5 Best Practices for Managing High Footfall in Hotels

Find out how to effortlessly manage high footfall in hotels with our top 5 best practices! From speedy check-ins to outstanding service, these tips will transform your guests' experience.

Peak seasons usually bring a boost of income for hotels, making effective management of the increased footfall crucial. A large influx of guests could strain resources and test a hotel's ability to maintain service standards.

Today’s guests expect seamless experiences during their stay, from check-in to check-out. In this guide, we’ll be giving you some best practices to help to navigate the complexities of these peak periods.

The goal is to transform the potential chaos of high footfall into an opportunity to showcase the hotel's commitment to excellence. Here are five ways this can be done…

1. Leverage technology for efficient operations

Hotels can streamline operations and enhance guest experiences by integrating advanced technological solutions, including things like:

Automated check-ins and check-outs

As a first contact point, the check-in experience can set the tone for the entire stay. During peak periods, lengthy queues at the reception desk can be tiring for guests, especially if they’ve already been travelling for a long time.

Self-service check-in/out kiosks allow guests to manage their stay without waiting in line. This slashes queue times, supercharging satisfaction from the outset.

Room management systems

An efficient room management system is essential during high-traffic periods. Modern room management technologies enable hotels to optimise housekeeping and maintenance schedules. They’re also handy in helping to divide tasks between staff based on real-time room data.

By minimising room turnaround times, hotels can accommodate more guests without compromising service. Plus, these systems can track maintenance issues, meaning staff can address problems quickly.

Guest service apps

Convenience is king, and guest service apps represent a step-change advancement in this area. They allow guests to make room service orders, book spa appointments, request amenities, and even control room settings – all from their smart devices!

A direct line of communication between guests and hotel services removes many friction points as it reduces the burden on front desk staff and improves response times to guest requests. Apps can even offer personalised recommendations and promotions based on guest preferences.

2. Staff training and empowerment

Empowering hotel staff with training and autonomy is vital for managing high footfall. An adept, versatile team ensures high operational efficiency. It also helps to deliver consistently positive guest experiences.

Cross-training staff

This involves training employees to perform tasks beyond their primary job functions, enabling them to support in different areas when needed. For example, a receptionist trained in concierge services can help and inform guests. Similarly, housekeeping staff trained in basic food and beverage service can help with room service during peak hours.

Cross-training boosts operational flexibility and contributes to a more supportive workplace culture.

Empowering frontline employees

Receptionists, concierges, and housekeeping staff often encounter guest issues. By empowering these employees to make quick decisions, the less they’ll need to escalate issues to higher management.

Empowerment can also take many forms… Staff can be given the authority to offer complimentary services when addressing minor complaints, or they can be trained in conflict resolution for more serious matters.

Empowering frontline staff with decision-making authority instils a sense of ownership and responsibility, boosting their morale and commitment to providing excellent service.

3. Enhance guest communication

Effective communication with guests is a cornerstone of successful hotel management – the guest experience is improved if hotels can provide clear, proactive communication even at the busiest times.

Pre-arrival communication

Effective pre-arrival communication with guests serves various purposes; it helps manage expectations, provides essential information, and begins the relationship-building process.

It's also a way to upsell services like room upgrades, spa packages, or dining reservations. By offering guests options to upgrade their stay, hotels could increase their revenues.

Real-time feedback mechanisms

Traditional post-stay feedback forms are useful for long-term improvements, and real-time feedback allows hotels to address guests' needs and concerns during their stay.

Implementing systems for guests to report issues or make requests in real-time allows the hotel to take immediate action, whether that's through an app, a text messaging service, or in-room tablets.

Real-time feedback also provides insights into guest experience areas that may need attention. By monitoring this feedback, hotels can refine their offerings and operational practices – even during peak operational periods.

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4: Strategic overbooking management

In the hospitality industry, strategic overbooking helps to maximise occupancy and revenue. It requires intelligent analysis of historical data and the establishment of strategic partnerships, but the strategy must be carefully managed to avoid impacting the guest experience.

Analysing historical data

A successful overbooking strategy depends on accurate historical data analysis. This analysis means hotels can accurately predict potential cancellations and no-shows. Factors might include the time of year, local events, and even flight cancellations.

This insight enables managers to strategically overbook rooms, which ensures occupancy remains high without the risk of overcommitting inventory. The goal is to strike a balance between maximum revenue and guest experience. For example, if historical data shows a 10% no-show rate during a particular peak season, the hotel might overbook by 8-10%.

Partnerships for overbooking solutions

Despite the best predictions, overbooking will sometimes result in more guests than rooms. To manage such situations, hotels can establish partnerships with nearby accommodations.

Choosing partnerships should depend on the quality and service standards of partner accommodations. This ensures guests receive a consistent experience. Hotels can also negotiate special rates or complimentary services as part of the agreement.

5: Prioritise guest experience enhancement initiatives

Hotels that go above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction really stand out; they foster loyalty and inspire word-of-mouth recommendations.

Here are two strategies for enhancing guest experience: personalisation and exceeding expectations.

Personalisation

Personalisation is a powerful tool for creating memorable guest experiences. Implementing personalisation depends on collecting and analysing guest data, and staff must also be trained to use this information.

For example, if a regular guest always requests a late checkout, offering this service upfront shows that you understand and respect their preferences. Such personal touches are powerful for generating brand loyalty and encouraging repeat visits.

Exceeding expectations

Even small gestures or complimentary services can influence guest perceptions. Some easy and proven options are:

  • Welcome drinks - A refreshing and welcoming start to a guest's stay, especially after a long journey.

  • Fast business Wi-Fi - Addresses a common guest need, especially for business travellers.

  • Complimentary upgrades - Returning guests or guests celebrating special occasions appreciate a complimentary room upgrade.

  • Personalised welcome notes - A handwritten note in the guest's room adds a personal touch that will resonate.

Checking out: A blueprint for future success

Strategic practices are key to managing and enhancing guest experiences - especially during periods of high footfall. Using technology, empowering staff, prioritising communication, managing overbooking, and focusing on personal touches support operational efficiency and guest satisfaction.

Guest expectations and hotel operational challenges are constantly changing. Hoteliers must regularly check and adapt their strategies to align with these changes. In doing so, they can navigate peak times with confidence and foster guest loyalty.

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