Siegel Sez

July 16, 2021

Siegel Sez

I had a very interesting conversation this week. As I connected with an old friend and senior person from one of the brands, we of course got into a conversation regarding what everybody has gone through these past fifteen months or so. He talked about what almost everyone went through, the furloughing and job eliminations. However, he also brought up something that I never thought about, and that was the guilt of those who remained employed. “Why did others lose their jobs, and I didn’t” was a common thought. I know if I would have been one of those, I would have felt the same way. Yes, those were unbelievable times for the industry, but what about now? Every vendor and hotel company I’ve talked with have the same need -- to find quality people to join their teams. Of course, this is nothing compared to what the actual hotels are going through trying to find employees. This leads to other discussions such as, whether the industry needs to rethink how employees are treated both financially and in the work environment.

I started my career over a million years ago working in hotels and I loved it, but times have changed and so has the industry. I’m not sure there is an easy answer. AHLA just launched a video telling the world that hotels are hiring. As hoteliers, I would love to hear your thoughts on this video. Drop me a note at, and we may have one of our writers follow up with you. Yes, these are strange times we are in. Nobody is sure how the recovery will continue, but a feeling of optimism is running rampant. We shall see.

With smaller staffs, many are using technology to do things that workers would have otherwise done. In Doug Rice’s Definitely Doug column he continues to do a great job of addressing how technology is helping the problem. If you’re involved with the food and beverage part of the hotel business, you will love his column this week. If you aren’t, then please forward this to those who are. It really took me forever to get used to not having a menu in my hands at a restaurant, but then again, I can be old fashioned. Hey, we’re all getting older which makes it hard to change, right?

Here is Doug’s column, I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Let the industry recovery show some legs and keep going strong. September will be here before you know it. Our Summit for the CIOs looks great, and we hope it’s followed up at the end of September by a well-attended HITEC. We hope to see you there!


Definitely Doug

Food & Beverage Goes Mobile

Mobile food and beverage ordering has been around for a few years, but the pandemic has moved it into the mainstream, and diners are increasingly happy with it. The initial impetus was to reduce face-to-face contact and potentially contaminated shared surfaces. That imperative waned as vaccination rates increased and as the mode of virus transmission became better understood. But more recently, mobile ordering has been driven by severe labor shortages in hospitality and the inability of many hotels and restaurants to hire enough staff to return to the traditional operating model.

Additionally, many diners who have now experienced digital ordering have found that they prefer it, at least much of the time. Research by Crave Interactive from early 2021 shows that 91% of diners think service is as good or better with mobile ordering (44% say “better”), and 81% want to continue using mobile ordering and payment post-COVID. While the numbers will vary based on who is being surveyed, this follows the trend of consumers using their mobile phones for more and more aspects of their life every day, from banking to shopping to travel.

This week’s blog takes a deep dive into mobile digital ordering (MDO) solutions for restaurants, with a special focus on hotel restaurants.

Is Mobile Digital Ordering Right for You?

There is no simple answer to this question. Some higher-end restaurants may choose to retain traditional menus and wait-staff service to preserve ambience. Many will adopt MDO but retain printed menus to give diners a choice. But there is a compelling case for MDO in many hotels, where it can allow the restaurant to sell more via room service, at the pool, in cabanas, in the lobby, in meeting rooms, or via local delivery.

Bars and pubs that may previously have had no printed menus may generate more revenue from the more structured item positioning and upselling options available through MDO. Restaurants with experienced, first-rate servers may already maximize upselling and cross-selling, but others with less experienced staff often find that digital menus can do this more consistently. Restaurants with staff shortages may need to address slow service, while busy bars may find that patrons may order more rounds if they can reorder without having to flag down a server or leave their conversation to crowd up to the bar.

To be sure, MDO has costs and complexities, many of which I will address below. The important thing is to understand what you want to accomplish, how much you expect it to be worth in additional revenue, cost savings, or customer satisfaction, what it will cost to achieve that, and the risk involved in getting there. Establishing KPIs up front and measuring their achievement is an important key to success.

Click here to read more of Doug’s column on Food & Beverage Goes Mobile

Douglas Rice
Twitter: @dougrice
Food & Beverage Goes Mobile


- Infor Achieves AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency Designation
Infor, the industry cloud company, today announced it has achieved the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) Travel and Hospitality Competency designation. This designation recognizes that Infor is validated for technical proficiency and customer success to help travel and hospitality organizations build a resilient business and accelerate innovation.


- Vizergy® Announces Promotion of Addams England to Chief Operating Officer
Vizergy®, the leading provider of digital marketing and sales for the hospitality industry, today announced the promotion of Addams England to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). England, a 15-year Vizergy veteran, previously held the title of Senior Vice President of Information Technology.


- Vacation Ownership Management Group SunStream Hotels & Resorts Making a Strong Comeback with Maestro Cloud PMS
Maestro’s complete property-management system is streamlining operations for seven of SunStream’s Southwest Florida properties, from owner reservation controls to accounting, and adding more with plans to completely digitalize the entire guest journey.


