“Looking back at my F&B Management Trainee (…), I didn’t like the hotel itself because there is no structure and organization in this hotel. The communication is really bad; especially between the different departments, but also sometimes within a department.”
Robin Renschler, Co-Founder & CEO, Hospitality Communication GmbH
That was the critical conclusion of HOSCOMs idea giver and co-founder Robin Renschler in the internship report for his hotel management studies at IU(BH) and the luxury resort The Ajman Palace near Dubai. “At the time, I blamed this mainly on the fact that the hotel had just opened two months before I started and that the procedures/processes still had to find their way. At that time, I was not aware that I would encounter exactly this problem more often,” the co-founder of Hospitality Communication GmbH looks back on his first real hotel experience. But what was it that bothered him?
Hotels simultaneously use emails, phones, printouts, whiteboards, handwritten notes, posters & flyers, handover books, briefings and sometimes WhatsApp groups to communicate daily changes, VIP arrivals, repairs, guest complaints and guest requests, among other things. “Out of this multitude of communication channels, 80% rely on emails and the phone,” Robin Renschler knows from his own experience and adds “but actually only managers, office staff and the respective operational shift management have access to these two tools.”
That’s why, at the end of the day, everything is printed and posted for the “foot soliders” (who typically make up more than 70% of a hotel). The challenge is on the one hand to be able to reach all employees at the same time, but also to target information to specific outlets without “spamming” the others. Since each department uses a different means of communication, there is no holistic communication within the hotel.
The next stop was again an F&B management trainee, this time for the Kempinski San Lawrenz in Malta. And also there a similar picture: Here …
… picking up a piece of paper from the FO
… get guest info about a outlet by phone
… take a screenshot of the e-mail and post it in the restaurant WhatsApp group
… get the “current” function sheet from the clipboard and note any changes
… share the info from the head of department meeting repeatedly for two days in the room service briefing morning, noon and night so that everyone is really in the know
… enter the dinner cover numbers in Excel and write an email to the chef with the number of 4-course meals sold today
… print out the list of participants for the next wine training in 4 outlets, post it and collect it again
“Through this daily struggle, especially at the supervisor level, I started my initial research to figure out what would help me right now.” But the solutions only ever solved partial problems for individual departments. But before it went deeper, the trainee program was over and the next career stop was on the horizon: at The Charles Hotel by Rocco Forte as Chef de Rang.
As Chef de Rang, the range of tasks was different than before as a supervisor, “but I still noticed the communication chaos around me. Some time later, the next step into middle management was on the agenda … and bang: same problem, same sh*t as before!” Questions came up, like …
… why do we mark breakfast inclusive lists out of 12 other printed slips of paper for 20 minutes every morning to quickly identify inclusive and exclusive guests, mark VIPs, note birthdays and incompatibilities, or identify complaint guests, among other things?
… why do we (each F&B outlet individually) make 20 tally marks on a 15-page printed wine/beverage list 4x a week, run to purchasing, drop the list in a mailbox, pick up the packed beverage cart the next day, cross-check the self-written list to drop the list back in the purchasing mailbox and purchasinghas to manually transfer the wines into an inventory control system at the end of the day?
… if that (the communication and work processes) doesn’t work properly even in Germany, a country where everything is actually organized and structured, then there’s something wrong with the system, isn’t there? Or just “because no system and everything old-fashioned analog”?
Questions about questions that had to be solved. So the ideas were written together, a first click dummy was created, feedback from hoteliers was gathered, a second prototype was created and suddenly the hotel world stood still overnight: Corona.
After the first positive feedback from the hoteliers and due to the 100% short-time work during the Corona crisis, it was quickly clear that the “free” time must be used and the HOSCOM software programmed. This is how former soccer teammate Magnus Liedtke “came into play”, who in the meantime has completed a bachelor’s degree in electrical & nformation engineering, and has gained more than seven years of experience as a B2B individual software developer and technical consultant. Since the company was founded in February 2022, the prototype has evolved into a functioning software, which is used by the first hotels.
On the way to improving internal communication in hotels, the two HOSCOM founders first encountered the second major challenge: the fragmented and outdated hotel IT system landscape. “The topic of software is unfortunately more of a hurdle than a relief these days,” is how CTO Magnus Liedtke sums it up. That’s why HOSCOM relies on Open-API, because it’s the only way hoteliers can choose from the multitude of hotel softwares what best suits their hotel, their hotel tech stack.
HOSCOM – Hospitality Communication – optimizes internal hotel communication and digitalizes all daily operational work processes. HOSCOM’s mission is to close the information gaps between departments & employees and to flexibly link the already existing hotel system landscape in order to ease the daily work of hotel employees and to increase the guest experience. HOSCOM relies on a cloud-based holistic networking of all employees & departments, on an Open-API philosophy and a flexible plug-and-play modular system.
The original German article was published here: hotelier.de