Do You Know Where Your Best Leverage Is?
We’ve got 10 ideas to help you figure it out.

Labor is hotels’ No. 1 cost. If you go into a negotiation with some solid ways to save on labor, that’s good leverage, says Michael Dominguez, vice president, global sales, Loews Hotels & Resorts. Here are five ideas.

1. Banquets
Have your reception and dinner in the same venue. Using a ballroom and its foyer is much less expensive for the hotel to provide than the ballroom and, say, the poolside patio, which would require a whole separate crew.

2. Setup
Changing the rounds you had for breakfast into classroom seating for your general session is very labor intensive. Keep the rounds.

3. Check in
Give the hotel detailed information about guest arrivals. If everyone’s coming at 11 a.m., the hotel won’t overstaff the desk at 8 a.m.

4. Turndown
When Loews surveyed guests about turndown, the majority of respondents said they don’t want it. Consider the service for VIPs only.

5. Dining
With a smaller group, using the restaurant for meals means using labor that’s already paid for. “This should count toward your F&B minimum,” Dominguez said (assuming the hotel owns the restaurant). Note also that buffets are less labor-intensive than plated meals.