A key benefit of being part of a global hotel franchise network is access to support services and first-hand knowledge to guide and support the growth of your hotel.
Choice Hotels Asia Pac franchisees are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
The hotel group’s support team is focused on helping hotels with day-to-day operational advice, growing revenue, reducing expenses, as well as assisting franchisees in realising their short- and long-term goals.
Through regular interactions with the support team, owners are able to maximise the benefits of group services, including bespoke and group wide marketing initiatives, sales team outreach to consortia and corporate clients, and optimise their rates and revenue through the revenue management team.
The franchisee support team is split into three core groups – Franchisee Performance Managers, a 24/7 call centre and support team, and system support services.
Franchisee Performance Managers are assigned to each hotel and work directly with owners and general managers to set rate strategies, monitor and grow Gross Rooms Revenue (GRR), offer operational insights. The performance managers ensure each hotel is optimising its distribution strategy and tapping into the Asia Pacific group’s corporate business opportunities via the national sales team.
Choice Hotels Asia Pacific CEO Trent Fraser said the Franchisee Performance Managers are a great asset for hoteliers and act as a key conduit between franchisees and head office, ensuring owners get the most out of the systems and services available to them.
“Our performance managers have significant industry experience, having worked in senior roles on the ground in some of the biggest hotels in Asia Pacific, and they have a specialist understanding of the accommodation sector in our region.
“They’re invested in the success of each of the properties they manage and are able to step back, take in the big picture for the business, and guide owners into growth areas they may not have considered before.”
24/7 call centre support
The Franchisee Support team runs a 24/7 call centre and manages many of the day-to-day processes for reservations, payment and booking enquiries. With approximately 25 percent of all hotel room nights in 2022 coming through Choice Hotels proprietary channels, this is a significant stream of managed bookings.
This team looks after over half-a-million local Choice Privileges loyalty program members, ensuring they get VIP service when they book a Choice Hotels property.
Franchisees have access to a communications platform (MyChoice), which is a dedicated website with news and updates from the group, and is the gateway to the online procurement platform, The Marketplace, where hotels have access to group pricing and negotiated deals on a large range of products.
Choice Hotels provides a range of IT solutions to streamline franchisees operations. The System Support team provides setup and ongoing technical support for the choiceADVANTAGE® property management system and integrated revenue management system ChoiceMAX™.
A network of experts
Quality Apartments Banksia Albany owner Martin North said being part of a network had been a huge advantage to his hotel.
“We first opened our property as an independent back in 2014 and we made the decision to join Choice. What I really like about the group is it’s not a cookie-cutter approach. We still have the opportunity to be ourselves. We’re an individual hotel. However, we are part of a much bigger group,” said Mr North.
“I love the fact that we have a network. If I have a problem, there’s normally someone that can help me solve that problem. I also like the fact that I’ve got professionals available. I’ve got a marketing professional, I’ve got a sales professional, I’ve got revenue management professionals, I’ve got operations professionals and I’ve also got the support of my other franchisees.”
Initial systems training and ongoing learning is a big part of the franchisee experience. All new franchisees undertake the LAUNCH training program, either in person in Melbourne or online, which gives them the opportunity to learn the range of marketing, sales, support and revenue management services available to them, while also providing an opportunity to engage with the teams responsible for supporting the growth of their businesses.
Mr Fraser said the network of hotel operators offered incredible opportunities to network and learn from each other.
“We support a team of regional leaders, selected from across the Asia Pacific region, who provide a peer-group point of contact. Regional meetings are held every year, with a roadshow visiting each state to present on the groups results and goals, provide information on upcoming marketing campaigns to promote hotels, and to give support, inspiration and networking opportunities for franchisees and head office staff,” he said.
The biennial Conference brings franchisees from the entire Asia Pacific region to Australia for networking with franchisees, suppliers and the Choice Hotels Asia Pacific team, and a series of round table discussions, franchisee panels and training opportunities.
“The enthusiasm and commitment to excellence from our franchisee network is a real inspiration and its so exciting to get everyone together to share new ideas and learn new ways to grow their business and provide the best guest experience possible,” said Mr Fraser.
For more information about the support and services Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s offers its franchisees visit joinchoicehotels.com.au