Five ways to secure your hotel’s Wi-Fi network | hotel software uk

If you Google anything that contains the words ‘Wi-Fi’ and ‘hotel’, you’ll be met with a barrage of webpages that appear to suggest guests need to undertake military-grade cyber defence training in order to keep their personal data safe.

In truth, operating an internet-connected device in a hotel is no different to doing so within any other public arena. It’s as safe as both the guest - and the hotelier - makes it.

In today’s blog, we’re going to focus on how hoteliers can build Wi-Fi networks that are as secure as possible and which give guests ultimate peace of mind.

We think there are five things you can do today to make a real difference:

1. Implement two Wi-Fi networks

implement more than one WiFi network at your hotel | hotel management software uk

You may have been told this by your IT guru previously and dismissed it for being too much of a faff, but hotels really should carry two Wi-Fi networks.

The reason is simple: one will be for your operation (front of house, back office, the till system, etc), and the other solely for guests.

This offers two big benefits. Firstly, you can set more stringent access controls for guests and, secondly, ensure they get all the bandwidth they need.

2. Change default passwords

change default passwords on hotel wifi | hotel booking systems

If you set up the Wi-Fi network yourself and did so in a rush, you may have inadvertently left the back door swinging conveniently for would-be hackers.

The networking gear you purchased will have come with default passwords and user credentials, but no matter how secure they may look, it’s vital to bear in mind that they haven’t been created by you. They’re ‘default’ and default stuff gets around.

Always make the first task when setting up a Wi-Fi network that of changing the default passwords. Use a secure password generator to ensure that your digital back door remains firmly closed.

3. Use WPA2 encryption

use WPA2 encryption | hotel upselling

Data encryption evolves constantly, but you should always ensure you’re using the default level of security on your hotel’s network.

That is known as ‘WPA2’, and unless your router was born in the era of Britpop and the Spice Girls, it will support it. Turning it on (if it isn’t already) should be very straightforward following a glance at the manual.

4. Don’t plaster the Wi-Fi password everywhere

Five ways to secure your hotel’s Wi-Fi network | management system for hotels london

When you offer public Wi-Fi access, there’s no getting away from the fact you’ll need to distribute the password, and as a hotel guest, there’s nothing more painful than hunting around for a Wi-Fi key that isn’t anywhere obvious.

It may, therefore, be tempting to place big signs everywhere that advertise the password, but in doing so, you’ll simply invite passers-by and the more nefarious members of society to use your bandwidth as they sit outside in the car park.

Instead, place it somewhere obvious in the guest handbook or on a card within the room.

Alternatively, move onto tip 5, which would be our preference…

5. Implement a login system

implementing a login system for your hotel's wifi connection | hotel software uk

Our last tip is only relevant if you don’t have the ability to implement a login system on your Wi-Fi network. If you do, you should use it.

These replace the need for a Wi-Fi key with a username and password combination that must be set up by the user on first use.

Some of these platforms will offer usage for a certain period of time before requiring a second sign in and, while this may be a little less convenient for guests, it’s not enough to send them packing elsewhere, and is far more secure than relying on a standard Wi-Fi key.

Wrapping up

How secure is your hotel’s Wi-Fi network? Use our tips above, and you’ll be doing your bit for the fight against cybercrime.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to remain social while working from home | hotel software uk

Anyone who has worked from home regularly will know that it’s rarely - if ever - a mini holiday.

Staying focused and productive is tough, particularly if you’re a hospitality worker. It requires a determined mindset, the ability to avoid distractions and consistent goal setting.

But there’s another element of working from home which is particularly tough: isolation.

When you’re working from your spare bedroom, kitchen or converted garage, it’s easy to cut yourself off from the rest of your team. In doing so, you may begin to feel lonely and anxiety levels can increase.

Thankfully, we live in a world where working remotely doesn’t have to be lonely. Here are our favourite tips for remaining social while working from home.

Lean on technology

working from home in the hotel industry | hotel management software uk

There are some wonderful apps and online platforms that enable remote workers to stay in touch with one another.

