Think of it this way: If customers have to use their cell phones to call for room service – with the hassle of having to find and then punch in a complete phone number– what’s to stop them from calling out for delivery? After all, it’s no more work to punch in one full phone number than it is to type in another.
Meanwhile, guests with iPads and laptop computers can bypass the phone and order online, but doing so will usually move your room service revenue opportunities off-property. But searching the Web does take more time than pushing a single button. Clearly, no cell phone or iPad can compete with the convenience and simplicity of picking up the hotel guest phone, pushing just one clearly-marked button, and getting food and drink ordered from a handy menu that is already available in the hotel room.
Room Service revenues.
But what does Room Service actually contribute worth to a hotel’s bottom line? Information provided to Cetis by a major Los Angeles hotel reveals that Room Service orders totaled 54,400 in 2010 and over 65,000 in 2011. All were ordered on hotel guestroom phones, using single button pushes. So, imagine that the average room service order totals $20.
- 65,000 calls at $20 equals $1.3 million dollars in room service orders.
- $1.3 million annually at just one hotel; thanks to that convenient single button on a hotel guestroom telephone.
- $20 per button push; not bad at all!
Spas and hotel phones?
According to a survey conducted by SRI International, the global wellness tourism market expanded to US$494 billion in revenues in 2013 and the global spa industry grew from US$60 billion in 2007 to US$94 billion in 2013. SRI International also estimates a 27% increase in the number of spas worldwide in the last seven years: From 71,762 in 2007, to 105,591 today. Hotel spas had the biggest growth rate and actually doubled from 2007 to 2014. The point? Great spas increase occupancy, average stay, additional spending and actually even the ADR, so if you have spas, be sure to program a guest service key on your guest room phones to speed dial guests into the spa reservation desk extension. If you don’t offer spas, perhaps you should! To summarize, spas=$billions per year. Make it easy for your guests to buy. One programmable guest service key can make the difference.
Food and Millennials.
On-property dining room services are also proving to be an important amenity for both business and leisure guests. In fact, a survey conducted by Sabre reports that 50% of millenials cite food as a key factor in hotel selection, so hotel phones equipped with programmable guest service keys to property or off-premise food services will continue to be a key revenue driver for both full service and limited-service properties. Additional survey insights include:
- 50% of all business travel revenue will be driven by Generation Y by 2020
- $41 More per night is what a millennial will pay brand preference vs. $29 average
- 98% of millennials own and use a smartphone on a daily basis
- 50% cite food as key factor in hotel selection.
Hotel Phones=Happy Guests.
If hotel guests need a wake-up call, advice on getting clothes cleaned, or fresh towels, they pick up the hotel guestroom phone, push a single button and get what they want. This is a guest convenience that is simple, fast, and -- most of all – expected. In an age where consumers are already cranky about service cutbacks in airlines and other travel-related products, taking away this expected convenience would be commercial suicide.
Again, the numbers from a major L.A. hotel tell the story:
- In 2010, the guest service button on the guestroom telephone was used 46,000 times. In 2011, the number increased to over 51,000.
- Linen requests via the Housekeeping button had 5,100 calls in 2010, and over 6,000 in 2011
- Wake-up calls in 2010 were 23,000 and 37,000 in 2011
- And guests engaging the Concierge button on the guestroom telephone was 9,300 in 2010 and 11,200 in 2011
All of these needs are met by single button pushes on hotel guestroom phones. Again, no cell phone or iPad can replace this convenience.
USB charging ports.
Recent hospitality industry research reports that guests are bringing 4 to 5 smart mobile devices into the guest room. By definition, mobile devices need to be charged, and re-charged, which is why hotel phones equipped with built-in USB charging ports help contribute to a positive guest experience for both business and leisure guests. While hotel phones aren’t engineered support “selfies”, providing the convenience of guest smart device USB charging is good business.
International call revenue.
Is guest room telephone call revenue a thing of the past? Not for may full service hotels. Data provided to Cetis by a major brand franchise hotel demonstrates that revenue from international calls at a 500-room hotel with 80 percent occupancy is worth from $15,000 to $20,000 per month. This works out to $180,000 to $240,000 a year. Thanks again, hotel phones.
Imagine that your hotel has a fire or other calamity. Now imagine that the hotel guestroom phones have been removed. Can you imagine what a field day some enterprising class action lawyer can have at your company’s expense? You got it: By removing hotel guestroom phones, a hotelier is exposing itself to millions’ of dollars in potential liability suits. And even if disaster doesn’t strike? Have fun convincing your insurance company that removing guestroom phones doesn’t open your hotel up to such lawsuits. Unfortunately, your insurance company knows better. Chances are the increase in insurance premiums will eat up any savings realized by removing guestroom phones – and then some.
The Good News.
Clearly, removing or failing to update hotel guestroom phones can result in slashed revenues, alienated customers, and even lawsuits and vastly increased insurance premiums. By contrast, preserving and growing Room Service and long distance revenues with hotel guest room phones with programmable guest service keys, continues to help ensure that these profit centers remain alive and contributing to your hotel’s bottom line.