Why hospitality cares about people counting technology

Job one in the hospitality business is to create an experience that exceeds expectations and keeps people coming back.

That’s no easy feat for brands like Marriott, which serves millions of guests every year across nearly 7,000 locations. To build loyalty, each hotel must meet brand standards no matter how busy it gets.

One Marriott location, just minutes away from Marriott’s HQ in Maryland, has been using people count technology to ensure service never slips.

It has been tremendously helpful in the fitness center and “M Club Lounge,” two popular amenities that require restocking and additional staff attention when traffic gets heavy.

Bethesda North Marriott

This Bethesda North Marriott location — which has 441 rooms and a 56,000 square-foot conference center — had previously relied on staff members regularly checking each.

But after installing Density’s sensors above the entrances, they no longer have to rely on guesswork. Staff members now receive an alert when the fitness center reaches a certain number of visits, instantly letting everyone know when the gym needs extra service. This means that every guest — whether they are the first to arrive at 5:00 am or the 50th person starting a workout that day — will walk into a clean space that keeps them wanting to come back.

Density tells me where people are and when they’re there… and it helps me to understand which resources I need to deploy and at what time.

– Mike Wilson, Director of Operations at Bethesda North Marriott

“Density tells me where people are and when they’re there,” says Mike Wilson, Director of Operations at Bethesda North Marriott. “And it helps me to understand which resources I need to deploy and at what time.”

The lounge presents an even bigger challenge.

marriott lounge where density is installed
The M Club Lounge at Bethesda North Marriott

This is an area reserved for elite Marriott members. So the service needs to be impeccable — above and beyond even the company’s high standards for “hosting brilliantly.”

Yes, this is a spot to relax. But it’s so much more. For Marriott, it is a place where the core principles of the brand — quality, comfort, and luxury — must always be on display for the most important guests.

The staff can’t afford to let anything slip. There always has to be hot coffee and healthy snacks on hand. Someone must always be available to answer any questions and fulfill every request. Everything has to be right.

Because whenever there is a problem, somebody will let you know. But, really, at that point, it’s too late. You’ve already let the guest down.

As both the fitness center and the lounge highlight, there are two big reasons that Wilson loves people count technology.

Density people counter installed in marriott lounge
Mike Wilson discussing Density’s real-time data in the lounge

The first is the surface-level, practical factor. Density’s people count technology improves staff efficiency and helps Bethesda North deploy its resources better. Now, they never run out of clean towels or coffee. His staff knows where to spend their time and prevents service shortfalls.

But the second benefit is even greater. This technology helps Marriott protect and showcase its brand.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to elevating the guest experience. And Density is giving Bethesda North the data it needs — in real-time — to do it better than ever.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to elevating the guest experience.

For Wilson, any technology that helps avert problems before they materialize is a godsend. It allows him to stop worrying about the little things and set his sights on the big picture. It keeps his guests coming back and spending more, which is what matters most for any hospitality business.

“Density gives us an anticipation of what’s going to happen in the next 15 minutes,” says Wilson. “So we’re not just on time, we’re actually early … Imagine if your building could talk to you and tell you what it needs. Density does that.”

Density people counter installed at Marriott gym
Density DPU installed above Marriott gym