Digital transformation for the hospitality industry

Digital transformation is all about how companies decide to embrace new technology and change to optimize their business. Digital progress needs to be used for the best of companies, employees and customers. All sectors are concerned. In the US alone, out of 10 companies 8 have started a digital transformation program. In this post, let’s have a look at how the hospitality industry could be impacted.

From the moment you start thinking about a hotel or a restaurant, AI powered algorithm can choose for you which one will be more suited for you.

Soon, the algorithms will be able to tell you even before you think you will go to a new destination or a restaurant, based on historical data combined with social networks information, multiple predictive scenarios, personalities analysis and financial information.

Once your hotel and/or restaurant will be chosen all information about you is currently available to the hotel/restaurant. Thanks to photos you have posted or liked, locations you have chosen in the past, comments you have made about friends or family experience the hotel/restaurant will know what you like and what you don’t like. Even your preferences in terms of rooms, tables, beds, dishes, comforters, pillows, activities and amenities in the room will be known and accommodated.

So, let’s look at what a hotel experience could become if hotel management began a digital transformation program.

Guest takes room key card at check-in desk of hotel, close up

You go online and type the city where you are thinking of going. The hotel or hotel chain with which you have a fidelity card would pop up first. Other hotels would also have access to your data (respecting of course GRDP rules very strictly). They would suggest a property to you which matches perfectly well your desires in terms of everything you could think of. You would have details of your room and your full experience right in front of you. What kind of sheets, what kind of mini bar (with your favorite drinks of course and your favorite snacks), what kind of soaps, bubble bath, towels would be taken into consideration Do you want towels with your name on them? You got it. You want shirts waiting for you? Done deal. Your experience is planned for you and you only. Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality or Mixed Reality you can start your experience from your own home and ensure you like what you experience. Then you check in before you arrive (at the airport, in the taxi bringing you to the hotel…). Your room number is sent to you. You can then decide to see check in desk and talk to them or go directly to your room. So, when you arrive thanks to a face recognition algorithm, your door will open for you. Inside your room, you will have everything as per your AR/VR/MR home experience. Check out will also be improved as it has started already.

If you are a business traveler, your agenda will be synced to your private concierge who will then know when you will need a taxi and will already have all your addresses in store.

If you travel with your family, activities will be proposed for all of you and will be very appropriate for you, your partner and your children. 

Entertainment will be chosen for you based on your last stay or your preferences that social networks will have recorded.

If somebody else from work travels in the same hotel, the algorithms would let you know (thanks to your LinkedIn profile for example) preventing a bad encounter in the lobby or to the opposite a fortunate one.

And think about a restaurant being able to manage food and drinks so precisely because from the moment the reservation is made, they will know what the person likes or not. For example, Jo Smith does not like fish and has mentioned it on FB, well then you do not need to stock up on fish for him. And Jo Smith only likes a table by the window and he only pays cash. Then when he asks for the check, no need to bring the credit card apparatus.

What’s in it for you? A personal experience like no other. The possibility to enjoy activities made for you. A fabulous stay of a lifetime because it is yours and yours only.

Portrait of happy young businessman sitting on sofa in hotel lobby

What’s in it for the hotel? The assurance that the customer will be loyal to its brand because everything is made for him/her to come back and the more you stay, the more precise the hotel will become for you. The assurance that there will be no cost wasted because everything will be made for your taste – for example a client who does not like his/her room for whatever reason. Cost optimization as well for example, the hotel provides the client’s favorite alcohol in the mini bar. The client is then more likely to empty his/her mini bar. In today’s world where hospitality business is becoming more and more competitive, being able to provide more personalized service to customers is the key to a well-managed property.

How could this work? Digital transformation is about change management and technology. Technology exists today. The hotel/restaurant would need to invest in a new data architecture allowing algorithm and analysis that are very powerful. All historical data as well as social networks, hotel data (map of the facility, bar details, restaurants menu, concierge data base, email exchange with the client, photos, videos, financial information…) all of these would need to be entered in a non-structured NoSQL database. Then a Chief Data Officer would need to work with data scientists to ensure the algorithms are in place for predictive analytics and AI based scenarios.

Of course, such a program is not for every hotel or every restaurant. It requires resources to make it happen. However, as technology is becoming less and less expensive and easier to use and master, I believe experience in the hospitality industry will become personalized like no other.

If you want to discuss more or need advice for your hotel or restaurant, feel free to contact me on this site!