Americas Best Value Inn elevated high marks from guests into a cornerstone of revenue and system growth – as well as the No. 1 rank among economy hotel brands in J.D. Power’s 2023 NAGSI Study.
NEWTON, Massachusetts – Interest in hospitality’s economy segment continues to grow. With Sonesta International Hotels Corporation’s acquisition of Red Lion Hotels Corporation two years ago, we find ourselves in a unique position to make the most of our well-known brands in this space. We are excited to continue growing the Americas Best Value Inn (ABVI) brand, one of the strongest franchise opportunities in our portfolio. The competitive advantage of this guest-centric approach becomes even more relevant to new owners who will be attracted by our most recent accolade. Sonesta’s ABVI ranked No. 1 in guest satisfaction among economy hotel brands in the J.D. Power 2023 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study*.
The sector-topping J.D. Power ranking is a prestigious honor in the hospitality industry. Recognition for the brand’s award-winning performance can have a transformative effect on a business, enhancing its reputation, credibility and customer relationships. It serves as a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering outstanding value and experiences to its customers.
The fact that the recognition is for guest satisfaction only makes the award that much more impactful. Guest satisfaction plays a critical role in the success of a hotel in several ways.
Repeat business and loyalty: Satisfied guests are more likely to become loyal customers who choose to stay at the same hotel or brand on future visits. This repeat business generates a stable source of revenue for the hotel and brand. Loyal customers also tend to spend more on additional services, contributing further to the hotel’s revenue.
Positive reviews and word of mouth: Satisfied guests are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend the hotel to friends, family and colleagues. Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful marketing tools that attract new customers and build the brand’s reputation, which in turn can lead to increased bookings and revenue.
Higher occupancy rates: A brand with a reputation for excellent guest satisfaction is more likely to have higher occupancy rates, as travelers often prioritize accommodations with good reviews and high ratings. Increased occupancy rates lead to higher room revenue and improved financial performance.
Premium pricing: Hotels that consistently deliver exceptional guest experiences can command higher room rates and premium pricing. Guests often are willing to pay more for superior service, comfort and amenities, which directly contributes to hotel profitability.
Cost savings: Satisfied guests are less likely to complain or demand compensation for service shortcomings. This reduces the need for service recovery efforts and potential costs associated with addressing guest complaints.
Employee morale and performance: Happy guests contribute to a positive atmosphere within the hotel, which can boost employee morale and job satisfaction. Engaged and motivated staff are more likely to provide exceptional service, leading to higher guest satisfaction levels.
Competitive advantage: In a highly competitive industry, guest satisfaction can serve as a significant differentiator. Hotels that consistently exceed guest expectations create a distinct competitive advantage, attracting customers away from rival properties and receiving industry recognition.
Long-term sustainability: Long-term success is built on reputation and the ability to maintain a positive relationship with guests. Satisfied guests are more likely to contribute to the hotel’s sustainability by returning and recommending the hotel to others. Guest satisfaction drives business throughout the brand – encouraging trial of other brand locations.
Partnerships and collaborations: Positive guest experiences can lead to partnerships and collaborations with other businesses (travel agencies, event organizers and corporate clients) further expanding the hotel’s reach and revenue streams.
Feedback and improvement: Satisfied guests are more likely to provide constructive feedback, helping identify areas of improvement and cause necessary changes to enhance the overall guest experience. Continuous improvement based on guest input can lead to better services and offerings, contributing to the brand’s success.
Guest satisfaction has a direct and profound impact on success by driving repeat business, positive reviews, increased bookings, higher revenue, premium pricing, cost savings and competitive advantage. It is a cornerstone of a hotel brand’s reputation and long-term sustainability in the hospitality industry.
Sonesta is revitalizing ABVI, one of the strongest franchise opportunities and largest brand footprint within our portfolio, through a commitment to franchisee relationships and confidence in the continued growth trajectory of the economy segment. The recognition from J.D. Power only accelerates our plans.
Simple entry product
For potential franchisees looking to dip their toes into the Sonesta organization, ABVI provides a valued entry product. Sonesta is offering new franchisees a flat per room, per-month fee for ABVI.
- Providing this level of predictability with a flat fee allows franchisees to set certain cost projections and profitability thresholds and invest their time into improving the guest experience.
- This model is made available as part of Sonesta’s commitment to offering the simplest communication to its franchisees. What sets Sonesta apart is that it continues to own and operate hotels of its own and does not set terms for franchisees that would not make sense at the company’s owned properties.
- ABVI is also an ideal franchise option for owners who are juggling multiple businesses and want a low-risk entry into a new brand.
Fast, friendly, flexible (and fun) service
Sonesta is finding ways to simplify the franchisee relationship, setting itself apart from other hospitality businesses. The company’s operating structure allows its leaders to deliver fast, friendly, flexible and fun service to all its franchisees.
- First-time franchisees will find that these services include the capacity to execute new hotel agreements within 30 days from application to execution, the availability to respond to franchise needs or concerns personally and reasonable brand standards set by owners, for owners.
- You’ll like collaborating with us. We understand what is necessary to advance our brand and help franchisees continue to thrive without the unnecessary hoops that are often associated with corporate ownership.
The continued confidence and investment in ABVI by our franchisees have expanded this important economy hotel brand to many markets across the U.S., becoming a recognizable brand by many travelers. Year-end 2022 there were over 500 hotels in the portfolio. With flexible brand standards and low franchise fees, the opportunities for ABVI are boundless.
Sonesta continues to celebrate its great success and upward momentum for the ABVI brand. Prior to the pandemic, this brand was a solid performer. ABVI truly thrived during the pandemic, taking an even stronger market hold among economy brands because of the diversified locations and family-business ownership model. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an increasing demand among consumers for economy-level properties. Given the continuing trend for properties in secondary markets, with exterior corridors and minimal touchpoints, this marketing continues to hold occupancy. Now, rate confidence is returning as well.
Further, this J.D. Power award-winning brand continues to provide the best value and quality economy hotel experience on the market. Ideally suited for conversions in secondary and tertiary markets, the brand represents the largest footprint in our portfolio and continues to be a leading choice for potential franchisees.
*Americas Best Value Inn received the highest score in a tie among economy hotels in the J.D. Power 2023 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study of customers’ satisfaction with their hotel stay. Visit jdpower.com/awards for more details.
Brian Quinn is chief development officer, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation.
SOURCE: Hotel Investment Today