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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 MORE

Ally Northfield

The hotel industry is no stranger to change and one of the most dynamic areas of hospitality, revenue management, looks due for a correction. The playing field for revenue management is changing; traditional metrics are being challenged. Top line revenues no longer cut it when measuring asset performance. Big Data is history, replaced by data science. The revenue management role now encompasses profit manager, customer experience engineer and data scientist. In the light of this shift in complexity and the new skills being asked of revenue managers, does it make more sense to outsource revenue management to revenue specialists? READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

Total Revenue Management is growing in popularity for discussion, but there remains some ambiguity as to what this really means. Some discuss the application of revenue management principles to ancillary departments like F&B, or a narrower application of simply enhancing room sales to include additional ancillary revenue. Others focus on things like cost containment or various fees. For the purposes of this article, we will define Total Revenue Management as the concept of monetizing every area of the operation in various ways to capture the highest profits given the time-perishable aspect of a hotel's various types of inventory. READ MORE

Michael Schubach

In the world of hospitality, the collection and use of data are the industry's game changers. We depend on data to deliver the differences that turn personal travel into opportunities to collect life experiences and unique memories, and to tailor personalized service; it's access to data that gives Millennials and business travelers efficient access to availability, price shopping and loyalty / reward points. But all data is not created equally. As I look across the kinds of information that we use to find and serve our guests, I see four distinct data types, distinguished by their method of manufacture… READ MORE

David Lund

In hospitality, the measurement and management of productivity is hit and miss and miss again. Time and time again hotels are using ineffective measures to try and capture labor productivity measurements. It is important from the beginning to establish the goals for measuring productivity in your operations on rooms and food and beverage in your hotel. READ MORE

David Lund

Outsourcing your hotel accounting is an unintelligent move, that is my opinion and I am going to make my case right here. When I refer to outsourcing, I am talking about a third party provider, not a centralized function. Any good decision comes down to more pros than cons. I often work with clients on decisions and we often make two lists. Good things that can come from a decision and how we can amplify them, then the bad things that could and would happen and how we can minimize them. READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

Today's revenue management systems can help any hotel quickly and efficiently manage revenue tasks that would otherwise present a challenge. It can be difficult to stay on top of distribution across multiple channels when there are plenty of other issues facing a property at any given time. In the Revenue Management world, the differences within independent or branded environments can often be significant regarding how each respective entity deals with revenue management. Often, we're asked about differences in working with each type of property as it relates to strategies or RMS systems, and how TCRM approaches these unique challenges. READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

Over the years, outsourcing has developed a somewhat sordid reputation, synonymous with offshoring and tax evasion in some consumers' minds. But when the concept of outsourcing is applied to specialty areas such as IT, accounting, HR and others, it tends to be somewhat more accepted. Nevertheless, many companies still favor hiring these employees directly. Most feel that it ensures better control over that department's performance, and allows them to provide their own assessment of talent. Yet perhaps this level of control and talent direction is precisely why hiring internally can be a disservice to companies. READ MORE

Tom Engel

The hospitality industry is abundant with more than 270 hotel brands globally. Nevertheless, this whopping number is not stopping Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Hilton from expanding their portfolios with even more new brands. Theoretically, broadening the supply of brands is favorable for generating revenues from various distribution networks, loyalty programs and supply channels. But just how useful, helpful or even good is all this for the customer? Has the hotel industry gone mad by over-saturating the market with brands that are not all that different from each other? READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

Today's hoteliers face mounting pressure to increase their hotel profitability. From acquiring brand new customers to driving repeat business and loyalty, making the right operational decisions and running a hotel with optimal efficiency continues to be an ongoing challenge for top hotel executives. However, with increased scrutiny focused on the best ways to drive total hotel profitability, what exactly do the industry's c-suite executives need to know about revenue strategy and profit optimization? READ MORE

Lily Mockerman

Revenue Management is a quickly developing and growing field as it strives to adapt to changing trends and technology. There are still many opportunities to enhance the true potential of this discipline. Whether in the areas of metrics, departmental cooperation, technology and social trends, or multiple revenue streams, there is much for revenue management professionals to tackle on any given day. The future of Revenue Management will quickly be defined by those with the vision and ability to harness the evolution of each of these areas. READ MORE

Heather Stone

Understanding and addressing the reasons behind, and risks associated with payments processing is a critical issue in the hospitality industry. This introduction to payments fraud provides critical knowledge for anyone dealing with accounting, payments, or vendor relationships. In this article we will explore how this new evolution of technology, which automates the entire procure-to-pay workflow process, dramatically reduces the risk of fraud. For hotel executives this payments-related fraud is especially troubling with security breaches at global hotel chains making headlines in recent years. Whether the fraudulent activity happens as an insider threat or through the use of a hotel room, it is happening on a daily basis. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

Today hotel guest options, incentives and choices are ultimate reflections of an overall brand strategy. However, choice shouldn't be a message embodied only within the vivid description of a brand promise, its contemporary lounges or the high-tech amenities and ultra-modern guestrooms. For organizations with a unique portfolio of hotel brands, choice also needs to be a primary theme that permeates into every one of their properties' revenue strategies—and it needs to be supported by advanced revenue technology. READ MORE

Bob Lowe

Every hotel needs to accept credit cards as a payment method, and to do that you need a credit card processor. As you select a processor, you should look at what they can do for you and how you will connect to them, because not all are created equal, and the choice you make could have a far- reaching impact. First, will you connect directly to them or connect through a switch, gateway or other intermediary? You may be constrained by the choices your property management system (PMS) or even your hotel brand offers, but it's good to explore those choices and make the decision that works best for you. READ MORE

David Lund

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? READ MORE

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Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.