How to Include 'Flow Thru' in Your Financial Statements

By David Lund Hospitality & Leadership Expert, The Hotel Financial Coach | May 07, 2017

'Flow Thru', this is my abbreviation, is a catch all phrase that measures how much made it through your business comparing one period to another. What made it through, from revenues to profit. Another term to describe this measurement is retention. A good analogy to grasp the concept of flow thru is to compare it to your paycheck. Imaging I give you a $1000 a week raise. The question then is how much will end up on your pay vs. how much got eaten up by higher taxes and other deductions. The same goes for additional revenues in your business. If revenues are $50,000 higher this month than the same month last year, how much of the $50,000 will make it through to the profit line. How much will flow?

...it’s great that you increased the rate and overall revenues in my hotel, but what I really want to know is how much you will keep and give me in profits – anonymous hotel owner

Managing flow thru in your hotel is a key attribute to understanding the profit model for your hotel. The reason it is so important to understand is the different characteristics that emerge when revenues go up or down in different departments. Measuring flow thru by department and by key driver is the basis for understanding your hotels real financial results and most importantly its financial potential.

Here are some motherhood questions to get your 'Flow Thru' imagination going.

  1. The overall revenues year to date are up by 1.3 million dollars how much
    should flow in GOP?

  2. Occupancy is up over last year by 5% - and the rate is up $15 as a result
    room revenues are up $720,000 – how much should flow in rooms profit and
    GOP?

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.