LOS ANGELES – A web technology called Carry is fueling a new digital era of hotel food service, starting in Los Angeles, but with a goal of growing across the United States.
With a name inspired by the essential role hotel doormen play in improving the guest experience, the Porter technology platform also makes life easier for travelers by managing food ordering, delivery, payment and tip. in a single smartphone transaction. Users simply scan a QR code in the room to launch a web interface that allows them to browse restaurant menus, select food and drink orders, and manage all monetary details – all without having to use the phone. from the hotel room, interact with a hotel employee or download a special application.
Hotels chose Porter to bolster their room service not only because of social distancing during the current pandemic, but also because this kind of convenient self-service technology is what 21st travelers of the century expect the long haul. “Consumers today are used to using their smart devices for all kinds of transactions wherever they go, and we want to offer them the same level of sophistication when it comes to the dining experience at our properties,” a said Annie Saville, Complex of Operations Manager, H Hotel / Homewood Suites LAX. “This type of technology keeps our customers happy and streamlines our back-end operations. It’s a win-win. “
Porter is designed to be flexible, allowing food to be ordered and delivered from an on-site restaurant to hotels where it already exists – as is the case with the three LAX hotels, all served by the kitchen. H Hotel Waypoint – and, most notably, connecting hotels with limited or no food service operations to an organized selection of local food and beverage vendors, creating a ‘taste of the neighborhood’ experience for guests.
For example, in the case of the seven hotels in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon area, these limited-service properties now offer some form of high-tech room service, with food and drink provided in partnership with PublicHouse. , a hub nearby. food pods, a brasserie, an outdoor bar and a whiskey bar. PublicHouse has a dedicated vehicle and driver to facilitate deliveries to hotels authorized by Porter. These currently include The Maverick, Candlewood Suites, Comfort Suites, Tru by Hilton, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Courtyard Eugene-Springfield, and University Inn & Suites. Porter expects to partner with another group of limited-service hotels in the area in the coming months.
Not only restaurants, but also sundries / gift shops and other shopping points can be added to the Porter interface. In fact, this kind of multi-vendor order processing is exactly what Porter was built for, its creators explained. “Porter’s idea came about after observing that patrons at a local beer garden would go their separate ways and spend more time lining up to place their individual orders than sitting down with their parties.” said John Barry, co-founder and “Chief Porter” the company. “It seemed like a missed opportunity, both for the enjoyment of the guests and for the benefit of the company.”
Developed by a star team of restaurateurs, designers, entrepreneurs and computer programmers, the resulting platform has been dubbed Porter. It is the first mobile technology to manage orders and payments from multiple menus and multiple vendors, seamlessly behind the scenes, in a single transaction. The first companies to adopt and use the technology proved its potential to dramatically increase check sizes and tips, which has become a key selling point.
After introducing Porter to restaurants in its home state of Oregon, the company refined its focus and now targets sites that combine multiple food and retail vendors, such as hotels, food halls. and sports stadiums.
“For many hotels, especially small shops, catering is a complicated operation that can be made easier by partnering with Porter”, Barry said. “We customize our technology to work with their local capabilities, whether it’s an on-site cafe or nearby restaurants, bars and food trucks. This way, hoteliers can give guests a taste of the unique local culture without having to add a lot of staff and infrastructure. No other company does this.
Porter Partners, LLC is based in Springfield, Oregon, and is currently deploying the platform in parts of the United States. For more information visit heyporter.app.