13 February 2015 – Expansión
The CEO of the NH hotel Group in Spain, Hugo Rovira, says that “customers are not fools, if you offer them quality, then they are willing to pay for it”, but he recognises that “if you give out peanuts, then you will attract monkeys”, after sharing his opinion that “retaining customers through low prices is not sustainable, there will always be cheaper competitors”.
The NH Hotel Group is spending 25% of its turnover on the renewal of its gastronomic offer, a major commitment for the hotel chain, which regards high quality gastronomy as the “saviour” of the sector as a means of differentiating itself.
And so it is with good reason that NH has invested almost four million euros in the renovation of its gastronomic offer, a fundamental part of the transformation that the chain is undertaking in virtually all of its hotels.
The renovation of its facilities has resulted in “an increase in the room rates at NH hotels across the country, of between 15% and 40% of the original cost, depending on the establishment”, according to the CEO of the NH Hotel Group in Spain, Hugo Rovira.
Rovira stresses that “it is hard to see how it could have got any worse in Spain” and that the commitment to high quality culinary tourism has led to the “salvation” of the sector, differentiating NH accommodation thanks to its wide-ranging gastronomic menu, without renouncing the commitment to offer customers the best service.
“Coffee for everyone is not good” said Rovira categorically to journalists on Thursday morning at a business breakfast. Specifically, the executive was referring to NH’s decision to provide a top class service both in room and in its restaurants.
By way of example, Roviro explained that NH continued to serve the best products in its minibars throughout the crisis and generated more or less the same volume of sales, with an increase of up to 20% in recent years.
Rovira also wanted to highlight the trend towards recovery in the Spanish market and he noted a “slight recovery”, although he made it clear that “we still have a long way to go, but at least we are on the right track”.
Positive outlook for 2015
In fact, the outlook for 2015 in our country is “good”, according to the CEO, who said that results from the last quarter of 2014 showed signs of recovery “both in terms of corporate clients and families”.
And he said that “clients are not fools, if you offer them quality, then they are willing to pay for it”, but he recognises that “if you give out peanuts, then you will attract monkeys”, after sharing his opinion that “retaining customers through low prices is not sustainable, there will always be cheaper competitors”.
NH seeks to differentiate itself and continue to maintain its image of high quality service through two clear commitments (a line of restaurants that serve products with Designation of Origin (Denominación de Origen or DO) and “show-cooking” or “Domos”, led by renowned chefs and apprentices from the hotel chain’s culinary school).
Renovations and relaunches
The NH Hotel Group is immersed in its renovation and relaunch plan, for which it has a total budget of €220 million to spend between 2013 and 2018; 55 hotels have signed up to the plan, of which 20 are located in Spain.
Other lines of action, such as the so-called “open bars” represent another model for the local market, as the company offers a service “similar to those provided in VIP lounges at the airport” in which clients can access “self service” bars.
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake