How To Prepare Your Hotel for the Busy Season
In the United States, summer is usually the busy season for vacations and travel. This is good news for you if you run a hotel because summer is when you are likely to make most of your revenue for the year. However, the busy season can also be a challenge. With so many people staying, it can be difficult for your staff to keep up. Guests are more likely to leave bad reviews during the busy season.
It can be a challenging task to balance your guests' experience, your employees' workload, and your own sanity during the busy season, but preparing beforehand can help. Here are some suggestions to prepare for the crowds that you know are coming.
Get Your Staff Ready
During the busy season, you may have to hire sales staff, housekeepers, front desk clerks, maintenance workers, etc. Many of these are seasonal personnel to whom you will say goodbye at the end of the summer. Be sure that you are clear about that when hiring so there is no confusion or unpleasant surprises for your staff at the end of the season. In addition to hiring new staff, you should also take steps to inform all your employees, especially new hires but existing staff as well, what you anticipate during the busy season. Be specific about what you expect of them, and give them the tools they need to succeed with the increased business
Anticipate Upcoming Events
While traffic at your hotel is likely to be steady throughout the summer compared to the rest of the year, there may be special events that draw an even higher number of visitors, such as a local festival, concert, or similar event. You should be aware of these before they happen and take steps to prepare the hotel and your staff beforehand. For example, give the common areas a good cleaning before the extra guests arrive and the housekeeping staff is too busy keeping the rooms clean.
Theoretically, overbooking your accommodations in case some guests cancel seems like it makes a lot of sense. If the first guests don't show up, the other guests can rent the room, and you don't lose any money. However, overbooking is a bit of a gamble. You are betting that some guests won't show up, but if they all come as planned, you won't have enough room for anyone. That looks unprofessional and can lose you a lot of good will from your guests. A channel manager system that synchronizes your inventory with online marketplaces can save you time and manage reservation from only one place.
A more reasonable alternative is to review your policies as it relates to cancellation and minimum nights' stay. This can keep you from losing money while not inconveniencing guests.
The time before the busy season is the time to see any maintenance tasks that need to be done to make the property safe and attractive. In addition to performing any necessary repairs, flip the mattresses, spruce up the rooms with a fresh coat of paint, wash the curtains, re-grout the bathrooms, and make sure everything in the rooms is in good working order, from the remote controls to the coffee pots. When your establishment is at its best, it can make a favorable impression on guests.
Get Your Website Ready
It's not only the physical premises that may need sprucing up. You should update your website so that the content is relevant to the season, including both the text and the pictures. If you accept online reservations through your website, you should streamline this so that it is easier for both you and your guests. If you do not book reservations through your website, this is a feature you should think about adding for your guests' convenience.
As welcome as it is from a financial standpoint, a busy season can be a bit intimidating. However, remember that you have been through this before and will survive it again. Reflect back on past summers with a critical eye toward what works and what doesn't. That way, you can learn from your past mistakes and duplicate your previous successes.
Author: Paisley Hansen