The Road to Hotel Recovery

“Business and MICE travellers will be one of the last sectors to recover” explains Manesh Balani, CEO of Orsini SPI.

Hotels are looking at a large task of rebuilding their clientele base. The immediate recovery will start with the leisure tourist from a mix of local staycations and overseas travellers in countries where tourists are allowed to enter. Competition for these hotel guests will be fierce, and the room rates will be challenged to a point where luxury hotel rates will look very similar to limited service hotels. While governments work on ways to allow international travel to start and consumers gain confidence to travel, here are some thoughts on how to manage the road to recovery.

The New Normal for Hospitality Procurement: don't touch hotel desk call bell
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Up your service offering

Have doormen, bell boys and butlers available to help guest open doors and push buttons so you minimize frequent contact on surfaces. Put more housekeeping staff in public areas, cleaning more frequently to let guests know you are being proactive about cleaning common spaces.

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Control your costs

Keep your P&L as close to operational break-even as possible. Buy only the essentials, look at using F&B operating equipment from outlets which are closed or from banqueting instead of buying new stock to top up any breakages. Make sure your Chief Engineer, Executive Housekeeper, and F&B Manager are watching their costs closer than ever.

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Remember hotels and tourism infrastructure have been built for the long term

The challenges today are an opportunity for every hotel to reassess their operating model and staffing. Look at the operations which can be outsourced to reduce your fixed overhead expenses.

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Use this slower period to upgrade the skill set of your staff

There are many in house and online training programmes to help increase the knowledge and skill set of your team. When occupancy levels improve, you will be able to achieve higher rates of profitability if your staff are trained in efficiency. The better the output by fewer team members will result in your hotel achieving profitability quicker.

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Keep the hospitality in hospitality

We are all living with the new situation of having to serve guests in an environment while taking extra safety precautions. Hotel guests and the staff serving them may not know the best way to handle situations as they arise. Train your staff on how to shine their smile through a mask; how to handle situations when guests do not follow the safety procedures and cause distress to other guests; how to go the extra mile and help give guests the sense of comfort and relief when they have come to your hotel to get away from it all.