Red Carnation Centralises Commercial Teams with an Agile Revenue Strategy

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Hotel Type




Challenges Icon


  • Provide a consistent brand experience
  • Maximise revenue to counteract rising costs
  • Greater insights to market and competitor behaviour
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Results Icon


  • Centralised and aligned commercial department
  • Data-led decision making
  • ADR up 20%
  • Improved metasearch ROI

The Story

Founded in 1952, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is a family-owned and operated portfolio of properties comprising 18 luxury properties around the world, each renowned for its dedication to providing exceptional guest experiences with a local flavour.

The management wanted to revitalise its strategic approach to revenue management and consolidate the function within a centralised commercial team.

Enabling Transparency

Sarah Glanville, Red Carnation’s Director of Revenue, has seen the value of IDeaS’ RMS data to inform the wider commercial function and manage performance metrics.

“We typically use IDeaS for most things like last room availability reporting and managing our BAR levels. We get indications on what rates we should set, and we blend these with our ADR metrics,” -Glanville said.

IDeaS also supports group evaluations, segmenting and forecasting, as well as providing the data to communicate the strategy to wider commercial and operational teams.

“We need to keep a close eye on how every property is behaving and support each general manager,” Glanville explained. “The reports have lovely graphs and are very beneficial for general managers who require a visual view of business performance versus the revenue team working directly with the numbers. We display information depending on who we are talking to in the hotel.”

Rethinking People. Revitalising Revenue.

In 2020, Red Carnation centralised its commercial and revenue function to improve efficiencies and focus on delivering a revenue-generating guest experience across the portfolio.

“It’s important to bring everyone together as one commercial team. There are so many factors that play into the commercial strategy that we must be aware of one another’s perspectives,” -said Suzie Thompson, Vice President of Commercial at Red Carnation.

The commercial team now aligns revenue more closely with sales, providing an increased understanding of trends, lead times and purchase behaviour – areas where IDeaS RMS really comes into its own.

“We need to keep an eye on supply – and the landscape is very different to what it was three years ago. Using all the info we have, our revenue strategy is more flexible and agile,” Thompson added. She has also encouraged her team to see their six London properties as one single 600-room brand experience.

“Having a different commercial approach to inventory gives us more opportunity,” she said. “We are focusing on how to maximise the full estate.”

We had a record-breaking 2022, with ADR up 20% since 2019. With increased operating costs, we need to make considerably more revenue to make the same profit. IDeaS is crucially important to maximise our overall revenue.

– Suzie Thompson, Vice President of Commercial at Red Carnation

Change of Mindset: Offsetting Costs

Typically, Red Carnation was ADR focused. However, following a period of improved performance and strong traveller markets, there is little room to leverage room rate without impacting guest expectations. Therefore, the team has turned its focus to maximising total revenue from guests to offset costs.

“We had a record-breaking 2022, with ADR up 20% since 2019,” said Thompson. “With increased operating costs, we need to make considerably more revenue to make the same profit. IDeaS is crucially important to maximise our overall revenue.”

Insights provided by IDeaS identifies demand, letting the commercial team create special offers at the right time for the right audiences, ensuring its prices reflect the opportunity. “It’s important that we use facts to double check our assumptions,” she concluded.

Improving Metasearch Investment

Red Carnation has also invested heavily in metasearch as part of its direct booking strategy. Rate parity data has been essential to continually maximise the performance of their listing.

“We see Google overperforming year on year, and this really does help us retain good direct real estate within search engines. The metasearch delivers revenue growth and improved ROI every month,” said Thomson. “IDeaS really crosses over between the revenue and direct marketing teams allowing us to better manage costs, commission and acquisition.”

With further investment planned in metasearch, the team needs to ensure they are doing all they can to maximise impact. For this reason, managing rate parity is essential to get the best return. IDeaS, alongside OTA Insights, has proved particularly effective for picking up anomalies further out.

“Having that transparency into high-performing dates or events enables us to react much quicker,” she explained.