Coming Soon to a Phone (or Tablet) Near You

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October 01, 2010
Mobile | Technology
Jon Inge

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A Look at the Current State of Mobile Technology in Hospitality:
Benefits and Challenges

Quick, your flight has been cancelled and you need to book a replacement or find a hotel, and you need to do that urgently before everyone else on the flight does the same.  What do you do?  Turn to the applications that are on your smartphone – and not that quaint phone that actually makes calls.

Or you’re a guest service manager who needs to keep an eye on housekeeping’s progress, on the progress of guest requests, on which VIPs are in- house today (and their preferences), and other vital information.  Same answer – the smartphone can help with all of these things, and much, much more.


The pace of development for smartphones and the software that runs on them is just amazing, and it seems that new uses are announced every day.  This article takes a look at what’s driving this growth, some of the applications (apps) that help travelers and hotel management, and some thoughts on the future and some of the challenges still to be faced.
 
What's Driving This?
Why has mobile taken off so dramatically?  The concept is not new; wireless touch-screen tablets and other devices have been around for years, both for general use and for hospitality functions such as point-of-sale handhelds and inventory bar code scanners. 

Devices
A good part of the answer is the development of highly appealing consumer devices that large numbers of people want to have with them at all times, starting with Apple’s iPod® and continuing into the BlackBerry®, iPhone® and their many alternatives. It’s the same story with slate or tablet PCs; Apple’s design skills with the iPad™ have given the format enough new appeal to make it desirable, encouraging many people to want to experiment with it and find new uses for it. 

It’s not just the physical format; vivid, graphical user interfaces and intelligently combined feature sets made these new units so much easier to use.  It’s hard to overstate Apple’s importance in setting the standards here; its genius in making devices both visually appealing and intuitive to operate has driven all of its competitors to develop similar approaches.  Not all vendors have been as successful (though Android™ phones have now overtaken iPhones in sales volume) but the large-format, touch-screen, highly visual approach is now a universal paradigm for any new mobile device to be taken seriously.

Software Interoperability
Of equal importance has been the rapid increase in software applications’ ability to talk with each other and exchange information, thanks mostly to open Web services standards.  Far from the single-purpose POS and inventory devices mentioned above, a single mobile unit now combines multiple functions (multiband communications, camera, music/video player, GPS sensor, etc.) to great effect.  As self-contained units they take excellent pictures and HD movies, record their GPS location and transmit the geo-tagged results to other people or to cloud-based storage.  More important is the constant expansion of their abilities through a never-ending stream of easily downloadable new applications and through data exchange with other programs.  The result is a powerful, highly personalized tool, with an unparalleled degree of versatility and usability.

Increased Bandwidth
The rapid expansion of cell phone network speed and geographical coverage, first with 2G and now with 3G communications, attracted huge new audiences finally able to make good use of the inherent functionality of their phones.  Of course, passing the threshold of “fast enough to be usable” immediately led to the explosion of new applications and devices, and so to the never-ending race between the carriers’ ability to provide additional bandwidth and the users’ insatiable power to soak it all up and still ask for more.

How About Some Examples?
Most of us are familiar with at least some of the thousands of consumer-focused mobile applications, a fair number of which are targeted at travelers, but there’s also a good range of more hospitality-focused offerings.  All leverage the key elements that make these tools so useful: mobile access to data, the ability to do something with it, interaction with other systems and location awareness.

And that’s not just awareness of the phone’s GPS location either. Several augmented reality programs such as Layar use the phone’s camera to detect what it’s looking at, identify buildings or other landmarks, and superimpose useful information on them. That’s really knowing where you are. The potential for expanding this capability into a universal visual search engine (answering the eternal question, what is that?) is huge; Google’s Goggles is already showing the way.

Travelers’ Tools
These tend to fall into three main areas:
1 Searching for something and booking it – a room, a flight, a spa appointment, etc.
2 Helping guests manage their stays, both before arrival and while on property.
3 Alerting with reminders of appointments, delivering messages or suggesting new opportunities based on where they happen to be.

Search/Acquire
This first category is where most mobile developers began working on travelers’ needs.  Most hotel chains and many independent properties now have mobile-capable Websites;  at a minimum they let travelers search for a hotel (often around their GPS-determined location), make a booking, receive a confirmation, retrieve and change the booking as needed, and update their frequent guest profile.  The more capable applications also allow booking of spa, golf or other on-property activities, and provide access to maps, driving directions, local attractions and events.

