Only a short while ago, Covid brought the hospitality industry to its knees. Now that many destinations are slowly returning to some degree of normalcy, the travel sector is recovering.

NB: This is an article from Oaky

This article offers a collection of tips from seasoned hospitality specialists which address four major departments that will be crucial during the rebound phase: revenue management, marketing, front office  and F&B.

Keep reading for insider tips on how to navigate today’s challenges successfully and download the eBooks so you can make the post-lockdown period a success.

Let’s dive in!

Revenue management in times of low demand

The way you approach revenue management post-lockdown will make or break your success during market recovery. Below you’ll find key points to consider as you decide how to navigate these uncharted waters.

  • Adapt to changing demand patterns. Your domestic market has likely gained importance because fewer people are travelling abroad. Your corporate segment probably shrank because many businesses have cut back on travel. Review your data to understand how these trends affected your property and which of your segments look promising, so you can actively target them with your marketing.
  • Always keep forecasting. It’s difficult to predict business when nobody knows how travel restrictions and market recovery will develop. Still, having a forecast is essential for managing your expenses and planning operations. To account for the uncertainty, use revenue management tools to create multiple forecasts for different scenarios and only focus on the short term e.g. the coming month or quarter.
  • Focus on value instead of cutting rates. In times of lower demand, slashing your rates will only do so much to generate bookings. In the long run, it will even hurt your profitability as it will be difficult to bring rates back up to pre-Covid levels. Offer value-packed deals and promotions instead. This will set you apart from the competition and promise guests a fun and memorable stay.
  • Practice complete revenue management. Today, revenue management goes beyond room revenue. It’s important to optimise your complete guest journey to generate revenue across all departments and increase your average spend per guest. This will boost your total revenue and give you more opportunities to create unforgettable experiences for your guests.

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Post-lockdown marketing tactics

Promoting your property after coming out of lockdown is no small feat since you’ll be competing with plenty of other hotels for a smaller number of guests. The following tips will help you get an edge, so you can attract a solid share of your market’s business.

  • Examine the guest journey to make sure you’re getting the most traction possible. To do this, browse popular OTAs to check your property’s ranking and compare it with your compset’s results. Then check direct search results for both your hotel and your competition to verify that you’re featured on the key channels for your target market. If something’s amiss, now is the time to correct it.
  • Boost your online presence by updating your website and including all the changes you’ve made in response to Covid. Take a look at your social media presence as well. Is there something you could do to better engage your followers and widen your reach? Finally, look at your OTA and metasearch listings and ensure everything is current including availability, rates and opening information.
  • Supercharge your brand image by clearly defining your USP and weaving its message into all your brand communication. This makes you easier to find for your target market and lets you stand out more from your competition.

Front office: a warm welcome in times of social distancing

Even though Covid has forced you to change how you welcome guests to your property, the importance of a warm and friendly reception is more important now than ever before. Here are some ideas to make your front of house the perfect starting point for your guests’ stay.

  • Ensure hygiene and safety in public areas by following your local authorities’ latest guidelines. This includes spacing out seating, setting up hand sanitiser stations, offering PPE for staff and guests, and putting up information about dos and don’ts in your hotel and its surroundings. Since many of these measures incur extra costs, it’s important to budget for them and look for cost-effective solutions.
  • Adapt front office procedures to provide the best service possible all while making your guests feel comfortable. Implement mobile check-in and check-out to allow guests to skip the reception if they want to. If someone does check in or out at the front desk, disinfect the surfaces and your equipment afterwards.
  • Digitise your workflow by implementing new tech tools. They will allow you to work more efficiently, cut down on time spent in meetings and increase the speed at which you can respond to guest requests.
  • Focus on experiences to make your guest’s stay unforgettable. People are getting more interested in connecting with the area they’re visiting, and you can use this trend to your advantage by offering localised experiences and deals they won’t find anywhere else. Apart from making your guests happy, this is also a great way to generate some additional revenue.

Food & beverage: creating memorable moments

In F&B outlets, close contact with guests and creating unforgettable experiences are two keys to success. Unfortunately, Covid has made it more challenging to implement these two aspects. However, if you get creative, you’ll find ways to charm your guests and drive revenue in your F&B department.

  • Create new SOPs (standard operating procedures) in line with your country’s regulations to ensure your guests and staff are safe. Review guidelines put out by your local authorities and look for ways to put them into practice without negatively impacting your service.
  • Review costs and revenue. The many new restrictions and hygiene measures put an extra financial burden on F&B venues. Examine closely how much it costs to open and run your bar or restaurant now, if and how your target market has changed, what your break-even point is and where you could save costs.
  • Revisit your marketing strategy. The first step is to update your online presence. This includes your Google listing, your social media profiles and your website. Add your revised opening hours and share your new hygiene procedures. Next, target your local market with social media content. Your staff can support you with this by resharing your posts and helping you get the word out about your promotions.
  • Increase your F&B sales. This is the best time to get creative and try new ways of generating extra sales. Start by extending opening hours to test if that increases the number of covers you serve. Offer meal pick-up and partner with local delivery services if your cuisine allows this or create fun dining experiences in unique locations around your hotel and sell them at a premium. Lastly, train your staff to upsell to boost your average spend per guest.

Now – over to you!

Soak up all the points above and let them give you ideas on how to seize post-lockdown business and offer your guests the best, safest and more memorable experience.

You can download the eBooks here

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