Operations

How to Make Guests Feel Safe at Hotels During Shutdowns

Sara Detrik
Marketing Manager

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued into the summer months, I found myself, like much of the rest of the world, tirelessly working from my home full of family members also trying to adjust to our new communal workspace. The chaos promoted everyone to yearn for our yearly trip to South Carolina more than ever. However, with the rising COVID numbers and uncertainty with the virus, we canceled our trip the evening before we were to depart. One of our main deterrents dealt with the safety of the hotel where we had planned to stay.

It is no surprise that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry took a major plunge. With the continuation of added travel restrictions and regulations, guests, like my family, decided to cancel our summer vacations and have halted our holiday travel plans. However, through the integration of innovative new technologies, hotels have been able to set themselves apart from the competition by prioritizing safety and convenience in hopes of making guests feel more secure with their choice to travel for the first time for many, months. Not only is the added technology enticing for guests, but it can also increase revenues for hotels.

Hotels should focus on delivering the best possible experience for guests. A report published by the Sitel Group highlighted the importance of delivering top-notch customer service, “even in the midst of a pandemic 43% of consumers are still prepared to sever ties with a brand after a single poor experience, and this number is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels (74%) as customers’ patience wears thin.” Customers, like myself, are fearful to travel and stay in hotels, so companies need to focus on providing exceptional service.

MGM Resorts began reopening in June. While sales were down over 91%, MGM knew that making guests comfortable had to take top priority. To meet the needs of guests, the hotel company has implemented various new safety measures. Guests can download an app that unlocks contactless features like mobile payments and a digital room key (Wall Street Journal, 2020).

While first impressions such as a non-contact arrival can create help immediately reassure guests on their travel decision, room cleanliness is equally important. The Beverly Hills Hotel is using a Robot named Kennedy to enhance cleaning in their hotel rooms. After the room is cleaned by an employee, Kennedy enters the room. By flashing Ultraviolet lights throughout the space, the robot kills germs (ABC News, 2020). As a guest, I would feel more reassured with my travel decision if I knew that the company was using high-tech cleaning measures.

While first impressions and increased sanitation measures are crucial pieces to making guests’ hotel experience pleasant, the last piece of the puzzle deals with dining. There are ample opportunities available to hotels to make the dining experience stand out.

A survey conducted by Criton, a hotel app development platform, found that 47% of individuals surveyed would be more likely to order room service if it could be ordered through an app. Furthermore, the survey found that “48% would be more likely to go to the hotel restaurant if the hotel would give them the option of ordering food via an app.”  

Bbot is the perfect hotel solution. Guests get the convenience of ordering, contact-free, from their mobile device without the added step of downloading an app.

Pool/Beachside Bars

Customers could order, pay, and tip directly from their mobile device (no app needed!) their favorite poolside snacks and drinks fromthe comfort of their lounge chair, without the hassle of standing in line. Guests are notified when their order is ready, so they can spend their vacation relaxing and not standing in lines. Hotels could even deliver drinks directly to guests.

Room Service

After a day of traveling, your guest gets settled into their hotel room. Feeling hunger setting in, they glance at the hotel’s restaurant menu that is conveniently placed by their hotel room phone. Your guest spots a delicious flatbread and decides to call in their order. After five minutes of trying to connect to someone from the restaurant, the guest gives up. Having the ability to order, pay, and tip directly on a mobile device will save your guests time ordering and offer a level of convenience for all parties involved. The level of ease will entice guests to order from your hotel which will increase revenues.

Hotel Restaurants

I have found the convenience of hotel restaurants attractive as you can satisfy your hunger without having to leave the hotel. However, oftentimes the wait is long, so if a guest wants to order a meal quickly during a business conference break or before they head to the beach, the long wait can be inconvenient. Bbot cuts out the time it takes for a server to take a guest's order. All a guest needs to do is place an order from their mobile device and their check gets sent right back to the kitchen. Contactless ordering solutions with Bbot are convenient at hotel restaurants, poolside bars, and with room service.