Skype, Slack and Zoom are just three options, but one shouldn’t forget the likes of WhatsApp when it comes to keeping in touch with your colleagues.

Use this tech as much as you can (most of it is free). The more you do so, the more addictive and productive it becomes.

Set up more micro meetings

remail social working from home as a hotelier| hotel booking systems

Chances are, if you work in a hotel, you probably have lots of micro meetings or just a few big meetings each month.

If it’s the latter, try switching to micro meetings when you work from home. These swift regular get-togethers will ensure you all keep in touch, no matter where you happen to be. They’ll also probably be far more productive than the longer meeting you’re used to!

Have some fun

have some fun working from home | hotel upselling

If something drops into your inbox or a WhatsApp group chat while working from home and it makes you smile, share it with your colleagues (within reason, of course!).

Think about it - you have fun while working a ’normal’ day at the hotel, and much of that will revolve around off-the-cuff chats in the kitchen or sharing jokes as you go about your working lives.

Keeping this up while working remotely is vital for productivity levels, mental health and team spirit, so don’t stop having fun just because you can’t share the same airspace with people.

Try remote networking

working from home as a hotelier | hotel booking systems

Networking plays an important role in hospitality. It gives hoteliers, GMs and other departmental heads the chance to get out there, meet potential new suppliers and learn more about industry trends and challenges.

You can still do that while working at home. There are some fantastic groups on LinkedIn to explore and, if there’s a reason most people are working at home, many networking groups will switch to digital meet-ups during that period.

Sniff out the most relevant digital networking events in your area while working from home and make sure you attend them; it’s a whole new way of getting to know people and increasing your industry knowledge.

Wrapping up

We hope our working from home tips will help you become as productive as possible while still maintaining that all-important contact with your colleagues and work partners.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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productivity tips for hoteliers | hotel management software uk

So, we’re a bit biased, but we genuinely think that the hotel industry is about as tough as it gets when it comes to the number of hours you’re expected to put in and the sheer variety of tasks and responsibilities one must contend with.

We’ll let other professions argue that point in the comments section…

But how do you remain productive as a hotelier? With so much to do, guests to entertain and staff to satisfy, how can you maximise the use of your time to ensure the business remains afloat and profitable?

Here are five brilliant productivity tips for hoteliers:

1. Don’t get lost in emails

hotel productivity tip - don't get lost in emails

Some people despise email. Others continue to value it as a great way to communicate. Some are indifferent.

Whatever your personal thoughts on email, it isn’t going anywhere. The likelihood is you’ll receive emails regularly from staff, guests and suppliers every single day.

The trick is to not get lost in email or treat it as a matter of urgency. Every email can wait; the chime of your inbox isn’t like that of a ringing phone. In fact, turn that chime off and promise yourself you’ll only deal with email three to four times a day.

2. Let technology do its thing

let technology do the work | hotel booking systems

Time for an experiment.

Next week, record your activity as you make your way through each day. Make a note of what you’re doing and roughly how long it took. Then, at the end of the week, review your tasks; look for stuff which you know, deep down, can be performed by technology.

Continually updating your rates, adjusting availability on OTAs, manually compiling lists for email newsletters - these are all tasks that hotel bookings systems and other technological wizardry can do for you.

If a piece of software can save you just fifteen minutes every day undertaking a mundane task, that soon adds up.

3. Implement 10 minute daily meetings

hotel industry tips - hold daily meetings

Great communication lies at the heart of productivity.

If you can communicate efficiently with your team, you’ll all get more stuff done each day - it’s that simple.

Try holding a quick staff get together every morning. Make it strictly a ten-minute affair where everyone can offer their input on what happened yesterday, what’s planned today and highlight any barriers to success. Ensure everyone stands, too - there’s no need to gather people around a table.

The more regular this becomes, the more you’ll find ‘standard’ meetings become a thing of the past and staff will begin to communicate more effectively with one another.

4. Remove as much paper as possible

productivity tips for hoteliers - remove paper where possible

The ‘paperless office’ remains something of a pipe dream, but the hotel industry is well placed to rid itself of as much printed documentation as possible.

