Hospitality Management Software: What Is It, and How Does it Benefit the Hospitality Industry?

hospitality software: a woman reaching out to shake hands

Working in the hospitality industry comes with lots of wins, from providing top-notch guest experiences to growing your portfolio. But just like with any other industry, there can be some challenges as well—which is where hospitality software comes into play.

The list of challenges varies for every team member: While a hotel owner might be most concerned about tracking and increasing revenue across properties, a general manager might be most focused on increasing team efficiency. Or, while an area vice president might be most worried about how to standardize operations across properties, a catering sales director might be most concentrated on finding a way to improve their hotel’s event payment process.

The good news is that hospitality software can help solve the most common pain points team members experience, no matter their role or level of experience. Also known as “hospitality management software” (among other similar names), these platforms—which vary far and wide—are designed to optimize processes and enhance results for hoteliers. And while it’s understandable if it can feel burdensome or nerve-wracking to adopt a new platform, most hospitality software is simple to activate (not to mention, well worth the investment).

Our team of experts has put together a comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of hospitality software. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about these platforms, from the top features to look for in hospitality apps to the best hospitality management software options for your property or property group.

What is hospitality software?

In short, hospitality software can be defined as any digital technology used to help hotel brands, hospitality groups, property managers, and more to manage, streamline, or enhance their operations and outcomes. There are myriad types of hospitality management systems, from platforms that centralize team and guest operations to software that manages revenue streams and drive conversions.

As the hospitality industry has grown throughout the years, so have the available hospitality systems. The industry has experienced a particularly significant growth spurt in the last decade, according to insights from EHL, the world’s leading hospitality university. That growth is expected to continue: the global hospitality market is forecasted to increase to $5,816.66 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5%, per the 2023 Hospitality Global Market Report. Meanwhile, preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that employment in the leisure and hospitality workforce is up. What’s more, hotel segment revenue is expected to reach $408.8 billion this year, reports Statista.

What are some of the recent hospitality software trends?

Over the years, hospitality management software has evolved to accommodate the growing, shifting needs of today’s hospitality management teams and their customers. For example, big hospitality data analytics is one such trend that some platforms are successfully adopting, reports EHL Insights.

Other hospitality software trends include providing more memorable experiences (focusing on the experience economy) and the vastly important roles that digital technology and online visibility play for hotel brands hoping to stand out from the competition.

Of course, hospitality management software trends will continue to shift. But it’s important for teams to ensure any hospitality platform they choose includes up-to-date capabilities that other top hotel management software options contain.

What are the benefits of using hospitality software?

Adopting hotel management software provides ample benefits to teams across the hospitality industry. Whether you’re the asset owner of a large hotel chain hoping to standardize operations or increase visibility across properties or a general manager of a small bed-and-breakfast, the best hospitality software will help your business’s operations grow and improve.

While each hospitality app provides its own unique benefits, here are some of the most common benefits that hoteliers experience with hospitality management software:

  • Drive more customer conversions and increase revenue property- and portfolio-wide
  • Enhance visibility and collaboration between teams and properties
  • Optimize, standardize, and streamline processes, leading to increased efficiency
  • Better manage your property’s daily operations, from reservations to housekeeping

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the benefits of using hospitality platforms. But overall, each hospitality management tool provides a distinct set of benefits that can help your property or hotel group grow.

What are the different types of hospitality software, and what do they do?

While hospitality software can be thought of as the umbrella term for all the different types of technology created for the hospitality industry, there are several distinct subsectors of software within it. Each type of hospitality management software typically is created to address specific needs, pain points, and goals, for all different types of properties.

For instance, hospitality property management software usually addresses the platforms created to streamline things like guest reservations, check-ins and check-outs, and housekeeping schedules. On the other hand, there are some hospitality platforms largely created to address the financial goals of a hotel, such as revenue optimization software.

