporary expansion tank, you will significantly improve the safety of the system, as it is responsible for protecting the closed water heating system from excessive pressure. Reduce folding time Manual folding and pre-sorting towel types is a thing of the past. There is advanced technological equipment that folds towels and linens and can be operated by only one employee, increasing time and labour efficiency. Some cutting-edge models even differentiate between hand and bath towels and bath mats, so there is no precious time lost in pre-sorting those before folding. The result is perfectly folded goods, cut costs, shortened laundry cycle and increased labour productivity. Maintain optimal par level Anyone working in a hotel laundry service will say that the most important factor in making everyone’s life easier is maintaining good par level. The only way to avoid shortages and protect your investment in high-quality sheets, linens and towels is to have the right amount at all time. For hotels and resorts, in linen inventory that number is four. One in the guest room, one in the closet to be used next, one which is dirty and removed to be washed, and one in the laundry. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct regular inventory and even more frequently in a busy season, and be prepared for emergencies and the unexpected. Optimal par levels will significantly reduce stress on your linens, your staff and guests, and you’ll be able to maximize the life span of all the hotel sheets and towels by letting them recover between uses. Evidently, the hotel laundry room is one of the most important and expensive hotel departments and quite a challenge to manage financially in the long run. Nevertheless, by sticking to the practical tips outlined here, you will be capable of optimizing your laundry service and getting your return on investment, while maintaining productivity and efficiency at a high level.
In the hospitality industry, so much emphasis is put on guest satisfaction and the aesthetic presentation of the interior of a hotel, that logistics and other “backstage” processes can often get overlooked. However, when reality strikes and hotel managers have to face the numerous daily challenges of storage and organisation, the need arises for a modern storage system that will create a safe, efficient, and thriving work environment. In turn, the entire storage reorganization project will yield greater rewards in terms of guest satisfaction and experience, leading to improved brand recognition, trust, and reputation in the competitive market. Here is how you can optimise hotel storage capacity and pave the road to long-term business success. Introducing movable shelving solutions With the hotel maximising foyer, lobby, restaurant, and guest room space, storage solutions must be designed and planned with functionality, versatility, and mobility in mind in order to prevent crowding the staff rooms and hallways. With these features in mind, the solution lies in movable shelving and storage, perfect for meeting the needs of the staff and guests alike without impeding manoeuvrability and spaciousness. Movable shelving allows items and goods to be stored and organised efficiently, but more importantly, it allows items to be located and retrieved quickly as well. Movable storage is also excellent in increasing storage capacity without sacrificing space. Staff safety is also a major issue functional storage can avoid, as staff members can now move and handle heavy objects with control and ease. The benefits of movable storage Delving deeper into the concrete benefits of movable storage, the most obvious one is increased storage space – something that hotels always struggle to produce in the wake of rising demands in the industry. Nowadays, a hotel needs to be well-stocked with everything from complementary toothpaste to floor cleaners so not an inch of space can be wasted. As your business grows, so does the need for more goods and products to be stored on a regular basis, and while the traditional storage solutions were impractical and sometimes downright unsafe, mobile storage can accommodate these needs and improve staff safety at the same time. The goods can now be organised and stored methodically and meticulously, allowing easy access and handling. Efficiency and efficacy at the heart of the matter Every business strives for efficiency and efficacy across the board, with storage, retrieval, and handling playing a vital role in creating a thriving and efficient work environment. Because such versatile commercial storage solutions offer ease of access and can be moved to a different location at a moment’s notice, you can effectively speed up every process and meet every demand without wasting time or resources. When preparing for an event, for instance, you need all of the relevant materials and elements to be available at all times, such as chairs, tables, cutlery and dishes, all the way to electrical wiring and expendable goods such as food and drinks. It used to be that all of these necessities took up plenty of space and were not easy to reach, but with mobile storage, you can simply retrieve everything you need immediately and thus increase efficiency. Installing new storage solutions and prepping the area When installing new storage solutions, several key considerations need to be taken into account in order to maximise ROI on all fronts. Probably the biggest advantage is that you can mount your existing shelving on a new mobile system. That said, designing the new system requires careful planning, preferably with the help of a professional design consultant who will be able to create a layout that will correspond to the needs of your staff. Depending on your existing floorplan, the designer might have to work around certain architectural features such as columns and support beams, as well as floor wiring. Versatility for a dynamic work environment The hotel work environment is a dynamic one, and even though every process needs to fit an established routine and run smoothly like a Swiss clock, there is no telling what kind of challenge the next day is going to bring. With that in mind, the need for your storage solution to be able to adapt to the current situation becomes imperative. This is why mobile storage units are purpose-built for manoeuvrability. You only need to use the rails to pull it up, and move to a different location to better serve the needs of the staff – this is an excellent feature to have on deck when preparing grand events such as weddings or business conferences. The hospitality industry is constantly changing and evolving in order to meet the ever-fluctuating demands of the modern consumer market. In meeting these demands and staying on top of the latest trends and developments, mobile storage will play a vital role, so make sure it finds its way into your hotel in order to ensure a successful future in the industry.
There are numerous hotels trying to get more guests in their rooms, so you have to win this battle with your uniqueness. To provide a friendly and cosy atmosphere in your hotel, you have to understand that guests are searching for a temporary home where they want to feel welcomed and understood. This is not just about your stuff, but the modern interior design, too. You need to think about all areas of your building - from the lobby, to the rooms. They have to be in cohesion, so pay attention to these six key elements in order to create an unforgettable experience for your guests. 1. Unity: Find a visual identity of a hotel Unity doesn’t imply that all interior design elements should be the same. They should work together and complement each other in order to bring harmony into the space. Transition through the rooms should be smooth, so people can feel the vibe of the hotel. You can bring this kind of harmony to a hotel by picking several colours and shades that fit together. Also, you can group elements based on similarity, or use one type of the wood that fits in the whole interior. All in all, create a theme or storyline which will become the visual identity of your hotel. 2. Balance: Distribute the same visual weight in each room All elements in a hotel should have equal visual weight in order to achieve the visual balance. You can choose symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial symmetry balance, but modern hotels usually go for asymmetrical. That means that you can bring numerous elements into rooms, and keep them in an imaginary central axis as the focal point. It’s a little bit harder to achieve a balance with the asymmetrical order, but if you do it right, it will be worth your effort. Remember, rooms that seem too cluttered can feel overwhelming to guests, so choose a well-balanced interior design layout that will bring relaxing mood into a room. 3. Focal point: Give your guest something to remember you by In order to make your rooms authentic, you need something that people will notice once they enter the room. For that reason, the focal point in a hotel room should have a lasting impression. This can be a fireplace, a piece of furniture, an artwork, or even an eye-catching, comfy rug. Also, the focal point has to be an integral part of the decoration linked through style, scale, colour or theme. So, skip boredom, and give people something to remember your hotel by. 4. Contrast: Make an impression with the simple details Putting just two elements in opposition to one another can be very effective. Any difference in the luminance or colour of the objects that differentiates them from one another can make an impression on your guests. Hence, think about colour, form and space - even two different pillows can have an effect on them. Next, consider different forms, such as circles and squares used together. Nevertheless, don’t introduce too much contrast because it can make all your hard work fall apart. 5. Scale and proportions: The holy grail of design The size of the rooms, different pieces of furniture, and decorative items should be in cohesion. The size, dimension, shape or colour of the objects should look like they belong to each other, so you have to be careful about every single detail. For example, small pillows will make a big sofa look empty and less modern, so you have to find the proper size that will fit the sofa the best. Remember, scale and proportion are the most important parts of achieving great design. 6. Colours: Invoke the right mood Colours can influence your guests’ mood and emotions. Therefore, you have to think about which emotion do you want to evoke? For example, if you want to set the relaxation mood, both soft pastels and rich jewel tones are the colour hues that will promote it. Remember, interior design is not so much about what you like, but what your guests prefer. Moreover, it’s about current trends that are circulating in the market. So, make sure that your hotel fulfils and covers all the elements well, and think about its visual identity. This is a time to be creative, so take your pencil and write the ideas down.
In the bustling hospitality business, there can be no sitting back, as every day off can get you behind the competition who may use your moments of carelessness to steal your guests. Managing a hotel is a 24/7 job, but still, there are challenges that need addressing on short notice, so the hotel can prosper and keep on signing guests up. One of those ‘immediate’ situations is the annual repainting which restores the aesthetic appeal of the interior. However, such a project requires that you close off every room at some point during the decoration and plan to minimize the length and frame of work to avoid revenue losses. Here are the essential considerations you need to follow in order to organize a painless hotel painting project. Make a sound plan Precise planning is a key to a smooth and seamless painting operation. Before you dial your contractors, create a work frame that details the amount of time and resources needed for the job. This work frame should also include a realistic but firm timetable, which specifies the exact date each room will be started and finished. Such a schedule allows you to plan your hotel’s booking availability, offer substitutes for closed rooms and minimize the impact on the neighbourhood during the work hours. Address the pending repairs Use the time you have before the painting starts to identify all pending problems and imperfections around the hotel and solve them before the workers arrive. This way you avoid painting over chips and cracks in the walls, which can only make you more problems in the future. Tending to structural problems, on the other hand, will make the painting job faster and easier. If you identify a larger number of pending issues around the hotel, you might need to enlist another contractor to deal with them before the painters arrive. Collect the bids The time frame and overall success of the projects will ultimately depend on the skills and professionalism of your contractor, so make sure you choose wisely. Your goal should be to find a contracting firm with a multinational ISO certification which has experience in working with large projects. For example, these commercial painting pros use effective project management techniques, ensuring that your painting project is completed on time and within your budget. Where to find professionals? Although every reputable contacting firm has its own web presentation with customer reviews, testimonials and galleries of past works, you can also find professionals through personal referrals from friends and colleagues, or by talking to industry experts and suppliers. Make an appointment with their representative who will visit your hotel and give you a realistic estimate, which you can compare to your own plans and timetable. The contracting firm can then produce full estimates so you can compare the most favourable candidates and make the best decision. Prepare the rooms As the start date draws near, you should start preparing the interiors that are to be painted. Clean the surfaces, protect the fixtures, remove and store the wall art, and move the furniture out of the way. Although the painters might help you with these preparations, taking care of the small tasks beforehand will tremendously accelerate the entire process. Careful preparation allows you to avoid unnecessary damage and accidents in the rooms and hallways, as well as let the painters to stick to essential safety standards. Follow the safety standards Lastly, you need to plan for and execute strict safety regulations for guests and hotel staff. This will allow you to keep your reputation as a leading hotel in your category, as well as allow your business to operate without interruptions. By knowing exactly which floor and which rooms will be painted on a certain day, you can create detours for your guests and staff, avoiding accidents and ensuring safety for all. You can even consider allocating extra staff to monitor guest movement around the working areas during the project. While painting a hotel might look as great disruption in your schedule, with careful planning and professional contractors, the whole project can be finished quickly and smoothly. These steps will ensure that your painting is done before the guests even know where the smell of fresh paint is coming from.
