4 Hospitality Design/Management Failures to Avoid in 2018

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You’ve likely experienced failure before. Very few professionals in any industry reach the pinnacle of success without falling flat along the journey, despite their best efforts.

Hospitality design requires thinking beyond the design. Before you achieve that hotel project with the dream revenue stream, you must first master a detailed administrative agenda.

Avoid These Hospitality Design Project Failures

1. Falling Behind the Tech Curve

Ten years ago, you may have still been installing WiFi (or at least still charging for it). Today’s ever-connected guests couldn’t even comprehend why it wouldn’t be part of the package. Ten years from now, technology will have evolved further to allow amazing advances in service personalization and mass customization.

Consider this: Robots have already become programmed hospitality masters. You can also automate and streamline hotel housekeeping and maintenance.

hotel robot

If you’re willing to trust the promise of ROI that technology’s omnipresence brings, there are some surefire ways to delight the socks off device-fixated hotel guests.

  • In-room smart devices and voice recognition software can cater to guests’ every need and desire
  • Cloud technology can tailor individual guest experiences to past preferences
  • Smart televisions (streaming capabilities) that provide guests access to their own content; health enthusiasts’ favorite exercise programs, movie fanatics to their favorite cinema line-up or Netflix series.
  • Lighting can be optimized to promote sleep, concentration, and physical activity

One-third of Americans live in a household with 3 or more smartphones (sprinkled in with other devices). The very least you could do is give them easily accessible places to plug them in while they travel.

2. Choosing Poorly Crafted Furniture

The pull toward saving money is understandably strong. But buyer beware: You get what you pay for. Some industry experts believe saving $1 unwisely could ultimately cost you $10.

Unfortunately, the following nightmare supply chain scenario is all too common:

  • An overseas manufacturer makes and ships your custom hotel casegoods furniture for less money than stateside options you’ve researched
  • It arrives late due to being held up at port, and the project falls behind schedule
  • You discover during installation that more replacement parts are required than originally accounted for. A new order is placed, which will take another 4-6 weeks to be processed and shipped
  • After installation, poor craftsmanship leaves your hotel in a costly repair-and-replacement cycle well before the next scheduled renovation/update

Your guest’s satisfaction relies heavily on their comfort within the guestroom. When it comes to lower-quality furniture, you should expect your guests to literally feel the discomfort. And with a few, quick taps on the smartphone, they’ve submitted a scathing online review complete with pictures, video, and commentary for the world to see for years to come.

In hindsight, the domestic option seems pretty logical, right?

3. Bad Investment Planning

Buy low; sell high. Wall Street investors live and die by that credo. Ideally, we’d all love to enter the market when prices are cheap and leave with the greatest gains.

But investment in your case, while ultimately tied to the financial returns, means more than money alone. You’re also investing in real estate, proper timing, and, perhaps most importantly, human capital.

People cling to investments - whether they’re in stocks, property, or personnel - because they once seemed so wise. But with time, an investment’s value may fall.

Analyze financial opportunities and threats, as well as demographic, geographic, and commercial trends around your hotel, like:

  • Is the area trafficked heavily by the travelers you’d like to attract?
  • How can you stand out amongst competing brands?
  • Will your debt management capabilities ride out market lulls and lows?

No one has a real, functioning crystal ball. Make educated guesses to determine if the sum of all your efforts will pay off.

4. Failure to Adjust

You may have experienced flat Average Daily Rate (ADR) in 2017. Now you need a stronger revenue stream. That’s not as simple as raising rates, which are typically subject to an occupancy tax. Rather, the trend in 2018 is enacting a sensible resort or facility fee. It’s essentially a way to sidestep paying what some would consider an unreasonable tax share for a reasonable rate hike adjusting for inflation.

Year-to-year, administration-to-administration, numerous changing economic and political pressures cause industries everywhere to rethink paths to profitability. Hospitality is no different.

Avoid a Failed Hospitality Design Project with Proper Preparations and Adjustments

Your project may be several years from breaking ground or beginning renovations. Financial realities will fluctuate while the demand for quality and innovation will never cease.

All of that is happening right now. Educate yourself to better delight guests and gain a stronger foothold for ROI.


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