Hopefully you have been relatively unscathed by the “Rona,” and like myself, are back in the office after a prolonged furlough or were lucky (?) enough to continue working over the last few months. As technology experts, how we operate in our organizations has likely changed, most likely in the form of reduced staffing and budget, and yet the organization is open for business. In this new environment, where uncertainty frequently exists, one thing is certain: technology is going to be at the forefront of keeping guests, visitors, vendors, and co-workers safe.
Wait a minute; safety is the security department’s responsibility? One may say, “nay nay!” Technology can be a great agent for safety and touch reduction as we shall discuss. One of the newly minted buzzwords flying about the world today is touchpoint. A touchpoint is that aspect of the hospitality building where the guest must interact with the team member and something is exchanged, be it a room key, currency, or even a menu.
One of the most ubiquitous hands-free options available to the hotel industry are near-field communication (NFC) or bluetooth door locks on hotel rooms. Without beating this technology into the ground, NFC locks can reduce the face-to-face interaction between people as well as reduce the physical aspect, i.e. room keys. Of course, installing an NFC key system can be costly and like much of this article, a company is going to have to determine the cost to guest/TM safety ratio for the installation of “touch reduction” technology.