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How far do hotel guests book in advance?

SiteMinder Blog 18 September 2017
Many reports in recent years have suggested hotel booking lead times are getting shorter, even though the overall path-to-purchase may be increasing. A recent report from online travel agent Agoda has served to accentuate these trends. It reveals the time between booking and check-in of guests can be as low as 12 days on average. Here are the key findings:
Article by Helena Rowe

Meeting Internal Challenges For Revenue Management

Net Affinity 18 September 2017
It's challenging being a Revenue Manager! Whether you're in a large city-centre hotel, or a small countryside hotel, Revenue Managers face similar challenges & stresses. Too much to do, too little time, being number one! Many of these challenges come from client demands, but in this piece, we're discussing the internal challenges faced by Revenue Manager, or the member of staff with responsibility for Revenue Management. These are generally a little easier to fix than external factors and can have a big impact on a Revenue Managers efficacy and efficiency.Organisational CultureFirstly, we need to look from the top down, as this is where most of the work culture in business organisations come from - General Managers, we're looking at you! It's imperative that the Revenue Manager has the support of the GM in the hotel for them to do their job effectively and efficiently. The GM needs to instill the culture throughout the entire hotel that everybody has a role to play and responsibility for room sales in supporting the RM.Communication between DepartmentsIt's important that all HODs, as well as their teams, understand the Revenue Strategy and what the GM & RM are looking to achieve this month and this year. Especially important is the communication between the sales team and RM as they should be working together for the same goals, but equally for the Front Desk & Reservations team to know why rates have increased or dropped, why an incentive is being offered to encourage guests to book on your own site or over the phone and to encourage OTA guests to book direct next time.Ensure that the most current forecast is shared with all departments - this has a symbiotic function - to help all teams drive sales, but also help other departments with forecasting their sales and staffing.Food & Beverage allocations can be a thorn in a RMs side, so open dialogue as to why these need to be decreased or increased needs to take place - especially if the hotel is looking to offer an incentive such as Free Breakfast if the guest books direct.Another specific example of communication issues are over-bookings - Night Managers are often terrified of this word! Again, communication is the key, the RM should collate stats on No-show rates, prove what is achievable through overbooking and work with the Front Desk team to have a plan in place for the team if things go wrong and they need to book out a guest.Online ReviewsTeam members need to be aware of how their interactions with guests have an impact on room sales. Reviews are often discussed when we speak with clients, especially in highly competitive markets. It's a lot easier for a Revenue Manager to increase rates for a hotel with a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor than it is a 3.5-star rating. All departments in the hotel play a role in this, as you know from reading TripAdvisor reviews, they can be about any element of the guest's stay - cleanliness of the corridors, to the quality of the food, to the temperature of the jacuzzi in the Leisure Centre.This is not just on TripAdvisor however, it impacts reviews left on OTAs, on your own site and just as importantly, word of mouth. All online reviews should be audited daily and management as a whole take responsibility for improving and maintaining high scores. Issues within departments can then be highlighted to the HOD, to ensure that they are resolved and avoided in future.Training and UpskillingRevenue Management is a relatively new field in Irish Hospitality - there is still a talent gap that needs to be addressed. The RM needs to be allowed both the time & resources to attend conferences, keep up to date with industry newsletters & advice.In addition to this, the rest of the hotel team need to understand the role of the revenue manager. The Revenue Team could hold regular RM workshops with other Heads of Departments & Front Desk staff to ensure that they are trained in the basics of Revenue Management and understand what they can do to assist the RM and bring these techniques into their own roles. This should be done on a 6-monthly or annual basis to allow for staff turnover and refresh the skills of staff.Too often, when speaking with hotels, we are told that the RM is the only person who knows how to use the booking engine or channel manager meaning that when they are not at work, no dates can be closed out, rates can't be optimised and opportunities are missed out on. It's important to ensure that at all times at the hotel, there is someone trained on the systems employed by the hotel and empowered to make decisions on these matters. This will also allow the RM to be able to go offsite for conferences & workshops or run them internally without having to worry about the daily running of the hotel.Technology / EquipmentIf a chef needed an extra mixer in the kitchen to ensure there was enough bread for the day, we suspect the GM would see little issue with making the investment into this equipment. However, it can be a different story for the RM, who may not have the correct tools in place to do their job effectively, and just as importantly, efficiently. The role of an RM is made a lot simpler with the most up-to-date and correct type of software - an up-to-date Property Management System with a solid reporting system, an easy to manage Channel Manager and most importantly, in our eyes, a responsive website with a great user experience with a strong Booking Engine. If the Revenue Manager must spend hours pulling reports before getting to the analysis or update rates on several channels individually, it will mean that they won't have time to delve into other revenue opportunities or even do it at all.As well as ensuring they have the correct software, don't forget about the hardware - a good PC that isn't slow and invest in a second monitor for your PC - it makes the job a lot easier!Workload & a Quiet OfficeEspecially with small properties, it may be difficult to find the time for a RM to focus on the role specifically or have the physical space to give a Revenue Manager their own office. While it is important that they have good communication with the Front Office & Reservations team and understand and supervise their work, it's impossible to concentrate on a good analysis or work on forecasting when you need to regularly drop what you are doing to answer the phone or emails or are sitting at the front desk. The RM needs to have the time to dedicate to Revenue Management as well as somewhere for them to retreat to for these tasks without having to worry about the phones or check-ins, even if it's just a morning scheduled once or twice a week in the GMs office with no interruptions.Once these challenges can be addresses in the hotel, it can make a huge difference in top line sales achieved and also allow the RM to concentrate on channel strategies, impacting the bottom line stats - the profit made per room sale.

