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31 Best Hotel Booking Sites to Find Deals and Unique Accommodations

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 days ago

Are you feeling as couped up as we are with this Coronavirus quarantine? Looking for inspiration and deals to plan your revenge trip when the world opens back up again? Nothing beats that rush when you book a killer hotel deal! With the number of hotel booking sites multiplying at a rapid pace, it can be difficult to know where to find the best deals - and without getting scammed. In this article, we’ll introduce you to several types of hotel booking sites, including online travel agencies, comparison or “meta-search” sites, branded hotel sites, innovative booking sites, flash sales and “mystery hotel” deals, and some sites offering unique accommodations. By the end of this page, you’ll know several sites where you can find the best deals for the kind of travel that’s in your future. Ultimately finding the best hotel booking website will mean different things to different people.  Even a single person may define "best" differently for different types of trips. Are you looking for the most sophisticated search engine that makes  your hotel search fast and painless? Google would likely be considered a top contender.  Maybe you're looking for cheap hotels to stay at on your next business trip to San Francisco where you'd prefer Kayak.  Maybe you need an all suites hotel in Las Vegas for a bachelor party or an all-in package for your family to Disneyland Orlando with car rental, activities and more. In this article we'll break down 'best' into 5 categories to make it easy for you to find what you're looking for on different types of trips: Top Hotel Deal Sites Online travel agencies Price comparison websites Branded hotel booking Unique accomodations Let’s dive in!   Online Travel Agencies If making hotel reservations were like online shopping, then the online travel agencies are the Amazon of the hotel industry. These mega-sites contain millions of listings for hotels, vacation rentals, and everything in between. If you travel frequently, some OTAs even offer loyalty programs which can bring you even more perks and discounts. Booking.com If you’ve ever searched for hotels online, chances are you’ve come across Booking.com. This massive hotel booking site is the largest in the world, with over 28 million properties listed. You can find everything from luxury hotels to hostels to apartment rentals on Booking.com. In the search results, you can quickly see the property’s guest review score, the cheapest room type, and the total reservation price - unlike some other sites which only show the nightly rate. At most Booking.com properties, you pay directly at the hotel when you arrive. Unique feature: Sheer volume of properties Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: Through Booking’s Genius program, you get extra discounts after staying at two properties within two years, and after five stays, you get perks like room upgrades and free breakfast. Did you know? Booking.com is the most popular travel website in the world, with hundreds of millions of visitors per month!   Expedia Expedia can be considered your one-stop-shop for travel. You can book not only hotels on the site, but also flights, rental cars, cruises, and activities. Hotels can join Expedia’s frequent flash sales, and travelers can often get extra discounts with promo codes around major holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Expedia is one of the few sites that offers package deals (a bundle of flight, hotel, and/or rental car reservations), which often include significant discounts.     Unique feature: Package deals Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: Expedia Rewards members get access to members-only discounts and collect points on every booking. Members can redeem points for free stays, and higher-tier members enjoy perks like room upgrades and free amenities. Did you know? Expedia owns Orbitz and Travelocity, so you’ll see exactly the same properties and rates on those sites.   Hotels.com Hotels.com is part of the Expedia Group, so you’ll find the same hotels (and hostels, vacation rentals, etc.) on this site, but the real difference lies in the loyalty program. Sign up for a free Hotels.com Rewards account to get one free night for every 10 nights you stay. The value of your free night is an average of the 10 paid nights, and the location, brand, or star rating doesn’t matter. It’s a great way to get free nights at independent hotels, especially if you travel a lot!      Unique feature: Loyalty program Region: Worldwide, but most popular in the US and Canada Loyalty program: Stay 10 nights, get one free. Membership is free. Did you know? The Hotels.com spokesperson is Captain Obvious.   Agoda If you’re traveling in the US or Europe, you have a plethora of booking sites at your fingertips. In Asia, however, especially in less popular and rural areas, Agoda is often your only option. Agoda has over 2 million listings, which can be hotels, resorts, hostels, homestays, and vacation rentals. Check the “Today’s Deals” page for promo codes valid for extra discounts.     Unique feature: Volume of properties in Asian markets Region: Most popular in Asia Loyalty program: The PointsMAX program lets you pair your airline loyalty program (like AAdvantage) and earn miles after each Agoda stay. Did you know? Agoda’s website and mobile app are translated into 38 languages.   Hotel Booking Comparison Sites With so many booking sites, it could take hours for you to compare the prices for one hotel on all of them. Comparison sites, also known as meta-search sites, do the heavy lifting for you and pull the rates from various OTAs into one place. You can then click the link for the website with the cheapest rate and book directly through that site. Kayak Even though Booking.com owns Kayak, you can use Kayak to compare prices for hotels, rental cars, and flights on dozens, if not hundreds, of different websites. If you’re watching a specific flight or hotels over specific dates, you can sign up for a price alert and receive an email when rates increase or decrease. Unique feature: Price comparisons for hotels and flights Region: Worldwide, but most popular in the US Loyalty program: None Did you know? Kayak’s “Deals” page sells discounted tours and concert tickets.   HotelsCombined Another popular meta-search site is HotelsCombined, which - you guessed it - combines the search results from all the big booking sites into one consolidated hotel list. After plugging in dates and a destination, you can filter the results by star rating, guest review score, neighborhood, brand, amenities, and more. Unique feature: Price comparisons for hotels, flights  Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Over 400 million travelers used HotelsCombined last year.   Trivago If you’re searching for the best deals on hotels, Trivago is a good place to look. The site compares over 1.8 million hotels and pulls in prices from over 400 different websites. You can filter your search results by star rating, review score, and amenities, and you can see average hotel prices per day to find cheaper days of the week or month.     Unique feature: The calendar highlights cheaper and more expensive dates. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Trivago doesn’t just shop hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals.   Tripadvisor Though you may know Tripadvisor best as a review site, it’s also a travel booking and comparison site. On each hotel listing, above the reviews section, you’ll see rates for that hotel on all of the big OTAs and, usually, the hotel’s own website. Tripadvisor lists not only hotels, but you can also book vacation rentals, tours, activities, and restaurant reservations.     Unique feature: Easy to find added-value offers, like free breakfast Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Tripadvisor highlights the cheapest dates for a given hotel so you can find the best deals.   Google Is there anything you can’t find on Google? As a newer player in the travel game, many people don’t know that Google can reveal some good hotel deals. You can find hotels on Google in two ways: a simple Google search for “hotels in ___” and through Google Maps. Google’s hotel listings contain all of the hotel’s Google Maps info, like contact information, photos, and guest reviews, and the listings also show prices and links to book at various sites, often including the hotel’s own website. Unique feature: Google Maps data, including reviews and photos. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Some hotels have Google Street View 3D tours.   Hotel Brand Booking Websites Do you crave quality, consistency, and lots of loyalty perks? The world’s global hotel chains offer a lot of value to frequent travelers through their loyalty programs, which are free to join and often offer members-only rates and benefits. The three chains below offer a myriad of different brands ranging from budget to ultra-luxury with properties around the world. These are just a few brands of the many across the globe, but they offer some of the best loyalty programs and property portfolios. Hilton HHonors As one of the world’s most well known chains, Hilton Worldwide has a portfolio of over 6000 hotels in 120 countries. The Hilton umbrella includes brands like Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, and Waldorf Astoria, and you can book all Hilton hotels on the brand’s main website or app. When you create a free Hilton HHonors account, you’ll receive access to special member discounts and get free WiFi at all Hilton properties. Unique feature: All HHonors members can use digital check-in to choose their own room. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: HHonors tiers include Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond, and all members accumulate points which can be redeemed for free nights. Did you know? Gold and Diamond members receive free breakfast at all Hilton properties.   Marriott Bonvoy Marriott International comes in at #3 in the list of largest hotel chains in the world, and the company has over 7000 properties in its portfolio. After Marriott’s merger with Starwood in 2015, the company’s portfolio grew to include a whopping 30 brands, including Courtyard, Four Points, Moxy, Sheraton, Westin, and Ritz-Carlton. Marriott’s website and mobile apps allow you to book all 30 brands in the same place.     Unique feature: Elite members staying at least 10 nights per year receive late checkout at all Marriott properties. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: Marriott’s Bonvoy program has six tiers from standard Member to Ambassador Elite. Did you know? If you stay 250 nights at Marriott properties and earn Elite status for 5 years, you get Elite status for life.   World of Hyatt Though Hyatt’s portfolio size pales in comparison to Marriott and Hilton, World of Hyatt members enjoy some pretty incredible perks at the company’s roughly 900 hotels around the world. Hyatt’s brands include Hyatt Place, Hyatt Centric, Andaz, Hyatt Regency, and Park Hyatt, and you can book them all on Hyatt’s website and apps. Hyatt also has several “independent collections,” such as Joie de Vivre, which include boutique hotels with no Hyatt branding. Unique feature: World of Hyatt members enjoy perks at Exhale Spas, American Airlines, and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: World of Hyatt’s membership tiers include Member, Discoverist (10 nights/year), Explorist (30 nights/year), and Globalist (60 nights/year). Did you know? Globalist members get free breakfast or executive lounge access at every Hyatt property.   Innovative Hotel Booking Site Concepts Looking for something a little different? These specialized sites go beyond what the traditional OTAs offer. You’ll find sites that focus on specific types of hotels - or even specific hotel amenities - as well as platforms that utilize technology to deliver better prices than you can find elsewhere. Some even offer hidden, members-only deals that you must sign in to view. Take your deal-hacking to the next level with these disrupters. Roomer Travel Have you ever needed to cancel a non-refundable hotel reservation? In most cases, you can’t get your money back, but you can post your reservation on Roomer. This site offers discounted stays at hotels around the world - but be warned, the dates are very specific and you can usually only choose from one room type. If you get lucky and the dates align with your travel dates, then you’re in luck!     Unique feature: Reselling hotel reservations that other people can’t use. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Though the original booker couldn’t get a refund from the hotel, some of Roomer’s offers are refundable when you book through the Roomer site.   Splitty Travel This money-saving site uses technology to hack other travel sites and find the best deals. Splitty’s technology combines multiple offers at the same hotel to secure a lower-priced reservation. How, you ask? Maybe you’re searching for a 4-night stay in Dallas, and the cheapest room at Hotel ABC is $75, but it’s only available for the first 3 nights. Because it’s not available for your entire stay, the other sites won’t show it in their search results. Instead, they’ll show a $120 room that is available for the whole stay. Splitty, however, can create a “split” reservation for you that includes a combination of the $75 and $120 rooms - as an example.     Unique feature: Creative rate-hacking technology. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Sometimes Splitty’s technology will reveal available combinations of rooms or rates at hotels that appear sold out on other sites.   Secret Escapes This members-only deal site offers great discounts on luxury hotels and resorts around the world. Well, that sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch? The sales are only available for a limited time (a couple days, usually), and the travel date ranges are often limited too. But if your travel dates are flexible, you can find fantastic deals. Browse the site’s upcoming offers and if you see one that looks interesting, you can get an email reminder when the sale goes live.   Unique feature: Limited-time-only sales on luxury properties. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None, but you must create an account in order to see deals and book. Did you know? Some of Secret Escapes’ offers include airfare.   Pruvo Have you ever bought a new pair of shoes only to learn they went on sale a week later? The same thing happens with hotels; prices can decrease between the time you booked and the time you check in, and Pruvo helps you take advantage of these price drops. When you book a room with a free cancellation policy on any booking site (like Expedia or Booking.com), you can email your confirmation to Pruvo and they’ll keep an eye on your hotel’s rates. If prices drop, you’ll get an email with instructions for booking that cheaper rate. Best of all, Pruvo’s service is free! Unique feature: Save money back after you book. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Install Pruvo’s Chrome extension so you don’t need to manually email your reservation confirmations.   HotelTonight If you’re the type of traveler who waits to book a hotel until you’ve arrived at the airport, then HotelTonight is the app for you. HotelTonight offers discounted rates at just a handful of properties, so you don’t get stuck with analysis paralysis. The deepest discounts are usually on last-minute reservations, though you can book months in advance if that’s your style. The company puts hotels into categories like “Basic,” “Hip,” and “High Roller,” to make your decision even easier. Unique feature: Best deals on same-day reservations. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: Get extra discounts, credits, and amenities through the HT Perks program. The more you spend, the better the benefits. Did you know? The “Daily Deal” gives you an extra discount at one property - but you need to book it within 15 minutes.   Dayuse Day trips, red-eye flights, meetings, photoshoots - there are many reasons why you could need a hotel room just for a day. But until Dayuse came along, you usually had to book the room for the night in order to get access for the couple of hours you need. Dayuse allows you to book rooms at over 5,000 hotels in 25 countries for prices up to 75% off the nightly rate. Some hotels even include pool, spa, or fitness center access.     Unique feature: Deep discounts for daytime-only hotel rooms. Region: Select countries around the world. Loyalty program: None Did you know? Some Dayuse hotels offer time slots so you only pay for the hours you need.   ResortPass Nothing says “vacation” like reclining in a lounge chair, drink in hand, on a palm tree-lined pool deck at a swanky resort. But what if your budget doesn’t include the room rate at that swanky resort? ResortPass offers day passes to pools, spas, and other amenities at over 400 high-end hotels so you can enjoy the vacation vibes at a serious discount. ResortPass is perfect for locals and vacation rental guests too. Unique feature: Access to luxury hotel amenities without paying the nightly rate. Region: Mostly US, but some properties in Mexico and the Caribbean. Loyalty program: None Did you know? You can earn a 10% discount by tagging ResortPass in a social media post.   Hopper Some studies say the best day of the week to book travel is Tuesday, but maybe the greatest savings for your hotel pop up on a Friday - you never know! Hopper is the closest thing we have to a glimpse into the future of hotel rates. The app uses high-tech price monitoring algorithms to notify you when prices drop on the hotels or flights you’re tracking. Unique feature: Price alerts for flights and hotels. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Over 30 million travelers have used Hopper.   Mr. and Mrs. Smith For fans of high-end boutique hotels, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a dream come true. You won’t find any big box-style chain hotels on this site - only unique, independent hotels that offer five-star service. These are hotels you’d pick for a honeymoon or special occasion trip. Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s team handpicks and reviews hotels for the site, so you can be sure that every property offers quality and value. Members-only perks include extra discounts, free amenities, and access to the company’s concierge team. Unique feature: Exclusive perks and discounts and luxurious boutique hotels. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: The basic BlackSmith membership is free, but SilverSmith and GoldSmith tiers come at a monthly cost, though they include perks like room upgrades and airport lounge access. Did you know? Some of Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s perks include free dinners or hundreds of dollars in resort credit.   Tablet Hotels Another site designed for boutique hotel lovers, Tablet offers deals on unique hotels around the world. The site lists properties included in the MICHELIN Guide, so you know they’re all highly rated for quality, service, and amenities. Tablet Plus members can enjoy extra discounts, late check-outs, room upgrades, and more.     Unique feature: Only the best hotels are listed on Tablet - if guest reviews fall short, the hotel is removed from the site. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: Access to Tablet’s hotel deals is free, but the Tablet Plus program offers deeper discounts and extra perks for $99 per year. Did you know? Tablet’s online magazine, The Agenda, contains high-quality articles that will surely inspire you to travel.   Best Hotel Booking Sites to Find Deals Trying to save cash? These hotel booking sites are designed to get you the best deals possible. If you’re looking for certain amenities, a fixed location, or a specific set of dates, these sites might not deliver, but if you’re flexible, you can find impressive savings. Hotwire Have you ever booked a hotel without knowing the name, the exact location, or what kind of room you’ll get? If you dare to roll the dice on Hotwire’s “Hot Rate” hotels, you just might be rewarded. Hotels in this program offer significant discounts (think 40 or 50% off), but with a catch: Hotwire does not reveal the name of the hotel until you’ve confirmed your reservation.      Unique feature: “Mystery hotel” offers. Region: Primarily US Loyalty program: None Did you know? Hotwire’s Hot Rate hotels do disclose some amenities, so you’ll know if your hotel has free parking, a pool, or a gym.   Groupon If you’re searching for a cheap vacation with no particular dates or locations in mind, Groupon can be a gold mine. The site offers hotel stays or vacation packages for destinations around the country (and sometimes Mexico and the Caribbean), but the terms and conditions usually include fixed dates or restrictions. Make your decision quick, though, because the offers are often only available for a limited time.     Unique feature: Deep discounts on only select participating hotels. Region: United States, Caribbean, Mexico Loyalty program: None Did you know? You can search by “interest” rather than destination, so if you’re looking for a romantic vacation to nowhere in particular, for example, you can discover someplace new.   TravelZoo TravelZoo is like the clearance rack at your favorite store: it has a mix of everything, prices are deeply discounted, and sometimes you can find an absolute gem. TravelZoo offers over 2,000 travel products - including cruises, airfare, hotels, and packages - at significantly reduced rates. Most offers are only valid for a specific set of dates, so if your travel is flexible, you can get the best value. Unique feature: Discounts on hotels, cruises, airfare, and vacation packages. Region: Worldwide, but primarily US Loyalty program: None, but TravelZoo does have a referral program. Did you know? TravelZoo also offers spa and entertainment discounts - you just need to look for them!   Best Sites to Book Unique Accomodations Why stay in an ordinary hotel room when you can have a truly one-of-a-kind experience? Browse these sites to find everything from cabins to castles and treehouses to tipis - often at cheaper prices than standard hotels. Who knows, you might even meet new friends too! Airbnb Though Airbnb wasn’t the first website to offer vacation rentals, it definitely made more people consider switching from hotels to rental properties. Airbnb hosts offer a huge variety of spaces, including apartments, homes, treehouses, tiny houses, private rooms, and more. Because many Airbnbs don’t offer the same services as hotels (like daily housekeeping), you can find some great deals, especially in big cities. But not all Airbnbs are cheap - prepare to pay hundreds of dollars per night for a castle or a beachfront villa! Unique feature: Airbnb encourages hosts to provide exceptional hospitality to their guests, even rewarding top hosts with “Superhost” status. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? You can pair your accommodation with an Airbnb Experience, which are host-led tours or activities like cooking classes, walking tours, or bike expeditions.   Vrbo Originally called “Vacation Rentals By Owner,” Vrbo focuses on traditional vacation rentals, like homes and condos. You won’t find any cheap shared rooms here, but you can still find some great deals, especially if you’re staying for a while. Some Vrbo property owners offer weekly or monthly discounts. Unique feature: You can filter Vrbo’s search results by Property Type, so you can narrow down your search to cabins, bungalows, or chalets, just to name a few. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Vrbo and its sister site, HomeAway, are now part of the Expedia Group.   Hipcamp If you want to get out in nature, Hipcamp might be your new favorite site. Instead of hotels, this site lets you book more than 300,000 camping experiences that range from BYO-tent campsites to RVs, cabins, and yurts. Listings are created by hosts, so you can enjoy the same personal touch and connection that you can find on Airbnb.     Unique feature: The Hipcamp of the Year lists highlights the top-rated campsites in every state. Region: United States Loyalty program: None Did you know? You can invite your friends to join Hipcamp and earn a nice referral bonus!   Upcamp Looking to score a spot at a sold-out campsite? Upcamp will alert you instantly if your dream campsite receives a cancellation. When you get notified, you can book the campsite on the campsite’s own booking page. Upcamp is only available on a mobile app for now, which is easy to use and showcases some beautiful photos! Unique feature: Availability alerts for thousands of campsites around the country. Region: United States Loyalty program: None Did you know? You can choose to receive alerts for specific dates or a range of dates.   Couchsurfing.com Travelers looking to save money and meet people can join events and crash on extra beds, couches, and air mattresses in hosts’ homes in over 200,000 cities around the world - for free. Couchsurfing.com uses a review and profile system to build trust among its 12 million members, and it’s not uncommon for hosts and couchsurfers to become lifelong friends. Unique feature: Emphasis on community and building personal connections. Region: Worldwide Loyalty program: None Did you know? Couchsurfing.com members have organized over a half million events.   Getaway Craving an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? Getaway’s tiny houses are conveniently located in rural locations within driving distance of major cities like New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles. The cabins offer plenty of modern conveniences so you can enjoy the outdoors without roughing it too much. They include private bathrooms, kitchenettes, and A/C and heat, plus a huge window that occupies an entire wall.     Unique feature: Every cabin has a self check-in system. Region: United States Loyalty program: You automatically get an 8th night free after staying for 7 - no membership program sign-up necessary. Did you know? Getaway donates to Feeding America for every booking made.   Ready to hit the road? With these money-saving hotel booking sites, you can save cash on your accommodation so you can splurge on a delicious meal, a bucket list tour, or a new smart suitcase. Did we miss any cool sites? Let us know about your favorite!  