The hotel industry is booming across the globe, as hotel accommodation ranging in various types, shapes and sizes to fit every traveller’s preference and need is becoming readily available in dense urban areas as well as secluded countryside destinations. No matter the location, no matter the travel style, the 21st-century traveller can find the hotel that fits their needs, and hotel managers have to work hard to build an offer the competition won’t be able to match. In achieving this, building a functional and effective wastewater treatment system will be essential – not only for guest satisfaction but also for the preservation of the ecosystem as well as and in order to stay compliant with the governing laws and regulations. With that in mind, here are the principal considerations you need to take into account when choosing a wastewater treatment system. Fixing or upgrading the existing system Preserving the health and cleanliness of natural water sources is imperative – for the ecosystem, and your business down the line. So, if your septic tank has started giving you trouble, it’s time to get it sorted out. Your first course of action is to ensure the safety of the natural water sources surrounding your hotel property. If your septic system has been properly installed and maintained up until now, then you shouldn’t worry about contaminating the water. If not, then you’re risking polluting the environment and endangering public health and safety. With the governing bodies on your tail, you will want to fix the septic tank as soon as possible in order to avoid any legal ramifications and fees. Repairs can be costly, which is why investing in a modern wastewater treatment system is a better long-term solution, as contemporary systems are far more efficient and eco-friendly. Deciding on the right treatment system Finding the best wastewater treatment system for your hotel’s needs can be tricky, and the decision will depend on a myriad of factors. You will need to take into account the size of the hotel and the number of wastewater-generating units, daily wastewater volumes, and peak and off-season volumes as well. You want to install an efficient system that will save precious resources and help preserve the environment. For instance, this commercial UV water treatment systems boast a unique flow management method and do a great job at purifying wastewater, managing effluent discharge and reusable streams. Make sure the system does not use chemical technology and only uses natural water-purification methods such as ultra-violet light. What to keep in mind when installing a new treatment system There are numerous considerations to note when looking for and installing a new wastewater treatment system, of which the capacity and the location of the system itself will be essential. Moreover, the quality of the effluent has to meet the safety standards issued by the regulatory bodies in your area. The wastewater produced by your hotel must meet the environmental standards of its location in order to ensure that your business is not harming the environment. Should the effluent fall below standard levels, there could be business-crippling ramifications. Given the fact that environmental protection is of the utmost importance for the survival of the hotel, you will need to follow strict environmental protection regulations. Depending on your location, you might even have to obtain a permit to discharge hotel wastewater. The good thing is that abiding by the environmental protection rules will help your business thrive in the long run, as you will be able to attract new guests with pristine natural surroundings. So, make sure you check the codes of practice for hotel wastewater treatment systems in your area before deciding on the best solution. Prevent grease from reaching the system A hotel produces large amounts of wastewater on a daily basis, especially in peak season, which is exactly when the treatment system can get overwhelmed by grease and oils, creating clogs in the pipeline, producing unpleasant smells and impeding the treatment process. All of these problems could lead to a polluted environment in the near future. While you cannot prevent the bathrooms, the kitchen or the restaurant in your hotel from producing grease and oils on a daily basis, you can install a grease trap that will intercept various solids and oils before reaching the treatment system. Remember, a poorly installed grease trap can damage your entire treatment structure, so make sure it’s set up right to avoid costly problems down the road. The way you deal with wastewater on a daily basis can define the future of your hotel, so naturally, it’s imperative that your treatment system operates smoothly. With these principal considerations in mind, you will have no problem deciding on the best system for your needs that will help you build a thriving business.
With the travel industry on a perpetual upward trajectory due to the rising economic standards across the globe, the hotel industry is booming as well. This opens up a world of opportunities for aspiring hotel owners to attract and capitalise on such an expansive demographic, however, it also allows plenty of room for competition to try and snag a portion of the proverbial cake. In such a highly competitive environment, every guest counts, and every review can mean the difference between success and failure. Needless to say, as a business leader you cannot afford to get outpaced by the competition, so running a tight ship at all times is essential. Among the numerous aspects of successful hotel management, making sure the exterior boasts aesthetics and functionality will be paramount. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several effective ways you can boost your hotel’s exterior without busting the bank. Renew all ground markers Having clearly defined traffic lanes for vehicles, guests, and personnel will not only raise the aesthetic bar but it will also introduce a functional feature everyone will love. After all, a confused guest is an unsatisfied guest, and a staff member who can’t navigate the maze that is your entire “backstage” operation is an unproductive one. These problems combined will cause your business to lose money and reputation over time. This is why all ground and wall markers should be kept in top condition throughout the year, and renewed regularly to maintain traffic flow, safety, and aesthetics of the exterior. Consider renewing parking lot stripes, handicap signs, curb side lines, no-stop zones, directional arrows, and other property-specific features. Regular window maintenance Nowadays, many modern hotels opt for the sleek, window exterior design that allows for some scenic views from every suite the guests are sure to appreciate. However, the more windows you have, the higher the upkeep and maintenance investments. While there is no affordable way to approach this problem, there is a way you can keep maintenance costs as low as possible. Rather than waiting for the exterior to start showing severe signs of neglect, accumulating dirt, dust, and God forbid, bird ordure, you want to stick to frequent cleaning with your trusted altitude cleaning company. This will not only keep the view from every room pristine and spotless, but you will also be able to get a discount as a regular and long-term client. Mend all irregularities on the facade One of the most important elements of an aesthetic hotel exterior is regular facade maintenance across the board, including preserving the aesthetic appeal of the main building as well as all ancillary areas such as the pool, and the indoor recreation centres. Giving the facade a fresh coat of paint, fixing all structural issues, and sealing all cracks and interstices will be essential for maintaining the reputation of your brand. Luckily, fixing these problems is not inherently expensive, and you can take on one problem at a time for balanced and calculated spending. Whenever doing facade repairs, be sure to consider a scaffolding rental in order to ensure worker safety and expedite the entire process as much as possible without having to buy the equipment itself. Remember that these projects, although crucial, should last as little as possible, as no guest wants to have to dodge workers or have their view interrupted by sheeting. Keep the pool area nice and tidy Every contemporary hotel should have a pool area. The more sophisticated, the better, so you shouldn’t skimp on auxiliary features such as an in-pool bar, plenty of shade, underwater seating, and water jets for the guests to enjoy a relaxing massage. However, with a grand pool area such as this, grand upkeep costs can arise. The key here is to make a detailed upkeep schedule, starting from the cleanliness and quality of the water, and then moving on to regular vacuuming, landscaping (everyone appreciates a beautiful poolside oasis), and maintenance. Be sure to keep the walkway and the floor clean by using a pressure washer to eliminate the dirt and grime in the tile crevices. Make the driveway welcoming You only have one chance of making a great first impression, so might as well do your best to make it a positive one that will attract guests and inspire them to keep coming back. To that end, you can start by tidying up the curb appeal, making sure that meticulous landscaping frames the view of your hotel – a view free of garbage bins, worn out signs and markers, as well as any potholes on the driveway. For an amazing curb appeal to truly come to life, you need nothing else than a beautiful landscape, a broad driveway, and a professional valet staff ready and willing to greet every guest and tend to their every need. Maintaining and even boosting your hotel’s exterior doesn’t have to require grand financial investments – it only requires a strict upkeep schedule and prudent spending to improve every area one step at a time. With that in mind, you can use these tips to make your hotel’s exterior stand out from the rest, and pave the road to long-term success in the industry.
The hospitality industry is constantly changing and evolving, with big brands trying to stay relevant in the wake of personalised travel and smaller hotels trying to build a reputable name in the industry. Needless to say, the interior design in your hotel will play a vital role in shaping the perception of your business, and ultimately, inspiring guests to keep coming back. But what happens when the inevitable time comes to refurnish or change locations completely? How does one move a hotel from one location to another? The task might be simpler than you think, you just need to follow a few crucial steps beforehand. It all begins with a detailed inventory Firstly, there is no way that a hotel removal project can go smoothly from start to finish without a comprehensive inventory checklist. There is no way around it, you need to catalogue and categorise everything that needs to be moved, starting with the things you need to disassemble first, over to the things that can be shipped together, and finally, the things you can pack in advance. Not only will this help you stay on top of the preparation and packing process, but it will also allow the entire process to run smoothly and efficiently, as you won’t be losing precious time or money on the wrong boxes, transportation, or moving company. Speaking of, this is a job for a team of professionals. A hotel removal requires experienced assistance There is no denying that hotel removals are vastly different from home removals, and that the entire process is far more complex than relocating an average household. Chances are, something is going to slip through the cracks if you try to take on the challenge with your in-house resources, which will only prolong the process and produce needless expenses. This kind of project requires skilful handling, efficient loading and transportation, and professional unloading, something that industry experts such as these removalists from Eastern Suburbs can take care of at a moment’s notice. Be sure that your removalists offer comprehensive insurance and can provide packing services to expedite the entire process. In turn, this will save you precious time and money, as well as ensure that everything will arrive at the new location unharmed. Disassemble everything you can One of the common errors hotel managers inadvertently make is not thinking about the cumbrous furniture first. Hotel furniture tends to be larger and more difficult to handle than regular pieces you would find in a household, which is precisely why you should prepare for its removal well in advance. This means that you should disassemble clunky furniture pieces instead of trying to transport them as they are, in order to save on space and packing time and minimise the risk of damage. When you do disassemble them, make sure to provide proper assembly instructions and tools at the location, so that the workers can have an easier time bringing the new interior to life. Start packing as early as possible Packing hotel furniture is a delicate process, and you will not only need plenty of time to pack everything slowly and carefully, but you will also need to obtain the adequate boxes that boast a certain durability rating. Your removalist can help you with this entire process, but keep in mind that this shouldn’t deter you from packing well in advance. When the moving date comes, you will be thankful that all the menial chores are completed so that you can focus on the cumbersome and more fragile boxes. This requires a systematic approach that won’t affect your day-to-day operations. Moving a hotel to a new address is definitely not a task to be taken lightly, but rather, it is a challenge that requires months of proper planning and preparation in order to avoid financial setbacks and organise an efficient removal process. With these tips in mind, you can prepare for a stress-free move that will take your business to new heights of success.