If you’re running a great hotel booking system, you don’t need to print stuff out. Instead, email invoices to guests and provide staff with digital copies of house lists or tablets on which they can access the PMS.

Less paper equals higher levels of productivity - we promise.

5. Work more regular hours

productivity tips for hoteliers | hotel management software uk

As noted at the start of this blog, working in the hospitality industry is damn hard.

Unfortunately, that leads many to work too hard. And that’s a shame, because the longer hours you work and the more you throw your entire life into a job, the less likely you are to get things done. You’ll become far more stressed, too.

This might sound counterintuitive, but the more you stick to regular hours and avoid working beyond your remit, the more productive you’ll be. This is because you’ll be happier and know that you have to focus your effort for a set amount of time each day.

Wrapping up

The more productive you are as a hotelier, the better chance you’ll have of competing strongly in this difficult market.

Getting to the bottom of your to-do list each day is immensely satisfying. Try our tips above, but, equally, if you think we’ve missed a productivity technique, let us know in the comments section!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to identify big overheads as a hotelier | hotel software uk

Running a hotel is challenging at the best of times, but when something happens that forces you to close the business temporarily, it’s natural to engage panic mode.

A brief panic isn’t a bad thing, providing you keep it under control and lend a sense of perspective once you’ve got it out of your system.

Unless things are particularly dire and you have no contingency pot or support from the government, things will get better. You just need to see your business through this period so that it will come out fighting fit when you can finally reopen your doors.

Inevitably, your overheads will come into question during times like these. That's why we’ve got some great tips on identifying those you can either remove entirely or considerably reduce.

Technology

why hotels should opt for cloud services | hotel upselling

Hands up if you’re still using a property management system that’s installed at your hotel.

Now might be the time to review that particular piece of technology, because the hotel PMS is a classic example of a tool that should be based in the cloud.

By opting for cloud services, you’ll considerably cut the cost of annual maintenance contracts. And you can apply this to most of the technology in your hotel, from file storage to your POS.

Opt for LED lighting

hotelier tips for sustainability | hotel booking systems

Some of the smaller things you do will have a big impact on overheads when combined.

For instance, LED lighting is one of the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient ways to light a hotel. The bulbs will possibly cost a little more up-front, but, according to Energy.gov, they’ll use at least 75% less energy than standard bulbs.

Oh, and they’ll last 25 times longer, too.

Ask guests to do their bit - particularly when it comes to towels

How to identify big overheads as a hotelier | management systems for hotels london

Anyone who runs a hotel will know how colossal the cleaning bill can be - particularly when it comes to towels.

Guests are notoriously bad at re-using towels. Far too often, they’ll leave them strewn on the floor after their first night when they’re perfectly good for another use.

This is why so many hotels are placing an increasing number of reminders for guests to re-use towels as often as they can. You can quote environmental stats, or simply give an honest reminder that you have big bills and would rather invest the hotel’s profits in creating a brilliant guest experience.

There’s also nothing wrong with politely asking guests to ensure all electrical devices such as the TV are turned off when they leave the room. That's particularly true if you don’t have a building management system to do it for them.

Remember - it’s the small things that can make a big difference.

Try out a labour management system

hotel labour management system | hotel management software uk

Once solely the domain of large hotel chains with big budgets, labour management systems are slowly becoming more commonplace within independent operations.

This is because staff schedules should reflect the day-to-day variations in your business. Hotels rarely operate to standard working hours; things go wrong, guests spring surprise requests and some events take longer than you’d expect to host.

A modern labour management system will help you create staff rotas that work for the team. It'll also help produce the best guest experience while allowing you to reduce labour costs - undoubtedly one of the biggest you have.

Wrapping up

This blog post was written at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. However, the strategies above will be useful for hoteliers at any time.

Rising overheads can sink hotel businesses if they’re not monitored and addressed in time. We hope our advice today plots a course for a profitable future for your hotel business.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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cloud powered hotel software leading hotels into the 21st century | hotel software uk

Cloud computing has become a much-discussed topic across most industries, praised for its ability to make modern software solutions and scalable IT resources available to everyone.

Now, it seems more important than ever.

