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HOSP1080 Technology in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry (Russell): Technology in Hospitality

Social Engagement

Social Benchmarking

Smartphones

– 85% of international tourists have a mobile device with them while traveling

– 76% of travelers say their smartphone is the most important travel companion
– 74% of guests would use the hotel app if their favorite hotel had one
– 70% of last-minute hotel bookings are made on mobile devices
– Hotel apps and other hotel technology influence the booking decisions of 70% of travelers
– 88% of guests want a mobile app which allows for a personalized experience

Curating a mobile experience for guests should be a top priority for hoteliers. From mobile check-in/out to keyless room entry, the utilization of a native hotel app, mobile concierge, and more, there is no shortage of opportunities to optimize the mobile guest experience. 

Unlike legacy platforms of the past, which demanded hours of training and often created more work for employees, modern mobile platforms are often built with the employee in mind.

Tapping into the power of a more flexible work environment, employees can utilize a hand-held device to have uninterrupted access to guest information, manage tasks and reporting, communicate with other departments, and so much more. 

Source: hotelbusinessweekly.com

Security

Phishing

  • Refers to the sending/receiving of emails that appear to be from a genuine source. A criminal using it intends to convince the recipient that he/she should share information. That is often passwords and financial information; this scam is one of the oldest on the internet.
  • In recent years, this threat has become increasingly sophisticated, with attacks targeting those in authority. The aim is to take over a user’s email account to send bogus emails to colleagues. These emails often attempt to persuade recipients to authorize transactions, which are ordered from above.
  • Hotels are at a high risk from cybersecurity failings that allow this type of attack to occur. Hotels that have fallen foul to this crime have in the past paid more than $17,000 to be able to let guests into their rooms and create electronic keys.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack)

  • It is the hack of choice for those looking to target the wide array of systems hotels use. Every day regular items such as sprinkler systems to security cameras are vulnerable to hijack. After which, entire computer systems can be made to come crashing down.

Point-of-sale attacks

  • Poses the biggest threat to the hotel industry as a whole. Rather than attacking the hotel itself, they are a third-party crime, meaning they attack the vendor. And that means somewhere there is a weakness in the system which has been revealed by human error.

DarkHotel

  • It is a relatively new one, which sees criminals use a hotels Wi-Fi to target business guests.
  • The attacks use forged digital certificates to convince victims that a software download is safe. To enable this to happen criminals upload malicious code to a hotel server, and can then target specific guests.
  • The first instance of DarkHotel hacking was first seen in 2007 and originated via peer-to-peer networks and spear-fishing scams.
  • If you have guests that are concerned about DarkHotel hacking, encourage guests to use virtual private networks (VPN) if they plan on conducting business with sensitive data.

Source: socialtables.com

Wi-Fi

Being the #1 most demanded amenity for the last 5+ years, WiFi has an undeniable effect on loyalty. If hotels fail to deliver a fast and consistent connection, guests will go looking for it somewhere else. It's really that simple. WiFi also presents unique opportunities to get to know guests better. Not just what devices and browsers they use a but how move through your hotel and how to offer relevant and timely promotions. WiFi will continue to open up doors for ancillary services such as advertising, location analytics, proximity marketing, and customer profiling. Additionally, WiFi will facilitate lots of new back-of-house technology such as staff alert buttons, work requests ticketing and staff training and engagement.

Source: hospitalitytech.com

Productivity

Productivity is a measure of labor efficiency. It's an important business metric as productivity gains fall straight to the bottom line; a more efficient staff makes more profit for the company.

Some measures of productivity in hospitality are:

  • How long it takes to complete a maintenance request

  • How many rooms each housekeeper cleans

  • How many guests your front desk agent checks-in

  • How much revenue each room makes 

  • How many covers a restaurant server handles

  • How long it takes to fulfill a guest request

Optimizing each asset (human or room) boosts productivity (and profitability). And that’s where technology comes in: it’s the ultimate productivity enhancer.

To maintain service standards in spite of these staffing challenges, hotels can now implement staff collaboration tools that boost productivity and enhance communication across all departments. 

These tools, such as the Quore operations platform, give hotels a competitive edge in the competition for talent while also making existing staff happier more productive.

To boost productivity, hotels should do the following:

  1. Prioritize. It may take some convincing to show management and staff why productivity matters. After all, monitoring productivity can come across as Big Brother. Focus specifically on how it will make work like better for staff while also improving the guest experience. Most workers are frustrated by inefficiencies, so focus on the “why” and win allies. 

