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Connecting with millennials is simple, so long as you are fluent in emoji.
Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District on Wednesday launched TiGi (“Text It. Get It.”) Emoji Room Service Menu, enabling guests to contact the front desk and request services using emoji.
Part of the Starwood brand, Aloft is the company’s millennial-focused arm, with guests who are hyper-connected, hyper-curious and hyper-communal, says Paige Francis, vice president of global brand management, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands.
“Emojis are ubiquitous right now – everyone I know uses them both in personal and professional communications, so why shouldn’t our guests be able to use them when once they step into our hotels?” Francis says. “And, frankly, emojis are just fun.”
The menu features six different kits, each easily displayed by a single or a combination of emoji. The kits range in price from $10 to $30 and are called The Hangover (vitamin water, Advil, bananas), The Munchies (Doritos, Snickers, chocolate brownie and a Coke), The Sightseer ($10 Metrocard, city map and two drinks at WXYZ), Phone Charger (iPhone or Android), The Refresh (toothpaste, toothbrush razor and other toiletries), and Surprise Me (miscellaneous items).
“We thought about those things our guests ask for the most: toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, phone chargers,” Francis says. “And then we also thought about what we always want on the road – like a Snickers bar at midnight or, yes, a hangover remedy.”
To order, guests simply text the corresponding emojis from TiGi menu to the hotel’s dedicated TiGi number and include their room number. The hotel then confirms the order using the thumbs up emoji, and then delivers the kit to a guest’s room, adding the price onto the final bill. Price per kit is based on what these items cost at Aloft’s Re:fuel stations. Francis says.
The menu is a pilot program launched in New York largely due to the vibrant mix of international travelers, allowing Aloft to reach a broader demographic, Francis says.
“Based on consumer response, [TiGi Emoji Room Service Menu] will launch in other Aloft hotels around the world. Aloft Bangkok will launch in the coming weeks, and we will roll out to other hotels in Europe, Asia and Latin America.”