Labor Day is the last big travel weekend of the summer, with many vacationers making their plans in the spur of the moment. Last year, over 16 million people traveled via airline over the Labor Day weekend – which meant that the hotels near their destinations needed to accommodate millions of these guests, not counting those who traveled by car or by train.
If you’re a hotel owner or manager, you need to plan for a massively increased volume of guests in just a short amount of time. Large hotel chains may be planning for Labor Day already, but smaller hotels, bed and breakfasts, and those just starting out in the hotel industry may appreciate the extra advice. Here are a few tips.
1. Prepare for an Influx of Guests
One of the most important things to remember is that your hotel should look clean and tidy when guests arrive, and it should stay that way under conditions of heavier-than-average foot traffic. Every area of your hotel should be prepared for a spike in additional visitors:
- Rooms: Since many guests prefer not to be disturbed by maid service during their stay, you may not have an opportunity to give rooms a thorough cleaning until they leave. Therefore, you should stock up on cleaning supplies and give rooms a deep cleaning before the Labor Day weekend arrives.
- Lobby: This is the first hotel area that your guests will see, so it makes sense to provide a good impression. Before Labor Day arrives, make sure to replace worn-out furniture and clean all surfaces – then clean all surfaces at increased intervals throughout the weekend in order to account for increased usage.
- Bar: Do your guests have a space to relax after a long day? Prepare your bar. Before Labor Day is a great time to order extra glasses, drink containers, and cleaning supplies so you can create a pleasant space for your guests to indulge.
2. Train Your Employees Accordingly
There are going to be a lot more travelers in your hotel than normal. For this reason, your administrative procedures are going to feel the brunt. People will have to wait in line while others check in, room service personnel will be running back and forth, and your cleaning services will be pushed to the limit.
In situations like this, your staff might look at your additional guests as more of an encumbrance than a source of revenue. Some may need coaching in order to retain their professionalism under fire. Do what you can to make their jobs easier as well, using bonuses, additional breaks, and other incentives to make sure that your employees can exhibit grace under fire.
3. Spur-of-the-Moment Travelers Pack Poorly
The thing about Labor Day is that people tend to forget that it’s coming up. Many of the individuals who visit your establishment over the Labor Day weekend are people who’ve made plans at the very last minute. And, as we all know, packing at the last minute is a great way to forget your sunscreen, toothbrush, and beach towel.
In other words, you should anticipate that some travelers are going to arrive at your hotel without things they need. If your hotel lobby includes a commissary, gift shop, or other retail area, you should stock up on the kinds of things that your guests often forget. They’ll be grateful for a convenient opportunity to replenish their forgotten creature comforts.
The only thing better than an influx of business during Labor Day are the repeat customers you’ll make if you follow the steps above. Train your staff, prepare your rooms, and make sure your guests get any amenities they need. With luck, your happy visitors won’t just be back next year – they’ll recommend your establishment to their friends and family as well.