Drive Non-Room Revenue with Digital Guest Experience

Director of Marketing at Silver Reef Casino Resort Eric Larsen, Senior Vice President of Sales at INTELITY Ben Keller and Tribal Gaming & Hospitality’s Chris Faria.

Today’s hotel guests are looking for more than just a place to sleep. They are craving a complete, immersive experience that enhances their stay at your property. Investing in a digital guest experience is the best way to achieve this customized experience, while also driving additional revenue to your property.

Drive Non-Room Revenue with Digital Guest Experience Chris Faria Good morning. My name is Christopher Rea. Welcome to INTELITY’s Drive Non-Room Revenue with Digital Guest Experience presented by Tribal Gaming & Hospitality Magazine. So in today’s discussion, we are going to focus on how hoteliers can drive non- room revenue with the digital guest experience. So first, let me introduce our two speakers. I have Eric Larson, director of Marketing, Silver Reef Casino and Benjamin Keller, Senior Vice President, Sales and General Manager of Customer Relations at INTELITY. Hey guys, welcome to the program. Eric Larsen Good morning. Benjamin Keller Good morning. Thanks for having us. Chris Faria Of course. All right, let’s start off with Eric. You have over 28 years in the hospitality industry with 21 of those being in tribal gaming. Tell me what makes you so passionate about integrating technology and most of all, what would you like folks to leave with today? Eric Larsen Well, I think as we have all seen in the world, everything starts to become more digital. Guests are becoming more used to having an object in their hand. Things are becoming paperless. And so for the past 10 years have been looking at digital solutions. For issues that we face. At this property that I’m currently at and then my previous property and. So I think with this webinar when I was asked to speak, it’s being able to see the speed at which you can move in the digital world as opposed to traditional, you know, old, like compendium type things that we did in. The hotel space and getting people out of your hotel and experiencing other amenities that are offered. Chris Faria Ben, you have over 15 years of hospitality technology experience. I’ll ask you the same question. What makes you so passionate and what would you like folks to take away today? Benjamin Keller Yeah, great. Thank you. Now for me I spent about 10 years in the traditional casino space. About seven years ago, there was this company called INTELITY. And they have this idea as related to, you know, things like, you know, mobile technology and things like in room, tablets and and notice, you know, there’s a need right for, you know, whether you’re 15 rooms or whether you’re a 200 room casino in Washington. There’s a need for this and. How do we? Best you know, really deliver and configure. Smart technology to ensure it meets the needs of various hotel teams across the country. Chris Faria So our talk today we are covering 4 different areas. One is the digital guest experience explaining really what that is driving non room revenue, business analytics and what the future looks like. And we asked several of you ahead of time some questions and we know that you’re on here because you really want to drive more revenue. So both Eric and Benjamin will answer those questions for you and we’ll cover that as much as possible. But let’s start off with the first question, Benjamin. Since you work closely with hotels like Silver Reef Casino and Resort on their digital experience with their guests. Tell us what exactly a digital guest experience is and why it’s an important solution to offer to today’s hotel guests. Speaker 4 Yeah, great, great, great question, I. Benjamin Keller I think you know, really, when it comes to a digital experience, I. Speaker The hotel is 1. Benjamin Keller You know, I’m sure everyone on this call knows, right. And Eric, implementing some of this as well. You know everything from cashless gaming to, you know being able to you know have a Players Club and card in on your phone. So for us it’s really, you know, it starts from everything from the checking in the hotel to the interim experience to the experience on the casino floor. It’s really al of that combined into one and I think casino hotels in particular have a pretty unique position in being able to offer this to whether you’re staying in the hotel or just playing at the casino. So again for us. And then tell you for us around the world, it’s not about, you know, hey, you have to really implement this to all your guests. No, just have it there to allow guests if they want that, that digital experience to have them opt into it versus, you know, forcing it. You know, when they stay at the hotel or the casino. Chris Faria And Eric, tell us about what technology you have at your property specifically to this. Webinar and what was the point of inspiration that led you to seek out a digital guest experience and what challenges were you looking to solve? Speaker 4 Before that. Benjamin Keller Eric, just give a quick background. I know you guys are pretty uniquely positioned where you’re at, you know just. Give us a little background about. That may help kind of contextualize. Speaker Well and. Eric Larsen I’m going to give. A little bit further background, so about, as Ben said, 7-10 years ago, I’ve, I’ve known Ben a long time in the gaming space and when he transitioned to this company, he kind of approached and said, hey, you know, I’m with this new company we’re going. Digital, one of the issues in the hotel space has always. Been, you know, a companion, you know? It’s hey, let’s get the competition. Put the paper in there. It’s the paper up to date. Did the guests fill? Did they? Did they draw on it? And so to me, that’s always been an issue of what’s in the Compendium, what’s not the Compendium. Who’s taking ownership of that? And so when this digital product that Ben came out. With, you know, the tablets in the rooms. It really solves that because you know competition is great, but it’s only as good as the information in there. And the flow. Of it is what you’ve printed and then lives in there, where with the tablets we’re able to message out to all of our guests in a real time. Speaker He’s like some people. Eric Larsen If you’ve got a drawing, if we’ve got. Open spaces in. The spa and want to run a spa spa. So to me, as an operator, it really fits what we want to do in terms of getting guests out of their hotel rooms because it gives us that ability in real time to reach them. I don’t have to wait for EDS to go into their room and swap a piece of paper or set something down and as well as you know. Kind of the whole post COVID world. You see people, you know, not wanting to have a lot of paper in their rooms and that. Sort of thing. And so being able to reach guests digitally, and especially with a form factor they’re comfortable