QRMenu – The future of FnB

Contactless technology has altered the hospitality daily operations landscape completely, while has become the main reason behind the resurgence of QR code technology during the epidemic. According to Bit.ly – a link management service, QR code downloads have soared 750% over the last 18 months. It has been contributing a great share in minimizing the inevitable ordering workload for the hospitality sector. Digitalize your restaurant, spa, and room services’ menus with a scannable QR code in just a few easy steps. Thanks to the new update of the POS – Food And Beverage system in the cloud-based hospitality management solutions – CiHMS: the QRMenu would allow you to turn the fancy above into reality. How does it work and how to get this technology implemented at your business today? We’ll get you all covered here in this blog.

A recent feature upgrade for the POS - Food and Beverage system in CiHMS ultimate hotel management system.

QRMenu – a great updated feature of the POS – Food and Beverage system in the ultimate hospitality management solution – CiHMS.

What is QRMenu?

As its name might have given it all away, the QRMenu practically is a digital menu that you can access via a scannable QR code with your mobile phone. If you have not familiar with QR code or Quick Response code, it is the square matrix barcode, invented almost two decades now by a Japanese automobile company.
Starting to come back around hotels and restaurants ever since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis hit, the scannable QR code helps to prevent the risk of spreading infection and reassure customers’ hesitancy and doubts in the physical dine-in experience. The QR code could be printed right off the printers as you wish, then stuck on tables, front desk, or just anywhere hoteliers see fit. Customers can easily get directed to the hotels’ menu, make orders, pay, and submit feedback – a massive step-up from your standard paper menu version.

The bright sides of QRMenu

Plenty of benefits the QRMenu brings into the pictures that are hard to miss out on:

  1. Quick modification and high versatility: By replacing with a digital menu, restaurants can add/remove a dish on the menu without re-printing the menu all over again. The perk of having a digital menu means you can do everything digitally: changing the price tag during the day, locking in a promotional price for a certain period, or having a varied menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner is also possible.
  2. Unique and creative marketing tool: Allows hoteliers to be creative with their menu design layout and force them to test out which layout brings their best conversion rate. This sounds outrageous but is not. Play out different types of design on your menus, move sections up and down and see what best serves your business. Be bold with promotional campaigns and discounts on your menu with flashing titles, colors, and fonts.
  3. Sustainable hotel technology: Yes, indeed! The QRMenu is, in fact, contactless technology and contributes its big share in promoting the hotels to stay in check with the sustainable hotel technology. Guests go through a complete contactless experience using QRMenu: from scanning the QR code to receiving their orders.
    Keep up with the contactless technology with QRMenu, bringing an absolute contactless dining experience within your fingertip.

    QRMenu is a form of hospitality contactless technology, that helps stop the spread of infection transmission for guests and employees.

  4. Being actively eco-friendly and cutting expenses: QRMenu eliminates the paper menu off your hotels’ system entirely. No more printing or re-printing a menu seasonally or per promotional campaign. Imagine how much paper and money a digital menu can save a hotel throughout the year.
  5. Cutting down the ordering wait-time: Customers can take their time to decide what to order while waiting in line before the event gets seated, especially for a big group of customers. Hoteliers can enable guests to make orders upon access, streamline your hotels and restaurants’ operation from table to the kitchen, accelerate the speed of service, enhance guests’ experience and maximize employees’ performance, cutting out any recessive workflow.
  6. Accumulative big data: Receiving an overwhelmed source of data daily as a reminder for hoteliers have to start taking advantage of them. Keep your data analyzed and “upgrade” your menu accordingly to meet your customers’ expectations. Just as Bo Peabody, co-founder and executive chairman of Seated, had shared: “If you run a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations, you don’t know who your guest is until they pay. What the QR code might allow you to do is learn who that guest is right when they’re sitting down.” The bottom line is QR code helps you to grasp your customers’ insights without the need to spend thousands of dollars on a market research project.
  7. A solution to hospitality labor shortage: QRMenu lets hotels and restaurants operate at a much faster pace with fewer employees – Toast CEO Chris Comparato also agreed. No more taking-order tasks; leave these time-consuming tasks to your customers.

How to set up the QRMenu?

First thing first, you have to set up your hotels/restaurants’ menu beforehand. This part can be both fun and tricky. A Digital menu grants you the power to be creative while staying informative. Going with the classic design or bold typography, selective food dishes photography, or a full-on photographic menu featuring every dish there are on the menu? Should the hotel have different menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Or should they only have an All-day menu? They are all up to you but remember the first impression matters. Test the water and see which one works best for your business. Embrace the beauty of a digital menu.
QRMenu is an upgraded feature recently in CiHMS – the POS – Food And Beverage system, enabling hotels and restaurants to actively generate a unique QR code for each table or room separately at the properties, giving their guests instant access to hotels/restaurants’ menu, from which they can easily make orders at their own pace.

To generate a QR code, hoteliers have to specify which table/room this QR code is for, in the respective fields, including its floor number, the area, and the table’s current status (active/inactive). Upon completion, a QR code can be printed out and stuck on the location where it was created. It is literally all it takes.

The flexibility of QRMenu is impressive. You can configure your guests’ access solely to one specific menu, or different menus depending on the time of the day with just only one QR code or create different QR codes for each menu (breakfast/ brunch/ lunch/ dinner), and allow your guests to fill in their table number themselves.
QRMenu for room service works on the same principles. However, to reduce the excessive work on printing a different QR code for each room, big chain hotels would uniform the same QR code throughout and have their guests declare their room number before proceeding onto the ordering section.
The downside of QRMenu

Poor connection services

Understanding the fundamentals of how QRMenu operates, you might have come to realize that this functionality won’t work without a stable Internet connection. If you are committed to getting this QRMenu installed, please be mindful of your properties’ network. Opt for better Internet infrastructure, which shall be beneficial in the long run, an investment you certainly wish to invest in sooner.

Internet infrastructure plays a vital role in making contactless hospitality technology possible in practice.

Having a stable internet connection in place brings long-term benefits to hotels.

