Once upon a time, the idea of having robots interacting with hotel guests, enhancing safety efforts, and automating tasks was something out of a science fiction book, but now, technology is elevating all aspects of hospitality brands’ operations.
The hottest tech trends of 2023 – artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – aren’t just concepts in a sci-fi story but have become vital to the hospitality industry. These tech solutions can dramatically improve hotels’ safety and quality programs, enhance the guest experience, increase automation and efficiency, and more.
Here are 7 reasons that you should utilize these hot tech solutions.
- Improve safety and quality. AI is a game changer for the hospitality industry, monitoring safety and quality in facilities to identify (and mitigate) risks. AI-powered sensors and cameras can monitor hotels’ food safety practices – to ensure that food is stored at proper temperatures, employees wash their hands regularly, etc. – and immediately alert managers about any non-compliance issues to help correct problematic behaviors before they lead to food safety breaches. Also, machine learning algorithms can predict food safety risks based on various parameters, such as storage conditions, handling, etc.
- Elevate the customer experience. These hot technologies can dramatically enhance customer service and personalize the guest experience. For instance, AI solutions can provide more targeted, customized experiences based on guests’ demographics, preferences, and past behaviors. AI-powered concierges can check guests into the hotel, take room service orders, and provide personalized recommendations, like nearby restaurants and activities they’d enjoy. Hilton Hotels’ robot, Connie, the first customer service robot for hotels, checks in guests, provides directions, and answers questions. Additionally, AI-powered smart room technology can boost guests’ comfort and convenience, such as monitoring maintenance needs and adjusting room temperatures in guest rooms. Hospitality brands are also leveraging VR and AR to provide immersive experiences, like virtual room tours and walkthroughs of event spaces.
- Optimize hotel operations. AI can automate many tasks, like taking reservations, conducting inventory, and buying supplies. By automating traditionally time-consuming, repetitive administrative tasks, your staff can focus more energy on providing exceptional guest experiences. For instance, Hilton Hotels use AI-powered check-in systems to boost efficiency and reduce guests’ wait times. Additionally, AI solutions can collect and analyze data from various systems throughout the hotel as well as guest requests, feedback, and complaints, then use this information to optimize operations, boost efficiencies, and anticipate guests’ needs. Blockchain technology is streamlining payment processes and customer loyalty programs, making these efforts much faster, simpler, and more secure. And Marriott International leverages machine learning, collecting and analyzing data to provide personalized products, services, and recommendations for their guests.
- Reduce waste. Food and energy waste are huge, expensive problems in the hospitality industry. Now, innovative technologies can help reduce waste and associated costs. IoT sensors and blockchain technology can track supply levels and products’ expiration dates for more efficient food management and decreased waste. Hotels can improve energy efficiency by using AI-powered smart building systems for more sustainable, cost-effective operations. Some hotel brands use AI-powered monitoring tools to reduce energy, water, and waste, which benefits the environment and their bottom line.
- Ensure product authenticity. Blockchain can provide food authentication through increased transparency and traceability to ensure food is safe, authentic, and high-quality. Blockchain traces food back to its source to prevent food fraud and increase food safety. As foods reach different checkpoints along the supply chain, data is documented in blockchain ledgers, providing real-time visibility during every step of each product’s journey. This allows organizations to identify potential contamination, mishandling, and/or errors. Since blockchain technology integrates seamlessly with third-party verification systems, it helps eliminate fraud and validate compliance.
- Elevate employee training. Hotels are increasingly using AR and VR to improve training programs and make information more memorable. For instance, brands are using VR to simulate emergency situations – and/or role play common scenarios – to engage and motivate employees. Use AR to provide sample situations so employees can learn and practice proper protocols.
- Improve marketing efforts. AI is elevating the way hotels market themselves, as well. Brands can analyze data to forecast customer behavior and market trends and create more targeted, customized marketing campaigns using this information. In addition, AI automates repetitive, time-consuming tasks – like data analysis and customer segmentation – making marketing efforts faster, easier, and more accurate. AI is instrumental to social media efforts, automatically responding to customer comments and feedback to improve response time and the guest experience.
These hot tech tools have become essential in the hospitality industry, allowing brands to improve safety and quality programs, elevate the customer experience, enhance training, boost transparency, etc. Successful adoption of these technologies requires a robust data strategy, including high-quality data collection, management, and analysis capabilities. Also, issues like cybersecurity, privacy, and ethical use of AI are crucial considerations when implementing these technologies.
While these technologies can amplify human capabilities, they can’t replace the “human touch” completely. These tech tools – combined with well-trained, customer-centric employees – will improve all aspects of hotels’ operations, providing safe, high-quality, personalized, and welcoming experiences for guests.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Damaren is Executive Vice President, Business Development at RizePoint, a technology leader in the food safety, quality management, compliance, and social responsibility space. RizePoint’s quality management software solutions help companies, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Marriott, and more, keep brand promises through their quality, safety, and compliance efforts. Customers gather better data, see necessary actions earlier, and act faster to correct issues before they become costly liabilities. Check out RizePoint’s website and/or contact the team to learn how these solutions can help your company.