As any hotelier can attest, a modern hotel operation is a tangle of systems and technologies. Navigating the options can be overwhelming and frustrating, mainly because it's impossible to know how reliable the technology is -- or how responsive customer service will be during the inevitable outage. With such high-stakes, it's easy to get caught up in the details or to delay making a final decision. “For an industry that’s fundamentally about human interaction, it’s ironic that technology has come to be such a big deal. But in today’s and tomorrow’s world, being strategic about how you allocate your tech investment resources is critical to the hospitality mission.” -Mark Van Amerongen, COO, Prism Hotels & Resorts To get to the nirvana of seamless hotel operations, it takes the best technology, customized according to each property’s needs. Irrespective of how long it takes to identify these solutions, the result should be a technology suite that works well together and is adaptable to ever-evolving guest expectations. Security and data protection should also be a priority as a hotel builds out its modern hotel operations tech stack. While your hotel may not need technology from all of these categories, each category has its own merits to carefully consider. Ask tough questions, request introductions to existing customers to prove further, and don’t rush into a decision on your hotel’s operating systems. Property management systems (PMS) The broadest category of software for hotel operations is the property management system. It structures the entire hotel operation, acting as the centralized resource across the property. From housekeeping to reservation management, everything flows through the PMS. Without a PMS, a modern hotel would struggle to thrive. Yet many hotels remain constrained by a legacy system that doesn't offer some of the most important features for a hotel to remain competitive in today's environment. So what makes a great hotel property management system? Paraphrasing an old idiom in business, the best PMS is the one you use. You want to provide the most intuitive and reliable system to empower your staff. You don't want to implement a system that frustrates and confuses. Inevitably, turnover increases and the guest experience suffers. When evaluating potential solutions, consider the interplay between the PMS and the rest of your technology. Given the centralized role of the PMS, it's important that all software in a hotel’s tech stack integrate seamlessly. Knowing that a new PMS sits seamlessly within an existing tech stack is vital. You also want the flexibility to grow with your PMS is good peace-of-mind for hotel GMs. Module add-ons, such as for spa, revenue management, guest CRM, group functionality, and channel management, can boost the utility of the PMS without having to evaluate and onboard another vendor. Ideally, each tool has a real-time connection with the PMS to avoid latency and inaccurate data. In addition to integrations and connectivity, here are three other important features when evaluating a PMS vendor: Approach to customer service. Many features in hospitality technology are commodified, but customer service isn’t one. Helpful, responsive, consultative, always available -- these are all words you want to hear from existing customers as you evaluate your options. Automation. Automation is beautiful. It helps reduce errors from manual data entry, which in turn reduces labor cost associated with manual inputs. The labor can then be allocated to something The greater impact. The consistency of both staff and guest experience is also improved, which makes everyone happier. Real-time dashboard. A centralized source of real-time information about your hotel proves invaluable over time. At a glance, everything is laid out for action. With this real-time view, issues can be handled quickly and efficiently before they escalate, and data can be deployed to rally staff around performance targets. The PMS is one of the most mission-critical software, so be thorough in your questioning of potential solutions. The most pressing question is how a company approaches customer support. Features can be copied; customer service can’t. When there's an issue with the PMS, you absolutely need the peace-of-mind that someone will be there to take your call and fix the problem. Staff collaboration In an intensive operation such as a hotel, keeping the staff organized and on track is a challenge. Reliance on paper checklists, manual work assignments, and paper logbooks can lead to inefficiencies, double-work, and communication miscues. Upgrading to modern staff collaboration software automates processes to ensure more consistency across the various departments, increases transparency as far as performance, and unites communications into a centralized hub for easy management. When the team is on the same page, the hotel operates more smoothly and provides an enhanced guest experience. Another benefit of this technology is that it expands the role of the front desk into sales. By empowering the front desk team to enter leads and collaborate with sales, more revenue is achievable. These are the most impactful features to look for in staff collaboration tools for hotels: Intelligent routing. The technology should help teams work together more effectively to improve the guest experience. Guest want consistent responses, whether they communicate via email, text, or face-to-face. Software that intelligently routes guest request to the correct department means that there's less time spent directing traffic and more time spent on the task itself. Automations. Even the most well-trained staff makes mistakes. Staff management and collaboration software can automate away some of these mistakes by providing a consistent operational checklist. For example, upon completing one task, the system can assign another task based on that completion. Schedule task can also keep properties maintained overtime, without having to remember critical tasks or assign them manually. Reports, analytics, and audits. One of the benefits of using staff management technology is increased productivity. This is not conceptual: analytics and reports chart progress and identify areas for improvement with particular departments or team members. Auditing a task’s history also boosts visibility into potential bottlenecks. After finding the vendors that have the desired features, the first question to ask them is how easy the software is to learn. Not every team member is tech-savvy, so the training and onboarding process is critical for successful adoption of a staff management tool. Concierge software Guest-facing functions have the potential to make or break a guest experience. The importance of the concierge varies, depending on hotel category. For those hotels that haven’t traditionally deployed a concierge, technology can actually make this a cost-efficient perk to offer. For hotels with an existing concierge, concierge software makes the team more efficient and accurate with their guest recommendations. In the order of importance, look for hotel concierge software that provides: Cross-channel communications. Portability across channels is important to guests. They may go to the desk, and then want the concierge’s recommendations via mobile. The software should make this easy to do for concierges, and easy to access for guests. The ultimate win is to make a seamless experience no matter who is staffing the desk. PMS/CRM integration. Guest profiles shouldn't live independently of other systems. The richness of a guest profile Defines how successful Hotel can be in properly personalizing the experience. Data should flow across these systems to enhance the guest experience, reduce double-work, and make the concierge more impactful. Knowledge base. It should be simple to add knowledge to a repository to pull from. Concierge recommendations should be prompt and accurate; a knowledge base that collects important information makes for stronger curation skills. When discussing your needs with a potential vendor, start by asking about the typical implementation timeline and process. There may be factors that delay implementation, such as integrating with other systems, so you want to be clear what’s expected on your end -- and how long it will take on their end. Housekeeping management software As guests check in and check out of the hotel each day, housekeeping has a lot to keep track of. In addition to making sure that rooms are available for incoming guests, each room turn must meet service specifications. Housekeeping processes and communications must be on-point to make this all happen smoothly. Housekeeping management technology eliminates uncertainty and helps each housekeeper manage daily workflow without sacrificing quality. The software also allows reliable tracking of performance across the entire department. To achieve these productivity gains, here are some of the most critical features of housekeeping management software: A focus on productivity. The right housekeeping management software helps your staff to be more productive through greater transparency and accountability. Look for software that provides detailed reports and helps you motivate your staff to improve performance over time. Mobile. This is obvious but often overlooked. Your stuff is going to be moving about the property and the tools need to move with them. It doesn't make much sense to have a digital system that requires a paper printout. Another key point: The best technology timestamps key events, delivering reliable data essential for accurate reporting. Real-time notifications. On-the-fly changes to room availability happen; For example, a priority guest requests early check-in for a suite that still needs cleaning. The system should ping the housekeeping staff in real-time to adjust priorities in real time. When it comes to housekeeping management, the most pressing question is usually how the solution integrates with existing systems, especially the PMS. Direct integration eliminates duplicate data entry, supports data integrity, and allows you to use the best systems for each department. Guest feedback software Gathering guest feedback, and using that data to benchmark progress against performance targets, is a critical part of a hotel’s operations. Guest feedback gives the GM a near-real-time view of the guest experience, helping to identify areas for improvement and immediate attention. As a hotel incorporates guest feedback, it improves. A responsive management team can transform negative feedback into a positive experience that builds goodwill. As more sites pop-up with reviews, from Facebook to Google to lesser-known brands, a hotel’s reputation demands a modern solution that starts with guest feedback. If you can catch the bad feedback before it's posted in a review, and encourage the best experiences to be shared, then you’ve set your hotel’s reputation on track. This drives more new business, alongside encouraging more repeat business from guests that feel heard. When you're looking to manage your reputation with software for guest feedback, you’ll want the following: Guest history. It should be clear how many times a guest has provided feedback so that your team can communicate in a more personal and relevant way with the guest. These attributes are visible pieces of a guest’s profile. Responsive design. Guests will likely complete surveys or provide feedback via a mobile device. All surveys and forms should look just as good on mobile as on desktop. Integration. If the feedback loop lives only in the guest feedback system, it may prevent that feedback from being acted upon quickly. PMS metadata can provide that context right in the feedback tool, allowing a potential issue (such as a broken HVAC system) to be routed instantly to the right department. For a detailed insight into a vendor’s approach to guest feedback, ask them for references. This is the most important questions for such a critical guest-facing tool. You'll learn more from the implementation experiences of other hotels than from the vendor itself. Of course, this advice extends to all vendors; however, with guest-facing solutions, it’s especially useful to know how (and if) a vendor has delivered on its promises to other hotels.