Here are some of the main hospitality management systems to keep in mind:

  • Property management software: Some hospitality management software primarily acts as “heads in beds” reservation platforms, helping simplify the booking process for you and your guests.
  • Venue management software: While there are various types of platforms in this category, venue management software typically helps properties and venues manage the ins and outs of their event spaces, from bookings to payments.
  • Operations software: Some platforms focus on general hospitality management or hotel management, helping organize staff scheduling, maintenance requests, housekeeping, check-ins and check-outs, laundry scheduling, and more.
  • Revenue optimization software: Another popular type of platform for hospitality management is revenue optimization. This type of software typically doesn’t provide tools that allow guests to actually book a room or reserve an event; rather, it focuses on driving customer conversions and increasing overall property revenue.
  • Operations software: Some platforms focus on general hospitality management or hotel management, helping organize staff scheduling, maintenance requests, housekeeping, check-ins and check-outs, laundry scheduling, and more.
  • Vacation rental property software: While most hospitality software is built and used for hotels and property groups, some platforms are built for other types of properties, such as vacation rentals.

Beyond the list above, there are many other types of hospitality platforms as well. What’s more, some systems may fit into multiple categories and offer your portfolio several features and benefits.

Who should use hospitality software?

Any hospitality team member can benefit from the use of hospitality management software. Each hospitality platform typically comes with different functions and abilities to suit the needs of various roles, from finance to sales to on-property hospitality management, which means nearly any team member will experience the advantages.

For instance, while finance teams might utilize a hospitality management system’s financial dashboards or payment insights most often, general managers might rely on the reservation statuses or booking statuses that come with some hospitality management system software options. Or while area vice presidents and other hotel operator roles might most appreciate being able to get a high-level overview of various properties in their portfolio, catering sales directors and associates might get the most use out of modern invoice and contract management tools included with some of the best hospitality software.

Here is a quick look at some of the roles that can benefit from using hospitality apps:

  • Asset owners: Property owners are often importantly focused on improving operational efficiency and streamlining systems, leading to increased revenue portfolio-wide. Implementing a hospitality app enables properties to convert more sales and bring in more revenue from consumers while simultaneously elevating the property’s experience for both internal teams and customers, leading to a positive return on investment.
  • Hospitality operating brands: Property operators are typically very focused on a hotel’s marketing efforts, from bringing in new business to ensuring that their team, events, and bookings are all well-managed. A hospitality management system allows operators—and all their team members—to stay on top of everything while converting more prospective customers.
  • Area vice presidents: Upper management roles, especially area vice presidents, are often on the road traveling to check in from one property to the next. Because these team members are on-the-go so often, it can be hard to stay on top of what’s actually occurring at each property they oversee. Are all of the hotel group’s standard policies being implemented? How is each property performing overall? Platforms for hospitality and hotel management can easily provide these answers from wherever you are.
  • General managers: A hotel’s general manager wears many hats, from managing the property and team to monitoring hotel bookings and guest spending to creating a memorable customer experience. With the help of hospitality software, general managers can drive increased revenue and better manage their property’s operations without sacrificing their team’s efficiency or resources.
  • Event-driven staff: Catering sales directors, managers, associates, and more are in charge of bringing client visions to life for events at a property. They’re constantly juggling multiple tasks and team member responsibilities, but the best hospitality software can help keep them organized and improve the customer experience (like signing contracts and paying for everything) without creating more work for their team. Team members in charge of small group sales, room blocks, and more can experience similar benefits.
  • Finance, sales, revenue optimization, and marketing teams: It’s understandable if you picture hospitality management systems solely as platforms that work with room reservations and event bookings. But many of the best hospitality software options include several key features for finance, sales, marketing, and revenue optimization teams alike. Think: comprehensive financial reporting, at-a-glance invoice and contract information, high-level and portfolio-wide insights and hospitality data, and much more. Not to mention, their teams can experience the advantages of increased conversions and greater customer spend—and improve cross-department collaboration all the while.
  • On-property team members: Front desk managers, housekeeping and maintenance employees, and other team members benefit from hospitality management system software. From standardized operations to increased team collaboration to simple access to the data they need, nearly any on-property role can appreciate the use of hospitality management tools. The result: better hospitality management.
  • Hotel guests: Depending on the hospitality platform your property or portfolio adopts, even your guests can experience the benefits of hospitality management software. Wiith the help of hospitality management tools, customers can book rooms, reserve room blocks, sign event contracts, pay for invoices, and more much quicker and easier.

Of course, there are many more hospitality roles and hotel management teams that benefit from this software. But as you’re researching the best hospitality software for your property or portfolio, it’s helpful to remember that your entire team can make the most of the various advantages of hospitality management systems.

