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Olga Sommer, Ham Yard hotel
Olga Sommer and her team of four in reservations at Ham Yard hotel have smashed every target set for them in the past two years.
In a demanding competitive market for the 91-bedroom hotel in London's Soho, Sommer and her team have exceeded the total room revenue budget by 10% for 2016. This is a significant boost to the hotel, which is the largest in the Firmdale group, since room revenue equates to 46% of its total revenue. It has contributed to total revenue being 12% over budget. That performance has continued into the current financial year, in which total room revenue is currently 1.8% ahead of budget and £1m up on the same period last year. Meanwhile, Ham Yard hotel achieved an astounding 52.6% repeat business in June 2016.
Pricing accuracy has also been improved by the introduction of an IDeaS Best Available Rate module, which has led to an increase in average room revenue.
As well as working with her team and implementing monthly mystery guest calls to ensure consistency in the department, Sommer has worked hard to develop a relationship with the Firmdale events department to convert a large number of group business bookings and private events. And within the team she has implemented an incentive scheme to identify leads, which resulted in 50 new opportunities in a single month.
Sommer knows it's not all about data too, and she has worked hard to develop relationships with regulars, meeting guests on arrival to ensure the relationship continues and is strengthened with each stay. High end travel agencies are looked after too, with one close relationship delivering a 5.5% year-on-year increase from Israeli guests.
On top of this exceptional performance, Sommer has directed her energy to the wider industry, having raised money for Springboard by taking on the Chilterns Sprint Plus Triathlon and participated in talks for students studying hospitality management at Glion University.
The judges were impressed by this rounded entry that not only demonstrated a sound knowledge of revenue management but also a dedication to team relationships and development.
What the judges said
"It was Olga's team attitude and dedication to the total revenue generation which made her stand out from other nominations. She seems like a fantastic leader with an enthusiastic drive and dedication to revenue management."
Jane Pendlebury, chief executive, Hospa
"Olga has reached out to her colleagues and engaged them in her vision. This is true management."
David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director, the Goring
"Olga demonstrated the strategy needed to be a successful revenue manager, but goes further by involving all colleagues in revenue management culture."
Catherine Bernard, director of revenue, Lancaster London
Melanie Becker The Capitol hotel
Olga Sommer Ham Yard hotel
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