How to remain social while working from home | hotel software uk

Anyone who has worked from home regularly will know that it’s rarely - if ever - a mini holiday.

Staying focused and productive is tough, particularly if you’re a hospitality worker. It requires a determined mindset, the ability to avoid distractions and consistent goal setting.

But there’s another element of working from home which is particularly tough: isolation.

When you’re working from your spare bedroom, kitchen or converted garage, it’s easy to cut yourself off from the rest of your team. In doing so, you may begin to feel lonely and anxiety levels can increase.

Thankfully, we live in a world where working remotely doesn’t have to be lonely. Here are our favourite tips for remaining social while working from home.

Lean on technology

working from home in the hotel industry | hotel management software uk

There are some wonderful apps and online platforms that enable remote workers to stay in touch with one another.

Skype, Slack and Zoom are just three options, but one shouldn’t forget the likes of WhatsApp when it comes to keeping in touch with your colleagues.

Use this tech as much as you can (most of it is free). The more you do so, the more addictive and productive it becomes.

Set up more micro meetings

remail social working from home as a hotelier| hotel booking systems

Chances are, if you work in a hotel, you probably have lots of micro meetings or just a few big meetings each month.

If it’s the latter, try switching to micro meetings when you work from home. These swift regular get-togethers will ensure you all keep in touch, no matter where you happen to be. They’ll also probably be far more productive than the longer meeting you’re used to!

Have some fun

have some fun working from home | hotel upselling

If something drops into your inbox or a WhatsApp group chat while working from home and it makes you smile, share it with your colleagues (within reason, of course!).

Think about it - you have fun while working a ’normal’ day at the hotel, and much of that will revolve around off-the-cuff chats in the kitchen or sharing jokes as you go about your working lives.

Keeping this up while working remotely is vital for productivity levels, mental health and team spirit, so don’t stop having fun just because you can’t share the same airspace with people.

Try remote networking

working from home as a hotelier | hotel booking systems

Networking plays an important role in hospitality. It gives hoteliers, GMs and other departmental heads the chance to get out there, meet potential new suppliers and learn more about industry trends and challenges.

You can still do that while working at home. There are some fantastic groups on LinkedIn to explore and, if there’s a reason most people are working at home, many networking groups will switch to digital meet-ups during that period.

Sniff out the most relevant digital networking events in your area while working from home and make sure you attend them; it’s a whole new way of getting to know people and increasing your industry knowledge.

Wrapping up

We hope our working from home tips will help you become as productive as possible while still maintaining that all-important contact with your colleagues and work partners.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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productivity tips for hoteliers | hotel management software uk

So, we’re a bit biased, but we genuinely think that the hotel industry is about as tough as it gets when it comes to the number of hours you’re expected to put in and the sheer variety of tasks and responsibilities one must contend with.

We’ll let other professions argue that point in the comments section…

But how do you remain productive as a hotelier? With so much to do, guests to entertain and staff to satisfy, how can you maximise the use of your time to ensure the business remains afloat and profitable?

Here are five brilliant productivity tips for hoteliers:

1. Don’t get lost in emails

hotel productivity tip - don't get lost in emails

Some people despise email. Others continue to value it as a great way to communicate. Some are indifferent.

Whatever your personal thoughts on email, it isn’t going anywhere. The likelihood is you’ll receive emails regularly from staff, guests and suppliers every single day.

The trick is to not get lost in email or treat it as a matter of urgency. Every email can wait; the chime of your inbox isn’t like that of a ringing phone. In fact, turn that chime off and promise yourself you’ll only deal with email three to four times a day.

2. Let technology do its thing

let technology do the work | hotel booking systems

Time for an experiment.

Next week, record your activity as you make your way through each day. Make a note of what you’re doing and roughly how long it took. Then, at the end of the week, review your tasks; look for stuff which you know, deep down, can be performed by technology.

Continually updating your rates, adjusting availability on OTAs, manually compiling lists for email newsletters - these are all tasks that hotel bookings systems and other technological wizardry can do for you.

If a piece of software can save you just fifteen minutes every day undertaking a mundane task, that soon adds up.

3. Implement 10 minute daily meetings

hotel industry tips - hold daily meetings

Great communication lies at the heart of productivity.

