As technology is continuously transforming the hotel industry, one item remains a puzzling constant: the front desk. Walk into a typical hotel and 9 out of 10 times you’ll find a massive counter where guests can check in and out and pick up their room key. The persistence of this huge, prehistoric piece of furniture seems weird: people have gotten used to skip the airline counter when flying, and watch a movie or theatre show without the need to stand in line at the box office. So, where guests have moved forward, how could this ancient setup defy so many trends and developments? And why are you as a hotelier still hanging on to it?
Maybe we are slightly exaggerating by comparing the reception desk with a bronto, but I did not often bumped into a tiny one. And why should it still be so enormous nowadays? For keeping you safe in case Bonnie and Clyde step by to rob you of your cash? To house your printer and all the other stuff you don’t use anymore? To accommodate large computer screens, so your employees do not have to make eye contact with your guests? Actually, what do we need a desk for, why not welcome your guests in a cosy library, with the fire place burning. Change the desk for a sofa or a beautiful table and see what happens.
Are you as a hotelier, still afraid that digital selfservice compromises the human aspect of your hospitality? Don’t be. You have to face it: It’s the 21st century. Digitization has become an inseperatable part of people’s lives. You can no longer neglect the modern wants and needs of your guest, for now and in the future. Implementing technology improves the guest experience altogether. It streamlines the processes and leaves your front office staff more opportunity to actually really interact with your guests. In a human way ;-) Hear us out….
1. Freedom!!! Skipping the front desk gives your guests the ability to come and go as they please. Moreover, all of your guests have done some travelling and can’t wait to get to their much-deserved bed and shower. It’s annoying to stand in a line behind someone who is arguing whether he had three glasses of wine with his dinner, or four. Not to mention the happy family with the not so happy three- year-old. And what for? For handing a key and double checking a creditcard number you already have on file?
By losing the physical barrier between front desk host and guest, and implementing software technology you give them both the opportunity to make a human connection.
2. Eye contact: Apart from the fact that people don’t feel very welcome when they are received at a hotel by people who are staring at their computer most of the time, your staff can also miss a lot of cues about a guest’s emotional state when there is a lack of eye contact. You don’t want your employees to pitch the romantic spa for two-possibilities to the couple that is actually in divorce but is accompanying eachother for a funeral of a mutual friend. Only because your hosts had no glance at the guests’ facial expression…
3. Overall concept: Part of the guest experience is the philosophy that guests want to be welcomed into the hotel, just as a guest would be welcomed into someone’s home. The design of your hotellobby is inherent to that. By physically removing the front desk, you can turn your reception into a multifunctional area that is completely in line with your overall concept. After all, your entree provides your guests with a first impression of the hotel.
Are you ready for some efficiency and technology, but not ready to ditch the dino? The "Henn na hotel" in Tokyo installed a dinosaur-faced robot at their front desk. You think that’s exaggeration? Come Join us for the upcoming EveningCamp in Hamburg where current trends and topics are discussed with colleagues and experts of the hospitality industry. Save the date and register now using the Future Hospitality System promotion code: fhsCampHAM on the 29th of november 2018
Hope to meet you there!