Learn how Kevin Brown went from Guest Services Manager to Product Marketer at a $30B dollar hotel tech company in under 4 years
Working as a front desk agent at a hotel is insanely hard work. Hotel guests have extremely high expectations: they want to be checked in fast, they want amazing service, a 24/7 smile and they want to be upgraded to the best room for free. They want you to know everything about them but not too much that it’s creepy. They want friendly conversation but they don’t want you to talk too much. Check-in systems break down, reservations are lost, overbookings happen and so much more can go wrong that is completely out of your control. All that said the buck stops with you as the front desk agent. Rarely will guests ever call your GM to tell them how great you were but they are quick to let your boss know when you’ve messed up in their eyes. So you’re frustrated and stressed behind the front desk - what do you do? If you’re anything like Kevin Brown you’ll find your passion and put in the work to follow your dreams. Today Kevin Brown is a Product Marketing Manager at Amadeus Hospitality, creator of global hotel management software like Delphi Sales & Catering, HotSOS operations software and core GDS solutions for hotels. Most front desk managers and housekeeping managers would think that Kevin’s role today is out of reach. The good news is that your successful career as a technology executive is completely within reach. To get there you’ll need curiosity, outside the box thinking, self guided learning and lots of hard work while your colleagues are going out for drinks after their respective shifts. Here at Hotel Tech Report we’ve recently documented similar career rises like how Matt Welle parlayed his role as a Hilton sales rep into becoming CEO at Mews Systems, one of the hottest technology startups in the hotel software space and creator of a leading property management system for hotels. “What I wish I understood far earlier in my hotel career is that the hotel and travel industry actually set the standards of service for every other industry out there. The skills you develop in hotels DO translate, and frankly what you learn about service in the hotel industry is cutting edge.” ~Kevin Brown Kevin began his career in hotels at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a property known for its sophisticated technology integrations and infrastructure. While at the Cosmo, Kevin took every opportunity possible to learn about the technology under the hood of the hotel. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge led him into learning the intricacies of every system in the hotel and developing a clear understanding of what was working as well as what wasn’t. Kevin took advantage of his role at the hotel to build relationships with technology companies, he became a power user of their products and they began learning from him as much as he was learning from them. When Kevin first met the Customer Experience Manager at Amadeus Hospitality he knew that’s where he wanted to be. Kevin’s story is an incredible journey that demonstrates how you can leverage your role behind the front desk into a successful technology career so we interviewed him to learn tricks and tips for hoteliers who are thinking about a career in technology down the line. Remember to build close relationships with your existing technology vendors, try lots of different technology products and never stop learning. Can you tell us about your career background in hotels? My career in hotels is quite odd since I only worked in one hotel before I became a part of the tech industry. I originally came from the marketing and production world of the music industry. It was by happenstance stumbled upon an opportunity at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. During my time there I was able to hold almost every major departmental role in the hotel division; both traveler facing and back of house areas. What I enjoyed most about working in hospitality was the blending of so many cultures and nationalities and how much I could learn from people. The only part I dislike about the hotel industry is that it is the most overworked and underappreciated industry. What every hotel industry professional has to go through and deal with on a day to day basis is astounding. To create memorable experiences for travelers is truly nothing short of extraordinary, and yet a majority of the time the only feedback hotel staff get from travelers is negative. Many travelers do not get to peek into how much talent and effort goes into making their stay amazing, and I think hotel staff like room attendants and call center managers deserve recognition for that level of service. What was one technology that you couldn't live without while working at the front desk? I could not live without any tech that automated my work processes and ability to quickly turn data into knowledge. Manual process and effort is the absolute bane of our industry, and with the rapid evolution of traveler and group expectations for personalization and quick response times I do not know what I would’ve done without those empowerment tools. I was lucky enough that I was immediately introduced to technology the moment I stepped foot into the hotel industry, and I feel like I was exposed to cutting edge stuff like chatbots, task automation, and traveler profiling years before hoteliers even knew about it. When the Cosmopolitan opened, the vision of tech integration was a key foundation to the success of the hotel's brand. What would you say is the most widely held misconception that hoteliers have about technology? I think the single biggest misconception is that hoteliers think the solution to their traveler personalization problems is to invest in traveler facing technology and create an omni-channel experience. The biggest problem hoteliers face is actually their staff turnover. What is the point of having traveler facing technology, without experienced staff that have the right technology to empower them to deliver on the brand experience? Your staff must always come first if you want to truly personalize and fulfill your brand promise. This means hoteliers need to balance their traveler facing and staff facing investments more effectively. Tell us about your journey from hotelier into the technology industry. I am 100% a geek and love keeping up with the future of technology. Once I got into hotels, with an immediate exposure to technology, it became a goal of mine to inevitably work with hotel technology. When I was a customer many vendors just wouldn’t listen to the real pain points that my teams had. Many vendors that I was exposed to were just trying to sell their technology without showing me what value they were bringing to solve an actual problem that we had. I developed a strong point of view on what great vendors did and what bad ones did so that I could start adding value and also to help me identify where I’d ultimately want to work. When I met my CEM (Customer Experience Manager) with Amadeus, he and I struck a solid relationship that built over time into a really strong partnership. When my CEM decided to get back into hotel operations, he asked me if I wanted to replace him. Every staff member I met from Amadeus was solely focused on solving problems for their customers. After my interview with my soon to be leaders, and learning that almost every one of my teammates worked in hotels in the past, I knew I had found my new home. The rest is history! What was the most challenging part of moving from hotels into technology? There really was no challenge for me. For me, the adjustment was so surreal to see how greener the side of this world is that suits my passions when compared to the constant, fast-paced nature of hotel operations in Las Vegas. I have to admit, I am lucky beyond measure to let my inner geek out, travel, meet incredibly brilliant people I can learn from, and tell stories that have real meaning for our industry. You obviously loved Amadeus as a customer even before you worked there, what is it that stood out to you about the company? Hospitality is all about the human connection and a property’s ability to deliver positive experiences for guests. Amadeus’ technology solutions provide cloud-native capabilities for the Central Reservations System, Property Management System, Sales & Event Management, Business Intelligence, Media, Guest Management solutions, and Service Optimization. These solutions not only cover the entire life-cycle of a guests’ journey, but offer properties the added benefits of usability, functionality, and visibility into guest data. This represents a game changer for the industry, as venues commonly work with multiple technology vendors and have fragmented views of their guests. Imagine that you're going to open the hotel of your dreams tomorrow. What kind of hotel would it be? My dream hotel to open would be independent, targeted at middle upper to luxury travelers. It would be small with about 75-100 rooms in the heart of Chicago or Las Vegas that catered to music, art, and entertainment with a 40’s-50’s post modern flair. I would also ensure that the property had tactful touches of advanced technology bordering on science fiction levels of experience. I would love to find the right way to bring back the big band era style of hospitality. That post-modern design, and the elegance back then was so timeless. Pairing that timelessness with technology would really be unique in a market so saturated with the same kinds of offerings. I would name it The Indigo. Not only do I enjoy the color, but indigo dye has a really interesting history and it was one of the largest influencers in the globalization of the world. From a technology perspective I would focus on building the hotel with the best infrastructure out there so it was future proof for the next 10 years like fiber lines, BLE, mesh sensors, and building management automation. Otherwise, if I didn’t I would have to keep upgrading every other year or so which is so much more expensive in the long run. I would actually highly limit traveler facing technology, and be tasteful with what channels and tech travelers were exposed to. I would then invest in the best staff facing development tools and technology money could buy to ensure that my staff could work smarter and not harder. I believe staff should always come before the guest, so I would want make every effort to ensure my staff to have every tool they need to easily conduct their day, maintain building integrity, and have knowledge about any traveler they interact with to make the ecosystem engaging and meaningful for both staff and travelers we would host. What's one piece of advice you have for hoteliers who have dreams of working in technology one day? Surprisingly, there are many hospitality tech vendors out there in the world with a majority of staff that have never worked for a hotel a day in their lives. Because of this problem, I think we actually need more hoteliers to move into the tech space than ever before. Thankfully with Amadeus, I am surrounded by decades of hotel experience between my teammates, but almost everyone I work with shared a similar sentiment when they were in hotel operations. Many hoteliers think the moment the work in a hotel, they are sucked into a vacuum of an industry they cannot get out of, and that their skills cannot translate to other industries because travel is so specific. What I wish I understood far earlier in my hotel career is that the hotel and travel industry actually set the standards of service for every other industry out there. The skills you develop in hotels DO translate, and frankly what you learn about service in the hotel industry is cutting edge. It takes years for other industry sectors to adopt hotel industry best practices, so you have more to your advantage than you think. What's one podcast, newsletter or book that you recommend hoteliers read if they'd like to eventually move into tech? Read everything by Malcolm Gladwell. Blink, The Tipping Point, David and Goliath, read all of his stuff. His work opened my mind to new perspectives about how to help others, learn, and gain a greater understanding about what it means to be in service to others. Hospitality is about engaging with people, and dealing with human problems. There is no uniqueness to the problems hoteliers face every day. Travel technology needs as much humanity as possible because travel is all about connecting with a place, with people, and with yourself. What is your favorite hotel in the world? As much as I have thought about this, I honestly cannot pick a favorite hotel in the world. It is just too hard because every great hotel I have stayed at has always offered something different that I enjoy. Each one stands out in its own way. However, I can say this: I think the best hotels in the world are the ones that anticipate my behavior and needs based on what they know about me, especially if they greet me by using my name. What is the most exciting technology you've seen in the hotel tech space that is not built by your own company? Why? Mesh networks and beacon technology. I think that is one of the most impressive future hardware developments not only for hospitality, but for the world. While it is an extremely fine line – where many data collectors have pushed the creepy line to the edge with tech like this – I think that mesh network and beacon technology can truly enhance the lives of travelers and consumers alike. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I am an identical twin.
