31 July 2019

By Tamara HASLAM – AURES UK Sales Director

Hotels can be big places. Naturally enough, if you are providing accommodation, catering and leisure facilities for hundreds of guests at a time, you need plenty of physical space. 

When considering the sheer size of their premises, one question hotel operators might well ask is – are we doing enough to maximise revenue opportunities from all of this available space? Because when you think about it, compared to the scale of the operation, the number of touchpoints where a customer can spend money in your typical mid-to-large hotel is not actually that high. 

You have, of course, the front desk, the key hub for taking payments for rooms and additional services like booking affiliated trips or accessing certain paid-for services within the hotel. You have bars and restaurants, which also attract non-guests to create an additional revenue stream. You might have a few retail concessions, a leisure club membership system for any pool, gym or spa facilities, and of course room service and mini bars in the rooms themselves. 

But say you’re talking a mid-sized hotel with 100 rooms, one bar, one restaurant and a guests-only swimming pool – you might find a 50,000 sq ft operation with only a handful of point of sale locations throughout. That leaves large areas of hotel where there are no opportunities for guests and casual visitors to spend money, while placing a considerable burden on the sales points that are there to deliver all the revenue.

Increasing choice

One of the principles of sales strategy is that the more opportunities you give customers to buy, the more choice you offer, the higher your revenue will be. Nowadays, POS technology has evolved to a point where businesses no longer have to rely on staffed stations to process sales. Using mounted touchscreen devices, self-service kiosks and similar, you can give customers new opportunities to make purchases in different places. 

Take the example of mounted tablet-like Mobile POS devices or panels PC touchscreens. Fixed in different areas around your hotel, these can broaden the horizons of your commercial opportunities, combining sales options with infotainment. Consider your lobby, a busy transit area which often lacks any means for guests or visitors to spend money as they wait to check in or out, or just spend a quiet 15 minutes reading the newspaper. Mounted touchscreen devices fitted into tables or armchairs could give them the option of ordering a drink or snack from the bar or restaurant. 

In the bars and restaurants themselves, table-mounted devices allow patrons to place orders or pay the bills without having to wait for a member of staff to be available. It combines the convenience of table service with the immediacy of digital self-service. The same devices could be used to pre-order additional purchases from room service before heading back, extending the opportunities for follow-up sales. Additionally, self-service kiosks could be used, fast-food restaurant style, for customers who want a snack on the go without sitting and waiting for service in the restaurant. 

Whether it is additional self-service options in the lobby and other communal areas or customer screens in bars and restaurants, the idea is to make the most of the space available in your hotel with extra service and sales options. Modern touchscreen-based EPOS technology allows these touchpoints to multiply exponentially, providing the choice and the convenience that the modern digital-savvy consumer expects.