These are unprecedented times – the pandemic has brought the economy to a standstill, and the lockdowns have all but brought travel & hospitality industry to its knees. Hotels are facing tough times, but we must remember that the COVID-19 restrictions won’t last forever.

While tough personally, these times also offer a unique opportunity for many in the hospitality industry to be brave and take action now to reap better benefits when the eventual rebound occurs. There is a huge pent up demand for staycations and interstate travel once restrictions are lifted – make sure your hotel is ready for that surge with better ways to protect your guests and staff.  

Improve sanitation and reduce touchpoints in hotel rooms

According to an American Society of Microbiology study81% of hotel room surfaces sampled had some level of bacterial presence. Researchers found that light switches and TV remotes were among the objects most heavily contaminated with bacteria. (Time Magazine, “These Are the Dirtiest Places in Your Hotel Room” by Abigail Abrams. 13 February 2018.)

Post COVID, better standards of room sanitation & guest hygiene will be a key differentiator for hotels that guests prefer to stay in. Items such as TV remotes and analog phones with buttons that are harder to clean are being replaced with in-room technology that can be easily cleaned (and labelled once the product has been cleaned). Flat surface tools such as Tapendium’s tablets that double up as TV remote and phone, are easier to sanitise and label. Advanced technology through the same tablets also allows hotels to automate light & curtain/blinds controls – thereby limiting touch points for guests that harbour germs.

Tapendium’s interactive solution replaces another unsanitary touchpoint in the room – the paper-based in-room dining menus or compendiums. Paper based material cannot be sanitised easily and are expensive to replace after every stay. Using Tapendium’s highly customised Samsung Galaxy tablet, hotels can showcase their in-room and restaurant dining menus in a sleek design with in-built language translation capabilities. This means each new guest gets a fresh, sanitised digital compendium to browse and order from.

Such measures give discerning guests assurance that hotels are introducing higher levels of sanitation for their safety – and will be rewarded with return stays at these hotels.

Streamline overheads & operating costs

With 14 to 16 rooms to clean in an eight-hour shift, hotel staff don’t usually get much time to clean a room, its linens and appliances from top to bottom ― roughly 30 minutes or less per room. Post-Covid, there will be added pressure on hotel staff to carry out more thorough cleaning & sanitizing of all touchpoints in the room within this timeframe.

Whether cleaning a stayover or a checkout room, shaving even a few minutes off the cleaning routine will help you save hundreds of staff hours each year. You can easily do that by reducing the touchpoints and introducing flat-surface tools in every room. 

Moreover, the use of tablet-based compendiums reduces calls to the front desk and other hotel service departments by 75 percent or more, improving overall staff efficiency. Reducing your operating costs should be a key pillar of your post-COVID recovery plan.  

Maximise your ROI

According to CBRE research, it has been predicted that the hotel demand will take about 6-10 months to recover since the beginning of the outbreak in January 2020. It will take further 12-16 months for RevPAR and ADR to recover. Now more than ever, you need a strong COVID-recovery strategy, and should focus on upgrading your facilities that maximise your ROI.

Investing in an automated in-room upselling software is a smart way to boost your revenue stream. Most hotels don’t have the time to search through guest behaviour, assess what you’ve learned and have hotel staff upsell in-room facilities at each point of guest interaction. To understand customer needs while also increasing the revenue of your hotel, you need an upsell and guest communication software.

This is where Tapendium’s upselling features and advertisements within the dynamic room service menu works hard to replace the verbal “Would you like some chips with your burger, Sir?”. This helps to increase F&B order value and customer satisfaction. Tapendium’s customer management system is highly customizable with the opportunity to publish daily specials and also provides the opportunity to upsell other hotel facilities discreetly to guests. You can send special offers and promotions to individual guests, groups of rooms or the whole hotel.

With Tapendium, you can even schedule offers in advance and make promotions time-bound so they disappear when expired. This helps eliminate expensive colour-printing costs for “specials offers” flyers placed in the rooms that need to be replaced often.

And remember, as part of the stimulus measures introduced by the Australian Government, the instant asset write-off for businesses has been increased to $150,000 for assets purchased between 12 March and 31 December 2020. Make sure you’ve checked if your business is eligible for this stimulus – which you can use to upgrade your in-room technology.

About Tapendium

Tapendium is an exciting, new hospitality solution that replaces printed compendiums in hotel rooms. Software on Samsung tablets is customised to align with the hotel brand and deliver unique content based on the hotel’s individual marketing. The result is a highly engaging, interactive guest experience. Hotel management is enabled with a secure, controlled enterprise mobility platform. With a focus on real-time promotion, the hotel team is able to update every tablet from a web-based content management system. Managers with little or no technical experience can personalize communication and tailor offers to guest preferences, sending either generic or customised offer directly to tablets throughout the hotel.