The challenge of how to provide exceptional and cost effective service across an entire resort has been a longstanding problem. Key challenges for the hotel are:
Modern resorts are becoming increasingly larger and larger. The days where guests sat around a simple rectangular pool within easy view of the bar are long gone. Nowadays it is common for guests sitting furthest from the bar to be many hundreds of meters away. This presents hotels with a simple logistical challenge of how to serve guests effectively when they are spread over a wide area, often many acres. It also results in slower order fulfillment as once the waiter has taken the guests order, they must walk some considerable distance to enter the order into the POS system.
- Complex Designs
As well as increasing in scale, resort layouts are considerably more elaborate nowadays. Resort designers appreciate that guests do not want to be “on top” of one another and want as much privacy as possible. This has resulted in complex layouts featuring numerous small “pockets” of loungers allowing guests to feel they are not surrounded by many other people. The downside of this approach is that it has made the job of the waiter far more difficult. It is now even harder for a guest to attract the attention of a waiter.
- Guest Inactivity
For waiters serving in a restaurant, they can approach guests at any time to ask if they require another drink etc. Around the pool or on the beach, guests are often asleep, reading or listening to music -and typically dressed in swimwear! For a waiter to interrupt a guest can be quite intrusive and, unless they wish to place an order at that exact moment, liable to irritate the guest. As a result, waiters tend not to disturb guests. This increases the chance of missing a nearby waiter when the guest does wish to order refreshments.
- Staff Motivation
In order to provide even a barely acceptable level of service, wait staff must patrol the service area continuously and diligently, ensuring no guests are ignored. On many occasions, particularly during low season, they may not encounter any guests wishing to place an order. In this instance, their time spent patrolling has been wasted. Combine this with the hot and sunny conditions and it is not surprising that staff can rapidly become demotivated, prefering to remain in the shade. The opportunities for a guest to receive service are even further reduced.
In terms of the guest experience, they have 3 choices when they want refreshment:
All three choices can result in frustration and dissatisfaction with the service received. Two of the three options also result in lost revenue for the hotel. BarMate offers a fourth option: Press a button!
BarMate is a wireless-based system which allows guests to request service from the comfort of their sun lounger.
Click through the tabs below to understand more about BarMate’s key features:
Capable of serving the most complex resort, including those with multiple bars. Barmate finds the guest at the moment they require assistance.
Delivers the waiter to within 6ft (2m) of the guest. The buttons also have a visual indicator, allowing staff to identify which guest requires service.
Having located the guest, the waiter can capture the order on their BarMate handheld seamlessly integrated with the POS system.
The system determines the location of an active button in real-time, if sun loungers move, or are stacked at night, this has no effect on the system. BarMate locates the guest the moment they press the button.
The system has been designed to be truly wireless. Installation takes only a few days with a bare minimum of disruption to guests.
The system gathers information that assists in running the resort more efficiently and supports decision making (see later slide).
The BarMate system is one of the few technology products that delivers benefits in all of the three key areas; service improvement, revenue growth and efficiency savings.
Allowing guests a more convenient method of ordering refreshments while relaxing in the resort results in significantly increased drinks sales. Existing installations have demonstrated revenue increased of up to 40%. Payback on the investment is typically less than a year.
Knowing that a staff member is only a “touch of a button” away allows guests to feel totally pampered and completely relaxed. With guests often spending many hours a day relaxing in the resort outdoor areas, service improvement in these areas makes a big difference.
Staff work more efficiently as they are able to go direct to guests who need service. The management information BarMate provides allows for better rostering of staff, improved performance management and the ability to close secondary bars during low season without impacting service.
...and the pool service was excellent especially as you only had to press the bell on the parasol.–Hotel Guest on TripAdvisor
A recent innovation are the bell pushes attached to every side table. One push and within moments someone appears to take your order.–Hotel Guest on TripAdvisor
Our waiters are much more efficient and with the integration with MICROS we are able to deliver the orders much faster, and our guests are happier. Our clients wait on average less than 4 minutes to be attended.–Melia Hotels – Cesar Vargas – Bar Manager
They all have those little light buzzer contraptions on the umbrellas so that if you want a drink, all you have to do is buzz and someone will come and bring it to you! What an invention!–Hotel Guest on TripAdvisor
A great feature of poolside activity is a button on every umbrella which when pushed brings a waiter to take your order for drinks or food or both.–Hotel Guest on TripAdvisor
As far as I am concerned, BarMate is a winner!–Starwood Hotels – Gregory De Clerck, General Manager
Thanks to the BarMate system we have been able to provide our customers with refreshments from the comfort of their loungers. This has resulted in an important increase in customer satisfaction and an increase in revenue of approximately 20%–Melia Hotels – María Morales, Operations Manager