Revenue Management
Gabor Forgacs
  • Revenue Management
  • The Room Rate Conundrum: The Leap From Tactical to Strategic
  • Room rates should be not the first but the last thing to touch. Room rates are too important to play a continuous game of pull/push with. Hotel brands that held their rates and didn't dilute their rate integrity were the first to lead REVPAR recovery after market slumps. Coming down with room rates, can be done pretty fast. Previous recessions have taught us that rebuilding it, after heavy discounting may take years and it will be uphill all the way. Tactical discounts reflect a short-term approach. Strategic thinking is harder but it may lead to long-term success. Read on...

Steven Pinchuk
  • Revenue Management
  • Commodity Price Wars: Using Customer Centric Strategies to Maintain Guest Loyalty
  • The best way to build and maintain guest loyalty during times of commodity price wars is to use Customer Centric Strategies (CCS). The term "commodity" means that the consumer sees all products as the same and the only difference to the consumer is their price. In a commodity market, consumers will usually make their purchase decision based predominately on price. Do you want to keep from becoming a commodity, and settling for the prevailing price of the other products that the consumer sees as a substitute? To avoid being bought as a commodity you can either make your product better than the competition, in the eyes of the consumers, or differentiate yourself to the consumer in another way. Read on...

Glenn  Pedersen
  • Revenue Management
  • Maximizing Direct Sales Force Revenue
  • How are you monitoring your direct sales force efforts? Who do you count as a member of the sales team? How often are you validating their effectiveness and what are the measurement criteria you are using? Who is interacting with the sales team on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis? How often does the sales team speak with the revenue management team? Who is on the REVENUE MANAGEMENT TEAM? The answers to each one of these questions can be the difference between success and failure, between REVPAR growth or lost business. Read on...

Brandon Edwards
  • Revenue Management
  • Driving Increased Profits with Federal Hiring Incentives
  • There are two ways to increase profits - raising revenue or lowering costs. Hospitality employers often miss opportunities to lower costs by missing valuable tax savings attributable to hiring incentives. The federal government provides businesses with tax credits for hiring members of disadvantaged groups. This often represents a larger share of a hotel's staff than one would imagine. A member of a targeted group can be as simple as someone who lives in a designated area to one of the 40 million plus recipients of food stamps. Overall, a hospitality employer can expect between 15% and 25% of new hires to qualify for tax credits. Here is a rundown of the major programs to look at for 2011... Read on...

Mike Kistner
  • Revenue Management
  • The State of the Rate: The Battle to Recover Hotel ADRs
  • Recovery continues in both the corporate and leisure travel markets. While the leisure sector sustains a slow but steady pace, corporate travel has eclipsed the recovery with both strong booking volumes and record-high growth in average daily rates (ADR). However, despite the significant increases in reservations of greater than +24% over 2009 each month since April, according to data reported in The Pegasus View, hotel revenue is still being hampered by weak ADRs, particularly in the leisure sector. What's a hotel to do? Examine and understand the state of their rates, then seize control of their pricing strategy by understanding their market position, their guests and their resources. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management and the Growing Influence of Channel Management
  • There's no doubt that the speed with which the hotel industry is evolving is accelerating, and more often than not, hoteliers are being forced to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate throughout the year to ensure that revenue is being maximised. Given the growing influence of channel management in recent years, hoteliers across the globe are having to plan very carefully for the future and ensure that the right strategies are in place to work with organisations like Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) - who wield more power than ever before. Read on...

Brandon Edwards
  • Revenue Management
  • Best Practices in Employment-based Tax Incentives for Hospitality Employers
  • Many hospitality employers may not be aware of the numerous state and federal  hiring-based tax incentive programs available to them and the benefits these can have on their bottom line. With the most current tax incentive programs in place, hospitality employers can receive an average of over $600 per new employee hired.  Over a three year period, including retroactive credits, this can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per location. Here are some best practices on implementing such programs, specifically the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Hire Now Tax Cut and the Enterprise Zone and Empowerment Zones programs. Read on...

