Revenue Management
Robert Mandelbaum
  • Revenue Management
  • Shifts in Hotel Revenues Reflect Changes in Development and Guest Preferences
  • Historically, hotel revenue managers, aided by sophisticated computer programs, helped their properties determine the proper balance between the volume of guest rooms rented, with the price charged to rent those rooms. As revenue management has evolved, other factors have been added to the equation. Now, it is not just rooms revenue that is evaluated. Hotels realize that an occupied room has the ability to generate other revenues within the property. Using data from our Trends® in the Hotel Industry survey we are able to analyze historical changes in all revenues earned by U.S. hotels. Read on...

Robert Rauch
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Strategies for Boutique Hotels
  • The market is poised for boutique hotels to make an impact on the hotel industry like they never have before. With an expected soft landing of the economy in 2017 (2-3 percent RevPAR growth max) it is more important than ever for independent hotels to ensure that they have proper revenue strategies in place. Competing with the big brands for market share can sound like a herculean struggle but with execution of the proper procedures, a boutique hotel can stand apart from the crowd. Understanding where your business comes from is the first step of proper revenue management. Read on...

Liz Uber
  • Revenue Management
  • How do You Identify a Good Piece of Business?
  • Finding “good” business is not enough, by itself, to ensure the long-term success of a hotel. Instead, you must find good business to bring to your property that is also the “right” business for that particular location. Although this might sound like a fairly simple task, identifying the right business for the right hotel can, in fact, be a complicated endeavor. It involves a thorough evaluation of each opportunity, along with many fluid components at the property, and the market in which it is located. These factors can include the operations of individual departments within a property. Read on...

Ahmed Mahmoud
  • Revenue Management
  • The Most Overlooked Hotel Revenue Stream Measures
  • The ultimate goal of each hotel is to generate more revenue, achieve higher guest satisfaction, and a higher rank vs. its competitors, but when hoteliers implement the revenue management concept it needs a set of tools to help achieve the goals critical to maximizing a hotel’s profitability. It might be “A dark science --combining high technology and black arts”. While revenue management professionals devote significant effort towards advancing strategies and tactics to optimize revenue, many revenue managers still lag when it comes to establishing and measuring agreed upon success criteria. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management Health Check: How Does Your Hotel Measure Up?
  • It is commonly accepted today that revenue management is critical to the successful operation of any hotel. However, while the adoption of this strategic approach to pricing - and the advanced systems that support this - are becoming more widespread, there is still no industry standard for how to evaluate revenue management outcomes. This lack of universal criteria around how to assess revenue management can pose challenges in trying to sell the success of a program within a hotel, as well challenging how to accurately benchmark a hotel’s revenue performance against its competitors. Read on...

Daniel Wise
  • Revenue Management
  • Bringing Revenue Management Tools to the Masses
  • Hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions have come a long way since my time as a revenue manager at Best Western several years ago. During those days, I discussed frequently with my co-workers how, while there were clearly benefits to implementing an automated revenue management platform, the technology solutions available at the time were not ideal for the mid-market sector of the industry, let alone independent hoteliers without the power of a flag behind them. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • The Buffet A La Carte Balance in Hotel Restaurants
  • As someone who has poured money into a restaurant as an investment vehicle, the owner is looking at a good return on that investment. Restaurant profits cannot match rooms accommodation profits and in most cases tend to be between one third to one half of rooms profits. It is thus critical that the restaurant product is well thought out and harnesses resident hotel guest patronage complemented by non-residents. A well balanced buffet and a la carte offerings in the hotel restaurant will go a long way in delivering that patronage factor as well as producing that return on investment the owner is seeking. A win win situation that owners and stake holders hold dear to their hearts. Read on...

Charles B. Rosenberg
  • Revenue Management
  • A "BIT" About Cuba - Using Bilateral Investment Treaties to Protect International Investments
  • In July 2016, Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened a new hotel in Havana, Cuba. Once unimaginable for a U.S. hotel company, the Four Points Havana offers more than its 186 guest rooms and modern spa; it provides an authentic Cuban experience where guests can enjoy traditional Cuban cuisine in the Don Quixote restaurant, sip on the island’s most popular beers, Cristal and Bucanero, in Starwood’s signature bar “Best Brews,” and experience Cuba’s most sought after cigars with the guidance of a cigar sommelier in the hotel’s 5th Avenue Cigar Bar. As the first U.S. hotel in Cuba in nearly sixty years, the Four Points Havana signals the beginning of a new era, as previous forays into the hotel industry in Cuba did not end auspiciously for U.S. investors. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • Outside-In Vs Inside-Out Hotel Demand Forecasting
  • Rate optimization is arguably the most critical component of a successful Revenue Management strategy, but most hoteliers still tend to fall into two broad categories when it comes to this discipline: Set-it-and-forget-it, or follow-the-market. Both of these approaches are sub-optimal as they simply ignore the evolving purchasing patterns of increasingly savvy customers. We live in an era of disintermediated distribution, and the reality is that meta search and third party aggregators have made it easier than ever for customers to shop and compare options. Read on...

