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Interview with Mr Franck Royer

Interview with Mr Franck Royer (General Manager)
Gefinor Rotana Hotel genuine sense of hospitality

Frank Royer General Manager of  Rotana Gefinor Beirut:” What distinguishes Rotana Hotels is their genuine sense of hospitality”
“The Arab Spring and G.C.C Travel Ban affected our occupancy rates negatively”
“We aim at targeting customers from the corporate world”
“We are opening our Rotana branch in turkey by the end of this year”
“Our occupancy rate was excellent in the first 6 months of 2012 to slow down later and to recover again lately”
“The political situation in Lebanon does not give much hope and we wait for a ban lift on behalf of Gulf countries”
“We have a very good location surrounded with famous hospitals and universities”
“We have renovated the lobby and the floor below it and a room renovation is in view”
Our restaurant serves an international buffet at breakfast, lunch and dinner and on Wednesdays we have the Asian Nights and on Mondays, the fisherman`s night on Thursdays and a lunch menu at affordable prices

* What distinguishes the Rotana Hotels and their services in Lebanon?
What distinguishes the Rotana Hotels is their genuine sense of hospitality as a regional and international company starting since 21 years with 2 hotels to reach 85 properties between the operating hotels and the ones that will be opening soon.

* What negative effects did you notice on your activities in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring?
The Arab Spring affected us. And we were affected as much as Lebanon by the travel Ban imposed by Gulf countries, since it reduced our occupancy and many travelers refrained from coming to Lebanon.

* What kind of clients are you targeting in Lebanon?
In Lebanon, and in Rotana Hotels specifically we are targeting the business people from the corporate world who form 60% of our customers.

* To what extent do you rely on other Rotana Hotels in  Arab Countries for increasing your occupancy?
Rotana is well-known in G.C.C Countries and in the Arab World . People know about the brand and insist on visiting Rotana Beirut. We are opening by the end of this year in Turkey where we will be present since they do not know us yet.

* How do you describe your rates compared with 5 stars hotels in Lebanon?
Our rates have dropped due to the demand. They are the market rates, we are in line with the market, we deal with the flow. Less the demand we have, less the rates. We have a strong base of corporate business. We keep so far the same rates and go with the flow of the market.

* What occupancy rate did you have during 2012/2013?
Going back to 2012, the first 6 months were excellent until June of last year. Since June of last year, there was a drop and we started to recover slowly in February, March and April of this year. Until these days, when it started to slow down again, because we are not enjoying stability yet.

* Does the political and security crisis in Lebanon affect the volume of your business?
It does. When the new prime minister was nominated, we felt a growing  demand, but still no government was formed, and the situation does not give much hope. And the people are waiting in Lebanon and the G.C.C. for a ban lift.

* How do you overcome such difficulties?
To compensate, we have several packages and summer promotions (including beach access) to make it attractive abroad for foreigners to visit Lebanon. Also, we offer attractive promotions for the holy month of Ramadan.
* What are the main nationalities staying in your hotel?
Number one the Lebanese living abroad, the Emiratis, the British, the Americans, the Iraqis, and in lesser numbers now Syrian nationals.

* What development plans do you have on your business map for the future?
Two years ago, we  renovated the lobby and added to it a nice patio behind it. Last year, the floor below the lobby was converted into a meeting room.  And a renovation of the rooms is in view.

* What about the hotel’s restaurant?
The Olive Garden is a fantastic outlet and has a homely atmosphere. Our night team organizes Asian nights on Wednesdays serving Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. We also emphasize the Fisherman's Catch organized every Thursday night, where an elaborated seafood dinner buffet is served with seafood and fresh catch live station.It is for US$ 52 per person including beverages open house wine, beer, juices and soft drinks. Every Monday, we are launching a business menu that enables each person to taste and re-taste several Lebanese dishes also the next Monday of the next week. This is a quick lunch formula at affordable prices.

* What are your prices for the Asian Nights organized each Wednesday?
49$ per person including beverages (open wine and soft drinks)

* A small Personal Biographic Portrait
The previous position I occupied was in Bustan Rotana in Al Garhoud- Dubai, where I stayed for 5-6 years as executive assistant manager, before that I worked for Intercontinental Company for 15 years in Canada and Paris. I gained a professional background in F&B Sector. And grew up in the hospitality Industry. Married and a father of 2 daughters.