Glenn  Pedersen
  • Revenue Management
  • Best Practices for Increasing Conversions, Length of Stay and Average Rates
  • Whether the economy is in good shape or bad shape, Revenue Management is a tool, if used successfully, will drive increased sales and bottom line profits. Revenue Management is something everyone knows about but not everyone uses. While there is normally a cost to implementing this at your hotel, there is also an intuitive cost if you don't use it. Our desk clerks are not trained reservation agents and in most Property Management Systems these same desk clerks have the ability to make reservations at the front desk. Unfortunately, they also have the ability to by-pass revenue management strategies in that same system with very little difficulty. Why do we allow this to occur when the remedy is so easy... easy for the customer, easy for the desk clerk and easy for the top line as well as the bottom line. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • RevPAR, the Constantly Moving Target Revenue Management Strategies in a Recession
  • As the hotel industry struggles to keep its proverbial head above the deep recession waters, the matter of effective revenue management becomes more critical than ever. Hoteliers want to know, in such a depressed climate, what revenue management strategies will work most successfully? Well, you asked for it, and you've got it. This article outlines the new revenue management model and the steps that every hotelier needs to take right now (and we do mean, right now!) to survive and thrive during the recession. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Rate Optimization: Enhancing Your Hotels Pricing Strategy
  • For many hotels, developing effective pricing strategies remains a complex issue for revenue managers. Their goal, ultimately, is to maximize companywide revenue and profits while building strong hotel partner relationships within their marketplace. Beyond the scope of regular revenue management practices such as selecting the correct overbooking, rate restrictions and best available rate, lies the challenge of selecting the correct rates to choose from in the first place. The emergence of rate optimization has made strides to demystify pricing practices and help revenue managers understand the demand characteristics of their products, understand the price sensitivity of demand and design a rate spectrum that is tuned to all these. This allows hoteliers to take full advantage of their business opportunities, ensuring that they are capturing the maximum revenue at all times through an optimized rate spectrum. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Revenue Management
  • Top 10 Benefits of a Business Intelligence Software Solution
  • Hoteliers that want to prosper in today’s economic environment are increasingly turning to business intelligence applications that enable them to assess risks and make more informed decisions. Business intelligence solutions help you to gather, analyze and leverage a wide variety of data in order to gain a competitive edge and increase your visibility in a crowded market. In my article, I outline the top 10 benefits of incorporating a business intelligence solution into your daily operations. Read on...

Tina Stehle
  • Revenue Management
  • Maximizing Profitability Through Data Analytics
  • Competing in the hospitality environment has never been more challenging. The number of vendors and products is overwhelming. Competitors are constantly looking for a marketing advantage. And hotels within your competitive set are likely to be utilizing business intelligence more than ever before. In this environment, hotels that succeed must do more than merely 'keep up' with the competition. They must be able to identify guest trends, recognize problem areas and develop strategies that increase profitability. They also must be able to react to market changes quickly and efficiently. Sounds good, but how do you make it happen? With 'data analytics,' which uses guest and operational information to predict future trends and stay a step ahead of the competition. Read on...

Jean Francois Mourier
  • Revenue Management
  • The Importance of Getting Sales and Revenue Management Systems and Teams in Sync
  • General managers and hoteliers face the challenge of synchronizing all of the internal processes of a hotel every day, coordinating the F&B department with the front office and sales, all while making sure engineering keeps the place running right. It’s a tough job! One of the greatest challenges facing hoteliers and hotel managers in terms of getting their symphony well-tuned is synching their sales and revenue management systems. This article provides GMs and hoteliers with suggestions on how to properly integrate their sales and revenue management systems to ensure optimal revenues, a must in today’s tough market. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • How to Create Demand
  • Is it possible for a hotel to "create" demand? Is this just a myth used by Directors of Sales to try and stimulate the troops? When it appears that there is just no one wanting to visit your property, can you really "flip a switch" to drive people to your product? It is possible to create demand where there is none. First we need to uncover what is demand and how can it be managed and even stimulated. Read on...

Juston Parker
  • Revenue Management
  • Group Pricing - Getting the Best Revenue While Keeping Bookings in the Block
  • To group, or not to group, that is the question. It doesn't take William Shakespeare to pose the quandary facing many hotels of how much group business is good business and when does a group pose a risk to maximizing revenues at a property. To begin to answer this, we must first uncover the principles that hospitality pricing has always been under. Hotel Revenue Management has been and many times, still is, under the "department" of sales and marketing and the Director of Revenue, most of the time still reports to the Director of Sales. The Director of Sales has a mandate to fill the house and most sales managers focus on group business, so therefore the thought is "if we want a sales team, we want them to sell and they need to sell group". This then leads to the thought of "take group business and then if we get the transient to fill in the holes". These thoughts are fundamentally unsound and cost many properties hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read on...

AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.