By Larry and Adam Mogelonsky

Any and every strategic budgetary meeting in Q4 2022 should involve a lengthy discussion about how to continue to increase labor efficiencies using the technology. The question then is what to deploy? Solutions abound, and in this article we make the case for in-room tablets.

Now that we are over the hump of the travel recovery summer and heading into a ‘normalization’ of travel numbers (possibly combined with a recession), the name of the game isn’t maximizing occupancy with dynamic yielding but optimizing revenue on a per-guest basis. With technology, this TRevPAR can be achieved with only marginal cost increases to preserve net operating incomes by looking for ways to reach the right guests at the right times about ways to enhance their onsite experiences.

The guestroom tablet does just that because oftentimes in the prearrival stage your guests aren’t ready to buy add-ons to their hotel stays. They are busy doing other things and don’t know their exact schedules just yet. Once onsite, though, you have a focused audience. To get a more specific picture of what in-room tablets can do to enhance ancillary spend, we reached out to INTELITY, a leading provider of guest engagement and staff automation platforms, to learn about how the implementation of in-room tablets may be the closest thing to a silver bullet for onsite TRevPAR growth.

Through our discussions, we’ve tabulated many of the key benefits for guestroom tablets, whether those that drive topline or those that save your team time:

  • Offering a convenient and intuitive user interface for guests to learn about the property, explore the local area and order room service or reserve additional services like spa appointments, all without needing to bog down team members who can focus on better service delivery
  • Likewise offering a great service delivery tool for associates so that orders can be executed faster and with clearer analytics to get more predictive for future requests
  • Providing a content-as-a-service (CaaS) channel for personalized promotions and additional TRevPAR as well as third-party advertising revenue sharing
  • Addressing basic guest inquiries and automating service orders to reduce the workload that these incur on front desk associates, freeing up their time for other tasks
  • Newer tablets use materials and production methods that increase their durability against drops and corrosion from cleaning or sanitization applications
  • Getting more granular data on guest demands to feed into business intelligence software and make highly informed decisions to guide future initiatives
  • Acting as the control hub for the totality of IoT-enabled ‘connected room’ features including, but not limited it, thermostats, lighting, alarm clocks, blinds, TVs and smart speakers

Key throughout all this is knowing the difference between ‘work’ and ‘busywork’. The former is creative and complex while increasing job fulfillment and self-actualization. The latter is interruptive, repetitive, frustrating and demoralizing. Your goal will any and all technology is to eliminate as much busywork as possible so that your teams are free to do the actual work.

In a catch-22 sort of way, oftentimes hotel organizations are so stymied by the busywork that they don’t have time to set up the automations that will enable the real work! Given the list of advantages above, tablets are one powerful way to set you up for incredible success in 2023.