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Siegel Sez

May 12, 2023

Siegel Sez

Over the 30 years I have followed technology for hotels there are many things I have learned. When something new comes into the industry hoteliers may be intrigued, but not necessarily eager to buy something new and different. However, over a period of time after multiple vendors emerge with similar solutions, then hotels become intrigued and warm up to something new. Do you remember when robots were being pitched to the hotel industry? Yes, full-service hotels loved the idea of a robot delivering room service. Doug Rice in his Definitely Doug column that follows will open your eyes to what is happening with robots today, and it is important as hoteliers are dealing with labor shortages. What I found amazing is the segment of the hotel industry that is aggressively pursuing robots is the select service segment. There is a great deal of activity happening outside the US, but will it be coming soon to the States? Take a few minutes and read Definitely Doug. You will be amazed. I know I was.
To nobody’s surprise, AHLA announced that The Hospitality Show 2024 will be in late October and will not conflict with HITEC. Just about everybody in the industry is thankful for this, including myself. I would have loved to attend this year, but HITEC is way too important for those in the technology space. Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online will be at The Hospitality Show and we look forward to sharing our experience there with you. Personally, I am looking forward to Toronto. It was a great show when HITEC was there six years ago. There is something magical about Toronto. I was concerned because of the competing shows that there might be fewer evening parties, but that concern is now out the window. There are many parties we have been invited to! Education seminars, exhibition hall, networking, and parties -- that is what makes HITEC special. I can’t wait so long as my knee holds up. Don’t ask!
Here now is Definitely Doug and his unique look at robots along with the latest technology happenings in the industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you know what. For the many of you who have asked about the horse world, the 7th race at Belmont Park on Saturday. Cheer WAFLR, but don’t ask where the name came from.


Definitely Doug

Meet Your Future Staff Members! (Part One)

This week I will return to a topic I have covered before, because it has, within the last 12 to 18 months, become one of the hottest-growth categories in hospitality technology. That topic is autonomous mobile robots – specifically, ones that can move around the facility as well as perform specific tasks. Many of these products were launched pre-Covid but were often seen at the time as more of a marketing gimmick than a legitimate operational solution.

However, the past year has made clear that the hotel and restaurant labor shortage originally precipitated by the pandemic is likely to be permanent. In a world where the cost of labor to perform many menial tasks has skyrocketed and where it is often impossible to get staff at any cost, more and more hotels, especially in the select-service segment, are starting to consider robotic assistance.

Robotics is still very early in the adoption curve in North American hotels, but several manufacturers I spoke with said that 2022 volume was up 3x to 4x compared with 2021, and that the trend has continued this year. Adoption is much further along in China and some other parts of Asia, where one vendor estimates that 25% to 35% of select-service hotels are now using autonomous robots. A few major hotel brands reportedly have global deployments on their roadmap, although timing is still unclear.

While some lifestyle hotels were the earliest adopters of robots, select service has spurred the current growth. These hotels are finding that robots can help them tap into revenue sources and services that previously only full-service properties offered, such as room service (sometimes utilizing nearby restaurants or ghost kitchens for preparation). Others have doubled or tripled sales of high-margin food and sundries from lobby pantries by enabling guests to order directly via an app for delivery by a robot. Many have found robots useful for getting food from delivery app drivers to guest rooms without having to let drivers up onto guest floors or require guests to come down to the lobby – and they can do it with minimal additional burden on the already overworked front desk staff.

There are many times more robots being marketed to hotels now than when I wrote the last one 15 months ago, so there is a lot of material to cover. I have divided it into a two-part article that will start today and conclude in two weeks. The topic also calls for a few changes in my usual approach to emerging technologies. There are many different types of robots, with some manufacturers offering robots in several categories. Because of that, I have organized this by category and will identify the key companies that I spoke with in each category.

One company I will call out separately, however, is Softbank Robotics, because in addition to manufacturing its own robots for certain cleaning applications, it has also forged close partnerships with many other robot manufacturers across the spectrum of applications, providing services, integrations with third-party robots, and investment funds for many of them. Softbank Robotics’ perspective was very helpful to me in understanding the ecosystems of robots and the major players in different applications.

Also, while I normally avoid links to advertising materials and even testimonials from hotel customers, this article will include some. With robotics, the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand pictures” is very true. I found it difficult to envision how some of these robots worked, and how hotels were viewing them, until I saw some of the videos. I have therefore linked to some of the ones that helped me, courtesy of the respective vendors as posted on public sites (you may need to click ‘play’ on some of them and/or bypass YouTube ads). The videos are not intended as an endorsement of any specific product; in many cases multiple vendors offer robots with similar capabilities to the ones shown; these were just the best public domain videos I could find.

