How to Avoid 'Zombie' Hotel Rooms and Other Spaces

Hospitality professionals are always trying to make the best possible spaces for their guests to spend time in, from bedrooms and meeting rooms to bars, restaurants and conference spaces, but, as an operator, do you know when these spaces are actually in use?

You might think you do, but the reality is you often don't.

You might know they are booked, but you don’t know if they are actually in use. Is that difference important to you? It should be. If you don’t know if these spaces are actually in use, they could become ‘Zombie’ rooms (booked but no show), which is a drain on your resources. 

Let’s take a look at how you could utilize each of these spaces separately:

Meeting rooms – Are meeting rooms booked and not used? Can we rebook/use them rather than letting them go unused? If you did, this could potentially bring in more revenue.

Conference spaces – How are these spaces being used when they are in use? How often are they used? Do people actually turn up when they are booked? 

Bedrooms – If someone has a device charging in the bedroom, it is extremely likely they are in their room – especially if it is a mobile phone.

Facilities – Do people use particular spots more than others? Why? Do their choices show space usage or routes followed in the building?

F&B – Which bars/restaurants are full/empty and when? Some tables or bar spaces are more utilized than others. Do we know why? Could moving a charging point to a frequently unused table or bar spot make it more attractive and therefore free up a normally attractive spot to non-chargers? Can we target customers via information such as dwell time with offers such drinks or food? If you offer the charging spot as a free service then make guests sign on via an app, you can find out more about the types of customers using your bars and restaurants and therefore target, engage and offer relevant promotions to individual guests.

Housekeeping – Which bedrooms are definitely free NOW, so you can build the cleaning schedule around those and leave the ones in doubt to the end.

The key to all of this is that as a hotelier you have spaces that could be more fully used to turn dead space into revenue driving opportunities. Could you take those empty meeting rooms and offer a small scale co-working type activity with existing assets then drive other hotel revenues with the extra visitors such as restaurant or spa visits?

The key is knowing in real time and with some degree of certainty, which resources are being used, where, when and why. It's also important to leverage historical data to plan accordingly for the future.

Paul Squires, Global Hospitality, Chargifi