GREENTREE HOSPITALITY GROUP is waiving its franchise and marketing fees for U.S. franchisees in response to the economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our entire industry is facing an unprecedented challenge,” said Alex Xu, chairman and CEO of GreenTree. “Every business is suffering, and every person is experiencing hardship. As a business owner myself, I am facing the same hardships.”
The company is taking other steps as well, Xu said.
“We are talking with our third-party vendors and system providers to request postponement or waiver of their fees. Lastly, our team is trying to secure additional financing so that we may be able to provide gap loans to our owners/franchisees,” he said.
GreenTree previously waived reservation change fees and cancellation fees for guests, and implemented safety, hygiene and housekeeping protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
Other companies have taken similar steps in response to the outbreak. Earlier in March, Philadelphia-based Hersha Hospitality, led by brothers Jay Shah as CEO and Neil Shah as president and chief operating officer, said the REIT would close some hotels, reduce floor operations and suspend capital expenditures to save between $10 million and $15 million. Jay and Neil also are cutting their own salaries by 50 percent, and the company’s board of trustees will take all payment in stock in the company for the rest of 2020.