Most hotels do not need a TV-show inspired ‘hotel inspector’ on their doorstep to transform their operations, but hotel leaders everywhere require help sometimes, even industry veterans. When it comes to running your own hotel business, it can be a daunting task to decide whose advice to trust. With a few hotel consulting firms competing for attention and, indeed, business, there are a few factors hotel owners and operators should consider in their selection process.

In this blog, we detail what is involved in hotel consulting, why you may want to engage hotel consulting services, and list some top firms around the world.

What is hotel consulting?

Hotel consulting is a service provided to hotels, whereby an outside individual or team of consultants supports the hotel, usually its leadership, on a clearly defined project or business question. While that is not substantially different to other consulting firms that businesses hire every day, hotel consulting companies and consultants specialise in the hospitality industry.

In an industry that is used to employing temporary staff in day-to-day operations, consulting teams take on a much larger and more clearly defined role behind the scenes. The size of projects that hotel consulting firms work on tends to be substantial, with their engagement viewed as an investment into the business and its future. Their direct customer is not the hotel guest, but always the hotel and its leadership. The business of a consulting firm is mainly advisory in nature but can take the form of facilitating the setup of new areas of the business.

To find the best fit in a hotel consulting company, there are nuances to consider during the selection process based on a hotel’s specific needs.

What are the reasons to seek out hotel management and consulting firms?

Hotel management and consulting go hand in hand in a number of situations that warrant the support of someone not full-time employed by the hotel. Commonly, these situations include:

  • Being new to the industry, for example when opening a hotel for the first time
  • Being presented with a new business challenge or evolving market conditions, such as a shift in the type of guests attracted to the market
  • Re-strategising a hotel business for growth
  • Adapting to internal changes such as succession in a family business
  • Needing an outside opinion or even mediator / facilitator for conversation
  • Seeking support with branding, marketing, HR or other specific divisions
  • Re-designing facilities such as public spaces
  • Auditing
  • Asset management
  • Acquisition and development
  • New construction design
  • Operations analysis, (re)designing an optimally functioning servicescape and process improvement
  • Strategic planning

There really is no limit to the number of topics a hospitality consulting firm may support a business with, given that they are in business to help with every aspect of running a successful hospitality operation.

To determine the best professional help based on your situation, it is important to understand clearly where you are at right now and where you want to go. This may look like someone new to the industry wanting to build a boutique property, or an industry veteran re-strategising their business to stand out in a newly crowded market. Armed with that knowledge, hoteliers can evaluate potential consulting firms against their specific needs.