with. You know, everybody’s used to having a tablet or. A phone in. Their hand, those sorts of things really kind of solves a lot of problems for us. You know and. It just comes down to that communication with the guest. Benjamin Keller And I would, I would say, you know. You know, just for. Everyone’s information on the call and when I approached. Eric, seven years ago about, you know. Digital and you know things like mobile. Key and up selling during the check in process. This, and you know, being able to, you know, generate more revenue. I remember Eric looking at me seven years ago and saying, aren’t you a little ahead of your times? I mean this is, you know, Hilton hadn’t even announced things like mobile key and, you know, Boy app hadn’t come out yet. And one of Eric’s concerns is, hey, my guess you. Know they’re they’re older, they’re you. Know they’re it’s not. You know, these people that are 20 – 122 years old. And I think, you know kind of talking through Eric and then having it kind of come to. Fruition was interesting and I know you’re when friend of Washington, right? You’re not, you know, a a City Hotel in Seattle or New York City or Miami, right? So just if you could elaborate a little bit. On you know. Yes, the cost savings of it, but what’s the adoption been like when it comes to you know? Things like, you know the the. App the tablet, all that. Eric Larsen As Ben points out, you know we’re on the local reservation. We’re 10 miles from the Canadian border of Vancouver. BC is closer to us than Seattle, WA. And so the adoption of the tablets has been you just see a. Line that goes straight up from the time we put it in. You get the monthly reports of people using it. What they’re clicking on so you can see what’s. Effective. What’s not? Guests love it. We’ve even had guests leave with the tablets that they then get off property and realize, oops, this doesn’t work. Oh, I accidentally put this in my luggage, but yeah. Guests are not afraid to interact with it when they check in. It’s got their name on it, so it’s very inviting to them and we just see, you know, the time spent on the device and, you know, can see what they’re clicking through, where they’re going and it’s. Guests, you know, as people get older again as cell phones have become such mainstream, especially even during COVID everybody was so digital with everything. The adoption rate is almost 100% for people coming to the rooms. Everybody is pretty much touching the product. Chris Faria Benjamin, can you just, I know you really wanted to concentrate on. And some strategies, but just so everybody’s familiar with. What’s out there right now that that can really help them streamline the guest experience? Can you just go over some suites of products so people, they might not even know what technology is out there right now? Benjamin Keller Yeah, great question. So you know here in totality, we do everything from you know, mobile apps, custom mobile apps to mobile check-in to mobile key ID verification, credit card accepted. Mobile ordering doing it. Being able to. Do digital service requests either on the app or the tablet, and we also have the room tablet as as Eric mentioned, which is you know great, we have some customers that even allow the guests who can fill the. Lights to the. Temperature from the from the tablet, or even place a phone call. So for us, even you know another product that actually came from one of our casino. They said, hey, you guys do a lot. With the guest experience. How do we tie this? Into into the TV. And put a QR code on the TV and. Allow the guests to. Stream or cast directly to the to the. TV in the room to do a lot of. I think one thing that Eric and their team are looking at again kind of keeping that streamlined focus on technology and say you know man. We already have a casino app. We have an app that allows guests to check their points, their comps, their tickets, all that. Speaker 4 Well, how do? Benjamin Keller We streamline the technology to ensure. It’s 1 experience. For the guests and so. We have the ability to take all the hotel. Functionality embed that into the casino app. So there’s that single, single streamlined experience, you know. For for that guest and our biggest. Thing you know. Working with Eric and and other hoteliers out there is how. Do we connect? Right, the guests. Speaker 4 Who all pieces? Benjamin Keller Of our resort and that’s something that is pretty important because the last thing you want to do is say ohh you have this technology for hotel, this one for the parking garage, this one for the casino, this one for FNB. So really being able to put all of that underneath one umbrella has been pretty, pretty successful. Chris Faria Eric, give us some examples of what results you have achieved so far using the technology in the room. And I know that offline we talked about delivering food, which you’re not up and running yet for that yet, but. Talk about how. You’re using it, and really the true results that you’re getting. Eric Larsen We were doing room service out of it before COVID. We’re like everybody else in the hospitality industry working to try and get the staffing back. But we have a large number of amenities that we offer. We’ve got an off-site golf course, we’ve got a spa, we’ve got multiple restaurants. And So what we look to do like with our SPA, if we have some open appointments, let’s say on a Saturday, we run a spa special that pops up on the screen that says, you know, calm down now limited availability if you mentioned this, you get 20% off your. Service, that sort of thing. As a way to drive people out. Also, you know we’re a casino and so our goal is to get people to the casino floor. And so putting when our promotions are happening when drawing times are happening, getting people out. We opened a sports book this year, so making sure that we’ve got what our availability. Is to wager on games like the crack, and we’re in the playoffs. And so they were doing great. So making sure that people knew when the puck dropped, if they want to get their wagers in beforehand. So we really use it to help push those sorts of things with. Uh, you know with when we post something like that, we’ll typically find out. We run it for about half an hour because then it fills. If you know our cafe food special, we’ll pump that and we really see people utilizing that to make their decisions of what to do and where to go. Benjamin Keller Yeah. And and now we. Just kind of figure like off what Eric said. You know, when you think about streamlining technology, yeah, there’s really three major buckets that you know, Eric and I have really brainstormed with over the last seven years, 3 buckets. It’s how do we increase. Speaker 4 You know. Benjamin Keller How do we save costs and how do we? Optimize labor, right. And Eric brought up a great point with staffing. I mean, we can’t tell you, you know, during 2021-2022, even end of 