  2. Identify.  With organizational buy-in, you can now turn to identifying the biggest bottlenecks. Look for two things: issues that directly impact the guest and behind-the-scenes interactions between staff. Eliminating bottlenecks in those two areas will have the highest impact. Once you’ve identified the areas for improvement, align everyone around the right metrics: rooms cleaned per hour, guests served per shift, average guest request response time, ancillary revenue per room 

  3. Invest. To avoid further disruption from companies like Sonder and AirBnB, hotels must get better at buying and investing in technology. As you evaluate vendors, refer back to your specific bottlenecks and ask each vendor how their solution helps solve those. Then, invest the time and money in a pilot to trial the most promising solutions. You can then evaluate performance and base your investment decisions off actual data.

Source: hoteltechreport.com

 

Productivity in Hospitality

The Hidden Cost of Employee Performance for Hospitality Industry

Salaries are only a part of restaurant labor costs, which also include the hidden cost of “employee performance.”

Simply put, what the restaurant pays for each unit of labor sometimes differs from the value they get from these individual units.

That’s why it is crucial to develop and implement key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the employee's output as well as their attitude.

The right KPIs will let managers know how friendly their staff is, as well as divulge important information on their appearance and speed of service.

Creating a more efficient working environment even with a smaller staff isn’t unheard of—it just takes an understanding of job functions and outputs, as well as a consistent approach to measuring employee productivity.

Set a Baseline

Establish a starting place to measure productivity—this can be done by using an operation output for a period to set an average. This number is divided by the number of employees for the entire business or individual department to create a stick to measure everyone.

Such a universal measure like ‘total revenue per worked hour’ can help managers learn how the workforce performs on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. Data for this can quickly be garnered through workforce management software.

But it is essential to understand that this indicator may be affected by some unavoidable factors such as staff meetings, and rush hours, etc. Consider these issues when analyzing the final results.

Remember, it is better to have simple, less accurate but still meaningful baseline, then a complicated and accurate one that no one wants to understand or use.

Define the Tasks and Targets

More than 50 years ago, Peter Drucker introduced managers to the
“knowledge economy,” asking them to narrow down the tasks as much as possible. It is something managers in the modern-day hospitality industry must also do.

Later these metrics should also be discussed with the concerned employees. Eighty percent of the American workforce feels stressed out because of ineffective communication, don’t let that be the case for your teams.

It is important to communicate expectations to each member of the workforce so they know precisely what’s expected of them. After all, would it be fair to measure tasks when the workers don’t even understand what it means to be productive?

Determine Appropriate Comparisons

An employee’s workday can’t always be measured by the activities performed. That is why the entirety of their job function should be measured.

Typical job functions on any given day could include a diverse mix; for example, a restaurant manager could also have to hire people, coordinate operations, manage budgets, and check inventory. The fact remains that multiple activities determine how productive an employee is in the workplace.

Compare one employee’s daily task sheet against their peer group to understand the average for the job, the top workers, and the best practices for their department. This information can become the standard against which appropriate comparisons can be made.

Find Redundant Routines

Comparisons will bring to light redundancies that are keeping the productivity down.

For example, the staff might have to make multiple trips to the storeroom every day to fetch supplies. The solution could be to stock every floor or every department with the necessary tools to ensure that they have everything they need to deliver stellar services.

This will enhance productivity and customer satisfaction while reducing redundancy and wastage of time.

Track Progress of Each Unit Separately

A predetermined baseline and the identification of redundancies pave the way for tracking individual progress. 

This is where managers can quickly identify the productive employees as well as the high achievers and the underperformers. Tools like timesheets and tracking software can help you highlight patterns of productivity in comparable groups.

Ask for Regular Updates

Daily updates from employees make them an active participant in the accountability process.

However, some people may consider this micromanagement, and the fact remains that it can be challenging if not downright impossible to ensure productivity without daily reporting.

Regular updates can help the workforce get over procrastination and serve as a motivator, helping them stay on pace with their professional goals.

People are an intrinsic part of the hospitality industry, making it vital for managers to understand and implement the key drivers that can boost productivity. However, it is also essential to factor-in unrealistic expectations, delays, and lack of engagement as issues that can contribute to low morale and lack of productivity in the workplace.

Ultimately, shifting expectations of productivity mandate demonstrating the real value of how each employee’s hard work line up with their employer’s expectations.

Source: qsrmagazine.com