Automating Self-Check-Ins and Check-Outs for Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels strive for good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, the kind that has its customers immediately book a stay. While the best hotels run the gamut of features for hospitality, a great experience is secured only by carefully curated details and it starts from the moment the guest enters the door.

They say patience is the key but the truth is nobody has patience when it comes to long queues to check-in. A study completed by Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research, based on two years of data, shows that guests from the United States have a 5-minute wait tolerance, exceeding this limit results in a 47% decrease in guest satisfaction.

If you own a small hotel, focus on the three Q’s: Quality, Quantity and Quickness, and improve your guest satisfaction by offering a convenient and time-saving self-check-in.

With its automated smart key management system, Keycafe uses technology to circumvent the painfully slow check-in process. Contactless guest arrivals not only improve guest satisfaction by offering a fast 24/7 arrival and departure experience, but they also reduce operational costs while increasing efficiency and transparency.

Why You Need a Keycafe SmartBox

Check-In at Any Time

It is not an exaggeration to say that we all appreciate a hassle-free process for checking in and out when traveling. And yet, reading hotel reviews from all over the world you will find they have a common complaint: guests waste time when tired, in the lobby, in front of overwhelmed staff members. Key management is essential for easy pick-up and drop-off of keys, without the need for staff oversight.

A key management system maintains keys in a central, accessible location to your guests, and enables you to assign permissions so only authorized users can pick up the keys. Everything is controlled with a cloud-enabled software application, providing you with access history for every key and every user in real-time, simplifying and automating key management.

Slow tourism is the next big hospitality trend, but it definitely does not refer to an outdated slow check-in!

Easy Set-up, Even Easier Key Handover

Working a long overnight shift can cause employees emotional, mental and physical stress, concurrently leading to service-related complaints and dissatisfied clients. With a near full occupancy, almost no hotel escapes the front desk complaints. Streamline your key management not only for your guests, but for your employees too with a cloud-connected device.

Not much bigger than a picture frame, the Keycafe SmartBox can be installed on any type of wall and put to work in no time, like in your hotel’s lobby. Once a guest confirms their stay, you simply create a booking in the Keycafe system, and a booking code is automatically created and sent to the guest, along with detailed instructions on how to pick up and drop off the keys.

Depending on the level of your hotel’s needs, the Keycafe system can also be integrated with the company’s IT infrastructure and workflows via API.

Improved Key Control

Guest room keys, master keys, emergency keys, floor supervisor and even housekeeping staff master keys. The list is long, and, without a smart system in place, handling their management can be inefficient, time-consuming and prone to errors.

Besides guests, you can give key access to your staff, cleaning services, or even trusted people, with simple access codes. With the Keycafe SmartBox, you have full control over your key inventory and status, knowing in real-time who has each key that has been taken. Whether you have 5 or 500 keys to track, remote and automated key management works the same: the system is modular and expandable to hundreds of keys in a single location and multiple location deployments.

Saves You Time and Money

If you run a hotel, you know that hospitality is very important, since it encourages positive customer reviews. But today’s hospitality presents itself a lot different than it used to 20 years ago. Shaped by the customer’s expectations, hospitality means, among other things, serving guests in a fast, tech-driven way.

Remote and automated key management eliminates the need for 24-hour staff to facilitate or record key exchanges. This means that both guests and hoteliers can gain from it. While guests will benefit from a flexible after-hours arrival, you can relieve the night shift or even the front desk altogether. This doesn’t mean completely dropping contact with your clients, it means you can invest your time in your interactions in a smarter way.

Find out how a hostel owner managed to reduce the hours spent working on-site from 16h/day to as little as 20 minutes, by automating the check-in process and allowing his customers to access the keys to their rooms when they please.

Machine-Level Reliability

Simply put: as a hotel owner, you have full control over who has access to which keys, and at what times. Every key pick-up and drop-off is monitored in real-time and recorded in downloadable logs. Moreover, key search filters let you see the status of multiple keys at once and view all keys checked out by an individual staff member. If a key isn’t where it’s supposed to be, this feature can save time and enable faster resolution.

Test Us Out!

If all of this sounds good, test it! Book a demo or get an instant quote to learn more about how we can help your business. If you are ready for smart key management, our 24/7 support team will work with you to set up your solution and ensure it’s a success. If Keycafe is not the right fit for your business, you can return it for a full refund for up to 45 days!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specific security measures in place to ensure guest safety with the automated key management system?

The security of automated key management systems like Keycafe typically involves several layers to ensure guest safety. These systems often use encrypted communications between the key boxes and the cloud-based management software to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, access logs are maintained in real time, providing hotel managers with immediate information on who has accessed keys and when, which aids in security monitoring and quick resolution of any discrepancies. Although specific details can vary, these systems generally incorporate robust cybersecurity measures to protect against hacking and other security breaches.

How does the automated system integrate with other hotel management systems or platforms?

Automated key management systems are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing hotel management systems through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). This integration allows for real-time updates and communications between the key management system and the hotel's reservation and management software, ensuring that key access is aligned with booking statuses and guest verifications. For hotels, this means the system can automatically enable or disable access to keys based on the guests' check-in and check-out times as registered in the hotel management system, enhancing both efficiency and guest experience.

What is the impact of this system on employment within the hotel?

Implementing an automated key management system can change the dynamics of employment within a hotel. While it may reduce the need for staff to be physically present at all hours for tasks like key handover, it doesn't necessarily mean reducing the number of staff. Instead, it can shift staff responsibilities towards more guest-oriented services and improving the overall guest experience. By automating routine tasks, staff can focus on areas that add more value to guest interactions and hotel operations, potentially leading to higher job satisfaction and reduced turnover. This strategic shift in roles can also open up opportunities for training and utilizing staff in more specialized roles that contribute to a better quality of service.

Ready for smart key management?

Configure and purchase your smart key deployment in minutes. Our 24/7 support team will work with you to setup your solution and ensure its a success. If Keycafe is not the right fit for you business, you may return it for a fully refund for up to 45 days!

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