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Hotel, hospitality and travel

7 Franchises Riding the Housing Boom

Many franchises have arisen that cater to the soaring home market. For busier and businer families, knowing the brand who to call is key. CNNMoney features 7 franchises that are riding the housing boom: Garage Tek, Designs of the Interior, Kitchen Solvers, Mosquito Squad, Floor Covering International, Spring-Green Lawn Care, and Home Team Inspection Service.

And why are these types of franchises booming?

Business Travel Management

Colin Rorrie, a former president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International, a Dallas-based trade association says, “There is a growing sense of an improved economy, with more than 20,000 members in the meetings and events industry, which boosts business travel, including business meeting attendance. Dallas Business Journal

The message is loud and clear! Business travel expenses are going to go up for franchise business owners. It is also expected that airfares will increase by 6%, hotel rates by 9%, meal prices by 4% and car rental rates by 5% in the year 2006. Franchise business owners must find out ways to manage and monitor increasing travel expenses. Here are some tips that can be helpful in handling business travel expenses efficiently.

Synergy Of Antique Elegance With Contemporary Style

The hospitality franchise business is reviving from the worst recession of 2001 through the middle of 2003. Increased room occupancy and significant earnings have induced the hoteliers to upgrade their properties with new look and style. The Sheraton Gunter Hotel, San Antonio is also going to go for a make over with Ralph Lauren flair.

Personalized Customer Services and Guest Satisfaction

In response to previous post, our friend JuanF has called our attention to a very significant point to achieve guest satisfaction. He says, "The thing that really impresses me is when a hotel knows my name and my small lodging preferences -- a chocolate chip cookie, Neutrogeno shampoo, the Wall Street Journal in the morning or a room at the end of the hallway where there is less noise. Now that is service but still rather rare."

I call this customer service with personalized attention. Such personalized customer service is imperative in hospitality franchise business to stay ahead of your competitors. It is essential to find out your guests' likes and dislikes to provide exclusive services. Now, let us try to figure out how to develop proactive methods and attitude for understanding your guests' needs and expectations.

Storage And Organizing Solutions At Your Doorstep

"HouseWall Garage System - A Florida company that makes garage-organizing systems has opened its first franchise in North Carolina with a location in Lexington that will serve the Triad." The Business Journal

Here is good news for prospective franchise buyers in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. South Florida's leading garage-organizing company is expanding its franchisee network under the leadership of Linda Sink, a 30 year veteran of the home furnishing industry. The company has already opened its first franchise in Lexington, North Carolina.

In-Room Amenities and Guest-Satisfaction

"In a 2005 hotel guest-satisfaction study, the marketing information firm JD Power and Associates found that an in-room refrigerator ranked third among the desired amenities after free continental breakfast and an in-room coffeemaker." USAToday

As discussed in previous post, guest satisfaction is the key to success in hospitality franchise business. In-room amenities play an important role in gaining guest satisfaction and guest loyalty. Let us try to find out what kind of in-room amenities are offered by business hotels as well as leisure hotels and what are the expectations and requirements of well traveled, elegant corporate travelers and leisure travelers.

Key to Success in Hospitality Franchise Business

Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, says, "There has been tremendous growth in consumer spending on experiences, on travel and on dining pleasures evidenced in the fourth quarter (of the year 2005) and less spent on home luxuries including personal items such as apparel and jewelry." Hotel Interactive. This is certainly heartening news for the hospitality franchise business.

How to cash on this emerging trend? One obvious answer is to create "Aha" moments for the guests to experience. By Aha moments, I mean creating wonderful, memorable guest experiences.

As per Malcolm Knapp, restaurant industry trend tracker, ‘Living well is everybody's goal at the moment.' So, if acquiring experiences or living well is what guests are looking forward to, then Increased guest satisfaction is all that is required to succeed in hospitality franchise business. Overall guest satisfaction can be determined by two parameters. One is providing better amenities like better rooms, excellent food and beverages, adding value added services like a complimentary breakfast, in-room refrigerators and coffee makers, pillow top mattresses and high-speed Internet access etc. Hospitality franchise owners can also offer new innovations like satellite radio, Internet check-ins etc.

A second and more important factor is creating strong emotional bonds with the guests. Our feelings determine buying behavior and they are best stimulated by warm and friendly interaction. Providing excellent customer services, envisioning the requirements of your guests and providing them before they are requested. Making your guests feel special is the key to success in hospitality franchise business. There is no alternative to good customer service.

Green Hotels at Fairmont

A new way for hotels to go green has arrived at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Computers at the check-in desk will now be powered by wind energy. Considering the massive amounts of electricity a hotel uses, it's a small step for each hotel but collectively the chain has purchased 116 megawatts of power for the year. Hotel Travel News quotes Michelle White, Fairmont''s manager for environmental affairs as being very bullish on Fairmont's green attempts.

Value Place Hotel-Apartments Gain 350 Franchise Commitments

Here's an interesting opportunity. Wichita-based Value Place hotel-apartment chain has a franchise concept as a "short-term residential" hotel-apartment combination, and has received some 350 franchise commitments for properties in 27 states. Its executives expect that the fairly new firm of three years will have 60 franchise and corporate-owned properties by the end of 2006, up from 14 now.

The founder of this new chain is Jack DeBoer, who created such brands as Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites and Candlewood Suites.

Value Place president and franchisee Gina-Lynne Scharoun told real estate journal

Hotels Take 'Know Your Customer' To A New Level

"American hoteliers just don't get the details of individual consumers", said a Japanese executive to me many years ago. He continued, "I love our [Japanese] hotels because they anticipate to the finest detail what I want before I even realize I want it."

I thought politely to myself, "what Japanese hotels are these because the one's I know sure aren't anticipating my needs."