What to look for in hospitality software

There is no shortage of options when you’re trying to find the best hospitality management software for your property or portfolio. That can be both a positive and a somewhat negative—while there are plenty of hospitality platforms to consider so that you can find the best one for your team, it can feel daunting exploring the wide array of options available.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide on the best hospitality management software for your property, your portfolio, and your team:

Which Type of Hospitality Management Tool You Need

First things first, what general type of hospitality systems would be helpful for your team? Make sure any hospitality systems you consider address your property’s biggest pain points as well as areas of opportunity.

For instance, if you are looking for a platform that guests can use to book rooms or events directly, make sure you find a hospitality property management software that has scheduling and reservation capabilities built in. Or, if you’re hoping to better keep an eye on your data and insights—such as recent payments, active and completed bookings, total payments, and more—look for a hospitality information system that includes financial reporting as well. Ensure that any hospitality app on your radar can solve any challenges and achieve any goals.

Property or Portfolio Size

Another crucial element to consider when you’re looking for the best hospitality management software is the size of your property or portfolio. Any hospitality platform you’re considering will need to easily accommodate the size of your team and properties; software used by a global hotel chain will need to be quite different from a platform used by an individual bed and breakfast.

Consider the sizes of various hospitality groups or properties and what the software built for them might look like:

  • Property groups: If you own or work for an enterprise property group, hotel chain, or hotel franchise, consider hospitality apps that can work across several properties. For instance, some platforms for hospitality and hotel management are built to accommodate automatic data reporting from property to property, allowing stakeholders to get a high-level overview of how each of their properties is performing all while standardizing operations and processes for employees. Smaller hospitality systems, however, might only work for individual properties.
  • Hotel chains and franchises: Larger hotel chains and franchises may also want to consider hospitality management system software that allows them to keep operations consistent and reporting across properties seamless, but it’s important to remember that there may be regulations or preferences on which platforms each hotel should use. Some hospitality apps may already be listed as preferred or approved vendors, which can make it easier for individual teams to activate the software.
  • Individual properties and hotels: Individual properties—such as boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts—may not need as intricate or thorough hospitality software options. For instance, while some hospitality information systems may primarily focus on providing a look at portfolio-wide performance, your hotel may only be looking for hospitality property management software that helps your team check guests in and out easier.

After you’ve narrowed down your general property or portfolio type, you can keep this information in mind when researching the best hospitality management software for your team.

Integrations and Ease of Use

A hospitality app’s ease of use is paramount to the success of your hospitality and hotel management. As you’re researching the best hospitality software for your property, it’s a good idea to keep the following in mind:

  • Ease of use and activation: Does the platform have a modern, fresh design in addition to a user-friendly interface? Can you easily get various roles onboarded onto the hospitality software? Would this hospitality information system help most team members on a daily basis? Ensuring that your team members would be able to easily adopt the new hospitality management tools makes for an even better experience for everyone involved—and more profitable outcomes.
  • Integrations with existing software and processes: Does the hospitality management tool in question integrate with other accounting software, reservation platform, or any other important hospitality apps your team uses? Would the new hospitality management software allow you to transition over existing clients or documents? Could you sync up data across multiple programs? Confirming that any platform in mind wouldn’t completely disrupt your software status quo is also key.

Ensuring that any hotel management software you choose will be relatively simple to activate and integrate with existing processes will help your team feel all the more confident and comfortable in using it.

Hospitality and Software Marketing Trends

Finally, consider whether or not any hospitality management systems you’re interested in follow important market trends.

For example, many platforms for hospitality management today are cloud-based, rather than desktop-based. That means you can access the software from anywhere and from nearly any device, rather than being required to solely use it on the computer it’s installed on. What’s more, some hospitality management system software includes mobile-friendly capabilities, which allow your team and/or your customers to sign, pay, book, check in and check out, and more all from their phones.

No matter the feature, adopting a platform that follows the latest software and hospitality trends can ensure that your hospitality and hotel management stays “future-proofed” and accommodates tomorrow’s customers.

Benefits of ROH’s hospitality software

After you’ve considered the various hospitality management system options available as well as your portfolio’s unique needs and challenges, it’s time to narrow down your options and pick the right platform for your team.

ROH is one of the best hospitality software options available for asset owners, property operators, and hotel brands alike. With over a decade of trust with top hospitality brands, our hospitality software drives revenue, conversions, and collaboration for the hospitality industry, both property- and portfolio-wide. As a cloud-based platform, our software—which integrates with other popular hotel management software—provides modern solutions for nearly any member of your team.

