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It’s time to close the gap in the app market with cloud-based mobile ordering technology for room service in hotels, says Stephen Kennedy, non-executive chairman of Wi-Q


t’s no secret that we have a love affair with our mobile devices – and this continues when we’re in a hotel room. In fact, Trip-

Advisor’s 2016 ‘TripBarometer’ survey found that if a hotel doesn’t have the Wi-Fi facility to satisfy our smartphone addiction, 46% of us would look for alternative accommodation. Unsurprisingly, hoteliers pay huge amounts of money to pipe in Wi-Fi, but what if they could connect with their guests through this very same pipe in a way that would intro- duce an additional revenue stream? Little did we know we had the solution in

Wi-Q, our award-winning, cloud-based order- ing system that is being implemented in res- taurants worldwide, until a London hotel group expressed a need for Wi-Q technology to enhance their guest room services. They needed a solution that enabled hassle-free mobile ordering for their guests without the need to download an app, and one that communicated efficiently with their staff by integrating with their existing EPoS and prop- erty management system. As it turned out, they weren’t alone.

In a survey we carried out in partnership

with The Caterer earlier this year, 92% of respondents operating within the hotel indus- try said they saw mobile ordering technology playing a role in the future of their business, yet only 19% were using a mobile ordering app. There is an increasing gap in the app market

22 | Technology Prospectus 2017


“We know that the average hotel guest connects to Wi-Fi within seven minutes of checking in – why wouldn’t you want to engage with them the moment they walk through the door?”

and it is being filled by cloud-based technol- ogy. Again, I refer to our love of our mobile devices: our storage space is precious and the proposition of having to download yet another app is enough to make us revert to traditional methods of ordering room service or even put us off ordering altogether. The industry has been telling us it’s time for

an alternative and we are proud to do this in the form of Mi-Room. Powered by Wi-Q tech- nology, Mi-Room is the first fully scalable cloud-based ordering and payment solution

developed to make guest room services more accessible and profitable. Just like Wi-Q, the software is simply accessed via any internet- enabled device, instantly taking the user to whichever services you want them to access. With more hotels seizing the opportunities of ancillary revenues, whether that’s through in-room food and beverages, spa treatments, excursions or airport transfers, cloud-based mobile ordering provides an ideal platform to upsell a full range of services around the clock. We know that the average hotel guest connects to Wi-Fi within seven minutes of checking in – why wouldn’t you want to engage with them the moment they walk through the door? Cloud-based mobile ordering is an exciting prospect for the hotel sector, not least for its low-risk, low-cost attributes. Investing in technology does not have to mean huge capital expenditure with weeks of development each time you want to make an update or a need to re-evaluate internal resources – you can now have a cloud-based solution that can deliver unlimited functionality with little or no cap-ex and full integration capability. Hotels have already taken the biggest step by investing in a quality Wi-Fi network – and this network can now provide a platform for an increasing and evolving range of services as both guest technologies and property management systems make the inevitable move to the cloud.

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