As the discussion grows around the importance of casino revenue management, it’s likely your organization has taken the first step and purchased or built a system for better demand visibility and pricing recommendations.
But now what?
Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common problem in casinos: a revenue management system is deployed and then sits nearly unused. Staff overrides most pricing recommendations and it can even get to the point where someone ends up saying, “Can I just turn this thing off?”
Aligning the strategy of the system with the strategy of the property is not always easy. While you may expect it to be business as usual, changing systems often requires thinking outside of the box and in new directions.
But this is a critical step to ensure you are using getting the most out of your purchase by not only driving rate but getting the right players in the door and increasing cash revenue.
If you’ve got a revenue management system in place and you’re using it sporadically, it’s time to drill deep into whether you’re really getting the most out of it. Start by asking yourself these five questions:
1. How do you know if your RMS is working for you?
The first wake-up call is that you stop selling out ahead of time. If it’s Monday and you’re completely sold out for Saturday, you’re doing something wrong.
Likely there is demand that still exists, and it’s possible that you’re turning high-level players away. The goal is not only to get players in the door, but to get the right players in the door.
2. Are you using a demand forecast to make marketing and operational decisions?
One of the biggest cultural changes you can make is to move to a more dynamic rewards program, flexing your reinvestment based on a combination of demand and guest value. This allows you to eliminate blackout dates and offer larger rewards on low-demand dates, leaving room for your high rollers on high occupancy days.
None of this is possible without relying on your demand forecast to properly identify need periods.
3. How often are you changing your rates?
This depends a lot on the market and competitive set, among other factors. Casinos in Las Vegas are changing rates dozens of times a day because they have to keep up with competitors, for example.
But even in regional markets it’s important to update room rates at least once a day.
4. Is it time to revisit your room-type pricing strategy?
Casino hotels and resorts often have several different room types, and knowing how to properly set the price difference between those room types can prevent leaving money on the table. An RMS is crucial to this process, and the best systems will evaluate demand for each room type independently.
5. Are all the features there that you need?
You should be able to rely on your tech partner for ongoing training, particularly when new products and features are released throughout the year. Also, if there’s a particular strategy that’s been working for you, or a new one you want to try, your tech partner should be there to help you execute.
Make sure you’re using the tools at your disposal, and start making more strategic comp decisions, tailoring marketing promotions and optimizing revenue for each booking.