Best Western Australasia has opened up on initiatives it has implemented in recent months to support franchisees struggling under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the crisis on a wider company level.
Measures including the waiving of 50% in franchise fees, which has been supplemented by a generous salary sacrifice undertaken by head office staff. Support teams have also been communicating regularly with franchisees, sending out frequent messages of support, recommendations and advice on matters such as operational procedures, in-house cleaning, government support programs, travel restrictions and other relevant topics.
Hyper local sales leads and assistance in uncovering opportunities for hotels to market to their key regions and demographics about self-isolation in hotels as well as offering rooms to emergency service and frontline healthcare workers needing temporary housing. Local sales and marketing tool kits have been created to offer education on trading and travel conditions across Australia and New Zealand, including guidance on social media, direct marketing and dealing with media enquiries.
Further, BWH Hotels temporarily suspended its Quality Assurance Reviews system and relevant brand standards in order to comply with travel restrictions.
BWH Hotel Group Australasia Managing Director, Graham Perry, said the challenges at hand were unlike normal business fluctuations. The whole world had changed.
“Since the middle of March, the senior team has convened daily, enabling us to review the unfolding facts, debate the consequences and react as one by implementing a range of measures to sustain our hotels,” Perry said.
“We’ve become a highly nimble and responsive group, delivering comprehensive and ongoing innovations and support as and when required to help our hotels remain open and perform as best they can.”
“Pleasingly, with Best Western support and the individual efforts of our hotels, all Best Western’s Australasian hotels have remained open and all BWA staff remain in place, albeit all on significantly reduced salaries,” Perry added.