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5 ideas to help your hotel measure up

There are five ways to increase revenue per square foot as the sector moves away from measuring heads in beds and towards focusing on every square inch

Contributed by Dimitris Mittas, vice president, Finance, Europe, Global Asset Solutions, Ibiza

When you asset manage a property you are doing exactly that – managing a whole asset. Not just the beds, not just the restaurant, not merely the spa, it’s the whole asset. That includes the space on the pillow where your head goes, to back of house where no guest goes.

Hotels have become more creative during the pandemic. Having your balance sheet stripped back to nothing has pointed out many areas where money was being wasted, which may have gone unchecked when trading was good. But while hotels have identified areas where costs can be saved, it can be harder to find areas where revenues can be generated, particularly while the focus remains on the leisure guest.

Gift shop at the TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

The sector is wise to upselling at check-in – in the main – but here are five ideas which you may not have considered.

  1. Allow more space for staff. The back of house areas can be cramped and uninspiring and a huge contrast to the experience of the guest, particularly in the luxury sector. We want people to feel valued and giving them more and better space in which to work tells them that they are a team, not servants in a 19th century manor house. A motivated team delivers that exceptional experience which drives true lifetime loyalty.
  2. Install cell phone antennas or cameras on the roof top. Very few hotel rooftops are used, but installing cell phone antennas or, if you are next to an airport, cameras to provide information, means additional revenue, which goes directly to the owner.
  3. Include community shops and artists in unused spaces. Many hotels have unused space on the ground floor, and this can be rented out – either long term or for special events. This generates income, but also adds interest for the guest. Properly curated, it helps to create a sense of place and a feeling of community, which is growing in demand from guests looking for unique and authentic stays.
  4. Increase the private space in your spa. It may seem counter intuitive, you may think that more is more when it comes to the spa, but the pandemic has seen guests value having their own space instead of sharing with others. Guests are now eager to have the sauna and the hammam to themselves and will pay more for the convenience and added relaxation of being the only group as they unwind.
  5. Don’t forget the façade. Hotel operations can be very focused on what happens inside the property and forget that there is a world out there, looking on. Using the façade can drive interest in the hotel and help to set the tone for passersby, as well as raising revenue. For instance, at the Carlton in Cannes, we rent out the façade for major film posters during the annual film festival, which helps to remind people that we play an important role in this cultural event and that we are an active part of the community. Advertising that truly works for all parties.
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