20 tips to boost hotel revenue

U.S. hotel occupancy and revenue are better than they were a year ago, but many hotels in different markets are still struggling to boost their bottom lines. Here are some tips from properties across the country: 

  1. Turn guestrooms into workspaces: During the pandemic, many hoteliers and companies had success with renting rooms by the day for use as offices, offering special packages to attract displaced workers.
  2. Rent airport guestrooms twice: The TWA Hotel at New York City’s JFK International Airport rents some rooms for several hours in the day and then again overnight to accommodate different flight schedules. 
  3. Turn guestrooms into dining rooms: At the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, Mass., guests can reserve a private room on the second floor of the property’s historic Mansion for a private three-course dinner.
  4. Rent meeting rooms by the hour: The Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan in New York has been renting its meeting rooms for $100 per hour rather than insisting on a half-day minimum. 
  5. Turn guestrooms faster: Dan Ryan, co-founder of cleanliness consulting firm Blue Canary Solutions, recommends turning guestrooms faster. “If hospitals can turn rooms in under an hour, then there is no reason for a hotel to keep room inventory idle for 72 hours,” he said.
  6. Perform online travel agency audits: “With hotels relying on so much OTA leisure business, do an audit of OTA's to look for cancellation revenue, no show, extra revenue entitled to you,” said Raul Moronta, chief commercial officer of Remington Hotels.  
  7. Package perks: Will Seggos, digital strategy and technology director for View Hotels, emphasized the value of packaging. “[Food-and-beverage] for us has grown through the pandemic,” he said. “Packaging our accommodation with breakfast and dinner has been a major hit.” 
  8. Expand grab-and-go options: Janine Williams, owner of Impulsify, suggested reaching out to local restaurants and asking them to prepare meals for guests using a hotel’s packaging and labels. “Going local can also provide guests with a more regional, unique experience while also supporting small, local business.”
  9. Activate outdoor spaces: “Many hotels have heaps of unused room in parking lots,” Ryan said.  “If NYC side streets can turn into restaurants, then hotels can surely get creative to drive F&B revenue.”
  10. Integrate technology: Angel Redondo Tena, VP of real estate and business development at hospitality tech company Jurny, said that technology can help hoteliers streamline operations and eliminate excesses across the property. 
  11. Leverage text messages: Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s new text messaging platform lets guests quickly request add-ons like onsite spa treatments, reducing the chances of changed minds while they wait.
  12. Reach out to planners virtually: Remington has provided its sales teams with virtual selling tools to assist meeting planners in the buying and detail planning process, including video, 360-degree imagery, virtual tours and social distancing diagrams.
  13. Market to AAA: Take advantage of the rise in roadtripping to reach out to road warriors, Ryan suggested. Organizations like AAA and other driving-focused groups can be a good place to start.
  14. Think locally: Maggie Houston, general manager at the Arlo Midtown in Manhattan, said her property’s partnerships with “hyper-local and like-minded” brands like fitness studios and music event company Sofar Sounds have helped attract guests and locals, driving brand affinity and loyalty.
  15. Host special events: Robert A. Rauch, CEO/founder of San Diego-based hospitality management and consulting firm R.A. Rauch and Associates, hosted a beer tasting, wine tasting and distilled spirit tasting starting for past guests and corporate clients. “Events like this have really jump started our slow-to-return corporate business!"
  16. Work with tour operators: Aqua-Aston has been working with PlacePass, an activity-booking platform that lets guests arrange excursions—and provides a commission to the host hotel.
  17. Repurpose space: The Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale converted one of the property’s unused guestrooms into a reservation-only speakeasy. “The revenue far exceeds what it would have brought in as a standard guestroom,” said James Hansen, VP of sales and marketing at Kolter Hospitality. 
  18. Try hybrid meetings: Remington has been working with its audiovisual partners to host training webinars on hybrid meetings. “Education of this technology will help drive more group business to our hotels sooner in a hybrid environment as confidence builds to hold higher-attendee events in person,” Moronta said.
  19. Work with third parties: Rauch has partnered with companies that take the pressure off of recruiting and hiring. “We have a third-party firm that substitutes for a human resources department. That third-party firm does our accounting and another one does our digital marketing."
  20. Don’t forget to upsell: Promote room upgrades, breakfast, parking and other services to customers before they arrive and cross-sell other hotel services like spa treatments, restaurants or room service, said Lee Grant, CEO at technology company Wrangu.