Hotel of the month: MANZ Privacy Hotels

Our hotel of the month in June is MANZ Privacy Hotels. The family-run, traditional Swiss hotel company with a total of 5 hotels has been in the hospitality business for over 130 years. The houses are located in Lausanne, Zurich and Basel. All hotels are in the 3-4 star city hotel segment with direct location at the train station.

The Group has pushed ahead with digitization at all of its properties, implementing, among other things, online check-in and check-out, including payment and check-in kiosks, as well as a digital guest directory. The integration of all solutions enables automated processes and a reduction of administrative tasks in the daily hotel routine.

The following solutions are in use at MANZ Privacy Hotels:

System landscape for automated data transfer and intelligent processes:

Milan Schnabel (Corporate Revenue Manager for MANZ Privacy Hotels, member of the Executive Board and responsible for Revenue Management with tasks in Sales & Marketing) tells us in an interview what role digitalization plays in the MANZ Privacy Hotel Group, what challenges it brings with it and how he has mastered them.

What role does digitization or the digital guest journey play for you in the MANZ Privacy Hotels Group?

With the onset of the pandemic, we wanted to use straiv by CODE2ORDER’s digital solutions to compensate for the absent staff and the partially completely closed reception desk – and at the same time offer our guests the opportunity to check in contactlessly and securely at our hotel.

To this end, we have implemented the check-in kiosk, check-in on the smartphone and the digital guest directory in all hotels.

Now we are taking the solutions into the future and benefit from the digital tech stack. Our guests have the choice whether they want to use the digital solutions or not. At the same time, personal contact and digital solutions are not mutually exclusive. Most of our guests check in in advance on their smartphone and use the digital registration form, but are then very happy to be greeted in a friendly manner at the reception and also seek contact here for insider tips for their stay, information for the city or about the hotel. Operational teams also benefit, as administrative tasks are handled automatically, leaving time for face-to-face meetings.

What challenges does the digitalization of hotel operations pose for you?

One of the biggest challenges is the jungle of providers to choose from. The first thing to do here is to clearly define the needs and requirements of the hotel, as well as the guests. Because in the end, the bait is supposed to attract the fish, not the angler. So here, too, the guest is at the center of our considerations.

For example, our audience includes mid-20s, but also older generations. Not every guest is equally digitally affine. We are aware of this and we cover all possibilities.

We believe that technology helps people – in our hotel operations, digital solutions are used to make interactions between the reception desk and hotel guests even more personal. It is then no longer necessary to talk about the zip code or credit card number, but about what the guests are really interested in, such as their stay in the city and in the hotel.

What are your 3 tips for hotel operators who are just starting out in terms of digitization - how do you find the right systems and solutions?

1. Learn from experiences of industry peers and communicate online, as well as offline.

2. Choose partners who have experience and offer consulting as well as advise you in your own interest.

3. Stay open to try new things and show courage to take a step back. One should not try to squeeze the manual process 1:1 into digital solutions. It is better to rethink processes and to be able to say “Function xy will no longer exist, but instead I have xyz advantages and a coherent solution in a well-functioning tech stack”.

What plans do you have for the future in terms of digitization?

At the moment we are very happy with what we have, the digital solutions are working very well for our operational team and our guests.

A big topic these days is, of course, the cloud. We also want to move into that direction in the future.

In addition, the topic of Guest Segments will become even more important for us in the future. For example, we are currently working on offering a personalized approach to returning guests, so that they do not receive the same messages for every stay with us. In addition, we are convinced that in the future the focus will be on the guest data and not, as in the past, on the management of the rooms. There will be a shift in the relevance of systems here in the future.