Betterstory How a warm-hearted hotelier deals with digitization

Stefan Frankfurth, Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe

The small parish Bad Emstal is located southwest of Kassel and is one of the youngest spa resorts in Hesse. The community consists of four districts, one of which is Sand. Here, hotelier Stefan Frankfurth runs his cozy 4-star hotel “Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe”, which was founded by his parents in 1978. At the age of 13, Stefan Frankfurth already helped with the construction of the hotel and later continued to run it.

Husband, family man and hotel manager

The friendly host took over the hotel from his parents after his studies of business administration for the hotel and catering industry. The exclusive, privately-run four-star hotel has been the center of Stefan Frankfurth’s life since his childhood. It is not surprising that he met his wife at this very place. Meanwhile, three children made the family complete. His eldest son will succeed him after finishing his studies. The family-run hotel remains true to itself.

Stefan Frankfurth, Director of Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe
Stefan Frankfurth, Director of Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe

The open-minded and modern hotelier likes to experiment in the kitchen to switch off from his stressful everyday life. Here he can live out his fantasy, develop new recipes, or just cook something delicious. He loves his job, as well as his team. Anyone visiting this tranquil town will soon realize how much passion and attention to detail is put into the Parkhotel Emstaler Höhe. One of the things that Mr. Frankfurth likes about his job is the variety it offers. Creating wonderful moments for other people is the motivation of this committed host.

Digitization brings freedom

The digitization of his hotel has been very important to Stefan Frankfurth since the early stages of the hotel. In the early 90s he already replaced the handwritten reservation schedule with hotel management software. “The new Property Management System has made many things easier.”, explained Frankfurth. It convinced and motivated him to promote digitization in the hotel and at the end of the 90s he published the first website of the Parkhotel. At the same time, he successfully auctioned a variety of weekend arrangements on auction platforms.

Hotel guest sets room temperature at wall thermostat
Hotel guest sets room temperature at wall thermostat

Digitization is a regained piece of freedom and means independence for Mr. Frankfurth. The hearty host is no longer dependent on travel agents to survive in the market. He addresses his customers directly. Nowadays, he successfully markets his family-run four-star hotel himself – worldwide. He is no longer dependent on the services of travel agents.

Another advantage of digitization is the simplification of many processes in the hotel, no matter whether it is housekeeping, reception or in the kitchen. “Digitization gives us time.”, he says. Important time that he and his team prefer to devote to their guests. Despite digital technology, work with guests and service are still at the heart of events.

In addition, digitization is related to an enormous saving potential. The transformation to a smart hotel is even more attractive thanks to modern technology and software. Stefan Frankfurth saves resources, protects the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and reduces his expenses at the same time. This is the true meaning of digitization to the smart hotelier.

It pays to go ahead

Stefan Frankfurth has been in contact with Betterspace since 2016 and was immediately enthusiastic about the intelligent Room Control. It was easily integrated into the hotel without any structural measures. At this point neither he nor Betterspace had any idea of the success this would bring. In the meantime, he has been awarded by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for being one of the most innovative digital makers in Germany. He was rewarded with the “We do digital” prize thanks to his love to digitization, his openness to modern technology and his smart Room Control.

Hotel guest uses the digital guest directory iQ Tab as source of information
Hotel guest uses the digital guest directory iQ Tab as source of information

The hotelier describes the cooperation between Betterspace and Frankfurth briefly and succinctly with “simple”. To him, this is a great advantage of Betterspace’s solutions because complicated systems would rob his time and nerves, as he says. “After all, the innovative software and modern technology should relieve us and not give us more work.”

Digitization is a process that is never completed

Mr. Frankfurth made a very clear statement to his colleagues regarding the digitization of hotels. “It’s an ongoing process that does not end. ‘All or nothing’ is my motto. Anyone who implements systems only partially and believes that everything will run by itself, will soon have a problem.”, explains the hotelier. He knows perfectly well that with every new digital solution he will be asked questions too. “Identify your demand, adjust the screws that good systems provide to your own operational processes, and sometimes readjust them. Then it run flawlessly.”, he emphasizes.

Mr. Frankfurth with his smartphone in the hotel bar
Mr. Frankfurth with his smartphone in the hotel bar

Of course, he needs a partner to rely on, with the necessary know-how, someone who knows his needs and understands his problems. All this is important to Mr. Frankfurth, together with an open discussion on an equal level, which he knows is very difficult. His demands on partners are always high. Therefore, Stefan Frankfurth is even happier and grateful to Betterspace for their innovative and smart hotel solutions.

“That’s why we want to say thank you to the Betterspace team. That’s how it should work!”

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