Category Archives for Operations

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5 ideas to help your hostel survive Coronavirus

The Coronavirus has turned the travel industry upside down and many hostels are simply in survival mode. By now you’ve likely had to make extreme measures to ensure the long-term survival of your hostel like renegotiating the terms of your lease or laying off your staff. Now that the initial shock has passed but we are a long way from a return to normalcy, here are a handful of suggestions for improving your hostel’s chances of survival.

BackpackerBiz ideas:

  1. Non-Refundable Flexible Rates
  2. More channels
  3. Long-term guests
  4. Ancillary revenue streams
  5. Reputation management
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The Crash Pad Hostel: where receptionists are treated like owners

How often do hostel owners share their profits with the receptionists? Definitely not often but, as you will learn today, the answer is not, “never.” Enter The Crash Pad Hostel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Have you heard of Tennessee? When you think about The Crash Pad, put away all your stereotypes of “The South” in America.

The Crash Pad advertises itself as “an uncommon hostel.” From the guest perspective this is certainly true. The Crash Pad is a certified LEED Platinum, which means it uses fewer resources, reduces waste and negative environmental impacts, and was constructed to maximize health and productivity. No other hostel currently holds this certification.

Besides their incredibly cool building, step behind the reception desk and let’s talk about what really makes The Crash Pad one-of-a-kind. It’s called, “Open Book Management.”

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fire danger rating

Recession: Prepare your hostel now, or suffer later

Bushfires are a fact of life in Australia. Everywhere you go, there are signs letting you know what the current level of fire danger is. In Australia, there isn’t a question of IF there will be a fire. The question is rather, WHEN will there be a fire. Because bushfire is an inevitable part of Australian life, the fire service constantly encourages the public to have a plan in place. If you have a plan for how your family will react to a bushfire, you’re much more likely to survive. Economic recessions are a lot like bushfires in that they occur regularly, you can’t predict precisely when they’ll begin, but if your hostel makes a plan now, it stands a much better chance of not getting burnt down. Today lets talk about how you can prepare your hostel for a recession.

BackpackerBiz Takeaway:

  • Recessions are a natural part of the economic cycle. We are due for a recession but don't know when it will start
  • Preparing for a recession will help your hostel survive
  • Create a contingency plan for staffing levels during a downturn
  • Can you diversify your hostel's customer base to lower your risk?
  • Invest in your hostel while you have the resources to do so
  • Always look for ways to make your hostel more efficient
  • Future bookings hedge against possible downturns
  • Consider the effect on the guest experience when making plans for austerity measures

Click here for a video summary of this article

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bed bug

The ultimate guide to bed bugs for hostels

It’s amazing how much we can suffer from a tiny little bug that doesn’t do any real harm. Bed bugs are the scourge of the hotel and hostel industry, even though they don’t transmit diseases. Being infected with bed bugs is just so unsettling that the sting of your hostel being hit with bed bugs is way worse than their actual bite. Bed bugs are a big issue and this ultimate guide to bed bugs for hostels will help you handle bed bugs if you already have them, or hopefully prevent problems before they. start

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Drifter Jack's & Ember

Thinking about opening a second hostel? Read this first

Is your hostel humming along smoothly? Are you considering starting a second? There are still so many cities that either need a hostel or need more hostels that now is a great time for operators to consider a second location. Andy Ward is the owner of Drifter Jack’s in Austin and Ember in Denver, two top-rated hostels. He joins us today to tell American Hostels what it was like to start a hostel, the second time around.

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An easy way to add value to your guests (without costing you a dime)

Have you ever ordered hotel room service? Sure, in terms of the prices, it’s a scam. But it’s one of those fun unique elements people enjoy about staying in a fancy hotel (kind of like a bidet!). Most hotels don’t have restaurants and so they’re using food delivery apps like GrubHub to substitute for room service, but with the ability to order from a smart device in your room and earn hotel loyalty points for your Chinese food delivery. Here’s how we can take this practice and modify it for the hostel scene.

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