In 2019, research suggested that as many as 90% of companies are now reliant on the cloud.

But even in the age of affordable, accessible cloud platforms, some independent hotels are doing more to take advantage of this than others.

So, what can the cloud do for the hospitality industry and what strategies are most impactful in the era of outsourced IT?

Taking the plunge

How cloud computing is bringing hotels into the 21st century | hotel software uk

The cloud is often sold on its ability to simplify IT and help businesses break free of the clunky, complicated systems they have been relying on for decades.

The problem with this is that it can give some hotels the wrong idea about how to approach cloud adoption.

Uprooting legacy apps wholesale and dumping them onto the cloud is a bad idea; it’s better to take the plunge with a service that’s built from the ground up to operate within a cloud infrastructure.

For hotels, this may mean leaving behind outdated booking systems and PMS solutions so that migrating to the cloud can deliver tangible benefits.

Only by cutting back the deadwood can new growth flourish. Only by taking a holistic, strategic approach to cloud adoption can independent hotels hope to remain competitive.

Automation, cost-effectiveness and other benefits

cloud-powered software is all about automation and efficiency | hotel upselling

A lot of the hard work involved in managing a hotel comes from keeping on top of time-consuming but important admin tasks.

This includes everything from engaging with guests before and after their stay to keeping track of bookings, sales data and other key metrics that help measure hotel performance over time.

All of these things can be achieved by using legacy solutions, but in many cases, you’ll need to do a lot of the hard work manually.

Modern cloud-powered hotel software is all about automation and efficiency. Whether it’s issuing emails and texts to guests before they arrive and after they leave, or rolling out price updates to OTAs, all this and more can (and should) be handled automatically.

For smaller hotels with limited resources, these perks will help to make cloud adoption easy to justify.

The affordability also comes from the fact that by migrating to the cloud, you can avoid all sorts of costs usually associated with IT.

Expensive on-site hardware, security, maintenance and software license fees can all be avoided. Outsourcing to a dedicated third-party provider makes things cheaper, more flexible and far more convenient.

Wrapping up

IT can be seen as a serious obstacle to independent hotels, but there’s no doubt that cloud computing is empowering businesses throughout this industry.

Welcome Anywhere is part of the exciting cloud movement, bringing communications, booking, performance reports, front desk services and more together in a cohesive package.

Independent hotels that want to get ahead have already made the leap to the cloud. Isn’t it about time you joined them?

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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6 important hotelier tasks during downtime | hotel management software uk

At the time of writing, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is an international pandemic and has sent millions of people home from work.

This is already having a seismic impact on the hospitality industry and, in particular, hotels.

Together, we can get through this. And, if your hotel is now closed for the foreseeable future, you’ll be glad to hear there are some very valuable things you can still do to ensure your business remains resilient.

1. Keep marketing

focus your hotel's marketing efforts on social media | hotel upselling

This might sound odd, given the situation, but even if your doors are currently closed, ceasing all marketing activity is a bad idea.

Instead, focus your efforts on your social media profile; post daily updates about what you’re doing during the closure and how you can support your followers (inspirational or funny messages are probably what people need right now).

2. Seek opportunities to support the local community

use your hotel to support the local community | hotel software uk

Several hotels are already being converted into temporary treatment areas and bases for NHS staff. You could do the same.

If you’re up for it and if the government expands its requirements for such venues, why not put your hotel in the spotlight by using the space you have to do good?

3. Go back to that business plan

reviewing your hotel's business plan | management systems for hotels london

You wrote it years ago, we get that. But what use is a business plan if it’s never revisited?

Now is the perfect time to dust off your original business plan and see how true you have remained to your original promises. What goals have you met, missed or forgotten about?

During times of significant change, new business ideas emerge. Your business plan is probably ripe for a new injection of inspiration and positivity.

4. Keep staff meetings going

remote hotel staff meetings | hotel software uk

Even if your entire team is now self-isolating at home, you can - and should - still keep up your team meetings.

Thankfully, you can do this via a number of platforms, including WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype. Bring everyone together once a day online to chat about anything - business, self-isolation tips... you name it!

