Header - Article - Success Tips for the Hospitality Market
Originally published in PPC Magazine.

Hotels, resorts and restaurants are an excellent sales opportunity for painting contractors who understand the market and are acquainted with the wide range of products available to keep these properties looking good.

Understanding the market

According to statistics compiled by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel Association of Canada, there are more than 59,000 hotels, resorts and other lodging properties in the U.S. and Canada. And there are nearly 700,000 restaurants in the two countries, according to a census conducted by the NPD Group, a New York-based market research firm.

“Most hotels and many restaurants are part of a regional franchise chain with multiple units under management by a property management group,” says Joe Kujawski, Director of Wholesale Marketing for the Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Group. “Painters seeking to tap into the hospitality maintenance painting market should speak with the local property manager to see which management group is responsible for the property.”

From there, you’ll want to call on that management office to find out the full list of properties that they manage.

“Ask the property manager for the opportunity to do their next painting project to show them your quality workmanship by giving you a paint job,” Kujawski says. Once you are awarded a job, he suggests following these four steps to ensure repeat business:

  • Walk the job with your Sherwin-Williams rep to identify the surface prep needed and to write a paint specification tailored to that property.
  • Show the specification to the property manager to demonstrate that your products have been specifically recommended by the paint manufacturer and are the best match for the project.
  • If needed, your rep can have color scheme recommendations created.
  • Once the first project is done, ask for another – and also ask for a reference to use in pursuing business with other hospitality property managers.

Keep in mind that hospitality properties often want the maintenance painting done in the off hours to avoid disrupting guests. Property managers also appreciate uniformed paint crews who erect temporary zip walls to keep work dust contained and in general strive to keep work areas clean and neat.

Profiting from product opportunities

Hospitality projects often require a wide range of coatings, everything from standard architectural paints to specialized, high-performance protective finishes. Besides your basic rooms and wood trim, there are opportunities to coat floors, fitness centers, food preparation areas, parking garages, sidewalks, driveways, patios and both indoor and outdoor pools. Pavement marking, decorative concrete and roof coatings may also come into play.

“Every hospitality property has high traffic areas,” Kujawski says. “These are busy spaces like corridors, lobbies, fitness centers, bars and banquet rooms where there are lots of people and lots of activity. Regular latex paint does not hold up in these areas for very long, which leads to frequent repainting, business disruption and wasted expense.” Kujawski recommends that painters identify these areas and suggest upgrading to an industrial grade paint, such as Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial Pre-Catalyzed Epoxy.

“Pro Industrial coatings are more impact and abrasion resistant and withstand scuffs, stains, marks and frequent washings,” he says. “Owners will appreciate the extended life cycle of your paint job, which will save them money, keep their property looking great and help them maintain happy guests. And, they’ll come to view you as a trusted advisor for future paint projects.”