• Friday, July 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Why hotels fail in Nigeria

Why hotels fail in Nigeria

Look around you, on every street corner you have boutique hotels springing up fast, apartment turning into hotels, One room turning into Air B&B you hotels, and just as they spring up fast they close up even faster.

Owner’s interference

I am the Ex CEO of a bank; I have run 5 companies, I am a financial “WizKid” so what is so complicated in running a hotel? Hmm stop right their; running a hotel in Nigeria is not the same as running a hotel in Europe; Owner interference is the main reason why hotels in Nigeria fail; Owners believe they know it all and they know more than the hospitality expert and hence they open a hotel and after 6 month they realise that it is not business as usual

No online presence

About 80 percent of hotel in Nigeria lack online presence and do not have a website. No website means a loss in up to 50 percent of your revenue. For as little as N70,000 you can have a website, an official email address and a Pay Direct button embed into your site all handled by Horeca Cloud.

No investment in training

It is Monday- 9.00am and your waiter just quit by 3.00 pm you have hired his replacement; No prior background check was done/ no reference check; the new waiter has no knowledge of the hotel facility and yet you are shouting that the service is bad and business is slow.

VAT is now 7.5 percent, what is service charge?

Let’s face it the new VAT and CBN stamp put a damper on hotel revenue. It means more remittance and more tax. Hello Mr Hotel Owner this does not solely affect you. Hotels that pay their staff service charge have seen over 70 percent increases in guest and employee satisfaction. Service charge is 10 percent in Nigeria and is also known as the staff tips paid in bulk.

My brother is the GM and my wife is the procurement officer & MD

Before you hire your family member as the manager of your hotel ensure that they have gotten the proper training and are equipped to run a hotel. Jones Hospitality offer short term training for clients wishing to manage and run small hotels.

Disregarding feedback

Most guests read online reviews of hotels before making a choice. Not paying attention to feedback from guests will impact negatively on the online reservation stream. When the negative reviews outweigh the positive reviews without follow up responses by the hotel, online potential bookers become apprehensive and look for alternatives within the same star grade and pricing. Most hotels offer feedback forms either at check out or in the room.

Seasonality

Most hotels/restaurants do not put into recognizance that the hospitality has its low and peak seasons. When the peak and low periods are established, it is always brilliant to plan ahead to sustain the business.

Poorly serviced room

Guest to receptionist “Can I see your manager” I want a refund, the roof is leaking, the bed sheet is dirty, there is no hot water in my room. “Hmm oga abeg no refund o, My MD has travelled but please sir can I give you a bucket and boil hot water for you? We also have fan as the AC is not working.”

The above dialogue is the norm in boutique hotels in Nigeria. Poorly cleaned and maintained rooms will cause dissatisfaction and affect repeat guests. When guests do not get value for their money, they make alternative plans. Air conditioning, hot water, water pressure, bad mattress, linens and towers, ambiance, poor TV signal is some of the major complaints about rooms. It is more frustrating for guests where they are moved to another room and they experience the same or even worse challenges from the previous room.

Staff welfare

Oh God what kind of Job is this? It is the 15th of the month and I have not been paid, No staff meal, late payment of salary, no medical; this is the cries of 70 percent of waiters in Nigeria; you owe and you owe them and yet you wonder why they steal? Dear Hotel owner your excuse is that business is down and we are not doing well? But guess what if you did the right thing from the beginning business will be up; do not punish the staff.

Be guided.

 

IJEOMA UGAMAH

Ijeoma is a leader in hospitality and Horeca and can be contacted on [email protected].