The perfect match

BON Blog - The perfect match

As much as people ‘do business’ with like-minded people, businesses ‘do business’ with like-minded businesses. There certainly needs to be some sort of a match.

Whether buying or building a hotel, the decision to involve a hotel management company is a big one. In fact, if the project is funded by a major financial institution, this requirement is obligatory. But finding this ‘match’ is where things can go wrong, as legacy relationships between financial institutions and the big management companies can interfere with making the right choice. Hotel consultants performing operator selection could be biased to management companies who are rewarding them handsomely, and because of this bias, don’t always act in the best interest of the business. The result? A mis-match between hotel and management company.

Yes, big international players are suited to 5-star city hotels; their strongest market is often their international inbound travellers, so the match is substantiated. As for the rest of the hotel and resorts out there, however, I’ll be brazen here and claim that regional players should be the choice for the best match.  

The cost of marrying your business with an international brand can be severe. Big hotel brands have less flexibility than regional players and their rules of engagement insist on international standards. Costs of adhering to these standards can be twice as high, as their systems, operating procedures and brand requirements drive profit margins to the brink. Managers are left with systems that are onerous, or with unnecessary software coming at a not-so-small fee. Generic, prescribed menus are dictated, leaving owners hands’ tied as to supporting local. Wine lists, for instance, are decided at head office level, leaving an owner with no choice but to potentially ostracise his community. Clauses often bind owners into additional costs on things that may very well be a norm internationally, but may not be a necessity by South African standards. We see hotel owners being forced into procuring supplies from suppliers whose pricing structures are not always levelled in the best interest of that particular hotel business. We see hotel owners having to spend millions to conform to international safety and fire standards which are well above their legislated norms here in South Africa, one may argue.

Of course, the age-old debate of Regional vs International management companies should come down to one calculation: who can put bums in beds? To be successful at this, a hotelier must know the market, and more importantly, must be able to not only serve, but build relationships within these markets that will be servicing the hotel.

If you are dealing with a regional operator, you are dealing directly with a locally experienced management team. We at BON Hotels are able to negotiate our contracts, make concessions and massage a deal until it works well for both parties. I urge hotel owners to think carefully when choosing operators for a local mid-market hotel, understanding that there is such a thing as a perfect match.


Guy Stehlik, CEO of BON Hotels
Chief Executive Officer

Having grown up in the corridors and reception areas of Cape Town hotels, Guy Stehlik is no stranger to the hospitality industry.


10 000-hour rule 2014 2015 3 Star Hotel 5-star hotels africa African countries African Development African Experience African Opportunities Art of War asia Bank investment Big City Deals BON Academy and Training Institute BON Bill of Rights BON Blitz BON Ethos BON Hotels BON Principles BON STARS BONami Bosses Budget Budgets Business Business Coach Business Relationships Business Rescue Business Travellers Call Centre Cape Town Cape Town Hotels in the CBD Career Day Careers Cash Flow Citizen M Client Colleagues Company Culture Company Start Up Connections Consumer behaviour Core Values Corporate Corporate traveller Corruption COVID-19 Creating Jobs Cruise Liner Industry Debtors Democracy Digital Experience Distressed Hotel Distressed Hotels Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs EXCO meetings Family Entertainment Food and Beverage foreign General Manager General Managers Generation Y Get the basics right Global Crisis Goals Good People Government Government initiatives Gratitude Green-fielding growth Guest comment Guest expectations Guests HICA Conference Home life hospitality Hospitality Company Hospitality Industry Hospitality Industry Leaders Hospitality Industry; Statistics; Value-for-money; Government; Holiday; Tourism Hospitality Sector Hotel agreements Hotel basics Hotel contracts Hotel Design Hotel Developers Hotel Developments Hotel Guests Hotel Industry Hotel Investment Conference Africa Hotel Management Hotel Management Company Hotel Management Contract Hotel Management Contracts Hotel Management Personnel Hotel Management; Lease Agreements; Portfolio of Hotels; Management Companies Hotel Operator Hotel Operators Hotel Owners Hotel Rooms Hotel School Hotel take over Hoteliers Hotels Industry Events Industry exhibitions and events International brand International Hotel Brand International Hotel Brands International Hotels It's my Biz Job-seekers Kwazulu Natal Life Lessons Local hotels Local Markets local travellers Lockdown Long-haul Destination Loyalty Programme Loyalty programs Management Company Management Experience Marketing Strategies Meetings Africa Mentoring Mentors Millenials mobile most outrageous job Namib-Cape Route Namibia Nedbank Networking new markets New projects nigeria Operations organic growth organisation Outliers Owner's Bill of Rights owner-staff-guest-centric company Partnerships in Hospitality passion Plan Profitable Business Proposals Public Relations Publicity Relationships Resort Management Return on Ego Return on Investment Revenue Sales skills Sales Team Senior Management Sharing Economy Small Towns social media Solo Travellers south africa South African Banks South African Government; Politics; Department of Home Affairs; Investors; Tourism South African Tourism South Africans Staff Staff movements Strategic Planning Student life Survey Talent Targets Team member Technology Teen Entertainment Third part agent tourism Tourism Industry Tourism markets Trade Shows Training travel trends Vaccine Value Value adds Value for money Values Verbal abuse; Racial abuse Visa West Africa Wi-Fi Women in the workplace Work hours Xenophobia Young Talent Zambia


12% off when you
book online via

You’ve got this in the bag!

Book Now

Hotel Reservations