Hotel operations is creating new revenue streams for Nordic Choice Hotels

"We are trying to break down walls and become something more"

Operations is the most important part of the hotel industry, but having spent much of my career in marketing and revenue management, I can’t help but be constantly looking for ways operational excellence can make more money for hotels as well.

Christian Lundén is the same. He’s VP of Strategic Growth at Nordic Choice Hotels and he and I spoke recently about how he parlays operational expertise into creating new revenue streams.

Scandinavian citizens stay in a hotel an average of 1.4 days a year, and you want to create new experiences to be more relevant, more often, in your guests’ lives. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Our most frequent guests are maybe spending 60 days a year with us on average, meaning we have 300 days that we are not talking to them.

We’re thinking about how can we be more relevant for more people, more often. That might include providing services and other things that maybe don’t have anything to do with travel.

We are trying to see how can we break down the walls of hotels and become something more than just something that you’re traveling to and become more of a part of your everyday life.

What are some of the capabilities that you see you have as a hotel company that enable you to provide hospitality in new and creative ways?

If we look at our industry and our business, we are not just selling a bed and a breakfast – we are actually creating an experience that’s really nice.

The worst thing with hotels is that at some point you need to check out. So how can we deliver the feeling and atmosphere and surroundings and experiences even if you’re not spending time in our hotels?

We started thinking about this before the pandemic. We started a service called ‘Hotel Feeling’ where we come and clean our customer’s homes and can provide linen, pillows, bathrobes, and soaps to make them feel like they have their own little hotel room at home.

Then the question became, how can we create this kind of hotel feeling in other places?

We wanted to see if we could create it in the workplace as well. We see many co-working places trying to more or less copy what we’re doing in hotels. Why shouldn’t we be able to do that as well, especially now when people work in a different way than a few years ago?

The workplace is becoming more like a social place. You are probably working at home when you’re trying to get some peace and quiet and do some real work and then you are using the offices as somewhere where you can meet your colleagues and talk and interact in a social way.

The companies that we are working with see that providing nice, hotel-style amenities in their offices – whether that’s a breakfast or a lunch or a workout or spa or after work – makes people want to come to the office.

  • Opportunities going into other companies’ offices and providing services vs inviting people to work in their hotels

  • Opportunities in retail and ecommerce (I’m never buying a mattress the old way again!)

  • Prioritizing opportunities

What I’m reading

  • Short-Staffed Hotels Offer Career Growth to Hire Workers [Wall Street Journal]

  • Say Goodbye To Daily Room Cleaning [New York Times]

  • Remington Turns To Tech To Fill Labor Gaps [MDO]

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