How Adam Isrow and his team built GoConcierge into a global empire without venture funding or a marketing budget
What do you think of when asked to picture the founder of a dot com era startup founded in the year 2000? I picture an arrogant and sharp elbowed hype man with an inflated ego who’s selling the dream of world domination and hockey stick growth. Adam Isrow founded GoConcierge in the year 2000 during the heyday of epic dot com busts like Pets.com and Webvan but his story couldn’t be more different from his infamous peers. If you got to trade your boss in for a new one - Adam is the kind of guy that everyone wants to work for. He’s humble and soft spoken yet firm and disciplined. While tech founders were out chasing exponential user growth in the early 2000s Adam was focused on the fundamentals. Webvan stock chart from 1999-2001 shows the quintessential dot com bust The GoConcierge story sits in stark contrast of companies like Webvan that were founded around the same time. While his peers were busy seducing investors and big media with glitz - Adam focused on moderate, consistent and steady growth. His character attracted a strong and loyal team solely focused on the elevated customer service that helped him build the GoConcierge business almost exclusively through word of mouth. “Everyone wants some magic pill—some life hack—that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.” – Jocko Willink Adam is not the kind of leader who looks for a magic pill. His favorite book, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink is a navy seal commander’s tale of humility, loyalty and discipline - three qualities that deeply characterize Adam’s leadership style. So how did Adam grow GoConcierge to more than 1,000 hotels globally without traditional venture funding? His background in the hotel industry is a huge piece of the puzzle. While working in hotels Adam learned humility through dedicating himself to service. The hospitality industry also taught him a deep sense of empathy that enabled him to develop technology that would become loved by even the least digitally savvy concierges. The teamwork he learned in the front office enabled him to attract and retain a team of loyal high performance contributors. Adam’s story embodies the true spirit of hospitality in every way. While he personally considers work and service to be rewards in themselves, Adam’s years of dedication were recently validated when ALICE bought his firm GoConcierge for millions in 2017. What was your background prior to starting GoConcierge? Coming out of undergrad, I wanted both sales and management experience as a foundation to begin my career. Prior to starting GoConcierge, I had worked in hotel operations for a hotel in Los Angeles. The goal was to turn around each department in the hotel and prepare the hotel for being sold. While overseeing guest services and ultimately the rooms division, I saw how much work the team was doing manually with logbooks and binders. I thought if we could create a tool with a database of vendors and directions (this was pre Mapquest and Google Maps) and the ability to track activities, that it would enable our team to spend more time and attention on the guests. Just prior to launching GoConcierge, I worked for another technology startup focused on disseminating digital assets in the entertainment industry. Once that company was sold, I was still intrigued by the Concierge tracking idea and while going back to earn my MBA during the dot com era, decided to launch GoConcierge. Hard to believe that was back in 2000 and here we are today. What made you decide to jump in and start GoConcierge? After spending several years in hotel operations, I saw first-hand the importance of adding efficiencies where possible. So much of the day-to-day operation in a hotel is manually driven and at the time, there were very few systems outside of the property management system. We had created our own tools using Microsoft Access for yield management and also tracking any challenges throughout the operation. One night while talking with my partner, we discussed creating a database for vendors so that we could have a knowledge base of everything our guests were asking. This way, no matter who was working, we could help the guest right away. I spent the evenings typing directions into each location since there was no Mapquest or Google Maps at the time. I felt it had to be extremely user-friendly and I remember having an amazing gentleman in guest services named, Frank, and he was in his 70’s and was not comfortable using a computer. I remember thinking that if we could get Frank comfortable using this, we were onto something. Fortunately, Frank was able to use it and the team noticed that they were able to do their job better by having more information at their fingertips vs. having to look in logbooks and binders. Plus, I have terrible handwriting and if I wrote something in the logbook, there was a good chance others would not be able to read it. Adam Isrow sold his business GoConcierge to ALICE in 2017 Who was GoConcierge’s first customer? Our first Customer was a Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles. I called several times and spoke to the Rooms Executive at the time and she was intrigued enough to allow me to present to her. Fortunately for me, she understood the vision and she and her team believed that GoConcierge could enhance their day-to-day operation and ultimately the guest experience. In addition to providing the application, I also guaranteed that I would provide exceptional support and would exceed expectations. I worked hard to earn trust and have her provide me with an opportunity. I felt if I could just get into a hotel like that, it would add credibility and help me gain additional hotels. GoConcierge was acquired by ALICE in 2017 - how do the businesses work together today? We have created the first operations platform with a goal of going to our customers with a suite of services. So often in hotels each department purchases their own applications. Therefore they operate as silos and most of the time and don’t communicate with each other. We believe that there is significant value in providing one solution that can add value to multiple departments. The ALICE Platform has various modules including Concierge, Service Delivery, Messaging, Preventative Maintenance and Housekeeping. Customers can pick and choose what is best for their property and because we have an open API, we can also facilitate integration between various systems. Having one platform can provide cost savings to the hotel instead of paying setup fees and multiple subscriptions fees for multiple systems. ALICE Concierge has a customizable database powered by Google Places and tracks all activities arranged for guests, creates personalized confirmation letters, itineraries, communicates with guest and team members via SMS and other platforms. Using ALICE for service delivery, the property can dispatch requests such as towel delivery, challenges in the room and even manage preventative maintenance. ALICE provides a complete operational solution that will allow your team to provide a very personalized and exceptional guest experience. ALICE’s modern dashboard connects departments seamlessly What's the biggest misconception that hoteliers have about technology? Perhaps the most common belief I used to hear was that the Concierge didn’t need an application because they could use Excel or their logbooks. We obviously felt differently especially after spending time behind the desk and seeing the amount of work done manually and the importance of providing a tool to enable the team to be more efficient. We believe the role of the Concierge should be in the center of the hotel operation since their work touches so many departments and has such a significant impact on the overall guest experience. A good Concierge team does the job so well that they make it look easy. What is often not recognized or seen is the volume of work being done behind the scenes to deliver such a great guest experience. Investing in a tool allows the team to be more efficient and spend more time and attention on the guests. I believe the reason guests come back now is mostly because of the way the Concierge and other team members make the guests feel when they leave, more so than just having a beautiful hotel. Without a tool such as ALICE, it is very difficult to be efficient and create that great guest experience. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels since founding the business? In hospitality, we are a 24/7 operation and since we have customers around the world, there really is no downtime. As we have scaled the company, in addition to our application, we remain keenly focused on our environment and optimizing the performance of the application for our users. This is a major effort and something that requires focus for achieving results today and in the future, domestically and internationally. If you could partner with any vendor in hotel tech, who would it be and why? With respect to vendors to partner with, we believe the PMS provides a mutually beneficial opportunity. The more integration we provide, the better we serve our customers. We are interested in speaking with any PMS that believes there is value in integrating ALICE to enhance its offering Where do you see ALICE in 5-years? We envision ALICE being the operations hub for the hotel. We are striving for that now and in the next 5 years, we want to realize our ambition of allowing all hotel staff to work effectively together and while enabling innovation around us. Ultimately, we want to provide a platform that is so widespread and so open that all innovation in the guest space can connect into it and hotel companies can deliver hospitality through it. We believe there should be full transparency where the guests can realize the same type of control and experience they love from other industries. How will the concierge software space change in the next 5-years? We believe that that Concierge will need to be connected to all departments throughout the hotel- like the hub of the operation. Our customers will need as many efficiencies as possible to provide a high-level of service to the guest. We envision the Concierge department will have to be equipped to easily initiate requests for any department on behalf of guests. Do you have any new products or feature launches of late (or coming soon) that you'd like us to promote to our users? We are very excited to be developing our Room Assignment feature as part of our Housekeeping module. We have gained first-hand knowledge from our customers and our team of hospitality experts about what the ideal solution would be and we are actively working on this right now. Adding this functionality to our platform will allow us to achieve our vision of providing our customers with a complete solution for their operation and specifically, their largest department, Housekeeping. Is there anything that the community can do to be helpful for you? We are focused on interacting with other thought leaders to gain insight, share notes and collaborate together. We welcome the opportunity to connect with leaders that have grown and/or are building emerging technology. We have a speaker series where we bring in leaders with various backgrounds from various industries to speak about successes and failures and learnings along the way. It would be great to have more thought leaders from the community share their experiences with our team. ALICE won Hotel Tech Report’s ‘2019 Best Places to Work’ in Hotel Tech competition What's one piece of advice that you have for any entrepreneurs looking to get into hotel software? In any space it’s critical to surround yourself with the best possible team. Specifically within this niche of hospitality technology be sure you fully understand how you can add value and be willing to adjust along the way. The vision you start with may not be what you finish with. Be agile enough to shift when needed. What is the best book you've read lately and why? I really enjoyed reading Extreme Ownership: How Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. This is a story about taking ownership and leading by example. The story is told by two Navy SEALS and their life altering experiences in battle and how those lessons can be applied to both business world and your personal life. What is your favorite podcast? I like listening to The Tim Ferris Show and hearing his interviews with both business leaders and athletes. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I did sports broadcasting in college and also am passionate about speaking to groups about my experience of working with the world’s finest hotels and Concierges and the impact of consistently delivering exceptional service.
At its worst, hotel operations technology exacerbates divisions between departments, which continue functioning as isolated fiefdoms. At its best, an operations platform pulls everyone together by promoting collaboration and clear communication in hotel operations. One such solution is Quore, a workhorse that harmonizes hotel operations for 3,600 hotels in 22 languages and 29 countries. Its cloud-based platform enables more efficient communications and operations management across housekeeping, engineering, and guest relations. For some hotels, the integrated approach to handling guest requests on the platform led to a 50% improvement in problem-handling score. Effective, reliable communications also improves the staff experience -- something that matters more in a tightly competitive labor market. Staff want the right tools that help them do their jobs well -- and many will leave in frustration without them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs the 2018 hospitality turnover rate at 74.9%, so hotels that use technology to make work better will out-perform their peers in both retention and referrals from current staff. With an eye towards empowering employees, here are four team members that will be thankful for the Quore hotel operations platform. Your maintenance tech will prioritize projects better Guests hate discovering a maintenance issue upon arrival. It's an unwelcome challenge, presented immediately. It also makes even the most forgiving guest wonder why the hotel missed such an obvious thing, such as a burnt-out light bulb, a clogged toilet, or a broken doorknob. Quore’s functionality makes it easier for maintenance to overcome these challenges and work more efficiently in three key areas: Real-time problem management. When something goes wrong in the guestroom, it’s nearly always urgent. Guests don’t want to sit around and wait for an engineer, and, some things (such as a flooding drain or a sweltering room) are emergencies. Quore provides real-time problem handling that can quickly be assigned to the right team member -- and visible on that team member’s mobile device. Zdravko Bengez, a maintenance technician at the Hilton Garden Inn and downtown Nashville puts it like this: “With Quore, I know in seconds what needs to be done.” All relevant details appear on his mobile device, without having to chase down more information. Resource and project prioritization. Prioritizing resources