Red Roof has big things planned for 2020. It ended 2019 with double-digit brand growth and increased revenue and says it has a robust pipeline with 20% growth in new construction across the system. This has led the company to have a very optimistic outlook on Red Roof’s future. Andrew Alexander, president, Red Roof, believes that one reason for the brand’s success and growth in 2019 was its robust investment in the company as well as the relationships it has built with its franchisees – both within and outside of the United States.
As part of its investment with the company, Red Roof made a large tech investment in 2019 by transitioning all of its back-of-house operating systems to the cloud via Microsoft Azure. According to Alexander, this has led to a significant increase in reliability, stability and speed which allows its franchisees to better service guests.
“This has been transformative for us as a company,” Alexander says.
Andrew Alexander, President, Red Roof (Source: Red Roof)
It also has focused on implementing verified Wi-Fi as the standard in its Red Roof Plus properties. This means that Red Roof has a third party come in to verify that each property’s Wi-Fi signal is robust enough for guests to be able to stream movies without interruption, if they so choose.
But Red Roof isn’t content to simply stop there. As it looks ahead to Q2 2020, the company plans to reskin the company website to make it even more customer friendly by reducing steps in the booking process and it plans to further automate its revenue management systems over time.
“Many revenue management systems were built five or even ten years ago,” Alexander explains. “They work via a reactionary technique. But today, data analytics is deeper than that and franchisees need to be priced very competitively.”
When asked how its use of the Red Roof Amazon Alexa skill is faring, Alexander was very positive. Debuted in February 2018, the company’s Alexa skill is helping the hospitality company learn what kind of questions their guests are asking most often and what’s most important for them to know before making a booking decision.
“For example, our guests are always asking about our pet policy (which is: ‘Pets always stay free!’),” Alexander explains. “With the Alexa skill, we can reassure them of that policy – but it also helps us to be more aware of the need for us to promote that policy on our website and during the booking process to ease their mind and encourage booking.”
Will Red Roof put Alexa in the guestroom? Unlikely. All hotels are trying to balance a high-tech guest experience with guest concerns about privacy, and Red Roof feels that its guests prefer not to have Alexa in the room.
“Most guests travel with the technology they like and are most comfortable with using,” Alexander states. “Our guests want to be able to plug-in easily and quickly. Eight years ago we rolled out convenient nightstand power outlet access points for this very reason and it continues to be the most popular guest facing tech rollout we’ve done among guests.”