Revenue management case study: How outsourcing helped a 4-star hotel on the west coast of Scotland bounce back
As the UK’s hospitality industry faces yet more disruption with the announcement of another nationwide lockdown, it can be difficult to know what steps we as revenue managers can take to mitigate the impact.
Back in March when we were all hit with the first round of enforced shut-downs, nobody knew what to expect. Would the Government aid packages be enough to see our businesses through the toughest of times, would there be any market to re-open to when the lockdown ended?
This second shut-down may feel uncomfortably familiar, but, unlike in March, this time round we at least have the benefit of some experience to fall back on.
As revenue management consultants, we thought now would be a good time to look back on how the support we provided for one of our clients helped boost their post-lockdown recovery, and saw them achieve even better revenue results than summer 2019.
Outsourced revenue management service for a 4-star hotel on the West Coast of Scotland
The hotel was closed through lockdown, with all staff furloughed, Octopus Revenue stayed on board for business-critical activities. This ensured that once the hotel was ready to welcome guests back through the doors on July 15, we were as prepared as we possibly could be for what was to come.
Of course, what that would be was still an unknown.
After more than three months in lockdown, it was very hard to predict what the demand would be, how the team would cope, and how effective the new social distancing measures would be.
After a relatively slow start, bookings rapidly picked up.
As revenue management consultants, we were able to provide support on a number of fronts for the hotel, including:
- Managing the daily price in line with the market, making sure to capitalise on the strong leisure demand
- Managing distribution channels and ensuring the hotel was visible on the right channels at the right time
- Managing bedroom inventory to ensure the right room types were available at the right times
- Re-configuring some of the room types to provide extra availability for the higher quality room types, in turn allowing for higher pricing
- Carrying out some general revenue management housekeeping tasks, removing old rates and tidying up the booking systems
- Running a weekly revenue management Zoom meeting with the general manager and front office manager
- Analysing the hotel’s F&B strategy, in line with the changing government guidelines. For example, restricting the number of dinner inclusive rates sold versus the capacity of the restaurant, to allow space for the more profitable non-inclusive guests to dine
- Reviewing pricing and the process around spa treatments, as and when guidelines changed
- Setting up the hotel’s winter pricing strategy
- Setting up the best available rate strategy for 2021
- Setting up the group and FIT pricing strategies for 2021 and 2022
With domestic demand so unexpectedly high, outsourcing revenue management to a trusted partner was the best possible business decision for the hotel. It meant the hotel’s in-house staff could get all hands on deck and concentrate on the day-to-day operation, safe in the knowledge that the revenue management and accommodation strategy was taken care of by Octopus Revenue.
Thanks to the comprehensive revenue management strategy we had in place, as well as the sterling efforts of the hotel team, the hotel saw a room revenue growth of 19.6% in the three months post-lockdown compared to the same period in 2019.
Octopus Revenue was delighted to help the hotel achieve such a positive result in one of the industry’s most challenging years to date.
The hotel manager was certainly glad to have us on board, saying: “Having Octopus Revenue working with us provided a structured weekly routine to keep us focussed while we were under so much pressure operationally.
“Keeping up with the seemingly ever-changing government guidelines while working safely and maintaining a professional and reassuring presence for guests was challenging, but Sarah’s expert insight and analysis resulted in measurable weekly action points and gave us the confidence to hold out for higher rated business.
“Over the course of three months we saw a significant return on investment.”
Find out how Octopus Revenue’s outsourced revenue management could help your business recover in the months ahead with flexible solutions that are tailor made to fit your hotel. Contact us today to arrange a consultation.