is a daily tug-of-war, especially for larger properties. To effectively prioritize resources (including urgent problems like the ones mentioned above), Quore gives maintenance a quick overview, showing the up-to-date task list, as well as whether it was made by supervisor, the front desk, or a guest. This allows technicians to make on-the-fly decisions about where to go next, As well as stay in-the-loop with colleagues across the hotel. Preventative maintenance. PMs shouldn't be guess work. Quore supports hotel maintenance techs and engineers with preventative maintenance checklists that are automatically surfaced at the right time. As these lists evolve, changes are applied universally to keep everything consistent. Quore has robust enginnering features to support your maintenance staff: Prevenative maintenance, Pool chemical readings, Work orders, Boiler readings, Asset tracking, Meter readings, Custom inspections Your housekeeping manager will manage shifts more efficiently Housekeeping has many responsibilities that require regular communication and precise time management. Before a guest checks in, housekeeping must ensure that a room is available -- and up to brand standards. During a guest’s stay, housekeeping must service the room and fulfill guest requests for specific items. After check out, housekeeping must flip the room efficiently (and to brand standards) so that it's available for the front desk to assign. “The way in which a room is cleaned, tidied and presented to its guests is in direct relation to the level of service the hotel prides themselves on. Housekeeping provides guests with a clear indication of how they are valued.” -Paul Duverge, General Manager, Menlyn Boutique Hotel Quore’s platform makes this daily cycle easier on the housekeeping manager by supporting: Preparation. Each housekeeping shift is a puzzle. In advance of a shift, it's all about preparation and planning. Quore helps housekeeping managers to set each days priorities, as each stayover and checkout is clearly defined in the system. It simplifies the process of assigning rooms to housekeepers before they clock in. Prioritization. Things change throughout today. Real-time updates on things like stayovers becoming checkouts helps the housekeeping manager match staff resources with guest demand. Accountability. There's also very important advantage of a paper trail. As Liz, the assistant housekeeper manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Nashville learned after starting at a hotel with Quore, there's less accountability without a written record: “[With walkie-talkies] it's easy to not write something down. With Quore, it's like having a paper trail, so there's more documentation. Also, I can start and complete an activity all through Quore which is helpful for tracking.” Quore has robust houskeeping features to support your staff: Housekeeping assignments, Guestroom inspections, Deep cleanings, Lost & found, Room notices, Custom inspections, Digital breakouts, Room status tracking, Work orders, Brand standards compliance Your front desk manager will deliver better service It takes a certain amount of finesse to work the front desk. The ideal team member here is pleasant under pressure, with a knack for creative problem solving. Yet, even the most creative employee will be hobbled by poor information. The front desk is, in many ways, the central command post for a hotel’s operations. As the front line of guest communications, one of the toughest challenges encountered by most front desk agents is the unevenness of information. Quore’s smooths out these imbalances by adequately equipping the front desk to solve guest problems quickly with its: Dashboard. The Quore platform provides a single unified dashboard to collaborate quickly and across departments. This synchronization allows the front desk to focus on the rapid resolution of guest issues and avoid poor service situations, such as assigning an unclean or out-of-service room. Instead of less reliable means of communication, such as walkie-talkies or face-to-face, the front desk can communicate guest requests efficiently, says Finesse James, a front desk agent at Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Nashville: “It's a great method because it can keep us from having to call them when things are busy up here, and we are multitasking. It's easier to click and type in that we need them to do something. We can put all the specifics in the comments so they don't need to call and clarify.” Ease-of-use. The front desk is usually an untipped entry-level role, which means higher turnover. Quore’s consumer-friendly interface is familiar to anyone who’s used popular messaging and social media apps. It's intuitive, which reduces training time. The ease-of-use also keeps staff engaged and less frustrated, as they feel that the technology is working for, rather than against, them. For millennial's used to well-crafted interfaces, this is actually an important part of their expectations for the workplace. Digital logbook. No more deciphering chicken scratch or calling a colleague from a previous shift about “complaint from 402.” Standard log sheets keep staff informed from shift-to-shift. The digital log book also connects with related items, such as guest complaints or requests, so staff can easily find updates on notices mentioned in the digital log book. Quore has robust front desk features to support your front office team: Local attraction directory, Guestroom notices, Guest request management, Guest complaint management, Satisfaction callbacks, Key sign-in, sign-out and audit, Log book, Cash count log, Guest SMS, Security walks, Wake-up calls, Guest shipments Your general manager will achieve budget more often The best general managers know the power of consistent, clear communications. And many have learned this first-hand, rising up the ranks from entry-level desk clerk. According to a 2016 AH&LA study, 45% of respondents said that at least half of the general managers began in actionable positions. Quore allows these veterans to focus on providing fluid and flexible workforce communications that empowers rather than discourages. The Quore platform becomes a GM’s stalwart ally in running a consistent hotel operation by supplying: Centralized, digital log book. A GM can’t be everywhere at once. Quore’s position at the center of a hotel’s operation relives some of that pressure. As Gerald Loughran, the GM of Hilton Franklin/Cool Springs emphasizes, Quore’s digital log book is his hotel’s bible: “We’re religious about putting everything into Quore. If it’s not in Quore, it didn’t happen.” By pulling staff together into one shared operational brain, it’s much easier to maintain brand standards and close communication gaps. Go-anywhere access. A GM also has to go home at some point! Quore enables managers to keep track of staff to-do’s, tasks and track overall productivity across their hotel from any device. The go-anywhere access means that GMs aren’t out of the loop when off shift, at a conference, or on vacation. Actionable reports based on historical data. Historic data is easily accessible so that GMs can achieve growth and measurable improvement. This gives GMs the confidence that work is being done as it should be -- or quickly services areas that need work. When a GM spends less time on inspection or micro-management, it frees up time to focus on other metrics that matter -- such as guest satisfaction, revenue, and profitability. Quore has robust features to support your general managers:, Analytics & reporting, Asset tracking, CapEx management, Attendance tracking, Custom inspections, Budgeting tool, Checkbook visualization, Daily property walks
If you own or operate a hotel, you know that labor is the single largest expense on your P&L and that housekeeping is typically the largest expense within your labor budget. If you want to boost NOI, look no further than your housekeeping department. Cleaning the average hotel room typically costs between $10 and $16 with luxury hotels often spending more than $20 (CPOR). The majority of that cost (~65%) is spent on housekeeping salaries and wages. Hotels that are laser focused on housekeeping optimization often enjoy higher margins and ones that pioneer new housekeeping initiatives often enjoy a significant competitive advantage. Starwood’s “Make a Green Choice” program is one such initiative that not only drove company profits but also fundamentally changed the hotel industry. Starwood’s program allows guests to opt out of room cleanings in exchange for loyalty program points or F&B credit and is still running today - over 10 years later. In fact, the program was so successful that almost every hotel in the world followed suit. As pioneers in the “Make a Green Choice” movement, Starwood enjoyed a competitive advantage for years as the competition slowly caught up. Today hotels around the world are enjoying a similar competitive advantage through the early adoption of cutting edge housekeeping management software. Shockingly, most hotel housekeeping departments today still operate the same way they did in the 1980s. Every morning, housekeeping managers create boards for their room attendants to reference in order to be able to identify which rooms they have been assigned to using age old tools like pen and paper, PMS exports, radios and other manual methods. Due to the manual nature of the task, this process can take anywhere from a half hour to several hours each morning and the plan immediately becomes obsolete as soon as anything changes--even something as simple as a housekeeper arriving to their next assigned room to find a do not disturb on the door. Manual methods also hamper efficiency offering little in the way of performance optimization data and lots in the way of potential human error. Housekeeping management software provides a suite of manager and room attendant tools that combine real time departmental communication and synchronization with sophisticated reporting and analytics. This week, New York City based hotel tech darling ALICE made an announcement that is poised to shake things up for hotels across the globe with its all new Housekeeping product. While ALICE has always offered a flexible staff communication and task management platform that is used by housekeeping teams across the globe--the all new housekeeping offering is designed from the ground up to deliver a magical experience that will leave even non-housekeepers wanting to take it for a spin. The platform packs a punch with mission critical housekeeping management functionality like automated room assignments but delivers this functionality in an elegant and easy to use solution that integrates each department on property like a finely tuned orchestra. ALICE gave us a glimpse into the future of housekeeping with an exclusive behind the scenes tour of their reimagined housekeeping product. Let’s dive in, shall we… The All-New ALICE Housekeeping at a Glance A fresh take on a department that is one of the biggest cost centers for hotels, yet hasn't changed the way it operates in decades Forward-thinking design and intuitive user interface based on a system of simple icons and labels that minimize training requirements and maximize team adoption Push one button and watch your rooms inventory get magically assigned to the optimal members of your team based on your properties’ bespoke rules and characteristics Real time updates and notifications that make manual entry, tracking and repetitive tasks a thing of the past Automated reporting that unlocks new levels of visibility into real time and retrospective performance to bring more to your bottom line Platform approach enables seamless inter departmental handoff to supercharge your team’s collaboration and put an end to expensive and frustrating human error The all new ALICE Housekeeping boasts clean lines and an intuitive user interface that your team will actually want to use One of the single biggest problems in hotel tech is adoption (i.e. getting your team to actually use software and use it correctly). When hotel software implementations fail it’s usually due to the fact that on property teams lack the product knowledge needed to properly leverage the tool. For this reason, hotel software must first and foremost be simple and easy to use--clunky and bloated software rarely (if ever) reaches its full potential. With ALICE, you can put this concern to rest. The new housekeeping app design is stunningly beautiful and shockingly simple. The product team over at ALICE has taken design hints from best-of-breed user interfaces like Facebook and Google. Students of product design know that simplicity has long been the holy grail of product adoption and customer experience. Housekeeping teams often suffer from high staff turnover, challenging language barriers and in many cases and a lack of formal education. These factors make design one of the most important factors when selecting housekeeping management software for your hotels. Legacy housekeeping software platforms often run on confusing code based systems (e.g. code 1724 = clean room) that can be difficult to train new employees on. Contrastingly, ALICE runs on an intuitive set of icons and colored labels which deliver an easy to use experience for new hires and housekeeping veterans alike. Great software design delivers direct business benefits such as reduced training and generally faster on-boarding of new hires. There’s also a significant indirect benefit to ALICE’s cutting edge UX design which often gets overlooked by hoteliers. Choosing a technology vendor is as much about the future as it is about the present. Legacy software vendors often have hundreds or even thousands of features developed over the years that 90% of their users don’t even know exist (let alone know how to use). ALICE’s intuitive design ensures that your team will be able to easily learn and adopt new feature functionality as the platform progresses. In fact, the ALICE interface is so simple and intuitive that your team can literally get started with little to no prior training on the software. It's not surprising how intuitive ALICE Housekeeping is given that the product team didn’t even begin designing the product until they had spent more than six months shadowing hotels and performed more than 100 user interviews with hoteliers across various segments and geographies to learn about their pain points, daily routines and what makes them tick. Push one button and watch your rooms inventory get automatically assigned to the optimal members of your team based on your properties’ bespoke rules and characteristics While ease of use is critical for team adoption--the true magic lies in ALICE’s pièce de résistance which is (drum roll please…) automated smart room assignments. If you operate your housekeeping department the old fashioned way (as most hotels still do), your executive housekeeper sits down at their desk each morning to assess available labor and rooms turnover. They then spend anywhere from 30-minutes to several hours assigning ‘points’ to staff (ie. the standardized way of allocating housekeeping labor availability to demand on a daily basis) ensuring that all rooms that need to be cleaned are scheduled to be cleaned as