Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Verrill

Ashley Verrill

Market Analyst, Software Advice

Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst at Software Advice, a website dedicated to providing detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. As an analyst on the marketing team, she publishes researches, blogs and reviews on new and emerging software. She focuses primarily on CRM, contact management software, customer service software, help desk software, social media applications, business telephony and hotel management software. She regularly interviews top thought leaders in the space, including R “Ray” Wang, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky, Brian Vellmure and Paul Greenberg. Additionally, Ms. Verrill serves as the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator, a blog dedicated to research and reports on customer support and customer experience strategy. There, she manages a network of guest contributors, along with posting her own material. Ms. Verrill is also a regular contributor to CIO.com and GigaOM, including a recent feature on the future of social customer service technology. Her work has been cited in myriad top-tier publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Yahoo! News, Business Insider and Inc. She has been participated in several notable speaking engagements, including a presentation at Hewlett Packard's 2013 Social Support Summit in Orlando, Fla. Previous to her current position, Ms. Verrill worked for five years as a Web Editor and Reporter for the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Her beats at that time included entrepreneurship, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, employment and nonprofit. She also spent time in sales management and advertising with an Austin-based startup. Ms. Verrill graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Ms. Verrill can be contacted at 512-582-2314 or ashleyverrill@softwareadvice.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.