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Getting Organised & Ready For Recovery

As the current Covid-19 pandemic escalates across the globe, hotels are all impacted in one way or another. Whilst many have already decided or will decide soon to close doors to guests, some will remain open offering a shelter to critical key workers. Every country, city and destination will have different measures in place.

The Uncertainty

One common situation with most revenue and commercial team members will be a mounting level of frustration due to loss of revenues on the books, lack of proactive structure and an overall sense of helplessness as this situation is entirely out of our control. No one knows when the tide will turn making any form of planning and proactive measures impossible and pointless.

Italy has been hit harder than most other countries in Europe and the country took much tougher measures compared to many other destinations on their borders, citizens and trading. Over the past 12 months, I have supported a highly passionate and dedicated hotel team in Venice. And like everywhere else, we wondered - what can we or anyone else do in these uncertain times….

Most Revenue departments will be operating with skeleton teams. Reservations will be dealing with cancellations and general queries from guests and event organisers, but generally speaking once the team settles into the new way of working, most will have spare time on their hands.

Getting Organised

A solid daily structure is important to keep up energy levels and keep everyone busy and involved and prepared for when things improve.

Nobody wants to plan or rebook rooms or events right now. Maintain your rates where they were at the start of the pandemic. If your competitors drop rates, let them; make sure to maintain integrity in your rate value proposition. Review your strategy and rates ONLY once bookings start picking up again.

Continue to monitor the daily booking/cancellation trends and maintain as much as possible of the regular tracking and reports you would regularly have in place. Make sure to keep sharing and communicating with your teams daily and weekly; include reports such as business on the books, pick up, forecast, and enquiries, just to name a few.

By maintaining your reports and trackers you will be able to pick up very quickly if the current downward trend suddenly starts to improve. Whilst this may well be still a long way away, you do not want to miss the early signs of recovery.

Housekeeping

Now is a great time to carry out all the necessary housekeeping tasks and review existing SOPs. Are they still relevant and up to date? Does it make sense to carry on working in the same ways as perhaps you did a year or two ago, given how technology has evolved in that same period of time?

Is your segmentation still relevant? What about your room categories and their supplements?

What does your shop window look like on your brand website and key OTAs?

The list is endless.

Looking Ahead

We are in the midst of an exciting era in hotel technology. Now is the perfect time to research the different platforms and systems available.

Start by conduct a full audit of your existing systems: PMS, CRS, RMS, S&C, Channel Managers.

Reach out to your account managers for a review of the system. I am sure most will be happy to help to make sure that your systems are fully optimised. And remember to take advantage of their knowledge base on how to maintain a system during these times of unprecedented booking behaviour and patterns.

Consider, how do WE educate the systems in the right way to ensure a fast recovery when the time is right?

Are they all still fit for purpose? How well do your systems integrate and allow for automation? Is it time to consider a new system and smarter technology?  

Think ahead – what tools are available for the team to work smarter and more effectively in the future? There are number of great resources for research.

Online courses are also a great way to ensure that you and your teams are keeping busy, engaged and at the same time are increasing the knowledge and skillsets.

Support Network

Every day more and more publications are made available online providing insights and support on how to handle the coronavirus outbreak in the hospitality industry.

Also make sure to reach out to your colleagues and wider network of contacts to share experiences but also to reach out, check in and say hello.

We are all going through this together.

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