efficiently and quickly as possible to accommodate incoming arrivals. This process can be extremely manual and intuition based which leads to lots of guesswork and a myriad of snowballing sub-optimal decisions that cost your hotel valuable time and money. For hotels that want to skip the guesswork and run an efficient housekeeping department, ALICE’s new housekeeping product allows your team to press a magic button then watch everything fall into place like a game of Tetris. Once you press the “auto-assign” button, ALICE’s algorithm instantaneously matches your staff with their optimal room assignments based on your hotel’s pre-determined staffing and inventory rules. This process can save your housekeeping managers anywhere from one to three hours each morning. Your housekeeping managers can then use that time saved to focus on other mission critical items that improve the guest experience and optimize your assets. Don’t want to let the computer do the work for you? No problem, ALICE offers complete flexibility for human override coupled with a simple drag-and-drop interface. You know what they say though, once you go auto-assign you never go back. Auto room assignment is only the tip of the iceberg because in a hotel, things are constantly changing. These critical changes don’t just happen daily, but hourly and sometimes even by the minute. A housekeeper calls in sick. A guest arrives early. An elevator breaks down. The list of exceptions, changes and variables is nearly infinite so keeping track of them and adjusting in real time is critical - this is where ALICE really shines. Every room change, late checkout, VIP arrival, etc. upends your whole plan and requires you to reoptimize. These types of real time optimizations with hundreds of variables and constraints are extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) for the human mind to compute. With ALICE, however, things like a rushed room will trigger the software to re-optimize room assignments instantaneously sans the mental math and back and forth team coordination. So unless your housekeeping manager is able to calculate sophisticated optimization algorithms on the fly - they’ll be forever grateful for your decision to invest in ALICE. The platform is likely to save them time, alleviate stress, make them better at their jobs and allow them to focus on the more strategic decisions within the department. Not to mention, it may even help them fend off some grey hair. Just considering the time savings alone for each fully turned room, investing in housekeeping software should be a no brainer for bottom line focused hoteliers The fatal mistake that many hoteliers make is that they are so caught up in the day-to-day operations that they miss the bigger picture and the impact that seemingly small boosts to efficiency can have on their bottom line at scale. A few minutes here and a few minutes there might not seem like a big deal in the moment (especially if you don't have software to track and measure this inefficiency) but that's exactly what makes these types of invisible inefficiencies so dangerous silently sucking profit out of your operation. Let's look at an example. Imagine you operate a 200 room hotel running 80% occupancy and 2.5 night LOS (length of stay). Based on those numbers, you are going to be cleaning north of 20,000 rooms each year and that's not even considering turndown service, mid-stay cleanings or special requests. So while shaving 4-minutes off of every one hour room cleaning might not seem like a big deal on its own can actually have a major impact on your hotel's bottom line. In fact, this one optimization alone has the potential to lead to enough in cost savings to pitch ownership on upgrading your hotel's housekeeping software to the 21st century as a 2-4x ROI initiative as shown in the image below. The new housekeeping product stays true to ALICE's platform approach creating a one stop shop for running and optimizing your hotel's operations With this robust new housekeeping offering, ALICE’s platform creates a seamless symphony between front of house and back office team members while enabling hotel owners and operators to gain critical visibility into their operations and make more informed decisions that ultimately lead to serious bottom line results. The day-to-day operation of a hotel rests on hundreds of daily requests both internally between departments, and from guests. Each of these requests involves subtle critical details, back-and-forth communication, execution and follow-up which is what makes seamless pass-on of critical information to the right team member, with native escalation procedures so essential when it comes to identifying and reducing human error. Equipped with ALICE, a housekeeper can leave a note about damaged equipment which automatically creates a work ticket, assigns the ticket to an engineer and notifies them to address the issue. A room attendant can quickly tag an item left behind for lost & found by snapping a photo so that the front desk knows which guest to expect a call from in real time. ALICE has done an incredible job converting the daunting complexity of hotel operations into elegant simplicity. What’s also great is that once you start using ALICE, you can say goodbye to all manual tracking, note taking and back and forth communication relays thanks to automated notifications, updates and task routing built directly into the platform. Is ALICE Housekeeping right for your property? The platform is a fresh take on a department that for most hotels hasn’t changed the way it operates in decades. While housekeeping features like automatic room assignments and real time progress reporting stand on their own as valuable additions to the ALICE product suite, the power truly gets unlocked when the platform is utilized by your whole team: front desk, engineering, concierge and housekeeping. Leveraging the full ALICE platform gives your team the tools they need to operate at peak performance by being completely in sync with each other. The all new ALICE Housekeeping combines the computing power of the cloud with deep operational expertise to simplify hundreds of housekeeping decisions made on property each day, and ensure that the optimal decision is effortlessly made in even the most complex scenarios. For some hoteliers, the intuitive UI and sheer awesomeness of ALICE’s new automatic room assignments feature will be enough to upgrade their hotel's housekeeping software. But if that's not enough for you then the promise of empowering your team to make better decisions that shrink the single biggest expense on your P&L is likely to do the trick. So the question is, if your team can save time, communicate seamlessly, decrease human error, reduce operating expenses, improve service delivery, foster happier employees and give management the visibility and tools to make better decisions from the comfort of their desk - why wouldn’t you give ALICE a try? This content was created collaboratively by ALICE and Hotel Tech Report.
With simultaneous rising labor costs and stubbornly high turnover, hotel housekeeping remains a top challenge facing the industry. According to STR’s 2019 HOST Almanac, a compilation of operating statistics of more than 5,000 U.S. hotels, 2018 labor costs tallied an estimated $70 billion. As a percentage of total revenue, the median full-service hotel spends 30 percent, while limited-service hotels spend 22 percent. And that number is only going up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3.2 percent increase in hourly wages for non-supervisory works in the accommodations business at the end of 2018. At the same time, job openings are also near record-highs: per the BLS, the hospitality sector had more than 900,000 job openings. And that’s despite the wage increase! On the supply side, labor shortages are likely to worsen as hotel pipelines continue to grow. STR reported nearly 18 percent growth in global hotel inventory during the decade between 2008 and 2018 while CBRE’s December 2018 edition of Hotel Horizons accessed a 1.9 percent net increase in U.S. hotel supply in 2018. More hotels are competing for fewer capable employees. This labor crunch is especially acute in the housekeeping department. Adding fuel to the fire, immigration laws are tightening in primary markets like the United States and in parts of Western Europe. To do more with less, hotels must deploy housekeeping software that streamlines housekeeping’s day-to-day tasks while still maintaining strict brand standards. “The use of such software is dramatically speeding up the process of turning rooms over, leading to lower costs and higher revenues.” -HTR’s Housekeeping Management Software Buyers Guide With technology, time-consuming tasks, such as creating housekeeping schedules, tracking room attendants’ progress, and adjusting to changing requests in real-time, are much simpler. Staff carry mobile devices, which centralizes communications and optimizes routes in real-time throughout shifts. In short, housekeeping software expedites housekeeping operations, captures data to continuously improve performance, and makes your hotel more organized than ever. Here’s what to look for as you start evaluating housekeeping management software vendors. What to look for in housekeeping management software When evaluating the best housekeeping management software for hotels, here's what to look for at a higher-level: Mobile-first. A non-negotiable. Mobile-optimized applications ensure that your staff can do the work whether they are on property. Reporting. Accurate, timely, and useful reporting ventures your teamIs optimized for performance. Find a solution that gives you the visual reports in formats that work best for your team. Automated room assignments. Manually assigning rooms isn’t efficient, especially for routine cleans. Look for automation to eliminate wasted work. Intuitive user interface. Tech that isn’t easy for everyone to use will cause more headaches than its worth. Focus on usability so that your staff needs less training on the software. Plenty of integrations. Your housekeeping management software will be severely hobbled without the appropriate integrations. Be sure that any solution you select integrates with your existing property management system! With clearer visibility into the hotel’s day-to-day operations, owners and operators can also make more informed decisions to improve their bottom lines. To help you decide which tool to select for your hotel, here are the 6 housekeeping tech tools that have hoteliers talking. Popular housekeeping software vendors 1. Quore Cleaning Plus Quore’s Cleanings Plus software has been named the top Housekeeping Management Solution for two years running in the HotelTechAwards. This was its second consecutive year at the top spot, likely influenced by the fact that the tool is used at more than 3,600 properties across 80 brands in 29 countries. With Cleanings Plus, housekeeping managers can record and view room updates and also schedule, manage and track cleanings and inspections. Additional functions include analysis of individual and department-wide performance trends as well as the ability to immediately report work order requests. Rooms can be assigned by cleaning type and a virtual breakout board can be created in the app for everyone to view. Room attendants also have the capability, via mobile access, to make relevant updates on their end. As one HTR reviewer pointed out, much of the data is retained so hotel management can go back and reference it without the hassle of having to physically store older information. “[I like] having so much in one program and the ability to keep so much historical data without keeping paper files,” he said. Notable feature: The software is available in 22 languages so staff can communicate in their native tongue. This is a fantastic way to improve productivity and staff engagement, not to mention stronger guest satisfaction when they communicate in their native tongues as well. Quore is the #1 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: Quore is extremely popular with branded properties in the U.S. and is highly recommended by 95% of its users. Clients rate Quore 4.8/5 for ease of use and 4.7/5 for customer support making it the most highly recommended software in its category on Hotel Tech Report. 2. ALICE Housekeeping Hotel operations platform ALICE debuted its latest evolution in June (check out our exclusive coverage), a housekeeping solution that enables direct and immediate communication between individual members of housekeeping staff as well as between housekeeping and all other hotel departments. The platform can directly reduce a hotel’s labor costs by at least 10 percent, and the company says it saves an average of four minutes in cleaning time per room. The platform is wholly customizable, with a tool kit that includes: A dashboard-like feature that gives housekeeping managers a comprehensive overview of their department’s operations, from room attendant assignments and task sheets to room clean status, special requests and personalized guest details. The ability for managers to automatically prepare staff task sheets and balance assignments The ability for room attendants to track their cleaning progress and immediately report any unexpected issues The new housekeeping software solves for two critical pain points that typically drive up hotel operations costs. ALICE Housekeeping reduces training time for new hires by replacing the numerical code-based systems with icons and colored labels to indicate tasks and other messages. It also directly connects front of house and back office teams, the software drives a 60 percent reduction in radio and in-person communications. Notable feature: The platform can also alleviate housekeeping managers of the daily and time-consuming burden of accessing the day’s room inventory and subsequently assigning available staff to occupied rooms and rooms in the midst of turnover. ALICE Housekeeping has an algorithm for that. Just hit the “auto-assign” button –or override it for manual control. ALICE is the #2 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: ALICE is popular with boutique properties around the world, and comes recommended by 97% of HTR users, ranking Number 2 in popularity. 3. Flexkeeping Flexkeeping’s housekeeping feature is purpose-built to keep housekeeping staff up-to-date, rooms clean, and workflows organized. Since the platform provides an intuitive home for housekeepers, there are fewer miscommunications and far less confusion. In fact, hotels that use the app have an average of 70 percent fewer disruptive phone calls to housekeeping. With a clear overview of rooms that need servicing, housekeeping managers can dynamically assign available staff, with the added ability to confirm room cleanliness instantly and manage other duties such as turndown service and minibar refills. On the housekeepers end, the app has clear checklists and integrated messaging to keep on top of quality and recent requests. Get a free Flexkeeping demo The app also offers an inspection checklist for quality control in addition to a translation feature to accommodate non-English speaking staff. Flexkeeping allows for integrations with several Property Management Systems (PMS) including Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Services, Mews Systems, Cloudbeds Myfrontdesk and protel. The app is described by one hotel manager as “simple to use and very helpful.” Notable feature: The Flexkeeping interface is colorful and clear. It’s easy to see at a glance which rooms have been tended to and which ones still need attention. With this interface, managers can be more efficient and spend less time on room assignments and more time on quality control. Flexkeeping is the #4 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: Flexkeeping is recommended by 98% of reviewers on HTR. Users rate its ease-of-use and support highly, as the platform is simple and helpful, allowing users to fix issues quickly. 