The power of habits

The other cons QRMenu might face is the customers’ reluctance to change. Young consumers or millennials are willing to accept and adapt to new technology innovations. Generation Y has been slowly redefining the hospitality industry, despite the older generations – the baby boomers are skeptical toward recent trends and resist taking the acceptance.

“People have different levels of digital comfort. Some people will prefer and enjoy the QR code and using the phone, and others will rather have the traditional menu.”

– CEO of Dine Brands, John Peyton.

QR code has regained its popularity ‘til recently after being snoozed for almost a decade. The new normal has ushered the hospitality industry to proactively implement sustainable hospitality technology to step out from traditional operations to explore and discover the possibilities to bring customers back in. Apart from QRMenu, there is plenty of other sustainable hospitality technology for hotels to look at. This is nowhere near the perfect solution for all businesses, though it’s pretty close.

The contactless era has already arrived, don’t stay behind! Train your staff well, encourage your customers to engage, and recognize what they have been missing out on all along. Interested in QRMenu and would love to see a demo? Contact the CiHMS team for a detailed consultancy on the product.

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Millennials travel trends redefine the hospitality in 2022

The millennials are considered a typical generation in initiating trends and remarkable milestones. This demographic segment accounts for the major spending expenditure in the tourism industry, willing to pay the extra miles in exchange for the taste of memorable experiences instead of material things. Determine the millennial travel trends shall benefit your hotel operations in better tailoring to their needs and retaining these huge customers segments long-term. What are the travel trends of the millennial generation this 2022, then? Let’s discover them with CiHMS in today’s blog.

Meeting expectations of the millennials is very important to retain this special customers segments - the largest customers with big spending in travel and hospitality.

The millennials are one of the biggest customers segments worldwide, especially in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Who are the Millennials?

The Millennials (also known as Gen Y) are those born between 1981 to 1997. This demographic has fast become the major part of the world population recently, making up for 27% global population, approximately 2 billion people, and roughly 38% of the Vietnam national population, according to the population research done by Pew Research center. The World Economic Forum defines the millennials are those born between 1980 and 1994, about 1.8 billion millennials worldwide, roughly making up for 23% of the world population. This generation has been exposed to revolutionized digital devices, online resources, and ever-changing social networks. By 2020, 50% of the global workforce and purchasing consumers goods or services are the millennials (based on an analyst from Bernstein).
United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believes the millennials are the emerging golden generation and the most potential demographic that the hospitality industry should pay close attention to. Passionate about travel, the Gen Y travelers shall reach nearly 300 million travelers annually, and take at least 35 days per year to travel. The high satisfaction of customers service is the important key factor to Gen Y’s loyalty.

The golden generation - the millennials are those born in 1980s - 1990s without an exact end and start numbers.

They were born in the radical technological evolution, get in touch with technology at a very young age, generation Y doesn’t share the same customer characteristics with any of the rest.

Mobile devices and social network orientation

Being digital natives, millennials are tech-savvy at heart. Always on the hunt for new destinations, have their itineraries, ideal accommodations that they shall be visiting on their next trip. Up to 74% researched their trip, 87% of millennials used Facebook to inspire their booking, and over 50% used Twitter (reports generated from Condor Ferries). They search for it to believe it. 97% of millennials confess they share their travel experience on social media. 2 out of 3 would post about it at least once a day.
Understanding Gen Y surfing habits enables the hotel’s marketing department to easily identify and approach this particular target segmentation through the social networks’ platform, to convert leads and maximize their sales revenue. Providing exciting and unique experiences is the essential sales point to attract these demographics in purchasing your added-value products and services during their stays. Encourage them to share on their social media in exchange for vouchers and other free services also a win-win option for hotels to look at.

Take advantage of the millennials being tech-savvy, hotels should approach these segments actively via social networks platforms and other online resources.

Millennials grow up with mobile devices. Being on social networks daily has become an irreplaceable habit. Making them feasible targeted segments for hotels.

Several hotels have been giving away complementary services, promotional products, group discounts, etc. to further upsell the millennials targeted group. Getting the exposure the hotels need to the target customers’ friend circle, at such a lower cost ongoing mainstream and broad social posting advertisement. Exceeding the customers’ expectations while optimizing hotels’ operational expenses.

Experiential travel

If Baby Boomers (the previous generation before the Millennials) strongly believe travel is outrageous to overspend for indulgence, it’s understandable as they entered their childhood amidst national economic decline; the millennials enjoy travel as a crucial and irreplaceable part of their daily life. Travel brings invaluable benefit to the soul and mind, and merely priceless. Millennials yearn for the true experience, the chance to rediscover themselves, to relieve stress after burying themselves in deadlines and projects, to rejuvenate their energies, set themselves back to balance, ready to come back to their normal life.
An Expedia survey has found, 74% of millennials are happy to spend on travel experiences rather than material things. 58% prioritizes hotels with full services, while 35% seeks luxurious stays at premium hotels and resorts. Only a minor prefers to stay at Airbnb accommodations are millennial travelers with kids. This reassures gen Y craves experiences over anything else. By providing immersive accommodations in various levels of personalized experiences: from adventurous to discovery, and finding your inner-self, hotels leverage their services to accustom to all the Gen Y customers.
The millennials focus on making a difference rather than receiving corporate and generalized hotel stays. They embrace local lifestyles, traditional dishes, music, and crafting experiences.

Prefer experience over material things, millennials are seeking for the

Enjoy the cultural, adventurous, and sentimental experiences rather than corporate and organized tour packages, millennials are keen on experimental travel.