Finding a suitable hotel isn’t limited to the hotels’ own applications, of course; TRAVLECLICK®’s StayHIP™, for example, offers a portfolio of boutique properties in various categories (artsy, romantic, urban, etc.).  Many travelers use their phones to search for multiple options through Kayak, Expedia and others, check for special offers on Twitter or Facebook, and review each others’ opinions on TripAdvisor. 

Hotels have to make it as easy as possible to book through all of these channels; MGM MIRAGE even has an application that lets travelers point their phones at an MGM hotel, see an overlaid list of its current shows, restaurants, etc., and book them immediately. Integration with social media to maximize guests’ feelings of loyalty to a property or brand is essential, too. 

An intriguing development is Green Vision Media’s work on visual profiles.  Allowing people to describe themselves and their interests with their own choice of images, sized according to their importance in their lives and supported by brief descriptions of why they’re meaningful, offers all kinds of opportunities for high-service hotels to offer truly personal amenities to arriving guests.

En Route
The post-reservation category is where much current development is taking place, as companies find ever more ways to integrate mobile devices into their management systems and as general consumer phone applications cover more travel options. 

Wayfinding is developing fast as more phones integrate GPS and maps with spoken turn-by-turn instructions, a great help for guests driving to the property or looking for local appointments, restaurants and other attractions, not to mention trying to get back to the hotel afterwards. 

It’s also an opportunity for hotels to develop guided tours to their locality for downloading onto guests’ phones.  Some have been doing this for a while, but adding location-aware tracking and directions makes them that much easier to follow.  And if an iPhone4-using guest wants further advice while away from the hotel, an instant video chat with an iPhone4-using concierge is a major boost in guest service.  It’s only a matter of time before other phone vendors follow Apple’s lead in making video chat so simple, and extend it to cell phone service as well as Wi-Fi hotspots.

If you don’t want to drive, you can text services such as GoFastCab for a taxi; the cab company sends a confirmation number back with the estimated time of arrival, and lets you track the cab’s progress toward you.  For added reassurance, Bing Maps and World Taximeter are two programs that let you check the typical fare and route for your journey, so you can make sure the driver’s not taking a fare-boosting detour.

Way finding guidance is also often useful inside large complexes like airport terminals (as offered by Point Inside) and many larger resorts, with instructions displayed on a map or, eventually, projected onto the floor to guide the guest.  The current snag is knowing accurately where the guest actually is, both to start with and as he or she follows directions.  GPS don’t work well (if at all) inside buildings, and triangulation from wireless access points usually isn’t sufficiently precise.

On Property
Online checkin is becoming more common for hotels, similar to the airlines and just as useful in saving time when you arrive.  Some hotels are experimenting with unique checkin codes sent to the phone for the guest to use to open the guestroom door, allowing the guest to by-pass the front desk completely.  Several prototype approaches have appeared, including:
- Short-range radio signals for RFID or near-field communication phones
- Square QR optical codes some airlines use as electronic boarding passes (and magazine advertisers use to take readers to more information)
- Acoustic signals for the phone to play back (offered by OpenWays)
All of these, of course, require the door locks to be equipped to receive and interpret the codes.  Given the options this is likely to remain a chicken-and-egg situation until one approach gains significant favor for it to be worthwhile to retrofit locks to suit guest demand.  The current leader seems to be RFID/NFC, as locks capable of recognizing these multifunction transmissions already exist and can be used with both RFID keycards and NFC-equipped phones.  The latter are already in use in Europe and Asia, and will surely be introduced to the United States before long.

A number of guest stay manager applications have been introduced from vendors such as Incentient, IntelityICE, GBCblue, Runtriz, Tiare Technology and Micros’ MyStay Manager, the latter being white-labeled for use by several different brands using MICROS’ OPERA software suite.  These applications can usually be used either on the guest’s phone or on a slate in the room; guests can typically order room service or other hotel services (with notifications sent to the staff’s own mobile devices), set a wake-up alarm, and even control the room thermostat, drapes and lighting.  The latter uses seem more appropriate for the in-room device, but the appeal of the former is strong and their functionality is steadily expanding into off-site information and services as well.

