We all agree, it’s really a #%$! period (sorry, I am a bit rude but it’s not surprising especially now). No one had imagined such a scenario, and today whether we are GM or manager in the hotel industry, we all feel a little overwhelmed by events. The hardest? Not knowing what tomorrow will be like. And the basis of the hotelier profession, and more generally in the Hospitality industry, is the contact with the client, contact that we perceive today as a threat… So yes we can speak of a period of #%$!…
We are reaching the moment when I must surely drop an inspiring sentence. Excuse me, I prefer to stay factual. Many of you who will read me are managers in the hotel industry or more generally in Hospitality. It is a profession of passion, we have all spent a lot of time building and maintaining our projects, with some sacrifices in the end. So yes it hurts, and we also think of all our colleagues around us.
But what choices do we have today? Unfortunately not much, and I only see one, adapt. For some it is not the first crisis, we have been able to build good foundations, we have great teams with us, the hotel industry is not an easy job but we have been able to draw a lot of strength from it, and it is time to trust ourself again and prepare for the future.
To some informed and sarcastic readers, yes I have not launched a sentence but a word: adapt.
So how do we adapt?
We are ship captains, and like any captain, we need a good team and good tools. Those of you who know me know that I have a good technical background with me. So let’s make it quick and easy: technology is a tool, not a solution. Want a good example? All these automated RM tools, the algorithms are down because the shock is so severe that they can not identify trends. So what are these RM companies doing? They give you graphs of what’s going on right now, so you can analyze it and make decisions. And hop we come back to the base: the experts that you are.
You have been working in this industry for years. And today even more than yesterday, the first thing you need is to see what is happening in real-time in your establishments or chain, and push your vision to the maximum, you must be AGILE.
We all have a little more time right now, so this is the perfect time to get started on this project!
AGILE? From IT to Hospitality.
Agile … like in Parkour?
This one is for the few fans of “The Office”, and because I never miss a chance to place such a gif :).
So what do I mean by being Agile? It’s a nice word that simply means: get the maximum reactivity from your teams to deliver maximum efficiency with your clients. This concept comes from IT where we use it massively to manage our projects. But broadly speaking, I’m sure you’ve done it in the past and many of you still do it today, but we’re going to take the concept even further.
The principle is to coordinate your team with real-time analysis of your performance. This includes daily micro-analyzes and micro-meetings in order to adapt your strategy each morning. And we add to that a big weekly analysis in order to draw a direction.
With Agile we enable effective management that allows us to react to market and customer demand, achieve better performance, reduce losses, and involve our entire team in working towards a single objective..
You need to have an overview and a detailed view of your business so that you can make the best decisions in a short time. And another huge advantage, this method will also allow you to validate your decisions, and that’s good, I’m sure you have no money to throw out the window.
You move forward every day watching what is going on and what is looming in the future. And that’s perfect because today nobody really knows how to plot a trend, all your forecasts are on the ground, and in the end, you get back to basics: your instincts.
There is no captain without a team, and no team without a captain. And like any ship or plane, you need information about what’s going on. So it’s up to you to find the right tools for this and build your own cockpit (I know a very good one for that). And as every business is different, it’s up to you to adapt your cockpit. And avoid products that require 6 months of installation or configuration, you don’t have time for that. Do not neglect the feedback of your teams, their feedback is very important.
This same principle can then be applied in sub-teams, such as a “stay” team and an “F&B” team. The fundamentals remain the same: teams, actions, analyzes, decisions.
Do not confuse “sale” and “profitability”
We are touching on an essential point, optimization is not only done on sales, but it must also be done on complete operations (purchase, sale, HR, services, etc.). When I spoke above of a global vision of your business, this also includes a fine and reactive management of the different positions in your establishment.
By reducing your data access time, you can analyze faster and make better decisions to optimize or adapt your business following this crisis.
It is therefore important to obtain this vision, this reporting, at all levels. It’s not just about control, it’s about decision making. And since you regularly measure what’s going on, you can also allow yourself to make more decisions in a shorter period of time, thereby reducing your risk.
And of course, everything you put in place now will serve you in the long term in your establishment.
I hope it’s almost over
In fact, I don’t know, I’m a business owner and not an epidemiologist. But I like to believe that in a few months we will have a drink together while laughing.
And this is where I get my hope because we all dream of returning to the simplicity of which the Hospitality industry is the basis.
Take care of yourself, and good luck to all!