With the upcoming festival season, business can be good or bad depending on your location. If you are a city hotel, chances are that it may be a slow time of the year with travellers planning to spend time with the family. There may be an exception though to this rule, however, if you are a resort, I am sure you will be expecting to have a busy season.
The festival calendar begins with Ganesh festival in Maharashtra and goes all the way till Pongal in Tamil Nadu in January. The country is in celebration and the question to ask yourself is “Is my hotel ready for the festival rush?”
One way to take advantage of the busy season is to start yielding your rates. That means looking at your occupancy and making changes to the online rates. We read about it in a blog post some time back.
However, pricing your hotel right is just the tip of the iceberg and you need to be able to train your team to take advantage of all the other opportunities that the additional rush can provide
Here are 7 ways your hotel can make money during the festival rush.
Sell Packages with Food and Beverage
While you may offer your best available rates without breakfast for the most part of the year to remain competitive, the additional festival rush should give you some additional demand to demand a better deal from your guest. By changing your rates to include breakfast and dinner, you will be able to capture additional covers in your food and beverage areas and make some more money. Additionally many hotels change their pricing to have a mandatory dinner charge during new year events. If you have not considered the same, try it this year. Keep a track of the promotion and how much incremental revenue it generates.
Change the cancellation policy
While it is true that there is always additional demand to ensure any cancellation can be filled out at the last minute, it is still a good idea to decrease your free cancellation window. Increase the time from 72 hrs to 96 hours for free cancellations. This will ensure you have enough time to pick up any business and also get you some additional revenue
Upselling is the subtle art of matching guest needs with your product. It is not about pushing your product. When done well, the upsell creates positive feelings for the hotel in the mind of a guest. A good upselling program should look at what the guest wants.
For e.g: A family of 2 adults and 2 kids come to your resort. They have asked for extra beds to be placed in the room. A great upsell option may be an interconnecting room for a slight premium. The kids can have space for them and adults can have privacy as well as they relax during their vacation.
Another example of upselling in Food and beverage department may be:
A guest is ordering a sparkling wine to celebrate some occasion. They are primed to sell and a change from a sparkling wine to a champagne is a good upgrade for the hotel and for the guest.
The beauty of upselling is that you can actively increase your revenue per occupied room with the lowest effort.
Banquet venues for private events
Festivals are a great time for many companies to show appreciation towards their staff. Many companies go all out to organise staff events and all these events need banquet space. Monitor and manage your banquet space well to maximize revenue in this area.
An offshoot of banquets is outdoor catering in clients location. As with any celebrations, some decide to celebrate in their own campus. If you are able to create top of the mind recall for your outdoor catering facilities, you can manage to get a good amount of additional business. Yes getting outdoor catering means you need to manage multiple events and need good staffing, however that can be outsourced and your supervision can help pull off many events and make you more money.
Gift hampers sale
Festivals are a great time to sell sweets and confectionery from your pastry shop. Get prepared for the rush with enough mise en place of festive boxes, packing material and sweetmeats. Print out flyers and posters and flood the market and watch the orders come in.
Gym and health club membership
The new year is a good time to cash in on the resolutions people make to get fit and lead a healthier life. Take the opportunity of this seasonal rush to promote your gym and health club membership. Get testimonials of people who successfully managed to transform their lives to get fitter in your health club and sell these stories to encash on a trend.
So what are you doing to get ready for the festive rush? Let us know in the comments box below. And please do share this with your friends who may benefit from the post.
And if you are interested in training your team, do check out our training plans for hotels