Zina Patel’s Red Roof Inn in Bakersfield, California, dramatically increased occupancy and RevPAR after investing in property upgrades and staff-training programs to improve customer service. In 2016, she increased occupancy by 348 percent and RevPAR by 101 percent.

ZINA PATEL OWNS and operates The Red Roof Inn in Bakersfield, California, which upgraded in 2016 with the brand’s NextGen redesign. Zina and her staff also traveled to Red Roof ’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, to receive additional training in operations and customer service.

Her hotel is among hundreds of Red Roof Inn hotels that have improved their business performance by participating in redesign and property-management initiatives.

However, Andrew Alexander, president of Red Roof, said about a dozen Red Roof hotels have exited the brand this year for not undergoing quality improvement.

At the Red Roof owners convention last year, Alexander stressed the need for improved performance across the board, saying, “Quality is not a goal, it’s an imperative.”

Kamini Patel of Lithonia, Georgia, is a former Red Roof Inn owner. Today, she works with Red Roof as an adviser to owners seeking more training in how to improve their property’s business performance.

Over the past year, Red Roof has sent brand representatives and operations experts to franchised properties to offer guidance in either improving their properties’ appearance or their customer service.

In September, Alexander told Asian Hospitality franchisees are realizing the business sense the program promotes. “When you introduce something new to a franchise community, there’s always some hesitation at first. But we are not sending a team to a hotel to penalize the owner, but to help them. We are now seeing some really good results with franchisees embracing the training and following up with the quality initiatives.”

Meantime, he said, owners who refuse to participate are being asked to “step up or out.”

Alexander sees two barriers to owners’ success. “There is a group of owners who have invested in the product but are unwilling to invest in the service end of the business. On the flip side, there are those who want to provide good customer service but are unwilling to invest the necessary dollars into the product.”

In the latter example, he said, “those hotels have to go quickly. If you can’t get your property up to standard from a quality standpoint then customer service won’t count.”

The company has focused its training initiative on hotels that have redesigned to modern standards but lack oomph in the customer service area. The team is seeing success in convincing these owners that investing toward better customer service will make them more money. “Higher quality all around means higher revenue and higher profit,” Alexander said.