Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Inn -- a great F&B idea or another darn upgrade?

According to this WSJ article Holiday Inn has just completed " a sweeping, global overhaul that upgraded their hotels' bedding, signs, lobbies and showers, among other things, at an average cost to [franchisees] of $300,000 a property."

In the industry this is called a PIP.  So now what? On to the next one?  The next idea is to incorporate breakfast buffets (a la Embassy Suites?), socialize the meal process and streamline food and beverage service to cut back on labor costs.  This will, however, be implemented gradually, starting with some test markets to see if the idea works.  Although I am not a frequent HI, I actually like this idea.  That said, while the whole social networking thing is an interesting concept, most lobbies I see aren't usually big hubs of activity unless there is free food.  Also, just because you finish one program does not mean you should not be on to the next idea to maintain relevance.  It is almost like the people who redesign the menus at casual restaurant chains -- finish one and start the next!  I also wonder if some franchisees will try to incorporate the cheaper portions of this idea faster to cut labor cost.  I'll be interested to see whether and how this is implemented and whether this and the other HI upgrades pay off.

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