Hotels as platforms…..for creative Apps

An open stage. No scripts. No minimum, no maximum, just raw creativity and improvisation moving towards continuous improvement.

If Apple can create a complex electronic device which serves as a creative platform or launch-pad for thousands of programmers’ apps and to the delight of its public, why can’t we in the hospitality industry conceptualize hotels as platforms with the same editorial freedom for product development and guest-elation through a range of Hospitality APPS?

We are told that today’s Generation Y are a breed unto themselves. Creative, entrepreneurial, free spirits and uncontrollable. We already know that they have no interest in our industry because of all the rules and regulations and boring standards with no room for self expression or interaction. Just imagine the day when they become our guest-base!

I have for several years openly yearned for the day when Hospitality recognizes its’ natural link to entertainment and design. We are running stylish ‘theatres’ where the actors write the scripts and where the spectators participate.

The platforms or stages are clearly formed and ready for artistic expressions to be applied. The areas and parameters are clear and the programmers are already hard at work.

Thus far we have not permitted the link for that creativity to be encouraged, fostered and then applied. Our own programmers have not had the confidence in the creativity of others, be they suppliers, customers, students and employees.

Imagine guest-apps that are designed for business guests, leisure travelers, restaurant and banquet guests, travel agents, airline passengers for situations that allows for ease of use in a wide range of service-points. Here are some possibilities;

  • Room and Airline Reservations (Guarantee, payment options, discounts, upgrade options).

  • Special design requests (Sheets, Pillows, Towels, Soaps, Desk, Sofabed).

  • Entertainment options (Movies, Sports replays, Podcasts).

  • Room Registration (Boarding Card key).

  • Special food order.

  • Delivery from local restaurants

  • Meeting Planner.

  • Banquet Planner.

  • Guest Friend sync with my Contacts (Linked-in etc).

  • Pool chair reservation.

  • Maintenance order & time-tracker.

  • Sample room (Supplier trials).

  • Sample bathroom (Supplier trials with guest feedback).

  • Sample meeting room (Supplier trials).

  • Guest comment tracker.

  • Standards of performance.

  • Guest satisfaction monitor.

Imagine operator-apps or applications that are designed to make the hotel more efficient, more enjoyable for workers, more profitable, less bureaucratic, greener, more people-friendly and sustainable. Here are some other opportunities;

  • Employee satisfaction.

  • Payroll & personal Productivity.

  • Training aids and related benefits.

  • Promotion opportunities in-house and worldwide.

  • Work openings at peak periods.

  • Management skills monitor.

  • Labor turnover.

  • Inventories & Purchase Orders (rooms, food & beverage, paper supplies, guest supplies etc)

The opportunities are endless because that is how the human mind works. It continually searches for ways to improve. Thousands of minds finding ways for their idea to be showcased. Thousands of clients who have special needs but who can find ways of satisfying their needs. Some apps will have charges and some will be free. All will be organic and will one day be replaced.

The time has come to retire the Operations Manual. The time has come to bury Minimum Brand Standards. The time has finally arrived where the customization of our clients’ goods and services and continual improvement go hand in hand with employee development and exceeding guest expectations.

Let’s yank this industry out of the ‘Dark Ages’ and squeeze it through Silicon Valley. Let us brush this industry with some of the golden inspiration that is Cirque du Soleil and the design brilliance and technological mastery that is Apple.

Yes, the time has come to re-invent the Hospitality Industry……..and we should not do it alone.