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Multi-Location Management

The hospitality industry thrives on delivering exceptional guest experiences. When managing multiple locations, maintaining consistency across a portfolio of hotels, restaurants, or resorts becomes increasingly complex. 

From operational efficiency to customer service and brand identity, success requires a strategic approach that balances standardisation with local adaptability. In this article, we’ll explore best practices and provide actionable insights for hospitality leaders navigating multi-location management.

Understanding Multi-Location Management Challenges

Operating a multi-location business comes with its own set of unique challenges. Each location operates in a distinct market with its own customer demographics, competitor landscape and regulatory requirements. Local staff may have varying skill levels and knowledge. Balancing the need for consistent quality with the unique aspects of each location is an ongoing challenge.

Ensuring a Standardised Brand Image and Customer Experience

Your brand is your promise to customers. A strong, cohesive brand image across all locations builds trust and recognition. However, ensuring a standardised brand image and customer experience can be difficult when you have multiple locations. Inconsistent branding, whether through service quality differences, decor variations, or disjointed marketing efforts, can leave customers confused and diminish the overall value of your brand.

Managing Varying Customer Demographics

Each location may have a different target customer demographic. This means you must tailor your marketing and sales strategies to each location. For example, if you are selling a product that is targeted at young professionals, you will need to market it differently in a location with a large population of young professionals than you would in a location with a large population of retirees.

Creating Strategies to Deal With Unique Competitor Landscapes

The competitive landscape in each location may be different. That means you have to develop a competitive strategy that is specific to each location. For example, if you are operating in a location with a lot of competition, you may need to focus on differentiating your product or service from the competition. In a location with less competition, you may be able to focus on building brand awareness and market share.

Adherence to Local Regulations

Each location may have its own set of local regulations that you must follow. This can make it difficult to operate your business in a consistent manner across all locations. For example, some locations may have zoning regulations that restrict the types of businesses that can operate in certain areas. Other locations may have environmental regulations you must follow.

Managing Changing Consumer Preferences

Consumer preferences can change over time, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. This means that you need to regularly conduct market research to understand your customers’ needs and wants. You may also need to adjust your product or service offerings to meet the changing needs of your customers.

Dealing With Seasonal Fluctuations

Some businesses experience seasonal fluctuations in demand. This means that you need to plan for these fluctuations to ensure that you have the resources you need to meet demand. For example, if you own a restaurant in a tourist destination, you may need to hire more staff during the summer months when tourism is at its peak.

Managing Changing Consumer Preferences

Consumer preferences can change over time, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. This means that you need to regularly conduct market research to understand your customers’ needs and wants. You may also need to adjust your product or service offerings to meet the changing needs of your customers.

Dealing With Seasonal Fluctuations

Some businesses experience seasonal fluctuations in demand. This means that you need to plan for these fluctuations to ensure that you have the resources you need to meet demand. For example, if you own a restaurant in a tourist destination, you may need to hire more staff during the summer months when tourism is at its peak.

Tips for Overcoming the Challenges of Operating a Multi-location Business

Create Standardised Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Developing detailed SOPs is crucial for ensuring that all customers receive the same high level of service regardless of which location they visit.  Don’t rely solely on lengthy written manuals.  Provide step-by-step checklists for daily tasks, which can be especially helpful for onboarding new employees. Consider creating short, easy-to-follow video demonstrations for complex procedures that can be accessed on-demand by staff.  When developing SOPs, solicit feedback from location managers who may have valuable insights into how to best adapt them to their local context, ensuring real-world practicality.

Provide Ongoing Training to Your Staff

In the dynamic world of multi-location businesses, training shouldn’t be a one-time event.  Utilise online learning platforms or regular short video tutorials to reinforce existing knowledge, introduce new procedures, and onboard new hires.  Encourage peer-to-peer learning by pairing staff from one location with experienced employees from a high-performing location.  Most importantly, don’t just train on the “how” of tasks, explain the “why” behind policies and procedures.  This promotes better understanding, stronger adherence, and helps employees feel invested in the company’s mission.

Monitor Your Locations Regularly

Regular monitoring is key to identifying areas for improvement and ensuring operational excellence across all locations.  Define key performance indicators (KPIs) meaningful for your business.  Utilise dashboards to visualise performance at a glance, enabling you to compare locations quickly.  Supplement data analysis with in-person site visits by corporate or regional managers. These visits provide an opportunity to observe processes firsthand, offer support, and address any issues that might not be apparent solely through data.  Finally, establish a way to gather and analyse customer feedback directly from each location. This provides an invaluable “reality check” that helps you identify any inconsistencies in the customer experience across your portfolio.