If you can communicate efficiently with your team, you’ll all get more stuff done each day - it’s that simple.

Try holding a quick staff get together every morning. Make it strictly a ten-minute affair where everyone can offer their input on what happened yesterday, what’s planned today and highlight any barriers to success. Ensure everyone stands, too - there’s no need to gather people around a table.

The more regular this becomes, the more you’ll find ‘standard’ meetings become a thing of the past and staff will begin to communicate more effectively with one another.

4. Remove as much paper as possible

productivity tips for hoteliers - remove paper where possible

The ‘paperless office’ remains something of a pipe dream, but the hotel industry is well placed to rid itself of as much printed documentation as possible.

If you’re running a great hotel booking system, you don’t need to print stuff out. Instead, email invoices to guests and provide staff with digital copies of house lists or tablets on which they can access the PMS.

Less paper equals higher levels of productivity - we promise.

5. Work more regular hours

productivity tips for hoteliers | hotel management software uk

As noted at the start of this blog, working in the hospitality industry is damn hard.

Unfortunately, that leads many to work too hard. And that’s a shame, because the longer hours you work and the more you throw your entire life into a job, the less likely you are to get things done. You’ll become far more stressed, too.

This might sound counterintuitive, but the more you stick to regular hours and avoid working beyond your remit, the more productive you’ll be. This is because you’ll be happier and know that you have to focus your effort for a set amount of time each day.

Wrapping up

The more productive you are as a hotelier, the better chance you’ll have of competing strongly in this difficult market.

Getting to the bottom of your to-do list each day is immensely satisfying. Try our tips above, but, equally, if you think we’ve missed a productivity technique, let us know in the comments section!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to identify big overheads as a hotelier | hotel software uk

Running a hotel is challenging at the best of times, but when something happens that forces you to close the business temporarily, it’s natural to engage panic mode.

A brief panic isn’t a bad thing, providing you keep it under control and lend a sense of perspective once you’ve got it out of your system.

Unless things are particularly dire and you have no contingency pot or support from the government, things will get better. You just need to see your business through this period so that it will come out fighting fit when you can finally reopen your doors.

Inevitably, your overheads will come into question during times like these. That's why we’ve got some great tips on identifying those you can either remove entirely or considerably reduce.

Technology

why hotels should opt for cloud services | hotel upselling

Hands up if you’re still using a property management system that’s installed at your hotel.

Now might be the time to review that particular piece of technology, because the hotel PMS is a classic example of a tool that should be based in the cloud.

By opting for cloud services, you’ll considerably cut the cost of annual maintenance contracts. And you can apply this to most of the technology in your hotel, from file storage to your POS.

Opt for LED lighting

hotelier tips for sustainability | hotel booking systems

Some of the smaller things you do will have a big impact on overheads when combined.

For instance, LED lighting is one of the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient ways to light a hotel. The bulbs will possibly cost a little more up-front, but, according to Energy.gov, they’ll use at least 75% less energy than standard bulbs.

Oh, and they’ll last 25 times longer, too.

Ask guests to do their bit - particularly when it comes to towels

How to identify big overheads as a hotelier | management systems for hotels london

Anyone who runs a hotel will know how colossal the cleaning bill can be - particularly when it comes to towels.

Guests are notoriously bad at re-using towels. Far too often, they’ll leave them strewn on the floor after their first night when they’re perfectly good for another use.

This is why so many hotels are placing an increasing number of reminders for guests to re-use towels as often as they can. You can quote environmental stats, or simply give an honest reminder that you have big bills and would rather invest the hotel’s profits in creating a brilliant guest experience.

There’s also nothing wrong with politely asking guests to ensure all electrical devices such as the TV are turned off when they leave the room. That's particularly true if you don’t have a building management system to do it for them.

Remember - it’s the small things that can make a big difference.

Try out a labour management system

hotel labour management system | hotel management software uk

Once solely the domain of large hotel chains with big budgets, labour management systems are slowly becoming more commonplace within independent operations.

This is because staff schedules should reflect the day-to-day variations in your business. Hotels rarely operate to standard working hours; things go wrong, guests spring surprise requests and some events take longer than you’d expect to host.