What are the Geopolitical and Cyber Risks in Hospitality?

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 week ago

Nobody is immune to hacking and cyber attacks.  Almost all major hotel chains and tech companies have been hacked in recent years.  It’s not just the hotel industry either - some of the biggest data breaches in history have been inflicted on the most advanced tech companies in the world like Adobe, LinkedIn and eBay. As hoteliers we don’t have time to take advanced online cybersecurity courses or go back to college for a masters in geopolitics.  At the same time, we’re all increasingly afraid that our property is going to be featured in the next front page newspaper headline about hackers stealing data from the hotel industry. A guest data breach opens us to public scrutiny, damages our reputation and exposes our businesses to massive financial liability. While it’s impossible to outright prevent cyber attacks in today’s complex digital businesses environment, we’re all responsible for protecting guests and mitigating risks to the best of our abilities.  In order to help you protect your customers and your hotel business you’ll need to first understand a bit about the recent history of hacking. This article will inform you on the latest data security trends.  It will then apply these learnings to hotel technology decision making.  Specifically we’re going to focus on how to mitigate the risks associated with vendor selection through geographic screening, financial diligence and IT architecture.   Data Sovereignty and Cybersecurity Data sovereignty refers to the rights and storage of company and customer data based on geography.  The main purpose of data sovereignty laws is to secure data and ensure the privacy of populations from foreign threats.  Data sovereignty began to popularize around the time that GDPR laws went into effect.  The data privacy movement has largely been spearheaded by Europe with the United States and Canada as fast followers. Unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of data sovereignty debates have occurred between Western countries (U.S. & E.U.) and China.  China’s rapid rise to power has come with many reforms but the country still faces significant stigmas associated with its approach to data privacy and intelligence gathering. China has a different vision from the West (and many in the East) for the future of the internet: “China has pushed through dozens of regulations and technical standards that, in conjunction, bolster the government’s control of and visibility into the entire internet ecosystem, from the infrastructure that undergirds the internet, to the flow of data, to the dissemination of information online, to the make-up of the software and hardware that form the basis of everything from e-commerce to industrial control systems.” ~ The Atlantic So what does Xi Jinping and the PRC’s vision for the future of cybersecurity and data sovereignty have to do with your hotel business? In short, a lot.   Data Sovereignty and Hotel Tech Vendor Selection Back in March the hotel tech world was shocked when American President Donald Trump took action to block Shiji’s acquisition of U.S. property management system StayNTouch.  Some conspiracy theorists attempted to draw connections to Trump’s relationship with Oracle founder Larry Ellison in the wake of Shiji cancelling it’s longstanding reseller agreement with the firm. These theories fail to put the dispute into the larger context of Chinese data security issues in recent decades.  Trump’s blockage of Shiji’s deal is hardly the first straw drawn in the cyber dispute between the West and China.  Before we assess the perceived risks associated with U.S. and European hotels purchasing Chinese technology, let’s look at the history of data surveillance.   Understanding Risk in the Context of Huawei China is hardly the first government to develop a global monitoring system.  Back in the 1960s the American government began collaborating with the U.K. to develop a global system of satellites and software backdoors that would later expand to other allies such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand (Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance).  Global telecom powerhouse Huawei is widely regarded as China’s solution to the West’s multi-decade head start on surveillance technology. “Huawei’s corporate strategy – which is to say, the strategy of China’s intelligence services – is to grant massive discounts on the installation of a network’s less critical bits on the condition that Huawei can also install and maintain the cores,” says Peter Ziehan, a leading geopolitics strategist. In March of 2019, the Five Eyes alliance officially blocked Huawei’s ability to deploy 5G technology into its member states.  Additionally, the US government banned US firms from selling components to the firm.  For critics who claim that Trump’s reaction to the StayNTouch acquisition is a blunt overreaction, the Huawei response is orders of magnitude more severe. So why was this action taken against Huawei? “Huawei would have no choice but to hand over network data to the Chinese government if Beijing asked for it, because of espionage and national security laws in the country,” experts told CNBC.   A Stark Contrast with U.S. and European Tech There are signs of reform in China coming from the corporate sector but these signs are early at best.  Alibaba and Tencent have recently attempted to refuse sending data to Beijing (mostly unsuccessfully).  Notably, Alibaba is a minority investor in Shiji after making a $486M investment in the firm back in 2014. Similarly, WeChat made a decision not to store chat logs on its platform.  Many believe this was to remove the responsibility of sending on demand data to Beijing.  Others are skeptical of whether the firm is being honest in it’s claim that it doesn’t store chat data. Despite these small but important reforms, the paradigm within western democratic data sovereignty lies in stark contrast to that seen in China where U.S. and European companies are in constant litigation around user data with governments and visa versa - a testament to the checks and balances that preserve the rights and privacy of consumers.  These checks and balances are far from perfect, but they lay the groundwork for progress. In 2015, Apple famously declined the U.S. government’s request to unlock a criminal’s iPhone citing its unflinching focus on security and user privacy.  A letter from Apple to iPhone customers demonstrates just how difficult it is for U.S. authorities to violate consumer privacy: “The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.” Apple Customer Letter Not only do U.S. and European companies have the ability to substantially fight their government in the interests of consumer privacy, but Western governments have demonstrated an interest in regulating the same for their corporate counterparts.  This fact has been highlighted numerous times in recent years.  Perhaps the highest profile case relates to U.S. federal regulators mounting a legal offensive against Facebook for it’s handling of customer data in the context of Cambridge Analytica.  EU regulators are perhaps even more aggressive in their protection of consumer data as evidenced by a lawsuit against Google resulting in a $57M fine. The important takeaway here is that U.S. and European companies can publicly (and aggressively) fight the government and visa versa.  In China, that still seems to not be the case and that likely poses a material risk to any U.S. or European hotel property that chooses to adopt Chinese technology.   It’s Just Business In our increasingly globalized economies xenophobia is dangerous and counterproductive.  The arguments being made here are far from that - these are important business considerations.  China has a vested interest in its new kind of patrolled internet and despite activists' criticism, those interests are well founded based on its desire to maintain domestic security and prevent internal social unrest. There are no “good guys” and “bad guys” in this debate, it’s merely a political and strategic dance between different interests and cultures.  Having said that, China’s national interests and world views are in stark conflict with those of the democratic Western countries in Europe and North America meaning that private businesses who consider adopting Chinese technology need to consider the implications of that conflict.  So what are the implications for private businesses like your hotel? As experienced hoteliers know, corporate meeting planners from major clients like Google manage a close knit group of hotel partners that are certified to host high profile meetings.  These partners are closely vetted based on security protocols.  Oftentimes these hotels need to  enter corporate code names into the PMS upon booking in order to maintain confidentiality and mitigate any potential risks. So if corporate groups like Google and Amazon require secure hotel meeting environments it’s no shock that the U.S. government demands the same.  The U.S. government is a major corporate group segment for hotels.  Given the steps taken by corporations like Google and Amazon to ensure secure meetings it’s no wonder that the Federal government doesn’t want China to have access to government worker data and government meeting information.  Additionally, China has a history of being linked to hotel industry hacking. In February of 2020 the United States Department of Justice formally charged four members of the Chinese military in connection with the 2017 Equifax hack leaking identifying information about millions of people in the U.S.  “The Equifax attack was explicitly linked to the Marriott and OPM breaches as part of the same larger operation. This was an extremely rare move — the U.S. rarely files criminal charges against foreign intelligence officers in order to avoid retaliation against American operatives — that underscored how seriously the U.S. government took the attack” writes the New York Times. Additionally there is evidence connecting China directly to the massive Starwood/Marriott hack,  “The cyberattack on the Marriott hotel chain that collected personal details of roughly 500 million guests was part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort that also hacked health insurers and the security clearance files of millions more Americans, according to two people briefed on the investigation.”  Security experts point out the fact that Starwood’s data leak was never released online for sale on the dark web.  They assert that if the hackers didn’t do this for the money, it’s highly probable that this was related to an intelligence gathering exploit.   How is Your Hotel Affected? There are many technical ways to mitigate these risks such as penetration testing, hiring a cyber security audit firm, securing WiFi networks and more.  The single most important thing that any hotel can do to mitigate cyber risk is to be diligent in technology vendor selection. As we saw in the case of Starwood’s hack, Marriott ended up taking responsibility despite not being the responsible party at the time of the breach.  The same goes for your hotel.  Every manager and IT leader needs to understand their technology architecture, vulnerabilities and steps being taken to protect their guests.  Technology firms spend millions of dollars on engineering to ensure this security but it’s on hotel tech buyers to ensure that they’re asking the right questions and selecting the right vendors. Every hotelier needs to understand the data sovereignty of their systems.  It’s important to consider the risks of storing your guest data in China or other regions of the world that might be vulnerable to leakage, hacking or straight up confiscation by local governments. Another important facet to consider is the financial viability of your technology partners.  Businesses that are cash strapped or struggling often aren’t able to invest to the same level in cyber security and innovation which poses a risk.  SaaS stands for “software as a service” and while you might be “buying”tech today, the shrewdest buyers understand that they are buying into the future of that business including their product roadmap and investments in critical innovation to remain competitive.  Just last year, Drury Hotels was forced to notify guests of a security incident that occured on an undisclosed third party technology service provider involving information related to online booking sites. The best way to ensure that your hotel group does not become the next Drury Hotels is to perform extensive diligence on your vendors.  Where are they located? Where does data get stored?  Who has the rights to that data? How much have they invested in cyber security? What steps and protocols exist to ensure that your hotel’s data (especially sensitive guest data) is kept from malicious cyber attacks?  

