Independent hotels are a key force in the UK hospitality world. As estimated by Melvin Gold Consulting, they account for 51 per cent of the market, compared to the 45 per cent for branded chain hotels.
Whilst there is stiff competition from major chains that have an increased focus on the marketing and development of their brand portfolios, the creation of unique guest experiences is where independent hotels can thrive.
The independent hotel is closer to the customer and so can react and deliver these experiences in close to real-time. This is a strong proposition, especially when combined with the rise of the millennial market segment, who covet authenticity and originality, and who embrace the latest technology and social trends.
If independent hotels are to capitalise on their differentiators from global brands, coupling investment into smart technology and design with getting their legal house in order would be a good place to start.
To assist with building an efficient legal framework, various elements of hotel management agreements that govern the relationship between hotel owners and operators could be tailored to suit the needs of an independent hotel. For example, supplier or management contracts can stipulate minimum service levels to ensure that guests receive the personalised, unique experience they are after. Such provisions will help independent hotels retain control over how others provide services to the business and deal with any issues swiftly and, most importantly, keep customers happy.
For more information or if you have any specific queries on this topic, please contact the hotels, hospitality and leisure team.