Environmentally conscious

Generation Y seems to be the pioneer in leading the sustainable travel trend. Highly responsible for the surrounding environment, they prominently support businesses revolving around sustainable operation models. Especially in Tourism and Hospitality lately, these two industries have been called out to actively up their game in turning “greener” with the community.
This explains why the sustainable travel trend has made such remarkable impacts. In many countries around the world, as well as in Vietnam, the governments have put in their side of the efforts to promote the sustainable trend, making a positive influence to engage the tourism and hospitality industry take on the “greener” path. Thanks to modern technologies, seamless integrations, and functionalities aiming to make the smart hotels‘ transformation possible to existing hotels facilities without the hassles of remodeling. Up to 73% of millennials lean toward eco-friendly hotel models as their preferred accommodations for their next trips.
The millennials’ impacts have been brought into tourism in general and the hospitality industry specifically is undeniably compelling. It helps redefine and reshape the hospitality industry for the year 2022 and more to come, with the majority of customers being the millennial generation. Keeping up with the latest trend to adjust hotel services with a touch of technology, while being personalized to each individual shall help retain this most potential customers segments for the long-term.

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Travel trends in 2022 – the hospitality outlook

The tourism industry is at its turning point coming into the year 2022. In 2020 and 2021, when the pandemic hit, the travel industry had almost shut down around the world. Back-to-back social distancing policies and travel restrictions have been applied to ensure public health during the epidemic season. Many tourisms promotional activities have been implemented to adapt to the new normal through a deep understanding of customers’ insights. As a result, the majorities are sharing the common ground, trying to “make up” for the lost time by seizing every possible opportunity available within their budget, contributing the share on initiate new travel trends in 2022.

The most popular travel trends in hospitality for the year 2022

The most exciting year of hospitality 2022 is filled with popular travel trends.

Big group travel

A recent study from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland, one of the world’s top 3 prestigious hotel management universities, showed that an increase in consumer awareness toward the surrounding environment had created new opportunities and new trends, especially the sustainability, health, and well-being travel trend.

After closing borders internationally worldwide, the year 2022 has recorded the rising demand for independent travel. EHL Associate Professor of Finance, Dr. Philippe Masset, expects the same thing, observing that the need for independent travel surpasses, particularly interesting since the pandemic has fueled this trend. This consequently boosts the big group travel trend-forward, grouping the independent travelers with the unique benefits of the big group trend:

Instead of solo travelers, big group travelers have recently been favoring as a reunion of long missed friends and family members due to recent lockdowns.

After two years of continuous lock-down around the world, extensive group travels have been preferred in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Personality changes

Group travel fits travelers who have easy-going lifestyles. Group members learn to take things lightly and get along with everyone around them. When participating in such trips, you shall likely adapt, adjust your personality, social life to become more outgoing, active, and vibrant.

Cost-saving

Traveling in large groups is budget-friendly. The more members your group has, the more efficient your budget is. From transportation fees, hotel accommodation fees, meal fees, discounts are usually offered on many purchases, including incentives, discounts, and gifts.

Improvement in communication skills, experiences gaining

Each member in the group contributes a different feature; making connections among members can be an exciting process. Traveling in a big group helps individuals excel themselves, step out of their comfort zones, exchange experiences and emotions, and learn and help each other throughout. In addition, each individual gets to improve their solidarity to be reliable companionship and the spirit of sharing.

Business travel resumes

The ongoing discovery of Delta, Omicron variants, and so on creates unspoken barriers in the tourism fields in general and the hospitality industry in particular. However, travel experts said they remained optimistic that business travel shall pick up strongly as early as the beginning of 2022.

The demand for business travel has escalated quickly for the first quarter of 2022 has brought such joy to the hospitality industry.

One thing for sure is business travel shall take over the hospitality by storm.

Christopher J. Nassetta, the president and chief executive of Hilton, had shared last month, “People have to meet [but] it takes time to plan it.” So after the challenging year of 2021, we have been planning carefully, with even a backup plan on hand.

The airline and hotel industries have always been heavily reliant on business travel, which has accounted for a significant portion of revenue due to last-minute booking and willingness to pay outrageously high for specific-hour flights and accommodations.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council forecast on the business travel market shares for 2022 shall meet two-thirds of the revenue before the pandemic in the recent survey and forecast on market demand in 2022.

Bucket list destinations checking off

Every trip got delayed and canceled due to the pandemic. Everyone has been coming up with their version of the all-time favorite bucket list destinations, which list all the places and countries they have to visit at least “once in a lifetime.” Setting the vacation goals with a long “to-do-list” for solo and group travel throughout social distancing.

Lockdowns have given people the time to consider their once in a lifetime destination to visit right after the restriction is lifted.

Everyone can’t wait to cross off their bucket list destinations one after another, making the hospitality industry prepared to welcome their guests soon.

Whether you’re visiting a domestic destination or traveling abroad, be as informed and equipped as possible about the cities and locations you will see. It spares you a lot of time in finding the place while you’re there, nor have to panic once you get there. Moreover, the more detailed your pre-planning is, the more proactive you’ll be, not to mention that careful calculation and speculation shall help you budget effectively.

Sustainability travel

Sustainability travel is a fundamental development and provision of tourism activities to meet the tourists’ and locals’ needs. However, it is essential to ensure the conservation and embellishment of resources to develop tourism activities in the future while satisfying the aesthetic, economic, and social needs of people:

  • Create many benefits for economic development, providing a stable source of income for local communities and stakeholders.
  • Protect the living environment, minimize the impact on the environment. Helping people’s living environment to be in check, through which people shall benefit from it.
  • Sustainable tourism development helps to reduce social vices by providing jobs for local people.
  • Resource exploitation becomes awarded and adequately executed, ensuring natural resources grow and develop for future generations to follow and take advantage of.
Being environmental friendly has helped sustainable hotel model close to their customers' heart and shall continue on in the future.

Loving nature travel trends have been the stable trend for the past few years and more to come, especially for the hospitality industry when guests are aware of the surroundings.

The world is gradually shifting to adapt to the new normal post-pandemic.

“The industry must evolve to remain relevant to the new demands and needs of travelers in a

post-pandemic world.”

– said Dr Jean-Philippe Weisskopf.

Many new tourism trends are gradually blooming to catch up with the new tourists’ mindset, making sure to be in line with the shifting trends and ensuring to follow the health and safety standards. The same goes with the hospitality industry; we are trying to move forward to promote the industry’s potential and recovery the economy ultimately after years of “immobility.”