2020. Was we don’t have the people to. Service our guests and by kind of allowing some of that to shift. Shut off on technology tends to be pretty successful and I know you know, we’ll get into different ways to streamline revenue. I know Eric and team and so we’ve done a really nice job doing that. Chris Faria Benjamin talk about some of the areas that it really impacts the guest experience as far as ease of use avoiding lines. We were talking about off camera, about hotel check-in and you know, a lot of properties that you still have to go to the desk. More now you could go to a kiosk, but you have a solution for that. That and then also talking about the whole ordering of food and how hard it can be trying to order food now on a TV or scanning a QR code, so a couple of different questions there for you. Benjamin Keller Yeah, I’ll, I’ll. Take the first one and this is something that Eric and I have I’ve worked on and he was. Just referencing who’d you have last weekend? At a big concert, 1000. People or as a comedian, right? Eric Larsen Rob Schneider in. Benjamin Keller Rob Schneider there. And if you think about it, you know. Especially in the casino. Hotel space, but also in, you know, traditional hotels. As well, there’s always those. Peak times of check in. And it’s always, you know that Friday afternoon and evening Saturday for a Saturday concert, right. And, you know, those are the times where the guest experience can really be effective in a negative way. Right, good example. You know, I’ve stayed at Silver Reef, ten times in the last six months. Why on the Saturday night? They know what they know who I am. I’ve been there before. Why not just stand? In the line of 20 people. And so we’ll be able to do. Is, say, listen the people that want to engage with technology allow them that Ave. people that still want to stay in in line allow allow them to stay in. Really we’re able to really configure the platform to say if you’re a known guest, if we know you, you stay with us 10. Speaker 4 Times in the. Benjamin Keller Last six months allow that. Just to have that seamless experience. So for us being able to, we always say technology is great, the technology can’t. Eric Larsen Move you. It’s really. Benjamin Keller Not that great. Meaning, can it move you from the parking? Through the front desk to your room. And then what? Eric always talks about is once it gets to the room, I want them at the concert. I want them at. The casino. So for us, you. Know being able to you know. Fill that need in those critical times. Not only helps with the guest experience, but also helps them get helps. The guests get to where they want to go. And then your second second question, remembering now is, you know, just just the experience, right? We’ll talk about, you know, the ways that Eric and team have have, you know, actually generated more incremental revenue. But just again, that guest experience Eric always says. That you know. The because the casino is the focus. The hotel is an amenity right the job of the hotel is to make sure. Speaker That they have a. Benjamin Keller Comfortable place to stay while they’re doing other things. So you know, one thing that we always talk about and you may hear, you know, I’ve stayed at a property last week where I wanted to place a. And typically right, you call that on the front desk call down to in room dining, you say? I’d like to have the hamburger with no cheese and the French fries. OK, it’s great. But what Eric’s team have done when they had in room dining is they put it all in the tablet. So now there’s pictures of what you’re offering, there’s the ability to click the cart very similar to Amazon, right? Amazon got now right click it to cart add. The cart and then what’s going to be unique talking about incremental revenue. Because now we saw you ordered the hamburger. Hey, would you like to have that? Cheesecake for dessert as well. So being able to upsell them. Automatically without me. How many times you called? Down for in room dining and. Very rarely, they say, oh, I saw you. Ordered the cheeseburger would like to have the. Speaker 4 The cheesecake as. Benjamin Keller Well, no, right. Speaker 4 So just the ability to have. Benjamin Keller It be more seamless and. You know, I remember the wave of technology over the last 17 years, right? It went from calling down to the in room dining to the TV. So now you’re forcing the guest to click up arrow, left arrow, down arrow. Well, a little bit more cumbersome versus say we’re all used to doing it right on our phone. We’re all used to doing it on a tablet. And making that experience a lot more seamless while capturing the incremental upsell revenue. Chris Faria Are there any other areas, Benjamin, that we haven’t talked about because I know Eric doesn’t have your full suite yet, but you work with hoteliers all over the world, what other ways can hotels capitalize on driving non room revenue? Benjamin Keller Yeah, I think you know Eric and team are starting to roll some of this stuff out and seeing some of these results think about, you know, when the last time I stayed at a hotel, went to the front desk, it was a transaction and you gave me your credit card. You gave me their ID. Speaker How many times? How? Benjamin Keller Does the front desk staff and I have to be to say, and by the way. I say have a king room for. 2999 would. Speaker 4 You like to upgrade to the. Benjamin Keller They’re not salespeople, right? There to ensure the guest has a great check-in experience. Answer any questions about the resort. Very rarely do they have the ability and do they want to? Say, I know this person’s busy. Not too friendly today, I just want to get their keys and get them off and going. So what we’re able to do through that check in process automatically is do things like room upgrades. It’s 5:00 o’clock in Friday night. We have 90% of people. Then we have 10 suites. Hey, let’s trigger something in the background that automatically sets that offer to them during the check in process. So I’m just saying, oh wow, I see it’s only 2090. 