David Hunter, the Hospitality Business Mentor, firmly believes that three quarters of the failing accommodation providers he meets could be saved with the right focus, processes and management techniques.
A report last year highlighted a 61% increase in hotel insolvencies during 2009.
David Hunter comments: “The greatest challenge faced by most failing hospitality businesses is a lack of commercial understanding in the management team. People open a restaurant because they can cook or run a hotel because they enjoy being a host. These are vital skills but they are not enough without the essential business acumen that keeps the management elements flowing.”
Throughout the last 25 years David has rescued hundreds of failing businesses, many of which the owners themselves had even given up on. Once the proprietors are convinced by Hunter about the viability of their business Hunter says it often comes down to a few key things:
Hunter elaborates: “In most cases there is a lack of understanding and awareness about simple accounting procedures such as profit and loss, and cashflow. Too often, businesses don’t even have monthly P&L Accounts, as I would recommend – most are disappointingly only doing this annually. You just CANNOT pick up problems in time from an annual P&L. Profitability is key, and is often underanalysed, meaning that the operator doesn’t know where he needs to improve things.
Poor stock control is a problem, including both over and under-ordering – both of which can cause problems with customer satisfaction. And finally there is poor staff management, whether it is the wrong staffing levels, or the wrong people, it can be a disaster for any establishment.”
David Hunter firmly believes that following a few key rules and focusing on the management side of their business up to 75% of the hospitality providers in the UK that are currently struggling could well be saved through better management.