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David Chitlik

The decision to appeal a hotel's property assessment for tax purposes is only the first of a series of judgments before the case is resolved. Who will defend the appeal? Based on what facts? How far is an appellant willing to go to gain a remedy for the assessment? In order to be successful in this effort, particularly if the appeal involves a large amount of money or is extremely complicated, the hotelier would be wise to seek out expert guidance. With this decision, new questions arise of where to find that guidance and how much it will ultimately cost. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. Revenue management has moved far beyond the Microsoft Excel expert in a small back office and now involves multiple stakeholders from several departments, all influencing overall revenue strategy with each of their key areas of function. Today's hotel leaders are tasked with converging the traditional roles of sales, marketing, meetings & events and revenue management with an inclusion of other departments like F&B, banquets and finance. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Over the years, the pool of data sources hotels utilize within their business strategies has grown exponentially larger. The propagation of its importance within the development of short- and long-term vision and strategic planning has also become more commonplace than in years past. Innovative breakthroughs in technology and analytics mean organizations continue to see more opportunities to leverage data in meaningful ways. However, the alternative side is the steep volumes of data can be dauntingly large and intricately complex. Organizations that focus on using the right types of data -- with an infrastructure that can effectively leverage it -- can confidently reach ambitious profit goals. Read on...

Gino Engels

It's easy to feel intimidated by today's travel distribution landscape. Travelers are changing the way they buy, new players are disrupting existing monopolies, OTAs are buying each other, and hoteliers have access to so much data that it's become a full-time job to interpret it and put it into use. The key is to find ways to interpret this data, act on it quickly and leveraging technologies that can help with this. As long as you continue to strive to understand the market - and, most importantly, your guests - you'll be able to tap into the opportunities that, as a whole, make all the difference to your bottom line. Read on...

David Lund

What information can I get from my monthly P&L to understand my business and make better decisions?" and "What's going on in my business?" The latter is the better, more applicable, piece for an operations manager who has a healthy sense of curiosity and a leader who wants to make a difference. These are the muscles you need to develop as a hospitality financial leader. It is not up to someone else (accounting) to chase you down and to get you on top of your numbers. It is the other way around. The sooner you see the opportunity in all of this the better for you and your career. It is not difficult. If someone stands in your way, find a way around them. Most leaders will not naturally do this, will you be one that does? Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

You may have a sizable stock of inventory. You may also have revenue managers who know how to leverage pricing strategies. Moreover, you may have access to a variety of channels to reach your target market. But, is that all you need to ensure high revenue? Despite having all these goodies, your hotel's revenue-making potential can suffer on account of revenue leakages, which often go unnoticed. Avoiding them will make an immense difference to your hotel's bottom line. But, before we get there, let us understand these glitches in detail. Read on...

David Lund

This aricle is an overview of a six-month financial leadership project that I recently completed at a full-service hotel. The project consisted of six half-day hospitality financial leadership workshops delivered in-house and monthly 1-1 leadership coaching appointments with the 15 managers assigned to the program. Each month of the project we completed a group workshop and each manager had a coaching meeting with me. The project goal had five measurable elements. It was to get the managers and leaders of this hotel to complete their monthly departmental financial forecasts, track their results throughout the month, adjust their spending on labor and supplies according to business volumes, review their month-end statements for accuracy and finally write their departmental monthly hotel management commentary. In other words, get the core management team to do these tasks each month while improving forecasts and the hotel's financial results. Read on...

Mark Heymann

Hotel organizations dutifully churn out reports filled with the ever-growing volume of data technology has made available, creating information overload for the managers tasked with analyzing them. By streamlining the process and sticking to the numbers that truly matter, managers make smarter decisions that have real impact on their hotel's business. The more management shares effective data with the staff, the better performance will be. Monthly or quarterly review of certain numbers can be used as a tool to motivate employees. As the saying goes, people do what you inspect not what you expect. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

You may have a sizeable stock of inventory. You may also have revenue managers who know how to leverage pricing strategies. Moreover, you may have access to a variety of channels to reach your target market. But, is that all you need to ensure high revenue? Despite having all these goodies, your hotel's revenue-making potential can suffer on account of revenue leakages, which often go unnoticed. Avoiding them will make an immense difference to your hotel's bottom line. But, before we get there, let us understand these glitches in detail. Read on...

David Lund

In the hotel business payroll is the number one cost. STR recently reported that labor made up 50% of revenues for a sample of over 4,000 hotels of all types and sizes. This should not be even a little bit of a surprise to anyone. Many hotels are well north of the 50% mark. We have all become accustomed to serious REVPAR growth year over year which has taken the bight out of wage and expense increases. But what happens when the REVPAR bubble bursts. We all know it's not a matter of "if" it bursts it's when will it burst. Read on...

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Latest developments in technology and added pressure in the market have advanced Revenue Management to acquire a more strategic role with emphasis in maximizing all components of the customer journey. And while there are still challenges in the adoption of such a business practice it is an exciting time for Hotel Revenue Managers. Technological advances have led to systems with enormous potential in handling the complexities of managing various revenue streams due to their abilities in advanced problem solving, reasoning and perception. This will elevate the role of RM and empower it to reach its full potential whilst allowing the whole organization to benefit from its concepts. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. Revenue management has moved far beyond the Microsoft Excel expert in a small back office and now involves multiple stakeholders from several departments, all influencing overall revenue strategy with each of their key areas of function. True hotel profit optimization leverages multiple hotel functions to ensure goals are aligned to achieve optimal results. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other key hotel revenue streams; like sales with group bookings and meetings & events teams with catering sales. Read on...

David Lund

The first thing you need to know about reading a hotel financial statement is there are basically 2 different statements that you will want to get comfortable with. The two different statements are the income statement, some call it the P&L for profit and loss statement and the second in the balance sheet. Now I know what you're thinking, balance sheets are for the accounting types and they are complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am going to give you a new understanding and share a secret about the balance sheet and the relationship to the P&L. Read on...

David Chitlik

The decision to appeal a hotel's property assessment for tax purposes is only the first of a series of judgments before the case is resolved. Who will defend the appeal? Based on what facts? How far is an appellant willing to go to gain a remedy for the assessment? Deciding to appeal seems straightforward, but before the decision is made, the hotelier needs to understand that appealing a property assessment can be more art than science. It's showing convincingly that an appellant's opinion of value outweighs that of a professional assessor who works under strict laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and interpretations, many of them nuanced by the tax jurisdiction. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

The hospitality industry is one of those industries where the people running the show of hotel business cannot lay back and earn easy revenues. Revenues of a hotel may fluctuate like weather depending upon a number of factors like demand, competitor rates, climatic conditions, security & political situation, holiday season, events etc. Revenue managers are always on their heels to ensure that the hotel operates at maximum occupancy throughout the year. Every empty hotel room is a loss of revenue as the operational cost of running a hotel remains broadly the same for 50 customers or 100 customers. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.