Loyalty is getting the detail right
Being an hotelier is no bed of roses! Constantly having to be aware of pricing, market share, staffing, TripAdvisor and the rest of modern marketing and social media are all issues that lay in wait for us.
At times there is so much to think about that we can slip up on the obvious and forget that this is the hospitality industry.
Having been involved with hotels, extensively in the UK but also throughout the world for all my working life has given me experiences of the brilliant and not quite perfect hotel offering.
I like to think that I am a fairly normal hotel guest, certainly not too demanding, so what do I look for in an hotel that I will want to revisit.
Of course, the first impression counts, so a relaxed, friendly, smiley, efficient welcome is a good place to start.
After travelling to my destination, I want my room to be ready when I arrive and to find that housekeeping has done its job properly. After unpacking, the shower or bath is calling so that I can freshen up and change.
Here is where many hoteliers have taken their eye off the ball. Lovely large, white, fluffy towels are provided but where is the face cloth? Ok, I did think to pack one just in case but it’s so disappointing that the hotel couldn’t be bothered.
Never mind, the water is hot, so after drying off I jump into the bath robe, make a pot of tea and crash out for twenty minutes. How would you feel Mr Hotelier if the dressing gown your wife bought you for Christmas didn’t cover your nether regions or even meet up in the front. I must be careful not to walk by the window when I make the tea!
If you’re eating in, the whole question of food is very subjective, so if the menu doesn’t suit, it’s my own fault for not checking the iPad before I booked the room. But if you are using the restaurant, please Mr Hotelier, train your staff to know that customers are normally patient once they have a drink in their hand. If you are going to make your guests wait for a drink or the menu, you will probably be storing up niggles for yourself for the rest of the evening.
After a good meal and a decent bottle of wine I always go to bed happy, but sometimes not for long. Too many hotels in the UK are still expecting their guests to sleep on 4ft 6ins or 5ft spring loaded mattresses. Now neither her ladyship nor I are that big, but please, king sized, memory foam mattresses in all rooms or stop calling yourself an hotel in the 21st century. How can we expect to attract more continental or inter-continental trade if we can’t provide the basics?
We need to consider that with a less robust pound, more Brits will remain in the UK and other nations will take the opportunity of favourable exchange rates to visit these near perfect islands.
If my blog hasn’t caused too much offence, do bear in mind that I have been funding hotels and their purchases of linen, beds, furniture, carpets, catering equipment etc. for over 40 years.
If you are thinking that perhaps it’s time to cut the bathrobes up for cleaning cloths or even turning them into flannels or giving your guests the beds they deserve, you know where to turn for finance, support and expertise.