In this first installment, I will cover several variations of delivery robots, designed to move materials within hotels (and other buildings). These are among the most-used robots in hotels today and have achieved a fair degree of maturity. In part two I will cover several types of cleaning robots, as well as security, telepresence, guidance, mingling, disinfection, and inspection robots. I will also provide general guidance for evaluating, selecting, and implementing robots within hotels, including a discussion of how hotel staff feel about the robots and how management can turn what may initially be perceived as a threat into something staff actively embrace.


Click here to read more of Doug’s column Meet Your Future Staff Members! (Part One)

Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas
Meet Your Future Staff Members! (Part One)


- CoStar Group Launches the Next Generation of STR
STR Benchmarking represents the next generation of STR, with the company’s hotel data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights integrated into CoStar’s industry-leading information, analytics, and data-driven news platform.


- Keith Child Joins CyberTek as Hiring Our Heroes Fellow
- CyberTek Promotes Elizabeth Parente to Lead Compliance Analyst
- VENZA Promotes Robin McGuire to Director of Human Resources
- SpaSoft Welcomes Erica Mullery as New President
- Macarena Carballo Named Executive Vice President of Global Operations at VENZA


For more information on People on The Move for 5/12/2023


Oracle Teams with Wyndham to Bring OPERA Cloud to 2,000 Additional Hotels
- Canary Technologies and Maestro Partner to Bring Digital Guest Management Solutions to Hoteliers
- Gervasi Vineyard Uncorks Exceptional Guest Experiences with Oracle Cloud
- Sparkling Hill Resort Dazzles Guests Via Maestro PMS and PurpleCloud Technologies Integration

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 5/12/2023


- H-Hotels.com adds Digital Media Solutions to Successful Partnership with Amadeus
Hoteliers in Europe are seeking ways to increase bookings and drive more awareness to their properties. H-Hotels.com, one of the largest privately-owned hotel chains in Germany with over 60 hotels throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary has selected a broader, more far-reaching media campaign by adding several Digital Media solutions including display and social media marketing to their current suite of solutions.


- IDeaS Achieves AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency
IDeaS, a SAS company, a leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Travel and Hospitality Competency. The designation recognizes that IDeaS has demonstrated deep domain expertise in core revenue management applications.


- Directv Hospitality Announces New Relationship with Aimbridge Hospitality
DIRECTV Hospitality – one of the nation’s leaders in guestroom entertainment and Aimbridge Hospitality, a leading, global hospitality company, are working together to improve the in-room guest experience from coast-to-coast, effective immediately.

- Hôtel 71 Deploys GuestCast by HIS to Address Modern Guest Demands for Instantly Personalized In-Room Entertainment
High-end 60-room property ensures that each guest can effortlessly and securely access streaming subscriptions on guestroom televisions.


- Carlton City Hotel Singapore Selects Cendyn’s Industry-Leading Platform to Power Their CRM
Cendyn, a catalyst for digital transformation in the hospitality industry, is excited to announce that Carlton City Hotel Singapore has selected Cendyn’s eInsight CRM to help them consolidate their data, streamline their guest communication efforts and provide them with a true 360-degree view of each guest.

- Nemacolin Turns to Hapi for Salesforce CRM Deployment
Nemacolin, an award-winning, luxury destination resort nestles within 2,200-acres in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, has partnered with Hapi and Salesforce to roll out high-touch, personalized service across its entire campus, which includes lodging, restaurants and activities.


- Remington Hotels Taps Knowland to Capture Multi-Day Event Business
- Amadeus Partners with Canary Technologies to Make Strategic Expansion in the Hospitality Sector
- Visrez and SalesAndCatering.com Strengthen Partnership by Offering Integrated 3D Event Diagramming as an STS Cloud Enhancement
- SalesAndCatering.com and Amaze Insights Team Up to Provide Hotels with Consolidated View of Group Sales Data Across All Platforms and Properties

For more information on Sales & Catering, Groups & Meetings for 5/12/2023


- M3 Honored as Gold Stevie Award Winner In 2023 American Business Awards
M3 Accounting Services, Inc. (M3) has achieved yet another remarkable accomplishment by being named the winner of a prestigious Gold Stevie Award in the highly competitive Company of the Year - Hospitality & Leisure – Medium category in the 21st Annual American Business Awards.

- MDO Plans Night Auditor Appreciation Day for May 18
myDigitalOffice (MDO), the world’s fastest-growing hotel performance management platform, is excited to announce the creation of Night Auditor Appreciation Day, to be celebrated annually on May 18. This day is dedicated to recognizing and honoring night auditors at hotels across the country for their tireless efforts and crucial role in holding hotel operations together.