Digital Workplace App Beekeeper Launches Inline Translation Feature for Inclusive Collaboration

Beekeeper 18 September 2017
Hospitality, manufacturing, and agriculture industries are especially diverse workplaces that often include 25 or more different languages and dialects. Beekeeper built inline translation into the platform to increase universal comprehension of internal messaging, as well as optimize overall translation costs. The highly anticipated feature will help teams elevate diversity standards, run their businesses with greater agility, and better manage globally dispersed hospitality workforces. Beekeeper CTO Flavio Pfaffhauser stresses that in addition to developing a more inclusive, connected culture, inline translation will yield immense company growth."Our clients have noticed a significant improvement in daily operations and employee engagement by connecting non-desk workers to the entire organization through our communication platform. Inline translation is the next evolution of the application. It is an imperative tool for building an inclusive workplace, granting the essential internal visibility employees need to thrive, grow, and culturally integrate." Pfaffhauser says, "This feature seamlessly integrates within Beekeeper, designed to minimize the employee learning curve and reduce admin overhead."When multiple languages are spoken in the workplace, text translation may be the most reliable form of communication. As a tool specifically designed to thrive in dispersed, fast-paced non-desk work environments, Beekeeper translation is primed to support a complex mosaic of language and culture. To learn more about the feature functions and benefits of inline translation, visit http://www.beekeeper.io.

Creating Perceived Value to Stimulate Direct Bookings

Tambourine Blog 15 September 2017
One of the more impactful, yet simplest, ways you can convince people to book direct is to create perceived value. OTAs have hundreds of thousands of properties on their websites, they cannot keep up in real time with the perks and inclusions at all of them.

Mobile innovations that reshape the business travel experience

Sabre Corporation Blog 15 September 2017
Smartphone usage continues to grow at an astounding rate as fast mobile Internet access transforms nearly all facets of life. The boundaries on when, where or how we access information or services no longer stand as a limitation. Just how prevalent have these devices become? Today, roughly three-quarters of Americans (or 77%) now own a smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted November 2016. Astonishingly, smartphone adoption has more than doubled since the Center began surveying this topic back in 2011. The study also shows that smartphones are nearly ubiquitous among younger adults –– 18- to 29-year-olds –– with 92% owning one. What’s more, Strategy Analytics latest 2017 report from Wireless Smartphone Strategies shows a 44% smartphone penetration rate worldwide, reporting the penetration rate will increase globally to 59% by 2022.

What's On the Horizon for the Hotel Industry?

Duetto Research Blog 15 September 2017
It wouldn’t be a CEO panel at a hotel conference if the biggest names on the speaker lineup weren’t asked for their predictions on upcoming industry performance. After several years of “enjoy the ride” and then a year or so of “cautious optimism,” hoteliers at last month’s Hotel Data Conference in Nashville were less optimistic. On Day 1 of the conference, STR’s President and CEO Amanda Hite announced the company’s revised forecast, which showed expectations of slower ADR and RevPAR growth than what was previously announced.

Weekly Reads 15.09.2017

Snapshot Blog 15 September 2017
This week’s reads are divided between a deeper and critical look at PMS technology and suggested marketing improvements for your hotel. A recent study on PMSs, their features, their interoperability and their security has confirmed an underlying trend: we operate on a "do as we have always done" basis. So how should you move your technology into the future? Our Head of Marketing, Margaret Ady has the answer. On the marketing side, we are focusing on 2 different channels this week, SEO and Facebook: 7 ways for your hotel to be found on Google and why hotels need to be on Facebook and what to post. Happy reading!

NAVIS Adds Two Powerhouse Technology Entrepreneurs to Advisory Board

NAVIS 14 September 2017
As part of the leadership team, Tom and Sanjay will contribute their insights on technology, marketing, and emerging opportunities to further help plot company strategy and accelerate growth. "We are incredibly fortunate to welcome such illustrious visionaries to our Advisory team," said Kyle Buehner, CEO of NAVIS. "They each bring exceptional knowledge and experience that will further strengthen our leadership team. Their commitment to our direction and growth is inspiring, and we are grateful for their counsel."In a joint statement, the new board members expressed why they selected NAVIS. "How lodging providers engage with guests is rapidly changing, and it's crucial that the industry continues to adjust and align their efforts to maximize performance. We've followed NAVIS for some time, and it's clear their innovative approach is reshaping how the hospitality industry connects with travelers, delivers exceptional guest service, and maximizes revenue. We are thrilled to be on the team at such a pivotal time for the company."About Tom GonserTom Gonser is an entrepreneurial executive and investment partner at Seven Peaks Ventures who has played a wide variety of roles in advisory and leadership capacities. He is recognized for his vision and innovation, with more than 15 years' experience participating on boards of directors of fast-growing companies. Tom is the founder and chief strategy officer of DocuSign, the global standard for eSignature. He began his career with innovative companies such as Apple Computer, Wildfire Communications, McCaw Cellular, and AT&T Wireless, then launched and ran several companies focused on SaaS, Financial Services, and GPS Technology. Tom's expertise includes corporate development, raising venture capital, strategic business planning, M&A, international business expansion, and business model development. Learn more and connect with Tom on LinkedIn.About Sanjay DholakiaSanjay Dholakia is a visionary leader who most recently served as Marketo's CMO, spearheading initiatives that expanded the company globally, scaled the business nearly 10-fold, and took the company public. He joined Marketo through the acquisition of social software company Crowd Factory, where he was the CEO. Before joining Crowd Factory, Sanjay was CMO at Lithium Technologies, and SVP and general manager for SumTotal Systems, helping to scale that business over 20-fold from single-digit revenues to a public company. He began his career as an advisor at McKinsey & Company and Andersen Consulting, and holds both a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in strategy and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Learn more and connect with Sanjay on LinkedIn.

How BI Optimized Software Will Enhance Your Budget Planning

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 14 September 2017
BP1.jpg The hospitality industry is a highly competitive, ever changing market. Consumers have more options today than ever before when choosing a property for business or leisure travel. With so much at stake, budgeting and forecasting methods must be accurate and efficient. However, given that most hospitality budgeting still lives in spreadsheets, there's plenty of room for human error.

Why Your Hotel Needs Hotel Management Software

SiteMinder Blog 14 September 2017
Technology in the hotel industry continues to advance at a rapid pace and hotel management software (HMS) remains essential for hoteliers looking to improve the running of their business. With software, hotel operators can streamline their administrative processes and improve their overall hotel management system.

PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard Ensures Hotels Can Find Their Ideal Property Management System

StayNTouch Inc. 14 September 2017
Investing in the right property management system (PMS) will help increase hotel revenue, drive guest engagement, and boost staff efficiencies, but with many options available, what selection criteria should hoteliers use to make the right decision for their unique property? Knowing that not all hotel PMS solutions are created equal, StayNTouch(r) has released a comprehensive PMS Evaluation Scorecard designed to help hotel operators select the right PMS for their needs and budget.The criteria-based approach is created on a quantitative assessment of the PMS in terms of functionality, flexibility, maintainability, and usability. This gives hoteliers a practical insight into how the software is developed, implemented and supported - and any potential technical barriers that prevent scalability or adoption. Hoteliers can use the step-by-step scorecard to determine the total score for each PMS vendor and then consider only the technology providers with the highest grades. By the end of the scoring process, hoteliers will know how to choose the best PMS for their unique goals and needs.The downloadable scorecard and template address the most critical areas that require consideration during the evaluation process including:Defining goalsCreating a list of potential vendors/solutionsAnnual CostsImplementationMobilityIntegrationReporting/InsightsEase of use/User InterfaceAutomationSecurity and ScalabilityService and SupportJos Schaap, hospitality technology industry veteran and founder of StayNtouch explains, "We realize that the selection and evaluation process of a new hotel PMS can seem like a daunting task. But it's worth all of the effort. After all, the system you choose will play a critical role in helping you manage your hotel and grow your business. We've developed this scorecard to help hoteliers understand the ins and outs of what to look for when evaluating new hotel systems and make well-informed decisions when they are ready to take the next steps. "A well thought out hotel PMS strategy coupled with the right technology partner is very powerful. Click here to download the free PMS Software Evaluation Scorecard or visit http://go.stayntouch.com/PMSEvaluationScorecard_ContentLandingpage.html

Tech That Will Interest Event Planners from the Apple Launch

EventManagerBlog.com 14 September 2017
Apple is taking further steps in carving the future of technology with the launch of three new iPhones. From facial recognition to AR, here are some of the key features and what they could mean for event professionals. On Tuesday, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook took to the stage for the first time in the Steve Jobs Theater at the new Apple Park campus in California, for the company’s latest Apple event. But what do event planners need to know about Apple’s new releases?

PolyU Study Finds Room Attribute Preferences Vital to Hotel Profit Maximisation

Hong Kong Poly 14 September 2017
Hoteliers are constantly faced with the problem of determining how much more customers might be willing to pay for certain room features, such as being on a higher floor or having a sea view. They can do so through experience or trial and error, the researchers note, but that does not necessarily match customers' valuations.Most customers consider certain attributes, such as "larger room space, free services, a quieter room, etc." as desirable, but knowing just how desirable they are for individual customers is critical. The researchers argue that customers decide how much they are willing to pay for rooms based on "their own unique needs and desires" and only make purchases if they believe the value of a room "matches or exceeds" the price charged.Understanding the real value that customers place on particular room features and services will, according to the researchers, allow hotel managers to set appropriate rate fences and thus maximise revenue and profit. Hence, they set out to measure the perceived marginal utilities of various room attributes in a luxury hotel located in downtown Hong Kong. By offering customers the choice of rooms on different floors, with different views and with access to different services, they aimed to calculate how much customers valued each attribute and the contribution of those valuations to their overall choice of room.The 262-room hotel had facilities such as a harbour view swimming pool, a spa, a health club, three restaurants, a ballroom and conference rooms. Through discussion with the hotel's managers, the researchers drew up a list of seven room attributes that customers would be able to choose in different combinations.The first attribute was price, with five levels from HK$1,600 to HK$3,200 per night. The other attributes included a choice between a city and a harbour view; three choices of floor (10th, 18th or 26th floor); free minibar with or without wine and beer; the use of a smartphone with free calls and data; and refundable or non-refundable cancellation. The seventh attribute was access to the hotel's club, located on the top floor with free breakfast, evening cocktails, exclusive check-in/out facilities and business facilities.In face-to-face interviews, customers were asked to pick between two hypothetical rooms with various combinations of the seven attributes. For example, Room A offered a city view room on the 10th floor, with access to the hotel club, a free minibar with alcohol, no smartphone and free cancellation for HK$1,600. Room B offered a harbour view room on the 26th floor, access to the club, a free minibar with alcohol and free smartphone, but no cancellation, for HK$2,400. As well as making the six choices, the guests provided information about themselves and their current stay.Of the 808 hotel guests interviewed over three months, the majority were on leisure trips and stayed for two nights. The largest group of individual guests was from the UK, followed by Australia and the United States. For their current stay in the hotel, more than half of the guests chose a harbour view and just less than a third chose a room with access to the club. The guests were well satisfied with their stays, giving the hotel an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 for overall quality.The guests paid HK$2,434 per room on average and spent around HK$500 per person each day on hotel facilities, although that amount varied widely. Almost two-thirds of the guests had already visited Hong Kong at least once, reflecting what the researchers describe as the "strategic positioning of Hong Kong as a transport and tourism hub in the Asia-Pacific region".Seeking to understand the guests' choices among the hypothetical room alternatives, the researchers found that the most influential room attribute was a harbour view, with guests willing to pay an additional HK$771 per room per night compared with a room with a city view. As this was considerably higher than the current premium of HK$400, the researchers suggest that the hotel, and by implication any similar hotel, could maximise revenue by charging much higher prices for these rooms. They calculate that charging an additional HK$371 on top of the current rate would increase the hotel's annual profit by HK$7.95 million.Access to the hotel club was the next most highly valued attribute, for which customers were willing to pay an additional HK$437 per night. This, however, was far less than the extra $980 for a room with club access that the hotel was charging, although that figure is not directly comparable because it includes facilities that were not included in the hypothetical rooms. Nevertheless, it seems that the hotel may have over-estimated the value of access to its club and the researchers argue that it could consider reducing the price tag, especially when it needs to fill rooms.Similarly, the guests did not seem to value the option of refundable cancellation as highly as the hotel itself, which charged $960 compared with customers' average valuation of HK$122. This difference could explain why less than a quarter of the customers interviewed had chosen this option for their current booking.The customers also indicated that they were willing to pay an additional HK$220 for a room located 10 floors higher, HK$226 for a mini-bar with alcohol and HK$160 for the free use of a smartphone. Although the hotel did not differentiate prices by floor and all guests had the same minibar and smartphone access, these values should be indicative of what the hotel and establishments like it could charge for such attributes.The researchers also considered whether customers' choices varied depending on if they were business or leisure tourists, and on whether this was their first trip to Hong Kong.The business travellers interviewed were less price sensitive and willing to pay 25% more on average than the leisure travellers. Greater differences were found between first-time and repeat travellers. In particular, first-time visitors were willing to pay 73% more than repeat travellers for a mini-bar with alcohol. The researchers observe that given the relatively low price of alcohol in Hong Kong, guests "may discover the low value" of beer and wine once they become more familiar with the destination. To capitalise on the preferences of first-time customers, they suggest, hotels could offer special deals on features that they value highly such as wine and beer in the minibar and access to the club.Ultimately, the researchers provide hotels with practical guidance on how guests really value the facilities they are offered. By adjusting their prices upwards according to the facilities that are valued more highly - such as a harbour view and a room on a higher floor - and adjusting them downwards for facilities that are valued less highly - such as free cancellation - hotels should be able to offer deals that better match guests' expectations. This would, the researchers conclude, "effectively stimulate room sales".Masiero, Lorenzo, Heo, Cindy Yoonjoung and Pan, Bing. (2015). Determining Guests' Willingness to Pay for Hotel Room Attributes with a Discrete Choice Model. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 49, 117-124.

