Home' Australian Hotelier : AH AUGUST 2016 Contents 20 | AUGUST 2016 AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER
PROPERTY AND INVESTMENT
of the main hotel floor, as the accommodation rooms kept the business
afloat. It now has a bistro, two bars, a functions room and a large TAB
Flower has set about revitalising the different revenue streams at
Settlers Inn. He re-opened the standalone bottle shop on the property,
revitalised the food offering to get more families coming to what was
once a tradie pub, and he added an extra 10 machines to the gaming
room, as the hotel had entitlements for them. He describes these works
to the pub as "unlocking its potential".
For every new operator, the one thing to remember is that
experience is your friend, and even mistakes will help you improve as
an operator. McCloy has found that she and her sister have become
better operator over time.
"It has been the biggest learning experience of our lives so far and
it certainly hasn't been easy but we wouldn't change any of it. We've
made plenty of mistakes but we've learnt a lot from making those
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
Kent Anderson, managing director of Raise
The Bar Business Strategies has worked
with many first-time hotel operators, and
below shares some of the mistakes he's
seen operators make time and again, and
how you can avoid them:
Assuming new hospitality venue owners
already have access to basic accounting
and legal expertise, the most common
mistakes first time operators make are:
1. Failing to invest in the team first
One of the most common mistakes first
owners fall into is not investing adequate
time, money and effort in to their team. As
a result the owner is the only one doing the
job as they want it done and is constantly sucked back into front of house to
fix problems. Not only does the team perform poorly but morale drops and,
in turn, places even more pressure on the owner. It's a guaranteed way to
The answer is effective training, leading and development. Rather than
focusing on the customer, focus on your team who will look after your
customer. The most common owner objection is 'what if I train them and
they leave?' and of course the best response is 'what if you don't train them
and they stay?'
2. Failing to leverage the business
While a business in its infancy will have a significant reliance on its owner,
they must take proactive steps to ensure the business can operate without
them. What's the main cause of small business failure? Lack of financial
knowledge? Lack of marketing nous? No, it's burnout.
The answer is to leverage your business, i.e. to create greater results with
less effort. What are the key ways to leverage your business?
1. People (see above) 2. Systems 3. Marketing 4. Technology
Investing in these four areas frees an operator up to focus on the big tasks
that matter and save them from burnout in the process.
3. Identity Crisis
Many owners fail to have a compelling vision or to begin with the end in mind.
The most common form of this in hospitality is not deciding what the concept,
feel and vibe of the venue is from the outset. Without any predetermined
desired outcome, a venue's identity ends up a certain way by default rather
than design. It's not a pre-planned destination, it's an arbitrary one.
Many owners fear losing particular customer groups by committing to one
theme and end up making the sin of trying to be everything to everyone. The
result is a place that doesn't know what it is. It creates a disappointing and
confusing vibe that could be described as 'all over the shop'.
Others decide that rather than conveying a specific image or 'putting up
a flag' they'll just play it safe. The result is a 'beige' venue, bereft of charm,
ambience and charisma.
First-time operators must realise that the identity and vibe of a site will
determine every facet of that establishment. If you decide your venue will
be 'slick and elegant' this will not only determine the building design and
decor but factors such as the music, menus, and branding. Just as if you
decide your establishment's vibe will be 'cheeky and eclectic' it will directly
influence areas like the website, staff uniforms and the formality of customer
dialogue. Do you really want to leave all these areas to chance?
In everyday life, we find the most charismatic people to be the ones who
know exactly who they are and are not afraid to show it -- same goes for
Raise The Bar Strategies is offering a free half-day 'Brand Identity and
Team Culture' workshop (normally $2500 plus GST) to the first three readers
to reply to email@example.com mentioning this article.
at Settlers Inn
Various revenue streams in a hotel
make for a good investment
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