The process of purchasing a hotel and getting it up and running can be a long, drawn out process. From obtaining hotel financing to taking stock and doing inventory to purchasing supplies and marketing your hotel, there is a lot to do to get a hotel operating smoothly. Hotel brokers can help you find a great property, but in some cases, you might purchase a property that was being run by a hotel receivership, possibly due to mismanagement by a previous owner. If that is the case, you will need to do a careful inventory, because supplies may be missing or you could find equipment is no longer operational. In other cases, you may purchase a property to turn into a hospitality property.
Regardless of what kind of hotel you purchase, here is an overview of the kinds of equipment you will need to operate it.
Office Equipment and Supplies
A hotel is a full service business and needs much of same equipment as any business, from multi-line phone systems to computers and printers and even smaller supplies like print cartridges, staples, paper clips and post-it notes. You will want to develop a good relationship with a good office supplier and shop around for the best deal on phone systems and equipment. You will also need to determine which supplier you want to purchase items like key cards and sleeves, door signs and other signage from. You can purchase these through either an office supplier or hotel supplier, but these are items that can be negotiated to see who can give you the best deal.
Whether you run and operate a full service restaurant, provide 24/7 room service or just offer a simple continental breakfast, you will need food service supplies of some kind. Whether it’s plastic ware, juice dispensers and coffee makers or room service trays, linens and flatware, you will need a good supplier.
Many hotel suppliers will carry a range of food service equipment in addition to other hotel and motel supplies, so you may want to use one supplier for all of your needs or a restaurant supply company for your foodservice needs and a hotel supply company for hospitality supplies. Again, depending on the size of your order, these are things that can be negotiated with suppliers to help get the best price
When it comes to room supplies, there is always a need for a wide variety of basic amenities like toiletries, hair dryers, trash cans, coffee makers, alarm clocks, televisions and luggage racks. After consideration of these necessary items, there are a number of decisions to be made about what to offer that will be largely dependent on the clientele you cater to.
If you cater to the business market, you will probably want to put irons and ironing boards in every room, but may not need to keep many cribs and crib supplies available. If you are largely a family hotel, however, you may simply want to keep a few irons and ironing boards on hand for those that specifically request them, but may need to keep more cribs and crib supplies available.
Housekeeping and Maintenance
Housekeeping and maintenance supplies include things like mops, carts, vacuums and cleansers, but also include items such as rolling luggage carts and industrial washers and dryers. Here too, there are a wide variety of decisions to be made. Do you want to hire bellhops or simply provide luggage carts to guests? Should you wash your own linens or hire a service to provide you with fresh linens each day?
All these decisions fall under hotel finance and budgeting is a tricky business that is directly affected by what you do and don’t offer at your hotel. If you purchase an item hoping it will allow you to charge more but guests aren’t willing to pay more for it, you lose. If you don’t purchase something that a competitor offers, which causes you to lose business, you lose. It’s important to select very carefully what to buy and when. You can always make purchases on credit prior to your peak season, but remember to plan for unforeseen events as you could end up saddled with a giant bill for equipment that may have never even been used.