Back to the future!

By Marion Roger
How can hotels generate more revenue out of the same space? Strategically oriented and technology-enabled, revenue management now targets such parts of the hotel as function space and restaurants, defining appropriate KPIs analogous to RevPAR in the rooms part of the business. Another avenue, writes Marion Roger of Dayuse, is to unleash RM technologies on so-called "micro-stays", essentially monetizing vacant rooms during the day.

HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline

HFTP 14 September 2017
Preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a framework legislated by all EU member states with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) has taken the initiative to develop hospitality-specific guidelines and a certification for a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO). The building of these resources is underway by a team of 23 experts, recruited by HFTP to comprise the HFTP Hospitality DPO task force. The task force chair Alvaro Hidalgo, managing partner with FIRSTLOGIC Consulting based in Spain, has outlined the objectives for the group in the months leading up to the May compliance deadline, detailed in the post on the HFTP Connect blog, "HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline."HFTP chief operations officer Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, explained why this initiative is integral to the association's strategic goals. "The GDPR is greatly impacting the hospitality industry and the dedication that HFTP and our members have committed to industry awareness demonstrates HFTP's commitment to assisting our stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization," she said.The HFTP HDPO Task Force held its first meeting July 14-15, 2017 at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands."I am very pleased with the outcome of our first meeting held in Amsterdam this summer," said Hidalgo. "We have identified areas in which specific solutions (registration challenges, integration of DPO, communication with IT providers and others) are being analyzed, and we are confident to bring those solutions to the industry this autumn."When the task force met it set out to address the following:Identify the major challenges for the industry to achieve compliance, as well as the stakeholders involved;Provide guidelines to enable the industry to assess their specific needs to achieve compliance on time;Define the specific features of a Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) job role, and resulting from this, propose the structure of a HFTP HDPO certification;Establish a communication policy to create awareness within the industry.Hidalgo's post, details how the task force will address each of these areas. Part of the ongoing work for the task force and HFTP will be to continually provide related information to the industry to support compliance preparation. One of the first action items taken was to include a dictionary of terms related to the GDPR on the hospitality-specific site PineappleSearch.com. Referenced from the European Data Protection Supervisor, the glossary will be centralized with a library of hospitality resources.HFTP will host a HDPO education session at its upcoming Annual Convention on October 25-27, 2017. Wrapping up 2017, HFTP will produce its inaugural HITEC Dubai counterpart event, in partnership with Naseba, from November 14-15 - serving as the third, and final, HITEC of the year. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-13 in addition to the larger HITEC Houston on June 18-21. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other global activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department ateducation@hftp.org or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec/.For the latest news, follow HFTP/HITEC on HITEC Bytes, PineappleSearch, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP), Instagram (HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube. For more information about HITEC Amsterdam, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org, +1 (512) 249-5333.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(r)) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kit via the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.
Article by Margaret Ady

