Crimson Roof Outsources Tech Stack to HotelKey to Assist Fight Labor Scarcity

When George Limbert started as president of Crimson Roof, he met with franchise operators of the resort model to raised perceive what was going effectively — and what was not. 

He grew to become interim president of the Ohio-based firm in late 2020 and took the position totally in August 2021. Throughout that point, after all, the trade was struggling. 

The Crimson Roof portfolio consists of 682 lodges throughout 4 manufacturers. Greater than 100 of these are operated by two franchises affiliated with the company Crimson Roof firm. The remaining are operated by impartial franchise house owners. 

One of many prime points was the dearth of hospitality staff within the present labor scarcity. Franchises wanted to cut back their dependence on staff, and expertise is an enormous piece to fixing that puzzle. 

“Innovating to assist with the labor scarcity is an crucial for us from a model stage,” Limbert mentioned. 

That’s why Crimson Roof on Friday evening introduced that it’s partnering with Texas-based HotelKey because the official property administration system for the corporate. 

All Crimson Roof franchise house owners are required to make use of the official company tech system, which traditionally had been developed, hosted and supported in-house. It had been clear that Crimson Roof was restricted in what it may make investments, which is why it wanted to outsource, mentioned Ted Hutchins, chief info officer for Crimson Roof. 

The platform’s easy interface will likely be an enormous assist for owner-operators with employee coaching, he mentioned.

“As you may think about, they’ve an enormous quantity of turnover on this labor market. One of many greatest issues is when you’ve got an outdated creaky interface, it takes too lengthy to coach,” Hutchins mentioned. 

The HotelKey platform will streamline quite a few Crimson Roof operations, together with property administration, visitor administration, central reservation, level of sale, connectivity to third-party reserving platforms, and a loyalty program. Proprietor-operators may even have entry to tech, like housekeeping and preventative upkeep apps and digital signatures, that Crimson Roof had not been capable of spend money on prior due to lack of sources. 

Franchise house owners pay a fee to the Crimson Roof company for the tech it gives. That fee had been used to run the in-house software program system, and now it will likely be used to function the HotelKey system as an alternative. 

“We got here from an inside system, the place we put $1 in and get perhaps 10, 20 cents of innovation out of it,” Hutchins mentioned. “The group mannequin lets me put $1 in and get two, three, 4 {dollars} again.” 

It’s unclear at this level how effectively the tech will result in extra visitor gross sales. 

“It’s onerous for us to forecast that … however there’s indications that higher connectivity with some [online travel agencies] and fewer complexity in reserving results in higher conversion,” Hutchins mentioned.

Is it Higher to Contract a New Firm or Legacy Participant?

HotelKey is part of a more recent technology of resort tech, just like merchandise provided by Canary Applied sciences, which simply raised $30 million, and Stayntouch, the system owned by MCR.

The largest competitors for brand spanking new platforms are these made by older trade gamers, like Oracle and Sabre and Amadeus. The older corporations have been investing lots currently on upgrading tech and transferring to the cloud. 

Whether or not a resort operator outsources tech from newer or older corporations is principally a matter of style, mentioned Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist and growth officer at IDeaS, a maker of income administration software program.

Most massive manufacturers have gone with legacy corporations to date notably for central reservation methods, he mentioned. And the portfolios of most resort tech startups backed by enterprise capital consist largely of impartial lodges. 

“If you’re a really massive model, you need stability and also you need to decrease threat, and also you need to make certain the expertise you’re spending up for works. For those who go together with a legacy participant or a bigger firm, the chance is considerably minimized, however on the similar time, you don’t have most likely the identical type of future or subsequent technology capabilities,” Kohlmayr mentioned. 

“For those who work with a smaller firm, you will have a much bigger affect on their roadmap and growth and may grow to be a key accomplice with them. And smaller corporations are extra nimble and extra versatile and extra agile than a number of the bigger gamers.”

Regardless, Kohlmayr is assured the funding will proceed all-around. 

A survey early this yr of 210 hospitality trade professionals worldwide by journey expertise agency Duetto discovered that 77.6 % plan to improve their resort tech funding within the subsequent three years.

“Innovation or funding is unquestionably accelerating. Covid has contributed to that,” Kohlmayr mentioned. “We’re type of at this cusp of a wave of innovation within the trade, which is simply beginning to seem. I’m fairly optimistic in regards to the subsequent few years.”


HotelKey helps roughly 400,000 rooms for 3,500 lodges, together with 500 impartial lodges, largely within the U.S. The corporate plans to achieve 600,000 rooms for six,000 lodges by the top of 2023, based on Aditya Thyagarajan, co-founder and president of HotelKey.

The corporate gives the tech for all Motel 6 properties by a partnership with G6 Hospitality, in addition to all properties for Prolonged Keep America. 

Whereas the corporate began with a deal with the economic system resort section, Thyagarajan mentioned it’s been increasing to increased high quality segments. The ten,000-room Evermore Orlando Resort in Disney World makes use of HotelKey, he mentioned. 

This February, HotelKey is saying a partnership with an organization he says is among the largest international manufacturers, with properties starting from economic system to luxurious. HotelKey is being utilized in greater than 500 of that firm’s lodges proper now.

As a smaller firm, Thyagarajan mentioned HotelKey has taken the trail of growing in collaboration with companions. 

“For us, being simply seven years outdated, have a look at it as an incredible alternative to be taught from manufacturers like Crimson Roof, and that’s how we sometimes form our roadmap,” Thyagarajan mentioned. “After which your complete group can make the most of that.”

HotelKey has greater than 300 staff, with greater than 100 openings.

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