Best Western Hotels & Resorts has introduced SureStay Hotels – “a revolutionary new ‘white label’ franchise model in the hotel industry.”
SureStay will operate as a separate subsidiary while plugging hotel owners into the company’s infrastructure and distribution channels.
With three distinctive brands – SureStay Hotel (Premium Economy), SureStay Plus Hotel (Lower Midscale) and SureStay Signature Collection (Midscale Soft Brand) – Best Western aims to provide options in the marketplace for franchisees who are disillusioned by one-sided contracts that do not deliver.
“In North America, there are currently 17,000 branded hotels, and another 12,000 unbranded, in the economy and midscale segments. The white label approach allows Best Western to tap into this tremendous potential without compromising its brand image,” said Best Western president David Kong. “Currently, many of these hotels have little to no consumer relevance. Their brands have very little potential to drive superior revenue, and the owners are incurring high franchise fees from brands that don’t provide the necessary support, service or value.”
SureStay was developed under the AAHOA Fair Franchising Principles, granting owners fair and reasonable early termination provisions with no liquidated damages, allowing them to have a voice through advisory committees, and allowing procurement outside of brand channels. All three brands will be marketed under the SureStay umbrella, with no consumer reference to Best Western Hotels & Resorts. According to officials, this will allow Best Western to leverage its existing infrastructure while creating a new revenue stream, tapping into the vast opportunities that exist today in the economy space, without compromising the company’s already established position in its current segments.
To qualify for SureStay, hotels will need to achieve and maintain a TripAdvisor score of 3.5 or higher. They will also need to adhere to the SureStay Service Promise, which will be a key point of emphasis.
“With SureStay, we are seeking to create a core group of hotels that will differentiate themselves from others in the market, focusing on delivering high quality and outstanding service,” said Kong. “There is no PIP for SureStay hotels. Rather, we are working to create consumer relevance and confidence through unprecedented quality and care. We believe this will really resonate with consumers in these segments.”
The first 100 hotels to join SureStay will receive an array of incentives, including waived royalty fees for five years, a regional manager to kick-start sales and marketing efforts, and hotel-level training support. Additionally, 100% of the marketing and technology fee (5%) will be re-invested to help hotels succeed.