box of chocolate truffles with red roses

A Valentine’s Postmortem

Come Monday morning, the aura of a hopefully bountiful Valentine’s Day will have passed and, with a pound of chocolate-covered strawberries still lodged in your small intestine, it will be time to assess your successes and your shortcomings for this holiday boon. Importantly, such evaluations should be rather illuminating; they will be quite handy when planning next February’s big day or any other major celebration of this nature throughout the year.

Typically, I start with a year-over-year packages sold comparison. This is followed by a detailed assessment of the big dinner, starting with year-over-year average dollars sold by table, and then drilling down to each dish to see which were most popular, beverages (primarily an analysis of the alcohol sold) and turns. Beyond this, I drill down to any specific experimentation that was done with the holiday, any associated metrics and any ensuing qualitative feedback. It also doesn’t hurt to take a quick peek at TripAdvisor or other popular websites to see if there were any specific comments. That’s it in its simplest form. Do you measure your results differently?

These sorts of rudimentary analyses will help you deliver a more satisfying (and hopefully lucrative!) Valentine’s Day but my hope is that you can apply any accrued insights towards far greater purposes. Primarily, you should look to imbue your Valentine’s Day experiments into a year-round romantic getaway package as well as your weddings business. The apt question here is: How can you make every weekend just as special as Valentine’s Day?

Obviously, the majority of this application must be considered on a property-by-property basis, and for this, I am always available for a chat or by email. One general suggestion I can make which has seen substantial success in the past is that you look to ‘Prix Fixe’ your package offerings. By this I mean that you should aim to hide the prices of individual line items into one holistic fee, and then express all the promotion’s features in elaborate detail.

Stray away from discounts – this should only be a last minute tactic. Instead focus on a superior price standpoint to elevate your brand with a glut of included features so that guests don’t focus so much on the cost but on the benefits and the outstanding experience they will have. Making the package available only through direct contact with the property enhances margins through the obvious elimination of sales commissions. So ask yourself how you would ‘Prix Fixe’ a year-round package at your property and no doubt this will lead you in fruitful direction.

(Article by Larry Mogelonsky, published in HotelsMAG on Tuesday, February 17, 2015)

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