A modern labour management system will help you create staff rotas that work for the team. It'll also help produce the best guest experience while allowing you to reduce labour costs - undoubtedly one of the biggest you have.

Wrapping up

This blog post was written at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. However, the strategies above will be useful for hoteliers at any time.

Rising overheads can sink hotel businesses if they’re not monitored and addressed in time. We hope our advice today plots a course for a profitable future for your hotel business.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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6 important hotelier tasks during downtime | hotel management software uk

At the time of writing, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is an international pandemic and has sent millions of people home from work.

This is already having a seismic impact on the hospitality industry and, in particular, hotels.

Together, we can get through this. And, if your hotel is now closed for the foreseeable future, you’ll be glad to hear there are some very valuable things you can still do to ensure your business remains resilient.

1. Keep marketing

focus your hotel's marketing efforts on social media | hotel upselling

This might sound odd, given the situation, but even if your doors are currently closed, ceasing all marketing activity is a bad idea.

Instead, focus your efforts on your social media profile; post daily updates about what you’re doing during the closure and how you can support your followers (inspirational or funny messages are probably what people need right now).

2. Seek opportunities to support the local community

use your hotel to support the local community | hotel software uk

Several hotels are already being converted into temporary treatment areas and bases for NHS staff. You could do the same.

If you’re up for it and if the government expands its requirements for such venues, why not put your hotel in the spotlight by using the space you have to do good?

3. Go back to that business plan

reviewing your hotel's business plan | management systems for hotels london

You wrote it years ago, we get that. But what use is a business plan if it’s never revisited?

Now is the perfect time to dust off your original business plan and see how true you have remained to your original promises. What goals have you met, missed or forgotten about?

During times of significant change, new business ideas emerge. Your business plan is probably ripe for a new injection of inspiration and positivity.

4. Keep staff meetings going

remote hotel staff meetings | hotel software uk

Even if your entire team is now self-isolating at home, you can - and should - still keep up your team meetings.

Thankfully, you can do this via a number of platforms, including WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype. Bring everyone together once a day online to chat about anything - business, self-isolation tips... you name it!

Doing this will ensure everyone keeps their spirits up and won’t lose that all-important feeling that they’re part of a brilliant hospitality team. It’s what makes this industry so special, after all.

5. Review your OTA listings

6 important hotelier tasks during downtime | hotel upselling

When was the last time you properly revised your OTA listings?

Once we get through this and things begin to return to normal, you’ll hopefully meet plenty of guests who are desperate to get away and stay at your hotel. A great many will come through OTAs, and that means now is the perfect opportunity to ensure your listings are up-to-date with the latest photos and descriptions of your hotel’s experience.

6. Tinker with your website

managing your hotel's website during down time | hotel booking systems

Your website is just as important as your OTA listings, so use this time to give it a much-needed fettle.

You might decide to start posting a weekly blog, or finally get around to adjust the homepage content. Equally, you may decide to ‘play guest’ and try out the online booking experience to sniff out any issues it might have.

Whatever you decide to do with your website during this time, make sure you keep your hotel booking systems in mind and the overall feeling you want to illicit when people visit.

Wrapping up

We know that this is an incredibly tough time for the industry and hope that our tips above provide some respite.

Together, we’ll beat this and come back stronger than ever.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to cope with coronavirus as a UK hotelier

Yesterday, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, revealed that the country would soon enter the ‘delay’ phase of its strategy to tackle the coronavirus.

Calling it “the worst public health crisis for a generation”, the PM’s mood was sombre and the advice direct. If you have mild symptoms connected with the virus, you’ll need to self-isolate for at least seven days, he told the watching public.

Regardless of your stance on Covid-19, there is no doubting the risk it poses to public health and the economy. And, if you’re a hotelier, you may be concerned about how the pandemic could impact your business.

Stay updated

Public Health England (PHE) is the definitive source of medical advice

The sheer speed of coronavirus news and updates is like no other news cycle in recent memory. But this is why it’s important to pay attention to news sources you trust and avoid getting lost in the trap of recycled fake news on social media.

