The ability to attract guests to your hotel can seem like an art form at times. But have you ever tried to keep them away?
We sure hope not. For this discussion, though, we’re going to switch gears a bit and teach you how to get your prospective guests running for the hills and badmouthing your facility to anyone who will listen.
Sure, this sounds crazy, but the world is a little nutty right now, isn’t it? So, what we’re going to do now is apply a little reverse psychology and give you some tips on how to make a bad impression and keep guests away from your hotel:
Who needs a clean hotel anyway? If your guests walk into a poorly maintained facility, they may just turn around right then and there, and keep on driving to find a place to stay. Peeling paint, a disorganized lobby, and a floor that hasn’t been vacuumed in a month is a great start. If you can leave food around to help attract ants and cockroaches, too, then your hotel’s reputation will spread like wildfire.
The interior tricks listed above are great, but a real professional will begin his or her deflection of guests outside the hotel. The goal here is to either force them to pass you right on by without stopping, or to get no further than the front door. We suggest you start by refusing to fix any burnt-out or flickering bulbs in the hotel’s sign. Next, make sure that the overgrown grass in front of the hotel is brown and unsightly. And, finally, if you can borrow from the interior tips and get the paint to peel or fade here, that would be perfect.
If grunge and dirt isn’t your style, then a splash of dated decor is sure to drive away even the most desperate of travelers. We’re not talking about a “retro” feel — that sort of thing can be attractive to guests these days — no, we’re talking about carpet, furniture, artwork, etc. that appear to have not been updated since the McCarthy era. Let things sit around long enough and you’ll clear your guest calendar very quickly. Good luck if that’s what you’re trying to achieve!
The less engaged your staff appears to be, the better your chances of having a prospective guest walk out without checking in. Before any engagement occurs between an employee and guest, a good strategy is to have the employee stay in the back and wait until they hear the desk bell being rung. Or, even more effective — remove the clapper and chuckle as your guests hit the bell over and over for more service, to no avail. Then all your star needs to do is act completely disinterested.
Now more than ever, guests require that hotels keep up on advanced technology, whether it’s key cards for the doors, wi-fi access, or check-out options through their phone. Keeping this in mind, going back as close as you can to the stone age when it comes to technology is a surefire way to scare guests away. The possibilities here are endless, of course, but if you could somehow find a way to integrate an 8-track player and one of those old credit card machines that made the loud “chi-chunk!” sound, then — well, we’re sure you can win some kind of reward.
Are you one of those rare hotel managers or owners that actually want to draw in guests instead of driving them away? That’s probably a better strategy — so, when you’re ready to give them what they want, contact the professionals at Mars Hospitality and we’ll lend a helping hand.