Weekly briefing: Delivering the details brilliantly - How Dakota Hotels uses technology

Plus: Total Profit Optimization

This week, we have two new stories - one on how a UK-based luxury hotel group uses technology, and the other on “total profit optimization” - something I’m hearing more and more hoteliers talk about these days.

Let’s jump into it…


Delivering the details brilliantly: How Dakota Hotels uses technology to provide intuitive service

With Katie Forrest, Dakota Hotels

Job to be done: Cultivate loyal and profitable guests by saving information to the guest profile to enable moments of “surprise and delight.”

“You can ask for anything and we’ll make it happen. But even more powerful is the ability to track this information for future stays to surprise and delight guests. I want to know if someone who dined with us four years ago and really enjoyed something on the menu – and then try to have that available on a special menu for them when they come back. Or I want to know that a guest’s kids came in for a birthday and had a favorite animal, so we could have a balloon in the bedroom that is shaped like that animal. Those kinds of things were so hard to track before.”

Katie Forrest, Head of Engagement, Learning, and Development at Dakota Hotels

How they approached this: Talked with a lot of other industry colleagues - and watched how they used technology.

“We went to visit quite a lot of people who are using various technologies across different properties across the UK because we wanted to see how we could integrate it into what we are doing. We also wanted to hear other hoteliers’ experiences directly from them. There’s never any shame in saying we want to be better, and ask others to show you what they’re doing in a certain area. We would go to their properties and ask to shadow them and show us how they do different tasks using their technology.”

Katie Forrest


  • Saving time - “I’d estimate we’re saving at least a third of the time in our food and beverage teams. An interaction that took five minutes is probably taking three and a half now.”

  • Improved guest experience - “The way that we collect and are able to retrieve information about our guests to improve their stay is much faster and more efficient as well. It’s been a big focus for us doing this change and I’m very happy with the results that we have achieved so far.”

➡️ Want to share this? Click here to forward this email.


Total Profit Optimization: How Sea Island Resort Boosted Performance Across Its Outlets with Data

With Billy Copelan, Sea Island Resort

We might be entering the golden era of hotel operations, but that doesn’t mean success will come by itself. “Now we’re going through a Darwinian phase where it’s going to be the survival of the fittest,” said Gilda Perez-Alvarado, Global CEO at JLL Hotels & Hospitality at this year’s NYU Hospitality Investment Conference.

“Operators are prioritizing robust business intelligence and improved operational efficiency,” said Rajeet Mohan, Principal at PwC, at the event – with a key focus being on optimizing revenue production and profit from across the hotel operation today.

Every business looks at its profitability, of course, including hotels. But what’s new now is the amount of data really that’s available to hotel operators. The availability of data has grown so much that today, hoteliers can look more holistically at all the revenue outlets across their property and determine which areas are contributing the most to the bottom line.

To learn more about what this looks like in action, I recently spoke with Billy Copelan, Director of Revenue Management at Sea Island Resort.