Hospitality leaders share their success strategies for the AHC

Ahead of the Annual Hotel Conference (AHC), hospitality sector leaders have shared their secrets on adapting in a changing landscape.

Ahead of the Annual Hotel Conference, hospitality leaders share their thoughts and ideas on how to adapt in a changing climate | BTR News

In an ever-changing economic climate, hospitality investors, hoteliers, and suppliers are seeking opportunities to navigate these turbulent times. For the upcoming AHC, hospitality experts have provided examples of their successes, and how they have adapted so that they can thrive. These learnings can support the Build to Rent sector, where hospitality is one of the key elements of the offering.

“The AHC in Manchester is an event where all the hotel brands, consultants, developers, management companies and funders come together from across Europe. Switch attend the show as a sponsor and I will be speaking on a panel about threats and benefits of Aparthotels going forward.

“The Aparthotel model is one that Build to Rent developers should embrace as it brings hospitality to apartments and provides a significant threat to Build to Rent developers who rely on the corporate market for longer term lets.

“BTR News is always at the forefront of development for the Build to Rent industry, and it is no surprise to see them at the AHC show this year. Switch have a unique opportunity to blend Aparthotels and Build to Rent developments, as we manage both and that is the ultimate direction that we believe the industry will focus on in the next five years.”

John Angus, Managing Director, Switch Hospitality Management

Innovation and Inspiration

Companies who are leading the way in the turbulent economy and through rapidly changing guest demands are using insights and trends to implement new services. Peloton has identified that 50% of travellers want their next trip to have a component of physical or mental wellness integrated into their stay. Responding swiftly, the company established partnerships and installed Peloton devices into hotels to provide more options and flexibility for guests. 

“Peloton offers hoteliers an entirely unique opportunity to meet all these shifting guest demands, and create a full holistic wellness and fitness experience, without making any physical changes to a property.”

Daniel Sprung, Senior Director International, Partnerships and Commercial, Peloton 

This low-cost, and low-risk move has consequently made participating hotels more attractive for their own members, with 90% of Peloton members more likely to stay at a hotel if they have a Peloton bike. Flexibility is key when it comes to innovation and responding to guest’s needs.

“The past few years have shown us that flexibility is the foundation of demand, from both guests and investors, with the serviced apartment model coming into its own. Guests want the luxury of space and convenience, with high-end design, embedded in the local community.”

Daniel Johansson, Director of Development and Acquisitions, Cheval Collection

Alongside this, two cutting-edge food and beverage concepts are tapping into the changing landscape of guest dining preferences at Kew Green Hotels. The first concept is Kew Green Hotels’ goal of achieving Net Zero by 2040, with each restaurant set to supply 50% of its menu from producers within a 50-mile radius. 

Its street kitchen counterpart Hana Dango is aligned with the growing demand for plant-based and vegan options and has launched an exciting Asian tapas concept in a vibrant ‘Street Kitchen’ environment. 

“We understand the importance of staying aligned with evolving trends and eating habits, including the growing demand for plant-based and vegan options. Through these concepts, we not only prioritise guest satisfaction but also strive to deliver industry-leading returns.”

Chris Dexter, Chief Executive Officer, Kew Green Hotels

Technology

Technology is currently a topic that comes up frequently in hospitality, and how it offers investors and hoteliers opportunities to optimise performance, as well as enhancing customer experience.

“Hoteliers know which way the wind is blowing; it’s technology’s job to give them the speed and advance notice to benefit before trends ebb.”

Michael McCartan, Area Vice President, EMEA, IdeaS

Michael highlights IDeaS’ data visualisation tool for revenue managers, which enables real-time trend analysis, optimises productivity and boosts revenue, with the ultimate goal of exceeding guest expectations. 

From an operational perspective, VDA Telkonet’s Guest Room Management System (GRMS) adapts to guests needs, simplifying temperature control, lighting and occupancy sensors.

“The primary goal of a hotel is to put heads in beds. Guest comfort is one of the keys to that.”

Piercarlo Gramaglia, CEO, VDA Telkonet

Food & Beverage

Renowned chef Michel Roux Jr., who is delivering the closing keynote at the AHC, offers his insights into crafting compelling and sustainable food and beverage experiences. 

“Since coming out of the pandemic, guests are looking even more for the special experience. It’s not just about the food on the plate, it’s not just about great service, it all has to come together, from the moment you book to the moment that you walk out of the door it’s about creating memories.” 

Michel Roux Jr., Chef  

In light of this, RBH has been seeking better coffee supplier partnerships and measuring their carbon footprint on menu items in an effort to reduce them across the group. 

“…consumers want to be presented with menus and drinks lists that have had some thought put into them… expectations are becoming greater.”

Will Macpherson, Group Director of Food & Beverage, RBH

Also ahead of the conference, Joe Stather from Questex commented on the aim and goal of the AHC.

“What we’re really trying to do with the AHC is to have a programme of speakers that celebrate strategies that are succeeding through these very volatile times. What you will see at the AHC are strategies that have been successful by adapting to the current market conditions. Doing that quickly and anticipating what the short to medium term trends look like in order to put their business in the best possible place to maximise revenue, maximise profit, mitigate any downside risk, and therefore continue to drive the value of their asset.”

Joe Stather, VP Market Lead, Operational Real Estate, Questex 

For more information and to register for AHC (11-12 September 2023), visit http://www.theahc.co.uk

Standard ticket – available until 8 September 2023​ – £1,200
Onsite ticket – available until 12 September 2023​ – £1,330