The biggest operational insight from Mews Unfold 2024 is that staying ahead means continuously refining your operations. But how exactly can hoteliers fine-tune their operational engine? That’s what we discussed in Amsterdam – and now we’re sharing the main takeaways. 
We asked a bunch of industry-leading innovators for invaluable insights into driving change and enhancing guest experiences. So, grab a drink and enjoy the expertise and perspectives of Mews customers and tech partners as they explain how technology helps them stay at the forefront of our industry. 
If you’d prefer to watch the video, we've got you covered. 

Table of contents

Stay innovative

Innovation in hospitality is about pushing boundaries to deliver a superior guest experience. Mick Vazquez, Senior Application Manager at Mews-powered YHA Australia, explains: "Innovation improves guest experience and helps you deliver it better than your competitors." 

For Damien Janssens, Owner and Manager of Mercure Roeselare, staying at the forefront of technology is crucial. "Our guests can check in via a kiosk or approach the front desk to talk to someone. We focus on giving them the choice. Technology is just an enabler to deliver great guest experiences." 

Markus Muller, Co-founder of Gauvendi, and David Mezuman, CEO and Co-founder of Duve, both emphasize the transformative power of AI and automation in sales and guest experience management. By playing around with dynamic inventory – tailoring room presentation and pricing to different audiences and sales channels – hotels can truly revolutionize their operations.

Balance technology and human touch

A common concern among hoteliers is that increased automation might erode the human aspect of hospitality. However, our panelists believe that technology enhances human interaction rather than replaces it. As Mick Vazquez from YHA Australia explains: "We use Mews Payments to automate all our payments before guests arrive, reducing friction at check-in. This allows our staff to have more meaningful conversations with guests." 

Some guests still prefer human contact, while others appreciate the convenience of technology. By offering both options, you can cater to everyone's preferences.

Define your vision of success

To measure operational efficiency, it's essential to identify key metrics and objectives. What problem are you trying to solve? What are you hoping to change? Common drivers include staffing shortages, cost issues and efficiency challenges. Usually, once hotels digitize, they can transition from a reactive to a proactive approach, becoming more strategic about their operations. 

Success can be measured by guest and employee satisfaction and financial metrics. However, sometimes it takes a crisis to see just how efficient your system is. Hotel Oderberger's experience during a seven-day power outage exemplifies this; with a cloud-based PMS – in their case, Mews – they had the flexibility to continue key operations on their phones. They could charge their devices using power banks, allowing staff to process credit card payments, check guests out, and issue refunds, staying on top of a highly stressful situation.

Empower your staff

The right tools make employees feel more comfortable. Engage your staff by letting them know what's happening, why you're doing it, the benefits for them and guests, and how it's helping them do their job. Choose tech vendors who offer resources such as training courses and knowledge base articles. They should also be available after onboarding and provide a hypercare period to address any issues. 

Housekeeping often faces significant operational friction, particularly due to language barriers. Traditionally, it’s the least equipped department with tech and advanced tools. However, Mews-powered hotels have found that automated processes saved them ten to fifteen hours of housekeeping time in the first week alone. Additionally, access to data and personalization helps make accurate forecasts for housekeeping because every guest has different needs.

Maximize the power of integrations

One of the key benefits of modern hotel tech is the simple integration with various software solutions to create a connected ecosystem. Trevor MacLean, Director of Partnerships from Event Temple, highlights the importance of having a connected system: "With products like Mews and their Open APIs, hoteliers can now easily customize integrations, focusing on their brand rather than the limits of technology." 

A connected ecosystem ensures the real-time availability of data, simplifying operations and enhancing usability. This, in turn, increases the industry's overall efficiency by allowing specialization and reducing time-consuming tasks. Having a connected ecosystem means everything is available immediately – no need to wait for 24 hours before the data can be refreshed. The aim is to have more usability around software.

It doesn’t need to be a complex beast where you're trying to figure out what every button does every day; your chosen technology should be intuitive enough.

Stay agile to stay competitive

Adopting agile approaches is crucial for hotels to remain competitive and quickly adapt to changes. Security, connectivity and flexibility are paramount. Any new system should be fully open on API-based platforms, allowing for future enhancements and clean data extraction. 

However, some guests are not ready to place an order through a QR code. This is where knowing your guests becomes so important. If they’re not willing to embrace a new technology, don't implement it. Start with what your guests want and adapt your tech stack to that. 

Remember, technology is an enabler, not a replacement. It’s the synergy of innovation and human connection that truly transforms the guest experience. 

To catch up on other sessions – and every other speaker from the main stage – check out Unfold 2024 Unpacked. It includes the highlights from hospitality tech’s most innovative event, including main stage messages, workshop wisdom and a photo roundup capturing the excitement.