How to Write a Restaurant Business Plan

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 weeks ago

So you're considering getting into restaurants? Godspeed. The restaurant industry can be tough but like any business it's got both ups and downs. But it's also one of the most rewarding, especially for those with a deep passion for food and the art of hospitality.  The first year of your new food restaurant will be the hardest of all - but this guide will help fortify your launch. In both boom times and downturns, a proper restaurant business plan is an important piece of a successful business and your roadmap to success whether you're launching a fast food concept or a fine dining restaurant. The business planning process will help you further define your concept and sharpen your approach so that you can stay focused during build out and maintain competitiveness after opening. New restaurant owners should be especially committed to this process so that they can learn as much as possible about the industry and their potential concept --  and be prepared for the road ahead. Yes, it takes a bit of work and time investment to write a compelling business plan. But that’s the whole point! Whether this is your first restaurant or your hundredth, a great business plan structures your concept to give it the greatest chance of success.  To put yourself in the best position to achieve your dream of owning a restaurant -- or building an empire -- here's everything you need to write a winning restaurant business plan.   A great restaurant business plan doesn't need all 10 components; however, if you omit one of these you should be able to explain to investors why you chose not to include that section. 1. Cover Page 2. Executive Summary 3. Restaurant Team 4. Concept Overview 5. Market Analysis 6. Operations Plan 7. Marketing Plan 8. Financial Plan 9. Investment & Capital 10. Business Plan FAQs   Why You Need A Restaurant Business Plan First and foremost, your restaurant business plan should answer the question: “Why does the world need this specific food-service concept -- and why now?” The planning process helps you refine the concept, clarify priorities and catalyze the opportunity within the context of the broader market. Beyond that primary objective, the business plan functions as a blueprint for building your vision. It's a framework for moving forward that keeps you on track and prevents you from drifting away from your vision. That drift can be significant: you’ll make hundreds (if not thousands!) of decisions during the build-out and pre-opening phases, each of which can contribute to gradual drift absent a clear and shared framework. Your restaurant business plan is not just a critical operational tool. It’s also a sales and marketing asset. The average restaurant startup cost varies by concept and geography, but ranges from $1,808 per seat for casual quick serve with smaller footprints to over $6,000 for high-touch fine dining and larger establishments. With that kind of money on the table, you need to do your homework, create a realistic and comprehensive business plan and show investors that you know what you’re doing. “You have to show any potential investor that you have an actual plan, you know what you’re talking about, it looks professional, and you’re not just screwing around.” Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla Above all, remember that the majority of restaurants fail within the first few years. It's an incredibly challenging business! Your plan should address this head-on and emphasize any unique competitive advantages that insulate your business and make it more resilient. Investors will be looking for these types of competitive moats that can make or break a restaurant!   What You Need To Include In Your Restaurant Business Plan Restaurants aren't the place to use the Lean Startup framework. There's no Minimum Viable Product. We're talking about a physical space that can't easily be adapted to serve new customers or do new things. You're quite literally limited by the dimensions of your space and the types of equipment you've installed in your kitchen and bar areas. That doesn't mean that you can't evolve your business over time; on the contrary, it's important to build that flexibility into your plan and how you design your space. You just need to be confident and what you're doing because it won't be easy (or cheap) to change directions if it doesn’t work out! And that confidence should come across throughout your business plan -- your confidence in your product gives investors confidence too. Every statement you make should be backed by data (including the reason for choosing your concept and target market) and all challenges should be called out. Alongside data and research, honesty and directness go a long way in a restaurant business plan.  Cover Page Make a great first impression by putting your logo front and center. Don't have a logo? Your plan may suffer because the logo gives potential investors their first impression of your concept and its marketability -- as well as a basic test of your professionalism and vision for the concept. You'll also want to add your contact information and any relevant social media handles that can  provide more background as potential investors do their due diligence.  Executive Summary The Executive Summary or company description introduces your concept and provides a brief overview of what’s to come. Resist the temptation to over explain or cram everything in. It should fit on a single page! The objective of the summary isn’t to give investors everything they need to make a decision; it’s to capture their attention so that they want to read more. We recommend the “6 Ws” framework that underpin the Lean Six Sigma management technique. Briefly answer the following questions, using bullet points to make it easy to digest: Who We Are: Introduce yourself and any partners, as well as any key hires already attached to the project and your chosen business structure.  What We Sell (And To Whom): The concept and the target customer segment When: The timeline for the plan, from build-out to pre-opening to opening. Where: If you already have the location selected, show this information. Otherwise, offer a brief explanation of target neighborhoods. Why: Your vision for this concept and highlight your hopes and dreams for the future. Is it expansion? Franchising? Sticking to a single location? Close out the executive summary with a high-level financial summary, including estimated pre-opening costs and gross revenues in the first three years.  Team This section is all about what makes your team the rockstars that are going to execute this vision! Using brief bios (with photos) of management, operating partners and key hires, you’ll carefully construct the narrative around why this is the right management team to not just bring this concept to life but to build it into a profitable business. Keep it brief but impactful by focusing on the most relevant experience for this specific concept. The Restaurant Concept This is arguably the most important section. It's your chance to showcase your vision,  expertise and unique approach. In it, you’ll share the inspiration behind the concept,  what types of food will be serving, the service style, and a sample menu. The objective of this section is to clearly explain what's unique about your restaurant and what makes you the one to bring this concept to life. Be sure to include the following: A mission statement. Mission statements certainly can come across as fluffy and high-level. If that’s the case with yours, you’re doing it wrong!  your mission statement should encapsulate what you hope to accomplish with your business, and give you a North Star to guide your decisions. A well-crafted mission statement can do wonders at keeping you focused --  especially amidst the avalanche of decisions to make during build out. Here's a list of restaurant mission statements to get the juices flowing. A sample menu. This menu is extremely important for three reasons: first, it's a tangible representation of the concept and what you plan to serve. Second, the menu informs the design of the kitchen and bar areas; without a menu, you can't select kitchen equipment and thus can’t accurately estimate the cost of the kitchen. Finally, it should show that you have adequately costed out your menu items (using what's known in the industry as menu engineering) to ensure the viability and profitability of the concept. Bonus points if you can show the estimated profitability per item within the sample menu! The draft Shake Shack menu, as scribbled on a napkin by Danny Meyer. The legendary restaurateur keeps the sketch framed in his office next to a sign “The bigger we get, the smaller we need to act.”   Concept design. At the very least, include an architect's rendering of the space.  Even if you don't have a specific location selected, this helps investors visualize the concept and its atmosphere. Take some time to explain the service style and how the guests will experience the space. It never hurts to get into the weeds here: the types of glassware, the lighting, the seating choices. Concept location: If you already have a location selected, explain the nuts and bolts of the build-out phase, especially any costly renovations such as adding a hood venting system. Add as much detail as possible about the specific location, including photos, blueprints, etc. Startup costs. A quick overview of what it will cost to open your first location. You'll provide a more detailed look at startup costs in the Financial Plan section Finally, we recommend doing a SWOT analysis of your concept, which is an honest appraisal of its  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Good investors are not easily swayed by smoke and mirrors, so use data/research to back it up! Answer the following questions in your SWOT to round out this section. Strengths: What makes your concept stand out? Weaknesses: Where could you potentially fall short? Opportunities: What makes this the right time, the right team  and the right location for this concept?  Threats: What is the competitive landscape that may hinder your success?   Market Analysis In this section, you'll make the case for why this concept is filling a hole in the market.   The key here is to do your research. Instinct and expertise only go so far at convincing investors that this is a sound investment. You need to drive home the opportunity using as much research and data as possible --  especially when it comes to high risk investments like restaurants. Industry Analysis. Start with a high-level overview of the current market trends when it comes to restaurants at the macro-level. Keep it brief; restaurants are inherently local so these wider trends aren’t as useful as the local market ones. Local Market Overview. Next, zoom into your local market to highlight the opportunity in the city and neighborhood that your restaurant will occupy. Do a thorough analysis of the area’s competition, as that heavily influences your success or failure. You need to be very clear about what differentiates your restaurant from others in the area so that consumers have a clear reason to patronize your restaurant over others. You’ll need a crystal clear differentiator in a cluster of similar restaurants. Images work well here, as do graphs and other relevant visuals. Guest Segmentation. Be specific about what types of people will frequent your restaurant. Use personas to show a deep understanding about who your target consumers are and why they would frequent this restaurant. You'll want to tie this segmentation into your earlier Market Overview. For example, if there are new developments in your restaurant's neighborhood that could contribute additional demand from a specific demographic, mention that. When it comes to research sources, you have a few options. The National Restaurant Association not only has nationwide data (such as the 2020 State of the Industry report available free to members) but also has local chapters that can assist with market-specific information. Your local Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Development agency can provide local market statistics around regional growth and even neighborhood-specific data. Neighborhood associations are also useful sources of information -- not to mention eventual allies for your new restaurant.  Operations Plan Once you've established the concept, and how it fits into the local market, it’s time to detail your plan to build and operate the restaurant. Staffing. Your personnel plan should clearly lay out how many staff members you anticipate needing for daily operations. You’ll also want to include any other talent that will influence your success, such as  your attorney, accountant, bookkeeper, architect, designers, general contractor and/or marketing consultant. Briefly introduce them and highlight any relevant accomplishments or expertise. Training. How will you train your staff? Make a clear plan that outlines not just pre-opening training but also staff training for regular operations. Remember that turnover in restaurants is quite high, so you want to have a very complete Employee Handbook and Training Plan that aligns with your service standards. Suppliers & Vendors. To show preparation and organization, identify your chosen suppliers and vendors. The list should include (but isn’t limited to) the following: POS, payment processor, printers, kitchen/inventory management system, accounting, staff scheduling and labor management software, payroll processor, food safety, digital marketing agency, website builder, and delivery, if applicable. Crisis and Business Continuity. Recent events have reminded us all about the power of planning. Extra credit for those who include a section around planning around businesses continuity in crisis situations: staff illness, food poisoning, natural disasters, and unexpected economic headwinds could all potentially impact your business. Some may only attack your reputation while others threaten your very existence. Preparation is key. Marketing Plan A restaurant is only as good as its marketing. Ok, well, that’s not entirely true -- the food, service and ambiance matter too! After all, the most delicious food, the most exceptional service, and the most inviting ambiance mean nothing if no one walks through the doors. Marketing can also be a clear competitive advantage over competing restaurants. So, if that's the case with your restaurant -- and it absolutely must be if you are planning to open in an area with fierce competition -- make that case here. Elements of a successful marketing plan for a restaurant include: Website. Potential guests often use search engines to find restaurants. In fact, “restaurants near me” is  an extremely popular term. Your website is your calling card for those guests.  It also helps those who add a reservation or NovaSure restaurant to find your address. Your website should be easy to use and put the essential information up front: the address and the menu.  Organic Social Media. Restaurants are one of the easiest business types to market on social media -- the content is always rich, colorful and engaging! Foodies can be found all over social media and the platforms are naturally built for the images and videos that restaurants create. Demonstrate your grasp of the power of social media by showing how you intend to use this free marketing platform. Or mention your impressive digital marketing agency that will help you build your brand online by finding and nurturing a community of passionate followers. Paid (Digital) Marketing. Organic visibility is only one part of your marketing strategy.  You must supplement that work with strategic paid digital marketing that amplifies your message and gets your restaurant in front of people deciding where to eat.  Your digital marketing may include: Search ads, social media ads, and potentially Yelp/TripAdvisor. Certain types of restaurants also do well on radio and TV.  Loyalty. It's so much easier to keep a customer once you have them. What's your restaurant strategy for building a loyal customer base and not relying on paid advertising to get people to the doors? Outline strategies for getting online reviews (and improving your ratings), building a database of customer information for regular promotions (such as email newsletters) and  encouraging your best customers to show their experience with friends to build word of mouth.  Loyalty programs can help bring back happy guests in higher frequencies but if guests don't have a great experience at your establishment - a bad first impression can turn loyalty into an uphill battle. Public Relations. It's not realistic to just expect that your restaurant will capture the attention of journalists once it opens. You'll need a detailed PR strategy that puts your restaurant in front of relevant local food press and national food press. Another great way to build PR and give back is to engage with community events and charity galas.  best intimate events give you a chance to meet your customers face-to-face outside of the restaurant and so your commitment to the community.  Financial Plan Restaurants require a lot of upfront investment. From rent to insurance to permits, printers and POS terminals, there’s an endless list of expenses. Even if you’re acquiring an existing property, it's not a cheap business to start up. As you create your budget, refer to the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants, the gold standard restaurant accounting. Not only will it show you how to set up your own books but it may also give you an idea of common expenses you may be overlooking. Although these projections are created long before you open for business, they still matter greatly. A thoughtful approach, backed by explanations for the numbers, highlights your professionalism and expertise to investors. Start up costs. Include anything and everything required to get you to opening day: build-out costs, equipment cost, licenses and permits, architects fees, rent, insurance (business interruption, liquor liability, general liability) and labor (pre-opening management salaries and training new staff prior to opening). On top of the total startup costs, add at least a 10% buffer for contingencies, or unexpected cost overruns. And don’t forget working capital -- You should assume that you won’t fully break even until a year too, and have enough working capital to sustain your business as you work toward profitability. Profit and Loss (P&L). Combine your revenue forecasts with your costs to show your potential for profitability over the next 3-5 years. Include both your fixed costs (things that won't change often, such as rent and insurance) and variable costs (things that change such as labor and food costs). If you’re not comfortable with numbers, lean on your accountant for help. There are also vendors that offer business plan creation software that greatly simplifies the complexities of financial projections. The right software can make a world of difference. It will track your business progress over time to benchmark against projections --  and save you time from spreadsheet hell! Additional Analysis. In addition to the other analysis, include a break-even analysis and cash flow projections. These detail what it will take to get to break even (where your revenue covers your expenses) and show your expected cash flows (and that you’ll be sufficiently capitalized to make it through the early years of the restaurant).   Investment & Capital Required Close it out with a clear breakdown of the investment required to get this restaurant off the ground and support its operations until it can sustain itself through cash flow -- and ultimately profit. You have to be careful to avoid directly asking for an investment, as that could be seen as a solicitation for investment. Every country (and locale) has its own Rules regarding how and where companies can solicit investments. So be very careful to abide by those rules and avoid breaking the law in your jurisdiction. One way to go about doing this is to break down how you would use the potential capital. It can be as simple as the following: Total Capital: $400,000 Build Out Cost: $300,000 Contingency: $30,000 Initial Inventory: $20,000 Marketing: $10,000 Working Capital: $40,000   Restaurant Business Plan FAQs To close out this guide to writing a restaurant business plan, here are answers to common questions. We hope these help you as you start the long but valuable process of building out a plan for your new restaurant concept! Why do I need a restaurant business plan? The business plan process puts structure around your idea and makes it more marketable. Since restaurants are not simple or cheap to start up, it's likely that you will need investors. Structure and marketability will come into handy as you talk to potential investors (such as family, friends, and angels). if you're seeking financing from Banks, then you will be required to have a plan that goes into very clear detail on all aspects of your business, especially the financials. If you find yourself balking at the thought of building out an entire plan, at the very least you should do the One Page Business Plan. While we don't recommend these short plans for Investments as complex as restaurants, they may help you collect your thoughts What are some sources for researching my restaurant idea? Successful restaurants are rarely built on hope and instinct. Putting some third-party research into your plan will help you sell the idea. And talking to potential customers will help you show why your idea is filling a gap in the market. Here are a few resources: National Restaurant Association (U.S). The NRA has nationwide data (such as the 2020 State of the Industry) as well as has local chapters with market-specific information. If you're outside of the United States, look to your country’s own association for additional information. Local organizations. Many cities and communities have Chambers of Commerce and/or Economic Development agencies that exist to facilitate new business activity. Reach out to these entities to see how they may help you with research and other support.  Google Forms. It's never a bad idea to talk to potential customers. You can do this face-to-face or send out a survey with a free tool like Google Survey. Neighborhood associations. Restaurants are community businesses. Engaging the local neighborhood association will not only introduce your concept to potential customers, but it will also give you critical insights into your restaurant’s neighborhood. Where can I find restaurant business plan templates? There are several business planning software tools that allow you to both build your business plan from a template and model your financial projections.   Restaurant business plan samples can also help speed up your planning. There’s a major time savings to using software that includes financial modeling; without it, you're stuck with a spreadsheet that doesn't always adjust to any changes. It's just much easier and a better experience when you can easily change numbers and see the impact of various scenarios. A quick search for restaurant business plans give you options to evaluate. Why do restaurants fail? There is no way to sugarcoat it: owning and operating a restaurant is a difficult enterprise. There are easier ways to make money! More often than not, restaurants fail due to two things:  owner/operator burnout and undercapitalization. Since restaurants are such intense businesses, it can be exhausting over time. In addition, the razor-thin margins of most restaurants means that they need a healthy capital cushion to weather head winds. Other common failures include a poor location, bad food/service (and resulting reviews), unscrupulous owners (tax evasion) and poor cost management (out-of-control labor and food costs).  

