Revenue Management
Kristie Dickinson
  • Revenue Management
  • Top 5 Issues Impacting Revenue Management This Budget Season
  • Revenue management continues to be one of the most important aspects of profitably operating a hotel, though it also remains one of the most difficult to grasp fully. Last year, I wrote an article on the Top 5 Questions Hotel Owners Should Be Asking About Revenue Management, which focused on conversations that owners should be having with their operators about setting goals, analyzing data and how best to measure results, all good primer leading up to budget season. To further the discussion, I will highlight some specific issues below that bear relevance in today’s market Read on...

Steve  Van
  • Revenue Management
  • Paralysis From Over-Analysis
  • We have all heard the old cliché that “less is more”, and, while there is a grain of truth in the notion that simplicity and clarity are sometimes preferable to complexity, the reality is that, regardless of the circumstances, more information is almost always a better bet. Today we are seeing the tension between these two ideas play out in the hotel industry, where revenue management has exploded with new approaches in recent years–almost all of it facilitated by an avalanche of previously ignored or unavailable data. Consider just how sophisticated revenue management has become in the hotel industry. Read on...

EJ Schanfarber
  • Revenue Management
  • The Science and Art of Revenue Management Continue to Evolve
  • The revenue manager of an individual hotel or hospitality entity has become the “quarterback” of modern hospitality strategy and, in many ways, operations. He or she reviews past game data, surveys the competitive environment, consults with coaching staff (ownership and brand standards) and listens to teammates (especially the general manager and director of sales) before hitting the field on any given day and making a complex play call. As we know, with revenue management, a lot of things are in motion at once before we can determine and allocate “which rooms, when, at what rates.” Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • Big Data Demand Signals
  • Big data, more than a buzzword, has by now become a conundrum that we, consumers and providers of information, try to crack and make sense of it. Essentially, we know that data is becoming larger with wider access to complex algorithms and connections. The onion metaphor – the peeling back of many layers - can be used to reflect the multifaceted aspects of machine learning technology. These swaths of data or rather layered strings of data sets turn these complex entities into a more accurate view of customer demand for the hotelier. Read on...

Stefan Wolf
  • Revenue Management
  • From Revpar to Trevpar - A Guideline For Integrating Ancillaries Into a Revenue Optimization Strategy
  • Considering ancillary revenue streams can make up to 60% of hotel revenues of why would not any operator embark on the journey of total hotel revenue management? Apart from challenges related to the creation of a functioning revenue management culture the inclusion of F&B, spa and event revenue streams into that culture brings its own set of challenges. This article will explore these challenges and offer a guideline to successfully integrate additional revenue streams into a comprehensive revenue optimization strategy. Revenue per available room or RevPAR is a measurement of the success of a balanced occupancy versus average daily rate strategy. Read on...

Mario Candeias
  • Revenue Management
  • It Takes Two to Tango: Sales Management and Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management (RM) has taken a lead role in the generation of an optimized top line. As it is technologically based and technology has taken over the world, RM benefited from those tailwinds in its rise to supremacy. Such, that most literature, research and general writings have been almost exclusively focusing on it. That is not a problem per se. But RM is merely a fraction of the top line. Sales is the “big picture” and RM is a function of it, not the other way around. Sales must recover its leading role, as without it, RM is nothing but a one-legged body. Read on...

Mark Davis
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue-Leaks, or the Holes in the Bucket
  • The true art of Revenue Maximization (RevMax) at the elementary foundation is segment mixology including all points of revenue generation. I label this the perfect RevMax Cocktail with the ingredients engineered for total consumption of market share by segment from top rate to the lowest, while also considering each element of contribution to NOI margin. In terms of maximum RevPAR, it is simply maximum achievable occupancy at the highest deliverable ADR. However, before the hotel can celebrate success the team must also have a discipline to avoid the typical erosion of RevMax thru Rev-Leak! Every hotel must have an effective team balance to deliver the sweet spot: the most profitable revenue possible per available room. Read on...

Bonnie Buckhiester
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management: There are Two Sides to Every Story
  • The saying goes that there are always two sides to every story. In the hotel business this couldn’t be truer when examining the relationship between operator and owner, or in many cases between operator and asset manager. Both want to optimize performance, but often this requires a careful balancing act between guest satisfaction and profitability. If a hotel is exceeding expectations – i.e. beating budget, surpassing last year, stealing market share – one might ask “does that mean the revenue management effort is optimal”? If a hotel is falling short of expectations, does that mean that somehow the revenue management effort is lacking? Read on...

