In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, scores of hospitality vendors and service providers have rolled out tools and resources—many of which they are offering for free—to help hotel owners and operators better manage their businesses throughout this ongoing crisis. Below are some of those tools and resources that have recently launched.
Access Point Financial: “Navigating Hospitality Finance 2020”
Access Point Financial, a direct lender and specialty finance company focused exclusively on the hospitality industry, in April announced the debut of a new online resource—“Navigating Hospitality Finance 2020”—available via the Access ViewPoint blog. The four-part series is intended to help hotel owners and investors plan financial strategies during changing market conditions.
ALICE: COVID-19 Checklist Software
In early April, ALICE launched free COVID-19 Checklists Software to help hotels manage operations through low occupancy and closure, as well as into recovery. ALICE teamed up with hotel operators to create a library of comprehensive checklists. The software also allows hotels to create their own checklists. Both printable and mobile-enabled, ALICE Checklists tracks progress and provides reporting for hoteliers.
Asksuite: AI Chatbot
Asksuite announced in April that the company is offering hotels in North America and Europe its AI chatbot for free through December 2020 to answer guests’ COVID-19 questions. The chatbot allows hotels that are temporarily closed to continue providing customer assistance, answering questions and facilitating bookings in a guest’s preferred language.
Beekeeper and Whispr: Cleaning Task Lists App
In March, Beekeeper and Whispr launched a new app to give housekeepers step-by-step cleaning instructions that follow CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The smart checklist will work on any Android or iOS device and can be activated by Whispr immediately if the hotel is an existing Beekeeper user. The app includes a real-time dashboard showing each room’s availability as it is made “COVID Clean.”
Duetto: Pulse Report
In April, Duetto launched the Duetto Pulse Report, a free, data-driven analysis of key metrics including bookings, cancellations, and website traffic in the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Built by Duetto’s team of revenue experts and analysts, the Duetto Pulse Report provides a bi-weekly analysis of market demand from hotels using the Duetto platform.
Ecolab: COVID-19 Assessment and Training Programs
EcoSure and Lobster Ink, Ecolab divisions focused on food safety and public health, announced in late April the availability of COVID-19 assessment and training programs to help food service and hospitality customers protect their employees and guests, and restore safe and profitable operations.
IDeaS: Revenue Management Foundations Courses
At the end of April, IDeaS made its Revenue Management Foundations courses available for free. The interactive, self-paced courses are designed for those refreshing their education through self-study and students in hospitality programs globally. Topics include forecasting, inventory management, demand-based pricing, and more.
Minuteman Press International: Bounce Back USA
Minuteman Press International has launched a new initiative, Bounce Back USA, which offers two free services to help support neighboring businesses: distributing COVID-19 awareness and prevention posters at no charge to any business in the company’s service areas, and providing free, local advertising on the Bounce Back USA website.
My Menu: QR Ordering
In early April, My Menu, a digital tablet menu platform used by hotels and restaurants to upsell food, announced free QR Ordering for restaurants worldwide to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Rather than reusing printed menus, QR Ordering allows guests to scan a QR code on their mobile device, view the menu, and place their order without downloading an app.
Optii Solutions: Recovery Playbook
Optii Solutions, provider of a labor optimization solution for hotel housekeeping teams, created The Playbook, a data-driven operations guide discussing the universal challenges faced by each hotel and proposing strategies to overcome these challenges, turning operations into a lean and resilient machine.
Pineapple Hospitality: Essential Supplies for Hotels
In the face of COVID-19, Pineapple Hospitality is helping customers ensure that their guests and teams are in a clean, healthy, and safe environment with a ramped-up supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and anti-bacterial cleaners.
PurpleCloud: COVID Response
PurpleCloud released PurpleCloud CR (COVID Response), a streamlined free version of its hotel task optimization platform designed to help hospitality organizations meet today’s enhanced cleaning and safety protocols. The platform does not require any hardware or software investment, but rather includes training materials that operate on a hotel’s or staff’s tablets, smartphones, or computers.
RizePoint and Savvy Food Safety: Auditing and Checklist Solutions
RizePoint has partnered with Savvy Food Safety to provide tools and support to ensure employees are trained around the new safety and cleanliness procedures and compliant in following them. RizePoint is introducing three levels, including free access to the online/offline mobile application, as well as complimentary access to COVID-19-related forms, reports, and auditing tools, all reviewed and endorsed by Savvy Food Safety.
SHR: Revenue Tools At No Cost
SHR is offering its revenue management system, Wave RMS, at no charge and with no obligation for three months through the month of June. In addition, for a fee, SHR is offering the Recovery Package, a list of services aimed at revenue generation and specifically designed to help hoteliers in their analysis of risk and potential.
Sweetnr: Website Callout
UP Hotel Agency has made Sweetnr available via a free trial during COVID-19. Sweetnr offers a callout that can be added to a hotel website to inform visitors to the site about the property’s status during COVID-19. Options to choose from include a sidebar callout, a pop-up message, or a banner.
UniFocus: Free Software for Hotels Housing First Responders
UniFocus announced in April that it is waiving all software and mobile application fees for its labor management and/or time and attendance solutions at properties providing lodging for healthcare workers and first responders. Hotel operators that use UniFocus should contact their Partner Relationship Manager and let them know which hotels are accommodating frontline workers.
Whistle: Messaging Services
Whistle announced in March that it is offering an extended free trial of its messaging services to hotels during peak COVID-19 activity, allowing property owners and managers to maintain communication with guests during the crisis. The messaging platform works with SMS, WhatsApp, and other messaging services, and includes automated text response to help reduce guest call volume.