How To Keep The Heart Of Your Hotel Beating

Snapshot GmbH 14 September 2017
Technology is the beating heart of the hotel. Without a PMS, how would we even begin to serve guests? Without distribution channels, how would guests book rooms? Without a CRM, how would we create loyalty? Right now, most hotels get away with disorganized technology, because they've had no choice. Legacy systems haven't meshed with new cloud-based systems and a patchwork of different technologies for different purposes have been cobbled together. As with cooking, everything works better when all the moving pieces work together because no one tool does everything on its own.Right now, we have all of these systems--the PMS, CRS, CRM. Then there are the ancillary tools, such as mobile check-in, travel review monitoring, social media tools, distribution tools, forecasting technology, room allocation software, and so forth. Multiply each of these by four or five and maybe, just maybe, you'll get close to the number of different systems that must integrate in order to keep a hotel running. And the biggest problem is that they rely on one another, but they don't play well. They don't integrate, at least not with ease. We have each of these systems with its own data, and one system's data isn't talking to another system's data without complicated intervention. It's a mess. But it doesn't have to be.Instead of this mess, it should be structured and organized, much like Julia Child's peg-board full of organized pots and pans. While organization is useful of course, the key value is having each and every piece of technology integrated. No more missing pieces--data falling off from point A to point B. No more silos, where data from point A can't even get to point B. If A needs B in order to work, it's right there, ready and waiting.The ramifications of a fully integrated tech stack are many. Creating custom applications becomes a possibility because integration is no longer a setback. Guest outreach can be personalized (for real this time). Service levels can be improved--and monetized. Consider if the housekeeping app above speaks automatically to the mobile check-in app, which then triggers a text to a guest with an early check-in option for an additional fee. Or a guest survey app speaks to the email marketing app, which triggers an offer for a guest based on specific keywords the guest used in the survey. Best of all, a fully integrated tech stack allows hotels to compare all data sets and glean truly actionable insights about their guests and their business - insights that can drive more revenue and more efficiencies.Further, the benefits of a tech ecosystem of this nature include consistent data security and faster communication between technologies. As Todd Hotaling of Lodging Hospitality Management said regarding major issues affecting system integration in the hospitality industry, "My priority is how frequent (speed) and seamless our systems interface (direct connect) with the often urgent and significant revenue-impacting decisions being made throughout the day" (Hospitality Technology). Increased frequency of communication (a by-product of integration) between technologies is the foundation for better information, faster solutions, and, most importantly, increased revenue.In the 1940s, the University of Illinois formalized the idea of the "kitchen work triangle," a set of rules that defined the location and distance between the sink, the oven, and the refrigerator for optimal efficiency and use. Most modern kitchens are designed based on this notion that the essential tools of the kitchen work best when they are aligned in a specific way. We are at a critical juncture in the hotel industry, one that requires that our growing number of technologies begin working together seamlessly, that our essential tools are aligned. The beating heart of hotels depends on our redefining the way we organize our technology in a way that we can successfully build upon. It isn't as simple as a triangle, but it is as accessible.

How Cognitive Computing Will Transform Hospitality

Duetto Research Blog 14 September 2017
Plenty of companies are reorienting themselves around machine learning and predictive analytics. Take Netflix, for example: It uses machine learning to recommend movies or a series you might like based on what you’ve previously watched. But the amount of data available relating to a person’s preferences extends far beyond whether or not you like House of Cards. Imagine if all the data available about an individual could be aggregated, analyzed and then used to deliver an experience unlike any other?
Article by Kasia Russell & Bomie Kim

2016/17 United States Hotel Franchise Fee Guide

HVS 14 September 2017
Please note that the study results are not indicative of the impact an individual brand may have on a hotel's overall profitability because only the costs, and not the benefits of the franchise affiliations, have been analyzed. Furthermore, the study does not reflect, nor does it claim to address, operating results of any one brand or any particular brand affiliation upon any single hotel property. The 2016/17 U.S. Franchise Fee Guide is meant to illustrate a basic comparison among franchise fees charged by participants.HVS has extensive experience with assisting clients in selecting the appropriate franchise and/or management brand for their proposed or existing hotels. This service also includes assisting with or managing the negotiations in coordination with experienced attorneys and other industry professionals.Types of Hotel Franchise FeesBrand attributes play a crucial role in a hotel investor's choice of franchise affiliation. When evaluating a potential hotel franchise, one of the important economic considerations is the structure and amount of the franchise fees. Second only to payroll, franchise fees are among the largest operating expenses for most hotels.Hotel franchise fees are compensation paid by the franchisee to the franchisor for the use of the brand's name, logo, marketing, and referral and reservation systems. Franchise fees normally include an initial fee with the franchise application, plus ongoing fees paid periodically throughout the term of the agreement.Summary of FindingsDisclaimerHotels are complicated investments. Selecting an appropriate franchise affiliation for a property entails exhaustive research and investigation by an investor. The information presented in this guide was developed to provide insight into franchise-fee structures and should not be relied upon by an investor other than as a preliminary resource. HVS has researched and gathered data from authoritative sources, and all efforts have been made to verify the accuracy of these data; however, given variances in reporting methods and franchise terms, HVS cannot guarantee the accuracy of all the data contained in this study. Finally, it should be noted that the 2016/17 version of this guide is not necessarily comparable with previous versions because of the new methodology of calculating franchise costs, which considers historical data for each brand and does not subject all brands to uniform assumptions.Click Here for a Complimentary Copy of the 2016/17 HVS Franchise Fee Guide

b4checkin's b4easypost Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Hospitality OPERA

B4checkin 14 September 2017
To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. Credit card authorization forms have long been a point of aggravation for hotels because they are inconvenient, prone to human error and, importantly, not PCI compliant. By eliminating this labor-intensive process, b4easypost provides an automatic, real-time system for hotels to connect deposits with guest accounts."We're excited about this new integration with Oracle Hospitality OPERA because our payment and posting solution can seamlessly post, so it can now help thousands of hotels alleviate an antiquated business practice that is not in line with current technology or security standards," said Saar Fabrikant, president and CEO of b4checkin. "b4easypost increases customer convenience and satisfaction by streamlining the payment process as well as reducing costs for hotels by eliminating credit card authorization forms and the labor necessary to handle this manual process.""Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between b4easypost and Oracle Hospitality OPERA is functionally sound and performs as tested," said David Hicks, vice president, Worldwide ISV, OEM and Java Business Development, Oracle. "For solutions deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner's integrated offering."In addition to reservations and group payments, b4easypost can also facilitate miscellaneous payments such as gift cards, lost and found payments and offer other key benefits, including:Reduces PCI scope at the hotel with PCI complianceValidates reservations and groups in real-timePosts automatically to Oracle Hospitality OPERALowers labor costs with hands-free processEliminates printing costsLowers transaction feesIntegrates with major payment gatewaysEliminates chargebacks via AVS VerificationAbout b4checkinb4checkintm develops and provides an innovative suite of cloud-based software solutions for the hospitality industry. Designed to help hotels better manage online reservations and measure guest satisfaction, core products include: chameleon, the industry's first online booking engine with multiple design options; b4feedback, a state-of-the-art guest satisfaction tracking and management tool; b4arrival, an online check-in system that maximizes convenience for mobile-friendly guests; b4easypost, a fully automated payment and posting solution; b4GDS, a GDS interface for properties offering a 'one-stop-shop' for hoteliers; and b4ubet, an application that allows hotel casino players to book their hotel offers online. b4checkin is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with installations serving customers in North America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. For more information, visit www.b4checkin.com.About Oracle Validated IntegrationOracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of a complementary partner software product with an Oracle "on-premises" Application has been validated and the products work together as designed. This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations and partners who successfully complete the program are authorized to use the "Oracle Validated Integration" logo. For more information, please visit Oracle.com at https://solutions.oracle.com/scwar/scr/AboutPartners/validated-integration/index.htmlAbout Oracle PartnerNetworkOracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle's products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program - an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Intelligent Hospitality CEO Urges Hoteliers to Leverage their Data

