Mobile Technology
Teri Howe
  • Mobile Technology
  • How Mobile POS Changes Everything
  • An incredible meal will be forgotten if there are mistakes or delays during service. The most beautiful property will be forgotten if busy staff are ‘missing in action’ and inadvertently test guests’ patience too far.One need not remind hotel executives of the criticality of continually evaluating our vision – and execution – of guest service. This is part in the DNA of industry leaders. A less common trait of this same group is an appetite for exploring technologies that might accelerate or enhance the ability to deliver a quality, personal, exceptional guest experience. Hospitality traditionally trails other industries in adoption of – and the creativity around – new technologies. Read on...

Tom O'Rourke
  • Mobile Technology
  • Upselling Through Mobile Apps
  • In the hotel industry, we are so busy talking about selling more rooms, more food and more beverages that we often overlook how effective the channels we use to market these offerings actually are. Many hotels still use outdated and ineffective marketing channels. Mobile applications provide hoteliers with a totally new channel through which they can interact with their guests on a more personal level, which increases guest satisfaction and loyalty as well as hotel revenues. Mobile apps offer countless opportunities to connect with guests that were not possible before the 2008 debut of the App Store on iTunes and subsequent adoption of mobile applications by smartphone users. In the past seven years, mobile app technology has exploded and hotels are set to benefit from it. Read on...

Felix Boos
  • Mobile Technology
  • Looking Beyond TripAdvisor and Online Surveys
  • Are you approaching customer feedback reactively, trying to patch up holes in order to prevent damage to your reputation? Or, are you using it as a source of information to help you become more profitable? If the latter, then you need to know and understand the different channels for feedback, and select and combine them according to your needs. The tools to measure customer experience and satisfaction are key success drivers for your business, but in many cases, these tools are not used to their full potential. Service-driven businesses must optimize their way of listening to their customers in order to receive timely and objective feedback. This helps toward improving customer experience and, in turn, your business’ profitability. Read on...

Alastair Cush
  • Mobile Technology
  • How Mobile Access Implementation Changed the Hotel Industry
  • A growing number of properties are implementing mobile access guest room locking systems and the apps that support them. Many chain standards mandate mobile access and independents are joining the trend. What few operators understand is that mobile access implementation has changed not only every aspect of hotel door locks but also many other areas of hospitality operations. More people are actively involved in the decision making process for hotel locks than before. Mobile access has integrated the lock process with numerous property and chain departments from sales to guest loyalty and brand marketing. The original purpose of improving guest door locks was exclusively loss prevention and security. Read on...

Jim Vandevender
  • Mobile Technology
  • Emerging Meeting Data Technology That Will Help Hotels be More Strategic
  • Meeting data and technology have evolved considerably since the days of the bulky ,expensive mail ordered meeting planner guides and hotel catalogues. The ways in which hotels find and book groups is far different than the antiquated methods of not so long ago. As better technology surrounding meetings and events becomes available , hotels appetites for group business seems to also increase at a parallel pace making the need to keep the related technology evolving even more paramount. The companies that provide hotels with this meeting intelligence are continually developing new and more advanced methods of gathering this sought after data to keep up pace with the demand. Read on...

Dave Weinstein
  • Mobile Technology
  • Keep the Gateway to the Mobile Guest Experience Open
  • As with so many industries, the smartphone has transformed how organizations interact with their customers. Look at the automotive industry, the airline industry, and of course, the hospitality industry. You start your car’s engine and set the climate control to the desired temperature, buy airline tickets and check-in on your flight and do the same with your hotel room, all from your phone. There is a slew of services that traditionally are offered by hotels via the “book” on the desk. The book is still there, but some hotels allow you to order via the television while others offer integrated tablets. Read on...

Kacey Butcher
  • Mobile Technology
  • Create a Hospitality Technology Experience Center
  • Can you imagine your bank choosing not to provide a way to check account status and transactions outside of your monthly paper statement? Can you further imagine a popular franchise restaurant only having paper take-out menus? You would be forced to contemplate what other aspects internally within the organization would make doing business with them complicated and archaic. There you find your own personal underlying immediate expectation of baseline service and operational procedures, where a decision is often made instantly to move onto the next provider. A decision to choose another provider that seemingly knows how to service customers with the utmost up-to-date standards. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Mobile Technology
  • Texting as a Customer Engagement Channel
  • Guests constantly hop across different communication channels. To keep pace with them, hotels must migrate through these various platforms to remain engaged. Most modern hotel executives recognize the importance of communicating with guests on the medium in which they are most comfortable. However, identifying and implementing approaches that makes these meetings possible can be more difficult than these executives consider. After all, anyone can send a text message. But meeting and tracking an SLA across an SMS creates an entirely new set of hurdles. Read on...