A quick list of other services either already available or certainly possible can be found on the previous page (pg 12).  Many of these actions can be done through browser-based, phone-formatted versions of the hotel’s Website pages, but are more effective as native applications downloaded to the user’s phone.  These not only provide a faster-responding and richer presentation, they can also be centrally managed by the hotel to ensure that the traveler always sees the most current and consistent content, chainwide. 

[Beep]
The third category of services covers messaging and alerts.  The simplest are obviously appointment reminders and updates from travel vendors (such as notification of a flight delay or gate change) or hotel messages such that a guest’s room is now ready for checkin, or an emergency broadcast of a tsunami warning at an island resort.  The more useful ones (not that it wouldn’t be useful to know of an impending tsunami) can be triggered by both time and location, and are either passive or active.  Passive messages include special offers from the hotel or local vendors based on the guest’s presence, either assumed because he’s checked in to the property or known through checking in to FourSquare or its peers. 

Active messages are generated from the phone’s own awareness of time and place. General consumer applications such as Reqall™, Remember the Milk™, Geostrings and others can prompt you, as you approach a location, with what it was you wanted to do or buy there.  Others automatically switch your phone to vibrate-only mode when your calendar shows you’re in a meeting.  For travelers, when a phone’s communications are switched on after a period of inactivity and it senses it’s in the destination airport listed on your calendar, it can automatically send a message to the hotel that you’re in the city and on your way.  The hotel can then pre-assign a room number if it hasn’t done so already and  contact you to offer an upgrade, dining reservation or some other service.  Marketing never sleeps.

Hotel Management Tools
Mobile technology solves two major problems for hotel management everywhere: how to keep a roving manager up to date with important information such as the arrival of a VIP, and how to improve guest service through immediate notification of priority tasks to housekeepers and engineers.  Its impact has greatly expanded into several other areas, though, especially with the introduction of slate/tablet devices such as the iPad. 

Applications need to be tailored in different versions for the various users’ needs and devices; phones for convenience, slates for practicality.  Analysis of hotel data is one obvious example; a regional manager may want to check high-level property statistics and key performance indicators on his or her phone (see Datavision’s example below), but it’s not a convenient tool for diving far into the data. 

Slates are a near-ideal format for use by many hotel staff and will surely be adopted in many different departments.  They’re not as portable as a phone but are portable enough, and their larger screen size makes them much more realistic tools for many purposes.  Further, because of their more professional appearance, they make guests less likely to wonder if a staff member is actually working or just checking Facebook on his phone. 

Some tasks will still be better performed on traditional desktops or laptops.  For example, even though revenue management vendors such as RateTiger have released phone versions of its software for managers to adjust room and rate availability wherever they are, they typically don’t need to be away from their offices often and the larger screens and higher performance of less-mobile equipment can be a real help. When you need to make the changes, though, it’s definitely helpful to be able to do so wherever you are.

Challenges
Just because these applications are so easy to use, that’s not to say that making them so is a snap, nor that everything is rosy in mobile technology.  A number of challenges exist to it all becoming as seamless, usable and universal as we’d like.

Incomplete Integration
Some integration issues are technical; great strides have been made in systems interaction through the adoption of Web services, but not every hospitality system with relevant and useful information is open enough to share it with others easily.  Another challenge is that different versions of an application must be developed for different platforms, so vendors must pick their priorities.  Apple and Android are clear leaders as I write, with BlackBerry a distant third and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 an unknown on the horizon. 

Consequently, not every useful application is available on every platform.  Third-party formatting utilities can help but often provide only partial solutions.  For example, Roambi™ can convert a system’s data to a highly visual display for iPhones and iPads, but it doesn’t create maps.  SAP Crystal Presentation Design, on the other hand, does maps well but uses Flash, which excludes it from Apple products. 

More of a challenge is the fragmentation of applications. Many consumer applications remain in silos as their vendors try to build market share, but the traveler would be better served by more interaction and data sharing.  For example, travel and social coordination would be more seamless if TripIt talked to Google Maps, if FourSquare talked with both, with Gowalla and with Yelp, if Facebook joined in (I know, it’s trying) but with better security controls, and so on.  This would make it simpler for someone to arrange meetings with various friends and colleagues at well-reviewed restaurants during a trip, subject of course to being able to define which groups of contacts to share information about what points of the itinerary. 