9 and I. Get additional room and I get a better view. That’s a great way to capture the incremental revenue through the checking process, something else that Eric’s done as well. Is that say Hey, that’s we’ve captured the room upgrade, but maybe I don’t want the room upgrade. Maybe I’m fine with my single, you know, King room. Speaker Well, hey. Benjamin Keller Would you like to have a bottle of champagne waiting for you, when you check in? Would you like to have a fruit plate? With some Chardonnay. What, whatever that may be, so really kind of. Capturing not only the room upgrade revenue, but also those other right amenities that or products you can offer them at the time of check in. Chris Faria Now everything is data-driven now and we look to the data to make these decisions. So talk about the business analytics that INTELITY can provide and Eric talk about some of the analytics that you’re getting that you wouldn’t be getting if you were. If you didn’t have this in your hotel rooms. Eric Larsen No, that’s a great piece. Every month we get. The report from INTELITY to see what people are clicking, what they’re looking at, where if you have a traditional competitor in the hotel, you don’t see that. You don’t know what they’re looking at. So I know that guests are clicking on my promotions. I know that the day of the promotion, I get more clicks on those. Then off days because we’re branding it like, make sure to be down on the floor by 7:00 o’clock we know what restaurants they’re looking at, what food specials they’re looking at kind of like with Rob Schneider we did. A pop up event. For our food and beverage, where we did a Mexican restaurant as a pop up in a space and we see the data just shows, wow, people really flock to what our food and beverage offerings are. So we use that to make sure that we’re staying kind of on top of the menu as well as looking at the data when we say, hey. Like I said before, we’ve got spa openings that sort of. But it gives us kind of a view as to what the guests, what’s important to the guest and when it’s important. So if we know if it’s a non dry night that we should probably focus more on our food and beverage. Often it’s if it’s a dry night, we want to make sure that everybody knows what’s happening with the golf course. If we’re running this special, if we’ve got the shuttle up and running. Then you know putting that out there for guests. And so the reports that you get really do a good job of giving you an overall view and then you can hone down to see kind of on a macro level of what the guests are looking at and help us adjust our marketing efforts that way. Benjamin Keller Yeah, yeah, I would. I would add on, you know when Eric and team were doing the, the FNB you know. Through the tablet to the mobile app, it was interesting to see. Hey, before we had this technology, what was our FMB revenue on a monthly basis in room? Now, once you implement the tablets right? What’s that? What’s that incremental look? Like and I think that that’s a very easy use case to say “Ohh wow, this is essentially paying for itself.” In only one of the technologies that we actually offer, so that’s another way that we see, you know, exactly what’s ROI. What’s CRI you know and yes, it’s revenue. Yes, it’s saving cost, but if I have to take this and say this is what it costs, this is what we’re getting. That’s one of the easiest ways to do that through the FMB ordering. Chris Faria So you mentioned up-selling rooms. So what’s the analytics on that? Benjamin Keller Yeah, it’s very similar to, you know, to what Eric was referencing on the promotions click through rates, impressions, right. We can see exactly right how many room upgrades are taken advantage of and what revenues associated to that on the app selling as well for the items. Hey, we can see exactly right what was the most popular item that somebody ordered during the check in? Speaker 4 Process what was the least popular? Benjamin Keller You know, on the SFB side, you know we carry, you know, a shrimp cocktail. We can see it at the month we have one person order the shrimp cocktail. Why are we carrying that anymore? Like eliminate that from the system. Obviously more food cost. Hey, just keep the burger and fries late. That’s it. So for us. Everything they do within and tell the day you can track and analyze. Now we don’t go down to the individual person. There’s obviously a lot of PCI GDPR. That’s the requirements that we want to make sure that we’re following. But definitely you can get that, that macro view of exactly. Who’s doing what without actually knowing. Hey, that was Eric Larson, that. He’s the one that placed the order for the champagne on. Speaker 4 We we try to stay. Benjamin Keller A little bit higher than that. Chris Faria Eric, we’re talking about, yeah, your concerts that are coming up in there, you know, from folks who were four, maybe in the late 60s. Anyway, was there ever an issue or concern about people adapting technology? Being older, does age make a difference in this technology these days? Eric Larsen I would say 5-7 years ago there was a little bit of that age gap, but I mean everybody you know has their phone. My parents, who are you know, late 70s. Have an Apple iPhone and so the technology of the piece. And the ease of it? It’s very intuitive, so it’s not very off putting for people using it and people are so used to smartphones now you know to like Ben’s point about ordering. It’s I’ve got at least 10 different restaurant apps on my phone. I don’t call the place an order anymore. I go to the app. You know and say these are the items I want, OK, it’s gonna be ready this time. And so. And I think when the guest checks in and sees their name, they walk up to the room and. Ohh, welcome Benjamin. It kind of draws them to it in an organic fashion, so it’s not being pushed down their throat that you have to use it. Oh, it’s got my name on it. So I’ll pick it up and touch it and see, you know, look and feel and and, you know, and guess like that. And especially like I said, being so close to the Canadian border, you know, they’ve got a different, you know, they’re a little more technologically advanced in terms of my local market. But even our local market, you know, they’re not afraid to pick it up. And we see that, you know, kind. Of as Ben. Say we don’t get, you know, to the very micro level on. Which guest? Which room? But we just keep seeing the usage numbers go. Up and up and up. And especially, you know with 206 hotel rooms, we get a pretty good data set of, you know, who’s using it, who’s touching it and what they’re looking at. And it’s we don’t see a drop off and kind of being a casinos or a lot of our guests are older in age in terms of VIP’s that we’re putting in there, but they like it. Just as well, and it again is a great medium for us to get different messaging across. Benjamin Keller And I would just add to that, you know we I was talking about technology and you know what happens. If somebody has a flip phone. That’s OK, right? Still go to the front desk, still check in as you would right still. Call down right for in room dining. That’s OK, right? We’re not saying this is the end all be all, although some other industries have done that. Right, I went to a concert recently. I had to download the app or have my ticket to get in the concert. I if you go to an NFL game majority stadiums that. You have to have the. Yeah, so. We’re not necessarily. Saying or you have to have technology at my casino at my hotel, but we’re allowing guests to opt in by themselves and we have always seen when you force technology on the humor a lot more pushback when you allow them to opt in. Get a lot more acceptance of that technology. So I thought that was interesting where you know the whole you have to have the