Doing this will ensure everyone keeps their spirits up and won’t lose that all-important feeling that they’re part of a brilliant hospitality team. It’s what makes this industry so special, after all.

5. Review your OTA listings

6 important hotelier tasks during downtime | hotel upselling

When was the last time you properly revised your OTA listings?

Once we get through this and things begin to return to normal, you’ll hopefully meet plenty of guests who are desperate to get away and stay at your hotel. A great many will come through OTAs, and that means now is the perfect opportunity to ensure your listings are up-to-date with the latest photos and descriptions of your hotel’s experience.

6. Tinker with your website

managing your hotel's website during down time | hotel booking systems

Your website is just as important as your OTA listings, so use this time to give it a much-needed fettle.

You might decide to start posting a weekly blog, or finally get around to adjust the homepage content. Equally, you may decide to ‘play guest’ and try out the online booking experience to sniff out any issues it might have.

Whatever you decide to do with your website during this time, make sure you keep your hotel booking systems in mind and the overall feeling you want to illicit when people visit.

Wrapping up

We know that this is an incredibly tough time for the industry and hope that our tips above provide some respite.

Together, we’ll beat this and come back stronger than ever.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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why a cloud PMS beats an on-premise one | hotel software uk

To the untrained eye, the title of this blog post might simply look like a jumbled collection of meaningless techy jargon.

And, to be honest - that’d be a fair assumption. But behind those words lies a debate that continues to dominate conversations among hoteliers looking to refresh their property management system (PMS) and make their businesses more resilient to situations outside of their control.

With so many options on the market, choosing between vendors is hard enough, and that’s before you get to the thorny topic of how the system itself is delivered.

Do you go on-premise, hosted or cloud-based?

We’d like to help you get to the bottom of this conundrum with a no-nonsense guide that will lead you to the only conclusion worth making…

What is an on-premise PMS?

hotel bookings systems | pms installed on-premise rely on hardware

Remember when you used to buy software and receive it in DVD form? In the age of app stores and immediate downloads, it seems like an age ago, doesn’t it?

Yet, this is pretty much exactly what an on-premise PMS is (only, the delivery is usually undertaken by the vendor, along with a significant amount of on-site training).

A hotel booking system that’s installed on-premise relies solely on the hardware available at the property. That usually means you’ll need an expensive server and bunch of networked computers, each with their own ‘client’ copy of said software installed.

You’d do well to find an on-premise PMS to purchase these days, but if you haven’t upgraded your own system in a number of years, there’s a good chance you already have this form of PMS.

So, what’s a hosted PMS?

hosted PMS is NOT cloud-based | hotel upselling

A hosted PMS sounds well and dandy - particularly when described by a talented salesperson.

“All of your data is hosted on the cloud,” they say, pointing to the sky. And that’s absolutely true, but what you often don’t hear during that sales pitch is the fact the software itself is still installed on-premise at the hotel.

That means you’ll still need a local installation to take place; any computer on which you’d like to access the PMS will need to have the client software installed.

Hosted property management systems are often mis-sold as cloud-based. In truth, they’re part cloud-based, because it’s only the data that sits off-site.

Ok, so a cloud PMS it is, then…

benefits of the cloud PMS | hotel management software uk

Put simply - yes!

A proper cloud-based PMS is, as you’d expect, located entirely on the web. All of the data and software is accessed via a web browser (such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari) with no physical installation of anything PMS-related at the hotel.

This completely removes the infrastructure burden from your business in exchange for a monthly fee that covers the hosting of the PMS itself. You basically pay the vendor to look after your data and provide access to it no matter where you are or which device you have to hand. And, if they’re really worth investing in, you’ll be treated to constant innovation for no extra cost, too.

Cloud software isn’t the future - it’s what we should all be using now. In the battle of on-premise versus hosted versus cloud, the latter is the clearest of winners.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to cope with coronavirus as a UK hotelier

Yesterday, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, revealed that the country would soon enter the ‘delay’ phase of its strategy to tackle the coronavirus.

Calling it “the worst public health crisis for a generation”, the PM’s mood was sombre and the advice direct. If you have mild symptoms connected with the virus, you’ll need to self-isolate for at least seven days, he told the watching public.

