With the market continuing to remain volatile, there is always uncertainty hanging over many businesses. The hotel industry is also not spared, and there may be times when a particular hotel may undergo a change in title or ownership. The transition of a hotel title is hardly a simple task. A hotel has numerous transactions that take place on a daily basis. Right from check-ins and check outs, the customers also eat at the restaurants, make purchases at the in-house shops. Also, a method of payment may range from cash, credit cards, debit cards, vouchers, discount cards, gift cards and much more. A transition involves taking a note of all the factors and at all times taking care that the service remains of the same quality and uninterrupted.
However, both the buyer as well as the seller must do all it takes to ensure the transition is a seamless one. And that minimal or do inconvenience is caused to customers. The hotel industry being a major part of the service providing industry always needs to watch out for the comfort of the customers above anything else. Any hindrance in providing customers service could cost the hotel dearly in terms of business as well as image.
For the transition to be faultless it is important that the buyer of the hotel steps up and ensures the service to customers remains uninterrupted. This could require them to be proactive and take control of the situation and make the transition as smooth as they can. For this, buyers may be expected to get a grip of the situation much before the actual transition takes place to avoid any issues.
During the transition of a hotel title, there could be two situations:
Where only the buyer is changing and the management remains the same
The buyer, as well as the management, undergoes a change.
Either way, it is best for the buyer to take control and participate in the functioning even before the sales agreement and other formalities take place. This is known as shadow management, meaning being in the shadow observing and taking control of the situation without actually coming out in the open or having any official responsibilities.
If the management is supposed to be the same and only the title owner is changing, then the buyer will want to mingle with the existing management and staff and get to know about how the hotel functions and make note of any modifications they wish to bring about. And if the management has also to be changed, then the buyer firstly needs to hire a completely new set of employees, they can choose to retain any of the existing staff if possible. The new staff then needs to be on the floor and connect with the existing staff much earlier. They must also take part not just in the service section but also participate in the operational management as well. This is important so as to make the actual transition as smooth as possible.
For a hotel title transition to take place in a seamless way it is important that the seller and the management also cooperate and do all that it takes to make sure the customers and service provided do not get affected in any way. Even if an employee is not a part of the management, they very well should be made aware of the changes that are to take place. They also need the required time to either look for a new job or get used to the new management.
Hotels often have advanced bookings especially for renting out the banquet hall for a wedding and other occasions. These customers also must be given a timely heads up, about the change in the hotel title so that they have enough time for reaction. A hotel also involves tie –ups with various other factors which a seller cannot take back with them, like a laundry service tie-up, the computer systems with all the back-ups and other such. These factors must be ironed out mutually among the buyer and the seller. They can negotiate the price at which the exchange can take place. The bottom line remains to keep the transition such that it does not cause any hitch in services that could leave unhappy customers or a tarnished image.
While a hotel would want the transition to happen in the most flawless way, maintaining transparency is equally important. Communicating with the staff: It could be a very cruel thing to keep the employees guessing about the changes that are taking place.