‘The Show Must Go On’

The hospitality industry worldwide has been affected by these uncertainties. However, the show must go on and we are all prepared for our second innings to serve smiles once again.

Change is the only thing permanent in life. During these recent weeks of lockdown, team Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport has worked vigorously to make our new world a better place and to make this property a safe place for guests to stay and teams to work.

At Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport, we have taken all the steps to ensure the entire ecosystem of our hotel is well sanitised, clean, and safe. We have left no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of the guests. The hotel leadership team has brainstormed extensively to create constructive strategies to combat the effect of COVID-19 on our business. From the time the guest will land at the airport and sit in our car till he is dropped back to the airport, we have ensured that all touchpoints of a guest are 100 per cent safe, secure, and sanitised. We have visual depictions in place giving the much needed confidence to any guest while choosing to book with us or for our teams to be working with us. 

The hospitality industry worldwide has been affected by these uncertainties. However, the show must go on and we are all prepared for our second innings to serve smiles once again.

Revenue Streams

We know that times are tough and it will take a while for things to get back to normal. However, we are all social and I am positive that guests will start to travel again, soon. I presume this will start once the fear of Falling sick gets over and that can only happen with brands that the guest trusts. 

Being a global brand, Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) has an extensive network of distribution, sales and marketing. We have recently launched the #RadissonCares program that gives the much needed comfort to our guests to re-book with us, real soon. In future guests are going to be very specific about where they stay and safety is going to be the biggest reason to book a hotel. Since we are prepared, we should see recovery sooner. We may also be able to bridge the revenue gap by not dropping our rates when guests start to travel, as we give them the assurance of safety seal at our hotels.

In the interim we have launched some additional revenue streams, that may not be too big in terms of revenue but keeps our cash registers ringing. We may never be able to recover the lost revenue but we can ensure we are prepared for the future. Some of the initiatives are Food delivery, Take away menu, Laundry service to our guests at their home, and also facility and sanitisation management for office. 

Diners are here to remain

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport is an ISO 22000:2005 certified hotel and we house award winning restaurants and outlets like NYC, The Great Kabab Factory and Neung Roi, apart from our colonial styled Savannah Bar. We have 22 years of legacy of running such iconic outlets. 

Though we have started home delivery and take away for our loyal and regular patrons, but I feel that this is only a stop gap arrangement for our guests to satisfy their hunger cravings. Once business re starts, we will have our walk in diners come back to us to dine in the safe and secure environment and do business the way they used to do it earlier. Virtual / isolated meetings may be happening at the moment since there is no other option but if you ask me this is not as productive as physical meetings were. Family Dinners cannot happen with take away / home delivery for long, it is happening as of now due to restrictions and may continue for some time but cannot replace walk in diners due to the lively environment, servers and chefs interaction and the overall ambience. 

Hence I feel that apart from IRD, Home delivery, take away, the diners are here to remain. Business needs to move on. 

The Positive Outlook

As the fear of COVID 19, starts to go down, and we agree to live with it, domestic tourism is sure to rebound faster. We have about 11 million inbound guests yearly out of which 70 per cent are from Bangladesh and have about 25 million outbound guests. I am very confident that the outbound guest will look for options within India, firstly to contribute towards one’s own country’s economic growth and secondly for availability of multiple options and competitive rates. Hence, I have a very positive outlook for the near future with domestic tourism.

During these challenging times, we have ensured we live one of the beliefs of RHG which is “We believe in open and direct interactions to build trust” and continue to remain transparent and involved with the team in every decision that the hotel is taking which could impact them either directly or indirectly. We have done a mass survey on what should the hotel be doing in term s of mitigating costs, and improving revenue and I must say I have been able to benefit a lot by getting some out of the box suggestions from the team. We have been doing e town hall, virtual department communication meetings, virtual trainings, and personal calls to each and every team member to ensure that we are One Team. I am thankful and grateful to my ownership who have supported us in this time of need 

Redefining Business

The global situation needs us to think like business owners rather than only being process owners. At RHG, we have developed India Unification Plan, which looks at cluster that can benefit each hotel individually in terms of People, Process, Commercial, Procurement, Food and Beverage. Apart from this, we at the unit level are looking at ground zero to start with and then adding costs/expenses that we feel would be the requirement for future. This time of restriction has allowed us to restructure all costs and only have those in place which are really required by the guest and not what we feel is good to have. Moving on, all hotels will need to look at their costs like how we peel an onion, layer by layer, and get to the bottom of it. Else survival will be difficult. Having said that, once we do it now, we will benefit tremendously when business picks up as the yield will be much higher than before due to the steps we take now. 

Any crisis has always been the defining moment in the journey of a brand or industry and helps us to rediscover ourselves. The Covid-19 pandemic has given the entire world a new lesson. In the future, every hotel chain will have to adopt more advanced technologies, which could offer contact-free guest experience and ensure seamless operations. I feel as an industry and the capital that we deploy to build hotels, if we could invest even 30 per cent of that amount in technology, we would be at a different level in terms of recurring costs and making the entire process contact less.


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