"This is going to make the greatest generation of hoteliers"
How Commonwealth Hotels developed a culture of agility
“The things that we went through during the pandemic are going to make the greatest generation of hoteliers our industry has ever seen.”
Commonwealth Hotels President Brian Fry has a story that might resonate with you.
Earlier this year, many hoteliers faced a strong wave of pent-up demand from travelers. That was great, but also created challenges. Many guests had the same expectations they had in 2019 and didn't realize what hoteliers could offer had changed.
If the Commonwealth team was still operating as they had in 2019, they would have been less efficient, given how much the world has changed.
Instead, they went back to the basics, asking themselves questions such as “Who is our customer? What do they want? How do we serve them better? How do we control those costs while we do it right?”
“We're in a very interesting moment where we're all going to have to change because if we're not constantly evolving, we're losing ground in this industry. And I think that a huge event like the pandemic has made that clear to everyone. Everyone has to rethink the way that we interact with our guests and our associates.”
To support this, Brian and his team needed a way to learn from data to keep up with a quickly-changing environment.
“I wanted a crystal ball. I wanted to be able to predict the future and apply artificial intelligence to the questions that would elevate our business.”
Together with a technology partner, they built a solution to help achieve this. They could answer questions like why people were traveling and what needs they had. It gave them a way to anticipate needs and provide solutions while tracking costs in real-time.
They were able to do more with less, and focus on their guests.
“Every team that I've ever spoken to believes they have too much reporting and too many phone calls, too many meetings, and not enough time with the guests."
“Nobody who got into our industry to save three cents POR on their labor costs. That's not why we're here. We're here to serve people and we're here to take care of our guests who are putting their trust in us. Giving your team back the time to do that is absolutely critical and technology helps us do that.”
How are you giving your teams back more time to serve and delight your guests? Let me know - I’d love to feature your hotel next!