4. RoomChecking With both intuitive mobile and desktop applications, RoomChecking directly connects to a hotel’s PMS, with dozens of integrations available. The platform streamlines communication between housekeeping, maintenance the front desk and management so that operational tasks can be expedited and tracked. As one HTR reviewer explained “all employees use the same software (room attendant, maintenance, front office, F&B).” But the same user also noted that load times can sometimes be long. RoomChecking’s housekeeping product is equipped with a mobile app for room attendants and another for supervisors inspecting rooms as well as schedule planning and a function to convey housekeeping changes in real time. The software also warehouses all cleaning and inspection records. As far as cost, implementation fees range between $1,000 and $2,500, while the monthly subscription cost is around $3 per room on a monthly basis. Get a free RoomChecking price quote Notable feature: RoomChecking has standalone apps for different parts of your business. With its Cleaner, Inspector, and Runner apps, each role has specific tools at its disposal, while still benefiting from communication across the different applications. RoomChecking is the #6 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: RoomChecking’s housekeeping product comes in at Number 6 on the HTR popularity index; 96 percent of reviewers recommend the product. The software’s highest overall rating was for ROI, scoring 4.7 out of 5 with ease of use following just behind at 4.5 of 5. The platform was given a score of 4.2 of 5 for support and 4 of 5 for implementation. 5. HotSOS Housekeeping (by Amadeus) HotSOS Housekeeping’s purpose is threefold; the app prioritizes the process of guestroom cleaning, digitizes the guest room inspection process; and virtually mobilizes management of the housekeeping department. In 2016, it saved hotels $166 per room. More specifically, the launch of HotSOS Housekeeping throughout one hotel client’s property resulted in a 14 percent increase in productivity and a total labor savings of $136,000 annually. HotSOS was one of the earliest housekeeping products brought to market and has the largest install base. The drawback of going with the largest player is usually legacy that comes with scale. When a software is widely used it can be hard to change this drastically without alienating users. For HotSOS one major drawback is the code based system used which can be confusing for room attendants who haven’t yet memorized the platform and have lots else on their minds. The benefit of this system is that it’s widely used so many experienced room attendants will be familiar with it from a previous property. Another client, the 159-room Prince de Galles hotel in Paris signed on with HotSOS Housekeeping when an insufficient inventory of clean rooms upon guest arrival became a chronic issue. Room attendants had to located by radio or physically in order to be updated on last-minute changes and new cleaning priorities, leaving supervisors with little time for department management and room inspections. To solve this, HotSOS Housekeeping provided the team with an automated solution for consistent communication in real-time. The consistency pushed cleanliness scores higher, as the hotel’s Director of Housekeeping said: “Our GEI scores for 2016 show a 2% increase in guestroom cleanliness and a 5% increase in guestroom condition since 2014. Having more time to spend on guestroom inspections and the ease and efficiency in reporting deficiencies in real time, have helped improve our guest ratings.” Notable feature: HotSOS’ focus on service optimization includes an automated dispatch feature that pushes operational and guest requests to the right person instantly to reduce wait times and increase efficiencies. HotSOS is the #7 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: 96% of reviewers would recommend HotSOS, which is used across hotel categories, with reviewers appreciating fast housekeeper responses and the customizable reports. 6. OPTii Solutions OPTii streamlines housekeeping operations by optimizing room-attendant path of travel and reducing manual communications by at least 60 percent. This housekeeping software can automatically estimate cleaning times to predict, manage and optimize housekeeping schedules in real time, allowing managers to automate the vital tasks of creating daily schedules. On average, hotels that use Optii see up to 500 percent within just months of implementation by reducing housekeeping labor costs up to 18% and increasing productivity up to 24%. Additionally, OPTii gives managers the ability to identify room status as it pertains to housekeeping, including those ready for inspection. Managers can also view room attendant progress, for real-time insight on how well each attendant stays on, ahead or behind schedule, how quickly they’re completing rooms and how many rooms each attendant has completed at any given time during their shift. Notable feature: OPTii also has in-depth reporting capabilities that can compile metrics and analytics to generate 15 different reports. These reports can be personalized to deliver a quick-and-easy way to stay on top of your team’s performance trends. OPTii is the #8 rated housekeeping app by hoteliers on Hotel Tech Report. What clients say: The product is recommended by 72% of HTR reviewers and scores 3.8 of 5 in both ease of use and support. A number of users also commented that they would like to see an option to delete and edit notes or the addition of a real time messenger system so that housekeepers can instantly be notified of reservations changes.
Recent Housekeeping News & Community Updates
February 12, 2018 - Hotel Tech Report has named Quore 2018’s Top Rated Housekeeping Management Software based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world. Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “Housekeeping is arguably the single most difficult job in a hotel - it’s grueling, intense and requires impeccable coordination. Great housekeeping management software helps take some of the pressure off of the team who’s already stretched thin while ensuring that” says Hotel Tech Report’s Adam Hollander. Quore is poised for sustained growth in 2018. A Nashville based development manager says that, “Quore’s software enables effective, real-time task management of all housekeeping employees. The ability to closely manage personnel without additional supervision is what I like most about the software. This creates real value.” To read the full review and more, head to Quore's profile on Hotel Tech Report
Universal platform for operational management of the workflow of the hotel in real-time, created by hoteliers for hoteliers
HKeeper US, LLC will be present on the HITECT19 in Minneapolis 17-20 June for the first time. We are introducing our cloud-based Software as a Service - HKeeper. It is a radically new format for real-time management of ALL working processes in the hotel and resort fields. HKeeper is a paradigm change in hotel management. HKeeper represents a universal tool for organization and control. It fundamentally transforms the interactions of all departments in digital formal with NO information lost. All in "here and now" format. HKeeper provides complete information about the efficiency in detailed Reports and Dynamic Charts in a convenient, visualized form. HKeeper works perfectly for managing properties in multiple locations! Management sees the big picture as well as the finer details across the spectrum. HKeeper enhances time management, prioritizing, and delegation and takes it to a higher level. HKeeper’s architecture consists of 12 main modules. These encompass a Centralized Logbook and Messenger, Workflow Management, Employee Management, Rooms Management, Lost and Found, Inventory, Reports, Analytics, Media and Settings. HKeeper works in desktop and mobile versions of all types of smartphones on the Android and iOS operating systems. The mobile application functions equally well with or without Wi-Fi. The mobile app has a version for the executors and executives with the difference in the functionality an level of access to the information. Being informed on time allows you to make the right decision in time. This can be achieved easily, with HKeeper’s unique feature: the Centralized Logbook and Messanger. This enables you to convey information to the staff instantly. Further, to immediately coordinate their actions. With Hkeeper’s Workflow module, you control changes happening in real-time and are sure that in all departments, everything is going according to plan. Analyzing and managing expenses costs will be far easier with HKeeper by overseeing in real-time inventory, reports, and analytics by the minute. Hkeeper allows you to measure a workability level and the quality of tasks performed. The Employees module accumulate all analytics based on task performance evaluation and time count and give full reports for each employee. Also, the employee becomes more involved. Using the HKeeper mobile app, each employee gets the ability to document an event or an action, take photographs, add remarks, and record all questions regarding guests' requests. Transmitting this information to supervisors becomes instantaneous. Decision-making becomes easy and on time. The mobile app is a real command center on the go. Once and for all management is relieved of the need for their constant physical presence in the hotel. Management is present everywhere. We are pleased to announce that HKeeper has entered into a partnership agreement with HotBot.ai the developer of the chatbot for Hotels. It allows us to organize the guest relations service on the absolutely another level. With this, the guest has the option of booking a hotel, get access to all of its services, the order in advance what’s needed. For this, there is no need to register on specific sites - HotBot uses instant messengers and communication channels already available to the guest. HKeeper and HotBot can easily be customized for all guests’ needs - and these are processed automatically. And more: HKeeper is one of the first programs to have a Technology Integration Agreement with the HAPI streaming platform, created by Data Travel, LLC. Thanks to this collaboration, HKeeper easily integrates with all existing ICPs today. HKeeper represents a radically new level of internal organization in the hotel business. HKeeper is dynamic, efficient, and focused on providing top quality services at the lowest cost. Our team has a natural creative flair and is full of ideas and energy. Come and see us at our booth # 711 and let us show our piece of art called HKeeper! About HKEEPER HKeeper US, LLC was established in 2017 in Orlando, Florida to develop and distribute HKeeper software. The founders of the company have long-term and invaluable experience in the hotel industry and the field of information technologies. For more information, please visit www.hkeeper.us
At the HITEK19 exhibition in Minneapolis, held from June 17 to June 20, the HKeeper software was presented for the first time to the hospitality industry professionals and caught the full attention of hoteliers and software developers. It was natural not only because one of the biggest hotel tech trends at the show was the next generation of hotel operational software, mostly concentrated on housekeeping and maintenance, but also because HKeeper has some unique features that distinguish it from similar programs. Among them, an automated inventory that allows tracking and counts, in real-time, all material usage during any task performance and other operations. HKeeper, being a universal platform for the operational management of the hotel’s workflow in real-time mode, radically transforms the format of all working processes in the hotel and resort fields. HKeeper is a paradigm change in hotel management. HKeeper is one of the very first software of its kind to have a Technology Integration Agreement with the HAPI streaming platform, created by Data Travel, LLC. Thanks to this collaboration, HKeeper can be trustfully integrated with all major PMS and other vendors of software related to hotel operations. Integration with HotBot - messenger for hotel guests allows HKeeper to put the guest relations service on another level of client satisfaction. Now, at the time of booking, hotel guests can enjoy additional pre-order services that are will be performed through HKeeper on time and with the highest quality of service. Svetlana Udalov, the Founder and CEO of HKeeper, during numerous meetings with representatives of hotel management companies from the USA, Canada, Germany, Latin America, Israel, and Jamaica, described in detail the existing functions of the software and its economic advantages. She has shown that HKeeper represents an entirely new level of internal organization in the hotel business. HKeeper is dynamic, efficient, and focused on providing top quality services at the lowest cost. The information about the almost immediate ROI and the extraordinary ease of implementing HKeeper made the most significant impression. Whistle Co-Founder Christofer Hovanesian and Svetlana Udalov had discussed in detail the needs and benefits of integration without the headache of various software for the development of the information technology market in the hotel industry. As a result, they had reached a principal agreement about starting to work on the possibility of integration of Whistle and HKeeper software. Answering the question of Co-Founder and CEO of HotelTechReport Jordan Hollander, "What is HITEC 19 for you?" Svetlana Udalov stated the following: “At first, it was a bit nervous about taking part in such a grand event and presenting my software among the best IT companies in the world, working for and in the hotel industry. But the great organization, the friendly atmosphere, and the huge amount of information received quickly turned my tension into the incredible strength of the incentive to work even harder to improve HKeeper. Thank you HITEC19!" HKeeper US, LLC was established in 2017 in Orlando, Florida to develop and distribute HKeeper software. The founders of the company have long-term and invaluable experience in the hotel industry and the field of information technologies. For more information about the features of the HKeeper program, please refer to our website www.hkeeper.us and the information support service of our company email@example.com