Public Health England (PHE) is the definitive source of medical advice, Covid-19 news and detail on the stance the government is taking to tackle the virus. Keep an eye on its website and stay tuned to news reports based on fact.

Provide your staff with what they need

mild symptoms require self-isolation for seven days

You can’t operate without your hotel team, but Covid-19 is a highly unusual and significant public event which means you’ll need to be flexible.

Following the PM’s advice, any members of your team who display mild symptoms will need to self-isolate for at least seven days. How you handle that from an HR perspective will depend largely on whether or not they can work from home, your sick pay policy and whether or not you’re willing to provide additional holiday.

We can’t tell you what to do from that perspective, but you will need to allow people to head home if they meet the criteria set out by the government.

Equally, make sure you have enough hand sanitiser available and provide easy access to any advice (for instance optimal handwashing) provided by PHE.

Inform guests that you have their best interests at heart

refunds amid Covid-19 crisis in hotel industry

Chances are, you’ll have received a number of Covid-19 emails recently from other organisations and businesses which illustrate their commitment to your safety.

It’s advisable to do the same for your guests. The key lies in being non-alarmist and sticking to the facts. All you need to do is offer reassurance on the following:

  • you have plenty of hand sanitiser available at the hotel;
  • staff are strictly following government advice on cleanliness (both personal and building-related);
  • staff showing mild symptoms have been sent home to self-isolate; and
  • you’re keeping a close eye and reacting to the latest advice given by PHE.

It’s also a good idea to recommend that guests don’t visit the hotel if they’re feeling unwell with the symptoms outlined by the PM yesterday (a cough or a temperature of 37.8C or more).

Again, how you approach the potentially thorny issue of refunds is entirely up to you, but it might reflect well on your brand if you offer guests who are impacted by Covid-19 the ability to delay their stay and return when they’re feeling better.

Wrapping up

It’s important to highlight that we’re not medical experts. Therefore, the best advice we can give is to stay on top of the government’s recommendations and anything PHE asks you to do as a business and individual.

You can access the Public Health England guidance on Covid-19 by clicking here.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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tips for first-time hoteliers | hotel software uk

For many people, the idea of opening a hotel for the first time is a dream come true. For others, it’s the result of a family business handed onto another generation. Whatever reason you have for entering the hotel industry for the first time, you’ve probably got lots of questions. Providing you follow these tips for first-time hoteliers below, you’ll gain plenty of job satisfaction and great financial security.

Our tips below are for the very start of your journey. In future blogs, we’ll cover the all-important role technology will play in your hotelier journey - particularly the hotel property management system.

1. Gain some experience

hotel industry experience | hotel management software uk

Depending on how you intend to become a hotelier, it’s vital that you gain some experience.

If you’ve already worked your way through the ranks - great! But if you’re yet to experience life on the front line of the reception desk or in the depths of the kitchen, now is the time to get that experience under your belt.

This is true if you’ve inherited a hotel, too. Getting your hands dirty and working at the lower rungs of the hospitality ladder will give you a great appreciation for what it takes to run a brilliant hotel operation.

2. Get used to - and enjoy - working with people

hotel industry is all about working with people | management systems for hotels london

It might sound daft, but there’s no escaping the fact that, as a hotelier, you’ll be working with a lot of people.

Staff, guests, suppliers - there will be countless personalities you’ll need to deal with each day and it’s essential that you can maintain the stamina required to keep smiling and provide the best service possible.

Empathy plays a big role in being a hotelier, as does the ability to deal with an emergency in room four at 2:45 on a Tuesday morning.

3. Pick the right hotel theme

pick the right hotel theme | hotel booking systems

That’s right - just like restaurants, the best and most successful hotels have a theme. What’s yours going to be?

Take the following into consideration when deciding on your hotel’s theme:

  • your ideal guest (demographics, type of stay, generation - that kind of thing);
  • your own experiences and passions;
  • the competition - what are they doing (or not doing)?;
  • a unique selling point; and
  • what kind of experience do you want to create?

A hotel theme might be something as simple as funky decor or musically-themed rooms. Whatever it is, make it as unique and enticing as possible.

