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Mark Heymann

In simplest terms, optimization means consistently delivering against customer expectations to drive revenue, while managing costs to maximize profitability. With the economy projected by some to soften by year-end, the hospitality industry must prepare for short-term growth while planning for longer-term slowing - and be flexible enough to respond to unexpected events. Combine this with the continued challenges of attracting and retaining talent and the priority for hotel operators becomes clear: workforce optimization. You see in this article how a deeper understanding of the specific factors driving both guest satisfaction and employee engagement will give you creative options to optimize operations. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Get as much heads in beds as possible while optimizing your hotel's profit potential. This straightforward definition of a revenue manager's job probably rings true for many of us in the industry. However, if a revenue manager is solely focused on guest-room pricing, then who's in charge of enhancing revenue for the rest of your property? Hotels can generate more than half of their revenue on non-room revenue streams, yet traditional revenue managers and revenue management systems still take a limited "heads-in-beds" approach. So, how do we best decide what business to accept when faced with the complexities of multiple revenue stream considerations like function-space booking? Read on...

Lily Mockerman

How can hotels successfully expand their revenue strategy beyond occupancy? Is heads-in-beds truly the only method for increasing revenue and profits? When should occupancy be a priority, and when should hotels minimize occupancy for maximum revenue? With expert advice, years of experience and thoughtful analysis, president and CEO of Total Customized Revenue Management Lily Mockerman discusses both the benefits and the drawbacks of relying on occupancy as the sole indicator of a hotel's performance. Read on...

Steven Klein

Everchanging challenges sweeping the hotel industry, from new technology-related consumer demands to rising labor costs to shifting competition, are making it more difficult than ever for hoteliers to manage soaring operation costs. With margins thinning, it's crucial hotel operators maintain profitability by performing financial audits. In this article, Steve Klein, a partner at South Florida accounting firm Gerson Preston, dives into the specifics surrounding the importance of a properly conducted, regular and thorough audit so hotels -- large and small -- remain sustainable and allow for greater efficiency to address the evolving landscape of the industry as we know it. Read on...

Lily Mockerman

One of the most overlooked opportunities for hoteliers today is maximizing all hotel space for more profitability. Hoteliers know that empty rooms generate no revenue but finding a purpose for every space requires creative thinking, a comprehensive plan to execute ideas seamlessly and an understanding of the challenges that may arise. In this article, revenue management expert Lily Mockerman delivers original solutions for hoteliers looking to maximize hotel space and, in turn, maximize profitability. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Few hotel companies have achieved a successful holistic revenue management strategy today and most hotels still manage revenue generating business units in isolation. The good news is that, as silos come down, total revenue performance comes into view. Hotels must adopt the tools and best practices that bring together key business stakeholders from marketing, sales, meetings and events, food and beverage, revenue management and operations to unify goals and profit potential. Read on...

David Chitlik

Assessors across the thousands of taxing jurisdictions in the United States are calculating the value of hotels for tax purposes. Often the most complicated part of determining the value of a property is how to include capital expenses. This problem is worsened by the lack of information assessors usually have on such expenses and projects, and the complicated rules around brand standards. In this article, Altus Group's hospitality tax specialists explore how to manage these situations through communication and information sharing through their combined seventy years of experience in property tax. Read on...

Ally Northfield

Today everyone is a connected customer. Customers are more informed, more empowered and more connected to the world than ever before. They demand personalisation, immediacy and simplicity in all areas of their life. What does this mean for revenue management and the role that revenue managers play in responding to the needs to the connected customer? On the one hand we are witnessing the rise of the super dominant platform with household names such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, with the ability to interpret consumer intent and influence millions of purchasing decisions. On the other hand, the revenue manager is tasked with driving a book-direct strategy to encourage consumers to navigate through a journey to an individual web site. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

How we find, manage, and retain top talent at revenue-managing hotels has changed dramatically since the big-data boom began. It's important that we continuously strive to provide ongoing education and support in this competitive job market. Blended learning approaches are key to accommodate varying levels of expertise, job roles, and employee age groups. On-demand, quick learning tools are especially relevant as high-turnover rates necessitate faster uptimes of skilled, productive employees. Beyond that, career trajectory and a clear pathway for upward mobility must also be considered to attract top performers. Properly training, maintaining, and elevating talent is essential to achieving an ongoing return on investment in your people, technology, and processes. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

At the end of the day, from an owner and stakeholder perspective, business performance is an operational issue while productivity is a strategic issue. In a manner of speaking, productivity is a reflection of how efficiently business performance is achieved. Owners are in business for the long haul. A long haul can only be sustained if the means to ends are consistently efficient. It is productivity that makes return on investment a long term factor and vindicates the huge investment forked out. Stakeholders tend to sleep well knowing that an efficient system of producing business performance is at work and incrementally improving. Read on...

Melissa Maher

Hotel revenue management has been around for more than 30 years, yet adoption of revenue management technology has been slow. Although revenue performance is an important metric that drives pricing strategy and overall efficiencies, many of the tools and technologies available today make it difficult for hotels to measure their revenue performance and make smart pricing decisions. The solution: straight-forward measurement tools that can process real-time data to help hotels manage revenue and pricing. This byline will explore how technology is empowering hotels with strategic tools to optimize revenue management and help them make more informed decisions to better grow their business. Read on...

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Today's revenue managers have to deal with a lot more than just systems, rate management and reporting. More than analytical skills, revenue managers need to possess communication skills, leadership skills, and they also have to strive to be influential and motivational. This is where emotional intelligence plays a central role in the career of a revenue manager. If a person in such a position is incapable of being empathic about the challenges of others, and if they're unable to convey how valuable they are & the importance of their contribution, then they're at risk of failing to help others unleash their full potential, which directly affects their success and the performance of the hotel. Read on...

Mark Heymann

The same yield strategies that for decades have helped hoteliers optimize room revenues can lead to similar gains in their food and beverage operations. A restaurant seat, like a hotel room, is a perishable item, meaning that revenue lost anytime it sits vacant will never be recovered. And that’s the very challenge that yield management is designed to address. So why does the industry continue to overlook its potential? This article explores how hotel operators can apply a yield management approach to their restaurants to capture the maximum possible revenue from each seat. Read on...

Lily Mockerman

How can hotels, big and small, create opportunities to maximize their revenue? In this article, expert Lily Mockerman details the challenges and creative solutions for limited-service hotels to increase overall revenue. Though smaller properties may seem to be at a disadvantage, revenue optimization can be achieved by strategically monetizing every part of a hotel’s available space. With a seasoned perspective and out-of-the-box insight, this article reviews the ways limited-service hotels can increase their overall revenue and add to their value. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Personalizing the guest experience is all the rage right now, and hotels are eager to capitalize on opportunities to monetize. Loyalty programs are no longer just marketing initiatives but also revenue management strategies to control top- and bottom-line performance. As travelers demand more tailored accommodation experiences—blame the millennials, of course—a “customer-choice pricing” model may be the best way to deliver the ideal product to the ideal guest at the ideal price. Read on...

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.