Revenue management case study: How our support is helping a chain of gastropub hotels grow despite Covid-19

Outsourcing revenue management proved to be a smart decision for a chain of gastropub hotels in the Cotswolds back at the start of lockdown, helping the group achieve increased room revenue of more than 24% year on year.

The group, whose portfolio includes five boutique venues ranging in size from 7 to 21 rooms, first approached Octopus Revenue in April, shortly after the UK as a whole had been plunged into the Covid-19 lockdown.

Along with the rest of the hospitality industry, the hotels had been compelled to close as the government attempted to bring the pandemic under control.

But, far from resting on their laurels during the shut-down, the Cotswold group decided to be proactive and ensure that, when the time came, they would be ready to maximise any and all opportunities available to them.

With a background largely focussed on food and beverage sales, the operators knew the best course of action to boost their accommodation offering would be to seek external support and bring in the expertise of our revenue management consultancy.

Our task as revenue management consultants

We were tasked with getting each of the group’s five hotels ready for reopening on July 10th.

Our first step was to carry out a full revenue management audit of the business, as well as reviewing the market and competitors.

In an audit, we examine every aspect of a business’s revenue management, including market position; room types, plans and rates; booking engine and website performance; distribution channels and more.

We made a series of recommendations from the findings of the audit, which we then went on to implement ready for the reopening, including:

  • Reconfiguring all room types, plans, rules and policies using the Guestline suite of products;
  • Upgrading all sites to Guestline's newer booking engine
  • Implementing a simple pricing strategy
  • Creating a range of special offers ready for re-opening
  • Optimising the existing OTA listings, re-mapping new rates, room types and policies
  • Sourcing and set up new distribution channels
  • Implementing up-selling tactics to drive ancillary revenue
  • Installing a gift voucher solution to drive more sales
  • Working alongside a colleague to build new websites for each of the five properties
  • Carrying out a series of Zoom training sessions around front desk and reservations processes and procedures
  • Implementing Covid-safe policies
  • Creating an ongoing, weekly revenue routine for all properties

The results

Implementing a meaningful revenue management strategy has had a definitively positive impact on the Cotswold group’s recovery from the Covid lockdown.

By introducing and applying best practices, the group was able to maximise profits after reopening, seeing positive results group-wide for August, September and October 2020 as compared to the same months in 2019.

The key headline figures included:

  • Room revenue increased by just over 24%
  • Occupancy increased by 7.2%
  • Average rate increased by £7.13

Octopus Revenue’s outsourced revenue management support for the company is ongoing, with the group now acquiring a sixth site for its portfolio.

The new property will be configured in line with the original five, as we implement processes, introduce best practices and develop a revenue management strategy for success.

If you would like advice on your hotel’s revenue management strategy, or would like to discuss our tailor-made outsourcing solutions, get in touch with Octopus Revenue today.

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