ticket on your phone. I mean that’s real, that’s real. That’s happening today and they kind of piggybacking off kind of the technology in older age. Believe it or not, we watched about a year ago at a nursing home. I mean a nursing home and that’s no joke. And they said, hey, what’s the use case? I mean, we’re not in the nursing home business. We’re not in the senior living space, right. So what’s the use case to go? Our guests, they just want from the tablet to be able to see what’s happening tonight. But activities that are there versus having to have somebody come by right every single night and slip something underneath the door. So for us, the age that consumer right has always been the push back to Eric’s point. Probably 7-8 years ago and we’re starting to see that less and less, you know. The iPhone was released in 2007, 2008 or so 15 years ago. If you were fifty at the time they released the iPhone, you’re now 65, right? So it’s really, I think, becoming less. And less, but at the same. Time you want to go use the traditional methods of checking in traditional methods of, you know, putting cash in the machine. Go for it. Eric Larsen Well, I think to piggyback off that, sorry, Christine, guests are just so used to being served digital ads and seeing stuff digitally. I’m sure everybody on this is in the digital space just because that’s the evolvement of the world that we’re and so it is seamless for us to serve an ad to guest through the tablet and they don’t even think anything about it. And so what we’re trying to promote trying to get the guests out of their rooms to come down and see, you know, it’s just secondary for them, they don’t take. It it’s like. Oh, I’m being. You know spammed or that sort of thing. Here’s the ad. Oh, this is what’s going on. This is the food special, you know? And so it’s just very commonplace these days. Benjamin Keller Yeah, and that would add, you know, Christine, you. Know Eric at Silver Reef, we didn’t tell him, we’re not driving the consumer stand. We’re not the Amazons of the world. They’re driving how people act as relates to technology. The Hiltons of the world, the merits of the world through their bond boy Hiltonia. They’re driving the consumer standard. All we’re doing is filling it right back to say, hey, when they come to Silver Reef, right, they’re going to get a similar experience. So they would have. Chris Faria So that’s a good point. So let’s talk about what the future holds, because these larger hotel brands are driving that technology, what is in the future? I mean, you do have folks on this webinar today that. Do not utilize this technology. They don’t have. He check in with their phones so we have folks in that group and we have folks who do have some technology. What is next? What is it? The next cool thing that you think all casino resort should have? Benjamin Keller Yeah, I’ll take one step back. You know, as far as casino resorts, I was in a meeting last week in a very rural town in the central United States. And there’s about 10 people in the room. There was a lady there, older in age. And she kind of. Asked some challenging questions. But you know, hey, you know, people are too old and then she goes wait. Now that I think about it. My daughter just bought a truck. So how old is your daughter? She’s in her 60s, OK? And I said, what’s the story? Here, she’s a little. They said no more. Speaker 4 Car keys or? Benjamin Keller Fonts said what do you mean? How do you? Open up your door. How do you set your car? And we started by our phone. And she said she’s flabbergasted. She’s telling me my phone died. I can’t even get into my car. I can’t start car and you start thinking, you know what the bigger players are doing. They’re just going to keep trickling down to right, to hotels, to casinos, to vendors, to operators like Eric. So let’s talk about what’s there in the future. Obviously, none of us can predict the future, but I’d be hard pressed to find or to feel that. You know, in the next five years, six years and this is gonna be the norm. I mean, I’ll go as far. Off to say I start. In on some different like conferences. And then why you and whatnot? And there was some statements made where hey, the only way to open your door in 5-6 years, it’s gonna be your phone the only way to start your car for newer cars, right is going to be by your phone, right? The only way and Eric knows the casino industry better. And hey, maybe the only way to put cash in the machine is to do it by cashless gaming right from your phone, so. I think you know we’re in that. Let’s say out of a nine inning. All game I think right now we’re in. That inning 4 or. Five, when it comes to what it’s going to potentially be when Eric, when Eric and I first started talking. Seven years ago, we’re probably adding one right this. Mobile thing I’m not. Sure, right. But now I think we’re kind of approaching that. Any 545 to. Where you know it’s gonna be all based upon your phone. Eric Larsen Yeah. And to. Kind of piggyback off that from our side, it’s creating that seamless guest experience. You don’t want them having to go to different apps or to click different things on their phone. You want everything to be seamless, you know? So I can register or sign up for a tea time at the golf course. I can sign up for the SPA. I can make a reservation. At our steakhouse. All that sort of thing. You want a seamless experience for the guests on their phone. You know, there’s a lot of talk about cashless gaming in Washington. We’re always a little behind the curve with that, but it will be coming. So I think everything that we look at is trying to combine all those experiences like the mobile keyless check-in, it’s. We’re going to be rolling that out to our VIP players as a benefit for them. If you’re a good guest here at the property, we’re going to enroll you into that. It’s kind of a perk so that you have to skip the line because these are already there are known guests to us. And so it’s just looking to make it seamless, making it easier on our guests are definitely kind of the way of the future and what we’re looking at and kind of seeing the market shift towards. Chris Faria Benjamin, let’s talk about some of the resistance to going to this technology more about the cost, I mean there it is a big investment to do that. So even if you do a mobile keyless check in, there’s hardware changes there. But you gave me an example about in room food service and we’ve touched upon that, but the cost of having INTELITY in the room with in room for food service compared to not having it, you had some data you were sharing how it really paid for itself. Benjamin Keller Yeah, kind of hit on that a little. Bit earlier, you know we always say and. We see right historically again it can. It doesn’t really. Vary between, you know, 100 rooms to you. Know 1000. Rooms we see. By putting a tablet in a room, you’re going to have incremental and monthly revenue