Hotels must innovate to beat market competition post COVID-19 – Central Hotel exec

To stay ahead of the competition post COVID-19, hotels and other private sector players in the hospitality industry must innovate or face total collapse, Godfred Edem Gaogli, Group Front Office & Marketing Manager, Central Hotel, has said.

He explained that even though the hospitality sector is near shutdown, Central Hotel, which has also laid off staff due to COVID-19 induced low patronage, is putting in measures to stay ahead of the competition when the virus is brought under control and businesses resume operations.

“The hospitality industry is one sector that has been brought down on its knees ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country with most companies in that sector laying off majority of their workforce. However, Central Hotel has taken advantage of the situation to strategize in order to beat its competitors in the market after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He explained that due to the current low occupancy rate, the hotel’s management has invested in renovating the facility to give it a facelift. The facelift exercise, he said, is to bring on stream additional features such as two state of the art fitted conference rooms, a boardroom, sky lounge, a coffee bar, and an upgrade in the standard of the rooms with ultramodern equipment.

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“Now, other hotels are not getting the occupancy and so are closing down some facilities and laying off some of their workers just like we have also done, but management thought it wise to innovate which brought about the facelift of the facility and at the end of covid-19, Central Hotel will be having a new product to sale which will attract more client,” he said.

A Central Hotel app

As part of the innovative strategies to catch up with global best practices post coronavirus, the hotel management is adopting new technology that will be used in operationalising the facility through the installation of a software dubbed Central Hotel App.

This software will enable electronic order placement and payment systems in both back office procurement and front of house services. It also includes electronically programmed key locks as well as user friendly online booking and room reservations as part of measures to reduce human contact in the new social distancing world.

Mr. Gaogli also indicated that management is dedicated to training of staff to upgrade their skills. “Subsequently, management will be introducing innovative services and programmes to ensure that the hotel stands out as the best among its equals in the 3-star category and mount pressure on the four star hotels in terms of service delivery.

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Prominent among the innovative services to give absolute customer satisfaction post COVID-19 include exclusive weekend entertainment, the introduction of Central comedy club series, elevated Ghanaian cuisine, traffic escape package, and offer packages from the Royal Akwaaba collection among others,” Mr. Gaogli emphasised.

These new development, he said, will better position the hotel at a position to offer top quality customer service, as the best 3-star hotel in the country when it finally acquires that certification from the appropriate authorities.

The Central Hotel brand, currently runs two hospitality outlets, one at Osu and another at Ridge in Accra. The Osu branch is mainly long lease apartments and mostly booked by foreign workers on contract in the country. The Ridge branch which is receiving the facelift is the flagship hotel of the brand and a niche facility for the business class.

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