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Choice Chief Development Officer Talks Franchising

davidpepperChoice Hotels International is one of the largest hotel franchisors in the world, boasting a portfolio of more than 6,300 hotels in more than 35 countries and territories. Chief development officer David Pepper shares some insight on what attracts hoteliers to Choice’s flags, as well as how the company ensures franchisees are well-equipped to perform in today’s lodging marketplace.

What are some of Choice Hotels’s best qualities as a
franchisor? Choice Hotels’s ability to stay ahead of the industry trends has made it one of the most innovative companies in the lodging industry, delivering real value and new opportunities to our hoteliers. Our focus on technology means that our franchisees benefit from ecommerce initiatives. Furthermore, we have one of the strongest loyalty programs in the industry. In fact, we just redesigned Choice Privileges to give members more rewards faster and the results have been tremendous, and we are gaining new members at unprecedented levels, surpassing 27 million.

What do you look for in a potential franchisee? While we aim to provide every franchisee with the support and resources it takes to thrive, there are many attributes that we take into account when considering potential franchisees to join Choice Hotels. Some of those include commitment to superior customer service, strong management team with ambition for growth, and a willingness to engage with Choice to improve performance.

Are first-time owners required to solicit the help of a management company? In general, no. We work with both franchisees that are longtime industry veterans as well as first-time hotel owners. We are recognized industry-wide for our resources and tools that assist first-time hoteliers with the goal of providing each with the resources to help them every step of the way.

Why is direct communication between the brand and the franchisee so important? There is nothing more important than strong communication between a franchisor and franchisee. Given our franchisees are on the frontlines with our guests every day, it is vital that their voices are heard, so we do all we can to capture their opinions, needs, and experiences. Choice has more field-based associates supporting franchisees that most other chains. Our team has in-depth local knowledge and are hands-on with franchisees, enabling easy communication.

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