anywhere from 40 to somewhere, probably 60% incremental because again, there’s pictures. You can click the card, all the things I mentioned previously so you know there’s always a cost. There’s always a cost of doing business it’s, you know, how do we not just say, Oh yeah, there’s an ROI? But how do we actually prove it right throughout the time with INTELITY? And that’s something that, you know, we work closely with all of our properties to say you’ve invested in in totality, right? Have you recovered that cost right? Are you making more? And for us that’s something. That we take pretty seriously. The team of people that just focus on our post deployment team and say. Here we notice. That you know your click through rates on the promotion was a little low this month or this week? Is everything OK? Oh yeah, you know XY and Z or whatnot. So there’s always ways to look at the data and then chop it up and making sure that you know what INTELITY is providing that you not only you know the guests are seeing value but the property the hotel is. Seeing value as well. Chris Faria And Eric, when you first started working with INTELITY, you had to go to your tribal council and say, hey, I want to make this investment. What have you been able to show to the Tribal Council as far as results? Eric Larsen Well, I think for us, you know the first thing in going and presenting the product, it’s there’s no more printing costs. There’s no more compendium costs. So there’s those hard savings that you get right out of the gate that help mitigate any cost and then you know, if the Council or whoever you’re reporting to kind of looks at that and box and says, well, you know what else is there? Then you start to get into kind of what Ben’s you know, been talking about what we’re talking about here is driving. People out of the rooms being able to communicate effectively, that’s what it all really comes down to is how can we communicate effectively and timely? And so back when we were doing rooms, so we could show the uptick in sales of what is happening. You know the hotel, as Ben said, you know it’s we are a very busy property. We have a lot of guests here from US and Canada. And so we show what kind of is being clicked and what guests are here for and tie it with guest counts on the floor. Sorts of things. And just from the analytic side, it shows the value of the. Product kind of like with the keyless, we know that our VIP’s are going to love that. You know they’re not going to have to 4:00 o’clock be in the check in line, they’re going to be able to just walk straight up to their room, get the message on their phone and away they go. And so you get some of that non tangible, but then we know you make a VIP guest happy, they’re going to be back on the property, they’re going to be down on the floor. Bigger gamble, those sorts of things. So it’s, you know, you do see that actualized hard cost savings from not having to print. You know you’ve got labor savings, all sorts of stuff that you can quantify that way. But then once you get it up and rolling, you can start to show. Here’s some of the other metrics that prove why it’s such a great product. Benjamin Keller Yeah, and now I would just say, Chris. You know, probably. Virtual here so we can take a raise of hands. And how many people are like QR code out like I am? So QR code out now. I was up the win and they had a QR code to place my order right. Or I’m just so. QR code out. And so for us, you know, we have some properties that say, hey, the tablets are great, but I can accomplish the same thing without paying for the hardware cost. The QR camera. OK. And so similar properties they do? That and then they realized quickly that wait a second here. You know that’s just another barrier. It’s another day of entry. That guess is scanning QR code that has. To load that to figure out what that UI looks like for that QR code to place their order or XY and Z. So for us, we see a lot of. Properties moving away from QR codes, especially in room, right versus having the in room tablet to explain you have your. Name on there there’s a welcome. Video that’s you know that plays give you a message from the the GM or from you know, whomever. So definitely a lot of people saying short coats are great. Yes, the you know, the pandemic happened. The QR codes, you know, you go to the the gas station is the QR code, right? So for us. It’s really taking all that feedback that we. Get across all. Of our products across the world and. Saying, hey, what do we need to be doing better? In the future, to ensure that you know. Guests are still engaging. Eric Larsen Like to Ben, to piggyback on that, it just cleans the look of the. You know, you don’t have to plaster it with either Flyers or stickers to scan this and that. You know it. It makes it very minimalistic. I know when you go and you check into a hotel room balls and you see all this paper and look at this. Look at that. It kind of can be overwhelming or a little off putting where by having it all you know on the tablet it makes it really clean. So this is another. Chris Faria And you know, there’s a lot of pressure when folks go to sign up at a players club to talk about what’s happening that week, that day. How do you utilize? And the pad Eric to communicate all that. Eric Larsen No, exactly. What you’re saying is you’re relying. On a human. Being individual to make sure they’re conveying all that and. We all make mistakes, but with the you know, tablets in the room, there’s scheduling software. So we schedule based off of what is happening. So just like any calendar function that you’re running, you know digital signage, that sort of thing, it works just. The same way. So you kind of set it and forget. It you don’t have to worry about. Somebody conveying that message at check in you know, and there’s 30 people behind get, you know, and they’re feeling rushed. You know that once the guest gets to the room, you know, and it’s will be on the tablet for them to see. So it’s kind of a fail safe way to make sure that your messaging is reaching the guests. Chris Faria And Eric, we touched upon this a little bit, but as we’re getting to the end of this webinar, what are some of the technology issues that keep you up at night that you know that will be solved pretty quickly in the next maybe two to five years for you? Eric Larsen Well, I think our, you know the technology issue and people are always like oh, it’s a tablet, how does it connect with the Wi-Fi with the Wi-Fi goes down, it’s always a little bit of an issue, but you know it it’s been completely solid. We haven’t had any issues. With that, the technology piece will be for us is the integration of everything together. You know our property, POS system, our golf course, all that just making sure that everything can work and until he’s a great partner with that, you know Ben and I have had many conversations about. How we integrate