A round table on the franchise model in the hotel sector was held during the Global Lodging Forum last April 10 at the Pullman in Paris. A look at key ideas shared by participants.
- "The franchise is first and foremost a tale of men: there is a powerful intuitu personae relationship. Franchisees come first and foremost to find a brand and savoir-faire." Gilles Larrivé, General Manager Franchise AccorHotels France
- "Today, on both sides we are working less with the emotional, we are colder, our strategy is opportunistic." Olivier Chopin, Vice President, AIFE Louvre Hotels
- "The emergence of digital, of the sharing economy, of new players such as OTAs are making the trade evolve. But the franchiser - franchisee relationship is still there, although it is probably less emotional than in the past." Gilles Larrivé, General Manager Franchise AccorHotels France
- "I have understood there is no constant and that every now and then one must ask how we will operate in other countries. At Wyndham, we try to listen, to talk as much as possible with potential and existing franchisees, with all the actors to understand their expectations, to provide something they do not have." Philippe Bijaoui, Chief Development Officer EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group
- "In Europe, hoteliers are wondering whether they should be franchised or not. In the USA, they wonder which brand they will choose. It is inconceivable for an American to have an unbranded hotel." Philippe Bijaoui, Chief Development Officer EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group
- "The first quality a franchiser must have is trust, which is crucial. The second very important thing for us is the win-win relationship that can exist between franchiser and franchisee. This has enabled a certain number of hoteliers in France to succeed. Unfortunately, we franchisees, find ourselves suffering from a bit of prejudice today." Arnaud Fayet, President, Association des Franchisés Accor
- "The job of franchiser is complicated today. Historically, a franchiser was a brand with international visibility, with a booking center and a few standards. Today, in order to manage hotels, it is necessary to go further. Tools are necessary, and the entire relationship with the operator and the franchiser is complicated: the franchiser increasingly interferes with operations because today a hotel cannot be managed without the right tools." Antoine de Bouchony, President, Honotel Développement
- "Today, the relationship is less win-win because there are indispensable partners that cut back on our margins. It's a real challenge: for example, at certain properties the cost of OTAs is greater than the royalties received from franchises." Olivier Chopin, Vice President, AIFE Louvre Hotels
- "Franchise contracts offer a great deal of potential; essentially it's an opportunity to develop assets as seen fit. But this opportunity must be evident in the relationship with the brand. It must help drive the operational margin, a contributor in terms of turnover, cost control, forecast for the sector. This is not always the case today. There is no real transparency with brands we are in discussion with." Dominique Ozanne, CEO Hôtels Foncière des Régions & Chairman FDM Management
- "Today, there is a much broader choice for investors to choose from. This element has an impact on fidelity and loyalty. Once upon a time, franchisee-franchiser loyalty was a given, but it isn't any more because the world has opened up." Gilles Larrivé, General Manager Franchise AccorHotels France
- "The right progression would be to find a constructive debate and give the brand back its added value. It is important to revive customer experience, passion, and for the brands to become dynamic once again and for marketing to differentiate." Arnaud Fayet, President, Association des Franchisés Accor
- "We want more agility and flexibility, meaning shorter contracts. We want the brand to create an alignment of interest with us. We want very regular meetings where we understand what has been asked of us. We are under the impression that brands want some kind of guarantee with very long contracts, but are not interested enough in the final result for the franchisee." Dominique Ozanne, CEO Hôtels Foncière des Régions & Chairman FDM Management
- "I think the franchise must be renewed, the franchisee accepts a certain amount of interference as far as management is concerned. Today, real franchising is digital. It is the digital transformation that brings added value.
It is not enough to just put a brand on a hotel with a booking center. It is necessary to give independent hoteliers access to tools they wouldn't have otherwise, whether because of competency or costs." Antoine de Bouchony, President, Honotel Développement
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