There are signs of hope, however.  Topguest, for example, coordinates travelers’ social checkins at different hotel brand locations through multiple location-based services (Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Twitter, and probably Facebook by the time you read this).  Whether they check in with Foursquare at one brand’s hotel restaurant or with Gowalla at another’s resort for an overnight stay, Topguest will ensure that their various frequent guest programs are credited with the appropriate loyalty points.  More wide-ranging, multibrand and multifunction applications would simplify many travelers’ lives.

Bandwidth/Infrastructure
As mentioned above, the unprecedented demand for connectivity has severely stretched carriers’ abilities to provide enough bandwidth, and despite the imminent rollout of 4G services such as WiMax and LTE, it probably will for some time.  This is bad enough outdoors, but given the well-known challenges of providing seamless coverage inside buildings the increased guest demand will make any deficiencies in a property’s Wi-Fi and/or cell phone coverage highly visible.  Granted, it’s expensive to provide proper coverage and enough bandwidth for all guest and administrative needs, but if a property is going to take the potential of mobile technology seriously it has no choice but to bite the bullet and do it properly, even down in the lowest subbasement.

Good, reliable coverage is essential.  A guest relying on a cell phone signal to replay an acoustic key to the door lock is going to be seriously annoyed if there happens to be a dead spot outside the room.  Generating the excellent ROI that guest-request, housekeeping and engineering management systems are capable of is completely out of the question if there isn’t enough signal strength to reach the areas where the staff work. 

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are an effective solution, but are expensive to implement and hard to justify as a retrofit.  Increasing the number of wireless access points helps the Wi-Fi, but not cell phone coverage.  This poses less of a problem with phones that can switch seamlessly from cell networks to Wi-Fi, but passing from one Wi-Fi access point to another isn’t always as smooth as it could be.  This is one area where we need a breakthrough in technology for an affordable solution.  For now, high-quality, reliable coverage inside a hotel will stay expensive, and it’s not surprising when guests are asked to pay extra for it.

Internal location detection is another infrastructure challenge, as mentioned earlier.  Even in the unlikely event of a smartphone picking up a strong enough GPS signal through the building to fix its position, current technology can’t identify which floor it’s on.  Some applications use triangulation from multiple wireless access points to determine a phone’s location, but this is seldom accurate enough, and in any case won’t work with a DAS.  Cell phone vendors are working on using barometric pressure differences to estimate height from ground level, which will help.  For now, though, interior way finding applications work best when the guest can give them a specific marker as a starting or way point, either manually or using the phone’s camera to identify a prominent feature.

Finally, different guests are comfortable with different levels of technology.  Even a hotel dedicated to exploiting mobile technology to its fullest still needs to accommodate guests who are happier with more traditional technologies.  You can’t assume they’ll all be appropriately equipped for your latest gee-whiz technology, however much of an advantage it represents to you and to those who do carry it.  Every approach must still be covered in multiple ways – mag-stripe cards as well as NFC phones, regular guestroom phones with message-waiting lamps as well as text messaging, and so on.

Privacy
As Facebook and Google both found out when making unwarranted assumptions about how comfortable people are with sharing their personal details, there are definite limits to what travelers will find acceptable.  People seem much more comfortable with sharing if they can define the circumstances under which they’ll do it, such as checking in with Foursquare to see who else they know is in the neighborhood.  They also want control over which people can see this or other personal information; Facebook still needs to offer more granular control over this, despite (or maybe because of) its widespread use.

Technology can help us by providing more control over the type of detail we release under different circumstances, including sensors that detect when we’ve fallen or have been involved in an accident, but the solutions must be intuitive, useful and self adapting to different circumstances.

Summary
These are exciting times, with lots of concepts being tossed around to see which ones gain traction.  The degree of personal empowerment that mobile devices provide compared with even five years ago is nothing short of staggering, and will grow further yet.

New ideas are limited mostly by peoples’ imaginations, very seldom now by the devices themselves.  The winning developers will be those who come up with the most useful software functions and data combinations from multiple sources, presented in the most intuitive way to offer the right amount of information for the right purpose at the right time. 

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Jon Inge is an independent consultant specializing in technology at the property level. He can be reached at jon@joninge.com or by phone at (206) 546-0966.

©2010 Hospitality Upgrade
This work may not be reprinted, redistributed or repurposed without written consent.
For permission requests, call 678.802.5302 or email info@hospitalityupgrade.com.

