Monday, November 29, 2010

Completely unnecessary condescending rubbish–how not to write a hotel business strategy

Those doyens who have evolved from yester years’ inn keepers to today's hotel managers have discovered that providing clean towels every day is probably unnecessary. Moreover the daily replacement costs time, labour and energy.

There is then, assuming guests can cope or choose to cope (since foregoing the daily towel is typically voluntary) money to be saved – and a material saving it would be too over a year and a few dozen floors of rooms.

So let’s save the money…..

But…. how is this tackled? The current fashion is to announce that “as a hotel” you are “green, responsible and saving the planet”. In one especially bad case, abstaining from fresh towels is said to be planting trees at the rate of 1 tree per five forgone towels.

This approach has to be nonsense – and unnecessary. Even from a governance point of view. Investors invest in hotels to make a return on capital invested in hotels and their management. If they wanted to invest in planting trees they would do just that – invest in forestry companies.

The dumbest thing is that given a competitive capital and goods and services market – money saved has to end up in savings for consumers through lower room rates or room rates not going up as fast as they otherwise might. Even hotel managers can’t stave off competition and its effects.

So this is god’s work. What is not is (vainly) trying to fool consumers that one is “greener than thou” and that they are “guests” on planet earth…

Why not simply say – “Join with us in keeping room rates down and, as a bonus, save some energy – a win win”…. its a fairly easy slogan.

Business gives itself a bad name doing dumb things – especially when its arrogance allows management and boards to pretend customers and shareholders are as dumb as they can be.

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