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The hotel tech trends to look out for in 2022

2022 is here, and everyone might be having their own forecasting on the hotel tech trends for the year. This helps to project a better strategic plan for your hotels to adapt and transform. Let’s zoom in and detect the upcoming emerging hotel techs, the ones that hotels should be keeping up to for this year.

The technology is constantly changing leaving the hospitality to catching up with the new trends, especially for the year 2022.

Here are our takes on the upcoming trends in hospitality technology for 2022.

Hotel apps

Mobile has been becoming an essential part of any travelers’ experiences. Having a dedicated hotel app for your guests to book and manage a room reservation, making payments, online check-in/check-out, digital key room access, contact the hotel front desk, and more are expected to initiate a total contactless hotel technology experience. Making hotel procedures less complicated, and allowing seamless guests communication.

AI technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced itself and strengthened itself to be reliable as well as beneficial. Slowly, AI is taking over all the human grunt works, leaving your employees to do what they are best at. Improving work performances and better human resources allocations.

AI technology can also analyze data, statistics to assist hoteliers in making better decisions, helps personalize guests’ experiences based on their previous stays. This collected information contributes to retaining current customers and attracting potential customers profiles.

The advantages of AI technology are undeniable. It brings opportunities and data-driven culture onto the hospitality industry.

AI technology makes such an impact on the hospitality industry, assisting human staff to bypass the grunt work and to focus on what they are better at.

Virtual & Augmented Realities

These technologies are to the simulation of the world, mimicking reality into the digital world. Many hotels have been working on their virtual reality (VR) hotel tours. It gives guests a sense of hotel space, environment, atmosphere, and the property’s facilities.

While VR might take the actual surrounding off the ground completely, and replace them with a digital one. Augmented Realities (AR) technology tends to enhance it in real-time. Hotels can easily apply AR technology with AR headphones, glasses. These enable customers to discover the hotels through the graphic lenses of AR glasses, a lively tour providing in multiple languages translations.

Many have been compared AR to VR without a thorough understanding of both technologies. In fact, they complement each other and cost quite a budget. In return, they provide exceptional guests experiences.

The hospitality has been neglected about the VR and AR technologies due to their limited budget without understanding the wide spectrum of benefits that they come with.

AR and VR technologies have been around for decades, finally taking their steps up in the hospitality industry, bringing visualization benefits for not only hoteliers but the customers as well.

Smart Technology so-called Sustainability Tech

With the current advanced smart technology, hoteliers can program to turn the lighting system on or off, dimmer or brighter in a certain area, adjust AC temperature, and activate the heating system accordingly to the hotel presets thanks to the integrated sensor built-in camera. Everything is automatically carried out by smart technology either in the lobby area or in guests’ private rooms. Such sustainable hospitality technology helps hoteliers to reduce energy waste as much as possible.

Facial Recognition Technology

It might sound futuristic a couple of years back, but absolutely very “in” at the moment. Even your mobile device is having such a feature, there is no reason why not put this technology to use onto the rest. In a few smart hotels around the world, guests grant access to the elevator, their reserved rooms, and other hotel facilities with face recognition devices: quick, paperless/keyless, and data recorded on the system.

Big Data

Hotels welcome guests on a daily basis, the information input received from the customers is massive. Have you ever wondered where those data would go? Data upon entering the system will be categorized and analyzed to interpret customers’ behaviors and later served for the decision-making process.

The above pretty much explains how big data works. A collection of customers data to generate insights helps to further personalize guests’ experiences for future stays.

Big data algorithms enables hotels to thoroughly understand what their customers preferences and deliver personalized experiences for their guests.

The numerous data input daily from the hotel front desk cannot be put to waste. These are big data, which should be analyzed and interpreted for hotels to better serve their guests in future stays.

Cybersecurity

Due to the large data volume from guests including sensitive information such as guests’ identity info, along with their credit card, hackers never miss their chance to attack the hotel’s security. As the result of the recent pandemic, people are found working from hotels, and getting their business info exposed apparently is not on anyone’s agenda. Up your hotel security’s matter is not a question but is crucial to moving forward.

The SaaS

Most of the mentioned technologies are packaged in a SaaS product model. It is cost-effective, built on a cloud-based infrastructure, and grows along with your business. Cutting down a huge budget in hardware investment, complex maintenance/update management, and on-site IT support teams to monitor the system 24/7. The growing adoption of SaaS models has been shaping the hospitality industry in improving its traditional operations to scale up efficiently at a reasonable budget.

The mindset of product subscription has gained the attention in the hospitality industry lately. SaaS products ensure they are built on cloud-based infrastructure, no hardware investment needed, quickly installation and no maintenance is needed. Leave them all up to the providers to take care off.

The SaaS product model has been around for a long, however recently received support from the hospitality industry due to its efficiency and effectiveness.

It meanwhile defines the future hospitality management solutions has to be cloud-based, flexible, integrate effortlessly with other technology. CiHMS certainly fits the puzzle here as being an all-in-one cloud-computing hospitality management solution your hotel would ever need. Thanks to Open API, integration with 3rd party software is straightforward and trouble-free.

Hospitality has always been such a competitive industry. Technology keeps on evolving and is wiggling its way to becoming stable in the future of hospitality. It allows hotels to deliver unrivaled accommodation to their customers while maximizing the current business resources, optimizing its operations, reducing the expenses, and staying afloat and relevant with the present. Helping hotels to be responsive, make data-driven decisions, improve their processes and eventually transform.

Just as Jeanne W. Ross, MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research did say:

“Clearly, the thing that’s transforming is not the technology — the technology is transforming you.”

Nobody knows what the future holds, knowing all the hotel technology trends in 2022 does not mean you have to implement them all. Pick a few relevant technologies that bring immediate benefits and are most valuable to your hotel to start out with, the remaining shall soon follow.