Here are some of the top benefits of using ROH’s hospitality software:

Grow Revenue and Convert More Customers

With ROH’s hospitality software, you can close more deals with less sales efforts thanks to our platform’s modern tools. Here are some of the top features of our software that enable your hospitality management to become more profitable:

  • Mobile-friendly invoices and contracts: Create custom, mobile-friendly invoices and contracts and send them to customers in a matter of clicks—no need to require guests to provide their payment details over the phone, submit them in a PDF, or drop off a physical check. As a result, everyone saves time and your property gets paid faster.
  • Flexible, self-serve payment options: Not only can customers quickly pay with their phones, they can also pay all on their own, how they want. With ROH, guests can pay with card, e-check, or ACH, and all at once or in four interest-free payments over time. No matter which path they choose, your property receives the full amount upfront from ROH right away.
  • Card on file functionality: Safely store credit card information in the same system you use to charge them for an invoice with ROH. Plus, feel comfortable knowing that ROH is PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant, which means sensitive payment data stays secure.
  • Exclusive access to marketing support from Carats & Cake: As a ROH partner, you also unlock special access to Carats & Cake if you host social events like weddings, exposing your property to millions of monthly social impressions and 40,000 wedding vendors and much more.

Create, Manage, and Collaborate with Ease

ROH’s proptech platform provides solutions for several lines of business across your properties, including corporate events, social events, room blocks, small group sales, entertainment sales, guest services, activities, and association meetings. When your team can all access one platform for anything from revenue management to invoice monitoring to contract creation, team collaboration soars.

Standardize your property or portfolio’s operations with ROH’s hospitality software, thanks to tools like:

  • At-a-glance hospitality data and insights: Our platform provides and reports easy-to-digest data on several aspects of your hospitality and hotel management. No matter your role, you can easily find insights on all revenue streams managed through ROH with our helpful insights—no more manual tracking needed.
  • Comprehensive financial reporting: Financial performance reports allow your team to seamlessly track operations to make sure revenue is being maximized and everything is on track at every property in a portfolio.
  • A centralized dashboard: From sales to finance, keep all your teams on the same page with a universal admin dashboard. Team members can easily find payment statuses, contract updates, and more all on their own, rather than needing to email another team member to get the information they need.

Dial Up Your Property Group’s Efficiency

Working in hospitality should be about providing a memorable experience for your guests—that’s what your team loves doing the most, after all. But often, teams are required to spend valuable time focusing on manual, cumbersome tasks, like chasing down payments, trying to find the status of the latest invoice, or feeling generally bogged down trying to juggle multiple systems.

Our hospitality software takes burdensome tasks off your to-do list, so your team can focus on what they love. Helpful tools include:

  • Real-time notifications, actionable reminder, and automated invoice management: Our hospitality platform sends team members real-time notifications when someone has paid an invoice or signed a contract, plus automated reminders when invoices are due soon. Plus, our platform automates any follow-ups in case you need to send a customer a friendly reminder it’s time to pay.
  • Ability to offload payment hassles to our team: No more dealing with burdensome cancellations, refunds, or fraud headaches—our team of experts takes care of everything, freeing up more time for your team.

Standardize Operations Across Your Portfolio of Properties

It can be challenging to support multiple hotel brands or properties in your portfolio—why is why we created a solution with ROH. Our platform provides a universal, easy-to-use place to keep track of your entire portfolio, since it can be used across multiple properties and sales. (That means you don’t need to hop from property to property trying to track performance or flip back and forth between systems.) With ROH, your team can access property- and portfolio-wide capabilities to get a high-level overview of your portfolio’s performance in one single platform. Our centralized admin dashboard and financial reporting make it easy.

All of these benefits lead to noticeable improvements for our partners—and significant growth. On average, properties experience an average 15% increase in event revenue / property when they partner with ROH, in addition to a 4.5x return on investment (ROI). What’s more, an average 81% of payments convert faster. And that’s just the beginning.

How to learn more about hospitality software

We’d love to help you learn more about the ins and outs of hospitality management software. Our team of experts has years of experience and would love to walk you through how ROH’s hospitality software can help your hotel or property group drive increased conversions, revenue, and collaboration.

Sign up for a free demo to learn more about how ROH can transform your business.