Katrina Craig was delighted to be asked to moderate a panel discussion at the Hotel Operations Conference 2018 at the Montcalm Marble Arch on Wednesday 23rd May.
The topic of ancillary revenue is a hot topic among hotel operators and owners who seek to find ever more ingenious and creative ways to maximise profits among the marginal areas of their operations.
The panel consisted of Neeraj Handa, group Director of the Cairn Group, Laura Rafferty-Trow of Spectrum Solicitors and Simon Allison, Chairman of Hoftel.
Hotels have plenty of opportunities to generate non-rooms revenue with the potential for the siting of rooftop mobile phone masts, advertising billboards and for energy generation and storage. It was noted that with right contracts in place these could deliver pure additional income with no operational consequences.
Neeraj Hand said the Cairn Group were already exploiting several additional revenue streams from its national portfolio of hotels, with phone masts on some of the buildings.
Some of the new idea providers were on hand to explain how their wares deliver superior returns. Just Park, which runs via an app, started out as a service renting people’s drives but today offered a range of convenient parking options for users – and rents out underutilised hotel car park spaces. “Our platform allows hotels to generate revenues,” said the company’s Guy Cohen, with no cost or management consequences for hotel management. “There’s one thing that hotels need, that’s visibility – and we’re adapting to hotels in different ways.”
Food delivery service Deliveroo has also moved into the hotel market, ironically after noticing its service was being used by hotel guests. The company links takeaways with customers who would like food delivered to their door, and has adapted its service to replace room service.
It was noted that containing costs were equally as important as partnering with third parties to improve revenue. Sustainability is still a novel concept for the hotel industry and initiatives for guests to reduce their water consumption, reduce the need for daily linen and towel change could have huge savings longer term. The installation of LED lighting and sensors to reduce energy consumption was developing rapidly within the industry
While none of the ancillary streams will ever be as profitable as room sales, for those hotel owners and operators that do team up with the right experts, it is clear that there are considerable savings to be had. Hotel Solutions Partnership are working at the forefront of this exciting new area with our technology experts on a range of innovative ideas, many based around smartphone apps – watch this space!