With changing industry trends and consumer habits, hotels are reducing their margins to keep up with competitors and services like AirBnb. It can be a tough decision to identify where to cut costs without damaging the guest experience, property reviews and repeat visitation.
One proven strategy actually begins with investment and ends with considerable cost reduction and savings. We have identified three ways, in particular, that your hotel can improve its bottom line while, in many cases, improving overall guest satisfaction as well.
1. Resource Efficiency
The idea of conserving resources to save both money and the environment is not new, and there are many tried-and-true low-tech ways to do so, including posting towel reuse signs, going to low-flow toilets and showerheads, and eliminating plastic straws.
Now technology also provides an array of options for saving energy. Here are a few specific technologies that, especially when combined, can provide significant savings over time:
- Energy-Efficient LED Lighting – Saving energy can be as simple as changing your light bulbs. Simple and effective, The US Department of Energy states that LED bulbs use 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Over time, that’s a lot of savings in both electric bills and maintenance time.
- Smart Windows – These windows automatically adjust their tint throughout the day to control how much light passes through the window, and help heat or cool the room as needed. Smart windows can block as much as 98% of UV Rays, and save you up to 70% more energy than double pane windows. While they do require electricity, 100 smart windows collectively use less energy than a standard 75 watt light bulb.
- Energy Star Appliances – Almost all new appliances are EnergyStar certified, so when it’s time to replace an old appliance, odds are good you’ll have many solid options. While this won’t have an enormous impact on your bottom line, the small amount they’ll save you monthly in utility bills will eventually add up.
One of the best features of technology is the ability to automate the energy usage of your hotel’s electronics. The larger the building, the more significant the savings incurred by leveraging automation technology.
- Thermostats with Occupancy Sensors – These modern-day thermostats sense whether or not a room is occupied and automatically increase or decrease the temperature by a few degrees accordingly. This switch can save hotels between 12%- 24% in HVAC energy costs. Because HVAC costs tend to be significant, that can translate into big savings.
- ELV Systems – Extra-Low Voltage Switching Systems are IP-based solutions that combine all of your systems into a unified cabling array. ELV provides a seamless network to integrate all of your other systems to reduce troubleshooting and integration costs. This can be applied to anything and everything from CCTV to Fire Alarms. ELV gives you the most control over all systems so you can make decisions to keep your operation as efficient as possible.
- Vending Machines with Occupancy Sensors – Sensors can also be used to automatically shut off certain portions of your vending machines or turn them off altogether when a guest is not present. This could save you as much as 50% in operating costs or $200 per unit.
3. Hotel Room Keys
Plastic RFID keycards are not just bad for the environment, they’re also expensive. Hotels can save thousands of dollars a year by switching to a mobile key solution. This technology leverages the Bluetooth functionality within every smartphone to allow guests the ability to use their device as a digital room key. Mobile keyless entry is rapidly becoming industry standard in new hotels to eliminate the cost of discarded keycards and improve the guest experience.
A complete mobile key solution, like the one provided by OpenKey, can deliver the greatest savings, for both the hotel and the environment. When guests can enter their rooms using only their smartphones – as well as check in and out without visiting the front desk – it’s a cost savings trifecta.
- Nearly 2/3 of travelers preferring to use their smartphone as their room key
- Mobile key technology saves hotels an average of $1,000 per month in discarded RFID keycards.
- It reduces the line at the front desk, allowing the staff to tend to more important matters.
- This technology drives an average 7% improvement in guest satisfaction scores.
Hotels implementing mobile keyless entry today enjoy an added benefit of market advantage since 49% of hotel guests prefer staying at a property that offers tech engagement via smartphone to improve their stay experience.