 

A quick list of services either already available or certainly possible during a guest’s stay:

  • Checking restaurant availability (OpenTable, UrbanSpoon’s Rez, the hotel’s own dining reservation system or even, for outlets that don’t take reservations, from a Webcam view of the line at the door)
  • Checking exercise rooms to see which machines are in use (though this might be more acceptably displayed on a diagram instead of a live Webcam feed)
  • Making spa or golf bookings
  • Accessing their group’s meeting agenda (with links to floor diagrams showing the meeting rooms)
  • Mapping of other family or group members’ locations, either from their last known RFID door use, activity checkin (from an RFID-equipped access door or through a social network checkin service such as FourSquare™, Gowalla or, now Facebook) or outdoors, from their GPS coordinates
  • Ordering refreshments poolside or from a lounger on the beach
  • Ordering room service, not so much from the guestroom but a tremendous help when arriving in a foreign city on a late flight.  It’s great service to let a guest order, from the airport, on his own phone and in his own language, a quick meal to be in the room when he checks in, and not have to struggle with staff communications in an unfamiliar language when he is tired and hungry.
  • Checking out from the phone, with the folio waiting online to be output at a PrinterOn location

Mandarin Oriental
Focuses on Quality

Even more than a constant desire to lead in matters of technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) cares above all about the quality of the experience it presents to its guests.  So while it started with a mobile-compatible Website, there was no hesitation when a higher-quality and better-focused alternative became available.

“Our first approach was to develop a mobile version of our Website,” said Christoph Oberli, MOHG’s vice president for e-commerce.   “We released versions for both touch (iPhone™) and keyboard (BlackBerry®) users and quickly saw good traffic and some early bookings, but we were always looking for a more complete and higher-quality experience.”

The opportunity presented itself when TripCraft’s enterprise-level approach became available, and Mandarin quickly took advantage of its functionality. 

“Our new app has recently launched, and the reaction has been excellent,” said Oberli.  "Phone-native applications offer significant advantages over mobile-compatible Websites accessed through a browser.  They respond faster, they render photographs much more clearly, transitions between screens can be more interesting and overall they allow us to present a much more beautiful interface, as befits our brand image.

“They also allow us to make the application much more useful to guests during their stay, by including concierge functions and information on local sites, tips and attractions.  The benefit of using an approach such as TripCraft is that it’s much easier to incorporate data from different systems, as well as to manage it centrally.  For example, static information is pulled in from Mandarin Oriental’s content management system, guest reservations are handled through SynXis CRS, our global distribution system, and destination information, filtered to offer the kinds of attractions our guests would be seeking, comes in from an external source such as wcities.

“This ensures that the guest always sees the most current and appropriate information, and that the overall brand image and data is consistent across all locations. Future enhancements will likely include some form of social media integration, but however that develops our goal with the application, as with our properties, is to offer our guests a beautiful experience of the highest quality,” said Oberli.


Some services already available or capable to be introduced:

  • Mobile checkin anywhere, from lobby to guestroom. Slates are a good format for this, and self-service kiosk vendors such as Penn Center Systems and It Just Works Software (IJWS) are adapting their software accordingly. It still requires the development of a key card generator for mag-stripe or RFID locks, but card reader add-ons are already available. 
  • Manager notification of VIP arrivals, along with brief data on their profile and history with the property
  • High-level statistics on the property today (occupancy, ADR, guests still to arrive, housekeeping progress, etc.).
  • Sales managers using slates to show up-to-the-minute production data when negotiating for corporate business (e.g. Hotel SalesPro).
  • Access to data on in-house groups and conferences, including agendas and meeting rooms, for quick response to guest queries.
  • Manager escalation alerts of guest requests that have exceeded their response time without action; all the guest response management systems (Triton, runtriz™, Intelity ICE, GBCblue, MTech’s HotSOS, etc.) offer this.
  • Slate-based hotel and area guides in the guestrooms (e.g. Tiare Technology), replacing all the printed information including room service menus.
  • Slate-based, visually rich restaurant menus and wine lists (Tiare Technology, Incentient, MenuPad, etc.), with the ability to place an order directly or call the server or sommelier to discuss options.
  • Concierge interaction for easy sharing with guests of information on local attractions, services and maps; just slide it across the counter.
  • Front desk interaction with guests for easy sharing of property information about floorplans, photos of specific rooms and/or views from different parts of the building.
  • Dynamic re-arrangement of housekeeping priorities to reflect guest needs; M-Tech’s REX is an excellent example.
  • Giving housekeepers’ phones the access key codes for only those guestrooms on their service list, with guest presence feedback from the room’s occupancy-sensing energy management system.
  • Reporting of trouble tickets/work orders to engineering with an attached photo of the service problem.
  • Package tracking, with guest signature capture (TrackIt, for example).
  • Photo recording of items found after a guest has checked out, showing condition and location when discovered, sent to a lost-and-found tracking system.
  • Security alerts of trouble incidents, with photos of the situation if necessary, and a property map showing location.
  • Staff training videos and job technique visual reminders.
  • Engineers’ access, on a slate, to equipment maintenance history, service manuals, parts inventory, vendor contacts, etc. (e.g. Hotel ServicePro)

