From operations to guest experience to marketing, smart hotel technology offers a variety of cost savings and revenue opportunities, whilst enabling hotel owners to reach new levels of profitability and dramatically improve the guest experience. This article will explore five ways technology can help you tackle one of the biggest challenges facing hotels in 2023: the staffing crisis.
Keep guests better informed pre-stay
The overall guest experience begins well before arrival, with pre-stay communications making it easy to ensure they are well informed as they arrive. Most hotels send generic information out to guests before they arrive, with a few giving instructions such as where to park, what time check-in is available etc, but there is opportunity here to be much more useful.
Many digital systems allow hotels to send out links to live directories and booking or upgrade opportunities. Hotels using the Crave platform, for instance, can connect guests to everything their system offers right from their browser. A simple link on the booking email connects guests with the Crave platform and can help them plan their trip, including destination information (including ticket booking!), advance spa and restaurant bookings, room upgrades and essential hotel directory information.
Keeping guests better informed pre-stay means they are forearmed when they arrive, and will reduce the number of ad-hoc queries, potentially speeding up check-in. Speaking of check-in…
Virdee remote check-in
A joint survey by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer and Pub Association shows that the highest staff shortages are front-of-house roles, but thanks to innovators like our partner Virdee, remote check-in can help to alleviate challenges with staffing your reception areas.
The Virdee Virtual Reception solution provides a fully contactless check-in experience, empowering 100% of hotel guests to check-in either via mobile web, app, or kiosk, receive a digital or physical key and head straight to their room. Check out their solution here.
Digitising in-room dining ordering
A service which remains in demand for guests, despite fewer travellers, is in-room dining, likely reinforced by the rise in popularity of home delivery services such as Deliveroo and JustEat. Despite this demand, recent data indicates traditional room service is no longer profitable, with only 23.2% of hotels earning a significant revenue from room service. The Crave platform offers a route to return to profitability and ease the demand with fewer staff through the use of our in-room tablets.
In-room tablets have an exceptionally high engagement rate with guests, with data showing that at least 90% of guests engaged with their in-room tablet during their hotel stay. With the ability to order room-service directly from the tablet, guests can send orders directly to the point of sale (POS), without requiring an order taker. What’s more, the interface mimics what online services offer, allowing you to upsell opportunities, and guests the ability to customise their meals.
According to research conducted by Criton, 47% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to order in-room service or to go to the hotel restaurant if they could use a mobile app or tablet to place their order. Allowing your hotel guests to order digitally is an effective way to boost in-room dining, whilst eliminating confusion caused by language barriers, hold-times associated with phone orders, and freeing up time of staff who might ordinarily be occupied providing this service.
Crave kiosk providing service 24/7
With a staggering 93.7% of hotel guests preferring a contactless check-in since the pandemic, it is clear that guests’ needs are changing, likely permanently. Digital tools are also able to reduce the physical need for staff and make your available resources go further.
Crave kiosks are a perfect way to encourage engagement with guests preferring digital interactions, and help alleviate frustrations of guests needing service with staff otherwise occupied. From speeding up the check-in process for hotel, restaurant or spa facilities, to providing local area or resort maps to customers, the functionality of a kiosk means you are able to augment the available staff while allowing guests the flexibility to explore available services at their leisure.
Harri staff management
Harri is a workforce management tool built specifically for the hospitality industry, with integrated solutions to schedule, manage and engage your team. The core aim of the Harri system is to digitally manage time and attendance of employees in an engaging, biometrically controlled application that drives compliance needs and communications at the point of clock-in. From configuration of shift related rules for clocking-in and out to employee driven shift swaps, to flexible shifts, the Harri tool provides one place to organise conversations, respond to requests and manage staff whilst streamlining and unifying team communications.
There are hundreds of ways digital tools can help hotels tackle the staffing crisis that we haven’t even touched upon, but we’ll continue to suggest ways to help in future articles. Crave and our partners are experts in developing innovative solutions to increase your operational efficiency and help your staff provide a better guest experience. If you’d like to discuss how Crave solutions can help you tackle your challenges in 2023, book some time with one of our experts here.
Head of Marketing - Crave Interactive