Budget season is a stressful time for a hotel, assessing the good and the bad from the past year and deciding where money should be allocated for the upcoming year. Conducting extensive research to understand what has worked and what hasn’t is the most difficult part of creating any hotel budget, but it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking when all the needed information is right there in the hotel.
When deciding what to invest in over the coming year, don’t limit the decision making process to the knowledge of upper level management. If customer service is the hotel’s primary goal, it’s important to involve the people who interact with guests and their habits on a daily basis- the front desk, concierge, even the housekeeping team. They are the ones who will be able to confirm if something is working for guests or if it’s time to drop it and try another solution. Including staff at all levels of the hotel will help create a budget optimized to improve the operations of the hotel as a whole.
With the rise of mobile solutions for hotels, the hotel budget will need to factor in the cost of new solutions and the continued use of those which hotel employees and guests are finding helpful. The price of the solution and the support that the supplying company provides will need to be factored into the hotel budget, but if these solutions are used properly and prove effective for that particular hotel, it will pay for itself. It’s an important factor to consider in an industry for which technology solutions are developed at a rapid pace but for whom adoption can be a slow process.
In the end, it’s all about guest satisfaction, which is what will drive revenue and profitability. The most successful hotel budget is be a combination of investments in new tactics and solutions, an appropriate allocation of funds to tried-and-true practices, and the flexibility to reallocate funds over the course of the year as necessary. As hotel technology advances, this flexibility can be the difference between a loss in productivity and a hotel that is productive and supplies the best service possible to guests.