In the hospitality industry, amazing guest experience is priority number one. But as technology heightens guest expectations, hospitality executives can no longer afford not to modernize their business operations. Systemic adoption of any kind of technology comes with its risks, but as long as you keep your business goals in mind, you will discover technology is a driver of your key performance indicators. We’ve identified eight areas in the hospitality industry that could stand to benefit from technological innovation.
Before digital transformation, the role of the concierge involved little more than offering recommendations to local restaurants, and handing out maps of various tourist destinations. Now, the concierge team is responsible for providing a unique and personalized experience for each guest, and they need digital tools to make that happen.
Implementing concierge software into your business operations will not only make life easier for the concierge team, but will also make for a more enjoyable stay for your guests. Concierge software can help your team perform the following tasks:
- Maintain a live database of all local vendors
- Keep track of guest packages or luggage
- Create branded confirmation letters, itineraries, and maps
- Construct detailed plans for each guest
Concierge team members can also coordinate among themselves, and assist guests during off-hours.
The biggest concern for engineers in the hospitality industry is utility costs. Hotels, cruise ships, and resorts can run up hefty electric and water bills. Their second biggest concern is making sure the guests stay comfortable and safe—that the hot water, air conditioning, and sprinkler systems work.
Engineering technology can improve all the physical elements of your establishment. These include the actual facilities, utilities, brand aesthetics and standards. Modernizing your engineering technology can help you reduce your energy costs, keep your establishment up to code and safe, and help you maintain brand consistency throughout the entire organization.
Food and Beverage
Superb food and beverage service is a hallmark of many in the hospitality industry, and a part of everyday life for guests. Foodservice managers have a lot of plates to spin as it were to ensure they are delivering guests the best experience possible:
- Understanding guest needs and the market
- Creating policy and choosing operational methods to meet business objectives
- Planning and designing the facilities for food and beverage operations
- Organizing, budgeting for, and purchasing necessary food and beverage items and equipment
- Running operations and management of foodservice staff
- Controlling costs and managing overhead
- Monitoring customer satisfaction
With that in mind, it’s crucial to the success of your hospitality business that you modernize your foodservice operations. Foodservice managers need an intuitive platform to help them gather data on both the market, as we as your guests. They need to provide training to staff, and they also need to manage their books.
Your housekeeping team plays a vital role in the day-to-day satisfaction of your guests, and they face a number of challenges associated with their work, like a language barrier, room turnover and maintenance, and other daily tasks.
Housekeeping software currently hitting the market can assist your team in any number of ways, from simple and straightforward onboarding to automated tasks lists. Some technology is even employing motion capture cameras to help housekeepers work more efficiently and reduce the chance of chronic injury. Modernizing how you run housekeeping will also improve response times when housekeeping requests are made
We can’t have a conversation about modernizing hospitality operations without mentioning information technology (IT). Many decision makers in the hospitality industry fail to realize the importance of IT or the role of a CIO. But a solid IT department can improve business operations in a number of ways:
- Replace your existing paper system, and thus reduce costs
- Enhance operational effectiveness by improving internal communications
- Standardize best practices, and increase employee efficiency
- Improve customer experience
- Forward business strategies
Without information technology, business activities can amount to little more than guesswork. More than anything, a strong IT strategy can positively affect every aspect of your organization because it is designed to root out inefficiencies and maximize use of your current resources.
Implementing a property management system or PMS is a smart way to manage some of your more macro business objectives, such as coordinating operations in your front office, sales and planning efforts, and reporting. A PMS can integrate with several third-party solutions to help you with reservations, online booking, back office, point of sale, and more. It would also allow you to optimize specific areas like housekeeping, energy management, and television services.
Without a PMS, it can be very difficult to determine the key performance indicators of your various departments; but with one, you can identify, monitor, and complete all KPIs.
There’s no replacing the human aspect of the spa experience; however, introducing certain technology elements can definitely enhance the experience for guests. Technology like mobile check-in, online booking, or electronic wellness and request forms can help guests clearly communicate exactly what they want from their experience, and avoid any stress-inducing mishaps like scheduling errors.
Meanwhile, for spa staff, it can be something as simple as task management software that allows them to spend less time focusing on management tasks, and more time delivering a personalized guest service. They could also use a type of CRM software that creates a database full of guest preferences and history. This would allow them to provide tailor-made service without having to repeatedly go through all the paperwork.
Staff Task Management and Collaboration
Finally, let’s talk about the technology required to keep everyone on your staff—from foodservice and housekeeping, to spa and IT—literally on the same (web)page. Many in the hospitality industry are looking to cloud-based software to fill this need, as this will allow them to store all relevant information and task management into one central location. Instant messaging and task management software can also cut down on time waste and improve interdepartmental communication—all while saving the company money.
Using technology to improve your business operations is an investment that comes with a learning curve. It also comes with the temptation to rely too heavily on technology and forget the reason you implemented it in the first place. As you modernize your hospitality operations, be sure to keep your business goals in mind. Your brand stands for quality service, so make sure your technology achieves that end goal.