Letter from a Hotelier's heart in times of COVID-19
Updated: Sep 11, 2021
Caring about people, things, life, is an act of maturity and respect!
My fellow hoteliers and service professionals,
My heart goes out to us!
We are all in this industry because we love what we do. We live for service.
In the last 20 years, I have never met anyone in the business who is not truly passionate for it. Because if you are not, you simply do not survive.
As hoteliers we put love into every detail, into making sure everyone is having a memorable time, into providing a safe environment for our guests and team members. We put our love into the training of our staff, into the food that we create and into the way we serve it. We put our love into the way we handle both our guests’ and our owners’ assets.
Because in the end... and something that is part of our motto at Kline Hospitality Consulting, what matters most to us is to SERVE THE EXPERIENCE!
Our industry is suffering.
The extraordinary financial impact due to COVID-19, is not simply reflected in lower room nights, resulting in layoffs and furloughs. We all know that this virus has caused hotels across the world, to take an incredible hit. It has caused a domino effect that those outside of our industry may not even see.
For those of you reading this article, who may be new to our "lingo", RevPAR, or revenue per available room, is a performance metric in the hotel industry that is calculated by dividing a hotel's total guestroom revenue, by the total room count and the number of days in the particular period being measured. To provide my readers with some perspective, since the pandemic started, the RevPAR has decreased by 46%. With lower average daily rates (ADR), we are attracting the worst of the worst guest type. The type that does not respect other guests, our team members, our hotel, let alone follow any rules.
The guest type that simply does not care!
It is sad to watch, the devastation caused by people who just don’t care. Those who with a strong sense of entitlement, show inexcusable amounts of disrespect.
Caring is an act of maturity.
In speaking with colleagues around the country, during the past few months, I feel their suffering.
When their name makes it to the “naughty” list, because politely enforcing face covering was not enough and got fined due to guests not choosing to follow the rules.
When they tell me about guests who wreck the room and their credit card does not have sufficient credit to cover the expense.
When I ask food servers if they feel comfortable with me removing my mask, after my drink was set on the table and I am about to order, and they always get surprised that someone actually thought of their well-being first.
When the restaurant owner goes out of his way to make outdoor seating (in the middle of August) more comfortable, and their umbrella is stolen by the next-door hotel guest, to take to the beach.
When those four tables are the only revenue generating seating space this restaurant owner has at the time.
When renting adjoining rooms, guests decide to relocate all furniture into one of the rooms, so they can comfortably throw a party in the other room.
When the executive at a prestigious hotel, tells me that one of his rooms caught on fire after his guests were recklessly playing “campfire” in the living room.
I feel their suffering when I see their front desk agents being harassed, when asking for a credit card for incidentals as opposed to cash. When they know, this new type of guest will surely cause trouble.
Or when the housekeeping team must go out of their way to immediately inspect a room before this type of guest departs, to make sure there are no surprises.
I feel their pain when the night auditor has to physically lock the main door, so evicted guests whose credit card declined, do not enter because they are being violent. Causing major disruption to other guests and staff members.
This type of guest simply does not care.
In trying to stay open, we are attracting the worst of the worst. To make matters worse, we know we need them.
Those guests, who we used to delight with the details, do not want to be around this new type of guest. So once again we are at a loss.
At Kline Hospitality Consulting we are suffering just like you. Trust me, we get you. You are not alone in this, and it will eventually pass. Just take a deep breath and carry on.
Don't lose focus of why we do this. In the end, all that matters is THE EXPERIENCE.
From the heart of a passionate professional who diligently SERVES THE EXPERIENCE!
MICHÈLE C. KLINE