How to Start a Hotel Chain

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Hotel chains offer the cachet of brand recognition in a crowded market.
Hotel chains offer the cachet of brand recognition in a crowded market. (Image: beach houses and hotels image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)

A hotel chain is a group of hotel properties all having the same brand and overall identity. Various properties within the same chain may differ in terms of appearance and amenities offered. Advantages can include the marketing cachet of brand recognition and the ability to make bulk purchases or negotiate more favorable agreements with employees or travel agents. Several models exist for starting a hotel chain; you can become part of a franchise or start your own group.

Conduct diligent research to determine the best sites for hotels in your chain. Look for areas that have substantial traffic because they are near airports or highways or are known as popular tourist destinations. Some consulting firms specialize in providing these research services. (See References)

Decide on the exact locations for your hotels, based partly on the availability of property appropriately zoned for such use. If you are planning to operate a high-end hotel chain, you will want to select locations and offer amenities that appeal to a more monied, sophisticated clientele. If you plan to cater to business guests, locate your hotels in downtown areas or near corporate parks.

Begin construction. Keep in mind that the aesthetic appeal of the hotels will be an important part of your chain's branding. Consider hiring a company that specializes in hotel architecture and construction to give your hotels the look and feel you desire. Do the same if you are planning to renovate or retrofit existing buildings.

Hire employees. Consult with employment agencies specializing in this sector, and be aware of unions in the hotel trade. Look for hard-working people who have experience working in hotels and are willing to work shifts at all hours of the day or night. Remember that bilingual staff can be an asset in today's global environment.

Consider the possibility of buying into a hotel franchise, another option that will give you ownership within a hotel chain. Be prepared to accept that you will be giving up a share of your profits in the form of franchise fees if you decide to go this route.

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