The Tech Solutions That Are Giving Hospitality A Post-Pandemic Boost
Things are starting to change for the better in the hospitality sector after a long, hard eighteen months. While it goes without saying that there are very few areas of the marketplace that have remained untouched by the pandemic, hospitality seemed to come in for a particularly hard time. With each successive lockdown and government U-turn, it was the hospitality sector that had to keep waiting, keep holding its breath, keep finding ways to accommodate the Coronavirus rules and regulations while keeping their businesses afloat.
Now, the UK is nearly a month into the government’s phase four and even the nightclubs are back open. But let’s face it: we have all been through too much since March 2020 to act as though it’s business as usual. From bars to hotels, everyone is looking for ways that they can maximise efficiency and give themselves the flexibility they need to survive any further bumps in the road. Tech solutions are continuing to provide solutions in an age where ease of access, enhanced communication and remote ways of working are ever more important. Here are just a few of the ways that they are impacting and boosting the hospitality sector.
Virtual Check-In And Booking Management
Now, this was of course widely implemented across hotels and restaurants long before the pandemic. Whether you were booking a table on your way home from work or remembering that you needed to change your hotel dates at the very last minute, virtual booking management was something that everyone was familiar with before the pandemic. But it is hard to overstate the way in which that it has become the norm.
Even as the restrictions lift and drop-ins are coming back, many people are continuing to manage every stage of their leisure and holiday activity online or through an app. While ordering a drink from your phone in a pub may have struck some people as a little unusual at first, that kind of ease of control is going to be hard for people to give up. Similarly, with so many of us still anxious about holiday cancellations or sudden closures because of a COVID-19 related reason, virtual booking management allows a greater degree of security. It allows for up-to-the-minute updates and information to put customers’ minds at risk and to present alternatives should the need for one arise.
Property Management Systems
Similarly, property management systems (PMS) have been around since the 1980s and have long been a core element of any hotel and hotel chain. However, it is no longer enough to have one that just about gets the job done. With consumer confidence still shaky at best, with such a great need for flawless service and rigorous cleaning, not to mention staffing issues due to the ongoing “pingdemic” and Brexit, hotel managers need to have a crystal-clear understanding of what is going on in their property (or properties) at any given time. They need a system that is reactive enough for them to identify issues and implement solutions at a moment’s notice.
Obviously, online check-ins and booking management are a big part of this, but property management systems cover everything from accounting to maintenance, costing to payroll. There is no margin for error and that is why we are seeing software providers stepping up with fine-tuned solutions that are quick and easy to install. Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS is a great example of property management system that understands that speed and accessibility are crucial right now. You can read more about it and get more feedback at Hotel Tech Report.
New Ways Of Cleaning
While technology is continuing to find ways of removing the need for in-person interaction between a guest and a staff member, it is also helping to remove any trace of dirt or germs without the need for a human member of staff. Back in 2019, Hotel Ottilia in Copenhagen, Denmark, introduced a self-cleaning room that uses a product called CleanCoat that purifies the air and disinfects the room without the need for chemicals. All the cleaning staff have to do is tidy and change the bedding.
Since then, as we are sure you can imagine, cleaning tech has come on in leaps and bounds. Whether it’s electrostatic sprayers or robot cleaners that go into rooms and take care of germs, any and all of these steps go a long way towards reassuring guests and customers that they are entering a safe, clean space. The hospitality sector is currently relying heavily on people rushing to get back to the way they used to do things, but there are still a lot of people out there who are waiting to see what the result of the government lifting restrictions will be. Some kind of hybrid between a virtual experience and the kind of personal service that we know and love will probably be the norm, but right now being able to show that customer safety is paramount is going to make a big difference.
The original version of this article was first published in HR News
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