What to do, where to go and how to get the most out of your money - expert advice from Chris Johnson, Design Services Manager here at Beacon.
Whether it is a full-scale refurbishment throughout, or a spruce up of some of your guestrooms, the decision to refurbish your hotel should never be taken lightly. However, if not managed carefully a hotel refurbishment can quickly burn holes in your pockets and leave serious dents in the hotel’s profitability.
Before undergoing a refurbishment project there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration: do you project manage yourself or employ a company? Where do you start and where can you go for advice and help? What will the benefits be to your guests and ultimately to your bottom line? It can seem like a daunting prospect at first, but with the right knowledge and advice, it needn’t be.
Time is money
A refurbishment project can be incredibly time consuming, so if you intend on project managing yourself you need to weigh up whether your team have the time to chase up orders and lead times; to ensure materials are arriving on site at the right time. This will take away from time that could be spent running the hotel and making sure it is the best commercial property it can be. Another important consideration is: do your maintenance staff have the required expertise and time to get the job done to the required standard? If not, then it may be worth looking at getting a specialist refurbishment company in to support.
DIY vs. fully costed package
As a fully costed package can cost you a little more, it is often tempting to take the DIY route. However, employing a company, such as Beacon, means you can put time and effort into driving sales and profitability while someone else takes care of the legwork. Furthermore, a fully costed package ensures that you have someone on board to find the best deals and the best packages available for your specific budget, so ultimately it could end up saving you money. Before setting out on any refurbishment project, you should carefully weigh up the pros and cons if you want to get the best from your budget but also the best quality finished product, to your deadline.
Once a refurbishment project is underway, it can be extremely costly to start changing your plans and this is often what causes an overspend against budget.. We would always advise having a detailed plan in place of what you want to do and exactly what you want to achieve. This will give you something to refer back to throughout the process and ensure that everything stays on track.
Beacon Design Services, for example, offer a Room In A Box service for Best Western Hotels, which allows the hotels to see exactly how the rooms will look before the design is rolled out across the board, has a budgeted cost per room, and meets the minimum standards required by the brand. Although something like this may seem costly, it’s this careful thought throughout the planning process that ultimately saves money long term – improving a hotelier’s profitability.
Where to go for help
Coming to someone like Beacon allows you to not only draw on advice from expert buyers, but also the advice and knowledge of Beacon’s extensive portfolio of suppliers. For example, Beacon works closely with leading northern designers, Dakota House of Design which can help as much or as little as the customer requires throughout the refurbishment process.
As an example, we recently worked with BEST WESTERN Brook Hotel in Norwich, which wanted to refurbish its public bathrooms. We offered them a flexible approach to the refurbishment to cater for their budget, providing them with pricing, samples and imagery to then allow the GM to make the decisions and take on the project management,following our advice.
In our experience, we’ve seen an average uplift on room rates of around £30 per night after a light refurbishment, which definitely adds up! Also, guests are becoming more vocal now in terms of their satisfaction and most won’t think twice about posting a bad review to TripAdvisor if your rooms are looking tired. In today’s market, hoteliers can’t afford to fall behind the competition, as guests will eventually go elsewhere, leading to lower occupancy levels and profits.
There are a whole host of hints and tips to save costs when carrying out a refurbishment project. However, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between buying good value and buying cheap! Although the cheaper options may seem tempting, contract quality furniture and fabrics are more durable, will require replacing less often and will decrease spend in the long term. Essentially, the key to a good refurbishment on a tight budget is thorough planning, sensible spending and careful management.
For more information about Beacon Design Services click here, or email today.