Intelligent Hospitality 14 September 2017
Apo Demirtas, Ph.D., founder & CEO of Intelligent Hospitality, caught the attention of attendees as he challenged hotels to be proactive about utilizing their data in a meaningful way. On the "TMI? No Way! AI + BI = Trackable ROI" panel discussion, featuring industry leaders from Horwath HTL, Google Travel, Ernst & Young and HotelAVE, Apo spoke passionately about hotels needing to leverage the data resources easily accessible to them before chasing after lengthy and capital intensive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence initiatives.Dustin Bomar, Head of Industry, Travel at Google echoed this sentiment claiming that "while sources like Google can provide hoteliers with large amounts of data, ultimately it's not effective without also making use of the vast amounts of actionable data on their own hotels". Apo also spoke at the Cornell Hotel School's Atlanta Lodging Outlook, a sales, marketing and revenue management-focused event, on a panel moderated by Kirk Kinsell, the former CEO of Loews Hotels and IHG North America. Participating in a discussion on the use of Business Intelligence and leveraging hotel data, Apo stressed the importance of these techniques as part of modern hotel operations. His thoughts were warmly received, and he was immediately approached by several attendees looking to learn more.

Rainmaker President Tammy Farley to Present Revenue Generation Session at AAHOA's 2017 Women Hoteliers Conference

The Rainmaker Group 13 September 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA. -- The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud, announces that its president and co-founder, Tammy Farley, will be a featured speaker at the 2017 AAHOA Women Hoteliers Conference, which will be held Sept. 15-16 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Anaheim North in Anaheim, Calif. Hosted by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), the event brings together female hoteliers and top executives from across the country for networking, education and professional development. Attendees include property owners, general managers and senior leaders in the hospitality industry. "As a presenter at this year's AAHOA Women Hoteliers Conference, I am thrilled to support ongoing education and leadership among women in hospitality," said Farley. "The conference topics and sessions are in perfect alignment with how Rainmaker helps its clients increase revenues and develop successful, lasting strategies. I am honored to be among those chosen to share perspective with this dynamic group of hoteliers."Farley's session, Revenue Generation Through Marketing and Sales, will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. Farley will offer expert insight into how to interpret industry reports and adjust sales and marketing strategies accordingly. She also will tell attendees how to incorporate what is learned in the session into their overall development strategies. Other speaker sessions will address topics such as communication, development and leadership, with a panel discussion Saturday afternoon that focuses on ways to apply development strategies, sales and marketing, and leadership styles to a business."At Rainmaker, we've explored the synergies between revenue management and marketing quite extensively, and it was the primary focus of our user conference, OPTIMIZE2017, earlier this year," said Farley. "If hotels are to remain profitable, their revenue management and marketing strategies must be aligned. I am excited to share with attendees how they can apply these principles to their own properties."For more information on Rainmaker's hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud, please visit www.letitrain.com.

SmartHOTEL connects any PMS to Oracle OPERA Room Reservation System

SmartHOTEL 13 September 2017
To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. Changing a PMS infrastructure is a time and money consuming procedure, which can cause missed opportunities for hotel chains who are looking to expand their hotel portfolio. With the SmartCONNECT for PMS, hotel chains that use the OPERA Room Reservation System can now easily onboard any (franchise) hotel that uses a different Property Management System.Pitrik van der Lubbe, founder of SmartHOTEL stated: "We are very happy to have built this integration for OPERA RRS 5.5. This is a real game changer for hotel chains and groups worldwide. The SmartCONNECT for PMS opens up the possibility to grow and expand by breaking the barriers of hotels using different PMS infrastructures. The strong technology behind Oracle Hospitality combined with our knowledge of Online Distribution is what makes our partnership strong and effective, and enables us to make seamless integrations for Oracle Hospitality software.""Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between SmartCONNECT and OPERA RRS 5.5 is functionally sound and performs as tested, "said David Hicks, vice president, Worldwide ISV, OEM and Java Business Development, Oracle. "For solutions deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner's integrated offering."About SmartHOTELSmartHOTEL specializes in Oracle integrations with the main focus on integrated distribution solutions to Oracle Hospitality Distribution Cloud Service (formerly myfidelio.net), Oracle Hospitality OPERA PMS, and Oracle Hospitality Suite8 solutions. SmartHOTEL is also the technology provider behind Oracle Hospitality Distribution Channel Manager Cloud Service. For any questions regarding SmartCONNECT for PMS or anything else, feel free to contact SmartHOTEL on +31 (0)182 75 11 18 or sales@smarthotel.nl.About Oracle Validated IntegrationOracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of a complementary partner software product with an Oracle "on-premises" Application has been validated and the products work together as designed. This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations and partners who successfully complete the program are authorized to use the "Oracle Validated Integration" logo. For more information, please visit Oracle.com at https://solutions.oracle.com.About Oracle PartnerNetworkOracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.