everything? Because it’s again, we don’t want to overwhelm the guests. We don’t want them to look here for the hotel reservation. But I have to go there for a golf course reservation and then I have to go there for a SPA reserve. So just the integration of everything and making sure everyone kind of plays well together though that’s the biggest concern that we have. Benjamin Keller Yeah, I would. Also, say you know Eric brought up a great point, I mean integration, right, you know integration is it’s. A blessing because it’s more seamless. For the staff right place on mobile FB order. It goes directly at the point. Of sale right when I check in the property management system. Immediately provisions a tablet with my name or the guest. Name on it and it’s also a curse because it takes work, right? It takes some initial work to ensure that everything is set up properly and that probably. Systems communicating and. It takes some initial. And that’s really the hardest. Part, and I don’t care if it’s, you know, INTELITY, any technology you have, it’s the upfront integration work. That we really try to make sure that we execute on because. And you can get off on a really good start or a really poor start right? Depending upon you know how much and a lot of times, you know, we deal with so many different PMS systems and lot companies and and and point of sale and SPA and ticketing solutions where for us you know we’re a lot of times we’re the ones wrangling other providers as well just say. And by the way, right? We need this over here. So it’s it’s. And you know again, it’s not all sunshine and roses, right? But definitely the. Really try to make sure. That the technical piece of it right is. Solidified before rolling out. Speaker To the US. Eric Larsen You know, so. Chris Faria We promised these folks that they would get some ideas how to drive more non gaming revenue. So we talked about up selling rooms, room upgrades. It makes it so much easier to do it up selling food. It’s very easy to use in the hotel room. There’s labor savings, there’s ease to book, other amenities. Within the property and then also getting folks involved and getting down to the gaming floor for whatever is going on before we wrap this up, Eric can let’s just summarize. Everything we could do to drive more revenue using this technology, did we miss anything? Eric Larsen I think you hit on a lot of it, driving the revenue really comes down to the property and your vision and kind of do you have a plan and are you going to be reactionary or are you going to be thinking ahead and saying, OK, here’s my events counter, you know, my marketing team we have. Weekly meetings and part of it is OK what will be happening on the tablet this week next month so that we’re ahead of the curve? Making sure we’ve partnered with Food and Beverage so that we can get pictures of what the food specialist because we all eat with our eyes. So if we can show what that is, making sure we’ve got up-to-date golf course pictures, our pro shop, our gift shop, just so that we’re staying aware and staying up to date on all the amenities that we have to. Offer, I think. From an operator side, it’s looking at what challenges are you looking to solve or what do you kind of want to push to drive and you know. Then you get the metrics and show OK well, I put a picture of our gift shop, you know? Did that really anybody click on that? Well, they didn’t. Well, what if I add 20% off at the gift shop? If you, you know, have your players card or what have you and then you see, oh, OK, that got more clicks. So it’s just being able to make sure that your messaging matches and that. You’ve kind of. Thought about it and plant it out. If you’re just gonna use it to ohh you know, here’s the weather. Here’s the property map of everything where it’s at, then you know it works fine for that, but to drive that revenue, you really kind of want to have that plan and strategy. Benjamin Keller Yeah, and and how would I think, listen, you hit a majority of the points and one of the points that Eric mentioned. You know, either from the. Room tablet side or on the mobile key side is the hard cost. I mean, you know, hey, we’re not paying the Compendium anymore. We’re not doing the in room dining menu the little door hanger if. You have that on. That goes away if you have a promotional things you print and put in the room. Those go away, so there’s a lot of those hard costs, I really. I mean without. Even with with 0 income or revenue and 0 cost savings, right, really all I just think pretty quickly another item that we find pretty interesting. Is the cost of a key card. And the cost of heat car can. Vary. Is it RFID? Do you have the? Logo on the back, you know. And wait. If we give everybody. Two key cards on average. And we get about half those back, but we can get about 40 percent, 30%. I don’t pick a percentage of people utilizing mobile key and check in. Then there’s again they’re pretty easy cost savings. You could you can go ahead. And in our life. Chris Faria Yeah, looks like we have a couple questions Brian asked, is your text synced with F&B POS or does it have to be entered manually after? The order comes through. Benjamin Keller Yeah, it’s synced. Directly with the point of sale and you can decide if you want it to actually print the ticket in the kitchen as well. So you hit the point of sale, some can review it and then print it or can go directly to the kitchen and print the slip. Obviously we work with a lot of PMS companies we work out the the symphonies. Of the world, the visual. Ones of the world, the silverware. This the Aloha. So for us a lot of different PMS companies, yeah, directly to the point of sale is the best from the Labor statement. No one has. To you know, we call. Swivel, swivel chair. Get the. Now swivel it, enter it in and maybe there’s an error cause something moving too fast, so directly. To the point of sale. Eric Larsen And when we set it up. It was great. Ben was here and utility was OK how do we want to communicate? And what printers do you wanted to go to and how are they going to see it? So for us, it went directly to the kitchen. They can start to fire. The order also went to our service station was so whoever was on room service saw that come through so very seamless. Chris Faria Yeah, I can’t tell you enough. I stayed at a new resort in Las Vegas and it was all through the TV and I it was late at night and I got so frustrated because I do think that the pad is so much easier to use now and oh, we have another for mobile check in. How do you verify ID? How do you avoid chargebacks with fraud? Benjamin Keller That’s a great question. You know that’s the biggest thing is. How do you how do you? Avoid or limit fraud. We’ve done this a couple of different ways. And I’ll go into the ID Verification. The ID Verification is probably the best way to eliminate fraud? Why is that? Well, we have two different types, we have ID capture where all you are doing is actually capturing the ID, passport, the driver’s license. Where is verification, so hey, you’re. You’re you’re not. You’re not a known guest. Eric’s point. You’re not a. You’re not part of our players club. We don’t know who the heck you are. You booked A1 night. Stay with us. Well, we can say. Hey, let’s create a different workflow for those. Guests that we don’t know. Versus you know, someone, someone that’s a part of the players club that’s. A VIP stay. Stay with us all the time. I don’t want you to scan your. ID I don’t want you to. Do all these additional steps so for those. First time guests and actually have make. The guests verify. OK, it’s a legitimate ID. So drivers license. Passport and what country you’re in, you. Can obviously set those parameters as well. And then, hey, take a picture of yourself. Take a selfie. And we can match with the 97. 