4. Get financial help - but only if you need it

look for cost-effective solutions for your hotel | hotel upselling

If you already have the finances in place for your hotel, or if it has been inherited in a good financial state, avoid getting yourself into any debt. It’s simply not needed in such circumstances.

If, however, it’s a new venture, make sure you get the appropriate financial help. Speak to your bank manager and assess the most cost-effective solutions. Remember - running a hotel business is expensive, but it should be ultimately profitable.

5. Make sure it’s definitely what you want

tips for first-time hoteliers | hotel management software uk

Calling a hotel operation a ‘lifestyle business’ will make many hoteliers wince. It’s a very hard career and one that is both incredibly challenging and very rewarding.

Long days, little time away from ‘the office’ and the need to deal with all manner of guest requests and industry red tape can be a little too much for some people.

In truth, you won’t know how well suited you are to this industry until you get into it, but if you have any significant doubts, it might be best to look for an alternative career. It’s certainly better to pull out now than risk your happiness in the future.

Ready for it? Awesome!

Wrapping up

This is a long road full of bumps, surprises and delight, but if you stick with it, your hotel will become not just a business but a treasured part of your life.

We’ve scratched the surface above, so stay tuned to the Welcome Anywhere blog for more hotelier tips!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to keep hold of your best hotel staff | hotel software uk

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the UK economy. Brexit may finally have taken place, but the far reaching effects of it on the hospitality sector remains to be seen.

In the meantime, every independent hotelier is best advised to continue providing an amazing guest experience by retaining the best possible team.

If you’re concerned about losing your best employees or struggling with a particularly high staff turnover rate, we’ve got some tips for ensuring you build a rock solid team, and keep it that way.

Hire the right people from the outset

tip for hiring hospitality staff | hotel upselling

You won’t get far with your hotel team if you hire poorly.

Unfortunately, it’s an easy mistake to make; hiring is damn hard.

However, the more time you invest in recruitment, the more likely you are to hire the best people from the outset.

Before you choose a candidate, think about the values you have at the hotel. Consider the culture and goals you’ve set - make sure anyone who steps into the interview room is capable of adding value.

Remind yourself that you won’t be able to retain everyone

how to handle exit interviews at your property

Staff leave for a variety of reasons - that’s a fact of life and something you won’t be able to change.

For instance, changing circumstances at home, decisions to move abroad and illness are common examples of why team members might have to leave.

When you accept that you’ll inevitably lose some staff at some stage, it’ll become less of a shock when it happens. Just make sure you hold a decent exit interview before they go to find out where you can improve and what they enjoyed about working at the hotel.

Show your team how much they're valued

show appreciation to your staff | hotel management systems

Showing appreciation for your team doesn’t always have to result in some form of monetary recompense. You can say “thank you” for their hard work in lots of different ways.

Sometimes, a hearty pat on the back for a job well done is enough, but if you feel like taking the entire team out for a night of bowling, go for it.

The more valued people feel, the more likely they are to hang around - it’s one of the simplest facts of management.

Challenge each and every team member

have discussions with your hotel staff | hotel management software uk

Believe it or not, your team members want to feel challenged; no one wants to go to work each day and clock watch.

This is why it’s so important to have regular one-to-one chats with the team. Ask how they’re getting on, what they’re struggling with and where they feel under-utilised.

Make changes to their rota, level of responsibility or tasks to ensure they feel challenged and pushed to their maximum potential.

Create an awesome hotel team culture

create an awesome culture

Who would want to leave a hotel where the team culture is so amazing?

Most of us have experienced that desire to get to work and get stuff done, and that usually stems from a love of the job itself and the team you work with.

The culture you create in your hotel will define the longevity of your staff base. Make sure it’s one you want to get out of bed for each morning.

Wrapping up

The key learning today is that you will lose staff occasionally. The hospitality industry is one of high staff turnover - that’s just how it is.

However, follow our tips above and you’ll stand a far better chance of retaining your best people for much, much longer.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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funniest things left in hotel rooms - hotel software uk

As the old saying goes, what happens in hotel rooms stays in hotel rooms…

With that in mind, here are a few of the weird and whacky things guests have forgotten to take with them when checking out, as well as some tips on how independent hotels might cope when faced with a similar situation.