- Cox Survey Shows 90% of Small Business Owners Feel Cyber Secure Because of Managed IT Services
Cyber security threats are on the rise, but managed IT services make small business owners highly confident they can navigate these risks, according to a new survey commissioned by Cox Business.

- Cloud5 Earns Second Consecutive Win for Mitel’s Hospitality Partner of the Year
Cloud5 Communications, a leading provider of communications solutions for more than 5,000 hotels, MDUs, and commercial facilities across the Americas, today announced it has been named Mitel’s Hospitality Partner of the Year, Americas, for the second year in a row at Mitel’s 2023 Global Partner Awards Ceremony held earlier this month.


- HCN Solves Room Service Problem; Proves it in Thousands of Hotel Rooms
Hotel Communication Network (HCN) has developed a NEW program that is turning traditional room service operations from a loss leader to a profit center. Rather than placing more stress on limited staff or requiring guests to use a mobile app delivery service such as DoorDash or Uber Eats that requires them to meet drivers in the lobby, HCN has developed an alternative service that is boosting revenues and satisfaction scores.

- Beachy Riding Wave of Record-Breaking First Quarter
Beachy, a leading provider of next-generation solutions and services for the country’s premiere resorts, announced today that Q1 2023 was the strongest quarter in the company’s history. In the first three months of 2023, and just in time for the spring and summer resort season, Beachy signed a record number of four- and five-star properties to its innovative mobile point-of-sale (POS) and amenity booking solutions.


- Agilysys Features Next-Era Spa Software at the 2023 ISPA Conference May 9-11
Agilysys Spa, a next-era cloud-native spa solution debuting from Agilysys (Nasdaq: AGYS) at the 2023 ISPA Conference at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas May 9-11, features capabilities that equip spa operators to continuously optimize how they accept and manage reservations based on financial outcomes as well as guest and staff satisfaction.


- Arch Amenities Group Introduces Wage Insights, a Tool That Provides Salary and Wage Benchmarking Data for Hotels and Wellness Centers
Wage Insights surveys are conducted, certified and interpreted by secure, third-party partners to capture and collate national, regional and state-level data from across the hospitality and wellness industries.

- Lodging Interactive Launches Social Media Service to Help Hotels Find Job Candidates from Locally Targeted Social Media Users
Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing, reputation management, and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry since 2001, has launched its HR omnichannel marketing service that aims to help hotels locate and recruit candidates for their vacant job positions.


- ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions Wins 2023 Red Dot Design Award for VingCard Novel
- SALTO Introduces Face Recognition Access Control with the Acquisition of TouchByte
- Soiree Valet Picks VENZA for Data Protection and Compliance Services
- VENZA Announces Product Roadmap Updates for Q1 2023


For more information on Security for 5/12/2023

Information Technology, Architecture & Integration

- Capsolve Announces Its Digital RFP Management Solution
This new online RFP Management solution streamlines the research and evaluation cycle of software, hardware and services for technology buyers from the golf, hotel and restaurant industries.


- IDeaS Announces the Fabian Specht Future Revenue Innovator Scholarship Winners
IDeaS, a SAS company, a world leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today the winners of the Fabian Specht Future Revenue Innovator Scholarship. The scholarships have been awarded to two international EHL students pursuing a hospitality management education, JeongHoo Lee and Alexandre Martin.


- HFTP to Host AAHOA President/CEO for a Virtual Legislative Update
- Uniting the Boutique Community to Amplify the Lucrative Future of Independent and Boutique Hotels
- HFTP Announces Participating Startups for Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) at HITEC Toronto
- The Hospitality Show 2024 to be Held in San Antonio Oct. 28-30, 2024

For more information on Hospitality Events and Association News for 5/12/2023


- Knowland Reports Chicago as Top Market for Events in April with National Associations as the Leading Group Segment
Knowland, the world’s leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, continued its monthly monitoring of the top 25 markets to identify those markets that are leading the industry in meeting and event volume. Today the company announced that the Chicago market led the U.S. meetings and events industry by volume for April.


- Hilton is Hiring Robots
- A Dystopian Coffee Shop Run by a Robot Barista Arrives in Brooklyn
- New Expedia Tech Extends Debate on Attribute-Based Selling
- Factors Influencing Consumers’ Willingness to Accept Service Robots: Based on Online Reviews of Chinese Hotels

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 5/12/2023

And now for the You-Know-What...

Boy, if this doesn't hit the nail on the head, I don't know what does!

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. 

Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients? 

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever. 

The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.


Next time take me to the Vet!

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