How Crisis Creates Opportunities for Hotels

We are almost halfway through 2020, and suffice it to say this is not how many of us thought it was going to turn out. The industry-wide disruption created by Covid-19 has taken a toll on hospitality by partially cancelling the first quarter of the business year and forcing hospitality providers to look for alternative ways to sustain their businesses while waiting out the disease. In times of crisis leadership skills are put to the test and team ties are forged and strengthened. Hoteliers everywhere are now faced with hard choices and transformative decisions that can help keep their enterprise afloat. They are also fortunate in some ways to be part of an industry which comes with pre-existing lows and highs within its business year, allowing them a degree of predetermined adaptability in their decisions.

While the conditions of the pandemic have created uneven restrictions across the board, with certain locations being closed down indefinitely, while others are allowed to continue to operate under strict guidelines, it is clear that everyone is trying to take this time and prepare their business for the eventual lifting of said restrictions.

Coronavirus: The Impact on Hospitality Industry and How to Plan Ahead

Hoteliers are now focusing their attention on several key points that could give them an advantage in the coming months:

Going Green
The down-season is always the most desired time of the year for making large scale improvements to your hotel but it does not always fall during a season which allows for such changes. This might be the ideal time to renovate on a large scale and to finally implement some energy-saving solutions cutting long term costs on amenities and benefiting the environment at the same time.
The pandemic has led to drastically reduced energy waste and while it will only last for so long, if you were to upgrade to solar panels or a wind-turbine you would effectively add your business to the ranks of the environmentally conscientious.
Green Hotels Pave the Way to Improved Guest Loyalty
There are varying certifications that you could explore for ideas on how to improve your hotel’s environmental footprint in the long run. You could become a TripAdvisor GreenLeader or maybe earn the Greek Key badge, which you can add to your hotel’s webpage as a way to distinguish yourself as a sustainable hospitality property.
Retraining Staff
Training personnel has always been a rushed enterprise, there is after all only so much you can say or do while also having to juggle the everyday responsibilities of running a hotel. As a result of this on-the-go approach to training, there can be gaps in knowledge or misinformation as to how operations should be run.
You can take this time to reexamine how each of your employees is performing their duties, how aware they are of their auxiliary tasks and whether they maintain the level of service they provide while the hotel is experiencing a dry spell.
Retraining can also weed out staff who are eager to pass off their duties to other staff, or who are simply unwilling to learn a new skill. Adaptability is a key virtue of hospitality providers and in the rush of things, you can easily overlook who is pulling their weight and who is lagging behind.
Upgrading Your PMS
Your property management system is at the centre of your operation, but learning how to use one on the spot can take up more resources than you’re willing to spare during a rush, which is why many hoteliers are using the lockdown to try out a new integrated property management system.
It can be tempting to simply keep using the same tools year after year, but the reality of the industry has turned this into a weakness of your business model, as outdated solutions simply do not perform on the level of integrated cloud-based hospitality software.
If your establishment is still using a manual update system to manage room availability and rates across distribution channels then you are probably wasting hours every week on a task that can easily be handled by an integrated channel manager.
A New Key Partnership Between Clock Software and SmartHOTEL
Integration itself allows for various companies to work together, meaning that if you have a solution that works well for you, you should see if one of their integration partners is on your list of property management system prospects.
Expanding Services
If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is that relying on a single stream of income can put one in a desperate predicament once something unexpected happens. Even if you have never considered it, services such as your bar or your hotel’s restaurant can continue operations and use various delivery services to reach customers.
While your restaurant might not be the first one that comes to mind when it comes to ordering in, delivery providers such as FoodPanda or Takeaway will list your menu along with every other restaurant within the same delivery range. This gives you an equal platform to stand on when appealing to potential diners. Creating a separate Facebook page for your restaurant along with a daily lunch menu can also help boost your position in the dining community, and drive in some much-needed revenue this season.
Doubling Down on Your Social Media Presence
Your marketing strategy is likely going to need a change of character in order to actually be able to reach guest prospects. News related content has become a sore point for many and they have taken to the escapism provided by social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
What this means for your property is that guest prospects are not spending much of their time in the dreaming stage of the vacations they are not allowed to take at the moment. If there ever was an opportunity to build a social media following for your business this is it.
Creating a marketing strategy through social media posts might be the best way to build guest loyalty this season. Guest engagement online further affords you the opportunity to stand out from your competitors and to work your way up to a strong season post lockdown.
Covid-19 has put industry leaders across the board on the spot and no one will come out of it unscathed, but there will be those who will use the time wisely and create a better and more multifaceted establishment, allowing themselves to thrive instead of withering.

Request a free demo

You may also find interesting:

Six Tips on How to Increase Low Hotel Occupancy in the Off-Season
A New Key Partnership Between Clock Software and SmartHOTEL
How Technology is Changing Our Views on Hotel Software

About Clock Software

Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.