Managing Revenue and Costs Put Odds in Your Favour.
If you’re a band member running a hotel, then you’re probably just coming up for air after a very busy summer. Like anyone, you’re probably dreaming about that last minute getaway deal to Vegas. But while you’ve absolutely earned it, managers know the work is far from over.
“With just over 60 days left in the year, Indigenous hotel operators want to finish the year off strong,” says Kathryn Millar, a longtime hotel executive with big hotel brands like Fairmont and Westin.
Kathryn has some great tips for hotel operators who aren’t ready to take it for granted that a busy summer automatically means a strong year-end.
Set A Room Night Price High Enough So You’re Not Working For Free
“The usual response to the slow season is to immediately drop your hotel room night rate. Putting ‘heads in bed’ becomes the battle cry without first taking a careful look at all your costs. You want to make sure that you’re not discounting your room night so heavily that you’re in fact not making any money.”
Millar says its crucial for businesses to know their costs per room like how much to turn on the lights, service that room with cleaning staff, stock supplies and fresh linens, and keep up on daily wear and tear.
“Once you know your costs, you can set a Fall selling price that’s competitive but doesn’t leave you working for free. In other words, watch your break-even point like a hawk.”
Your Hot Tub is Worth More Than You Think
Another nifty trick is to rethink your room categories and their pricing to see if you should be charging more based on individual room features, not just whether or not there’s a view or its waterfront. Millar says it’s often just a matter of taking a few minutes to look at things differently. For example, a hotel may be selling a room with a hot tub but no kitchen at a standard rate rather than charging the same rate as they do for a ‘premium’ room with a kitchen but no tub. Fine Indigenous art (even on loan during slower periods) can also transform the revenue potential of a room.
Popular Should Cost More
“Your customers are also going to give you hints,” she adds. “If you see that a standard priced room is often requested by a guest, there’s a good chance you’re not charging enough for it.”
Kathryn is passionate about hotels and is always quick to empathize with the daily challenges facing hoteliers. She knows there’s not a lot of energy to spare after a busy summer dealing with staffing challenges, trying to keep operations efficient and consistent, and after paying all those bills, making money for their band.
Keep Your Foot on the Gas
Millar was quick to drill home one last but very important tip. “Now is NOT the time to take your foot of the gas. By maximizing room revenue and managing your costs carefully, it’s more likely that come January, your boss will be sending you to Vegas for free.”
Kathryn Millar is a hotel and restaurant expert with Indigenous Worx. She was raised in Northern Canada and grew up in several Indigenous communities as a child. This is where her passion for First Nations hospitality was born. With over twenty years in the hospitality industry, Kathryn offers tremendous business value. Her hotel and restaurant experience includes the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, The Fairmont Empress, The Olympic Hotel Seattle, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport, The Westin Ottawa, the Westin Edmonton and the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. Kathryn’s natural aptitude for innovation has allowed many hotel properties and restaurants, large and small, to improve their guest experience while improving their bottom line.
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