The Importance of Being in the Know In Order To Maximize Your Hotel's Performance

By Phil Tufano Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Kokua Hospitality | February 08, 2015

With markets continually becoming more segmented, the need to differentiate your hotel from your competition in order to appeal to your travelers is increasing. This can be achieved by staying connected to every level of your team by means of constant feedback and financial reports. This intel coupled with an understanding of current trends is critical to keep in stride with your market's needs.
Real-time financial reports

Knowledge is power and consistent updates with new information are not only empowering but necessary to succeed and surpass your competition in hospitality today. Constant "real-time" financial reporting is an essential ingredient for making effective decisions. For example, the boutique Powell Hotel in San Francisco uses a system created by Kokua Hospitality that allows their team total access to daily, weekly, and monthly reports. This also allows the management team to remain on the same page and making decisions based on consistent information by understanding where the hotel stands at all times. This also provides immediate, transparent feedback of the hotel's efforts towards each of their individual goals. In a world in which companies are only as good as their last financial statement, this system of providing readily-available financial information to team members helps them keep in pace with constant change and to respond effectively.

Daily Meetings With Your Sales Team

In addition to looking at results from financial reports, it is equally imperative to meet regularly with the sales team to discuss all tentative and prospective pieces of business on the books. The meetings are a time to ask questions about what needs to be done in order to close the deal. It is helpful to make plans together and go over sales tactics and challenges with the group so that each person knows they're not doing it by themselves. The management team should stay close to the process, show interest and let everyone know how important closing the business is and that it has your undivided attention. To secure meetings, the sales team should meet personally with all meeting planners and site inspections. People do business with people they like. So make sure your customers know and like you.

Constant Feedback from the Trenches

Those working at the front desk, serving at your hotel's restaurant, working as concierges- these are the people that your guests interact with and are most concerned with when evaluating the service of your hotel. They are the first and lasting impression left on your traveler's minds. In the hotel business, communicating policies and procedures to the field from the corporate office is important to maintain product and service consistency and standards. Therefore, quality communication is crucial, on both sides to deliver feedback and new ideas.

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.