1. Enough potatoes to fill the bathtub

The top 5 funniest things left in hotel rooms - hotel booking systems

Last year, one guest at a Travelodge reportedly left a vast number of Jersey Royals... in the bath.

This is just one of the many odd objects guests have forgotten to take with them from this particular chain of bargain hotels, but surely one of the hardest to explain; who takes potatoes to a hotel?

If you end up with several hundred kilos of potatoes courtesy of an eccentric, carb-obsessed guest, at least you won’t run out of chips for the restaurant that evening…

2. A love letter to salad

love letter to salad | hotel upselling

Finding little notes or memos in a hotel room is perfectly normal and it’s been known for guests to accidentally leave their personal diaries behind.

What’s perhaps less normal is the notebook one hotel employee discovered, which was filled not with dates and reminders, but with an 80-page monologue on why salad is so delicious.

If you find a similarly bizarre food-based pamphlet (although, this is surely a one-off), we’d advise getting on the phone to a publisher ASAP, because you might just have a best-selling diet book on your hands.

3. Upside down furniture

upside down furniture left in hotel room | hotel management software uk

This one’s funny in theory, but dealing with the reality might be a bit too much to take for many hoteliers.

A worker at a high-end hotel reported that one guest had stuck pieces of furniture to the ceiling of their room, creating a complete inversion of how it would normally look.

An elaborate stag prank or an attempt at modern art? We’ll let you decide.

Ideally, in this situation, you’d take a deep breath to calm yourself, pull up the guest's booking information on your property management system and give them a call - after taking plenty of photos for social media, obviously.

4. A small horse

a horse left in a hotel room | hotel management systems london

Some hotels are happy to allow guests to bring pets with them, but this can have a few unforeseen consequences.

In 2015 a hotel in Scotland was visited by a Shetland pony, known as ‘Pudding’. Cute, yes, but a little unwieldy as a hotel guest.

Perhaps the best way to prepare for an animal event of this nature is to stock up on bales of hay, or when a guest arrives with any pet larger than a dog, just say “nay”. Sorry.

5. A fabric man (no, really)

funniest things left in hotel room | hotel software uk

Hotel guests often create a lot of obstacles for cleaning staff when they make a mess, but what if a customer took the time to construct a man-shaped avatar out of throw pillows, sheets, glasses and the TV remote control?

That’s exactly what happened at one hotel in Azerbaijan as a social-media-savvy holidaymaker attempted to go viral with a new craze dubbed the ‘room service challenge’.

If this occurs at your hotel, you could politely ask the guest to stop, or better still, engage in some friendly competition by trying to one-up them each day with your own creations.

Wrapping up

In reality, you’ll probably never want to discover an abandoned horse in one of your hotel rooms, or the furniture stuck to the ceiling. But, clearly, it happens.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found left in your hotel? Let us know in the comments section, below!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement

In the digital age, it may feel as though all your branding and guest engagement efforts should be focused on your hotel’s online presence.

However, winning over customers via the web is just the first step to building a loyal, long-lasting relationship with them.

The tougher challenge lies ahead because grabbing guest attention and keeping them satisfied while they’re staying at your independent hotel is tricky - especially in this time of ever-rising expectations.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to inspire your hotel staff and make sure they represent your brand effectively and engage with guests positively.

Adopt a consistent approach

How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement | hotel software UK

The best way to solidify your hotel’s brand image and make it memorable for guests is to ensure that all staff are on the same page when it comes to customer service.

Consistency is the key to success, so provide equal training opportunities in guest engagement for front of house employees and those working behind-the-scenes.

From housekeeping to the accounts team, every member of staff should provide an equivalent level of approachability and support when interacting with customers.

Be empathetic

raising guest engagement at your hotel | hotel management software UK

To further develop a unified, company-wide strategy for guest engagement, ask your staff to examine every obstacle from the customer’s perspective (both online and within the premises).

Having empathy for guests will make it easier to find ways to overcome whatever problems they encounter during the booking process or questions they might have during their stay.

Obviously, it’s important to keep the hotel’s best interests in mind, but encouraging flexible thinking and a desire to ‘put yourself in the guest’s shoes’ will empower staff and boost their engagement skills.