Intelity is Helping Hotels Meet Travelers' Mobile Demands

Intelity 13 September 2017
Orlando, Fla. -- With the 2018 budget season quickly approaching, hoteliers need to evaluate their customers' needs today to identify which technologies will help them engage with guests of tomorrow. Those who are unaware of what their customers will be expecting/demanding in the coming year should reference Hospitality Technology's 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study. According to the 6th annual report, 57% of hotel guests are expecting/demanding mobile check out (but only 24% of hotels provide it), 54% are expecting/demanding mobile check in (but its only available at 35% of hotels), and 45% of guests are expecting/demanding a mobile key be sent to their smartphones so they can bypass long lines at the front desk (but that service is only available in 16% of hotels).Meeting these specific demands is not as daunting as one may think. Today, a growing number of hotels worldwide are already meeting guests' expectations/demands with the MiKEY module of the Intelity Guest Service Platform. MiKEY enables the Mobile Check-in, Mobile Check-out, and Mobile Key functionality that today's hoteliers are looking for. Presented as a mobile app that is downloaded on a smart device (phone or tablet), guests can book a hotel, check-in remotely, skip traditional front-desk check in and use their smart device to securely unlock their room door. The Intelity MiKEY solution integrates with a hotel's existing Bluetooth Low Energy door locks to streamline the check-in experience. The transmitted key code is safely stored in a key vault on the mobile app. When a guest arrives at his or her room door, they touch the MiKEY icon within the app, and their personal digital key information is transmitted via Bluetooth over a secure communication channel to unlock the door."Findings from this study show that more than three-fourths of consumers surveyed would like to use innovative and new technologies when interacting with hotels because they feel it positively impacts their overall experience," said Gregg Hopkins, Intelity chief sales and marketing officer. "If the technology-driven service is delivered 'seamlessly, flawlessly and friction-free at every touchpoint,' it's a win-win for guests and staff. The key to successful technology implementation stems from a proper balance between people, business process and technology. This balance is the fundamental core of the Intelity Guest Services Platform."Our solution facilitates mobile guest service when it's wanted and enables personalized staff interaction when it's not," he said. "Hoteliers who will be budgeting for a hyper-mobile, personalized engagement strategy in 2018 will find that MiKEY equips them with the service platform their guests expect and demand, and their staff needs and appreciates."Guests Want Even More . . . Hyper-connected guests are expecting/demanding even more mobile capabilities while on property. Here are a few mobile features guests say are important while on property, identified by the Hospitality Technology study, published with research support from UNLV's Willian F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Drake University:62% of hotel guests say the ability to request services via their smart devices is important55% would like to order room service, schedule a wake-up call or pay their bill via mobile means52% think controlling the room (i.e. lights, drapes, temperature) via mobile device would be cool42% want to see integration between their mobile device and the room TV35% want to purchase merchandise using their preferred mobile payment methodMaking room reservations via a personal mobile device is also a top priority according to the study, with 51% of travelers saying the ability to make reservations from their mobile device influences their booking decision. Good news for travelers, 86% of hotelier respondents said they are offering this capability today. Other top reservations/booking features that guests expect/demand include the ability to modify and manage existing reservations (46%), manage loyalty points (43%), search and find hotels using location-based integration (37%), complete guest satisfaction surveys (33%), and access property maps (30%).Intelity Delivers on Demand"Intelity has mobile solutions that provide two-way communication with guests along every step of their journey, including location-based technology for more targeted guest interaction; this is important, especially when 57% of study participants said they search for hotels with location-based integration and 35% are influenced to stay at a hotel with location-based marketing practices," Hopkins said. "We also have solutions that enhance the in-room experience providing self-service room controls on a bedside tablet . . . solutions for the lobby that decrease demands on the front desk, such as kiosks that provide details on hotel services, area events and flight information . . . and solutions for the web that help hoteliers stay engaged with guests before, during and after their stays."Intelity also has mobile solutions for staff that enable them to communicate in real time via direct-to-guest messaging," he added. "And, coming soon, we will have solutions for Apple TV that provide passive-to-interactive entertainment, including the ability for guests to access personal content via iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and other over-the-top services. So, while mobile technology continues to dictate the experience guests expect and demand, Intelity stands ready to deliver those experiences . . . flawlessly. If you are budgeting for mobile in 2018, budget for Intelity."

PureHD installs DISH's EVOLVE solution in DREAM Unscripted Durham

PureHD LLC 13 September 2017
DURHAM, NC -- PureHD is excited to announce its most recent deployment of DISH's EVOLVE(r) at Unscripted Durham in North Carolina. This is the first location for the new lifestyle brand by Dream and the second EVOLVE(r) install for the Dream Hotel Group. The Unscripted brand is Dream's newest lifestyle brand and hospitality concept, designed to attract progressive and creative travelers. The 74-room hotel features a rooftop deck and pool along with three street-level restaurants for hotel guests and public alike.EVOLVE is a 4K-capable "set-back" box that integrates streaming apps and live linear programming into one customizable solution. An Android TVTM-based platform, EVOLVE gives guests access to thousands of Android TV applications from the Google Play Store, including music, movies and games. The set-back box also features Chromecast built-in, giving guests the ability to cast content from apps like YouTube(r), Hulu and HBO without the use of a residential grade Chromecast and its inherent security challenges."We chose to go with PureHD's interactive product because we wanted to be on the cutting edge of in-room technology," said Christian Cooper, Vice President of Information Technology. "Delivering guest content via mobile devices to the hotel guest room television is essential. We need to bring the residential experience to the guest rooms, and we need to do that seamlessly. We are excited to be working with PureHD, and we know this product will leverage our hotel brand and set us apart from other hotels in the market.""PureHD is pleased to be providing Unscripted Durham hotel with DISH's EVOLVE," stated Thomas Pullen, President of PureHD. "Dream Hotel Group has been a pleasure to work with and we think the Unscripted Hotel is an ideal environment for the EVOLVE product. The speed of the interface, along with the power of Google search built into the solution, is the next step in in-room technology, and we are sure that this product will provide guests with an optimal television experience."Other EVOLVE features include the following:Advanced Program Guide - With an interactive program guide featuring genre filters and 23 hours of future programming data, EVOLVE improves the way guests discover, navigate and watch live TV in their hotel rooms.Channel Preview - When in the program guide, hover over any title to view a pop-up window that displays live video from the channel. This allows guests to view exactly what's on before selecting.Configuration Tool - Customize EVOLVE's UI with branding, welcome channels and pre-loaded apps.PMS Integration - Provide guests with personalized messages on the home screen and automatically clear their personal information from EVOLVE as they check out.Bluetooth LE with Audio Support - Watch TV with Bluetooth headsets to eliminate disruptions when multiple people are staying in the same room.4K Capability - EVOLVE will continue providing guests with a premium television viewing experience as hotels deliver more 4K offerings.Android TV, Google Play, Chromecast built-in, and YouTube are trademarks of Google Inc.

