Quality and Service

Best Western Australasia

In 1957, a group of moteliers came together to discuss the need for a motel federation, which would “lay down regulations regarding the standard a motel must attain before being allowed to put up a sign.” In 1975, the Motel Federation of Australia re-structured and began trading as the well-recognised Homestead Motor Inns brand and in the same year was targeted by Best Western International as a focal point for its international expansion. In 1981, the Motel Federation of Australia affiliated with Best Western International Inc and began trading as Best Western Homestead, thus becoming part of the largest hotel chain in the world. The full potential of this partnership was realised in March 1989, when Best Western Homestead became Best Western Australasia.

In 2007, Best Western Australia was awarded the region of New Zealand to manage, and also took on the region of Fiji in 2011.

There are now approximately 180 Best Western hotels across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, all ranging from three to five stars. Each hotel is independently owned and managed whilst exemplifying the company’s commitment to the highest standards of quality, service and value. The mission of the company is simple: to lead the mid-market accommodation industry with superior customer care.

All of the brand’s hotels are quite different; some are motels, hotels, apartments, or resorts, and the styles vary. Within each property are standard rooms, deluxe rooms, suites, and a number of rooms with kitchen facilities. Due to the broad range of styles and amenities offered, descriptors were brought on board in November of last year.

The Best Western descriptors were introduced to make it easier for consumers to choose what kind of hotel best suited their needs. Best Western PLUS and Best Western PREMIER are new additions. Even though all properties meet the same minimum standards, the Plus and Premier hotels offer additional services and amenities. General Manager for Sales and Marketing for Best Western Australasia, Kimi Anderson, says the Premier hotels include, “Deluxe bath amenities, spas, LCD and plasma televisions, premium shower heads, speciality coffees and teas, and room service.” The first Premier hotel was introduced in Kew, Melbourne in June, a 4.5 star property with its own brewhouse; the second Premier property opens in November in Perth.

Best Western is unique for employing an owner-operated model, enabling each property to deliver an extra level of care. As a brand, Best Western also boasts a Global Quality Assurance System. According to Kimi Anderson, “While every property may look a little bit different and might offer different room types, no matter which Best Western you go to around the world, you know that you’re guaranteed a consistent level of cleanliness and of maintenance of facilities. That’s why people are loyal to the Best Western brand and choose us over our competitors, because they know what to expect.”

Within the Quality Assurance Program are over 200 items that must be inspected for a property to remain as a Best Western. These include the maintenance of the property, the bedding – even things such as irons and ironing boards in every room and how many coat hangers each room should have. In terms of the company’s overall guiding principles, there has been a huge shift to really focus on the consumer. In order to lead the industry in customer care, Best Western provides ongoing training and education in all matters of hospitality, including how to interact with guests and how to solve and avoid problems.

To reward customers for their loyalty to the Best Western brand, the company established Best Western Rewards; its global loyalty program. Particularly beneficial for corporate travellers, the program allows customers to accumulate points which can be redeemed for free accommodation, house and garden products, lifestyle items, or donated to charity. With customer appreciation at its core, the program is free to join, and points, which never expire, can be accumulated at over 4,000 hotels worldwide. The company’s recently re-launched global website also makes it easy for participants to manage their points, and aims to be comprehensive and user-friendly for all customers.

Rates at Best Western are already affordable, and with all of the opportunities for deals and special offers, there is no better option for an exceptional hotel stay.

This year marks the company’s 55th anniversary in Australia; a significant achievement, particularly in light of the competitive marketplace and the tough economy. Travel is often a discretionary spend, and during these lean times the quality and service provided by Best Western has kept customers coming back. Kimi is also proud that, “Best Western Rewards has taken off and the global Best Western website has just been re-launched. The fact that we have been able to go from strength to strength for 55 years is something that our properties should be very proud of.”

When Best Western began in 1957, the average rate for a room was 39 shillings and six pence, which today equals $3.95. The requirements of being a Motel Federation of Australia member were that the Motel had to have at least 10 units, with a car parking space for each, and must have a self-contained shower and toilet for each unit, with a high standard for furnishings.

It is clear that times have changed, and Best Western continues to improve and evolve. Fifty-five years later, the average room rate in 2012 is approximately $145.00, and the Quality Assurance Program is a comprehensive, 200 point checklist that must be adhered to by all properties. The company, and the industry as a whole, has come a long way, and ultimately, “The Best Western brand is a promise of warm and friendly service combined with international quality standards at an affordable price.”

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 16, 2018, 3:54 PM AEDT