Michael P. O'Day
  • Mobile Technology
  • Fiber to the Room: New Architecture to Meet the Needs of the Digital Guest
  • For many hotel guests, the most appealing hotels are the properties that offer instant connectivity with the bandwidth capable of supporting multiple devices. As our need for faster speeds and higher quality content continues to grow, hotel guests now expect uninterrupted service putting more pressure on hotel IT building designs. As more and more guests shift to the “always connected” mindset, hotels must be able to deploy technology solutions with minimum downtimes that can grow with the increasing dependence on mobility. Hoteliers must now meet today's guest technology expectations while preparing for tomorrow by installing an infrastructure in which the bandwidth and technology can be expanded as the need arises. Read on...

Terence Ronson
  • Mobile Technology
  • Mobile Technology: The Relentless Pace of Change Continues
  • There’s only one way to view this – we live in a mobile world. Almost any consumer product or service developed today, is most likely created with a mind-set that one day it will somehow be used in a mobile manner. Consigned to oblivion are the days when we need to return to a desk to do email, go to a fixed line to make a phone call, plug into a network port for internet connectivity, have a hard-wired antenna to watch TV, or wear a wired headset to listen to music. Read on...

Scott Schaedle
  • Mobile Technology
  • Checking in Before Checking Out
  • It’s no secret that mobile technology has reshaped the consumer travel experience. Today’s traveler can check in and out of a hotel without ever speaking to a human being. That lack of human interaction and direct communication is both a good and bad thing for the hospitality technology industry. From booking a reservation to leaving a review, mobile use continues to rise in the hospitality technology sector, and is not slowing down any time soon. Today, nearly 60 percent of travelers book hotels using a mobile device while 81 percent of travelers find user reviews important when considering which hotel to book. Read on...

Court Williams
  • Mobile Technology
  • Technology Opportunities That Can Set Your Hotel Apart
  • In some ways, running a successful hotel comes down to a proposition both simple and sometimes complex: delivering service that exceeds the expectations of your guests. You need to provide comfort and hospitality, but also something extra to set yourself apart from other properties. Without differentiating yourself in the market, you risk becoming just one of many hotel options, rather than the preferred choice for your market. One valuable way to set yourself apart from your competition is through embracing technological opportunities available to hotels. If you leverage mobile technology, a wealth of options are emerging that can deliver new conveniences and services that enhance the guest experience. Read on...

Adam Gillespie
  • Mobile Technology
  • Smart Technologies: Affordable Capital Expenditures That Drive Revenue
  • Hotel technology is constantly trying to catch up and accommodate guests’ interests compared to what they use at home. Each year, hotel properties are faced with evaluating and upgrading to the latest and greatest technologies to accommodate their guests, but at what cost? In an increasingly complex world, businesses need to adapt with shifting trends and technologies. The hotel industry’s landscape has responded with corporate solutions that allow for minimal capital expenditures. Previous models required capital budgeting techniques to adjust to a larger margin when it comes to acquiring critical technologies. Read on...

Larr Gorman
  • Mobile Technology
  • Running a Hotel Remotely With a Cloud-Based PMS
  • It used to be that a General Manager was tied to the front desk in order to solve issues or keep track or manage a hotel. With a cloud-based PMS, a GM can technically run the hotel from anywhere on a phone or tablet. A 100% we-based system allows two way communication at the hotel, and management can stay informed on operations from anywhere. The difference between cloud-based systems and server-based networks is as dramatic as the difference between an iPhone and a land-line. Traditional phones are like anchors—they’re tied to a specific place, your home or office. Read on...

Suman Pal
  • Mobile Technology
  • Big Data Trends: Raising the Bar for Guest Expectations
  • Imagine for a moment, passing guests in queue at the hotel front desk waiting to check-in while you’re heading straight to your room instead, or securing your favorite table and skipping the wait list, all without having to talk with a single staff member. No, you’re not dreaming. The day of frictionless guest service is here. Guests are demanding it. How well is your hotel embracing it? The rapid evolution in mobile, social and cloud technologies combined with a monumental shift in guest expectations has launched us into what is one of the most pivotal transformations in hospitality. Read on...

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AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.