Hotel News Now spoke with hoteliers to find out what types of technology they are investing in now to accommodate less person-to-person contact on-property in the future.
GLOBAL REPORT—Cities around the globe are starting to reopen their economies, and hoteliers are investing in various types of technology to prepare for social-distanced interactions once guests start staying on-property again, sources said.
The Shelborne South Beach hotel in Miami will reopen its doors on 1 July and has started to prepare for that day by investing in disinfectant technology and food-and-beverage technology that allows for contactless ordering and delivery, said the hotel’s GM Steven Hiblum.
The property has invested in electrostatic disinfectant technology that is used to stop the spread of sickness and infection in health care facilities, he said.
Housekeepers at the Shelborne have been armed with handheld disinfectant sprayers that evenly layer germ-killing solution over entire guestrooms and can cover up to 54,000 square feet of surfaces in an hour, Hiblum said.
The hotel has also invested in thermal scanning technology, he said. This technology will be used to read the temperatures of employees and is sent to the GM and other executives working on-property to ensure employees are healthy before starting their day, he said.
Hiblum said the hotel is also offering contactless F&B ordering through an app. Guests can order and pay for food and drink from their own mobile device, which eliminates handling of physical menus and payment methods to reduce contact.
Philip Goldfarb, president & COO of Fontainebleau Miami Beach, said his hotel also uses this app and invested in it four years ago.
Since getting the app, even before the pandemic, Goldfarb said Fontainebleau has seen an increase in F&B sales.
The app shows all menu items with photos of F&B offerings, guests order and then food is brought to them wherever they are on-property by a staff member, he said.
Use of the app has also become more seamless for the hotel in recent years, he said. In the past, a hotel team member would receive an order from the app and manually input it into the hotel’s point-of-sale system, but now, app orders go straight to the POS system.
The hotel just reopened a week ago and Goldfarb said using this tech for orders is the “safest way to go” to abide by social-distancing orders and to keep guests and staff safe.
To improve cleanliness standards and provide safe environments for employees and guests, Marriott International created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, said Brendan F. McManus, Marriott’s director of media relations.
Like the Shelborne, Marriott is in the process of rolling out electrostatic disinfectant sprayers at all of its hotels and is encouraging guests to use their phones to check in and ask for other services while on-property.
According to an article from USA Today, electrostatic disinfectant sprayers kill up to 97% of airborne viruses and bacteria.