Pegasus Solutions Announces Two New Executive Hires

Pegasus 13 September 2017
Pegasus Solutions today announces the hiring of two key executives across its global sales teams. Heinrich Kessler will oversee the company's sales efforts in the EMEA and ASPAC regions, and Glenn Wirick will oversee sales and marketing efforts in the Americas.Kessler joins Pegasus after serving as SVP of Business Development at Sabre Hospitality Solutions, and SVP of Global Sales for Trust International. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and travel software sector to lead global sales efforts in regions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.Wirick joins the company to drive new business development in the Americas and establish a modernized global sales and marketing organization. Prior to joining Pegasus, Wirick served in sales and leadership roles for software and technology companies including NetSuite, InsightSoftware, IBM and JD Edwards across multiple industry verticals including hospitality and real estate."At Pegasus we believe that the disruptive forces of creative destruction are never far off and that we must continually evolve across our teams and solutions, improving our capabilities ever more quickly," said Pegasus CEO Sean Lenahan. "As our company expands its product development efforts and looks to enter a new period of growth, the fusion of Heinrich's deep industry knowledge and relationships with Glenn's enterprise software sales and leadership talents enable our business development team to aggressively compete and win new business."Kessler and Wirick join Pegasus as the company re-emerges in the marketplace, increasing its investment in new product and service capabilities. The company is preparing for the launch of its new mobile internet booking engine and enhanced connectivity solutions with demand partners scheduled for release this year.

Bounding forward: Philippine Airlines increases revenues per customer through real-time analytics

Sabre Corporation Blog 13 September 2017
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will implement a new solution that is customized to enhance revenue per customer (instead of revenue per seat) by providing better commercial analysis and improved performance on a broad range of services.

Study: 31 Percent Of Restaurateurs Use Digital Technologies - A High Potential

EHL 13 September 2017
LAUSANNE, Switzerland --- A study by the METRO Chair of Innovation at the Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL) analyses use of digital solutions in the hospitality industry.- Currently about one third of the restaurant operators in Germany, France, Italy and Spain use digital technologies to facilitate their business processes.- The hospitality sector thus offers a high potential for digital solutions. 46 percent of the respondents rate technology as important or very important, 15 percent plan investments.- METRO AG supports its HoReCa customers in growing their success through digital innovations.The first study of the METRO Chair of Innovation takes a look behind the scenes of the hospitality sector and offers new insights on the use of technology in the restaurant industry in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. How do restaurants use digital solutions - or why do they refrain from using them, what are their demands? And why is it worth to drive digitization in an industry that is still largely operating in the analogue world? Now we have the answers.What does a steak on the menu have to do with digitization? Much more than one would expect, i.e. when the restaurant operator can focus on his core business, e.g. on preparing and serving a good steak, while state-of-the-art technologies facilitate or even completely take over other tasks related to his business. But, do restaurant owners in Europe actually want to be assisted by digital solutions? How are restaurateurs using technologies, which barriers need to be overcome and which processes in restaurants can be improved by means of digital solutions?The new study by METRO AG and the Swiss hotel management school EHL provides useful information. They joined forces under the METRO Chair of Innovation to investigate the digital future of the restaurant industry. "We conducted a quantitative survey in order to analyze the level of digitization in the restaurant industry. Indeed, it is essential to understand the situation before being able to identify solutions. This is why the METRO Chair of Innovation at EHL has undertaken this study which brings concrete recommendations to restaurant owners, with the intent to help them face their three main challenges: attract new customers, meet their clients' needs and manage their costs", says Professor Christine Demen Meier, head of the METRO Chair of Innovation.Great potential for technological supportIn the first study conducted by the METRO Chair of Innovation, 2,746 independent restaurateurs in Germany, France, Italy and Spain were surveyed. The result: 31 percent of the restaurant owners already use technologies at an intermediate and high level. 46 percent - that is almost half of the respondents - are open to the use of digital technologies, 15 percent are even planning concrete investments. The main reasons for the four countries which keep the restaurant operators from investing into digital support are lack of priority, high costs and development strategy.More success for METRO customers from the hospitality industryOlaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG, explains why his company wants to support the European restaurant industry. "Our goal is nothing less than the digitization of the hospitality industry. We are convinced that especially for small and medium-sized businesses, this will create substantial opportunities to become even more successful. We are talking about two million businesses in Europe generating around EUR400 billion in sales. If we help to digitize ten percent of these companies in the long-term perspective, we can make a substantial contribution to transforming the industry".If its customers are successful, this will also benefit METRO AG. "By building up digital competence, we want to further consolidate our position as a strong and trustful partner in the hospitality sector", says Koch.A wealth of ideas for digital innovationsA vast number of innovations to enhance productivity, service and competitiveness in the hospitality sector and intensify customer relationships are already available today. METRO AG has taken on the task of supporting the digitization of restaurant businesses, which constitute one of the key customer groups of this B2B company as their partner. To this end, the wholesale and food specialist created a new business unit and launched an accelerator program promoting start-ups for the third consecutive year in 2017.The business unit HoReCa Digital brings innovative technologies that improve the business processes and customer relations management of small and medium-sized hotels, restaurants and catering businesses to market maturity. The METRO Accelerator for Hospitality supports the matching innovations by leading selected start-ups from all over the world to success.The new study - and those that will follow - creates the foundation for achieving this goal as fast and purposeful as possible. Going forward will enable European restaurant owners to focus on what is really important to them: their core business.METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2015/16, METRO generated sales of around EUR37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitization initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models. More information at www.metroag.de.

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