SuitePad Blog / Customer Stories / How a Portuguese Hotel Found a Creative Solution to Staff Shortages

- Updated on 15.03.24 -

grip-lines-verticalIn the hospitality industry, where challenges like staff shortages persist, innovative solutions, like Lumen Lisboa Hotel's 'staff-on-call' feature, are paving the way for enhanced guest experiences.

Given the dynamic and evolving nature of the hospitality industry, hoteliers worldwide anticipate recurring challenges and changes each year. Every year there are obstacles to overcome for the vitality of our industry, and hospitality professionals strive to come up with practical and beneficial solutions.

How do staff shortages AFFECT the hospitality industry?

One such challenge the industry is going through at the moment is the persistent staff shortages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average turnover rate in the U.S. is around 13%. As their latest report shows, the hospitality industry has a turnover rate of 73.8% which puts it in the top 10 industries with the highest turnover rate. As it is the situation, hotels around the globe are having trouble finding or keeping qualified people to man their hotels, and this unfortunate situation is leading to reduced service quality, increased workloads for existing staff, potential limitations on amenities and services, challenges in hiring and training, higher labor costs, and a greater reliance on technology. With this long list of potential consequences, hoteliers have had to, and continue to need to, find creative ways to combat these issues effectively while maximizing guest satisfaction.

One unique approach to this specific problem is the creative way United Hotels of Portugal handled the limited staff and their increased workload. As is put by their CTO, João Marto Pereira, they ''recognized the need to employ creative solutions aided by technology to ensure guests continue to receive exceptional service even in the face of these challenges.'' To achieve this, they introduced a unique feature on their SuitePad tablets called "staff-on-call" in the group's Lumen Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. This innovative feature enables hotel staff to be available at their workstations upon guest request, initiated via the in-room tablets, eliminating the need for constant manning of these stations.

How does the “staff-on-call” feature work?

Lumens Hotel installation mock up imageIn addition to tablets in the rooms, they have tablets in the communal areas of the hotel, such as the bar or the restaurant. It functions similarly to one of those traditional service bells, but with a key difference. Instead of physically ringing a bell to alert the staff, this tablet sends a phone call to the hotel's service team.

This call system allows the staff to receive requests even when they are not in close proximity to the tablet. Guests can use the tablet to reach out to the hotel staff for various services, such as ordering drinks or food in the bar area. When a call is made, it is transmitted instantly to the appropriate staff members, who can then go to their stations and fulfill the order or assist the guest promptly.

“This creative feature offers a convenient and efficient way for our guests to receive the utmost quality service while allowing our staff to move around our premises freely, improving the overall guest experience and ensuring that their needs are met in a timely manner. I am very happy that we were able to find an effective solution by teaming up with SuitePad's customer success team, who were eager and super helpful to solve this problem with us.” says, Sergio Bernardo, the General Manager of Lumen Hotels.

This staff-on-call feature is also a first for SuitePad in-room tablets. It shows how powerful teamwork can be in tackling the challenges we all face in the hospitality industry together. If you like to have the staff-on-call feature as part of your digital solution or if you're looking to solve a similar problem, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Let's work together and figure it out! 


As the future unfolds, it becomes clearer that the industry is not prone to challenges. To be prepared to tackle any upcoming problems, hoteliers must be proactive when it comes to embracing cutting-edge hotel tech solutions. By doing so, they can not only overcome the current staff shortage crisis but also keep delivering the high-quality guest experience the modern traveler expects in the 21st century. This is crucial to ensure the continued success and resilience of the hospitality industry, securing its position as a thriving and indispensable part of the global economy, and SuitePad is happy to help with that.

 📸 Copyright: Lumen Lisboa Hotel & SuitePad
Published on 25 October 2023

Dilara Develi

Dilara Develi

As the Junior Marketing Manager, Dilara is responsible for content creation, manages SuitePad's social media channels, and coordinates marketing events.

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