This month has been one of the more disruptive of the year so far, with a lot - really, a lot - of bank holidays, and a lot - really, a lot - of different weather. Both of these things can give the hospitality sector the shakes, as has proven to be the case.
We are hearing of operators, particularly in the hotel sector, who have had a troubled first quarter, with the domestic market knocked by the cost of living crisis in terms of demand, with a side helping of terrible weather making those trips to Devon that bit less enticing.
We heard from Peter Heath at Venue Performance that this year is going to be…not as thrilling as we had hoped, but that we might see a return of Christmas, which will at least indicate that we have been nice, not naughty.
So, just in case we were looking for more hills to climb, there remain challenges out there in the sector. The good news is that we are that much better equipped to handle them. Leading this are two shifts in thinking, driven in part by the pandemic: realising the value of experience to the bottom line and realising the need to drive revenue in every part of the property, not just - as is the case in hotels - the bedrooms.
At this month’s IHIF conference in Berlin, Mews founder Richard Valtr said that team members needed to be treated as assets, alongside the property itself, and the guests, when assessing a hotel business. He warned that the sector needed to look at all of a hotel’s spaces to maximise its revenue.
Valtr said: “Revpar is my most hated word, it’s what makes this industry a cottage industry, when we should be the most successful part of real estate. The rooms are not the whole property. More and more hotels are getting into models such as extended stay – we need to get to 100% usage of spaces.”
Outside hotels, hospitality has been adding space by getting into takeaways, cook at home kits, renting out space to the local community outside meal times. Maybe not a holiday, but something to bank on.