Industry experts expect that it may take up to 5 years, especially in big cities with an international audience, until sales like in 2019 are achieved again. But also in small and medium-sized cities and in holiday regions, at least 2021 is just as damaged as 2020. Hotel entrepreneurs have to be prepared for this.
Check what impression your hotel leaves on customers or interested parties during the lockdown. Many customers complain that they want to book the autumn conference now but do not get any offers from the hotels. The entire reservation department in the lockdown can cost a lot of revenue in the third and fourth quarter. It is very important that all requests (gladly from the home office) are handled with the usual speed and quality and that the distribution is maintained for 365 days in advance.
Now the offers and products for the future have to be developed. How do we want to celebrate after Corona? How to meet? And how to travel? Many requirements and wishes of guests and customers will change. More digitalisation, less bureaucracy, fewer queues (both at reception and at the buffet) and some other trends are emerging. Self check-in and check-out, online table ordering, smart hygiene concepts (more hosting, less pestering) are topics with which you can score points. The concepts must be developed now at the latest. Once guests have returned, an important point in time has been missed and your offer may no longer be up to date.
For the next conference with a hygiene concept, for team building or a summer party to motivate the teams again. Or for the wedding that has already been postponed twice. They are there and you can also organise the quick or self-tests for your guests.
Intensive controlling and perfect cost and liquidity management ensure survival. The basis is a budget that reflects the difficult economic situation of your hotel as accurately as possible. The profit is in the purchase, our fathers already knew that. It is important to review all contracts now and renegotiate them if necessary.
A review of ALL creditors also often shows that unused contracts have been paid on for years. Now you can no longer afford such sloppy processes.
You need equipment for professional video conferencing. And if the weekly virtual meeting with your employees (on short time) is not part of your lockdown rituals anyway, it should be introduced now at the latest. Suitable workstations with audio, web camera and fast internet have been a must since spring 2020 at the latest. Perhaps important customers will also want to hold a quick video conference with you and your team in the future? The hardware and software for a video conference should be as natural as a telephone and e-mail access.
Regularly check your incoming reservations and adjust your revenue management to the new conditions. Looking at the past is currently of little use. A quick and straightforward analysis of advance bookings reveals the right pricing and sales strategies. A good software for business analysis or revenue management will certainly help. Sticking to rigid pricing systems (e.g. seasonal prices) belongs in the mothballs of outdated hotel concepts.
Sustainability, climate protection, protection of resources, social responsibility are still relevant trend topics. Probably the importance is rather increasing! These topics are a matter for the boss. Everywhere.
Perhaps you and your staff are a little rusty and have forgotten important tools. Even if it is financially difficult. Getting the right coach to start or regularly inviting them to webinars keeps the spirit and motivation up.
Corona also brings good things. Many companies were literally forced to bring digitalisation up to today’s standards in a very short time. Maybe their employees love to work from the home office a few days a month! Probably for many employees in marketing, e-commerce, revenue management or even reservations this is important arguments to want to work for your hotel. Let’s embrace these changes!
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