ROBOTS IN HOTELS: WHERE WILL WE SEE THEM?

Andrew J. Wein - Sep 27, 2021
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The Spanish Hotel Technological Institute (ITH) conducted a viability study of the implementation of robotics in certain hotel processes. Hoteliers highly value the ability of robots to obtain data and automate processes, as well as reduce operating times and costs, but in which areas do they have the greatest potential to improve efficiency?

We live in a world where machines and technology coexist with people, and the use of robotics and automation of many business processes can make companies more competitive thanks to the weight they take-off of human teams.

94.7% of the hotels surveyed believe that efficiency would increase considerably if all processes were automated. The operational processes that they are most interested in are customer satisfaction, followed by sales conversion, and lastly capacity control due to the current restrictions caused by the pandemic.

The areas with the greatest operational complexity are cleaning and floors, restaurants, and reception.

The following are the areas that have the greatest potential for robots in hotels:

- Reception: check-in and check-out processes and service quality surveys are the main ones to be automated, although, according to some hoteliers, “as an aid, and not as a replacement for receptionists.”

- In guest experience, robotics show potential in carrying out guest satisfaction surveys, book services inside and outside the hotel, cross-selling, and helping receptionists during the customer’s wait, with the intention of ​​avoiding queues or at least cutting the waiting time.

- In cleaning and floors, robots can help transport the housekeeping or laundry carts, in addition, to make beds or use artificial vision to check rooms. The cleanliness of the air and the logistics of office organization are more valued than disinfection and cleaning of hotel rooms.

- In food and beverages, robots can be expected in processes such as collecting payment and showing menus. However, the hoteliers surveyed are not as hopeful for processes in which the human touch of a waiter is involved, such as suggesting recommendations, or bringing plates from the kitchen, etc.

- In events and meetings, robotics can be useful in controlling capacity limits and safety distances, as well as other measures such as the use of masks where it is compulsory. Robots also show potential in registration and access control, as well as in collecting data from attendees and as information centers about the events of each room, schedules, capacity, etc.

- In common areas, there is much interest in the implementation of robotics for access management and capacity control, and even the use of biometrics, without underestimating their value as an information and customer service center, since robots can also be mobile and have many uses in all hotel facilities.

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