As any hotelier knows, the hospitality industry is full of household names and hotel brand giants with global recognition and an ever-growing portfolio of properties. These are the hotels that travelers often know and love and actively seek out. Beyond customer appeal, these brands are also attracting the interest of emerging industry leaders and hospitality professionals who want to benefit from a reliable business model attached to a recognizable and trusted brand.
The past decade has seen a continued evolution in hotel ownership. The franchise model helps mitigate much of the associated risk by paving the way for eager entrepreneurs who want to build on an existing brand’s marketing, operational expertise, technology and support infrastructure. Franchisors come to the table with a long list of promises, including higher profit margins, lower entry costs, a wealth of resources and established brand standards, verified technology infrastructure, and more. For this purpose, approximately 80% of branded hotels were franchise operations.
Throughout the pandemic, franchisees have benefited from brand support in the form of franchisee support packages and brand-wide guidance for new policies and standards. Unsurprisingly, hotel brands that have actively invested in their franchisees by offering hands-on support and enhanced communications, along with reformed best practices and guidelines, are better equipped to recover and, once again, thrive in the post landscape. -pandemic.
However, some franchisees have come to wonder what value a franchise partnership offers them. They plan to offload a major brand in exchange for the increased autonomy provided by an independent name and boutique ownership.
Now more than ever, brands need to look at how they support their franchisees to grow and evolve into the future. For many, the best way to solidify relationships with franchisees is to invest in technology to give franchisees the tools they need to thrive.
Accelerated Technology Demand for Franchise Owners
Franchises are increasingly relying on technology to automate operations and ensure the commercial success of their properties. However, the hospitality industry is often slow to adopt new technologies and processes. It is, in any case, the ultimate bottleneck faced by hoteliers who want to stay ahead of guest demands, but simply lack the proper technology to do so. The challenges of the pandemic, in many ways, have been a pressure cooker for the advent and adoption of new technologies. With changing guest demands, labor shortages and competitive pressures, hotels are investing in digital tools that effectively streamline and optimize hotel operations.
While there is no shortage of platforms to enhance guest and user experience, cloud-based mobile technology is becoming especially paramount to the success of any hotel brand and, therefore, franchisees. User-friendly, mobile-friendly platforms, featuring multi-data center architecture, push notifications/alerts, real-time data, and unlimited customization, allow franchises to efficiently manage their property from the palm of their hand. A more connected digital ecosystem enables a more connected team. Next-generation technology helps free owners from the limitations of their legacy systems and enables properties to benefit from increased efficiency, staff productivity, improved customer service response times, revenue, data-driven insights, etc.
APS (services above the property) brings this unparalleled power of enterprise-grade, chain-level features to the entire suite of a leading hospitality brand to support its growing network of more than 1,400 corporate-owned and franchised properties. By developing a custom mobile app for franchises, owners and managers can access the company’s industry-leading partner platform to optimize hotel sales and operational performance for consumers. Access to a wide variety of modules is present through the app, such as revenue management, content and channel management, booking services, customer communications, and call center management.
Perhaps most importantly, hotel brands can leverage technology to ensure brand integrity remains intact. At the same time, affiliates are looking to rebuild their staff and in the meantime must find ways to do more with less. In a sense, core hotel platforms, such as CRM, RMS, and PMS, which are built on a flexible, cloud-based microservices infrastructure, allow franchisees to make real-time decisions and changes. which were once exclusive to boutique hotels. These platforms enable hotel chains and their affiliates to evolve beyond the once rigid confines of the traditional cookie-cutter “big brand” model to offer something unique and responsive in line with guest demands. and staff. After all, franchisees look to the parent brand to lead the way and usher in the marketing and service best practices that will differentiate their property from its competitors. In this sense, if a hotel brand cannot provide its affiliates with the state-of-the-art tools, resources and processes necessary to remain competitive in an ever-changing market, what is stopping that franchisee from switching flags and tracing its own independent path?
Additionally, from a guest perspective, hotels that use advanced technology to keep pace with guest preferences, such as self-service touchpoints instead of traditional touchpoints, are more likely to to leave a lasting and favorable impression. With an increased focus on public safety and cleanliness standards, hotel brands must work quickly and efficiently to ensure their properties have the updated tools and processes needed to maintain a safe and clean hotel.
The conclusion is quite simple: when hotel brands provide the best technology across their entire portfolio, they give themselves a profitable competitive advantage that keeps hotel owners happy and keeps guests coming back.
About the above property (APS)
Above Property® is leading the charge to deliver innovative, scalable and service-oriented platforms for the global travel industry and other related verticals. We think differently and we are constantly innovating. Above Property Services (APS) offers the only platform that can scale seamlessly in response to industry demands, through a microservices architecture that enables continuous development and refinement.
Built from the ground up, the APS ecosystem enables the continuous development and refinement of your critical business processes through a single microservices architecture. Designed for performance, flexibility, security, and stability, the scalable framework gets up and running quickly, delivering a scalable, cost-effective solution that can work alongside or replace your existing tools and investments. APS is a platform that adapts to you, not the other way around.
Powering both large and small businesses, we understand the challenges of the industry in the past and have developed a platform fit for the future.
Above Property LLC