98% comments level, OK first and checking in. The picture of the person matches the ID and matches the name on the reservation and that really eliminates almost all, all fraud. Some of our properties say you know what? That’s a lot of process for the for. The for the guests. What happens if they’re in a taxi and they’re things going up and down? They can’t get the picture, right, I don’t want that, but. However, you know we’ve seen. A lot of our fraud happens the same day. Booking same day bookings right for whatever reason, right? Their credit card hasn’t cleared yet, right? Hey, let’s eliminate same day bookings for mobile check in. Make those people that book the morning up come to the front desk. So there’s different ways. To help reduce and eliminate fraud, the ID verification is definitely the the bulletproof 1. Chris Faria All right. Well, we’re just about out of time. Does anybody in the audience have any more questions you can unmute yourself or put in chat? Benjamin Keller I see a question here. Which PMS or with the PMS so you know we we interface directly to the PMS directly to the locks for example directly to the point of sale. Directly to the ticketing systems. We’re almost bespoke in that in that manner. So you know, if you’re having an issue with your PMS, well. Now that affects. Now we have those. Direct communication to those various systems. The PMS comments. Work with. 54045 You name it. Large, small. You know Opera Agilysys in for Muse, Protel Gillis LMS megas. Just stay in touch, Maestro. You name it. So for us, a lot of different PM’s that we work with today. Chris Faria Fuji also asked. Opera on premises. Benjamin Keller Not offer on Prem or. So let me believe the. Base version is like. 5.0 dot O2 or something? So yeah, either. On on cloud or or or Prem. Chris Faria And everybody who is on this webinar today, you’re going to get an e-mail from me with a link to this recorded webinar that you could share with anybody in your team and also information about INTELITY and how to contact them directly to do. If you’d like to do a follow up call, I know the goal of Benjamin was not to have this be a sales demo. It was just to talk about. What’s out there and educate. So, thank you so much, Eric and Benjamin for your time today. And thank you for everybody who is on the call. Benjamin Keller Yeah. And Chris, I would. Just add, you know kind of 1 closing comment like let Eric. Do the same. You know for us, you know, here in INTELITY, you know, it’s not all about, you know, one-size-fits-all, right, we we may we may talk we have a conversation. You know what? Probably not going to get a lot of usage. Probably this is probably not the. Right time, right. Hair locks haven’t been up because it’s a bluetooth or whatnot. So for us don’t take more that. Kind of consultative approach is like. Hey, we do a. Lot some pieces may work for you, some pieces. May not work for. You but having the conversation definitely helps that. Eric Larsen Yeah, I would agree, I. I would not hesitate to contact INTELITY, they’re more like a partner. Then you know, I mean somebody else in the industry really know. See those hard sells? But if you go to them and say here’s kind of the issues and see what solution best fits your property because you know it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. So kind of depending what you want out of it. They will work with you. And partner with you to see if it works or and if it doesn’t, they’ll be honest as well. So yeah, I think it’s a great opportunity to help drive, you know, kind of that out of room revenue through various channels that they offer. Chris Faria All right. Well, thank you everybody for joining us today. Again, you’re going to get an e-mail to link to the recording and to get Benjamins direct. Oh, we have one more. Do you connect and can integrate any PSP for seamless payment flow? Benjamin Keller Yeah, great. Great question. So the answer is yes, you know through that check in process? This you know how do. We actually, you know, we don’t want to be the one capturing right all that all that PCI information, right. So yeah, we. Signed the various payment gateways and payments payment. Processors across the world. So some of the major players. Right. We’ve seen out there shift for merchant link, Freedom Pay, Avalon, MasterCard services. So yeah, absolutely. It’s a definite a key part of it. And you know we let the experts be the experts in that and we just connect to them. And pass it. Or tokenize that information to the PMS. Where it’s ultimately stored. Chris Faria Alright, I think you say yes. Yes, we can do whatever the property needs. I think that’s the answer. Speaker 4 Careful, careful, careful. Because we, we, we, we, we we can’t have that tablet deliver the actual in room food via. Chris Faria I know, I know. Benjamin Keller Little robot hand so. Chris Faria That’s true, but you never know what’s coming up. Eric Larsen Not yet. Chris Faria Alright, folks, thank you so much for joining us and have a great rest. Of your week. Benjamin Keller Thank you. Eric Larsen Take care. Thank you all. Chris Faria Thanks. Thanks everyone.

What is Inside the Industry?

We wanted to create a video series to help educate, grow, and promote the use of technology within hospitality. And who better to discuss these topics with than hoteliers themselves?

Join us, as we bring together industry insiders, influential hoteliers, and some of our customers for a series of discussions on the state of technology in guest experience and hospitality.

Looking for more videos on hospitality technology?

Learn how five-star service should look and feel to a guest, discover what recent service trends have emerged in the hospitality market, and find out how technology can improve hotel’s service standards.

Learn how trendsetting general manager Vaughn Davis uses hospitality technology to augment the guest experience and supply his team with the information they need to provide a seamless, personalized, and truly luxurious experience.