The N&C experience at Mercure Nice Centre Notre-Dame

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Thierry Douet, manager of the Mercure de Nice Centre Notre-Dame. It’s a 200-room hotel in the centre of Nice, which I’ve been running for almost two years now.

How did you come to work with N&C?

I called on N&C’s services at the very beginning of 2023, following the maternity leave of our Revenue Manager. The assignment was initially scheduled to run until September, but we extended it to January 2024.

We turned to N&C because, at the time, Turenne Capital, our owner, was talking to N&C about installing the Revenue Management System (RMS) – revbell – in their non-franchised hotels.

What were your expectations when recruiting the consultant?

We needed someone to manage Revenue Management on a day-to-day basis, with the team here on site. We had a lot of expectations on the technical side – because there are more and more people in this role. This involves managing the distribution channels, the Accor platform, setting up all the technical details, the different offers made throughout the year…

In short, we wanted a consultant who would work with me to define the strategy and coordinate with the team here on site (in particular with the reservations team). The aim was to know what we could open, close or even what Pricing we could have, so as to anticipate as much as possible.

How did the integration of our consultant go?

We started working well with Sylvain quite quickly. At first, he came on site to hand over the reins to our Revenue Manager, before she went on maternity leave.

In terms of interpersonal skills, Sylvain was immediately integrated into the team. He has a real facility for responding quickly to queries. Today, we organise ourselves around two weekly meetings. On Mondays with me, and on Thursdays by videoconference with the whole team, to explain his strategy.

What was the added value of your collaboration with N&C?

Our processes were already well in place, and Sylvain brought his own approach and way of communicating to the table. However, his role was to continue to manage what already existed, and he wasn’t there to change everything.  

We had high expectations of the hotel’s performance because 2022 had gone well. As usual, when things go well, we had a bit of pressure for the following year!

What’s more, during the first six months of the year, we had a period of renovation at the hotel which involved 75 of our 200 rooms – as well as the restaurant and the rooftop. Until the middle of July, we had to manage floors that were closed, and we had to adapt as the work progressed. It was quite a tricky juggling act!

The months of April (with the Easter period), May, June and early July – which are beginning to be the high season for us – were complex, with periods of closure, opening… We reopened the hotel completely in mid-July.

We needed someone with Sylvain’s kind of mental gymnastics, and that was greatly appreciated. I insist because I think Sylvain was great, and it was very important for us that he understood the context and was able to adapt to the situation at all times.

We got through this renovation period without any impact on the result, even though our budget had been planned without this work. In the end, we even achieved a result that exceeded our forecasts! And I think everyone played their part in this success, including Sylvain.

Sylvain is now working on the budget, and I hope he’ll come up with a budget that’s voluntary but achievable!

What did you enjoy most about working with N&C?

In this type of relationship, I think that a lot is down to the know-how of the company, but also to the person you’re dealing with.

If I’d had someone who wasn’t as good a listener, with less experience, it might have been harder to get into the swing of things and be effective straight away.

The good thing about Sylvain, who is a senior member of your team, is that he knows what it’s like to manage pricing, he knows all the OTAs, and he’s perfectly aware of the RM environment. That was effective straight away. What’s more, he’s been very open with the team and that’s really appreciated!

Overall, I would recommend N&C without any problem.

Keywords: Mercure Nice, Accor, Revenue Management, Yield Management, Consulting, Customer experience