Chris Jones, Senior Product Manager – Guestline

“Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” An important recognition of the value of accepting and working with change, acknowledged by U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The hospitality industry has experienced and continues to experience unprecedented change in many ways, not least guest expectations, operations and the technology that is now at its disposal. Certainly, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. This can lead to misunderstanding in terms of what that change can deliver and what the rewards and opportunities can be.

One significant step-change the industry has experienced is in technology. The ongoing maturation of the ‘digitally-native’ Gen Z and those born into an internet-enabled world has brought the question of how to balance a high-tech approach with a more personal, human-based service offer to the forefront for many operators. Whilst some may believe one must be employed at the expense of the other, reassuringly this doesn’t have to be the case. Once  understood and employed in the right way, the two can work effectively together to support each other, support operations, support the guest and support revenues.

One piece of technology in the hotelier’s toolkit that has seen significant changes and development is check-in and check-out. Guests now have the choice and capability to check-in ahead of arrival, collect their own keys and likewise manage their own check-out and departure all from the palm of their hands and via the new kiosk technology that is now evolving. Efficient? Yes. Empowering? Yes. That said there are myths and confusion around what a more self-service approach to check-in and check-out means. So how can hoteliers better understand the check-in and check-out Kiosk and most importantly,  get the best from it.

Myth 1: Self-service makes the guest experience less personal.

Reality: Taking operational tasks out of the hands of staff enables them to not only spend more time talking to and greeting guests it is a valuable opportunity to build relationships and loyalty with a genuine focus on hospitality rather than admin.

Myth 2: Self-service check-in and check-out is only of interest to younger, more tech-savvy guests

Reality: Quite the opposite. Evidence suggests all age groups are now adopting a mobile-first approach to not only work and retail but likewise travel and hospitality so the opportunity to empower guests and therefore staff is broad and getting broader.

Myth 3: Installing check-in and check-out kiosks will risk job opportunities

Reality: In fact it creates the opportunity for staff to re-focus their attention and upskill and upsell across broader areas of operation. Whether that be staff working with the F&B team to develop menus and upsell drinks in the bar, or the front of house team then taking the time to talk more with guests, learn more about their preferences and identify ways to enhance their stay.

Myth 4: Self-service check-in and check-out kiosks can only be used by larger scale, city-based hotels

Reality: Online check-in and check-out is now universally accessible and available as are the kiosks to support fulfilling it. Any size of property in any location can utilise it to benefit from streamlined operations, swifter check-in and check-out, improved cashflow and more accurate guest data

Myth 5: Reservations and guest data both need to be imported from the PMS direct to the Kiosk to enable self check-in

Reality: All of the guest data required to facilitate a guest check-in or check-out is shared seamlessly between the PMS and the Kiosk in real time without the need for manual updates.

To find out more about how Kiosks can support your check-in and check-out service offer and enhance your operations please visit: Hotel Check-In Kiosk | Self Check-In/ Check Out Kiosks for Hotels (