How The Laundry Rooms is redefining the high-end guest experience with 10% of the conventional hotel staff.
”“At the Laundry Rooms our team members are all former Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton luxury hotel employees. We’re accustomed to providing an extremely high level of service. We do it with 10% of the staff of a conventional hotel. Enso Connect plays a significant part in that.”Matthew OpferkuchCEO and Founder of The Laundry Rooms
The story of The Laundry Rooms
Started from one unit on top of The Laundry Designs studio, the concept grew into a high-end extended-stay residential hotel brand. “Not a hotel and definitely not your cousin’s Airbnb”, the new hybrid model of short-term accommodation rental is taking over the Ontario cities. After a successful launch in Waterloo, in the midst of a pandemic, the company has just rolled out its second location in Hamilton. The roadmap includes at least four more cities.
The Laundry Rooms’ vision of high-tech, light touch hotel
The Laundry Rooms’ vision is to marry the two worlds of luxury hotels and short-term rentals. Their accommodations are bright and vibrant and are located in secondary cities, where there aren’t a lot of cool places to stay.
Brand’s accommodations are in amenity-rich buildings in central, walkable and public transit-accessible locations near employment, entertainment, education and health hubs.
Guests enjoy fully furnished residential suites with full stacked kitchens along hotel-like services and amenities. The design-forward “hometels” feature swimming pools, gyms, yoga studios, co-working spaces, a ground-floor restaurant and a coming-soon rooftop patio.
The Laundry Rooms is a technology-driven business, incorporating tech solutions to digitize and personalize guest interactions and create efficiencies. The company is using Mews property management software and the Enso Connect integration for guest experience management.
Discussing The Laundry Rooms’ digital guest experience
We sat down with Matthew Opferkuch, CEO and Founder and Nicole Rodger, Marketing & Communications Coordinator of The Laundry Rooms. They shared with us how the evolution of hospitality inspired the new hybrid lodging concept and how technology helps bring it to life. We discussed the main components of The Laundry Rooms brand success and plans for the future.
What is the hybrid accommodation concept of The Laundry Rooms?
When we founded the company in 2019, we really wanted to take advantage of everything that is great about residential apartments and hotels, and marry the two.
We apply all of the brand standards you’d expect in a great hotel, like Four Seasons, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, so that there is a consistency in service and quality across our entire platform.
We hire professional hoteliers who manage and operate our buildings.
On the other hand, we also provide all of the benefits of short-term rentals.
In our Hamilton location you’ve got 800 square-feet suites that include in-suite full kitchens and laundry facilities. Plenty of space to work and relax and feel at home away from home.
We apply our brand standards across the entire platform so our guests can rest assured they’ll find the same service and the same level of amenities in any of The Laundry Rooms locations.
And that’s where we’ve really carved out a nice little niche.
What challenges do you face as modern hoteliers in a post-pandemic world?
There are three main challenges all hospitality operators face in a post-pandemic world:
- labor is really tight
- costs have gone up significantly
- and our guests’ expectations are extremely high. Much higher than they were pre-pandemic.
How do you balance the conflicting areas of labor shortage, high costs and growing guest expectations in hospitality?
Technology and digital guest experience is the answer to all three of these challenges.
We incorporate “light touch” management, allowing guests to minimize interactions with staff if they choose, including remote check-in, keyless entry, virtual concierge and on-demand housekeeping services.
We don’t have a concierge or front desk agent, standing at a desk eight hours a day, just waiting for the guest. There is only one team member who greets our guests on arrival, and then for the balance of their stay. Guests use Enso Connect’s capabilities to converse with that one employee, who can juggle both concierge, front desk, and housekeeping when necessary.
So we’re becoming much more efficient than a conventional hotel ever would have been.
At the Laundry Rooms our team members are all former Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton luxury hotel employees. We’re accustomed to providing an extremely high level of service. In our case however, we do it with roughly 10% of the staff of a conventional hotel. And Enso Connect plays a really significant part in that.
It’s a single platform, a unified communication tool that effectively allows us to leverage all of that technology and provide those same levels of service with a significant reduction in employee count.
What was the process of choosing the right guest experience tech solution that fits your business?
Initially when we were looking for a tech solution, to be completely honest we were really just looking for something to help us out with our door hardware.
That’s when we landed upon Enso Connect, which took it to a completely different level. Enso really is a one-stop-shop for the guest experience. From pre-arrival, check-in, check out and everything in-between.
We can provide our guests via the Boarding Pass, with everything they need to know about, not just our building, but everything around the neighborhood. The best place to get a coffee, the best place to get your haircut, where to walk your dog – all in one simple web-based guest app.
How does your team benefit from using the Enso Connect guest experience platform?
Not only does Enso Connect elevate the guest experience, but it also streamlines our experience. Our team is able to do everything – all in one platform, from communicating to setting up automations, marketing and so much more.
Enso Connect’s automation and customization capabilities allow us to create automated flows tailored to the needs of our business. For example, we don’t have to manually verify guests or send them to different softwares to complete the process. The flow is included in the Boarding Pass, allowing us to control the steps and avoid tedious situations or human error.
How was the onboarding and implementation process with Enso Connect?
Onboarding with Enso Connect was quite simple. It was an easy program to get used to. If I had any questions I could reach out and ask, but I found it pretty simple to navigate around myself.
I was able to set up a lot of things on my own. It all worked pretty seamlessly.