Pets for Revenue
“No Pet” policies are common in the hotel industry, however maybe they shouldn’t be. Disallowing pets severely limits the number of guests that a hotel can attract. With many hotels welcoming pets, you may be losing business simply because you can’t cater to a guest’s needs. You may think “So what, we don’t want pets at our hotel.” But do you want to sell more rooms? I bet you do.
Why You Bark About It
- Deter Guests Who Don’t Want Pets Around
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans own approximately 78 million dogs and 74 million cats. Pet lover or not, the fact is that pets are an extension of your guest’s family and leaving pets behind while traveling is not an option for many travelers. Over 56% of travelers, out of 1000 surveyed, reported they were traveling with their pets and staying in hotels. If you decide to go pet friendly, here are a few things to consider:
Decide A Cost
Deciding to charge for pets is entirely up to your management. Some hotels allow pets to stay for free, but is is not uncommon for hotels to charge for pets. Fees can run as little as $15 per night and rise accordingly depending on type of animal and size. The fees allow you to pay for any additional cleaning or damage that is unforeseen.
- Types of Pets– Dogs are the most commonly traveled pet, but some people travel with cats, rabbits, birds, snakes, etc. Are you comfortable with all pets or just certain types? Make sure your pet policy has everything documented.
- Breeds– If you’re uncomfortable with Pit Bulls, Rottweilers or any other breeds, make sure to include this in your pet policy.
- Size– You may consider limiting pets by weight or size.
Entire Property or Just a Few Rooms?
Depending on your property, you may reserve a few rooms strictly for guests with pets. Designating a portion of a hallway to all pets is a great way to eliminate anger from other guests who don’t want to see pets roaming their halls. It also helps to isolate pet dander and any other damages the pets may cause to the property. Start with a few rooms, and as demand increases for pet requests, gauge whether or not you want to continue offering the pet option to guests. Consider making your entire property pet friendly if business is successful.
Develop a Pet Policy
To help avoid any confusion or problems down the line, develop a clear, concise Pet Policy. Use the restrictions above to set parameters for what is acceptable as a “pet.” Will you have a Doggy Day Care? Will you allow dogs or other pets in the common areas? Designate areas where pets can relieve themselves and set a fair and consistent price for housing a guest’s pet. An effective Pet Policy will allow for a relaxing stay for your guest and management team.
Nowadays, the internet is powerful. Guests will search for “Pet Friendly” hotels and 100’s of options will appear. Make sure your name appears by getting your name out there! If your hotel, motel, or B&B has their own website, make sure your pet friendliness is clearly visible so visitors are aware your property accommodates pets. Below are useful links that will help your hotel or motel get noticed today!
Don’t be the sad looking British Bulldog pretending to be a businessman. Evaluate the pros and cons of having pets at your establishment. Decide if pets can help your business today!