Inspired by a passion for coffee and a welcoming ambiance, Coffee Fellows offers travelers a unique experience. The hotels feature modern design, comfortable accommodations and, of course, excellent coffee.

With locations in various cities, Coffee Fellows Hotels are ideal for business travelers, tourists and anyone looking for a combination of quality, comfort and coffee enjoyment. Although the hotel chain is relatively new, it has already gained a growing following and has become a popular destination for coffee lovers and travelers.

An Interview with Ramona Wolters, Head of Sales & Revenue at Coffee Fellows Hotels

Please introduce yourself briefly and tell us what makes your hotel or hosting role special.
I am Ramona Wolters, Head of Revenue & Sales Hotels, and a child of the classic chain hotel industry. Actually, I had already left the operational hotel business, but when the offer from Coffee Fellows came along, the product and the idea behind it grabbed me. The first sustainable Coffee Fellows hotel opened 5 years ago and the opportunity to help build and shape a brand and chain led me back into the active hotel industry.

Did you or how did you do revenue management before you switched to happyhotel?
At the beginning of my trip, we were represented by 3 hotels. I was alone in my departments. In the meantime, there are 7 hotels in the operating company. Revenue management did not exist at that time. Rates were shopped via Trivago and the systems did not allow for targeted yielding. Capacities were quickly reached.

What were the decision criteria for happyhotel?
It was clear relatively quickly that a system was needed. At the beginning, we decided against happyhotel because the pandemic situation was difficult at the time. But due to a very accommodating and extensive test phase, the decision was made quickly in the end. Apart from the system itself, the cooperation at eye level and the partnership is decisive. Feedback is listened to, noted and, if possible, implemented directly. The system is set up in collaboration with the customer and, if necessary, adjusted. A product can be as good as it is, if the team behind it doesn’t pick you up, you won’t buy it. Personally, I value honest communication very much, and that was a decisive criterion here, among other things.

How does happyhotel make your everyday life easier?
We are noticing more and more that demand is changing rapidly. You can’t yielden as fast as the system can react to it. You simply don’t miss any short-term demand.

Which features of happyhotel do you not want to miss anymore?
The daily pick-up report.

What does the dynamic pricing process look like NOW for you guys?
In places, the system is still learning and needs to be adjusted here and there, but it is now possible to target each hotel accordingly on a daily basis, even if there is a lack of time, and even for several months in advance. In the event of staff absences, the system continues to run and less is lost.

How has your average workday changed since integrating happyhotel?
We can definitely say that happyhotel has significantly improved our daily work. For example, when it comes to prices, we rely completely on the algorithm, which automatically adjusts the prices, which saves us a lot of time. In addition, we now have much more information about our business through the pick-up report and the analysis and have a much better overview of our figures.

What is the best thing about happyhotel? Which feature do you feel saves you the most time?
The Pick Up Report and of course the autopilot and the short response time of the support.

Have you already made recognizable additional sales and if so, by what percentage have you been able to increase your sales through happyhotel? (Estimate)
Unfortunately, I can say little about this, as we have no comparative values and have implemented everything for the pandemic.

What are your personal tips for future happyhotel users?
In fact, away from static prices and towards dynamic yielding with autopilot. Even if it takes some time and control at the beginning and you always have to keep an eye on the system, in the end you miss much less.

Digitization in the hotel industry – what should a hotelier start with?
Definitely, the interaction of the systems must work. First and foremost, this includes the right PMS system, which can bring in the right partners through interfaces and connections. In the process, it must be defined in advance exactly how digital it is to become. Digitization also has a lot to do with enabling employees to work as remotely as possible and thus acquire new personnel in a completely different way. Of course, this is only possible to a limited extent, since employees still have to be on site

What do you wish for the future of happyhotel?
The analysis 2.0 could be improved a bit. The charts should be a bit more individual to create.

Name three things you would give to other hoteliers.
1. The employee at the front brings in the guests and ensures returning customers, not the manager in the back office. Therefore, it is important to create maximum flexibility for the employees.
2. Stop continuing to draw “pre-Corona comparables.” The market and buying behavior have changed. You have to react to that and what was is over.
3. Question your working methods. “Has always been that way” ultimately leads to not evolving. Many “old hands” find this difficult.

Ramona Wolters

Head of Sales & Revenue at Coffee Fellows Hotels

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