As a result of COVID-19 Pandemic, owners and managers of surviving hospitality companies must search more aggressively to decrease their fixed costs. Many may not have considered automation as appropriate options before the pandemic, however the economic realities during and post crisis may persuade them otherwise.

The human touch era is over

Hotels are extremely complex businesses to run operationally with lots of moving parts. How do you service guest requests across shifts? How do you recruit and train new talent? Hotels need automation for all aspects of their complex departments including finance, revenue, operations, guest experience and sales. Shockingly, too many hotels today still run their operations on pen and paper or via on premise systems from decades past.

In the case of post-viral tourism, when people are more concerned about infections and biosecurity threats, automation technologies provide an additional source of competitive advantage for hotels that adopt them.

Social distancing, avoidance of handshakes, increased physical distance between people, avoidance of cash payments and hand-to-hand transfer of items (bank cards, documents, goods, etc.) will stay long enough to force further digitalisation of communication and automation of routine tasks.

The human touch era might be over. Until now the ‘high touch’ was opposed to and often had dominance over the ‘high tech’ in service design thinking.

In these uncertain times, hoteliers must adopt new strategies to recover and produce the significant value that has been lost over the last months. This will likely involve the introduction of new automation technologies and refreshing the operating model by streamlining the way of working, while also protecting the health and safety of employees, guests, and partners.