Updated: Tech Companies Offer Free Software During Crisis

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Technology companies are doing their part during this worldwide crisis, offering free software and web services for those in need. Here are some of them:

Alice Launches Free COVID-19 Checklist Software
Alice has launched a new free product to help hoteliers operate more efficiently during COVID-19. Alice’s COVID-19 Checklists Software is available now and is free to help hotels manage operations through times of low occupancy or closure, back into times of recovery, and up to full occupancy again.

Alice has teamed up with hotel operators to create comprehensive checklists to keep staff organized and effective. Alice is providing a library of standardized checklists, as well as letting hotels create their own checklists for the following procedures:

  • Essential preventative maintenance
  • Operating with low occupancy
  • Temporarily shutting down areas for guests
  • Operating while closed for guests
  • Temporarily shutting down the hotel
  • And more

The checklists are printable and mobile-enabled. Alice Checklists tracks progress and provides reporting for hoteliers. When increasing operations again, or completely reopening, Checklists can be utilized to bring guestrooms and public areas back into service, and to streamline task management.

Bookboost Offers Free Messaging and Unified Inbox During COVID-19 Crisis
Bookboost, a guest messaging platform is used by hoteliers across Europe including Ruby Hotels, CityBox and CityHub hotels, is making its Web Messenger and Unified Inbox available for free to help hospitality through the COVID-19 crisis.

Hotels can use Bookboost to provide relevant up-to-date information on their website to answer frequently asked questions automatically and through Facebook and email using automated responses and preset answers. As well as have use of the single inbox to ensure ongoing customer service at this difficult time—it includes an automated website chatbot and dashboard to access and respond to all messages.

In addition, Bookboost will be running a free training course on guest communications and digital guest services to prepare hotels for the return of demand and deliver an enhanced guest experience. Hotels can sign up to Bookboost Unified Inbox for free for three months until June 30.

BnB Chat Launches “Zero Commission” Hospitality Search Engine
Due to the financial losses coronavirus is inflicting on the travel industry, BnB Chat has launched the world’s first “Zero Commission” and “Zero Data Collection” hospitality search engine. BnB Chat has “shifted the paradigm” around OTAs by allowing travelers to connect directly with the reservation systems of hotels, BnBs, hostels, individual homeowners, real estate brokers, professional property managers, yacht owners and other alternative accommodation owners.

There’s even a “Bid on a Room” feature whereby travelers can negotiate directly with the reservation departments of listers for a more favorable “room rate” that matches their budget and length of stay, which can be very beneficial during low-season, or a global pandemic like the coronavirus.

And for Hosts who don’t own a sophisticated reservation system or website, BnB Chat has teamed-up with PayPal so hosts can receive global room rental payments of Visa, MasterCard, AMEX and Discover Card directly into their PayPal accounts without surrendering any personal data or financial information to any third-party platform.

Beekeeper, Whispr Offer Free Cleaning Task App
Beekeeper is offering the Cleaning Task Lists by Whispr app at no charge to its customers. The smart checklist will work on any Android or iOS device and can be activated by Whispr immediately if the hotel is an existing Beekeeper user.

“We are extremely proud of our innovation partner, Whispr, for designing an app that will enable hotels to be truly responsive to the virus and lessen its impact on the property, staff and guests,” said Andrada Paraschiv, Beekeeper’s head of hospitality. “Because our core products are integrated, any hotel using the Beekeeper operational communication platform can upload the Cleaning Task Lists’ by Whispr app in minutes. The app includes a real-time dashboard showing each room’s availability as it is made Covid Clean.”

The product is currently being used by Marriott and Hilton properties in certain parts of the U.S., and will extend it to further properties in Ireland, Germany, U.K. and China.

RizePoint Gives Free Access of Food Service Tools
RizePoint is offering complimentary access to COVID-19-related forms, reports and auditing tools to all food, retail and hospitality organizations.

During this crisis, the top priorities of restaurants and other F&B establishments are to ensure employees and customers stay healthy, and to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. Therefore, food service professionals need to implement enhanced cleaning, sanitization and safety protocols.

RizePoint’s free COVID-19 Response Solution, available through March 2021, includes
access to a mobile auditor for COVID-19 response, with no limit to the number of audits or locations; forms and virus feedback reports unique to coronavirus; information on cleaning, sanitization, safety and training protocols as they relate to this pandemic; and the RizePoint COVID-19 Resource Center, where information is regularly updated.

Jitjatjo Revs Up #hirehospitality Campaign
Jitjatjo, an on-demand staffing provider for the hospitality industry, is currently leading the #hirehospitality campaign as a way to inspire various industries to look to hospitality professionals for temporary staffing needs during the current global pandemic.

Jitjatjo has 10,000 hourly, multi-skilled hospitality professionals from the hospitality community ready to rapidly deploy. As part of #hirehospitality, there are opportunities for hotels, restaurants and other hospitality organizations to support laid-off employees by encouraging them to get temporary work through this platform.

Jitjatjo is working with government and other businesses that need temporary employees that are a good fit for the skill sets, which could be mutually beneficial for both out-of-work professionals and companies needing temporary, qualified hands immediately.

Horizon Cloud Offers Software Suite at No Charge
Horizon Cloud, a software company that focuses on the F&B industry, is giving away its full suite of software—including Caterease and Placez—until June.

Caterease helps restaurants and event centers manage catering, takeout and delivery orders, and Placez is a 3D-diagramming software that allows users to show off their space via 360-degree photospheres and custom 3D objects to their clients. Both are available via the web or cloud.