Gorgeous Smiling Hotels (GSH) is a young and ambitious company with a clear vision: to establish itself as a major player in the European hospitality industry. While it currently primarily operates in the DACH region (comprising Germany, Switzerland, and Austria), GSH has set its sights on expanding its presence throughout Europe. GSH’s portfolio is an intriguing blend of both self-branded and franchised properties, focusing mainly on 3-4-star hotels. Notably, approximately 80% of their properties fall under the category of low-service, lifestyle accommodations, which cater to a modern and trend-conscious traveler. As of now, GSH proudly manages 45 hotels in operation.
In late 2021, GSH embarked on an ambitious journey of technological transformation. Recognizing the need to modernize and optimize their operations, they turned their attention to their IT infrastructure, with a particular focus on Property Management Systems (PMS) and the Duetto revenue management system. This endeavor involved the integration of various other elements, including a channel manager, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, market intelligence tools, and operations solutions. The primary objectives were two-fold: to enhance profitability and to drive operational efficiencies.
The results of this comprehensive transformation have been nothing short of astonishing. GSH has witnessed a remarkable 40% increase in revenue compared to 2019, a testament to the effectiveness of its strategy and the hard work of its dedicated team.
One standout success is the implementation of Duetto BlockBuster, a game-changer for the reservations team. With a staggering 100 group requests arriving daily, the old method of requiring each request to be reviewed by a revenue manager before quoting prices was no longer sustainable. Now, thanks to Duetto BlockBuster, the reservations team can independently provide quotes, as they have real-time access to rates within the system.
GSH also firmly believes in the significance of brand identity. To them, revenue management is not solely based on the hotel’s location, service level, or star rating. Instead, they categorize their approach by brand, understanding that each brand has unique characteristics and specific market demands. This philosophy has allowed GSH to leverage brand-related factors, such as holiday seasons, special events, and city-wide occurrences, for more effective revenue management.
In addition to managing their own branded properties, GSH is responsible for overseeing the revenue of 40 franchised hotels, with plans for further expansion at a rate of 10 hotels per year. Despite working with various international hotel chains, such as IHG, Hilton, and Wyndham, GSH successfully unifies its revenue management efforts through a business intelligence tool, Duetto ScoreBoard. This tool facilitates a streamlined approach, with a dedicated revenue manager assigned to each franchise brand, ensuring consistency in revenue strategy.
Competition thrives within GSH. With multiple properties in certain locations, GSH encourages internal competition, fostering a healthy environment where each property strives to excel in its respective market. Their message to the team is clear: ‘Don’t be too kind to your colleagues.’ This means that if you can attract more guests to your hotel and brand, you should do so. Healthy competition within the organization is about boosting one’s brand rather than undercutting a fellow team member. It’s all part of GSH’s commitment to trust its own strengths and maintain fair but competitive pricing strategies.
In the face of rising costs in the hospitality industry, GSH remains steadfast in its strategy. They recognize that these challenges are industry-wide and affect competitors as well. Their focus remains on growth, with 10 new hotels in the pipeline and several renovation projects in the works. GSH’s hybrid business model, which combines their own brands with franchising, allows them to adapt to market demands efficiently. They have the flexibility to choose when to leverage the power of international brands or rely on their own established names, depending on the specific market dynamics.
The diversity of GSH’s portfolio is a unique strength, and it provides invaluable experience for their revenue managers. Collaboration and internal competition between revenue managers who have worked with major international brands like Hilton, IHG, and Wyndham contribute to the continuous progress and innovation of the entire organization.
As GSH continues to make waves in the hospitality industry, its story serves as an inspiring testament to the power of technology, brand identity, competition, and staying true to a well-defined strategy. The journey of Gorgeous Smiling Hotels is a testament to their commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainable growth in the ever-evolving world of hospitality.