Once a highlight of the hotel experience, buffets – from breakfast bars to full evening meal spreads – have been quickly phased out and are unlikely to make a comeback, at least for a while. Concerns about the spread of the virus during mealtimes, and contamination from guests helping themselves from communal dishes, have forced hotels to rethink their dining options. Many are expanding their room service menus and encouraging guests towards private in-room dining. The Grand Hyatt Shanghai has even designed an in-room cocktail mixology kit.
Whether a guests decides to dine in the comfort of their room or in the restaurant, with the right technology in place you can minimize contact and friction. For example, you could allow guests to place their food order on their smartphone and have the request sent directly to the kitchen to be prepared – no need to touch menus, or even converse with a waiter. To make this work, there are some changes hotel restaurants need to make. For instance, the online menus must be as clear and informative as possible, including multiple pictures of each dish as well as all ingredients it contains, with specific attention to allergens.
While many hotels have been forced to close their spas and gyms in the name of safety, policies are being drawn up to make these facilities available to guests while complying with Covid-19 restrictions.
Measures being put in place include offering private personal-training sessions and booking timeslots to access certain facilities, such as the swimming pool, to limit numbers and keep crowds at bay. Technology has a critical role to play in all of this as services and information that were previously handled or shared in person switch to online: booking, check-in, daily schedules, treatment brochures and so forth. For many, this shift requires businesses to consolidate their operations and implement technology that brings together their various on-site departments – hotel, restaurant and spa – to deliver a seamless offering to their guests. Having to call a different number to speak to the spa team no longer cuts it. Guests want to be able to book services and timeslots in the comfort of their own room, from a single app or device.
A digitally connected hotel experience
As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, a focus on self-service, the right setup for physical distancing and new cleaning protocols will lay the foundation for the hospitality industry’s recovery. And as hotel businesses focus on leaner operations, they will be more proactive in turning to software to manage their workflows.
Hotels recognize that now is the time to implement new technology to change the guest experience for the better and streamline their services. While today the focus is undoubtedly on contactless technology, those that take a more holistic approach to transforming their operations and prioritize technology integration – choosing a property management system that can quickly activate and manage an array of contactless services – over quick fixes will open the door to endless possibilities.
There is a solution out there that allows you to introduce new online guest services and run your entire hospitality business, including your restaurant and spa, on one single platform. With LS Central for hotels you get all the functionality you need for your hotel or resort chain in one platform, without ever having to switch systems. Contact our experts to find out how it can best serve your and your guests’ needs.