The best way for hotels to stay in business is to make the most of what’s available, according to a recent report by the hotel industry lobby group Hotels Australia.
In other words, the industry says, they need to look out for the best deals on what they sell and they need a reliable supplier to do so.
But while the industry’s advice is generally good, it doesn’t necessarily mean the most reliable hotels are always the best.
It’s just a matter of finding the best deal.
The report, commissioned by the Australian Hotel & Restaurant Association, looked at what hoteliers have been charging and the results can be pretty revealing.
For example, hoteliers from both the top and bottom of the hospitality sector were more likely to say their hotel supply was better than what they were offered.
That may be because they’re better off, and less likely to pay extra for something that might not be the best value, the report found.
The industry also suggested hoteliers look at the prices of products that they buy and whether they can sell them cheaper than what the industry offered.
“The most common recommendation we got was ‘always ask your supplier’,” says Kate Dickey, a director of hotel supply at the Australian Association of Hotels.
“If they don’t charge, don’t buy.”
In the report, hotels said that a majority of their supply was made in-house and was reliable.
“Houses have been the backbone of our hospitality business for decades, providing the quality and comfort we know our customers expect,” says John Kogan, a senior vice president at the Association of Australian Hotels and Restaurants.
“But today we need to focus on the quality of our supply and provide the best price to meet their needs.”
So what is the supply of hotel supplies?
According to the survey, hotels can be a source of high-quality products, but there are some areas that they should be wary of buying.
“When it comes to hotel supplies in particular, we believe there are several areas where hotels can make a significant and positive contribution to the hospitality industry,” says Katharine Murphy, vice president of research at Hotel Supplies Australia.
These include: the supply chain: what products you buy from hotels are the ones that you can trust?
When it comes time to make a purchase, hotels are typically able to supply a good number of products, from furniture to cleaning products.
“This is the area where hotels are generally a source for a good amount of products,” Ms Murphy says.
“They can supply you with things like bedding, bedding linens, towels, etc.”
That said, there are a few areas that hotels can’t supply that would need to be investigated further.
For instance, they can’t guarantee the quality or durability of their products.
So if a hotel says that a product is 100 per cent recyclable, but the product itself is not, it may not be 100 per of the recyclables that it’s supposed to be.
“There are also some products that may not necessarily be recyclably sourced, and in some cases it may be questionable whether or not the product actually recycles,” Ms Dickey says.
And then there are the things hotels can only supply through an overseas supplier.
“For hotels, they cannot supply to Australia because they don�t have an Australian presence,” Ms Murphy says.
For hotels, hotels cannot supply products overseas because they are not based in Australia.
“Hotels can only sell products in their own home country, so if they have an overseas supply chain, they don’t have the capacity to provide those products to Australians,” Ms Kogan says.
So how do hotels avoid being left behind?
The report suggests that hotels are more likely than other industries to make investments in research and development.
“Our report suggests hotels are particularly encouraged to focus their research and innovation efforts on areas that may benefit from the added investment,” Ms Cramer says.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be looking for other ways to get more out of their suppliers.
“It would be good to take advantage of opportunities that have emerged in the hospitality supply chain to deliver quality products at lower prices, so that they can attract more visitors and stay in their hotels,” Ms Sosni says.
Hotels can also look to suppliers overseas for help.
For that, hotels should “look for suppliers who have an internationally recognized reputation, are reliable and are committed to the long-term sustainability of their brand,” Ms Hickey says, adding that hotels should also seek out suppliers that have the same commitment to sustainability.
“To be able to provide a good experience, you need to have a long-standing, sustainable supplier, and that supplier will help ensure the quality that you are getting at the end of the supply chains.”
Hotels should also be looking to suppliers abroad for suppliers of certain products.
The Association of