Plamena Bobeva: “A virtual concierge is not a threat but the solution”

Kongres Magazine talked to Plamena Bobeva, the Director of Business Development at TouchMenu, a web-based platform that helps hotels and resorts boost revenue and improve guest satisfaction. Plamena discussed how the solution prompted hotels to start acting sustainably and why it will revolutionise the hotel industry.

Q1: TouchMenu is a digital, all-in-one platform that helps hotels and meeting venues improve communication and track data. Why should hotels start using TouchMenu?

One of the main and perhaps among the most important questions that each of our prospective partners asks is how our solution will help them. The web-based platform of TouchMenu is really a powerful suite that helps hotels and resorts boost revenue and improve guest satisfaction in a sustainable way.

Our tech works well for guests and management, making it an integral part of operations. TouchMenu’s system enables communication throughout the entire guest journey – pre-stay engagement from the moment the hotel receives the reservation, 24/7 during the entire stay and post-stay connection. It does not only elevate guest communication but also streamlines interdepartmental communication allowing hotel staff members to easily send, track and manage tasks. The hospitality professionals are empowered through different ordering features and management modules to boost sales. By analysing various metrics through statistics and reporting tools, it is easy to identify trends and make informed decisions to optimise business strategies.

Q2: What segment of event organisers does your solution cater to?

Intelligent event registrations and management features cover the entire process from invitations to showtime. Series of details – target and budget of the event, location, scheduling, marketing, logistics – the success of an event is the result of precise work and a serious volume of processed information.

We cannot and do not want to eliminate event organisers and MICE sales managers, but instead deliver solutions in the palm of their hands that automate the processes. Digital instruments save valuable time and increase efficiency. Meeting organisers can easily create an event landing page for registration and payment and invite guests through fully-tailored and branded online invitations or custom event QR codes. RSVPs tracking and managing the guest list from the first invitation throughout the entire event journey is available too.

MICE sales managers are empowered to send a complete offer, including the full set of the banqueting kit via a QR code or a link so that clients can assemble coffee breaks, specify the number of participants, select from multi-course meal options and make changes until a deal is finalised. A built-in budget calculator visualises event details and the final price at any moment during that process.

Plamena Bobeva - Business Development Director
Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek


Q3: How can your platform foster the development of the meetings industry by assisting meeting venues and hotels?

TouchMenu is like the navigation in a car – regardless of its model and extras, we make getting from one point to another faster, easier and more efficient. We give power to the meetings – more successful events with less effort, time saved and, at the same time, a better guest experience.

Q4: What role does the AI engine play in gathering data and statistics?

All the Dining Menus are powered by Artificial Intelligence. Embedding AI to analyse user behaviour in direct order features helps deliver a unique and customised experience and further assists customers in their choices, as well as additional interests. Our AI engine also provides hotel management with valuable analysis, statistics, reports and optimisation suggestions.

“TouchMenu is like the navigation in a car – regardless of its model and extras, we make getting from one point to another faster, easier and more efficient.”

Q5: How do you prompt hotels to act sustainably?

We went through a really challenging period that changed our perspective both as customers and entrepreneurs. The specific situation played the role of a game changer – the digitisation processes related to the guest experience and internal operations have been accelerated by three to five years.

Digital transformation has given way to Sustainable Transformation, but, in fact, the two topics go hand in hand. Implementing digital solutions in order to provide a paperless guest experience is not only sustainable but time and cost-effective. The hospitality professionals are long tired of printing menus and updating room folders, so by giving them the digital set of features, we actually indirectly prompt them to act sustainability.

Q6: With an array of digital solutions available for event organisers and venues, what sets your solution apart from the competition?

The hoteliers can boost their revenue in all on-site venues through AI-powered direct ordering features, check availability and book a variety of additional services.

I would say that the main power of TouchMenu’s Virtual Concierge lies in its almost endless possibilities, which it provides – directly or through partner integrations. When we talk about the Virtual Concierge, you have to keep in mind that its portal page is also the place where you can present almost everything according to the specific needs of the hotel or resort – promotional offers, trips or excursions, feedback modules, loyalty programs as well as any other tool from third-party service providers.

Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Q7: The Virtual Concierge analyses user behaviour to help boost sales. Do you believe the Virtual Concierge will make real concierges obsolete?

It sounds like a cliché, but it continues to be true even today – hospitality is made by people for people. During a hotel stay, guests expect more direct communication and personal touch rather than pre-learned phrases. Virtual concierge is not the threat but the solution. Its implementation can solve the problem of lack of human power in hospitality. Automating processes, on the other hand, will allow team members to save valuable time and focus on creative and fulfilling tasks.

Q8: What are your future plans? Do you have any new solutions planned?

The goal is to help hospitality ecosystems make money and guests happy in a sustainable way on five continents.

This article was originally published on Kongres Magazine on May 16, 2023

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