Low-Touch Food Ordering Helps Hotels Serve Guests

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—With COVID-19 precautions discouraging face-to-face interactions with guests, any technology that makes contactless or low-touch exchanges possible is extremely helpful and provides confidence to guests that they will remain safe on property.

Hapimag AG, which operates more than 50 vacation properties in Europe and the U.S., is doing its part to restore confidence in the hospitality sector following the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing guest self-service via their own smartphones at its resorts.

The company has teamed up with RoomOrders to provide its guests a way to order F&B though their cellphones.

“Health and safety of our guests is paramount to Hapimag, especially in times of COVID-19,” said Hassan Kadbi, CEO of Hapimag. “The introduction of RoomOrders is just one of the ways we intend to reassure guests that we care about their well-being and are doing everything that we can to improve their experience. Reducing contact with people, objects and surfaces in our food and beverage outlets is a key way to reducing risks for both our guests and our staff.”

RoomOrders is a self-service platform that is accessed by scanning a QR code displayed around the hotel or restaurant with a smartphone device. Guests order from the digital menu similarly to the way they would with major online shops like Amazon or Uber. They enter their location and the order is delivered to them or they can choose to pick up orders.

The concept puts Hapimag among the first hotel groups in the world to digitally interconnect their hotel premises with surrounding vendors like restaurants, gift shops and supermarkets.

“There are zero costs to implement RoomOrders,” said Eugene B. Jones, CEO, RoomOrders. “A small transaction fee is charged per sale. Hotels can seek commission from partner vendors at their own discretion.”

Hapimag recently began using the system at its resorts at a number of its locations in Europe, including Damnoni on Crete, as well as Porto Heli and Athens in Greece, Cavallino in Italy, Marbella in Spain, Interlaken in Switzerland, Winterberg in Germany and Edinburgh in Scotland.

“Many surveys indicate that one of the first things people want to do emerging from weeks or even months of seclusion is to go and dine with friends,” said Jones. “Hoteliers have resisted digitalization fearing it would remove a key ingredient of hospitality—human touch. However, low-touch technology is now not only becoming an interesting idea, but a necessity.”

Nikolaos Berkakis, resort manager in Damnoni, added, “It appears the low-touch economy is becoming the new normal. We want our guests to know that we have their best interests at heart and that their experience will continue to be wonderful.”