When you hear the term ‘upscale’ or ‘luxury travel’ what comes to mind?
At the Skift Global Forum in September, hospitality leaders from around the globe found themselves asking the question: How can upscale hotels redefine luxury and rise to the expectations of elite guests? After all, as the industry becomes increasingly more saturated and competitive, hoteliers will have to find new ways to interject ‘luxury’ touches, both big and small, across guest touch-points. In many cases, the focus might not be on grand gestures and amenities, but rather, thoughtful upgrades and exclusive perks for discerning travelers.
In today’s day and age, the possibilities are seemingly limitless. In what could be considered a perpetual process of evolution, the hospitality industry is continuously reinventing its promise of guest service. Across every touch-point, hotels have the opportunity to connect with and ‘wow’ guests, both new and returning. Guests are more demanding and expect all the comforts of home in tandem with the thrill of share-worthy, memorable moments. For most travelers, what differentiates a luxury or upscale travel experience may be less about the property itself (exquisite finishes, sprawling landscapes, and Egyptian cotton sheets), and more about the ways in which the hotel goes above and beyond to elevate and personalize their stay.
This realization has hoteliers around the globe reconsidering some elements of the luxury travel experience, particularly how they deliver in-room beverage service. Upscale hotels are mixing it up entirely, by redefining what luxury, in-room beverage service should look like moving forward. Luxury hotels are now steering away from the once-briefly-popular mini-bar in favor of more profitable and unique opportunities to transform the in-room experience with specialized beverage programs and amenities. From New York to San Francisco, Miami and beyond, hotels are now investing in everything from in-room cocktail programs to high-end, by the glass wine appliances like Plum. Catering to the refined jet-setters, business travelers and those seeking an authentic local experience, this new trend represents a memorable, convenient, and more importantly, personalized approach to in-room drink service.
As we consider the hands-off nature of its implementation, in-room wine represents an especially compelling luxury amenity. While mini-bars and manual room service cocktail programs place a significant operational burden on the hotel, an in-room wine appliance allows for effortlessly monitored self-service. The elegant device identifies, chills, and preserves any two bottles of wine at a time for on-demand, opulent, in-room beverage service. This virtualization of an amenity helps to reduce costly labor and service delays, while automatically tracking and billing for consumption. This marriage of self-service technology with high-touch service is especially crucial for luxury hotels as they look to heighten and scale their service model while offloading operational pressure. Processes that were once monotonous and time-consuming (or subject to user error) are now automated, which frees up staff to focus their attention where it matters most – the guest. From self-service kiosks and mobile check-in to 24/7 app-based concierge, and now, in-room wine, hotels are effectively transforming the modern blend of high-touch and high-tech service.
In a recent Hotel News Now article, titled Hoteliers think outside the bar for in-room drinks, the Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley explained that from a guest perspective, Plum is elevating the wine drinking experience for guests who want to enjoy a glass from their room. From an operational perspective, Plum software seamlessly incorporates with their existing systems.
In an era where personalization and seamless convenience is paramount, leveraging the latest technology to reimagine in-room F&B programs is on the rise. Not only does on-demand beverage technology treat guests to an enhanced convenience that they have complete control over, but it ensures they spend more time and money on the property rather than elsewhere. After all, the prospect of enjoying a city or ocean view suite with all the finishes, and a glass of red wine in hand sounds pretty appealing, don’t you think?
Adam Hoydysh is Vice President of Hotel Sales for Plum. He has more than 20 years of B2B technology and hospitality sales and management experience at F5000 corporations and start-ups. Prior to joining Plum, Adam was Director of Sales for Juniper Networks, driving sales and sales training efforts for Juniper’s advanced technology portfolio of security products. Previous to its acquisition by Juniper Networks for $80 million in 2012, Adam was Director of Sales for Mykonos Software, the leading provider of intrusion deception security for Layer 7. Mykonos was the winner of Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Information Security. Adam started his career in hospitality at Vail Resorts, the premier mountain resort company and leader in luxury travel.
Plum reimagines every aspect of the wine by the glass experience. The world’s first appliance that can serve a glass of wine just as the winemaker intended, Plum allows hoteliers to satisfy the moments that inspire guests to enjoy a glass of wine in the hotel’s room product. Plum delivers an unforgettable experience – and profits – in extraordinary style, one glass at a time. To learn more visit www.plum.wine