How to Start a Hotel in the 21st Century
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Are you an aspiring hotelier? Or are you an existing hotel owner looking into how you can improve your operations? Traditionally, we pour our efforts in building the hotel’s front and back operations. It has changed.
We’ve experienced an increasing involvement of technology in our lives that shaped guest behavior and the hospitality industry as a whole. There has been a dramatic increase of online bookers, in as much as accounting for 80% of revenue of an independent boutique hotel (based on historical analytics of an actual property in a Philippine beach destination). This shift to digital made some offline agencies obsolete (read: Asiatravel.com License Suspended).
We should not fear this digital transformation but embrace it. The future of hospitality management relies on building a strong and cohesive front, back, and digital operations.
1. Front Operations
This is the most basic part in establishing a hotel. It involves everything that the guests see and experience during their stay: the facilities and amenities of the property to the team that performs the service. Front Operations plays a vital role in hotel operations. They are responsible in winning the experience stage in the Traveler’s Journey.
Front liners are your managers, front desk hosts, room attendants, concierge, and security. They are in charge of welcoming and assisting guests, answering questions face to face, and communicating all operational concerns to the back office. They represent the hotel and act as an ambassador of the brand by putting the core values and principles into practice through excellent customer service.
2. Back Operations
People in the back office are often the unsung heroes in the hotel industry. They make things work by supporting and complementing the efforts of the front operations. The back operations team take the tedious administrative work off the front liners to help them focus on what is most important in all hotels - giving genuine service. This dynamic increases the efficiency of both front and back operations resulting to a more pleasurable and hassle-free stay for the guests.
Your back operations includes your reservations, marketing, e-commerce, admin and accounting. This specialized team handle strategies, higher-level processes, audit, and technical work. Building this team is tedious and expensive. Training and retaining your people is another story. Increase your revenue by lowering your operational costs through outsourced professional services.
Both front and back operations should be aligned without being dependent on each other. This is enabled by the digital operations.
3. Digital Operations
Hotel digital operations is a collection of online tools designed to mirror and support the activities in the front and back operations. This minimizes manual processes and aligns all stakeholders.
In the hospitality industry, work gets easier and people become more efficient in the utility of available resources that are all in the digital field - now, more easily accessible and user-friendly.