5 key issues every hotel manager, owner and operator must be wary of today

Hotel management has never been easy. It’s always proved a tricky juggling act as managers are forced to find the right commercial balance between running their establishment and their team and delivering the best possible experience for their clients.

However, over recent years the task has become even harder. The impact of technology continues to drive the need to find new ways of doing things while guest expectations continue to soar ever higher.

At Keebles our specialist Leisure & Tourism team is working with a fast growing list of hotels, holiday parks and other hospitality based businesses so we thought we’d share some of the key issues we have recently helped our clients overcome.

1. Is your staff turnover under control … or at least manageable?

Staff retention (particularly in the most trusted positions) is probably the major issue facing hotel management. There are a number of reasons hospitality staff turnover is nearly double what it is in the next most affected sector; salary levels and long, unsociable hours are of course contributors but the increasing number of jobs being offered by competitors and the constant threat of burnout also require managers to remain vigilant.

One step we have found has worked really well for not only our hospitality clients but also our clients in the equally pressured care sector is training.

We’ve delivered management training that explains how best to manage a team so that you maximise retention levels and promote opportunities for personal and career development. If you’d like more details, please email us at craig.law@keebles.com

2. Greater competition = Greater expectation

Hotel management have always had to keep their clients happy but today you need to do more; happy is no longer enough, people need to be wowed and the little touches that were once appreciated are now expected.

You need to make sure you know about what your competitors are doing so you don’t fall behind but even more importantly ask yourself what are you doing to monitor client satisfaction levels? And how easy do you make it for your clients to offer you the new ideas you’ll need to stay ahead of your competitors and provide the optimum level of service from the point a client books until they leave you?

3. Keep up with technology

When it comes to tech there are the ‘must haves’ for guests (Wi-Fi, USB ports etc.). Then there are the ‘must haves’ for you that’ll make your service offering is as streamlined as it can be and make finding you and booking with you as easy as it can be for your guests.

Guest-wise do you have an app? Can you order products or services during your stay with that app? Can you boost revenues by upselling some of the services that sometimes get forgotten via your app?

Looking internally, how does your booking system interface with your accounts and/or ordering packages? Are there other ways technology could help you perform more efficiently and free up more time for your staff to make your guests’ stay even more enjoyable.

4. How do you tackle risk management?

As it’s not the most pleasant topic, it’s one that’s sometimes not discussed as it should be. However, one only has to look at recent events in countries like Syria, Egypt and Turkey to see the impact terrorism has had on the tourism and hospitality sectors.

As a hotel operator, your approach to the security and safety of your clients must be without reproach. You need to have the right level of surveillance in place and that can be expensive, particularly as margins are already being squeezed.

However, you also need to be aware of the channels terrorists employ to raise their finances and ensure your credit card systems and customer data are totally secure. The price Marriott were threatened with for their own data breaches only underlines the need for hotel owners and operators to pay close attention to the demands of data protection and, more specifically, GDPR.

5. Revenue management

Because of the seasonality of the hospitality industry, hotel management constantly need to find new ways to maintain levels of occupancy during the quieter months.

Some hotels have struck lucrative partnerships with special interest groups (e.g. pensioner parties, Scandinavian walking clubs, war gamers, lovers of a specific musical genres) who can fill rooms and maintain food and beverage revenue streams during traditionally quiet times during the year.

Similarly building closer ties with the local tourist board or town/city council can also create new opportunities not to mention increase bookings you may have otherwise missed during the busier times.

At the same time managers cannot afford to take their eye of costs. Do the terms of the contracts you have with your suppliers enable you to be flexible when it comes to expected and unexpected drops in occupancy? Do they allow you to drop the level of supply or even switch supplier altogether if your customers’ tastes suddenly change?

After all, the last thing you want is to be left paying for things you don’t need!

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your business – particularly if it involves employment, commercial contracts or GDPR – our specialist Leisure & Tourism team is here to help. To arrange a time to speak please email Craig Law at craig.law@keebles.com or call Craig on 0114 252 1440.

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