Hospitality Innovation is Thriving Despite the Crisis (Q2 Innovation Report)

by
Jordan Hollander
2 weeks ago

Innovation is alive and well in hospitality. Don't believe us? Check out the 47 new hospitality innovations that we cover in this report.  In the age of coronavirus we all catch ourselves thinking that the world is coming to an end from time to time. Don't worry, this article has nothing to do with coronavirus (but it's hard not to address the elephant in the room these days). In order to keep this article COVID free, let's run a scenario analysis using Hotel Tech Report's Innovation Wager™.  The wager considers four alternate universes based on two axes.  On our X axis we consider two worlds: Scenario A considers optimal decision making if the hotel industry does not recover, Scenario B considers what to do if you believe that it will. On our Y axis we consider what happens if we improve the way we do business with new technology and processes.  The wager shows us that in any potential outcome, it's always in our interest to improve the way we operate our businesses.  The only unacceptable outcome is the one where the world does not come to an end and we do not improve our tech and operational processes.   So the next question is how did we choose our Y axis (i.e. update my hotel's tech and operations)?  The math is simple, if your hotel group's breakeven is at 25-30% occupancy and you're currently running at 0% you are essentially racing against time to hit that occupancy.  Global travel demand is unfortunately out of your control, so what can you do to get there as quickly as possible? You can improve your margins to lower your breakeven occupancy by getting more efficient at your property.  For this you may explore technology like keyless entry or staff collaboration tools to help your slimmed down team do more with less.  You can sell long term group business today to bring deposit revenue in ahead of those bookings and for that you'll need airtight sales tech and processes.  You could also get more efficient at acquiring guests to hit that 25-30% occupancy rate faster. In this article, we showcase 47 hospitality innovations that have been launched in the crisis.  As you explore ways to improve your margins, get smarter at guest acquisition and more - this list can put you on the cutting edge.  We've divided the article into five categories: Revenue Management Innovations Marketing Innovations Operational Innovations Guest Experience Innovations Sales and Meetings Innovations     BONUS: Look for the contactless badge next to products in the innovation report to identify technologies that will help your hotel go contactless, boost your recovery efforts and prepare now for the inevitable changes that are coming.  The tools have functionality that will enable you limit human physical contact to pre-emptively prepare for new government regulations and even more importantly, guest expectations.   Q2 Innovations in Revenue Management   1. OTA Insight Market Insight Tool OTA Insight’s Market Insight tool offers a smarter way to predict demand and price your rooms accordingly. Market Insight gathers and analyzes data from hotel web searches, flight data, events, holidays, online reviews, weather forecasts, and alternative lodging inventory to give your revenue team location-specific insights segmented into different customer groups. Learn more about your target guest’s booking intent and use real-time market trends to capitalize on revenue opportunities before your competition. 2. SiteMinder Insights SiteMinder Insights allows hotels to be smarter about their sales and marketing strategies while maintaining their brand integrity. This tool has monitoring and reporting capabilities that provide hoteliers a single place to access clear and actionable data on their local market, business performance and guests. This integration can help hoteliers make more informed decisions about hotel pricing and distribution, based on impartial data, as well as reveal insights that help get ahead of the competition. 3. Infor Price Optimizator Infor Hospitality Price Optimizer (HPO) is a mobile-first app that helps hotels price their rooms in a more accurate and timely manner. The algorithms that drive the app replicate the approach the guest takes to book a room: the system data from star ratings, location, pricing, and reviews to select which hotels are the valid competitors that should influence the pricing decision. he system automatically detects seasons and events for a dynamic pricing solution that updates throughout the day as needed.   4. HotelIQ Monthly Forecasting HotelIQ has been working on a Monthly Forecasting & Budgeting Tool that can generate forecasts and budgets for up to 12 months at a time. The platform pulls your real-time PMS data to use as a baseline, automating the burdensome task of maintaining spreadsheets and forecasting by hand. Easily edit figures, track performance, and generate market segment level forecasts and budgets.   5. IDeaS RevPlan IDeaS RevPlan is a total revenue forecasting, planning and enterprise consolidation tool. RevPlan can automate scientific forecasting, budgeting and financial submission for your entire property – from rooms to food & beverage and other income revenue streams. Save time and manual effort while driving greater profitability: RevPlan provides hotels the ability to forecast accurately and precisely.   6. RateGain MarketDRONE RateGain is launching MarketDRONE, a new feature for its rate intelligence platform OPTIMA. MarketDRONE tracks intra-day rates and rate-plan changes by hotels in real-time. Whenever a competitive hotel makes a rate change, your revenue manager receives an alert. Hotels are constantly changing rates for existing plans and introducing new rate plans close to check-in-date to sell off their unsold inventory and maximize revenue. As such, a revenue manager, on an average, may lose $1,000 or more per day by not acting on these intra-day market changes in real-time. With MarketDRONE, revenue managers do not have to pull out rate shopping reports on a daily basis to make the strategic decisions. The instant alerts provide them the market insights on the fly and basis that they can take the recommended actions on the go.   7. HotelTime Instant Reporting HotelTime Solutions is debuting Instant Reporting, a reporting and forecasting tool that helps revenue managers working at multi-location properties get a clear picture on their distribution. It aggregates data on key metrics across different properties. This tool makes it easy to get accurate reports, merging revenue center statistics at the chain level.   8. Hotelchamp Demand Tracker Hotelchamp’s new demand tracker will give revenue managers insight into how much demand there is predicted for future stay dates in their hotel. Set up automatic alerts to be notified when demand increases for a specific stay date. Get insights for a specific demand period to better predict trends in revenue.   9. HotelPartner Synergy Model HotelPartner’s synergy model is a new service offering for individual hoteliers that combines manpower, technology, and expertise in one package. The firm will offer a revenue management tool as well as the team to use it; the synergy model offers a blend of consulting, technology, and a revenue management solution tailored to your property.   10. 5stelle Business Intelligence 5stelle* is introducing a new business intelligence tool that provides 18 interactive dashboards. Get reporting on your reservation lead time, month-to-date revenue and occupancy, RevPAR analysis, and more all in one place.   11. Fairmas Advanced Revenue Planner Fairmas Advanced Revenue Planner simplifies the planning and controlling of all hotel revenues, either by market segment or by account line item, on a daily or monthly basis. The platform is built for different user groups – from department managers who need to plan on the operational level, to revenue managers for a detailed view of the total hotel, and to the general managers who can refer to its consolidated view. The  Pickup Planning feature allows a different way of planning that may be a more realistic approach depending on the day-to-day situation (e.g., How many more rooms do I still need to pick up to achieve my goal?).     Q2 Innovations in Hotel Marketing   12. Revinate Guest Data Platform Revinate’s Guest Data Platform is another take on consolidating guest information to deliver the insights hotel managers can use to drive direct bookings, provide a great guest experience, and increase profit. The Guest Data Platform combines guest data into rich, unified profiles that can inform your sales and marketing campaigns.   13. SHR Maverick CRM SHR Maverick™ CRM by Sceptre Hospitality Resources LLC is a new CRM system that unlocks information from third-party providers. This CRM shows your hotel data about customers no matter where they booked: direct, or through an OTA. Maverick gives hoteliers access to clean, consolidated guest data, including user behavior and booking habits. The platform includes a loyalty and rewards platform and integrates with Windsurfer CRS, Windsurfer CRO, Windsurfer IBE, and a built-in Campaign Management Platform.   14. D-Edge CRM D-Edge launched Guest Management, a CRM tool that integrates with the brand’s existing CRS product. Guest Management offers hoteliers a way to centralize data from your PMS, CRS, website, and other sources into one guest profile. By consolidating all data about each guest in one place, your team can more easily send specific, customized offers to guests, driving guest satisfaction and loyalty. 15. Dailypoint Content Bot The dailypoint Content Bot is a tool which pushes email communication finally to an individual experience with each guest. The bot pulls data from guest profiles in dailypoint to select content pieces from a library, offering individualized, concierge-style recommendations based on each individual’s unique needs. Content Bot allows your marketing team to get hyper-focused with messaging. Send a newsletter customized per person, rather than per target group.   16. Suiteness OTA Distribution Suiteness launched a partnership with Booking.com for travelers to book connecting hotel rooms and suites through Booking.com. When connecting rooms are available, they are booked 3.3x more often than multi-bedroom suites in the same hotel. Customer segments like families and groups are heading to AirBnB in droves because they demand more space and don’t want to risk showing up at your property only to find out they can’t get connecting rooms. Give them peace of mind and you’re more likely to win their booking.   17. RoomRacoon Integrated Upselling RoomRaccoon is developing an integrated upselling tool for its hotel management system.  This will allow clients of its HMS to offer add-ons like breakfast or room upgrades prior to arrival.  While there are quite a few standalone upselling tools on the market, RoomRaccoon is one of the first HMS players to offer this functionality.   18. AskSuite Booking Engine Chatbot AskSuite’s latest integration syncs your booking engine with their chatbot to recapture a guest who may be having trouble booking directly. For instance, if a traveler tries to book a room on an unavailable date, the chatbot will automatically respond with a message that there are no rooms available and suggest the next earliest date with availability. Or, the chatbot can be set up to suggest a nearby property from the same chain that does have availability. This integration helps your reservation team work more productively, captures more direct bookings, and standardizes customer service messaging on your site. Asksuite is also in the process of building a Smart Chat Distribution tool that can matches a reservation agent to an open chat, helping large reservation teams coordinate their responses to individual customers. Your property defines specific rules – using triggers such as language, communication channel, type of inquiry, and more – and the algorithm uses these qualifiers to send an open request to the right customer service representative. The goal is to improve your property’s customer service and make it easier for your team to work efficiently.   19. Profitroom WebAssistant Profitroom’s WebAssistant is a new tool for creating and maintaining your hotel website. The tool is built specifically for the hotel industry, with templates designed to set up booking pages that drive direct bookings as well as unlimited data transfer and automated free updates. This website builder is an option for hotel properties that do not have the budget to work with a digital marketing agency to set up their site.   20. Quicktext Lead Generation Quicktext’s chatbot aims to improve your sales cycle by generating new leads for your sales team. When a customer engages with this chatbot, the program checks your CRM to see if this user exists; if they do, the tool will add any missing contact details and customer interests as determined through the chat interaction. If this is a new customer, the bot will upload insights into your CRM that can be used by your sales and marketing team to send more personalized offers and marketing messages. The Quicktext bot interacts with 9% of online visitors each month; if you have 3,000 visitors every month, Quicktext will create 270 new leads to whom your team can market.   21. myhotelshop GmbH Link Travel Ads myhotelshop GmbH recently launched Link Travel Ads, a metasearch marketing platform for hotel chains, booking engines, and hotel marketing agencies. This tool is built specifically for properties that have struggled to run, manage and report metasearch marketing campaigns. Link Travel Ads will take you through the process from start to finish. With this tool, one account manager can manage campaigns for more than 500 different properties, with reporting and invoicing all in one place.   22. Experience Hotel Dedupe Experience Hotel, like D-Edge, is trying to solve the problem many hotels have: multiple entries for the same guest. Hotel brands that have multiple properties with multiple data sources (the restaurant, spa, reservation system, etc.) tend to have duplicate profiles for the same guest in their PMS. Experience Hotel’s approach is Unified Customer Repository (UCR), a system that can identify all the duplicates in your guest list and combine every guest's details in one single profile. This allows your team to see an entire guest history in one place, and use insights from multiple sources to deliver personalized messages and offers.   Q2 Hotel Operations Innovations   23. hotelkit Facility Management Hotelkit debuted a new Facility Management platform that enables maintenance teams to  plan, schedule, and track corrective and preventive maintenance tasks. The tool help maintenance managers allocate resources such as time, money, and employees more effectively, and can automate and oversee daily maintenance routines. Get data and reporting on energy consumption or wear and tear of equipment to predict future expenses.   24. Mews Online Check-Out Mews Systems now offers an online check out feature aimed at reducing lines at the front desk and streamlining your property’s operations. Guests can checkout online without having to stand in a queue before departure; the platform sends housekeeping an alert once the guest has left, and your revenue managers can start upselling early check ins. Mews Online Checkout gives time back to guests and hoteliers alike with essential automation to guests who are in a hurry and hotels who are trying to turn around rooms.   25. HelloShift Inventory Management HelloShift is introducing Inventory Management to systemize the process of ordering and maintaining your stock of hotel supplies – parts, tools, equipment, linen, guest amenities, and more. Store detailed information about your supplies (warranty, brand, model, etc.), automate reordering, and reconcile inventory levels with regular checks. Reduce error that can lead to over and under-stocking, and reduce costs associated with ordering the wrong amount of supplies.   26. Bookboost Multi-Property Inbox Bookboost Guest Messaging added an all-in-one inbox with multi-property function that integrates messages from a number of channels into one inbox. Manage messages from your website, email, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and more in one platform. This allows one team member to oversee one unified inbox – a big gain in efficiency, especially for multi-property hotels.   27. Sertifi eConfirmations Sertifi eConfirmations allows travel companies to send payment digitally to travel suppliers (e.g., your hotel). Receive corporate credit card payments, virtual card payments along with the corresponding payment instructions, and guest information, such as check-in time and room preference, all at once – quickly and securely. All payment data is tokenized and transferred in a PCI compliant manner. Offer a smooth, hassle-free payment experience for corporate travelers.   28. Beekeeper Task Management Beekeeper’s Whispr Partnership will help frontline workers learn their job duties more quickly and help add consistency to your operations. Whispr transmits “motivational audio messages”, as well as work instructions in your employee’s preferred language through Beekeeper’s operational communication platform. Facilitate communication between your housekeeping team and management in an innovative and authentic way.   29. Telkonet Ecoinput Telkonet introduces EcoInput, a simple way to save energy and reduce your costs. EcoInput turns any light switch into an energy management device. Using the Zigbee wireless protocol, lighting can be controlled locally – e.g., guests can use the light switch as normal – or remotely via software or mobile control. Add sustainability and energy savings to your property without sacrificing guest experience.   30. Hoxell Quality Operations Hoxell has a new tool called Quality Operations. With Quality Operations, members of your team can send messages, create and assign tasks, and digitize workflows to improve productivity. The platform aims to streamline housekeeping activities, create direct communication channels, and improve reporting by reducing friction in communication and knocking down siloed reporting structures.   31. Mister Booking Payment Automation Mister Booking’s Payment Automation feature offers a simple way to process payment from your Hotel Management System. All credit cards collected as guarantee from OTA or booking engine can be verified and pre-authorized directly from the PMS. Automate advanced payments for all non-cancellable and non-refundable reservations, according to their payment conditions. It will save your team time by automating the administrative burden of payment verification.   Q2 Guest Experience Innovations   32. Crave AppLess Mobile Crave unveiled AppLess™ Mobile, a tool that gives guests access to guest services through location-specific QR codes. Guests simply scan a QR code and choose from the services you offer. Create multiple custom QR codes and post them at different points throughout your property: for instance, a QR code for ordering drinks at the bar, a QR code for catering in a meeting room, a QR code for more towels by the pool. AppLess™ enables frictionless digital experiences for consumers to access services on their own devices, without the need to download a mobile app. Includes payment technologies such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.   33. SuitePad Premium Docking Station SuitePad has two new products to share, the SuitePad Premium Docking Station and the SuitePad 10" Tablet. The SuitPad 10 is a premium version of their previous model, featuring a 1920 x 1200px resolution screen, larger battery for longer use, and 2GB of RAM for smoother content delivery. The docking station includes new features such as a bluetooth speaker, in-room presence sensor, and telephone handset. These features increase your property’s ability to send offers to guests at the right moment, and provide a premium in-room technology experience.   34. Volara Google Interpreter Volara introduced Google Assistant Interpreter Mode for Hospitality, a partnership with Google that facilitates real-time conversations with guests through instant translation. The tool translates between 29 different languages to help your staff welcome guests from diverse language backgrounds. Improve the guest experience and solicit reviews in multiple languages with this quick and easy translation platform. 39. TrustYou On-Site QR Feedback TrustYou’s On-Site Solutions Beta is a new product that solicits feedback during the guest stay using a QR code or short URL. This survey tool proactively asks each guest about their stay, escalating any issues occurring at your hotel for immediate attention. One hotel property that tested this product was able to increase their post-stay review scores by 3.8 points by asking for feedback in real-time.   35. Travel Appeal Destination Report Travel Appeal’s On-demand Destination Reports are tailor made for independent and chain hotels, DMOs, and tour operators looking for deeper information about their territory. These reports are available for any city, region, or territory within a few days, and can be used to analyze visitor groups, sentiment scores, trends, competitors, online channels, seasonality, and more. Compare different time periods (up to three years back) and learn about the reputation of the destination, individual sectors (F&B, retail, experiences, and more), and what topics are most discussed in relation to your specific area. Know what to highlight in your marketing campaign and help your concierge team craft the perfect experience for your guests.   36. LoungUp WhatsApp Messaging LoungeUp debuted its new WhatsApp Messaging function, adding a new way to communicate with guests. Use this tool to initiate contact with each customer before they arrive over WhatsApp. Send guests a way to check-in in advance, pay their deposit, book a shuttle to the hotel, or offer an upgrade. Automate some of the time-consuming administrative process and offer real, conversational exchanges with guests. With 1.5 billion worldwide users per month (as of January, 2019) worldwide, WhatsApp is the number one messaging platform, ahead of Facebook Messenger (1.3), Wechat (1.1), Skype (0.3), Snapchat, Viber and Line.   37. Zaplox Mobile Check-in Zaplox Premium iterates on Zaplox’s original product with new mobile-check in and mobile key functionality. This app integrates with most leading PMS and lock systems to streamline check-in. The custom-branded app allows your property to connect with guests before, during, and after their stay. Guests can use the Zaplox app to check-in, preauthorize their credit card, and complete the guest registration before they arrive at the hotel. Includes mobile keys with integration with lock vendors ASSA ABLOY, dormakaba and SALTO systems as well as large PMS providers, such as Oracle, Agilysys, protel, StayNTouch, Maestro, and more.   38. MyStay Mobile Check-in MyStay Check-in Agent is a tablet-based software solution that can make your check-in process 100% digital at the front desk and anywhere at your hotel. The tablet scans guest documents, and then prompts the guest to add missing information, agree to house rules, and sign the check-in card. This increases the accuracy of your guest data, streamlines the check-in process, and allows your team to focus on the guest experience rather than data entry.     Q2 Sales & Group Travel Innovations   39. OPERA Sales & Event Management Oracle’s OPERA Sales and Event Management Cloud (OSEM) helps hotels reduce the extra time spent managing data entry related to events. OSEM provides a single view of all a hotel’s event booking details and revenue across rooms and event spaces for easier audit and analysis. Properties can increase their event revenue by optimizing inventory, bookings, streamlining logistics and providing smooth event logistics. The tool helps streamline operations, increase communication and cooperation across departments, and respond faster to customers.   40. Atomize Group Booking Pricing Module Atomize announced fresh updates to its Group Booking Pricing Module with a tool that helps revenue managers to instantly calculate the optimal rate for groups. This module now presents both the total recommended price and displaced transient revenue for the group, along with details such as prices per room type and date. A separate module introduces the ability to email yourself the group pricing recommendation for future reference.   41. MeetingPackage Analytics MeetingPackage has a new analytics extension for meetings and events bookings that allows you to advertise your meetings and events the same way you would advertise your hotel rooms. The analytics extension allows Google Analytics to track the full customer journey, capturing the total revenue of the meeting/event. Measure the booking process from the very first ad click until the event date, and make smarter marketing decisions on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to drive valuable direct traffic.   42. SABA Hospitality Digital Conference Tool SABA Hospitality’s SABA Conference is a digital conference tool that provides automatic answers to the questions and requests of conference hosts and attendees directly to their mobile devices. From conference information, directions and amenities, and information on the surrounding area, all information is easily accessible in multiple languages, and can be presented in any format (e.g. links, videos, text, maps and images). Users don’t need to download a thing, making it easier for conference organizers to ensure all relevant information is received by attendees. Hosts and property operators simply enter the relevant information, and the platform presents it in a branded and engaging way.   43. EVENTMACHINE Instant Quote EVENTMACHINE IQ Instant Quote automatically plans and quotes events based on a few simple inputs, like date or event type. Rather than tasking an event manager to manually select and calculate event spaces, catering and equipment. Eventmachine IQ can reduce that manual effort. Get instant, custom quotes emailed in a professional PDF proposal.   44. Get Into MoRe Strategy Dashboard Get Into MoRe has built a new Strategy Dashboard advises whether or not you should allow an inquiry to proceed with booking your events space. One small event could easily reserve a space and prevent a more profitable, large event. Strategy Dashboard uses a red light/green light system to tell you if an inquiry is worth accepting – or if you should hold out for another booking request.   45. THYNK Meetings Management THYNK has a new product, MYCE, a customer-centric meeting events and venue management system. The flexible, cloud-based system uses Salesforce to automate the sales process follow-up with task automation and two-way integration with your PMS, POS, and other applications. Assign tasks across departments and add the group booking module to make it easier to manage event bookings.   Q2 New Innovations in Food & Beverage   46. Bbot Smart Ordering System Bbot Smart Ordering system allows guests to order room service on their phone from their room without downloading an app or signing up for a new service and integrates with popular hotel PMS and POS systems.  Guests order and pay for food + drinks right from their room without having to call down, which means you save on labor and menu management.  Bbot recently rolled out new PMS integrations including Mews & Opera.                   47. Apicbase's Production Planning Tool Apicbase’s Production Planning tool streamlines kitchen operations at your property by making food production reliable and repeatable. Save money and reduce food waste by up to 30% with automated to-do lists, real-time inventory updates, and a function that allows your team to predict how many quantities will be needed at each meal. Prep only what you need and make the most of ingredients in your pantry to lower your food budget.  