Matt Lindsay
  • Revenue Management
  • The Value of Customer-Lifetime Value in the Hospitality Industry
  • As simple as it sounds, knowing which customers are profitable is a challenging task for many businesses. Predicting which customers have the most profit potential is even more challenging since it requires estimation of future business. Applying these same modeling techniques and profit calculations to potential customers adds yet another degree of difficulty. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a (relatively) old concept. Businesses have been calculating the expected operating margins received from a customer from long before the birth of the internet and modern data tools. Read on...

Tammy Farley
  • Revenue Management
  • The Future of Revenue Management in the Age of Airbnb
  • The rise of Airbnb and other peer-to-peer hotel alternatives has shaken up the hospitality industry. While the long-term impact remains to be seen, this new breed of short-term rental providers is proving to be agile competition to traditional hotels, with inventory and pricing adjusting quickly to fluctuations in demand. How can a hotel’s revenue management team effectively respond? Do they treat local Airbnb inventory as a competitor in their market? Shop Airbnb pricing as they do their traditional hotel competitors? This article explores the issues revenue managers must address as they navigate this latest threat to revenue growth. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • The Impact of Machine Learning and Personalization on Your Revenue Management Strategy
  • The hotel business is in the midst of a peer-to-peer revolution, and it’s seriously threatening the industry’s financial stability. A new wave of accommodations spurred by the birth of the sharing economy is radically altering how many people prefer to stay while traveling. According to a survey of US travelers, consumer preference for staying at traditional hotels is halved (79 percent vs. 40 percent) once they’ve experienced peer-to-peer housing. In addition to Airbnb, there’s a rising number of peer-to-peer accommodation sites appealing to specific market segments. Those include the high-end home rental group OneFineStay, and the family friendly HomeAway, which are both nipping at the traditional hotel business. And if hoteliers don’t meaningfully respond, that nip could become a significant bite to the bottom line. Read on...

Marcus  Nicolls
  • Revenue Management
  • Dollars & Sense: Merging Cultures Post-M&A
  • A super platinum-everything status guest with a certain brand hotel chain walked into one of his favorite properties after this brand recently merged with another chain, looked around and said, “It just isn’t the same. I don’t even recognize them anymore.” He then walked out of the door determined to find a new favorite property he could count on. Does this sound far-fetched to you? It shouldn’t; it happens all too often, and it should send chills down every leader’s spine. While this anecdote focuses on the guest, you can imagine the impact this would also have on the employees. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Is Your Organizational Structure Maximizing Your Revenue Potential?
  • The evolution of the revenue management industry has been one of 2016’s top trending topics. From the onslaught of big data opportunities to the drastic improvements in the life of the revenue manager, the benefits of revenue management practices and its sophisticated technology have been far-reaching in leaving virtually no revenue stone unturned. However, advanced technology has been accommodating far more in this industry’s evolution than high consumptions of complex data and the bolstering of on-the-job productivity. As the industry continues to propel forward with better insights and more informed strategic opportunities, we’ve also seen a distinctly marked shift in how the role of revenue management is positioned within the organizational make-up of hotel(s) and hotel companies. Read on...

Kelly  McGuire
  • Revenue Management
  • Price, UGC and Loyalty
  • With the growing presence of UGC, consumers have more information than ever before when they are making a hotel room purchase. The question is: how do consumers use all this information, with price, to establish value and ultimately make a purchase decision? Understanding this, particularly across different segments of guests, will help hotels make better pricing and positioning decisions. The unmanaged business traveler represents a large and very valuable segment for hotels. This group of frequent travelers is potentially highly influenced by their loyalty affiliation. Does their loyalty change their reaction to price and UGC? Read on...

MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Sandy Asch

Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and especially Millennials, who now make up more than 50 percent of the workforce, want a sense of purpose at work. It’s clear that today’s workforce is increasingly concerned with doing good. People are tired of just showing up every day to perform a job. They want lasting fulfillment at home and at work. In his book, Drive, Daniel H. Pink suggests that we are in a time where individual desire to have a positive impact in the world often ranks higher than pay scale when selecting a job. Millennials, in particular, want to feel like their work has real purpose, and they want to be home for dinner. Read on...

Whitney Martin

As new properties explode on the scene and traveler choices abound, hotels know they have to pull out all the stops to make every guest experience a positive one. Are staff friendly are courteous? Are rooms clean? Are meals excellent? Are bills accurate? We rely on our employees to execute their jobs, not just correctly, but with enthusiasm. And, if they don’t, business suffers. We do our best to hire good people (in a competitive market), we give them a little training, and then we HOPE they create raving fans. Ever heard the expression “hope is not a strategy”? Read on...

Joyce Gioia

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from front line housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what’s working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties. Read on...

Paul Feeney

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that close to 3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs a couple of years ago, a 17% increase from the previous year, proving that opportunities for employees are abundant and we have shifted back to a candidate-driven marketplace. Why is this important? Employee retention should always be of utmost importance, but requires awareness as to why employees leave to begin with. Numerous statistics show that the #1 reason people quit their jobs is a disconnect or poor relationship with their boss or immediate supervisor or manager. This shows that turnover of staff is mostly a manager issue. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.