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Labor Shortage in the Hospitality Industry

In the period of 2020 and 2021, 40.9% of Vietnam hospitality laborers have been recorded as having no income from their jobs at all, while 40.4% lost more than half of theirs, according to the recent survey from Hoteljob. The new normal has forced the hospitality industry worldwide to confront the workforce problem once again in order to resume their daily business operation. HR managers have been adjusting their strategic recruitment plan, fingers crossed to sufficiently attract the suitable candidates filling in for the vacancies. This process, indeed, takes time, and the magic does not happen overnight. Get the hotels up and running in time; we lean over to existing hotel tech for support. Understanding how technologies might never replace all human works is the unnecessary bottleneck by automating the processes and syncing performances report for faster decision-making. In today’s blog, we’ll let you know all the hotel tech your hotel ever needs to overcome the current manpower shortage.

The hospitality operations is pausing on the verge of labor shortage. Looking over the solution in current hotel tech is the only option for hoteliers at the moment.

The labor shortage puts all hotel operations on hold

Self check-in overhauls front-desk workload

Cutting down the queue for guests, allow them to do pre-check-in prior to arrival, and complete the process upon arrival. This shall save your front-desk staff a lot of time, paperwork along the way, thanks to the contactless technologies. The check-in links can be sent out to guests a day before, accompanied with options for a room upgrade, meal packs, spa sessions, local tours, etc. Easily upsell your guests at their pace, and the end results sure will amaze you.

Take advantage of pre-arrival guests email to upsell your customers successfully at their own comfort.

Online check-in is just one of the perks of contactless technology.

Otherwise, integrating OCR technology can also be an option to look at. The technology allows the front desk to instantly scan guests’ identification cards onto your system, which would cross-check with existing reservations and check-in your guests a few steps away.

Guest app for a complete contactless journey

Many hotels are offering a Guests app for guests on their mobile devices, in which they can check-in/out, order in-room dining, reserve a table at the restaurant, book spa sessions, and proceed with all payments through the click of the buttons. Strictly secured and totally contactless experience to ensure guests’ experiences are maximized.

Virtual room key is also available on the Guests App. Eliminate the physical room key card hassles completely. Keyless entry solutions let guests enter the elevator, lobby, common areas, restricted lounge, top-up balance/credit to pay for drinks/meals/services conveniently.

Hotel staff app

Once guests filed the requests for services, these requests would show up on the staffs’ app. Managers simply allocate these requests to the existing staff members. No longer leaving requests unfulfilled, no guests unserved. Staff performances are shown in statistics and reports, updated in real-time. Job-status is streamlined on the system.

Guests experiences get maximized with the mobile guests apps, hoteliers achieve a total contactless experience within seconds.

Guests app allows hoteliers to go completely contactless while actively interact with the customers.

Manage OTA in real-time on one single DCM platform

Instead of having your sales executive update each OTA channel manually, save your staff time and effort by getting a Distribution Channel Manager (DCM). With a DCM installed, your hotel room rate will get synced across all OTAs channels automatically, avoiding human data-entry mistakes. Reports are generated as your desire. With data-driven facts, making pricing strategy plan for hoteliers much faster and extremely effective.

Centralized distribution manager helps hoteliers to manage all their OTA channels quick, easy and effective.

Monitor your OTA channels on one platform with an efficient hospitality distribution channel manager (DCM).

All-in-one cloud-based hospitality management solutions

Having robust cloud-computing hotel management software in place to manage all the above-mentioned hotel tech software is a must. The hotel PMS shall help hoteliers to be in control of the daily business operation, getting real-time reports and your guests’ preferences to further personalize their current and future stays. It can also integrate seamlessly with numerous other 3rd party software such as CRM, revenue management systems, email marketing automation tools, POS systems, etc. CiHMS proudly provides the ultimate hospitality management solution for all hotel models, big or small. It’s an excellent way to digitally transform your hotels effortlessly, bringing more revenue, filling in your labor shortage at a reasonable budget.

The hospitality labor shortage might remain chaotic years down the road. The rise in hotel tech automation is reshaping the recruitment process and giving hotels a quick fix on how to optimize the existing manpower while looking to fill the vacancies in a long run. Technology is the reliable companion hoteliers should lean on, perhaps this bold move might seem daunting at first, it is worth a shot and incredibly exciting, and rewarding in a long run.

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The era of contactless hospitality solutions

The new normal has been shaking up everyone’s daily life routines in one way or another. It also altered our perceptions, habits, and behaviors toward direct human interaction distinctively. On the brink of recovery post-pandemic, contactless technology appears to be favorable by both hoteliers and guests as a vigorous effort in reducing the underlying risk of germs exposures while delivering highly personalized guests experiences.

With the innovative contactless technology, hotel guests are capable of going full-on “contactless mode” throughout their customer’s journeys. Hoteliers can eliminate the excessive sanitizing protocols aligning to COVID-19 compliance standards, and avoid invading their guests’ safety zone unintentionally. It creates a truly seamless digital experience throughout the entire guests’ journey. Does that sound familiar? Did it ring any bell? You might have guessed it right. All of those depict the smart hotel model in action, which we had briefly touched on in our previous blog here. In today’s blog, we would like to go under the technology and reveal to you the actual things that make all the contactless experiences possible.

Hoteliers are catching up with contactless hospitality technology to meet up their customers' expectations.

The innovative contactless technology forays into hospitality can enhance guest experiences up a notch.

The Kiosk chaos

To prevent human contact upon arrival, many hotels had introduced self-check-in kiosks available at the front desk, without knowing how much it would add up. The kiosk itself is gradually turning into a constant cleaning station for the hoteliers to take care of, becomes the main concern for guests as soon as they arrive, such as who was using the kiosk before them, the time interval in between two cleaning sessions, did they come right before the cleaning session started or ended. Before you know it, the long check-in queue starts to jeopardize your lobby’s operations.

Self-check-in kiosks might have been a breakthrough technology a decade ago, but are no longer a surprise in today’s practice. We can easily find all types of self-help, self-booking, self-payment kiosks in airports, hospitals, museums, amusement parks, zoos, malls, and so on. These kiosks can be a pain for maintenance and require quite a decent budget to invest.