There are more available to be sure, but the general concept is clear; if a useful set of important data can be assembled from multiple sources and displayed effectively on a phone or slate, it will be.


Opening the Shutters on Guest Service

One property that leverages mobile technology well is Shutters on the Beach, in Santa Monica, Calif.  Director of Operations Sean Hubbard said, “We saw the potential for improving guest service through interactive phone apps some time ago, and installed one of the first runtriz™ systems last year.  Guests can download our app to their phones. We have versions for all four major platforms – and we also run it on iPads™ in our premier oceanfront suites.”

So what type of guests use the system?  “We’ve seen very steady growth in usage since we started, and currently about 5 percent of our guests use the system.  These tend to be people looking for a sanctuary, for a quiet experience with fast, unobtrusive service whenever they need something and without having to interact with multiple people. 

“They also tend to use it a lot; they’ll set a wake-up call, be down at the pool by 10:00 a.m. ordering refreshments, request that their car be brought around for a trip into the city, and order room service on their way home from the theater so that it’s in their room when they arrive.

Providing an extra level of responsiveness to the guest is the goal. “The improvement in guest satisfaction is noticeable and justifies the technology on its own.  Fast response to requests is one thing, but we’ve also had fewer issues related to room readiness,” Hubbard said.  “Our staff report problems immediately to the engineers, who can fix something before the guest is ever aware of it.”

And what is in store for future enhancements?  “We’ve been working with the vendor on phase 2, which will improve our back-of-house efficiencies through better staff scheduling.  That will go live later this year – we’ve had to make some changes, such as boosting Wi-Fi coverage in the lower levels of our underground garage – and will very quickly bring us a significant financial ROI as well.  This is definitely a key tool for us.”


Kimpton Keeps It Meaningful

From offering guests a goldfish in a bowl to keep them company in their hotel rooms to general managers who have led groups of rollerblading guests on early morning exercise through the streets of Seattle, Kimpton has always looked for ways to engage its guests in personally meaningful ways. It’s no surprise that it’s looking at mobile technology from the same viewpoint.

“Our approach has always more about the process than the technology,” said Kris Singleton, Kimpton’s CIO. “We gather information about our guests and then figure out what we can add to make their interaction with us more memorable. We’re currently evaluating our CRM systems to provide even better knowledge of our guests’ needs and preferences and implementing guest-request response management. These are both ways of enhancing our service express one-call guest service operation. Mobile technology is a key part of making the latter as efficient and responsive as possible.

“Another focus is on improving the guest’s in-room dining experience. We’re running a pilot test of an online system (GBCblue’s Orion) at our Eventi Hotel in New York City, and we anticipate that an appealing, highly visual version of the menu will have a tremendous impact on increased guest use. It’s available as a Web application for guests’ laptops or phones, and we also lend iPod touch® units to guests who would like to try it out. We are anxious to see the numbers compared to the benchmark of our printed menu order stats. There are no printing costs when the menu changes, either.

“Our service express agents currently receive the room service orders over the Web, key them into the POS system and confirm back to the guests that their orders are in hand. The next step will be to integrate the GBCblue service directly into the POS; this will speed order entry and eliminate possible keying errors. Even better, the automatic tracking of response and delivery performance will let us alert the staff if we’re in danger of not meeting our standards, so they’ll be able to focus more on giving personal attention to these exceptions. And personal attention is what we do best,” Singleton said.

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