Earlier this summer, Choice Hotels International held a virtual, company-wide address to cover the current state of Choice and the company’s industry outlook. After the event, leadership held a media roundtable, during which CEO Pat Pacious spoke at length about how the company keeps its franchisees informed of new information, new initiatives, and the steps Choice has taken to keep owner needs at the forefront of its strategy.
Pacious noted that the company has been supremely focused on its franchisees since the early days of the pandemic, and, as of the virtual address, had held more than 20,000 consultations with Choice Hotel owners. “We’re engaged with our franchisees on a regular basis,” Pacious said. These consultations help owners communicate to Choice leadership the biggest issues they’ve been facing, which included an inability to pay bills and difficulty securing an SBA loan.
Pacious added that direct communication with Choice hoteliers has allowed him to bring their most pressing concerns to U.S. legislators when he and leaders from other top hotel companies and the American Hotel & Lodging Association meet with the president back in March. “We were able to give very detailed and specific examples of how hotels could benefit from some of these programs. It really comes down to talking to our owners about what they’re seeing in the marketplace,” he said.
Also, Pacious said, because the pandemic has been a constantly evolving situation, this direct line to Choice hoteliers has helped the company’s leadership stay abreast of the issues that are most important to those owners at any given time, as well as informed their approach to meeting franchisees’ needs. “Our ability to pivot really comes from listening to our franchisees. We’ve done that for 80 years and it’s in our DNA.”
Read LODGING‘s 2020 Guide to Franchises and COVID-19 here.