Hotel revenue management support to help you adapt, change and succeed

Revenue management case study: How new app software and Octopus Revenue helped our clients have a bumper summer season

After the rollercoaster of the last 18 months, an 88% growth in RevPAR was a welcome result for one of Octopus Revenue’s Scottish clients.

Businesses the length and breadth of the UK have had to cope with a pandemic that has impacted us all in unprecedented ways.

But for sister hotels The Boat Hotel, near Aviemore, and McKays Hotel in Pitlochry, adaptation and innovation have been the key to not only survive, but to thrive in the months since they were able to reopen to guests.

New technology helping to combat staff shortages

Both hotels offer rooms and a restaurant in a cosy, pub-like atmosphere, with food and beverage accounting for a significant proportion of their revenue.

But as the Covid lockdowns began to ease, the businesses found themselves contending with similar problems to those echoed in venues across the UK – great demand but a shortage of staff.

Luckily, The Boat and McKays were in the fortunate position to be able to prepare for this.

The team were in the process of implementing a new app from the company behind their property management system, HOP Software.

The app acts as a gateway between a hotel and their customers, allowing guests not only to order food and drinks contactlessly in the restaurant, but to also manage other elements of their stay, including booking rooms, checking in, managing their booking, and ordering room service. They can also set up alerts, see their previous booking history, bill table service to their rooms and search for other information, such as special events and offers.

The app, which is branded according to the individual hotel’s colours, is also linked to the hotel PMS, meaning the whole system is completely streamlined. Combined with the contactless services, this all helps to save the hotels vital man hours, which proved invaluable to The Boat and McKays, as they faced increased demand with fewer staff during the transition from lockdown to reopening.

Integrating revenue management support

As clients of Octopus Revenue, The Boat and McKays had benefitted from our hotel revenue management support since October 2020, just prior to lockdown number two.

We were able to work in collaboration with the team at HOP Software to prepare for the hotels’ reopening, including:

  • Resetting their pricing strategy, factoring in strong summer demand opportunity
  • Resetting all rate plans in their PMS and re-mapping to all distribution partners with the help from the support team at HOP Software
  • Implementing a distribution strategy to allow visibility of rates across all channels, backed up with book-direct initiatives to reduce OTA commissions.
  • Optimising room type availability through inventory controls and inventory management
  • Keeping up to date with competitor activity through competitor analysis
  • Running a weekly revenue meeting and strategy update via Zoom.


Results that speak for themselves

Strong staycation demand, restrictions around international travel, uncertainty around the red list, and the continued reduction in VAT to 5% has seen the majority of UK hotels enjoying growth this summer.

But the challenges around staff shortages and the Government-prescribed table service and social distancing rules have also meant many businesses haven’t been able to maximise that growth.

By implementing innovative new technologies and having robust revenue management systems in place, McKays and The Boat were able to mitigate the impact of some of the challenges they faced, resulting in some very positive outcomes.

Comparing Summer 2021 results to pre-pandemic Summer of 2019, The Boat saw a growth in RevPAR of 56% and TrevPAR of 29%. McKays saw an impressive growth in RevPAR of 88% and TrevPAR of 12%.

Great results by anyone’s standards, and the hotels’ owners and managers were rightly pleased.

Dean Slater, General Manager at The Boat Hotel said: “Having Sarah and the team at Octopus Revenue on board meant that we could focus primarily on our operation. Cleanliness, staff re-training and giving our customers the best experience were all key initiatives for us as a team, as we re-opened the hotel post lock-down.

“Despite the challenges, we were really happy with the results of our summer season and are looking forward to seeing how our venues can continue to flourish thanks to the new systems we have in place.”

For more information on the PMS and contactless solutions by HOP Software, go to For revenue management support and advice, contact Octopus Revenue.

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