The Red Roof Inn on International Drive has become one of the large hotel chain’s first to adopt self-check-in kiosks for guests to bypass front-desk interactions. The business helped the Brazilian company Brisa, which has a small team located in Central Florida and is located in the UCF Business Incubator, launch its U.S. presence. CEO Paulo Toledo said that smaller to medium-sized hotels, along with mom-and-pop operations, had been slow to jump into the virtual check-in game.
“We understood from studying the market that the hospitality industry would be a major focus to start with,” he said. “Some of these companies are still in the initial stage of digital customization.” Toledo has been in Central Florida for the last six years, he said.
Brisa is a contractor that has worked on products for hotels, educational firms and large mobile phone companies like LG, doing software testing. Although the company had penetrated the market into large companies with its Latin American presence, doing so in the U.S. proved problematic. So, Toledo said, the company has started to work with smaller businesses, hoping to prove its value.
The trick for Toledo has been to convince smaller hotel chains and operations that this kind of automation is needed, a task made easier during the coronavirus pandemic. “When it arrived, we made another push,” he said. “It was about the need those companies had to assure social distancing and safer conditions for their guests to be safe.” Brisa’s kiosk allow hotel guests to check in on devices that are similar to airport kiosks.
The company has a white-label product that it provides for hotels and other clients. “In our experience, the hotel industry is very diverse,” he said. “On the one hand, you have big hotel chains that have more automation. On the other hand, you have a lot of mom-and-pops with very little automation.” “There is a huge opportunity in the market for introducing technology and automation in those organizations,” he said. “But we also see some barriers. This industry was hit very hard by the pandemic.”