December has arrived and, as always, this means that the holidays are coming. The festivities at the end of the year makes this one of the busiest times to travel. More and more people seem to be spending Christmas and New Year’s at a hotel because it may be a great opportunity to rest, eat good food, and have fun. That’s why your hotel needs to be ready to welcome a greater number of guests and make them feel at home. By actively participating in the holiday season, you can show a more cheerful personality to your hotel, which helps guests identify with your brand. To help you get started, here are some tips on how to integrate the holiday season into your strategy for the month.
The first step to prepare for the holidays is to plan ahead. Before you start decorating or buying food, you need to understand the needs of this time of year and manage your inventory and purchases. As the end-of-the-year holidays are one of the busiest times, you have to be ready for more guests and make sure the products you offer at your hotel will not deplete.
First, you need to understand the demand of your establishment and study the input and output of the products and their variables. In doing this, you must take into consideration factors such as the occupancy rate, the time of delivery of the products, and the physical space required for storage. Realizing consumer needs makes it easier to plan what to buy and what to expect. Your clientele may vary according to the season or even the day of the week, so you have to manage your inventory capacity and the replacement time to make sure your guests will find everything they need when they arrive.
Once you’re done with the general planning and organization, it is time to bring the joyful spirit of the December holidays to your hotel. One big part of showing your guests that your establishment is ready for the festivities is the way you decorate. Thus, you should invest some time and money into this. Put up christmas trees and lights, deck the halls and your rooms’ doors, leave some (electric) candles around, or spray seasonal scents all over the hotel. Make everything cozy and merry to give your guests the feeling they’re at home. This can help keep them coming back. However, make sure not to overdo the decoration and don’t make it too tacky.
Once your guests arrive, they are ready to enjoy their business or leisure stay, so it’s the responsibility of hotel owners to prepare their staff to deliver an exceptional level of client service. It is essential to make time to examine daily operations and train team members in how to handle the stress of the busy holiday season(s).
You must also take into account that people from different ethnicities and religions might check in to your hotel, so make sure that your staff are ready to deal with cultural diversity. To make your guests feel welcome, you can offer to take down or change the festive room decorations if they like. If your hotel has a restaurant, offer other options for Christmas dinners, such as meals without pork or with halal ham or bacon, for example.
There are a lot of different ways to make your guests feel welcome and enjoy the holiday season, so don’t rely only on the decoration to let them know that your hotel is ready for the festivities.
Offer packages that incorporate, for instance, winter activities to city sights: hot springs, ski passes, or a shopping mall voucher for them to buy their gifts. You could also leave a guide at the reception that includes all the festive events in the area. In your restaurant, offer your guests a Christmas dinner and a special delivery of champagne to their room on New Year’s Eve. You can also leave small trinkets in your rooms, such as magnets or key chains with your hotel brand. Be creative and keep in mind that your guests will always remember how well they were treated.
In on-site restaurants or when offering room service, another way to get into the holiday spirit is by adding a few holiday-themed foods and beverages to the menu. Nothing says Christmas more than the sweet scent of mulled wine wafting through the air. Foods like ham, cookies, or eggnog can draw in people who may be missing out on a big holiday dinner with their family because of business travel or vacation, so this may work well in your hotel’s favor. On Christmas Eve, you can offer a dinner with turkey roast potatoes, pigs in a blanket, and gravy as a typical dinner option.
But don’t forget that your guests might have different ethnic or religious backgrounds, so bear in mind to always have kosher, vegetarian, or other kind of food options to offer them.
Finally, regard the holiday season as an opportunity to showcase your brand. If, for example, your city has a Christmas-decoration competition, you might want to invest a little more money to take part in it. If your city has great holiday events, partner with the event organizers and offer packages for your guests. Products with your brand can be offered as last-minute gifts. Be creative and use this opportunity to increase your revenue and market your brand successfully during the holiday season.