Authored by Branigan Mulcahy, Co-Founder, Virdee. Virdee was a finalist in the Best SaaS For Catering and Hospitality category at the 2023 SaaS Awards.
Hospitality technology and the benefits it provides to Select, Full, and Luxury Service Properties
Hospitality technology comprises a wide range of tools and solutions, spanning from back-of-house systems like property-management software and accounting tools, to front-of-house technologies like in-room tablets, self-check-in apps, and kiosks. The continuous growth of this technology is driven by pioneering startups that are taking the lead in innovating and transforming hotel operations. Front-of-house technology and its impact on both staff and guests is one of the hottest topics in the hospitality sector today, spanning the three main categories of properties – select-service, full-service, and luxury hotels.
Select-service properties are often found along highways, near airports and popular tourist attractions and cater to budget-conscious travelers who primarily need a place to rest. These properties typically operate on tight margins and offer the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay. These typically include a clean and comfortable room, a private bathroom, Wi-Fi access, and basic guest services. While they may lack certain luxury amenities like full-service restaurants, spas, or extensive room service options, select-service hotels focus on providing a convenient and efficient experience.
Self-check-in kiosks and apps can play an important role in these types of properties by facilitating a convenient and expeditious guest experience, especially for late-night arrivals when staff availability may be limited. (If you’ve ever had to stand in line to check in at a hotel at 2:00 in the morning while jetlagged, you’ll appreciate how self-check-in kiosks and apps can help shorten wait times to get guests to their rooms faster).
Full-service hotels, the Marriotts and Hiltons of the world, offer a wider array of amenities, like on-site restaurants, pools, and valet services. They are also typically strategically located in popular tourist destinations, city centers, and scenic areas, offering guests easy access to local attractions, shopping districts, and business hubs. Many provide dining options as they aim for convenience combined with a modicum of luxury.
Full-service hotels target business travelers and tourists willing to pay higher rates for enhanced experiences. In-room tablets and mobile apps are important tools for guests to access amenities, receive personalized offers, and place orders without the need to call for staff assistance. These technologies not only improve guest satisfaction but also remedy staffing pressures, allowing employees to focus more on direct guest interactions that might require time and thought to complete. By implementing the right hospitality technology, both select-service and full-service hotels are enhancing their operations, offering elevated guest experiences, and are maintaining their competitive edge in the ever-evolving hospitality industry.
“The key lies in how these technologies are presented to guests, and the messages conveyed to them about why they should engage with it.”