A recent study performed by PwC ranked room quality as the most important factor in driving hotel loyalty and patronage. Both business and leisure travelers ranked the conditions of accommodations as more important than location, price and customer service.
These findings are backed up by another interesting research paper from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, which specifically analyzed the factors that influence the increasingly important online reviews left by guests. That study also found room quality, along with customer service, to be the biggest factor that impacted the reviews and ratings guests posted to websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Expedia.
If you’re a hospitality industry professional, you probably don’t need to be told just how important a guestroom’s furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) are when it comes to influencing guest perceptions.
The real dilemma, from an administrative decision-makers perspective, is determining how frequently your furniture and fixtures need to be updated. At what point does degraded FF&E quality justify the cost of a major renovation?
How Often Do You Need to Update FF&E?
Replacing FF&E is always going to be a significant investment, and likely one of your biggest outlays, so it makes sense to wait as long as possible before replacing furnishings, bathroom fixtures, televisions, phones, carpeting and other hotel features. However, waiting too long can potentially lead to negative reviews, which can have real, lasting consequences for your business.
You may see some experts suggest waiting seven years between replacements, but in reality, it’s difficult to lay out a hard and fast rule on the timeline for FF&E renovations.
When you update FF&E should depend on the condition of your rooms. This is going to be highly dependent on guest volume and the types of tenants at your establishment. A South Padre Island hotel popular among spring breakers is likely going to experience accelerated wear and tear compared to a quiet little resort in the Poconos.
Instead of relying on a set schedule, do your best to remain vigilant when monitoring guestroom appearance. Keep a close eye out for:
Any kind of water damage that results in staining is going to be a problem in terms of guest perception. Stained or water damaged carpets, ceiling, furniture or bedding will leave people thinking your rooms are shabby or dirty, even if they have just been cleaned.
Scratched, worn or peeling furniture
Veneers have a tendency to peel after years of constant use, and even the sturdiest wood furniture will collect scratches and dings. Minor cosmetic imperfections can sometimes be fixed with glue, polish and buffing, but when damage is obvious, it’s best to replace rather than risk a negative reputation.
There’s only so much you can do about shabby, sagging chairs and couches. Reupholstering a significant volume of furniture is often nearly as costly as replacement. When furniture gets that worn, chances are good it’s old enough to be stylistically outdated as well.
Fading fabrics and stains – Luckily, bedding can be replaced for less than mattresses and furniture, but things like curtains will fade and fray as well. Stained fabrics definitely need to be replaced as soon as possible, but faded ones should also be addressed sooner rather than later.
Finding the Right Partner to Handle the Complicated Logistics of FF&E Renovations and Replacements
Working with experienced FF&E partners is one of the best ways to guarantee your investment is well spent. One of the biggest hurdles of a large FF&E renovation project is the herculean task of moving furniture, fixtures and equipment into and out of your facility.
A seasoned FF&E service moving and installation company will have the warehousing and transportation capabilities to not only handle the complex logistics of high-volume shipping but also the temporary storage of incoming furniture and fixtures. In addition to receiving and warehousing, an ideal partner will extend ancillary services such as inspection and inventory control to confirm your suppliers are holding up their end of the deal. They’ll also ensure you’re not losing money on unnecessary damage, loss or replacement costs.
The FF&E logistics partner will offer installation services as well, so you’re not having to work with several different contractors to accomplish your FF&E project. As an added bonus, it’s always a relief to know your FF&E service provider has experience working with interior designers and project managers. Having a logistics provider who can execute your painstakingly planned project exactly as you intended will significantly lower your stress levels throughout this high-stakes endeavor.
If you’re looking for an FF&E logistics company who boasts these exact characteristics and skills, look no further than A-Mrazek. Our brand is synonymous with exceptional FF&E services in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. We have the capabilities and record of FF&E excellence local hospitality partners have come to rely on and deliver flawless results no matter the scale of your project.
Our past clients include the St. Louis Airport Marriot, Double Tree by Hilton, Holiday Inn and many more.
If you have an upcoming FF&E project, give us a call at (800) 325-4174 to learn about our services and capabilities.