Regardless of your stance on Covid-19, there is no doubting the risk it poses to public health and the economy. And, if you’re a hotelier, you may be concerned about how the pandemic could impact your business.

Stay updated

Public Health England (PHE) is the definitive source of medical advice

The sheer speed of coronavirus news and updates is like no other news cycle in recent memory. But this is why it’s important to pay attention to news sources you trust and avoid getting lost in the trap of recycled fake news on social media.

Public Health England (PHE) is the definitive source of medical advice, Covid-19 news and detail on the stance the government is taking to tackle the virus. Keep an eye on its website and stay tuned to news reports based on fact.

Provide your staff with what they need

mild symptoms require self-isolation for seven days

You can’t operate without your hotel team, but Covid-19 is a highly unusual and significant public event which means you’ll need to be flexible.

Following the PM’s advice, any members of your team who display mild symptoms will need to self-isolate for at least seven days. How you handle that from an HR perspective will depend largely on whether or not they can work from home, your sick pay policy and whether or not you’re willing to provide additional holiday.

We can’t tell you what to do from that perspective, but you will need to allow people to head home if they meet the criteria set out by the government.

Equally, make sure you have enough hand sanitiser available and provide easy access to any advice (for instance optimal handwashing) provided by PHE.

Inform guests that you have their best interests at heart

refunds amid Covid-19 crisis in hotel industry

Chances are, you’ll have received a number of Covid-19 emails recently from other organisations and businesses which illustrate their commitment to your safety.

It’s advisable to do the same for your guests. The key lies in being non-alarmist and sticking to the facts. All you need to do is offer reassurance on the following:

  • you have plenty of hand sanitiser available at the hotel;
  • staff are strictly following government advice on cleanliness (both personal and building-related);
  • staff showing mild symptoms have been sent home to self-isolate; and
  • you’re keeping a close eye and reacting to the latest advice given by PHE.

It’s also a good idea to recommend that guests don’t visit the hotel if they’re feeling unwell with the symptoms outlined by the PM yesterday (a cough or a temperature of 37.8C or more).

Again, how you approach the potentially thorny issue of refunds is entirely up to you, but it might reflect well on your brand if you offer guests who are impacted by Covid-19 the ability to delay their stay and return when they’re feeling better.

Wrapping up

It’s important to highlight that we’re not medical experts. Therefore, the best advice we can give is to stay on top of the government’s recommendations and anything PHE asks you to do as a business and individual.

You can access the Public Health England guidance on Covid-19 by clicking here.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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what is a hotel PMS? A guide for modern hoteliers

If you run a hotel, you’ll probably come across the phrase ‘PMS’ when reading up on the latest innovations that are shaping the industry. And unless it’s properly explained, you might be confused about what this acronym means and which solutions it covers.

If you’re regularly asking “what is a hotel PMS and how can it benefit my business?” then strap in, as we’re about to tackle this topic in detail!

The origins

modern hotel PMS functions | management systems for hotels london

Back in the day, a property management system (PMS) for hotels was generally reliant on a mixture of physical documents and digital files. This complicated combination dealt with all the important elements of guest-wrangling, from taking bookings to billing and back-office bookkeeping.

As technology has evolved, the hotel PMS has grown to encompass even more features. This can include a range of services such as catering, building maintenance, sales, marketing and, of course, online booking.

From humble beginnings, PMS tech has blossomed into something truly indispensable, especially for larger hotels and national chains. But with the scalability of cloud computing, even independents, B&Bs and pubs with rooms can jump on the bandwagon.

The benefits

cloud powered hotel PMS | hotel upselling

It may feel like the perks of having a modern hotel PMS are most prevalent behind-the-scenes, but guests will definitely notice the difference thanks to some of the front-facing features.

A cloud-powered PMS can easily be integrated with a mobile app, for example. This lets you offer remote check-in and check out, rather than relying on a member of staff being available whenever guests arrive or leave.

Meanwhile, cleaning staff can be kept up-to-date with room statuses via their own app, allowing them to prioritise rooms more effectively and improve their efficiency. Customers won’t be kept waiting, and they’ll always find the place spotless when they check-in.