Hoteliers Share Their Advice for Recovery

by
Kelly Robb
3 weeks ago

Revinate has been regularly surveying our customers to understand how they’re feeling, how they’re thinking about their businesses and what they need to be successful. Our most recent survey, which received 297 responses from global hoteliers asked, “If you experienced an extreme down cycle in bookings in the past, what was most helpful to you during that time?" While the situation today is quite unlike any others the industry has weathered, the responses provide some great insight into how hoteliers are thinking about recovery. As you begin the arduous task of opening up your doors to travelers, which we anticipate happening soon, albeit more staggered than we once thought, we hope this advice from your peers helps.   Keep service levels high When you reopen your doors, you might be operating with a skeleton crew. It might be awhile before you can bring back your furloughed workers or rehire so you’re going to have to do more with less. In some areas, such as housekeeping, you might be okay since guests may now request that housekeepers not enter the room during the stay. Avoid cutting costs that negatively impact service levels if you can avoid it. For example, keep the front desk well-staffed so guests don’t have long waits. Also, if you run a luxury property, don’t cut amenities, such as flowers or welcome cocktails. These are the things that make your property feel luxurious and they will be missed.   Continue to invest in marketing and sales Many survey respondents expressed in their comments that now is not the time to “go dark.” Research conducted by the Hotel School at Cornell University shows that “firms that ‘invest’ in marketing, especially in tough times, can achieve a payoff via various revenue drivers and will realize gains beyond just the short term.” In a recent video post, researcher, professor and consultant, Sherri Kimes, suggested that it’s very important to continue to engage your audience, including guests, meeting planners and groups, to stay top of mind and to build relationships. While some feel that engaging with guests during a pandemic is inappropriate, customers want to hear from brands. In fact, over 85% of U.S. consumers said it is completely acceptable for companies and brands to be communicating at this time. But it’s important to engage intelligently and segment your audience. Now is not a time to spray and pray emails. Rather, the message must fit the customer. One survey respondent advises, “Email to current guests only. Don't want to inundate them with "covid" info. We are all getting too much!” Another says, "Leisure should come back first so create relevant options for that segment." When it comes to smart sales techniques, many hotels are now leveraging sales resources to manage things like rebooking groups for later dates. Proactively reaching out to travelers to rebook with no cancellation penalty is a great way to save a booking that has a high likelihood of canceling.   Use downtime wisely Use the time to master unique niche customer segments. One survey respondent suggested using the time to “reevaluate where your business is from.” For example, since most experts predict that the local market will rebound first, spend some time learning about your local guests by examining the data in your CRM. Do they typically travel alone or with their families? What is the segment’s average nights booked and LTV? These answers can help you plan great packages for when travel restrictions are lifted. Experts, like Sherri Kimes, also suggest that hotels use this period to do community service. Many brands are offering rooms to healthcare workers, donating food and offering their hotels to sick patients for quarantining. With little to no demand, it’s a win-win for everyone.   Hold onto your pricing One thing we learned from past recessions, especially immediately after 9/11, is that you can’t create demand through price when people don’t feel safe traveling. Hoteliers advise keeping your rates competitive. Even if you have the lowest rate of your comp-set, you’re not going to get the booking if no one is looking to travel. When the market is ready to venture out and travel, you will be happy that you and your comp set haven’t raced to the bottom. In a Triptease blog post Chetan Patel of ONYX Hospitality advises, “To be in line with your competition, monitor what’s happening in the market. If you drop your rate too low, you’ll be leaving money on the table - and it can be hard to recover post-crisis! Focus on getting the price right and offer flexible cancellation conditions. If your customers have confidence that they can cancel, they'll be more open to booking at your property.”   Be flexible with cancelations As Chetan mentions above, be flexible with cancellations, even when travel restrictions are lifted. In order to capture new bookings, you will need to appeal to customers that might still be apprehensive about traveling, especially since the virus might reappear somewhere and cause new shelter-in-place measures. Hoteliers agree that in this day and age, it’s a good business practice to prioritize your relationship with the guest over short-term revenue losses. A cancelation has a temporary impact on your business but upsetting a customer has a life-long impact.   Finally, focus on providing great experiences When bookings come back, they will likely come back slowly. Some hotels I’ve spoken with recently are planning to open with just a fraction of their rooms available initially until demand picks up. Use low occupancy as a chance to engage your guests in a personal way. As one survey respondent says, “Increase the one on one with customers to make them feel more wanted and show we care about everyone.” Be liberal with upgrades. If you have the resources, encourage your front desk staff to walk your guests to their rooms and share their favorite local spots. Or, use the data you have in your CRM to surprise and delight them with a nice in-room amenity. In conclusion, any extra effort you go to with your early guests post-Covid will inspire them to share their experiences with others and will help you build loyalty, which will be key to driving more bookings. As governments begin to talk about relaxing shelter-in-place restrictions, we can feel people’s excitement building to escape the house and experience something new. We hope they find their way into your hotels.  

Hotel Brands: Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG (Who Owns What?)