Personalise communication

personalise communication with your guests | hotel software uk

From the moment they book a room to the instant they check out after their stay, it pays to communicate with guests in a way that feels unique and tailored to them as individuals.

It’s straightforward enough to ensure that the personal touch is applied automatically to emails and other digital correspondence, but what about once customers arrive on site?

Providing front desk staff with information that can help them greet guests and deal with their needs effectively is vital.

A bespoke approach, which takes into account any specific requests (rather than forcing them to repeat details they already provided when booking) will go a long way to earning their respect and can be achieved by integrating your PMS with a customer relationship management system.

Consider clothing

How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement | hotel booking systems

It may feel a little draconian, but creating a dress code for staff will make a world of difference when it comes to building a brand that’s consistent, approachable and professional.

It doesn’t need to be especially rigid, but if you can provide uniforms or create fixed guidelines for what’s acceptable, you’ll present your business in a much more cohesive way.

Affordability and practicality are of course important when it comes to clothing, so don’t go overboard with designs or rush to implement a uniform that won’t let hotel employees do their jobs effectively. Ask for their input before ordering, and you’ll reduce the chances of a mass revolt!

Wrapping up

If raising guest engagement at your independent hotel is something you’re keen to achieve, there isn’t a tried-and-tested path to take. A mixture of the ideas above or those ‘borrowed’ from hotels at which you’ve stayed will most likely be needed.

Whatever approach you choose to raise staff guest engagement, you’ll almost certainly need to tweak your tactics over time in order to see what works and what doesn’t before you settle on the perfect approach.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to hire the best hotel employees | hotel software uk

Recruitment in the hospitality industry isn’t any harder or easier than any other sector. Finding the right people is tough, yes, but not impossible.

However, if you put that effort in, you’ll build a team that becomes an extension of your sales and marketing effort, and is capable of delivering the best possible guest experience.

Here are some practical, tried-and-tested ways to hire the best hotel employees and build a brilliant team.

Look in the right places

hiring hotel employees the right way | hotel upselling

We operate in a very different labour market these days in the UK. As important as recruitment professionals still are, they’re now competing against a more organic approach.

For instance, social media could be a key hunting ground for the right staff. If you can set up searches for keywords and phrases that are likely to be spoken by those looking for jobs or who are performing particularly well in their current roles, you can get a great measure of people before they even walk into the interview room.

Speak to a recruiter, absolutely, but keep your ear to the ground at local networking events and online, too.

Provide the best tools

the right hotel software streamlines everything | hotel booking systems

Finding the right people to work in your hotel is just the start - you need to retain them if you’re to build a consistently high-performing team.

One brilliant way to do this is to ensure you implement the right tools. A great hotel PMS, time-saving channel manager and the best POS system you can afford will ensure they have the right tools to do their job, and they won’t spend their days bemoaning the dreadful systems they’re forced to work with.

Make the onboarding process as enjoyable as it should be

onboarding process for hotels | hotel management software uk

Being inducted into a hotel team shouldn’t feel like a chore for anyone. It should be an exciting time that’s full of new discoveries, opportunities and rapport building.

Although you’ll inevitably need to cover the more mundane, process-based stuff, don’t make inductions too dull or formal. Have fun with them and demonstrate you’re a great team to work with; that will ensure the best people stay with you for the long term.

Provide opportunities from the start to move sideways

hiring the best hotel employees | hotel booking systems

People don’t always want to ‘move upwards’ in their jobs. Sometimes, they’ll want to find new opportunities to take on completely different roles. Often, they want to move sideways.

During the hiring process, make it clear that the route you want employees to take is entirely up to them (within reason). You want them to forge their own path and find the roles that best suit their evolving career aspirations. Therefore, if a new job arises internally and it isn’t related at all to what they do, yet they fancy giving it a go, they need to feel empowered to apply.

Final thought

Recruitment doesn’t stop the moment you’ve hired someone - it’s a process you need to analyse and continually improve on. In the fast-moving, high turnover world of hospitality staff, you’ll never stop recruiting, so make sure you analyse your recruitment results and make changes where required.

Have fun finding that amazing team - it’s out there (if you haven’t got it already, of course)!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

Read More