The non-room revenue

While there is no dearth of adjectives to describe the economy there is certainly a paucity of revenue generating ideas. Hoteliers looking at the abyss that seems to have replaced the cash-register have an urgent need to find alternative revenue sources given plummeting room rates without adopting the tin-ear tactics of airlines who seem intent on aggravating an already aggrieved customer by levying fees for checked baggage and, now, pillows!

Some ideas for non-room revenue could include the following:

– Late night arrivals combined with the new era of austerity frequently compels many a traveler to steer clear of expensive in-room dining. As an alternative, hotels can offer pre-packaged (preferably low-fat) meals on the go that require neither preparation nor microwaves. (Oakfield farms, for example, offers a product along these lines)

– As above for "medical kits" that could include non-prescription analgesics, band-aids etc.

– If the hotel has any USP by way of products in-room (frette linen, duvet pillows, temper-pudic mattresses, "logoed" items etc.) look into "selling" them to interested guests.

– Take a fresh look at pricing in all miscellaneous income departments like laundry, parking garage commissions, car-rental agency commissions and all vending machines.

– If the property accepts pets, look into offering related services such as dog-walkers, vets etc on a revenue sharing basis with the providers. The same goes for a "nanny service".

While most if not none of the foregoing will likely compensate meaningfully for the precipitous drop in RevPar, the measures could help add to a bottom line that is fast changing color.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.