With a series of massive tornado’s and thunderstorms affecting many areas of the country, it is a grim reminder that disaster can strike at anytime and anywhere.
NB: This is an article from SkyTouch Technology
From the east coast, to the west coast and everywhere in between, hoteliers need to be prepared for storms and how to properly manage their hotel while keeping guests and staff safe, comfortable, and still able to enjoy their stay on property.
In order to run the hotel as if it were a typical day, hoteliers should be equipped with a robust property management system (PMS) that can handle such scenarios and help hoteliers and their staff be fully prepared. A cloud-based hotel PMS system is usually designed with the understanding that an internet connection may go down, and a user may be unable to reach the application for whatever reason.
To keep operations running smoothly, the SkyTouch Hotel Operations Platform was designed and built to regularly download emergency reports to a specific pre-assigned machine. Plus, it is periodically refreshed, ensuring information is current and up to date. A few of the reports include an arrivals list, blank registration forms, folios due for check out, and financial reporting functionality. Another recommendation to stay prepared and alleviate stress would be to print out any reports the hotel or their staff may need beyond the automated emergency reports. This type of preparation will prepare every shift in the hotel for any potential downtime.
In addition, if the hotel’s power is out, hotel guests’ credit cards cannot be processed through the PMS. This can cause chaos within the hotel if people are trying to check-in, check-out, or utilize the hotel restaurant, gift shop, spa or other amenities while on property. With Sky Touch, hoteliers can simply call into a specifically designed number to get authorization, and keep business running as usual. Credit card authorizations can then be tied to individual guest accounts once the system is up and running and the electricity has been restored.
Keep Operations Efficient
With the SkyTouch Hotel Operations Platform, the automated rate management feature optimizes real-time guest room rates through pricing rules managing inventory value, but when there is a weather emergency that can affect your property system, the Revenue Management team needs to react, immediately and consistently. These 5 tips for Revenue Managers can keep operations efficient and business thriving:
Have a Disaster Plan
Creating an emergency go-to booklet that has been put together long before a potential disaster can be incredibly beneficial to hoteliers and staff when something happens suddenly. When an emergency does occur, the disaster plan should have previously approved policies that meet legalities and that can be immediately put into place. Having a strong plan takes out the guesswork with specific procedures that will need to happen, and it should be something that staff can easily follow, even if they are new to the team. The emergency booklet should also explicitly dictate how to operate the hotel in a disaster, as well as how the pricing strategy will change, as that is a key component to the hotels business. This involves knowing the laws around price gouging, while ensuring only authorized individuals are making pricing and inventory decisions.
When a Major Weather Event is Predicted
If you are aware of inclement weather such as a Tornado, or another potential emergency situation is on the horizon, communication with all stakeholders becomes essential. This is the time to make sure that everyone is following established guidelines, as well as reinforcing policies established in the disaster plan.
Adhere to Predetermined Pricing
The most simple and seamless way to keep prices in check is to stick closely to already published prices for those specific days. While discounts can be removed, it is beneficial to stay with the current prices. By doing so, this creates an ease for staff and eliminates any confusion.
Disable System Features
When using a cloud-based management system , it is important to disable the revenue management features that automatically adjust the Best Available Rate (BAR) upwards as demands soar. This could lead to staff confusion and the possibility of accidentally breaking laws established during State of Emergency periods.
During an emergency, it is easy for hoteliers and their staff to become overwhelmed and caught off guard, but with guests on property, it is important to remember that hotel staff should stay focused on guests and keep safety in mind. By remaining calm, patient and having a plan in place, hotel guests will feel at ease, which will help to ensure confidence in the staff, making everyone’s stay pleasant.
Emergency situations are never fun to think about, natural disasters do occur. By creating an emergency go-to booklet, keeping your hotel staff trained and informed, and having a cloud-based property management system that is easy-to-use, it is simple to prepare and keep operations, and revenue, running smoothly.