Check-in Digitally – Room Card goes Keyless

The majority of hotel guests are actively on their smartphones, why don’t hotels take advantage of this? That means building a mobile app for your guests to not only book directly with your hotels but can also check-in through it. Better yet, have their room key digitalized and send it to their phone right after they completed the check-in process.

Going keyless in hospitality can easily be achieved within a few steps.

Hotel check-in counter might no longer be necessary. Guests can proceed with their check-in through the mobile app, and get the access key right automatically.

Hmm, hold on! What if your hotel was built before such technology even existed? The reconstruction is not ideal at the moment but going keyless is still your goal? Check out OpenKey. It’s as easy as plug-and-play. Without replacing your lock, OpenKey supports different types of locking systems. If your locks aren’t listed, just contact their support team for further modifications. OpenKey is quick and extremely affordable. It’s the best option to go keyless fast and easy.

CiHMS Hospitality Guest App for the rescue

We have your back, our CiHMS clients! Once your guests complete the check-in process which can be done right on their phone, a digital key shall be sent via the Guest App and easily accessible 24/7 anywhere they go at their fingertip. No more plastic room keys to carry around and less trouble worrying about losing it.

Digital keys can allow guests to enter the common lobby, lounge, elevator, spa, and more. Hoteliers receive reports on their guests’ experience, acknowledge their preferences better, understand their behaviors, and get to serve them better in their future stays. It cuts down on the paperwork, documentation, and efforts of your staff. Your hotels can skip the front desk if you want to. Afraid your lobby might end up looking empty? It’s a great location for juice bars, shops, florists, or any retail that fits your hotel’s concept.

Beyond the digital experience

Meanwhile, hoteliers get to enjoy more perks with CiHMS Guest App and the CiHMS hotel PMS than just that. Housekeeping, room services, and laundry requests from your guests can be filed directly on the app and sync in real-time. Engaging with your guests through the app to receive feedback and ensure your hotels provide their requests in a timely manner.

Tiếp cận công nghệ phi tiếp xúc với giải pháp quản lý khách sạn của CiHMS

A robust PMS would help hotels to transform their operations

Instead of dining in the restaurant down in the lobby, guests are now ordering fancy in-room dining through the app. The food shall be delivered to your room by robots with a ping on your phone when they arrive at the door or simply set out in the hall if guests are not willing to be in contact directly with the hotel staff.

Many have thought the contactless experience in a hotel would never make it here to stay, then hey, here came the pandemic. We realize hotels will never be the same again, at least before the pandemic. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has been the catalyst in boosting the hospitality digital transformation at full speed. It makes us – the hospitality geeks – appreciate the change and be aware of our customers’ constant shift in behavior. At CiHMS, we unravel the complication for our clients with the powerful cloud computing hospitality management solution integrated with numerous hospitality modules and guest apps to meet your hotel needs while making your customers happy. If you haven’t checked out CiHMS yet, contact our team and get your demo today. The contactless era is here, and are you ready yet? Indeed, we are.

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Sustainable Hospitality Technology Made Possible

Tourism brings in jobs, economic opportunities, and wealth to the country. It contributes a significant amount to GDP earnings and is the main source of income for the entire nation. While delivering such advantages, the tourism sector can be harmful to the local environment due to the excessive tourist demands resulting in a large number of plastics & food wastes, overuse of water and energy supplies, and the social life of the local communities. The permanent carbon footprints unintentionally ruin many natural travel destinations for good. Others are struggling to maintain and protect their national heritage while accommodating tourists regularly by issuing laws, and tourist taxes to preserve the destinations’ beauty and the local lifestyle. The shift over to sustainable tourism was not an overnight event, but a progress of the increasing consumer sentiment and corporate social responsibilities.

Sustainability in hospitality is the current trend of tourism due to the millennials increasing awareness about the environment.

“Green” tourism is vital to a country’s economic to avoid over-tourism or ruining the attraction forever.

The fast-paced technology development has eased hospitality in making strides to becoming eco-friendly without leveraging the heavy financial burden. In order to transform into a green industry, hospitality has been gradually tapping into certain tactics to keep up with the sustainable bandwagon:

Smart energy and water-saving management.

With the integration of a motion and temperature camera detector, the central AC system automatically adjusts the hotel’s overall temperature to maintain at a certain level instead of manually setting your AC temperature to a specific degree permanently. The sensor also helps turn on/off, brighter or dimmer the lighting systems in the common areas, lobbies, hallways when guests arrive or leave the room depending on the time of day.

Hotels can take this up a notch by the installment of LED lights, which consume up to 80% less energy and last 25 times longer compared to traditional light bulbs. Imagine the electricity bill cut for your hotels by the end of the year, this saving alone would allow your hotel to invest in other modern facilities, going out of the way to spoil your guests.

Cut down energy and water might be impossible for hotels without interfere guest stay. Cleverly apply apps to alert guests as necessary.

Replacing all lightbulbs to LED lights save tremendous amount of hotel energies realistically. Integrated technology allows hotels to set time limit on showers and other amenities without influence guests’ experiences.

Smart shower time limitation with integrated LED lights flashing once the time is almost up triggered guests to consciously save water of their own will without impacting or sacrificing guests’ comfort.

Forgoing daily cleaning

In-room housekeeping is an added value complimentary service that guests enjoy. However, the laundry workloads behind daily cleaning would be traumatizing for any guests at the scenes. The detergent and bleach solvents water waste are unnecessary. Acknowledging your guest in opting out of the daily cleaning properly by rewarding incentive loyalty points or discount vouchers to other hotel facilities would lead to massive cost savings and environmental benefits. Many hotels have made these choices available via hotel mobile devices or mobile apps, enabling their guests to comfortably select the options at their own pace.

The waste of cleaning solvents in laundry and disinfect products that hospitality industry consumes is incredibly high. To further benefit environment, hotels give guests the option to select their in-room cleaning through an app, handling the responsibilities over to the guests.

Leaving the daily cleaning option on hospitality applications for guest to decide enables guests be preserved toward the environment.

