IV. Hotels… Let the music play ?

My urban flat produces some extra-euros, as if it were an hotel room where clients may as well work, co-work, conduct business meetings. As do hotels. Aren’t we spending most of our working time in our flat, co-working spaces, hotels ?

At the feet of my urban office stands a co-living place where people gather and have a drink, work, co-work, share, use the services of a conciergerie, etc. Sometimes, a market place in the grand lobby, with food events.

Where experience primes, surface has a monetizable use, new money from volumes that used to stand unprofitable. This modularity challenges the urbanistic affectation, but not only. Looming sensors, facial recognition tools, pull and carry some social model disruptions (scoring and social credit), and stir some collective push for more data protection (RGPD in Europe).

So, the point is to wonder whether we are not entering into :

1. Interacting service plaforms, collecting and addressing datas, where brands cross-sell through enhanced partnerships,

2. Clusters (clients hyper segmentation),

Met in spaces falling obviously standardized, as real estate prices in the megacities call upon modularity.


1. the old days corporate hotel (with its lot of dark meeting rooms, bland functional 200 square feet rooms above),

2. could well be converted into some new office-services building (and reciprocally), with modularity, adequate spared & vacant volumes, heavy 3D use, and convenient on site array of services,

3. So that be on-demand converted into what-you-need (ex: this morning a 5 offices + an adjacent meeting room, tonight an extended Suite), and occur a real enhanced experience (anticipated by adequate predictive modelling based on your past reservations and your social cluster’s preferences).

This new “social places where people can meet and dine and have a local experience” is the most astute marketing recreation of what a restaurant or a bar used to be for generations, but was lost with those good-old days corporate hotels where the deserted canteen/cafeteria-like outlets hosted the very few, reluctant at asking for uninspiring room-service (when any). Welcome back to the augmented saloon !!

But Boutique and high-end luxury hotels shall go on separately, and should prosper and form a growing niche, as long as service, deco and unique locations, prevail on what tech has best to offer. Not that they be the only ones which really attend their clients’ needs. If datas mean knowledge, very few can really pretend : their acquisitions have not been, for years, qualifying.

But they will at least always charm faithful worshippers for their exceptional business model, that requires engagement, and passion. The kind of lovingkindness that flies away from mobility, modularity, and hates hasty minutes and passing theories.

Yan Vacher

III. Hotels, modular spaces & poor yield management (yet)

The recent acquisition of Dynamic Yield by Mc Do is clearly disruptive, with looming impacts on the overall hospitality industry. If predictability scales up emotion, size will matter, as the build-up of two data encyclopedias (recipes & dishes, clients), of an algorithm for resolving seasonal raw materials sourcing problems, logistics, pricing … imply to invest deeply  in research, data learning, etc.

Most of the hotels could well use on-time outsourced production, as new co-procurement solutions could emerge in the megacities (x workshops – X restaurants), transforming F&B outlets in pure experiential platforms where flexible atmospheres-inspirations-cuisines intertwine.

Use of sensors (as does WeWork) to measure attendance, qualitative analysis of what the client expectancies are (they don’t tend to hang out in their rooms anyway), could both contribute to leverage the profitability of unoccupied meeting rooms, costly lobbies.

Implicitly, how poor appears their yield management nowadays.

Owners have been spending from 10% up to 30%+ of their overall investment in deco, furniture, etc. (that need to be replaced, sometimes radically if there’s a new lease or managing contract).

But spaces were designed one day to last for long, and very few sqm have been spared for storage, as the priority was, whenever possible, to give grandeur, larger volumes for the picture. (Other looming business : x furniture depots – X hotels ; IKEA is said to be considering office-furniture rental).

The kind of modularity, the AIRBNB, WeWork and co have introduced, is a repurposing based on profitability, driven by a philosophy (ubiquity, sharing) endorsed by technology.

Where experience primes (wherever flexibility is allowed), space conversion is an add-on that stirs up yield.

Hotels are becoming standard assets computerizing value per sqm. REVPAR, ADR, and their routine variations give a somewhat warped measure of a performance.

Yan Vacher