Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

April 2020 | United Arab Emirates

Content Library

Manchising and the future of Owner/Operator relationships

Posted on January 29, 2018

Filippo Sona - Director, Head of Hotels, (MENA Region), Colliers International - does not shy away from the current misunderstanding that exists in the marketplace around manchising. As Middle-East owners consider taking on more of the operator’s responsibility (as happens commonly in the US) under a typical franchising business model, Filippo sets out a few home truths early on.

“On one side, yes, it is a cost saving business model. On the other one, it is a capital-intensive investment”

The challenge here, according to Filippo, is that owners need to really audit how capable they are with regards to managing their own sales and marketing, purchasing and other core functions that traditionally sit in the realm of the operator. He also speaks on the upside of getting manchising right, including the ability to tailor and localise the consumer proposition and the way in which it is communicated.

At its core, Filippo argues that owners and operators have an initial view on what the other should do, however, after some time, they become “distracted”. He argues that manchising will encourage a long-term focus for both parties and prevent them from taking each other for granted.

Filippo Sona is one of the most recognisable names in the international hotel investment community. With 20 years’ experience working for international hotel companies and consultancies in UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa, Filippo specializes in destination and hotel development for mixed uses and stand alone projects, market & financial feasibility study, operator selection and strategic asset management. He is a trusted voice on the AHIC advisory board known for his firm and frank views that often capture headlines across industry press.