A PMS is also invaluable for storing guest data and using it to drive marketing strategies and promotional offers. Personal details can be kept in one place securely and in compliance with the GDPR regulations, so you can track and analyse trends while coming up with offers that are relevant to individual guests.

Modern guests also expect the services they’re offered by hotels to be personalised to their needs. If your hotel can achieve this, it stands a better chance of winning repeat bookings. And for independents, this is absolutely vital to remaining profitable.

The considerations

There are a lot of things to think about before you go all-in with a new hotel PMS. And even in the age of cloud computing, there are still on-site systems available which aren’t tied to external servers, although these are fast becoming a legacy option for most hotels.

Wrapping up: how to make the right decision for your hotel

You need to pick a platform that fits your budget, as well as one that will help you overcome the challenges you face. And what is a PMS good for if not giving you the right tools to win over the next generation of guests?

A system that’s hosted in-house might have once been a good idea. But now, the cloud has the ability to cut IT costs, improve the number of services that are available and make your entire hotel more efficient.

This isn’t a decision one should rush, but as ‘digital natives’ and ‘millennials’ start to define the direction of the hospitality industry as a whole, you have to plan ahead to capture their attention and deliver the best guest experience possible.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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St Patrick's Day for UK hoteliers | hotel management systems london

St Patrick’s Day, as always, will prompt millions of people across the globe to celebrate - Irish or not.

For many, it’s an excuse to head to the pub for a Guinness or two, while others will use it to celebrate their heritage. As a hotelier, it presents a unique opportunity to engage a happy audience who are ready to spend - big.

Here are a few ways UK hoteliers can make the most of St Patrick’s Day - there’s still time!

Turn your website green

turn your hotel green for St. Patrick's Day | hotel software uk

Nothing says you’ve fully grasped the St Patrick Day’s spirit than turning as much of your brand green as possible.

It might simply be a dusting of St Patrick’s spirit on your logo or a great big clover leaf-filled banner on your home page, but whatever it is, make it clear as soon as someone visits your website that the hotel has something to offer on March 17th.

Revamp the restaurant’s F&B menus

Let’s not beat around the bush - food and drink play a huge role on St Patrick’s Day.

If you want to get as many people in as possible on the big day, make sure you’ve got Guinness and Irish beers on, at the very least. And you can do the same with the food, too; try adding braised beef, shepherd’s pie and cabbage-based dishes.

Use some last-minute keywords

marketing your hotel on St Patrick's Day | hotel upselling

If you’re running pay-per-click campaigns or undertake a concerted content marketing effort, adding some St Patrick’s Day keywords into the mix is a great way to pique the interest of those looking to do something special on March 17th.

Luck of the Irish, green, St Patty’s parade, pot of gold - they might all sound like clichés, but that’s often the best approach when it comes to keywords and events of this kind.

Decorate the hotel

simple guide to St Patrick’s Day for UK hoteliers | hotel booking systems

The busiest pubs on St Patrick’s Day are usually those that have really gone to town with their decor, and you can do the same as a hotelier.

How far you go is entirely up to you, but if you just add a touch of green to your lobby and encourage staff to get into the spirit, it can be enough to make your guests feel similarly party-ready. And that’s infectious.

Get social and share the luck

social media marketing for St Patrick's Day | hotel management software uk

Luck plays a huge role in the St Patrick’s Day theme, and you can use your hotel’s influence on social media to spread some good fortune.

It’s a great way to show the fun side of your hotel, and anyone who has experienced success with social media will know that’s a key ingredient if you’re to stand a chance of winning business via that channel.

As the day gets closer, keep an eye on your timeline and look for St Patrick’s Day threads you can get involved in. The more active you are leading up to and on the day itself, the more likely you are to grab a slice of the St Patrick’s Day engagement - it’s a great way to boost your social standing off the back of a big national event.

Wrapping up

Are you ready to make the most of St Patrick’s Day this year and next? Our tips above will work consistently each year, so make sure you keep them handy whenever March rears its head in your diary.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

Read More