Monitor Your Locations Regularly

Regular monitoring is key to identifying areas for improvement and ensuring operational excellence across all locations.  Define key performance indicators (KPIs) meaningful for your business.  Utilise dashboards to visualise performance at a glance, enabling you to compare locations quickly.  Supplement data analysis with in-person site visits by corporate or regional managers. These visits provide an opportunity to observe processes firsthand, offer support, and address any issues that might not be apparent solely through data.  Finally, establish a way to gather and analyse customer feedback directly from each location. This provides an invaluable “reality check” that helps you identify any inconsistencies in the customer experience across your portfolio.

Additional Tip: Invest in the Right Technology

Choosing the right technology solutions can greatly simplify multi-location management. Opt for cloud-based systems that ensure data centralisation, real-time updates, and ease of access for authorised personnel from any location.  Implement communication platforms that foster cross-location collaboration and make it easy for field staff to reach corporate headquarters when needed.  These tools streamline operations and boost efficiency, freeing up your team to focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience.

How NetSuite Supports Multi-Location Management for Restaurants and Hotel Groups

Hospitality businesses with multiple locations benefit significantly from the power and flexibility of NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP solutions. Let’s explore how NetSuite addresses the unique challenges of multi-location management and the robust features it offers:

Centralised Control with Local Flexibility

Consolidated Data: NetSuite delivers a centralised view of operations across all your locations. Monitor inventory, sales figures, guest reservations, and staffing metrics in real-time, empowering you to make data-driven strategic decisions for your entire business.

Customisable Templates: Create standardised operational templates (recipes, service protocols, cleaning checklists) to ensure consistency across your brand. NetSuite offers flexibility within these templates, allowing locations to tailor certain elements to suit their local needs without compromising core standards.

Role-Based Permissions: Control access to sensitive data with NetSuite’s granular permissions settings. This ensures corporate executives have a full overview, while local managers access the information most relevant to their daily operations, maintaining both security and efficiency.

Maintaining Brand Identity

Brand Standards Portal: NetSuite serves as a central hub for marketing assets, design guidelines, and brand training materials. This guarantees that all locations have access to the tools they need to uphold a consistent customer experience, regardless of where a guest visits.

Template and Form Customisation: NetSuite’s configuration tools streamline the creation of standard marketing templates and customer feedback forms. These maintain brand consistency and ease deployment across all your locations.

Streamlined Communications

Built-In Messaging: NetSuite’s communication tools facilitate seamless interactions between your head office, regional managers, and individual locations. This promotes a sense of company-wide collaboration, enabling timely issue resolution and knowledge sharing.

Reporting and Dashboards: Create custom dashboards highlighting key metrics for each location. Sharing these dashboards with relevant stakeholders promotes transparency, fosters collaboration, and helps managers track their progress towards shared goals.

Data-Driven Insights

Advanced Analytics: NetSuite’s analytics tools allow you to compare the performance of different locations. Pinpoint your strongest performers, analyse the strategies behind their success, and proactively address issues in underperforming areas.

Customer Insights: NetSuite’s powerful CRM functions centralise guest data. Analyse demographics, purchasing patterns, and feedback trends to gain a better understanding of your customers and their preferences. Use this information to deliver personalised marketing campaigns and tailor services to better align with local market needs.

Operational Efficiency

Inventory Management: Track inventory levels and consumption patterns across multiple locations. NetSuite can automate purchase orders based on real-time data, reducing waste and ensuring each location always has the supplies it needs.

Recipe Costing: Standardised recipe costing within NetSuite to ensure consistent pricing and profitability, even with potential fluctuations in ingredient costs across different markets.

Staff Scheduling: NetSuite can integrate with your HR modules, allowing for cross-location staff scheduling during peak seasons or special events. This helps to optimise labour resources effectively.

Conclusion

NetSuite offers hospitality businesses a robust suite of tools that simplify the complexities of multi-location management. By providing centralised visibility, streamlined processes, and data-driven decision-making, NetSuite helps businesses maintain consistent quality while allowing for necessary local adaptations. For restaurants and hotel groups striving for operational excellence and sustained growth, NetSuite is a powerful ally.

Tiernan OConnor

Tiernan O'Connor is an accomplished Sales Director and NetSuite expert at DWR Consulting, a top-tier NetSuite Solution Provider and Implementation Partner. With over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Cloud ERP and technology, Tiernan has become a trusted authority in the NetSuite Partner community, helping businesses of all sizes streamline their operations and achieve success. Tiernan's in-depth understanding of NetSuite's capabilities and his extensive experience in implementing cloud-based ERP solutions have positioned him as a thought leader in the industry. He is known for his ability to identify and execute tailored strategies that meet each client's unique needs, ensuring they unlock the full potential of NetSuite's powerful features. Connect with Tiernan on LinkedIn

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