You may have read various articles suggesting numerous ways to run a successful hospitality business. However, with the abrupt outbreak of the pandemic, traditional business strategies have become inefficient. Therefore, to get insights into how the market leaders have managed to sail through such an uncertain time, this article will share the empirical and unique experiences of the Chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels Suresh Nanda.
How to run a hospitality business successfully amid the pandemic?
On your question, how to run a hospitality business successfully amid a pandemic, I would like to begin with a step just before that for the ones who are planning to kickstart their business in hospitality. Firstly, choose the right location and pick a place that observes footfall around the year and not seasonal. So that if restrictions are continued and the state/nation adheres to frequent lockdowns, it is not going to impact you as harsher as it would have if you only relied on seasonal demand.
Now, the ones who already are into a running hospitality business. This is not a usual time and it is filled with utmost uncertainties. We, hospitality people, are the ones who have been continuously bearing the brunt of Coronavirus to a level of severe extremity. Now, think about it in a way that we are at the front in the war and you have to defeat your enemy while moving ahead. Always begin with analyzing what you have in hand and how you can leverage it. This is what we have done in the case of The Claridges, New Delhi.
What were the things that enabled The Claridges, New Delhi to manage high occupancy rates even during the first wave of Covid-19?
We started with what we can offer to our guests so that they can feel safe at the hotel. Within few days, we implemented touch-free services and ensured that all of our staff members are healthy and not infected. Moreover, we have always focused on establishing long-term relationships with our guests. Therefore, many of them trusted our services and chose our hotel over others. Most of them were happy with our new services and were confident that are safe on hotel premises.
Another important element for hoteliers is that they should focus a lot on their marketing strategy. Do list services on the internet that you have introduced with the onset of the pandemic. You will have to be a little flexible about your target audience. For instance, if there is no or minimal tourism from outstations, try focusing on local people. People are getting bored while working from home, target people in your area, they would love to stay on your premises if you offer such services to them. Try offering personalized service packages if nothing is working out.
You will have to think outside the box for your survival. This situation is not going to remain similar forever for hospitality. Once you are over with this, you can expect a boom in your business.