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 week ago

The proliferation of micro-targeted niche brands, coupled with the convergence of M&A and the rise of soft brands, has created quite the tapestry of hotel brands. Travelers today have options across the spectrum have dozens of options even within a single chain's portfolio.   Did you know that there are 214 Marriott International hotels in New York City alone?  Even if you did, it's unlikely that you knew The Algonquin Hotel is a Marriott property.  Hotel companies are getting harder and harder to follow these days. In this comprehensive guide, we pulled together the world's hotel brands organized by both parent company and chain scale. We’ll keep it updated over time, so bookmark this as a resource to consult on the current landscape of hotel brands worldwide. Whether you are considering which flag to put on your next property or want to figure out which brand you should choose to book your next trip - this guide is for you. First, we'll break it down by parent company and then we’ll organize the sub brands by chain scale. This gives you two ways to browse: either by portfolio or hotel category. Our sources include company development hubs, investor disclosures, Lodging magazine, and Wikipedia. When it comes to each brand’s concept, we've pulled this information directly from hotel development resources to highlight how each brand is being positioned by its parent company. While some of this is certainly marketing-speak, this information is helpful to understand each brand’s target niche. We've also highlighted any key metrics around ADR and RevPAR that we found in company development disclosures. Keep in mind that this was prior to the covid-19 pandemic and so these numbers are most likely in flux. We organize this article starting from ultra luxury and moving down to ultra economy: Luxury Hotel Brands Upper Upscale Hotel Brands Upscale Hotel Brands Upper Midscale Hotel Brands Economy Hotel Brands Soft Brands (usually upper upscale) We've also separately broken out the hotel brands by chain: Hilton Hotel Brands Marriott Hotel Brands Hyatt Hotel Brands IHG Hotel Brands   Luxury Hotel Brands Luxury hotels spare no expense, providing exceptional service, high-end finishes, premium amenities and well-appointed rooms in resort and urban destinations. Pictured: St. Regis Punta De Mita Conrad Hotels (Hilton) Brand positioning: “A world of style, service and connection for today's sophisticated traveler.” Target guest: Wealthier boomers and luxury-forward design-minded travelers  Footprint: 35 hotels and resorts in 22 countries  Competitors: Park Hyatt, Sofitel, Loews Hotels Waldorf Astoria (Hilton) Brand positioning: “The luxury brand offering a unique service experience and the world's landmark hotels” Target guest: Wealthier travelers with discerning tastes Footprint: 32 hotels and resorts in 14 countries Competitors: Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, The Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental Tempo (Hilton) Brand positioning: “An approachable lifestyle hotel that is thoughtfully designed, uplifting, and within reach”  Target guest: the “modern achiever” with a wellness-mindset that blends work and pleasure Competitors: Hyatt Centric, Joie de Vivre Alila (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Luxury hotels and unprecedented places” Footprint: 17 hotels in 7 countries  Competitors: Ritz-Carlton, Miraval Key metrics: 104.1 ADR index Andaz (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Vibrant luxury lifestyle hotels rooted in local arts and culture’  Target guest: Travelers with a penchant for good design, premium hospitality and high-end local experiences Footprint: 22 hotels in 14 countries Competitors: W Hotels, Edition, SLS, Mondrian, EDITION  Key metrics: $302.64 ADR Grand Hyatt (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Destination hotels that celebrate the uniqueness of their locations” Footprint: 58 hotels in 23 countries  Competitors: InterContinental, Fairmont, JW Marriott, Conrad Key metrics: 101.9 Occupancy index | 109.9 ADR index | 112.0 RevPAR index Miraval (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Resorts that help guests live in balance and be at their best”  Target guest: Wellness luxury travelers looking to unplug, escape and refresh Footprint: 4 properties in 3 cities Competitors: Enchantment/Mi Amo, Red Mountain, Canyon Ranch Park Hyatt (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Luxury experiences tailored to those who expect the best” Footprint: 44 hotels in 24 countries  Competitors: Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Four Seasons, Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Key metrics: 113.6 ADR index | 113.2 RevPAR index Thompson Hotels (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “The refined edge of travel” Target guest: Sophisticated travelers looking for higher-end hospitality and culinary experiences in trendy destinations Footprint: 11 hotels in 10 cities  Competitors: The Edition, NomadHotels, 1Hotels, Rosewood Key metrics: 101.6 ADR index | 102 RevPAR index Hualuxe (IHG) Brand positioning: “The first upscale international hotel brand designed specifically for Chinese consumers and Chinese culture fans around the globe. It celebrates the Art of Chinese Hospitality” Target guest: Affluent travelers within China Footprint: 10 hotels in China Competitors: Mandarin Oriental, Six Senses Regent (IHG) Brand positioning: “Synonymous with timeless style, supreme comfort, and intuitive service, the Regent® Hotels brand has set the benchmark for luxury hotels worldwide since it was founded in 1970.“ Target guest: Affluent discerning travelers with high expectations Footprint: 6 properties in 4 countries Competitors: Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Six Senses (IHG) Brand positioning:  “Renowned for its focus on wellness and sustainability, with each hotel and resort set in a location of incredible natural beauty, and delivers an uncompromising level of service” Target guest: Leisure travelers looking to unplug and unwind for longer stays Footprint: 18 resorts in 14 countries  Competitors: Miraval Bulgari (Marriott) Brand positioning: “The distinctive, bold and contemporary style of the magnificent Italian jeweler reflected in a unique hotel design concept” Target guest: Ultra high net worth Footprint: 6 properties in 5 countries Competitors: Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Nobu JW Marriott (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Enriching experiences thoughtfully crafted by associates who truly love what they do” Target guest: “Enrichment Seekers: Those who used travel as an opportunity to enjoy and engage with the world around them.” Footprint: 110 properties in 29 countries Competitors: Conrad, Fairmont, Grand Hyatt, Shangri-La Ritz-Carlton (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Legendary service creates experiences so exceptional our guests can return simply by closing their eyes” Target guest: Affluent luxury travelers with an affinity for classic service Footprint: 119 hotels and resorts in 35 countries  Competitors: Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula Key metrics: Occupancy: 74.0% | ADR: $373.20 | RevPAR: $276.05 | RevPAR Index: 128 St. Regis (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Exquisite immersive experiences, impeccable service, modern indulgence and refined taste define every stay” Target guest: Affluent luxury travelers expecting the best of the best Footprint: 48 properties in 25 countries Competitors: Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, the Peninsula, Park Hyatt, Rosewood  Key metrics: Occupancy: 72.3% | ADR: $712.17 | RevPAR: $515.15 | RevPAR Index: 130.3   Upper Upscale Hotel Brands Upscale hotels are full-service hotels with premium amenities and notable designs that cater to more affluent travelers, usually located in prime locations and resort destinations worldwide. Pictured: Hyatt Centric   Delta Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Simple made perfect. When you focus on the details that truly matter, you can make them perfect” Target guest: “ The Streamliner: guests who are all about quality over quantity, productivity and maintaining routines while traveling.” Footprint: 105 hotels in 7 countries Competitors: DoubleTree, Crowne Plaza EDITION (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Balancing luxury and lifestyles, EDITION marries innovative design with vibrant food, beverage and entertainment experiences” Target guest: Trend-forward, design-conscious culture mavens with an eye towards fashion and the finer things  Footprint: 11 properties in 7 countries Competitors: W Hotels, Andaz, Delta Hotels, Hyatt Centric, Canopy Gaylord Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Everything in one place. Majestic settings for the grandest and most memorable moments in life” Target guest: Families and vacationers Footprint:  6 resorts in the U.S.  Competitors: Destination Hotels Key metrics: Occupancy: 75.5% | ADR: $194.60 | RevPAR: $146.84 | RevPAR Index: 107.8 Le Meridien (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Unlocking the destination with chic design and cuisine curated for the curious, creative traveler.” Target guest: “Creative Traveler: creative, cosmopolitan culture seekers.” Footprint: 116 hotels in 37 countries  Competitors: Hilton, InterContinental, Kimpton, Loews, Hyatt Regency Key metrics: Occupancy: 80% | ADR $219.88 | RevPAR: $175.51 | RevPAR Index: 108.3 Westin (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Innovative, well-being programming and revitalizing amenities ensure you leave feeling better than when you arrived” Target guest: “The Achiever: Discerning, ambitious and nurturing, these guests strive for personal and professional achievement.” Footprint: 264 properties in 41 countries Competitors: Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham   Key metrics: Occupancy: 74.3% | ADR: $186.37 | RevPAR: $138.45 | RevPAR Index: 106.9%  W Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Insider access to what's new/next. An iconic lifestyle brand that boldly colors outside the lines of luxury” Target guest: Trend setters and trailblazers that look for what’s next in the world of fashion and culture. Footprint: 339 hotels in 36 countries  Competitors: The Standard, Morgans Hotel Group, Thompson Key metrics: Occupancy: 80.9% | ADR: $307.75 | RevPAR: $249.09 | RevPAR Index: 109.5 Hyatt Centric (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Lifestyle hotels that put guests at the heart of it all” Footprint: 36 hotels in 35 cities  Competitors: Kimpton, Palomar, Canopy by Hilton, Autograph Collection, Curio Collection by Hilton Key metrics: 104.3 Occupancy index | 102.7 RevPAR index Hyatt Regency (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Offering everything guests need to make meaningful connections” Footprint: 211 hotels in 189 cities  Competitors: Marriott, Westin, Renaissance, Sheraton, Hilton Key metrics: 102.0 Occupancy index | 103.4 ADR index  | 105.5 RevPAR index Hotel Indigo (IHG) Brand positioning: “An upper upscale boutique brand that delivers a refreshing and inviting guest experience that is truly reflective of the local community” Target guest: Upscale business travelers looking for a local vibe and a premium stay Footprint: 118 hotels in 23 countries  Competitors: Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Westin InterContinental Hotels and Resorts (IHG) Brand positioning: “A prestigious and truly global brand located in gateway cities, offering luxurious comfort and understated, excellent service” Target guest: The higher-end traveler Footprint: 212 hotels in 68 countries Competitors: Grand Hyatt, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Key metrics: ADR: $246.66 | Occupancy: 78.3% | RevPAR: $193.09 Kimpton (IHG) Brand positioning: “Chic boutique collection offering one-of-a-kind hotel destinations with distinctive style and heartfelt service” Target guest: Independent-minded, design-conscious travelers Footprint: 78 hotels in 9 countries  Competitors: Joie de Vivre, Hyatt Centric, Le Meridien Key metrics: ADR: $233.33 | Occupancy: 80% | RevPAR: $186.70 Dolce (IHG) Brand positioning: “Creating inspiring environments that bring people together, Dolce Hotels & Resorts by Wyndham offer incredible locations and state-of-the-art meeting spaces for guests to connect and discover.” Target guest: Professionals and groups Footprint: 17 properties in 9 countries Competitors: Hyatt Centric, Signia Wyndham Grand (IHG) Brand positioning: “With attentive service, relaxing surroundings, and unique touches, Wyndham Grand creates authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences in exceptional destinations around the world.” Target guest: Affluent business and leisure travelers Footprint: 57 hotels in 14 countries  Competitors: Westin, Marriott, Hilton Key metrics: 97% of hotels score a 4+ rating on TripAdvisor   Upscale Hotel Brands Upscale hotels are full-service hotels with premium amenities that cater to travelers and business professionals willing to spend more to stay comfortably in a convenient location or remarkable destination -- but without spending extra for over-the-top amenities. Pictured: DoubleTree Hotel   DoubleTree (Hilton) Brand positioning: “Warm. Comfortable. Smart. The hotel that turns travel into a human experience again.” And a delicious chocolate chip cookie!     Target guest:  Travelers willing to pay a premium for a higher-quality stay Footprint: 580 hotels in 46 countries Competitors: Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Delta Hotels Key metrics: 75.4% occupancy | $132.15 ADR | $99.58 RevPAR Hilton Garden Inn (Hilton) Brand positioning: “Treat yourself with amenities that help you work smarter, eat well, sleep deeply and stay fit.” Target guest: Business and leisure travelers looking for well-appointed spaces for both short and extended stays Footprint: 860+ hotels in 45 countries Competitors:  Aloft, Courtyard, Four Points, Holiday Inn, Hyatt Place, SpringHill Suites Key metrics: 76% occupancy | $131.76 ADR | $99.89 RevPAR Homewood Suites (Hilton) Brand positioning: “Whether you’re traveling for a few nights or a few months, you can Make Yourself at Home®.” Target guest:  Extended stay travelers looking for quality at reasonable rates Footprint: 504 hotels in 3 countries Competitors: Element, Hyatt House, Residence Inn, Staybridge Suites  Key metrics: 80.2% occupancy | $136.32 ADR | $109.30 RevPAR | 45% extended stay Signia (Hilton) Brand positioning: “Premier meetings & events hotels with world-class design in highly sought-after urban and resort destinations”  Target guest: Professionals looking for a blend of design, technology and wellness for business stays and meetings/events Competitors: Crowne Plaza Caption (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Where lifestyle meets select service” Target guest: Value-minded business travelers and millennial weekenders Competitors: Hyatt Place, AC Hotels. Motto Hyatt House (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Expanding the reach with a fresh approach to extended stay” Footprint: 106 hotels in 95 cities Competitors: Homewood Suites, Residence Inn, Element by Westin Key metrics: 105.0 Occupancy index | 105.7 ADR index | 111.0 RevPAR index Hyatt Place (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Select service for the most selective” Footprint: 371 hotels in 299 cities  Competitors: Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Aloft, Tryp, tru Key metrics: 104.2 Occupancy index | 105 RevPAR index Hyatt Zilara/Hyatt Ziva (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “A luxurious evolution of the all-inclusive stay” Target guest: Honeymooners, families and couples who want luxury without hassle Footprint: 8 hotels in 8 cities   Competitors: Club Med, RIU Hotels, Cruise Lines, LXR Crowne Plaza (IHG) Brand positioning: “The first choice for business-class stays, meetings and events” Target guest: Professionals looking for an upscale experience  Footprint: 431 hotels in 65 countries Competitors: Signia, Doubletree, Radisson, Renaissance, Sheraton,  Key metrics: ADR: $133.36 | Occupancy: 70.1% | RevPAR: $93.47 Even Hotels (IHG) Brand positioning: “An upscale lifestyle hotel that empowers guest to prioritize staying while while traveling for business” Target guest: Wellness-focused business Travelers Footprint: 13 hotels in the U.S.  Competitors: Four Points, Aloft, Hyatt Place, Motto  Key metrics: ADR: $181.97 | Occupancy: 78.0% | RevPAR: $142.02 Voco (IHG) Brand positioning: “Reliably different. Combining characterful hotels with a name guests can trust. The security of a bigger, upscale brand without the vanilla experience” Target guest: Experience-seeking travelers Footprint: 12 hotels in 5 countries  Competitors: Canopy, Hyatt Centric Delta Hotel (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Simple made perfect. When you focus on the details that truly matter, you can make them perfect” Target guest: “ The Streamliner: guests who are all about quality over quantity, productivity and maintaining routines while traveling.” Footprint: 105 hotels in 7 countries Competitors: DoubleTree, Crowne Plaza EDITION (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Balancing luxury and lifestyles, EDITION marries innovative design with vibrant food, beverage and entertainment experiences” Target guest: Trend-forward, design-conscious culture mavens with an eye towards fashion and the finer things  Footprint: 11 properties in 7 countries Competitors: W Hotels, Andaz, Delta Hotels, Hyatt Centric, Canopy Gaylord Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Everything in one place. Majestic settings for the grandest and most memorable moments in life” Target guest: Families and vacationers Footprint:  6 resorts in the U.S.  Competitors: Destination Hotels Key metrics: Occupancy: 75.5% | ADR: $194.60 | RevPAR: $146.84 | RevPAR Index: 107.8 Le Meridien (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Unlocking the destination with chic design and cuisine curated for the curious, creative traveler.” Target guest: “Creative Traveler: creative, cosmopolitan culture seekers.” Footprint: 116 hotels in 37 countries  Competitors: Hilton, InterContinental, Kimpton, Loews, Hyatt Regency Key metrics: Occupancy: 80% | ADR $219.88 | RevPAR: $175.51 | RevPAR Index: 108.3 Westin (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Innovative, well-being programming and revitalizing amenities ensure you leave feeling better than when you arrived” Target guest: “The Achiever: Discerning, ambitious and nurturing, these guests strive for personal and professional achievement.” Footprint: 264 properties in 41 countries Competitors: Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham   Key metrics: Occupancy: 74.3% | ADR: $186.37 | RevPAR: $138.45 | RevPAR Index: 106.9%  W Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Insider access to what's new/next. An iconic lifestyle brand that boldly colors outside the lines of luxury” Target guest: Trend setters and trailblazers that look for what’s next in the world of fashion and culture. Footprint: 339 hotels in 36 countries  Competitors: The Standard, Morgans Hotel Group, Thompson Key metrics: Occupancy: 80.9% | ADR: $307.75 | RevPAR: $249.09 | RevPAR Index: 109.5 Dazzler (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Featuring sleek décor and attentive service, Dazzler by Wyndham hotels are centrally located in some of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Latin America and offer easy access to top attractions.” Target guest: Urban, stylish leisure and business travelers Footprint: 14 hotels in 4 countries Competitors: Canopy, Hyatt Centric, Motto Esplendor (Wyndham) Brand positioning: ”A new concept in boutique accommodations, Esplendor Boutique Hotels by Wyndham blend avant-garde design with unique guest experiences. Target guest: Younger design-forward guests with an independent spirit  Footprint: 8 hotels in 3 countries Competitors: Kimpton, Joie de Vivre, Hyatt Centric Wyndham Hotels (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Located in popular business and vacation destinations, Wyndham features smartly designed guest rooms and thoughtful amenities that make for a comfortable stay.” Target guest: Business and leisure travelers Footprint: 124 hotels in 29 countries Competitors: Hilton, Marriott Key metrics: 77% of hotels score a 4+ rating on TripAdvisor   Midscale Hotel Brands Upper midscale offers even more spacious accommodations while catering often to extended stays for both business and leisure. Many of these brands have modern refreshes that bring the category out of the past and into the present.     Hampton (Hilton) Brand positioning: “Count on Hampton to deliver quality, value, consistency and service with a smile.” Target guest: Business and leisure travelers going to pay a bit more for an upgraded experience in the midscale category Footprint: 2,518 properties in 29 countries Competitors: Fairfield Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites Key metrics: 75.2% occupancy | $126.01 ADR | $94.79 RevPAR Atwell Suites (IHG) Brand positioning: “An upper-midscale, all-suites hotel brand that brings inspiration to every journey” Target guest: More adventurous business and leisure travelers Footprint: NA just launched Competitors: Fairfield, Towneplace Suites, Holiday Inn, Hampton Staybridge Suites (IHG) Brand positioning: “An upscale extended stay hotel brand offering comfortable and stylish accommodations” Target guest: Upmarket business and leisure travelers  Footprint: 300 hotels in the U.S. Competitors: Residence Inn, Hyatt House, Homewood Suites Key metrics: ADR: $122.23 | Occupancy:78.0% | RevPAR: $95.36 Fairfield (Marriott) Brand positioning: Select service and “inviting spaces and our 100% Guarantee deliver a stress-free stay at a great value” Target guest: “Balance Seekers: Travelers that desire comfortable, uncomplicated hotel experience with a focus on productivity and sleeping well.” Footprint: 1153 hotels in 14 countries  Competitors: Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express  Key metrics: Occupancy Rate: 71.4% | RevPAR: $81.78 | ADR: $114.60 | RevPAR Index: 105.3 Protea (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Confidently unique hotels. The largest hospitality brand in Africa, with personal service and locally inspired design in each hotel.” Target guest: Business travelers looking for exceptional and reliable service in Africa Footprint: 80 properties in 9 countries Competitors: Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express Renaissance (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Stuck into a local state of mind. Every trip can be a tale, every turn contains a twist. And we are here to show you how to make the most of every step along the way.”  Target guest: “The Social Discoverer: defined by the boundless curiosity, this guest sees business travel as an opportunity to take it all in.” Footprint: 198 hotels in 42 countries  Competitors: Kimpton, Intercontinental Key metrics: Occupancy: 73.2% | ADR: $164.08 | RevPAR: $120.08 | RevPAR Index: 111.3 Sheraton (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Where the world comes together. At the heart of hundreds of communities around the globe, we invite you to gather and share experiences anywhere you go” Target guest: “The Team Player: individually strong and secure, relentlessly dependable, authentic grounded people of great substance” Footprint: 447 hotels in 70+ countries Competitors: Hilton, Hyatt, Westin Tryp (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Tucked in the heart of the world's greatest cities, TRYP by Wyndham is on the pulse of the best local hotspots and must-see sites—putting everything you need right at your fingertips.” Target guest: Younger travelers looking for stylish urban accommodation Footprint: 47 hotels in 16 countries  Competitors: Moxy Hotels, Aloft, tru Wyndham Garden (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “With a lens on the little details, and a focus on delivering stress-free, easy travel, guests find peace of mind when traveling for business or pleasure.” Target guest: Business and leisure travelers Footprint: 127 hotels in 23 countries Competitors: Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt House, Residence Inn Key metrics: ADR: $133 | RevPAR: $103 Midscale Hotel Brands Midscale hotels have more space and amenities than economy hotels and are found in urban areas as well as on highways and other transportation hubs. Many also have refreshed designs with modern amenities that make them more well-appointed than the properties they replaced. As more sub-brands emerge, there’s definitely been a trend towards more appealing offerings in this category. Pictured: Element Hotel   Tru (Hilton) Brand positioning: “A revolutionary new brand that is simplified, spirited and grounded in value”  Target guest: Business and pleasure travelers looking for value without sacrificing modern design and amenities Footprint: 77 hotels in 2 countries Competitors: Best Western, La Quinta, Quality Inn,  Sleep Inn Element (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Extended stay reimagined. Open, modern design, healthy options. Discover the essentials of balanced travel” Target guest: Footprint: 172 hotels in 33 countries  Competitors: Homewood Suites, Hyatt House  Key metrics: Occupancy Rate: 78.4% | RevPAR $123.92 | ADR: $158.09 | RevPAR Index:109.0 Moxy (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Edgy and affordable. With cozy rooms and social spaces, Moxy offers a fun experience at the right price.” Target guest: Footprint: 81 hotels in 22 countries   Competitors: Citizen M, Tommie, Generator, Motel One, Pod 39, Mama shelter, Yotel Residence Inn (Marriott) Brand positioning: “The world’s extended stay leader helps guests live better on long stays: upscale, social, local.” Target guest: Footprint: 891 hotels in 21 countries  Competitors: Homewood Suites, Hyatt House  Key metrics: Occupancy: 79.4% | RevPAR $84.32 | ADR: $145.36 | RevPAR Index: 119.1 Towneplace Suites (Marriott) Brand positioning: “An extended stay hotel offering cleverly designed suites, allowing guests to stay productive and upbeat.” Target guest: Footprint: 457 hotels in 2 countries  Competitors: SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Candlewood Suites, Hawthorne Suites, Key metrics: Occupancy 74.9% | ADR: $111.84 | RevPAR: $83.74 | RevPAR Index: 110.7 Americinn (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Providing genuine hospitality in nearly 200 welcoming locations across the U.S., free hot homestyle breakfast, and updated guest rooms, AmericInn by Wyndham is proud to offer fun for the whole family.” Target guest: Value-minded travelers Footprint: 204 hotels in the U.S. Competitors: Motel 6, Americas Best Value Inn, Best Western, Centerstone Key metrics:  ADR: $96 | 86% of hotels score a 4+ rating on TripAdvisor Baymont (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Baymont by Wyndham offers warm, welcoming service without pomp and circumstance and  its signature hometown hospitality with valuable extras, such as free high-speed wireless internet and breakfast corner. Target guest: Value-minded travelers Footprint:  524 hotels in 3 countries Competitors: Quality Inn, Days Inn, Surestay, EconoLodge Hawthorn Suites (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Featuring spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, free WiFi, and free hot breakfast, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham offers a welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect for extended stays.” Target guest: Value-minded travelers Footprint: 111 hotels in 6 countries  Competitors: Candlewood Suites, Towneplace Suites Key metrics: RevPAR: $65 | RevPAR index: over 122% | 52% of hotels have earned a 4+ rating on TripAdvisor La Quinta (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “An elevated stay in a contemporary setting. With thoughtful amenities and friendly service, this brand consistently delivers an exceptional guest experience that keeps travelers waking up on the bright side” Target guest: Leisure and business travelers who want a bit more for their money Footprint: 940 hotels in 7 countries  Competitors: Fairfield Inn, Courtyard, Holiday Inn Express, Hyatt Place Key metrics: RevPAR: $81 | RevPar index: over 115% Ramada (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Ramada is showcasing the uniqueness of each hotel through new, regionally-inspired designs and décor, local flavors, and contemporized staff uniforms.” Target guest: Value-minded travelers looking for a bit more Footprint: 919 hotels in 70 countries Competitors: Fairfield, Courtyard, Holiday Inn Express Wingate (Wyndham) Brand positioning:  “A hotel for modern travelers, offering inviting lobbies, ergonomic workspaces, welcoming lounges, and flexible meeting spaces for guests looking to stay connected and productive.” Target guest: Value-minded travelers that still want a spacious room and a modern vibe Footprint: 181 hotels in 4 countries Competitors: Moxy Hotels, Avid Hotels, Fairfield Key metrics: RevPAR index: over 113%   Economy Hotel Brands Economy hotels are targeted to the most budget-conscious travelers, often found on highways and near airports. The rooms are simple and amenities sparse, although there usually is a basic self-service breakfast.     Days Inn (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “A bright take on travel, Days Inn by Wyndham focuses on the little things that surprise and delight guests to help them enjoy their stay.” Target guest: Value-conscious travelers Footprint: 1672 hotels in 25 countries  Competitors: Motel 6, Super 8, Rodeway Inn, Red Roof Inn, America’s Best Value Inn Key metrics: RevPAR index: over 110% Howard Johnson Brand positioning: “For families looking for dependable accommodations, Howard Johnson by Wyndham delivers a warm, friendly experience every visit—just like they’ve been doing for decades.” Target guest: Families  Footprint: 314 hotels in 13 countries  Competitors: Americas Best Value inn, Red Roof Inn, EconoLodge Key metrics: RevPAR index: 126% Microtel Brand positioning: “Microtel by Wyndham attracts travelers looking for a simple and streamlined experience that still feels stylish and modern” Target guest: Price- and design-conscious travelers Footprint: 347 hotels in 5 countries Competitors:  Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Days Inn, Econo Lodge Key metrics: RevPar index: 116% Super 8 (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “Authentic, trusted, and true, Super 8 by Wyndham is the authority in delivering value and hospitality across the globe.” Target guest: Value-minded travelers Footprint: 2,925 hotels in 5 countries Competitors: Days Inn, Rodeway Inn, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Knights Inn Key metrics: ADR: $70 | RevPAR: $37 Travelodge (Wyndham) Brand positioning: “From hiking trips to beach vacations, Travelodge by Wyndham offers an ideal stay for travelers looking to start great adventures with an even better night’s sleep.” Target guest: Value-conscious road trippers and weekenders Footprint: 453 hotels in 3 countries Competitors: Days Inn, Rodeway Inn, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Knights Inn Key metrics: RevPAR index: over 126%   Soft Brands & Collections The trend towards “soft brand,” or independent hotels that maintain an affiliation with a larger hospitality loyalty program, has really taken off in recent years. These Collections bring together boutiques and other independent hotels into a single portfolio under one brand umbrella.     Curio Collection (Hilton) Brand positioning: “A collection of unique hotels appealing to travelers seeking local discovery” Target guest: Discerning leisure travellers and millennial business travelers Footprint: 78 hotels and resorts in 23 countries Competitors: Tribute Portfolio, Autograph Collection, Unbound Collection LXR (Hilton) Brand positioning: “A luxury collection of distinctive hotels and resorts offering singular service and remarkable local experiences.” Target guest: Older leisure travelers Footprint: 4 hotels in 4 countries Competitors: Destination Hotels, Luxury Collection Tapestry Collection (Hilton) Brand positioning: “A collection of unique hotels that gives you the peace of mind to travel independently” Target guest: Curious millennial travelers Footprint: 31 hotels in 3 countries Competitors: Unbound Collection, Autograph Collection, Design Hotels Destination Hotels (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “To share and discover the soul of each unique resort destination” spread across beach, city, and mountain locations  Target guest: Discerning leisure travelers and experience-driven business travelers looking for activities after the work is done  Footprint: 58 properties in the U.S. Competitors: Design Hotels, Autograph Collection Joie de Vivre (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “A boutique collection with heart” Target guest: Trendier travelers willing to spend for the social vibe and cool surroundings of the JdV experience Footprint: 15 hotels in 10 cities  Competitors: Kimpton, Tapestry Collection, Edition, Autograph Collection Key metrics: $225.95 ADR Unbound Collection (Hyatt) Brand positioning: “Giving you the freedom to be extraordinary” Target guest: Footprint: 20 hotels in 20 cities  Competitors: Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Curio Collection, Kimpton Key metrics: 101 ADR index Autograph Collection (Marriott) Brand positioning: “A distinctive collection of hand-selected hotels, ranging from boutique to luxury, each offering unique perspectives on design, craft and hospitality” Target guest: Guests who want only the most forward-thinking experiences and design-crafted spaces Footprint: 223 hotels in 32 countries Competitors: Curio, Leading Hotels Of The World, Preferred Hotels Key metrics: Occupancy: 75.3% | ADR: $215.97 | RevPAR: $163.54 | RevPar Index: 112.2 Design Hotels (Marriott) Brand positioning: “Visionary properties that reflect originality, genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity and thought-provoking design” Target guest: Guests who want only the most forward-thinking experiences and design-crafted spaces Footprint: 769 properties in 75 countries Competitors: Curio Collection, Autograph Collection, Tapestry Collection The Luxury Collection (Marriott) Brand positioning: “A curated ensemble of the world's most iconic hotels that truly define their destinations”  Target guest: “For the global explorer” Footprint: 236 properties in 55 countries  Competitors: Leading Hotels of the World, Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons Key metrics: Occupancy: 79.0% | ADR: $290.84 | RevPAR: $229.42 | RevPAR Index: 116.7 Tribute Portfolio (Marriott) Brand positioning: “An exceptional collection of independent hotels and resorts with unique personalities and spirit. Stay independent.” Target guest: Independent and spirited business and leisure travelers Footprint: 67 hotels in 17 countries  Competitors: Curio, Leading Hotels, Preferred Trademark Collection (Wyndham) Trademark Collection Brand positioning: “A soft-branded, independently-minded collection of upper-midscale and above properties. Just as no two travelers are alike – every Trademark Hotel is distinctive, taking on the character of the place in which they’re built.” Target guest: Independent-minded business and leisure travelers Footprint: 103 properties in 9 countries Competitors: Autograph Collection, Curio, Delta Hotels, Tapestry Collection  

