4 Top Mobile Hospitality Tools Powering COVID-19 Recovery

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As hospitality embraces a mobile mindset to combat COVID-19 challenges, what tools are emerging as favorites to deliver top-quality guest experiences? Here are the top contenders.

As the rest of the world has experienced swift digital transformation over the last 10 years, hotels have largely stayed true to their traditional mindset: high-touch, face-to-face service that makes guests feel special and comfortable. Now, hospitality is finally embracing a mobile mindset, in large part due to the complications created by COVID-19. With mobile hospitality technology, hotels can adjust to the new needs of travelers, delivering top-quality service while removing direct contact between staff and guests to ensure safety.

But what tools are most effective? And what are guests looking for as they begin traveling again? Four tools have outpaced all others to become the top choices for hotels around the world looking to combat the challenges COVID-19 has wrought on the hospitality industry. Here they are:

4. Mobile Staff Management

Most hotels are opening with more complex processes and less staff—a situation that puts stress on both hotel management and their employees. Increasingly, hotels are turning to automation and digitization to streamline processes and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

With an advanced staff management platform, hotels can automate and streamline daily operations, optimize service recovery, and manage incremental revenue streams. As processes improve thanks to real-time data, the time it takes staff to complete each task can be reduced by more than three minutes—and when that’s added up over thousands of tasks a year, it can mean hundreds of valuable hours saved.

3. Digital Menus, Mobile Ordering, and Touchless Delivery

Dining is one of the most high-touch processes at any hotel or resort: guests who dine at the restaurant are surrounded by others, touch physical menus, interact multiple times with staff, and take off their masks while eating. And even if they choose room service as an alternative, there are pitfalls in that process as well.

A full suite of digital dining tools can completely transform the dining experience for guests, both in the restaurant and from their room. Digital menus and mobile ordering eliminate a significant number of touchpoints throughout both processes. And offering touchless deliveries takes things a step further, making the room service process entirely contactless. With digital dining, there’s an increase in safety for both guests and staff as well as revenue for the property. A win on all sides.

2. Mobile Check-In and Mobile Key

If mobile check-in and mobile key were nice-to-have capabilities before COVID-19 struck, they’re now necessities. Both global brands and boutique properties alike are flocking to the technologies to signal their commitment to guest safety. There are numerous reasons they’ve gained popularity, but two stand out.

First, mobile check-in was already gaining popularity with guests. In 2018, 58% said they’d welcome the chance to check-in from their phone—and as you can imagine, that number has grown exponentially given current global circumstances. And second, they’re an ideal way to create a contactless entry and exit experience for guests, who can come and go as they please without any face-to-face interaction with staff. With the safe, streamlined experience mobile check-in and mobile key provide, it’s no wonder they’re consistently top priorities for hoteliers looking to invest in hotel tech to boost recovery efforts.

1. A Full-Service Mobile App

In the quest for contactless service, no tool plays more roles or connects more services than a mobile app. It’s not only an incredibly helpful tool in its own right—giving guests 24/7 access to hotel information, safety protocols, and amenities—but also serves as a conduit for other mobile technology. Mobile dining, check-in, key, and service requests can all be housed in the app, making it a one-stop-shop for whatever service guests need, whenever they need it.

It’s not only an unmatched tool for uniting mobile technology and providing contactless services, it’s also at the core of the new guest experience post-COVID travelers are expecting. 81% of Americans own smartphones, and use them all day, every day for convenience. Now, with the added security of being able to use their own device to request service throughout their stay, a mobile app is hands-down the top tool hotels can use for recovery—one worth every cent of investment.

Right now, an entirely new normal is being formed for guests and properties. It’s no longer a question of if your property or brand will need to adopt these mobile tools, but when. Hotels that resist the change will fall behind the curve—and likely see bookings, revenue, and guest satisfaction rates suffer as a result. On the flipside, those that invest early will lead the industry and their competitors.

Article originally posted on August 14, 2020