Digitize the use of paper

Eliminating all menus, reservations, program flyers, and other hotels in-room compendiums and replacing them with a digital guest room tablet or a large touch screen interactive monitor at lobby area would dramatically reduce the number of paper, cardboard, and plastic waste in hotels operations. Offering room upgrades with promotions, spa services, and dine-in experiences encourage your guests to spend more while keeping in touch and communicating with your guests through the conveniences of technology.

Effective food waste management

Hospitality’s food waste has become a major concern worldwide and is often called out by the press to be actively responsible to lower food waste at the minimum. The recent technology helps the kitchen come up with an ultimate menu that achieves wasting food supply by tracking records on kitchen waste on a daily basis. Furthermore, tracking guests’ food preferences and eating schedules in their guest profiles to personalize their food journey upon their arrival to minimize food waste aggressively.

Moving forward in sustainability tourism requires the hotel to up its technology game. Such can be found in the smart hotel model. It successfully achieves eco-friendly services publicly, and cost-effectively internally. The advantages of smart hotels did not end there, a dedicated blog on this topic was done to justify its power here. Converting to another hotel model might be a strategic move and needs careful consideration and thorough planning, then investing in an adequate hospitality management solution to precisely operate your hotels from housekeeping to your Food & Beverage in one single platform is a much easier step for hoteliers to consider.

Taking small steps in shifting to green tourism requires hotels in efforts and courage to initiate the first move. CiHMS hospitality management solution to help your transition smoothly and without any hassles.

Choosing a powerful hospitality management solution to fit your hotels operations and stay sustainable to the environment can be tricky. CiHMS is here for the rescue.

Receiving centralized reports to keep you in check for multiple properties in real-time, accessible from anywhere anytime, and trouble-free integration with other hospitality software via Open API are the benefits of a cloud-based hospitality management solution. It brings you as close to a smart hotel model as you can get. We are the proud developer of the all-in-one cloud computing hotel management software – CiHMS. The ultimate hospitality management solution that grows with your hotels, keeps being innovative to utilize cutting edge technology in turning the hospitality sector green.

Apart from the above tactics, what other initiatives can the hospitality industry possibly take to meet the sustainable tourism goals? Share with us in the comment section down below! Together, let’s save the earth, one thing at a time!

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The vitality of Hotel Rate Parity

The controversy surrounding rate parity in the hospitality industry hasn’t been resolved, but rather escalated critically and became illegal in most of Europe. This topic takes a complicated stand and is often seen as unbeneficial to the hotel’s stakeholders. It also poses challenges that if hoteliers do not respond well with a favorable strategy to be better positioned, it might be “out of parity” and unable to get the best out of third-party distribution networks. Then, what rate parity is all about, why does it exist in the first place, how to monitor and turn it to your advantage? CiHMS will lay them all out for you in this blog today.

What is Hotel Rate Parity?

By definition, hotel rate parity practices sell consistent room rates across all distribution channels. That means your room rate should remain the same, including on your hotel’s official website, regardless of OTA’s commission whether it’s high or low. However, in the real world, rate parity is practiced slightly differently compared to the fundamental concept. For instance, your superior room is listed at a $199 rate per night on your website. It should be quoted at $199 everywhere else, such as Expedia, Traveloka, Booking.com, Agoda, etc for the same room type, but would be found much higher on your own website.

What is rate parity in hotel sector

The controversy of rate parity remains strong in the hospitality industry.

Why is Hotel Rate Parity Important?

Rate Parity is considered a solid core agreement in any typical OTA contract to prohibit hotels from undercutting the OTA rates on their website. It provides guests the price transparency they always look out for. No customers would like to experience being charged differently for the same products or services depending on the landing pages they’re on.

OTA channels are generally the easiest and effortless marketing tool for a hotel to gain its visibility and brand reputation. They contribute their share in boosting hotels’ revenue overall. It also helps hotels to capture and analyze their competitors’ pricing strategies to consider alternatives of their own.

The downside of Rate Parity

Revenue deficit

Everything comes with a cost. OTA channels are allowed to offer lower prices by cutting their commission. To stay in sync with the OTA contract agreement, hotels have to make sure to give out the lowest price possible to their OTAs partners. Although bringing more bookings from OTA channels, hotels actually lose out on revenues. Imagine paying a commission on top of your lowest room rate possibly, plus there is nothing to stop OTA channels from raising their commission rates and earning more while hotels suffer. This becomes a significant risk for your hotel’s profit.

If hotels have promotional plans, they ought to inform OTA channels due to their contracts’ obligations. However, if hotels want to opt-out of an OTA marketing campaign due to the lower price range might come back and hurt your brand reputation at last; there is no say in this matter, absolutely nothing at all! Frustrated yet? It is why rate parity is considered an unfair trade price and has been banned in most European regions.

The “in parity” struggle

To remain “in parity”, you have to monitor your room rate across all distribution channels. This might have been challenging in the past, however can easily be done by utilizing a powerful hospitality management software (PMS) in place. Having different commission rates can result in different net incomes from various OTA channels. If not monitored by a distribution channel linked in your hotel PMS, it shall remain confusing, difficult, and time-consuming to manage.

The practices of rate parity are widely used in OTAs channels. Maintaing a consistent price for a product on all distribution platform.

Rate parity guarantees price transparency for customers while requiring less internal marketing overheads from hoteliers.

Monitoring your Hotel Rate Parity

To prevent violation of the rate parity, hotels and distribution channels have to keep track of the rate parity implementation by either manually using metasearch channels to randomly check their rate across the distribution channels lists and make sure they got listed for the same price.

Otherwise, this issue can be resolved with a rate shopper integrated into your hotel PMS. Not only tracking your hotel room rate, but also your competitors’ rate in real-time based on your own set defined criteria. Rate shopper alerts you regarding parity issues, identifying the markets’ high demands with comprehensive reports. All configurations are to aid in a better pricing strategy for your business. A demo on CiHMS’s Rate Shopper is also available for you to experience. Contact us for a quick demo!