Your Hotel Operations Will Fail Without Tech

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Running a hotel is no easy task and hotel operations are insanely complex. Between managing rates and reservations on dozens of channels, keeping your teams in sync across multiple shifts, assigning rooms across various room types, and, most importantly, ensuring that guests are happy, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. And what about keeping the physical building in good shape? Organizing all of your SOPs and actioning all of these daily tasks is barely humanly possible, so how can you make sure your hotel succeeds? With the right hotel technology, you can make every department more efficient, streamline your basic hotel operations, delight guests, keep your property in tip-top shape, and even increase your RevPAR. Without it, your hotel could suffer from overworked staff, dissatisfied guests, and even physical damage. Hotel tech might seem intimidating if you’re just starting to explore the possibilities, so in this article, we’ll break down how technology can prevent things from going wrong in several hotel departments.   Streamline Reservations Processes Guests today book across dozens of channels and the booking journey is extremely complex.  Some will book on your hotel website and others on a 3rd party OTA.  Others lean on their travel agents to book on their behalf via GDS.  A modern cloud based property management system like Jonas Chorum sits at the center of reservations processes and acts as your property's single source of truth with regards to inventory management.  Without a modern PMS you risk poor connections with key systems.  A bad connection with your channel manager could lead to overbooking and a weak connection with your RMS means that you are likely losing revenue from inaccurate pricing. A modern cloud based PMS like Jonas Chorum also helps your team collaborate on reservations.  Your call center agents can quickly access and manage current bookings.  Your sales team can check to see which inventory is available and can be promised to new groups.  Your front desk agents use the PMS to create last minute walk in bookings.   Optimize Front Desk Agent Workflows with a Cloud Based PMS What if your front desk had no computers? Not only would the check-in process be tedious, there are so many opportunities for the check-in to go wrong. How would a front desk agent know which rooms are clean? How would they know about special requests? How would they search for local recommendations? A good property management system not only makes basic hotel operations more efficient for your front desk team, but it also allows the check-in process to be a positive part of the guest experience. And if you’re a hotel manager, you know that the daily hotel operations manager checklist is long enough already, so a strong property management system will allow you to automate or streamline some of these responsibilities. When a guest walks up to the front desk to check in, your front desk staff will probably ask for their name to pull up their reservation. With a property management system in place, the front desk agent can find the guest’s booking in just a few clicks and immediately see the guest’s history, preferences, and reservation details. From there, the agent can check the guest in or out, move them to a new room, extend their stay, change their payment method, and more in seconds. Without good tech working behind the scenes, your employees would spend so much time on administrative tasks and communication that they wouldn’t be able to provide a good guest experience. You’ll save your guests from a poor front desk experience (and your front desk team’s time and energy!) when you implement an intuitive and robust property management system like Jonas Chorum.   Billing and Analytics Software Saves the Finance Department Managing a hotel’s finances is a difficult enough task even with technology. If your finance team needed to manually add up all of the payroll expenses, utility costs, food and beverage orders, and more, they would never catch a break! Financial software can not only keep your finance department sane, but also help you uncover trends that can prevent your hotel from losing money.  Except for your finance staff, most hotel employees are blissfully unaware of the billing process. Finance staff, however, know how tedious budget season is and how time-consuming it is to invoice vendors and manage payroll. Good finance technology can save your accounting team from a mountain of work by automating payroll, creating invoice templates, and even compiling reports on the hotel’s financial activities. Rather than tracking all of your hotel’s revenue and expenses in Excel, a robust accounting system can create a P&L in a quick click of the mouse.   Revenue Management Technology Rescues Your Rates In order to sell competitive rates, you need to have a pulse on market behavior. When are the high-demand dates? What rates are your competitors selling? Since rates change constantly, if you had to do all of this research manually, revenue managers could never keep up. Revenue management software does the heavy lifting for you by analyzing market trends to recommend the best rates for your hotel, which prevents you from leaving money on the table. Revenue management tools provide rate recommendations based on market demand and competitor rates and can update your rates automatically, which saves a lot of time. These systems are especially useful for setting rates during peak demand periods (like special events), since they save your hotel from underpriced bookings that erode your RevPAR. Of course, these systems allow you to enter your own restrictions and overrides, so you can save yourself from the risk of selling rates that are too low.   Engineering Software Maximizes the Life of FF&E Your maintenance team can’t possibly catch every leak or replace every lightbulb as soon as it goes out all on their own. The engineering team needs help from other departments (especially room attendants and front desk agents) and from technology to receive, action, and track service requests. Imagine if a housekeeper noticed that a sink was leaking in a guestroom, told a maintenance employee right away, but the maintenance employee was busy and forgot about it? A few days later, your hotel could face some costly water damage all because you didn’t have technology in place to track the maintenance issue - not to mention a potentially poor guest experience. Engineering software allows hotel staff to submit service orders that can be actioned by the maintenance team, ensuring that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten. The engineering team can even access these systems from their smartphones, so if an urgent service request comes up, someone can handle it immediately. These systems also track requests in a queue, which means team members can hold each other accountable, and you can analyze trends to see which requests occur more frequently. Armed with this knowledge, your hotel can stay in perfect condition for years to come, and guests won’t keep calling the front desk about the lightbulb that hasn’t been replaced for three days. -- By now, we hope you understand just how crucial technology is for basic hotel operations. Your hotel manager duties and responsibilities are hard enough without the added stress of service recovery, missed revenue, or maintenance issues. You can prevent all kinds of guest experience failures and potential back-of-house mistakes by implementing good hotel technology that allows you to organize, automate, and streamline tasks. Besides helping you avoid these potential hiccups, good technology will free up your time so you can think strategically and delight guests.  

