The Concierge of the Future

Interview with Roomatic founder & CEO Andreas van de Castel

The concept of the concierge dates back to the Middle Ages. Seen then as more of a doorman than anything else, the concierge in our day has quite a different job. In a hotel he serves his guests, and knows what they want to make their stay as comfortable as possible almost before they do themselves.
Roomatic is a mobile concierge platform that enables hotel guests to order various services during their stay, without having to reach for the hotel phone or even leave the room. At the same time, Roomatic collects guest feedback, which helps hoteliers improve service quality and can consequently measurably boost guest ratings
Founder & CEO Andreas explains in a personal conversation more about his company and his participation in the Techstars METRO Accelerator.

How do hotel guests actually use Roomatic?

Roomatic is an app that simplifies the communication between guest and reception. Be it for the wake-up call in the morning, room service or any other service. The hotel guest simply starts our app, looks for the service he wants and sends to order to reception. This is then processed as quickly as possible by the staff to ensure that the guest is satisfied. Guests additionally receive relevant information about the hotel and its services as well as offers for recreational activities during their trip.

What are the advantages for the hotel?

Hotels are in constant competition to attract the patronage of travelers and subsequently face the challenge of continuously optimizing their reputation in booking and rating portals. Roomatic collects valuable feedback even during a guest’s stay, thereby enabling hoteliers to immediately respond to any customer discontent. This has a long-term effect on evaluations and consequently on business results.

How did you get the idea to develop this project?

I had a job where I had to do a lot of traveling. I often stayed in hotels and always came across the same annoying problems. I particularly experienced misunderstandings in communication with hotel staff when traveling internationally, so I thought that there must be a better way to approach this in the digital age. I created an initial concept and spoke with other frequent travelers and hoteliers in my circle of friends. A mutual friend ultimately introduced me to our CTO Arnis and we began working together.

How were the first two months in the Accelerator for you?

It was a very challenging time, with a lot of work, but at the same time really valuable. We had a ton of conversations with our amazing mentors, we pitched ideas and gave presentations. We were able to come to new realizations, like how we could best develop our project. We weren’t expecting that and were pleasantly surprised.

How are you profiting from the Accelerator?

Apart from the mentoring mentioned before, access to the METRO sales network is very useful to us. We’re still a small team with a small selling power. We can change that with access to METRO’s wide resources. Working with R/GA is also very useful. They’re helping us bring more emotion into our label and product, which makes them more marketable.

What do you want to achieve with Roomatic next year?

Next year, we’d like to acquire more hotel partners. We now have representation in four countries, and we’d like to expand into other countries by intensifying our sales activities.

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