By Susanne Williams, revenue & systems director at Journey
Considering rate, hotel policy and a strong, authoritative message to reassure wavering bookers.
First things first, as a priority, be clear on your hotel policy in relation to the virus itself.
It will reassure your guests to know that your due diligence is top drawer and communicating any additional measures across your hotel is a positive message. Cleaning, hand washing, laundry – confirm your exemplary record for cleanliness and hygiene and add for good measure.
1. Brief your front facing team
Will you allow refunds on your non refundable rates? Will you make a case by case decision given guest loyalty and booking value? Be clear on your plan. Ensure your team are diligently noting the reasons for cancelled bookings. Ask us about Historic Demand.
– We would advise offering your guests a future date, holding their prepayment for advance purchase stays
– Guests cancelling within cancellation periods, add them to a hot list and target them for future bookings. Noting their cancellation reason will allow you to personalise your communications and drive business into future low demand dates
2. DO NOT DROP YOUR RATE
– This is a difficult call to make. Do not drop your rate for immediate low demand days. Good revenue management means having a strategy across the year. For March and April, do not go lower than you would for a tactical promotion. The climb back up to pre virus average rates could be a long one. Use this time to build all the reasons guests should stay with you.
– Enhance your values, share crystal clear messages across all platforms. Shout about all the wonderful reasons guests should stay/eat/celebrate with you.
PLAN. You should have a revenue strategy in place for your financial year. Adjust it to ensure that when demand starts to return, your pricing is set to pick up bookings and your rate will climb as guest bookings return to their normal pace
3. Protect Profit
– Control purchasing. Reduce your liquor par stock and holding stock. Review kitchen costs and variable staff costs across food and beverage. Utilise salaried staff in all areas of the business