CiHMS RSS - Rate shopper

Rate shopper Dashboard

Turning rate parity challenges into your hotel advantages

Rate parity jeopardizes your hotel revenues and profits. Hoteliers establish that sustainable profits would come from direct bookings, however, driving your guests away from OTAs channels is insanely difficult and rather ambitious per se. Distribution channels such as OTAs have huge marketing budgets and often are willing to go out of their way with discounts, loyalty points, redeem hotel stays, complimentary nights, spa vouchers, and so on. Like everything else in life, problems often come with solutions.

Sufficient reason for direct bookings

Without affecting the actual room rate on your hotel’s official website, consider giving out free parking services, early check-in hours, late check-out hours, complimentary meals, or drinks instead. These bonuses are the reasons for your guests to prefer booking directly with you over the OTAs’ websites.

Segmented target audiences

Market exclusive promotions to closed member networks such as Facebook fans, Twitter/Instagram followers, etc. Reach out to guests previously booked through OTAs for a special discount if they book directly with you on their next trip.

Seamless Direct Booking Process

Make sure to improve the booking process on your website to be as smooth as possible. Easy to navigate, no frustration or glitches, looks, and feeling secure while booking is something you should look for. The better experience they have the less likely you would lose direct traffic on your website.

Leverage your visibility on metasearch sites

In order to approach your audience directly, try to appear on the metasearch sites as further up as possible. Starting out with focusing on your hotel rank on the search result of a set of keywords relevant to your hotels. This would help convert all search results to visit your official website, becoming your hotel’s potential leads rather than ending up at the OTAs.

Rate parity policy has been banned in Australia, France, Italy, Belgium, and other European countries, as it puts small business interests at disadvantage. Long-term speaking, the practice is totally not beneficial for hotels nor their brands, or their customers. The lowest pricing structure arguably hurts brand reputation at last. High commission level makes it incompetent for hotels with their direct booking tactics to compete with indirect distribution channels’ bookings. Rate parity obviously serves OTAs most and is continually a controversial topic.

Therefore, hotels have to establish their effort in revamping marketing activities to not be dependent on OTAs channels. Equipped your hotel with an efficient cloud-based hotel PMS and a rate shopper integrated to stay on top of the game. Get updated with all your hotel room rates and availability, easily synchronize your rates across all distribution networks, and manage all reservations, bookings at the dashboard quickly and reliably at your convenience. Enforce rate parity to your advantage and practice rate parity to favor you instead.

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[Feature Update] Direct connection with Booking.com

After months of preparation with back and forth negotiation during the ups and downs of the pandemic, we are proud to announce that our CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager is now connected directly with the travel giant Booking.com and is the first connectivity partner of Booking.com in Vietnam. Just in time to boost your year-end sales for the most special season of the year.

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager now is connected directly with Booking.com

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager now is connected directly with Booking.com

CiHMS clients now earn direct connections with Booking.com, adding the extra onto the OTA distribution channels list we had announced at the Direct OTA channels connected with CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager” blog post. While Booking.com might be just another OTA channel for some, it has managed to gain market share exponentially with almost no resistance, despite the economic crisis due to the pandemic.

Booking.com has always sided with customers and they do amazing customer orientation. Apart from that, Booking.com offers additional valuable services such as complimentary transportations, drinks, and even room upgrades by converting loyalty points. That is why they continuously win their customers’ loyalty and support. It also means their customer base is huge and diversified, a big plus for any hotel’s brand visibility coverage.

Getting connected directly to Booking.com was not entirely smooth sailing. It had a long list of requirements to fulfill. Their partners have to have strict standards on security systems with PCI DSS certified, PII compliances in place; whether or not their partners’ development team masters the latest technologies and are up to their game. The active room keys on the systems, hotel coverage, and the current OTA partners’ list are also concerns. Without a doubt, Booking.com is the toughest OTA channel we have cracked so far.

CiHMS Distribution Channel Manager can easily integrate with hotel management software, especially our powerful cloud-computing hotel management system – CiHMS. Interested in our CiHMS solution and looking for a demo? Contact our team today.

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VinHMS signed the educational collaboration with universities

Digital transformation in the Tourism and Hospitality industry has received aggressive support from the government authorities. Numerous businesses are striving every day to digital transformation as fast as possible to race against the constant development of digital 4.0 technology. At VinHMS, the digital transformation has begun since the very beginning and is no longer a “new” concept for us to grasp. This required intensive kick-start training to make sure every VinHMS-er is on the same page and shares the same mission. 

Then, why don’t we start this training much earlier on? For the students with tourism and hospitality majors who are still in school to experience the real digital transformation process, to practice their knowledge into actual real-life context without waiting for their internship or after the graduation. That was how VinHMS’s educational collaboration program started aiming to introduce our hospitality management solution – CiHMS from the source.

In November, VinHMS had successfully signed the educational collaboration program agreement with all the Tourism – Hospitality departments at the 3 highly reputed universities in Ho Chi Minh city first, including Hoa Sen University, Van Lang University, and Ton Duc Thang University. The program shall be applied to all universities across our nation soon after that. Once in the program, VinHMS will be providing the hotel PMS – CiHMS to the university campuses FREE of charge to use internally. The students shall earn the opportunity to approach, practice, and implement the software throughout their years.

The online signing ceremony with Van Lang University 

After the implementation of CiHMS solutions and completing the hand-over process to Hoa Sen University, VinHMS has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the students and faculty, this is the joy and pride the CiHMS team share individually, and VinHMS in general. The software will become a reliable support tool for teaching, helping students to gain their chance in practice and confront the real world rather than learning this knowledge through textbooks. 

In addition, VinHMS and the universities shall encourage and motivate each other to exchange professional knowledge and expertise and collaborate to organize beneficial seminars for the students, striving to better understand and strengthen our CiHMS solution’s features and functionalities in the future. The VinHMS’s educational collaboration program is our way to “Paying it Forward” to the younger generation, the future leaders of Vietnam’s Tourism – Hospitality industry. 

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