This one fits into the category of automation – a topic that has fascinated me for years. How do different businesses take what we accept as “standard practice” and automate it?
In this case I was staying at Embassy Suites in Las Vegas. I noticed the gift shop the first night I checked in, but didn’t see their operating hours on the door.
The next morning the gift shop was still not open. Even at break in our meeting (it was now after 10AM!) there was still no one on duty in the gift shop.
You just use your room key to get into the shop. Then you choose the items you want, write up a quick ticket and they are charged to your room!
Now consider this. How often have you been in a hotel gift shop when you were the only one there? And you know that that gift shop attendant had hours when they were just sitting there, hoping someone would come in.
Many hotels have closed their gift shops, which is a major inconvenience to travelers. So this seems to be a great way to compromise on cost and convenience.
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