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Is Your Hotel Tech Leading-Edge, or Bleeding-Edge?

The modern hotel industry fuses the best of old-fashioned hospitality with cutting-edge data and customer service management tools. Or at least that’s the plan.

For every hotel chain or golf resort that reopened with newer, better, faster, safer technology, there are a dozen resorts still lagging behind. Sadly, what was once considered innovative might now be considered out of date. The key to being considered bleeding edge is not in spending more, but spending smarter and better on the newest tech management innovations for the hospitality industry.

So, are you up for the challenge of figuring out where your property ranks in terms of the hottest trends for hotels?

Innovation in hospitality technology at HITEC 2021

In late September, the world’s largest hospitality technology conference, Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), took place in Dallas, Texas. It was the first HITEC live event in over 25 months and it was brimming with new technology innovation customized for hotel managers and staff.

While some management teams believe investments in emerging or unproven technologies can potentially prove unwise, the new launches at the conference prove otherwise. By updating your hotel tech regularly you give guests a clear understanding that you’ve created an updated and better experience for them. It instills confidence and sets your property apart from others.

Pro tip: While new tech for hotel management is fantastic, your staff needs to know how to use everything. Be sure to build in enough time for training for staff and managers to avoid any glitches or gaps in service as you move from really good to amazing.

Bleeding edge concepts from HITEC Dallas 2021

We culled together a few key concepts and tech innovators who exhibited or presented at HITEC that we think will elevate leading-edge hotels to bleeding-edge status.

  • Workforce management tools. One of the trends we think will stick around is the ability to effortlessly manage staff and their availability and shifts. While some initial predictions about staffing in a post-COVID world were dire, most stressed efficiency and appreciation as the key to attracting and retaining staff. The most bleeding-edge hotels will manage staff effortlessly through cloud-based apps that allow them to fully manage staff. UniFocus ShiftGenius is one of the tools introduced at HITEC that will allow management to make even complicated tasks like labor projections, budgeting, scheduling and compliance, feel effortless.
  • Housekeeping goes digital. In a recent survey, we discovered that nearly 50% of hospitality workers would consider switching jobs for better tech. If you’re worried that implementing trendy tech for your hotel could turn guests off, you should consider your staff as well. Bleeding-edge technology proves to your staff that their needs matter and are budgeted for with intention and not as an afterthought. Hello Shift and Beekeeper are just two of the brands with new housekeeping apps that make things like checking the status of all housekeeping tasks almost effortless.
  • Don’t waste your data. A topic we followed with great interest is the idea that a majority of hotels or chains are ignoring the value of their data lakes and customer information. It’s not enough to simply ask guests for feedback, you need to figure out how to use that information to then give your guests the customized experience they crave. Old-school tech might encourage the use of extensive databases with guest information. Bleeding-edge tech will combine artificial intelligence to best utilize the information gathered. For instance, you might create several customized greetings variations for repeat guests with personalized data to appear more welcoming to every guest, every single visit.
  • Safety is everything. From contactless check-in services to grab-and-go kiosks, the most technologically innovative hotels will fine-tune the way that guests and staff interact. There are even new ways to kick off your daily meetings. Another HITEC launch of interest to hotel management is Flexkeeping Daily Hotel Report which can be set up to be delivered each morning and will provide data from every team and department. It would be smart business to also add property and employee safety to the daily meetings. For instance, consider adding a daily report on how often associate alert devices are engaged, or during which shift or locations frontline workers engage or test their panic buttons.

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