Revenue Management Strategies: Tactical vs. Strategic

by
Hotel Tech Report
4 weeks ago

What does your vision of revenue management strategy of the future look like? Running advanced space tourism purchase promotions on Mars hotels or last-minute deals on spaceship cabins? Okay, maybe we can’t predict that far ahead, but we can help you overcome tough economic conditions and make the most of periods of uncertainty. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by everything you need to handle on a daily basis or frustrated that your hotel isn’t hitting its strategic goals, we’ll show you why shifting away from tactical revenue management is the key to success in the long term. This article will uncover why strategic revenue management is so important, and how by switching to a more strategic focus, you can reach your goals without relying on last-minute, reactive tactics. In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, we’ll look at lessons learned from the periods after 9/11 and the 2008 recession to help you work toward strong rates and occupancy in the future.   Evolving Strategies of Revenue Management Before we jump in the time machine, let’s explore the differences between strategic and tactical revenue management. What do the two terms mean? Can you have one without the other? Strategic revenue management, as you may have guessed, refers to your overall revenue management strategy. Strategy has a more long-term focus, and it involves a roadmap to reach a target. For example, your goal might be to increase ancillary revenue or shift share away from OTAs toward your direct channels, and your strategy outlines how you’ll get there. Tactical revenue management, on the other hand, refers to the specific actions you take. If your goal is to drive ancillary revenue, then tactics might include setting up packaged offers with F&B credits or sending email blasts that advertise your spa specials. For many revenue managers, tactics also include setting last-minute discounts or releasing rooms to opaque channels in an effort to book any additional rooms on short notice. Of course, you can’t achieve your strategic goals without actually putting your tactics into action, so both types of revenue management are necessary. However, many revenue managers - maybe including yourself - spend so much time on the tactical piece that they don’t have the time or energy to focus on the bigger picture. The strategic revenue management tasks often get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list as tactical tasks that seem more urgent take priority.   The Future of Hotel Revenue Management The hotel industry, like the economy as a whole, is cyclical. As the economy gets stronger or weaker, so does the demand for hotel rooms. We witnessed the first major hotel industry shakeup after 9/11; during this period of decreased demand, revenue managers became more integral players in hotel operations, and their responsibilities grew to involve both tactical and strategic tasks. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the dip in demand after 9/11, except for two key differences: the demand for hotel rooms now is significantly less than after 9/11, and technology is much more advanced today, nearly 20 years later. As a result,  innovative revenue management systems allow us to automate many tactical tasks, and revenue managers’ strategic minds are needed more than ever to find creative solutions to get hotels through these tough times. Based on the hotel industry’s post-9/11 restructuring, we will likely see revenue management roles and teams that have different responsibilities in a post-COVID-19 world. When demand is low, all we can think about is getting heads in beds. It’s tempting to throw out our strategic revenue management playbook and grab whatever tactics we can get our hands on. Slashing rates and giving away free nights might seem like good ideas in the short term, but if we look at rate and occupancy trends during the period after 9/11 or the 2008 recession, we discover that these aren’t good ideas at all. Deep discounting actually makes it more difficult to build rates back up since travelers get used to paying cheap rates. The best course of action is to listen to your revenue management system’s recommendations and automate the tactical side as much as possible. Instead of jumping to short-term “wins” that could hurt your performance in the long run, revenue managers benefit from using a slow period to focus on strategic revenue management. Revenue managers should take the hotel’s entire value proposition into account when setting rates, being mindful of the opportunities they can create for other departments by offering value adds (F&B credits, for example). It’s also prudent to only make rate adjustments for dates that you’re absolutely certain will be affected by decreased demand; you don’t want to sell discounted rates too far into the future in case demand rebounds by then.   What’s Needed for Strategic Revenue Management? Just like running a hotel, you can’t do strategic revenue management entirely on your own. Revenue managers that apply strategic revenue management effectively know how to leverage both technology and people within the hotel to achieve their goals.   People Though revenue managers are known for their analytical know-how and razor-sharp Excel skills, strategic revenue management offers the perfect chance to hone your people skills. How do your colleagues fit into good strategic revenue management? Get everybody on board: Before you launch any type of revenue management strategy, you need to get buy-in from your colleagues - especially the executive team. They must understand why you’re choosing certain strategies and what the long-term impact will be. If an ownership group is involved, you can even mention how solid strategic revenue management will boost their overall return on investment and make the hotel more profitable. Once everyone understands the strategy, then you’ll have the support and resources you need to put your plans into action. Incorporate other departments: It’s easy to think that strategic revenue management is only something that concerns the revenue, sales, and rooms departments. But, in reality, a comprehensive revenue management strategy can include (and benefit!) every department on property. Is one of your goals to increase ancillary revenue? Then you can collaborate with the food and beverage team on some mouth-watering special offers. Lay out a plan: Strategic revenue management involves planning and predicting what you need to do to hit your targets. But in order to create a good plan, you need to do some serious brainstorming. Together with your team, block a few hours on your calendars on a regular basis so you can get in the habit of setting aside your daily distractions to focus on the bigger picture. Thinking about your hotel’s position in the market, your services and amenities, major events in your area, and more. How can you maximize these factors? Once you understand where your hotel is currently, you can determine some strategic goals and formulate a concrete plan to reach them. It’s also helpful to include milestones and points where the team can check in with each other to keep progress moving along. Technology But people aren’t the only component in strategic revenue management - especially not when the people are as busy as you are. Revenue managers need high-tech tools and innovative systems to help them glean insights from data and streamline daily tasks. Automate, automate, automate! Let technology handle the tactical piece while you focus on strategic revenue management. A successful revenue manager uses a revenue management system like IDeaS to automate tasks like pulling and sending reports, making rate changes, and distributing rates to various channels. Think of your revenue management software as your trusty sidekick, there to assist with routine tasks and free up your time for more important things. Dig into big data: Revenue management software can also reveal information about your market, your competitors, or your guest behavior that you can use to shape your strategy. Especially after a market downturn, you’ll want to have a pulse on not only your competitors' rates, but also the demand for your market as a whole. You don’t need to spend your valuable time doing research; a technology solution like IDeaS can provide real-time insights based on market data.   Although we like to try, we can’t predict the future, nor can we anticipate exactly when the next slow period will creep up on us. But by making strategic revenue management an integral part of your hotel’s operations, you will be better prepared to weather the storm and less inclined to jump to impulsive tactics. When you focus on a strategy that reflects your hotel’s value as a whole, you can reach your strategic goals, which, in our opinion, is the best vision of the future of revenue management.  

5 Ways to Boost Revenue with Suggestive Selling

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Your hotel has invested a lot in the overall guest experience. Your restaurant has a brand-new seasonal menu; your spa has been completely revamped; your concierge has tons of special offers ready to promote. How can you make sure guests are discovering all these amenities? Suggestive selling targets guests with specific, personalized offers that make it easy for guests to say “yes” to making a purchase. The benefits of suggestive selling can lead to a better guest experience, as well as more incremental revenue for your property. Suggestive selling and upselling can help guests enjoy all your property has to offer – all you need is the right tool to time your pitch to the right guest at the right time.   What is Suggestive Selling? Suggestive selling is a sales technique where your employee asks the customer if they would like to add an ancillary product or service to their original purchase. The goal is to increase the purchase amount of the customer and boost revenue at your hotel. Here are a couple examples from other industries: a barista might ask if a customer wants a pastry with their coffee a retailer might suggest an extended warranty along with a new appliance. The ancillary product is usually of lower value than the item the customer intends to purchase. Suggestive selling benefits your hotel in that it only takes slightly more effort to gain additional revenue. Rather than launching an entirely autonomous marketing campaign or sales effort, your employee is targeting a customer already in the mindset of making a purchase. It’s much easier to convince someone to add items to their cart once they are already committed to checking out. Moreover, since the add-on product is of lesser value than the original purchase, it’s much more likely that the customer will be willing to add it to their transaction. Customers benefit from suggestive selling too. Suggestive selling can entice a customer to try something they might not normally select on their own. “A customer might not normally get this product or service, but because it is new, different and exciting they're willing to give it a try. Or, it might be a special night for the customer (birthday, promotion) and they want to get something different to remember it by,” writes one expert. The right type of suggestion can build brand affinity and customer satisfaction. Suggestive selling varies slightly from upselling, but the two techniques align when your hotel upsells the right offer at the right moment, benefitting both your property and the guest. Upselling focuses on suggestions that drive sales or profits. While a suggestive sell is adding a pastry with your coffee order, an upsell would be to get a large latte for just a dollar more than a medium latte. When done properly, upselling results in more incremental revenue and better guest experiences. This is where a tool like Oaky will help your hotel staff make the right upsell offer. Oaky uses targeted pre-arrival upselling to highlight products and services at your hotel after a customer has already booked their stay. Their timed email campaigns send the right message with a personalized offer to each guest for easy upselling of all the amenities at your property.   How Can Hotels Leverage Suggestive Selling? Suggestive selling can be used in myriad ways, but hotels should focus on three key channels to avoid spamming guests with upsell offers. These three touchpoints are: on a website, in email marketing, and through your call center. Beyond which channel you use, the other key factors in leveraging suggestive selling at your hotel are timing and reach. Many hotels delegate upselling to their front desk staff; this means they miss out on other, better opportunities to unobtrusively spotlight an add-on product or service. “These properties are losing out because using an automated upselling platform is much more effective and efficient at selling ancillary services and upgrades pre-arrival. This approach increases your reach, lets you promote a wider variety of deals and boosts your conversion rate,” report the experts at Oaky. Here are a few places where suggestive selling can seem natural – and raise awareness of products a guest may want to purchase. Share news about your property. Use your email list to share events and promotions strategically. What’s new at your hotel? Did you just renovate your spa? Are there new items on your restaurant menu? Send a targeted email to someone who’s just booked a stay displaying relevant news about upcoming features at your property – e.g., “Make your stay even greater by testing out these new dishes at our restaurant.”  Personalized website messages. A direct booking tool can present each visitor to your website with unique, targeted features based on their buyer persona. As someone is going through the booking process on your site, one of these tools can suggest special offers, deliver specific reviews, and personalize content depending on what each visitor is seeking. For instance, after someone books a family vacation, the booking confirmation page can present an offer for deals on kids’ meals at your on-site restaurant.  Demonstrate product knowledge. Through your call center, using a live chat tool, or on your website’s FAQs page, make sure there are plenty of opportunities to suggestively sell while answering a guest’s questions. For instance, if a confirmed guest asks if your property has an on-site gym, take that opportunity to see if they want to book a private session with a trainer during their stay. Showcase room upgrades in the booking path. Help guests clearly understand the differences between room types and rates right in your booking engine to make it easy for a guest to select the right room for their trip. One idea? Show the square footage of each room right next to each room type. Provide a short, clear description about what makes each room unique and why it costs a certain amount relative to other room types. This can entice guests to size up and spend more once they see that one room has superior amenities over another.  Suggest complementary items and share best features. Use a guest’s browsing history and customer profile to suggest items that fit their trip profile. For instance, a hotel in Orlando might see that a guest is looking for information about connecting rooms, we might infer that they’re a family and offer a “All About Mickey Package” that includes Disneyland tickets and transportation to the park. If a guest is looking at the cheapest room type, we might display an offer for a date that is even cheaper or ask if they’d like 20% off for adding another room night. Suggestive selling is all about learning about the guest to provide offers that align with their needs. The right suggestive offers feel natural, promote add-ons that are easy to add to the cart, and are timed to reach the guest at the right moment.   The Shift from Suggestive Selling to Upselling Upselling is just as powerful as suggestive selling. Upselling allows your property to target guests who have already booked a trip to your hotel, and expand revenue even after the sale is already made. These guests are highly likely to buy from you and are 100% free to market to with specialized offers; there’s no cost of acquisition because this customer has already become a future guest. Successful upselling is a win-win for the hotel and the guest – but only when the offer matches the guest profile. Offering a family vacation package to a business traveler won’t resonate. This is where personalization comes in and it pays to work with a specialist provider like Oaky. Oaky sends optimized pre-arrival emails that suggest deals and services specific to the customer profile they can add on with one simple click. At set intervals along the guest journey, Oaky automatically sends out personalized messages promoting room upgrades and other services three to five days before arrival. It’s a powerful way to encourage discovery about your property and suggest items for a guest to add to their stay.  

Understanding the Demand Curve (And How It Works)

by
Hotel Tech Report
4 weeks ago

Property owners commonly rely on their revenue management tool to “do the work” for them, using their RMS to find the ideal mix of room rates and occupancy. It’s easy to fall into the trap of using your revenue management tool blindly without understanding how it works. As a result, however, you may be missing a strategy that will drive the absolute highest value for your hotel. Revenue management systems like BEONPRICE automate much of the revenue management tasks that would previously occupy much of your time. These systems do the bulk of the manual labor, but stop at providing strategic revenue management. This is where revenue managers need to focus their effort: and returning to the basics of the demand curve can help your team be more strategic in maxing out your property’s revenue potential. Understanding the demand curve gives decision-makers a way to anticipate how demand affects the pricing of your hotel rooms. The demand curve allows you to model travelers’ decisions and price your rooms accordingly to gain the most possible revenue from those seeking accommodation at any given time. Revisiting the basics of the demand curve can help you develop a more intelligent revenue strategy to gain more customers and beat out the compset.   What is a Demand Curve? The demand curve is a graphical illustration of the law of demand. It represents the relationship between the price of a good or service and the amount (quantity) demanded over a given period of time. The x-axis charts the quantity demanded; the y-axis charts the price. The demand curve allows you to predict the quantity demanded when you price your rooms at a specific dollar amount. There are two main types of demand curves: the elastic demand curve and the inelastic demand curve. Elasticity refers to the degree to which an increase in price results in a decrease in demand. When a demand curve is elastic, a price decrease causes a significant increase in the quantities purchased. For instance, when the price of paper towel drops by 15%, a shopper might buy extra knowing they’ll use it eventually. A perfectly elastic demand curve looks like a flat, horizontal line. Inelastic demand curves map what happens when a price decrease doesn’t increase the quantity purchased. Fruit, for instance, has a relatively inelastic demand curve; because fruit spoils in large quantities, a shopper can’t buy more of it just because the price falls by 15%. A perfectly inelastic demand curve looks like a vertical straight line. There are many variables that impact demand elasticity, especially in the hotel industry. Before we dive into those, we’ll cover a basic understanding of the law of demand to provide background your hotel can use along with a revenue management tool to improve profitability.   What is the Law of Demand? In macroeconomics, the law of demand is a principle that states that as the price of a good decreases the quantity demanded of that good will increase (and vice versa). The phrase “quantity demanded” is an important part of this definition. Quantity demanded refers to the discrete amount of a product or services – e.g., available hotel rooms, or hours of labor. Most people just refer to this as “demand,” but in macroeconomics, demand refers to the entire demand curve. The law of demand holds true as long as four key factors that influence demand don’t change. These factors include:  The prices of related goods or services (e.g., airline tickets) The income of the buyer The tastes or preferences of the buyer The expectations of the buyer (e.g., about future prices) These factors, among other things like the state of the economy and regulatory changes, can shift the entire demand curve as the relationship between price and quantity changes.   Demand Curve Shifters When the entire demand curve for a product shifts to the right, that indicates that the product has become more commercially desirable and that a larger quantity will be sold at a given price. If the entire demand curve shifts to the left, the opposite is true: the good or service is less desirable and fewer items will be sold at a given price. What causes a demand curve to shift? The demand curve graph can shift to the left or right depending on changes in income, population, and consumer preferences. Here are some examples of how this works.   Income: when income goes up, so does demand. Consumers who have more disposable income are more likely to spend it. When the economy expands and paychecks go up, consumers tend to spend more on desirable goods, leading to a shift in the overall demand curve to the right.  Population: if population goes up, so does demand – shifting the curve to the right. There are more people who want an item at any given price point, so the curve moves.  Consumer preferences: there are all kinds of things that can influence consumer preferences. Consistently negative reviews of a hotel property, for instance, can cause the demand to drop. Movements in taste change the quantity of a good at every price point. Remember, when the demand curve shifts, it indicates a shift in overall demand – not just in quantity demand. A shift left or right does not mean that the quantity demanded by every individual buyer changes by the same amount. For instance, not everyone who has a higher income will, therefore, buy an additional car. A shift in a demand curve shows a pattern for the market as a whole.   Hotel Demand Curves What does the law of demand mean for pricing at your hotel? There are many variables that increase or decrease demand, meaning the hotel industry is pretty elastic. These independent variables include average daily rate (ADR), income, change in employment, seasonal trends (i.e., demand during spring break or holiday travel periods), and rooms sold. ADR has a negative relationship to demand while the rest can positively shift the curve to the right. “For example, as ADRs increase, consumers purchase fewer hotel rooms, hence the negative sign. As income and employment increase, consumers have greater abilities to purchase hotel rooms, hence the positive direction of these relationships,” reported one analysis. However, different types of properties also have different degrees of elasticity. General price elasticity data shows that luxury rooms and high-end properties are by far the most elastic. Because these rooms are considered a luxury good, travelers are more price-sensitive to spending on expensive vacations; they’ll seek “value” when incomes are down, unemployment is up, or news headlines predict a recession. The following table indicates how elastic demand curves are for each type of property.    What do the numbers in this table mean? If the quantity demanded increases by 7% when price decreases by 10%, the price elasticity of demand is -7/10 or -0.7. In this case, expect expenditures to decrease by 3%. By understanding how guest income, employment, seasonal trends, and ADR can change your demand curve, revenue managers can price rooms effectively to capture the highest possible quantity demanded. This is where a revenue management software platform comes into play.   Revenue Management Software is the Key to Optimizing Demand Revenue management software such as BEONPRICE can help gather data points necessary to properly price your hotel rooms. Revenue management software helps your team sell the right room to the right customer at the right price, incorporating demand curve variables along with channel and timing to maximize profitability. BEONPRICE will factor in historical and market data with forecasting and predictive analytics to recommend rates for each customer segment and room type. The algorithms in an RMS help hotels set an ADR depending on real-time supply and demand information. Accurately pricing rooms with better data leads to an increase in RevPAR and Net RevPAR (RevPAR after operating costs are deducted), as well as the RevPAR Index (a measure of revenue in comparison to competitors in the market). When a spike in demand is predicted for a seasonal, such as university spring break, BEONPRICE can help set prices that account for the right shift in the demand curve.  Hotels that use revenue management systems save between 20 - 40 hours each month by streamlining manual workflows. The AI built into BEONPRICE and similar platforms can free up your team to do more strategic thinking. Leave supply and demand analysis to the robots – and get your pricing on the right track by returning to demand curve basics.