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  • Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

    In the wake of editor Hamish Kilburn interviewing Katie McCarthy, the founder and design director of Design Equals, Hotel Designs asks the firm to explain more about its Design= in a box

    In the absence of government guidance Design Equals, an agency network of creative experts for the hotel industry, has launched a new support service which will provide on-going business advice to the industry as it navigates the roadmap of re-opening.

    The recovery package consists of initiatives – including a monthly subscription service to expert advice – to aid recovery of the hospitality industry, helping independents and small chains to rebuild their business, attract high-value guests and optimise cash flow.

    Katie McCarthy, founder and design director at Design Equals, is behind some of the North’s most well-known hotel interiors, including the Lake District’s Storrs Hall and Cheshire’s boutique Ryland’s Hotel.

    Image credit: Design Equals

    She said: “The industry has unexpectedly evolved, almost overnight, due to Covid-19. The way our customers must experience hotels and short breaks will not be the same for some time, maybe never even the same again. We are working with our community, our partners, leading experts and from our European and are cascading that information to businesses in a simple, creative way – through Design= in a box.”

    With a recent survey from Design Equals finding that 72 per cent of businesses saw increased footfall and 54 per cent saw a rise in profits following a refurbishment it’s now more important than ever to ensure that whilst hotels are adhering to new social distancing rules, they are retaining an appealing interior.

    “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery.”

    Image credit: Design Equals

    There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery, however with their eclectic team of creatives the company are able to offer a tailored approach to businesses, ensuring their unique core values are met and creative concepts of venues aren’t compromised.

    There are three options for businesses to choose from, each offers different levels of guidance and addresses the main areas of priorities such as safety, space and style.

    The most popular option is the ‘Back to Business’ subscription box which retails at £59.99 per month and will keep you up-to-date of the latest guidance and advice regarding Covid-19. It will also share details of design ideas, products and discounts to help you prepare for your re-opening. As well as interior design advice you will also receive operational guidance and insights into individual business’ plans, the Back to Business subscription box will ensure you’re well informed and prepared for the big open day.

    ‘The Essentials’ support box (RRP £180) is a one-off purchase which provides an extensive guide on preparing and prioritising your space for re-opening.

    This includes a one to one consultation with a designer to discuss space, cost effective solutions such as revised use of seating arrangements, flow of operation safe spaces and flexible partitions for creating safe distancing.

    The full-service ‘Invest In Your Future’ support kit (RRP £999) is a fully personalised business solution which is developed with you by a team of experts. Customers will receive three meetings with a dedicated DESIGN=creative team specifically selected with skill sets considered to the venue type.

    The five biggest benefits seen by the hospitality industry from an interior design refurbishment have been revealed as:

    1. Increased footfall (72 per cent)
    2. Increased turnover/ profits (54 per cent)
    3. Ability to increase prices/ improve margins (37 per cent)
    4. Attracting a new, more desired customer base (36 per cent)
    5. Attracting competitors customers (33 per cent)

    The team are set to reveal the latest addition to their support package with their ‘S is for Safety Book’ in the coming weeks. The documents will explore how businesses can meet new safety measures while not compromising on style.

    Katie added: “We wanted to launch a solution that would help hotel owners prepare for re-opening, including being ready to open their doors whilst adhering to new guidelines. We need to act now to be ready to successfully re-open. Our message to outlets is whilst your doors are closed be open to change.

    “We have an army of creatives who are working together to provide sensible, educated and affordable ideas for the industry which will arm them with the knowledge and products to a successful re-opening.

    “These Design Equals packages are the first step in our long journey to rebuild a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable hotel industry. We are all incredibly eager to return to this new normality awaiting us but we have to be responsible to protect yet survive to thrive once more.”

    Design Equals is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Hamish Kilburn / 10.06.2020

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