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Planning for the festive season ahead in 2020

With more than half the year gone due to the pandemic related lockdown, I am certain many of your hotels are roaring to start working on business and the future months.

Most of the studies point to a very slow recovery and almost all companies are moving their 100 % recovery forecast to 2022 or 2023.

But if you are struggling to keep your hotels open and pay the loan on the hotel, pay salaries and vendors, all this forecast will not help. You need to make money and make it today.

Thankfully for us in India, the social activities and festivals peak up around this time of the year so this is a good time to plan for that.

All studies point to a recovery in the leisure market and social events first before the recovery in corporate travel. Infact now companies are getting more comfortable with the culture of working from home and are keen to continue that in the near future.

So in order to capitalise on the upcoming festive season, here are 4 ideas that can help your hotel

Market your banquet halls

Get aggressive into marketing your banquet halls. Let the locality know that you can host weddings and social events. Strike key partnership with wedding planners, photographers and others in the industry.

Remember that they are also hit and are looking to improve their business. They will be more than willing to work with you for a referral incentive.

If you do not have one, consider starting a referral incentive to get business from social events.

With a high profit margin, banquet will most likely put more money into your bottomline.

During the lockdown, many people lost their jobs and many may be looking to come for temporary work as well.

List your short term ODC jobs on our job portal for free to attract talent to run your operation.

This will give you an immediate boost to your bottom line.

Prepare sweets and hampers for sale

Indian festivals are all about sweets and giving. Starting with Onam on August 30 all the way to Baisakhi next year, Indian festive season is just coming up.

Hire a halwai on contract, design a packaging for your boxes, challenge your marketing team to create a social media plan, give your sales team a target and capture business to help your revenue.

Offer Staycation and Leisure packages

I am sure you have already made plans for staycation and leisure packages. However it is important to ensure that your guest have a great time when they come to your hotel so that you can get referral business.

As I write this post, swimming pools are closed across the hotel so you will have to come up with something creative to keep the guest engaged while they are at your hotel.

If possible, hire an event management company during the week end to keep the families entertained. Organise afternoon tea in the lawn and organise games for those who wish to participate keeping in mind distancing norms.

In short, make the visit fun and memorable so that you garner repeat visits.

Offer In residence dining

If guest are not coming to your hotel, offer to provide the service in their homes. Most homes will have requirements of additional helping hands during the festival season. Offer to take the cooking load of theirs. Offer the expertise of your chefs to organise a culinary masterpiece and take over their kitchen.

Your chef will have to adapt to the small work space etc, but if you plan it well and keep the prep work ready from your kitchen, you should be able to finish the dishes at the last minute over there.

In conclusion

There is no easy way around this, but by hustling and making sure that you are able to reach out to your guest, you will be able to ensure that this festive season, you are able to pay your employees salaries, and manage to pay your loans

Look at opportunities that are coming up in the short term to survive.

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