The Mews Blog > Richard Valtr, Mews and hospitality tech: Hospitable podcast highlights
Ever listened to the Hospitable podcast by Omniboost? Consider this our official recommendation. And if you’re looking for a place to start, there’s nowhere better than this insightful chat with Mews Founder, Richard Valtr.
Below, we picked out a few of topics and thoughts that are worth highlighting. But if you have forty minutes to spare, you’ll get even more by watching the full conversation.
Richard’s origin story
Most of you already know that Richard is an ex-hotelier from an entrepreneurial family. What was news to us, though, is that he once thought of becoming a writer. Editors all over the world are thankful that this version of the story didn’t come to pass...
During his summer holidays, Richard spent time as a night receptionist. This led him to appreciate the importance of technology in streaming hotel operations, particularly when it came to the night audit. No surprise then, that he created a system which did away with the night audit completely.
Mews started small. For the first couple of years, growth was relatively slow. Scaling quickly and effectively is one of the biggest challenges for any startup, Richard explains, particularly for European companies. You need to prove yourself in multiple markets and it can take time to get there – though it’s fair to say that with properties in 85 countries, Mews was one of those that made it.
A growth mindset is often that sets the most successful hospitality brands apart, whether that’s on the tech side or the hotelier side. The key is identifying the factors that contribute to growth and finding ways to replicate and scale those factors.
The Mews mission
Our mission is to create transformative solutions for brands and remarkable experiences for guests. It sounds good, and it feels good too. At the heart of this is making technology more human and user-friendly, with a focus on user disengagement. This allows hotel staff to provide exceptional service, and it allows guests to be in the moment and enjoy their stay.
Interfaces should be modern, minimalistic and easy to use. Unlike most tech, our goal is for users to spend less time interacting with our solution. We use color sparingly to accent essential elements and our design philosophy is rooted in psychology, neuroscience and user data.
Whether you’re in the back office or the front desk, if you’re using Mews, we want to empower you to make better decisions by providing you with timely and relevant information. This could be about the guest, the room, other available services... And, as mentioned earlier, hotels should be able to do this at scale. Products like Mews Multi-Property allow for easy portfolio management.
The purpose of technology in hospitality
Our industry’s origin is in its name: hospitality. It’s a tradition we can trace back to the birth of humanity, and at its best, our industry emphasizes this human interaction and the art of being hospitable.
So where does technology come in? As hinted at in our mission, it’s a tool to enhance the guest experience, particularly during important touchpoints like the check-in process. Although receptionists often do a great job of being warm and welcoming to guests upon arrival, this moment is often preceded by long, cumbersome lines. These are the points at which technology can insert itself – for instance, allowing guests to check in online – and improve guest experiences.
A founder’s role and the future of Mews
What does a founder actually do? Besides singing on all-company meetings? Richard sees his leadership as akin to a film producer who drives and supports a team of experts. It’s also important to recognize when to step back from daily operations and allow the team to lead, but provide a clear voice when called upon.
As for Mews, the future looks very bright indeed. Yes, this is a Mews blog so we would say that, but there’s plenty of evidence to back it up. This year has seen acquisitions of Hotello, a North American PMS, and Nomi, an AI-powered tour guide that provides personalized recommendations to hotel guests. This also reflects how the US and Canada is a key growth region for the coming years.
None of this would be possible without a remarkable team across all departments, and there have been a number of exciting hires recently to further strengthen the company, including Davin Fan as General Manager for North America and Natasha Osborne Geurts as Chief of Staff, while CEO Matt Welle was named Leading Entrepreneur in Tech for 2023.
As for the future, it wouldn’t be Richard without a mention of AI. He expects further innovations within hospitality and is boyishly excited about how this could deliver even more memorable guest experiences.
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