Travel is Changing
If you run a business in the hospitality industry, chances are you've used a QR code since the start of covid. The contactless codes brought a wave of change and innovation to restaurants and hotels around the world, and whether you're a fan, indifferent, or hate them, it is hard to deny that they are here to stay. So let's take a look at why a specific niche - hotels and resorts - have been eager to implement QR code technology.
When the pandemic started, hotels and resorts were among the businesses hit the hardest. Hotel operators saw a massive drop in room occupancy, staffing, and revenue. According to a report conducted by The American Hotel and Lodging Association, total revenue for the industry decreased from almost $170 billion in 2019, to $85 billion in 2020, a 50% loss!
It wasn't until Q1 2021 that most hotels were able to reopen to at least 50% capacity, and the effects of 2020 are projected to be felt until 2025. The good news is that 2022 is expected to see hotels return to roughly the same levels of revenue, employment, and occupancy as in 2019. But it won't be business as usual. Hotels are already noticing a shift in their typical guest demographic and reason for travel:
With "work from home" options and the rise of video calls, fewer companies are opting to have employees physically travel to new cities for face to face meetings
The young professional demographic is eager to travel and is seeking more leisurely experiences
With a change in guest demographic, comes changes in guest behavior and expectations. As reported by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, a younger demographic of travelers are more accustomed to technology and expect certain levels of technology to enhance their stay at hotels and resorts during leisure trips. These enhancements can range from safety expectations, to climate responsibility, to efficiency and convenience for in-venue services like food and beverage. Here's our reasons why your hotel should be using QR codes to meet your guests expectations:
Offering guests with a contactless way to view and/or order + pay from a food and beverage outlet provides a hands free experience that allows guests to order from anywhere on the property and eliminates the need for a guest to call room service to place an order.
Linking hotel information traditionally found in the room's compendium (information booklet) to a QR code eliminates the need to print hundreds of compendiums and other informative pieces of content that would traditionally need to be physically given to a guest.
Convenience and Efficiency
The use of QR codes has increased the number of places hotels can sell food/drinks. For example, prior to QR codes, most hotels had no way of allowing guests to order from a pool, if there wasn't a designated server and food outlet for the pool. With QR codes, hotels can give their guests the ability to scan a code from the pool and order for takeout (and/or pool delivery if the hotel supports it) from any food and beverage outlet on the property. The codes can also be used for in-venue dining, takeout/pickup, and room service at on property restaurants. This is becoming more and more popular due to staffing difficulties.
Implementing a QR code system
While the advantages of using a QR code system are pretty obvious, choosing the right system for your hotel can be a little more complicated. The two main factors that determine which system is right for your hotel are your:
Property Management System (PMS/POS)
Hotel brand and management
Because hotels have multiple points of sale, most hotel property management systems are more robust than a traditional restaurant POS. This makes changing a system more difficult than a restaurant. Unfortunately, the the dominant hotel PMS systems can be somewhat antiquated and rarely have their own QR code ordering option, so 3rd party services such as Barpay have to be implemented if the hotel wants to use QR codes.
Additionally, different hotel brands have different requirements for vendors. For example, specific hotel brands work with preferred partners and give hotel owners a limited number of brands to choose from for things like furniture, amenities, and PMS systems. Whether or not the hotel is managed by the brand itself or a 3rd party management company is chosen by the hotel owner, but regardless of the decision, the owner still needs to abide by any brand guidelines.
Things to Consider
There are several companies that provide QR codes for hotels. The best systems are reliable and are proven to increase revenue if implemented properly. But the systems that go above and beyond specifically for hotels and resorts are capable of several things that put them ahead of their competitors:
POS integration - the best systems can seamlessly integrate sales and inventory information into your existing POS with no manual process
Multiple ordering options - your customers should be able to choose if they want their order for room service, immediate takeout, in-venue dining, or future pickup
Great aesthetics - there have been plenty of studies that show when customers can see what the food on a menu looks like, they purchase more, so make sure your QR code system can easily display images of each item on your menu
Mandatory surcharges - the QR code system should be able to create fixed charges such as a "Knock and Drop" fee for room delivery
Order governing - the best systems can manage the flow of orders so the kitchen/bar never gets overwhelmed, while displaying clear messaging that manages customer expectations during the busy times
Minimal data collection - as guests grow increasingly protective over their data, your QR code system should require the minimal amount of information from a customer before letting them view a menu and/or place an order
Reward/loyalty points - with a new demographic of travelers starting to dominate the market, now is a great time to offer rewards and build lifelong customers
Since 2015, Barpay has worked with leaders in the hospitality industry to create the ideal QR code system for restaurants and hotels alike. The numerous features that have been built over the years allow Barpay to be integrated into current venue operations with minimal headache or training, regardless of venue type or capacity. Barpay's QR codes have been implemented by various hotel brands such as Hyatt, Radisson, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, casinos, and more, in addition to being the preferred partner of Aimbridge Hospitality, the world's largest hotel management company. The company's experience in the hospitality industry and specific focus on hotels and resorts makes it the ideal system for hotels that are looking to implement a QR code system, or enhance their current guest experience.