- IDeaS Gears Up for 2021 AAHOA Convention
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the world’s leading provider of revenue management software and services, announced it will participate as a Platinum Level sponsor at the upcoming Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) convention and trade show in Dallas, August 3-6, 2021.

- Inntopia Launches School Calendar Explorer to Help Travel Providers Identify Revenue and Marketing Opportunities Within School Break Trends
Inntopia is thrilled excited to announce the launch of the School Calendar Explorer, a comprehensive, human-vetted dataset with an interactive dashboard to give travel providers an unprecedented view of year-over-year school break patterns, trends, and data across the United States.


- Hotel St. Michel Adopts BeyondTV GuestCast for Maximum Guestroom Entertainment Personalization and Convenience
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has been credited with enhancing the guest entertainment experience at Hotel St. Michel with the implementation of the BeyondTV GuestCast streaming platform. 

- Virdee Achieves Oracle Validated Integration, Enabling Digital Check-In for Hotels Around the World
Through an integration with the world's leading PMS, OPERA users now have access to a seamless digital check-in solution that allows 100% of guests to bypass the front desk.

- The First Hyatt Branded Hotel in Sweden Selected Our Tv, Internet and Voice Solutions to Provide Communication and Entertainment for its Guests
Right on the waterfront, next to the Royal Castle, Hotell Reisen pays homage to the building’s extraordinary history, which started in 1750. The building has undergone refurbishment and will soon unfold a new chapter by welcoming travelers from all over the world. To offer a guest experience matching the Hyatt brand standards, the hotel updated the technology for TV, Wi-Fi and Voice solutions.


- Zoox Smart Data Reports Continued Boost in Online Traffic Connections During Q2, 2021
Following a successful first quarter, Zoox Smart Data (“Zoox”), an international provider of technological solutions that harnesses big data to build customer profiles from existing Wi-Fi networks, has released its second set of internet traffic results, which displays a further increase of online traffic connections as the travel industry begins to rebound.


- Beverage Inventory Control System by Clear Sky Software Helping the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Clear Sky Software, Inc.® announced today that the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel is up and running on Clear Sky Software’s beverage inventory control system.  The Sheraton selected Clear Sky Software to help control all beer, liquor and wine inventory.

- Ritz-Carlton Implements Clear Sky Software's F&B Inventory Management System
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara selected Clear Sky Software over a crowded field of inventory control solutions and has been busy taking advantage of this industry-leading F&B inventory system.


- Chatham Bars Moves into Summer Recovery with Knowcross
Chatham Bars Inn opts for the Knowcross platform to manage and streamline their operations so that they can focus on what matters most, the Guests.


- ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions Provides Contactless Digital Key Technology at Grand Hyatt Al Khobar Hotel and Residences to Provide Clean and Safe Guest Experience
ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions as a leading provider of contactless technology for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of digital key and mobile check-in functionality at Grand Hyatt Al Khobar Hotel and Residences.


- Agilysys Hosts Virtual Event to Unveil New and Modernized Products
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, today announced its upcoming Virtual Event: Agilysys – Next Generation Hospitality, to be held online from July 27-29, 2021.The three-day event will provide insight into the full spectrum of guest experience solutions offered by Agilysys.

- Destination, HITEC Dallas: Return to In-Person Engagement, Education and Exhibits in 2021
Join thousands of fellow hospitality professionals September 27-30, 2021 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas USA for four days of exciting in-person networking, education and exhibits.

- Ideas Announced as Platinum Sponsor for Leading Revenue Management Event, ‘Leadership from Chaos’
IDeaS, a SAS company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, has selected the Platinum Plus Sponsorship for the upcoming international revenue management event, ‘Leadership from Chaos’.


- SiteMinder: Traveler Demands At An All-time High, ‘Material Consequences’ For Hotels Not Prepared
Travelers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia will not be accepting of dropped standards in their hotel accommodation, in spite of the challenges faced by the hotel industry over the past year, new research by SiteMinder, one of the world's largest open hotel commerce platforms, has found.

- Knowland’s June Group Meetings and Events Data Shows Continued Growth with Healthcare Leading the Corporate Segment
Knowland, a leader in AI-powered meetings and events data for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other venues, released its monthly meetings and events data for June. The numbers reveal that June U.S. group meetings volume increased 16.5 percent over last month.


- The EU Vaccine 'Passport' and What It Means for Travel
- What Hoteliers Can Learn From the Biggest Global Ransomware Attack on Record
- More than One-Third of Former Hospitality Workers Won't Return: Survey
- Tokyu Hotels Has Unveiled the World's First Hydrogen Hotel in Japan

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 7/16/2021


And now for you-know-what.…

A tradesman-painter named Jack was always keen to make the extra buck where he could. So he would often thin down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time. Eventually, the local church decided to do a big restoration project. Jack put in a painting bid and, because his price was so competitive, he got the job. So he started; erecting the trestles and putting up the planks, and buying the paint and as usual thinning it down with turpentine.
He was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a mighty clap of thunder. The sky opened and the rain poured down, washing the thinned-down paint from all over the church and knocking Jack off the scaffold to land on the lawn. Jack was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he fell on his knees and cried, “Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?”
And from the thunder, a mighty Voice spoke, “Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!”

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