David Chitlik
  • Revenue Management
  • In-House Tax Help is Part of a Hospitality Company's Evolution
  • Your hospitality business is small, with a single hotel or locations in only a few tax jurisdictions. Your accountant is taking care of compliance quite well, with the help of a local, seasonal tax specialist. But as you grow, expanding to another state, another region, it's time to seek tax expertise. Hiring an in-house state and local tax professional is often part of the evolution of a hospitality business. Its decision criterion is generally the same as that of any other position, arrived at through a cost-benefit analysis, and there are any number of metrics that can be used. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • Are You Pricing for Profits?
  • A consistent misconception among hoteliers is that pricing for profits means operating at the highest price level within your competitive set. This is as far from the truth as anything. Pricing for profits is an approach which takes into account how well your pricing strategy deals with one of the most common phenomenon in hotel or any form of business - price resistance. Price resistance is a price point where customers feel the need to look elsewhere. A superior indication of price leadership and pricing for profits is to see where you stand in terms of REVPAR against the Market Average. This is principally because if you are well above the market average REVPAR, you are exhibiting price leadership more than merely an average daily rate in the higher levels. Read on...

Nitin Shah
  • Revenue Management
  • How World Economic Issues Are Affecting the American Hotel Industry
  • The good news is that globalization, cable news, the internet, and social media come together to give us instant and constant worldwide connectivity. However, the bad news is that these same technologies make all of us interdependent like never before on economic, political, and social events around the world. For hotel owners, the result is an industry that is more competitive, challenging, complex, and volatile -- and less predictable -- than ever. To demonstrate this, let’s look at how current global economic developments are having an impact on four aspects of the lodging business in America. Read on...

Sheenal Patel
  • Revenue Management
  • Thinking Differently About Data, Technology and Revenue
  • The hotel business can be mired in the way things have always been done. Hotel managers input data into spreadsheets without analysis, information from different business areas isn’t centralized, and hotel owners only address problems once they become chronic. Decisions are made without rigorous data to back them up, and a stagnant mentality can prevail. It doesn’t have to be that way—and in our company it isn’t. When we founded NVN Hotels 10 years ago, our intent was to challenge the status quo. By coupling a data-driven approach with guiding principles that empower employees to have ownership and enact change, we’ve created a culture that expects and rewards excellence, which ultimately increases revenues and propels growth. Read on...

Breffni Noone
  • Revenue Management
  • Developing the Revenue Management Talent Pipeline: An Industry and Academia Partnership
  • It is no secret that revenue management is facing a talent shortage. Current revenue management practice requires a focus on managing the profitability of all of a hotel’s revenue streams, and hotel companies are looking for emerging revenue managers who have the skill set required to meet that challenge. Amidst growing concern that hotel schools do not make the cut in terms of graduating students who are prepared for the demands of this new era in revenue management, I suggest that a strategic industry-academia approach is needed to develop a viable, and strong, revenue management talent pipeline. Read on...

Steven Pinchuk
  • Revenue Management
  • What Happens When Two Immovable Forces Seem to Conflict?
  • There appears to be an inevitable collision between two titans. Traditional segment based RM, which is not currently structured to consider each individual customer’s background and both their tactical value and lifetime value, currently does not work with the new breed of customer centric customer triggered one to one personalized marketing. Today an unknown customer usually gets the same price and availability as a known customer. This article will propose a solution that should be acceptable to both of these titans – where they will actually work together. Both pricing and availability can be more personalized without changing existing RM systems. Read on...

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...

AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Paul Hancock

Vegetables are no longer served as garnishes or accompaniments but, center stage in the dining scene in this day. Plate design and bold flavors are more paramount than ever. The “wow” effect is in full effect. Guests are more eager to try something new more than ever before. It is entertainment, so it has to be great and throughout the dining experience. There is a cultural shift happening right in front of our eyes with vegetables. Vegetables have been the unsung heroes of the plate for many decades. That is changing. Read on...

Robert  Hood

What does a restaurant look like in 2017? To define what a restaurant is is a difficult process and not an easy thing to do considering that foodservice has evolved so much and comes in so many shapes and sizes. In 2017 restaurants are not even defined for having chairs or tables for diners or even want diners to stay after the point of food purchase and the sale is completed. This is the world of the ‘QSR’ or ‘Quick Service Restaurant’ and since it arrived it has changed restaurant culture, our food service experiences on an almost daily basis, and begs the question ‘is QSR the new fine dining?’ Read on...

Chris Ferrier

Many hotels are overwhelmed by the thought of putting together a ‘buy local’ or ‘farm-to-table’ culinary program when they also have to serve many guests. Where do you start? Should chefs contact all the local farms, breweries, wineries, fish mongers, meat and poultry farms in their area? Should they visit each farm? Many years ago, this was what we did; but with 1,200 meals to prepare, often we would clear out the farmers’ goods and still not have enough for what we needed. Read on...

Bobby Martyna

A key trend in hotel development is making the hotel lobby a destination for guests. Where in the past, the focus was primarily on the guest room, moving forward, brands and independents are looking to transform the lobby into a space where guests can socialize, work, snack and dine. In order for the lobby destination to be both compelling and memorable, the retail design, visual merchandising and food selection need to convey what is special about the location and must work together to deliver a surpassing guest experience. 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.