It’s never too early to start thinking about the next busy season – otherwise it might sneak up on you. The busiest times at your hotel can make or break the whole year: While the goal is to deliver optimal service year-round, that level of service is hard to maintain when rooms are fully booked.
So, what can be done to make the most out of busy season?
Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, it’s still good to brush up on what to expect when the flood of travelers arrive. During the slower months leading up to busy season, take stock of inventory, anticipate your staffing needs, and analyze past data or customer reviews to ensure your accommodations are ready.
To get you started, here are four ways to ensure the next busy season is a success:
1. Beware of overbooking
You may be tempted to overbook rooms during busy season, but double booking looks unprofessional. Instead, review your rates and cancelation policies, and implement a minimum-night stay policy so cancelations don’t mean a loss of revenue.
2. Take stock of staff
Anticipating your staffing needs is critical. Not only will you need to ensure you’ll have enough staff, but you’ll also need to properly allocate resources. For instance, you may need to up the restaurant staff over the holiday season to accommodate special meals and events. It’s also just as crucial to give employees the flexibility to handle issues on the fly. Daniel Craig, founder of Reknown Hospitality & Technology Marketing, told Hotel News Now that empowering managers and employees to resolve on-property problems can help prevent complaints, and cross-training employees in other departments will ensure everyone can aid each other when needed to improve efficiency.
3. Get creative with communication
Another way to improve efficiency during busy season is facilitating open and frequent communication between staff, as well as communication with guests. Investing in technology to help everyone stay in touch with each other reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and allows for quick responses to requests throughout the property. Technology can also create a better connection between staff and guests, such as applications that allow online check-in and check-out, housekeeping requests via text, or online satisfaction surveys.
4. Give your property a mini-makeover
Much of preparing for busy season can – and should – occur during the slower months of the year. This is a perfect time to take care of property renovations, maintenance, and improvements. Cater to guests’ technological needs with USB-port supported clocks and radios, spruce up lobby and guest room furniture, and stock up on more efficient cleaning supplies.
Be ready for busy season and get the most out of your year!