Kinseth Hospitality partners with Relay to provide alert devices for employees

101 hotels to implement adaptive, voice-first technology for efficiency and safety

This Relay personal alert device will be deployed to Kinseth Hospitality employees across the Midwest and South. CREDIT EMILY MALONEY/THE MESSINA GROUP

Kinseth Hospitality Company announced Thursday it will deploy wearable alert devices for employees at Kinseth-managed properties throughout the Midwest and South.

The devices are being sourced from Relay, based in Raleigh, N.C., and will be distributed to more than 2,000 Kinseth employees.

“Relay was selected for its adaptive technology that will provide safety measures, allow for improved communications between staff members and provide a flexible platform that will allow us to locate and implement more efficiencies,” said Kinseth Hospitality director of purchasing and technology Scott Lockwood. “We are eager to further streamline our back-of-house work to continue to improve our high-touch customer experience.”

Headquartered in Coralville, Kinseth Hospitality represents full-service hotels, restaurants, catering and meeting facilities across 15 states and represents hotel and events industry brands including Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Radisson, Best Western and Wyndham, as well as The Sioux City Convention Center, Twelve01 Kitchen & Tap, Rock Island Ale House, River Rock Kitchen & Tap and McKnight’s Kitchen & Tap.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kinseth Hospitality and provide their employees with technology that will streamline day-to-day operations and prioritize workplace safety,” said Barbara Sharnak, vice president of business development and marketing strategy at Relay. “Kinseth is a leader in recognizing that employee satisfaction and security at work collectivity influences not only positive guest experiences, but substantial improvements across all areas of the business.”

The partnership establishes Relay as Kinseth Hospitality Companies’ exclusive alert device partner, deploying Relay’s technology in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The pocket-size, easy to use device will be available for Kinseth Hospitality employees working in management, guest services, housekeeping, maintenance and restaurant front-of and back-of-house staff.

The partnership expands Relay’s portfolio of properties, management companies and brands who have selected Relay “because it provides all-in-one functionality. Relay’s sophisticated technology is a significant upgrade from traditional walkie-talkies and do not burden employees with carrying multiple devices,” Relay officials said in a news release.

Unlike traditional two-way radios, which are limited by range and repeaters, Relay devices operate on WiFi and 4G networks that enable users to benefit from uninterrupted communications. The data, analytics and mapping capabilities of the devices and their ability to integrate into operations systems are recognized for aiding national operations like Kinseth Hospitality in finding operational efficiencies.

Relay features include:

  • Panic Alert: A single-button panic button solution to provide employers with the tools they need to give their employees the added protections they desire.
  • GPS and 3D-Mapping Capabilities: Allow logistics to better distribute staff quickly via a cloud-connected dashboard feature.
  • Accountability & Verification: Validates employees responsible for delivery or receiving of goods and services via auto-capture.
  • Language Translation: 15 languages for team members to use to communicate more effectively internally and externally.
  • Team Communications: Notifications via pre-recorded messages for the start and end of shifts.

Hotel unions, state and local governments across the nation are proposing legislation for the safety of hospitality staff by mandating panic buttons for hospitality workers. Bills have been passed in eight states, most recently in Pennsylvania and Georgia.