Trends come and go in a flash of an eye, especially in the hospitality industry! However refurbishing your business for every trend is unrealistic. Completing a refurbishment can be very costly and will need to be planned carefully to avoid money being wasted on a premature refurb. Updating your business can be expensive and time consuming but often a short term disturbance to your business can do wonders in the long term and increase profit. It is a tricky decision to balance up whether your business needs a refurbishment. If your establishment’s interiors become tired or outdated customers expectations are unlikely to be unsatisfied which will negatively impact footfall and revenue for you. Liam O’Donnell, director of Valdivian Furniture, understands the difficulty of deciding whether it is time to invest in a refurb. Here, he reveals his 5 ways to know if your business is in need of a refurbishment.
Analyse Customer Reviews
A good platform to establish if you need to conduct a refurb is customer feedback. With the rise of review sites it is now crucial for hospitality businesses to monitor feedback and address any issues raised as quickly as possible, before they have the ability to escalate. Look for key mentions of any negative references to the interior, layout or facilities – ascertain customer satisfaction levels over the last year, overall were the majority of your customers happy with their stay? Did the business’s interior feature heavily in the complaints? Check to see if any customers offer constructive feedback on how the establishment could be modernised. These customer comments will provide vital initial feedback as to what, if anything, needs to be refurbished.
Check For Wear and Tear
Carrying out a thorough check of your establishment in order to spot any physical deterioration will rapidly bring to light if it is time to consider a refurb. Any stains, rips, fading of fabrics, peeling wallpaper, unpleasant smells or cold room temperatures will indicate an upgrade should be on the cards. The whole room may not need refurbishing, it could be that changing one element could freshen up the entire space such as replacing the carpet, updating the wallpaper or re-upholstering your seating. It is easy for costs to spiral out of control during a refurb as unexpected costs often rack up. Create a clear budget before starting any refurb, source and calculate the cost of all the materials needed as well as accommodating a 10% overspend buffer into your budget for the unexpected costs. It is important to first prioritise the areas of your business that need an update most and that will have the most impact for your business and sales revenue. Consider which statement pieces are worth splashing the cash for and which are the areas where you could potentially save.
Weigh up the Scale of Refurbishment
As mentioned above, a complete refurbishment may not be necessary, particularly if you are facing tight budget constraints. You will need to establish whether areas of your business need a complete overhaul or just a simple upgrade. The scale of the refurbishment will form the basis of your planning and will influence the realistic deadline for the refurbishment. You will need to take into account any health and safety criteria when commiting to a refurbishment which can bump up the costs. Health and Safety considerations can be quite substantial if you are planning to keep your business open to customers during the refurbishment. They can range from noise control, safe waste disposal, access to the site and, diverting and maintaining services such as water, gas and electricity. If you do decide a refurbishment is necessary depending on your location you may need to consider how this could affect your neighbours. It is best to plan any refurbs in your business’s quiet season to prevent any noise complaints or reputational damage. If you are planning a large scale refurbishment it may be worth staggering the changes to reduce the impact on your customers and surrounding neighbours.
Is it time for New Technologies?
Technological innovation is at an unprecedented pace and customers expect these technologies during their Hotel stay. Customers expect WIFI as a minimum nowadays, if all your bedrooms do not have fast WIFI access it may be time to refurbish your technology systems. The rise in popularity of Smart Technology and introduction of Wireless Charging will raise customer demands for their inclusion whilst away from home for a comfortable stay.
Evaluate Your Decor
If guests feel as though they are walking into a timewarp it is definitely time for a refurb. One predicted big interior trend for 2018 is the colour gold which is expected to replace the recent copper trend, also marble will be on its way out this year, replaced by Terrazzo. If you feel your business’s decor has not been refreshed recently, research upcoming trends and identify how you could incorporate them into your establishment.