Hotel & Catering Review: The newest hospitality consultancy to hit the market Cliste aims to go beyond direct hotel management
In December 2019, Paul Fitzgerald and Sean O’Driscoll purchased iNUA Partnership in an MBO with the aim of pivoting the business to a talent rich hospitality management company. Cliste provides a holistic level of services across hospitality from its offices in Dublin and Cork and will, says CEO Paul Fitzgerald, help businesses navigate the post covid recovery cycle that lies ahead. “Now more than ever, hospitality assets are going to need a lot of care and attention. We recognise the challenges that the pandemic will bring to hospitality in the recovery phase, but we believe we have the right systems and structures in place. Most importantly. The last 18 months have been about securing the right talent to deliver on our aim to be Ireland’s leading hotel management operator. Now we’ve got the right team and we’re well prepared when it comes to playing our part in the speedy recovery of Irish Hospitality and Tourism” said, Paul.
Despite managing nine hotels and within that portfolio, 19 bars and restaurants and seven convention centres, Cliste is on the lookout for more opportunities. “That could be anything from hospitality business looking for pre-opening consultancy, assistance with post-Covid strategies and business reviews to see what’s working and what isn’t, to taking on a fully-fledged management contract. The latter would mean managing the asset from cradle to grave on behalf of the owner. We’re also conscious that the hospitality sector in Ireland is a very segregated market; many hotels are in family ownership. We believe we can also assist in terms of managing the transition from the first generation to the second or even the third in those family-owned hospitality assets.” Traditionally, Cliste would have acquired 4 or 5 Star regional hospitality assets that aren’t overly reliant on one sector. If you have an over-reliance on rooms, the recovery time after Covid may well be elongated whereas if you have a good mix of corporates, leisure, weddings, a spa etc. you’re better placed for recovery.” Cliste is also interested in hotels that might be under the 4 Star rating but have the potential to move up a grade. “There may be some hotels that with a bit of capital expenditure and love and attention, could move up.”
The company has also appointed Avenue 9 Solutions Ltd to provide strategic guidance and direction on hospitality technologies and processes at an executive level. It’s a move that processes at an executive level. It’s a move that will, says Paul, create a technology framework that suits both the existing portfolio and any new acquisitions or management agreements the company will make.
“Sean and I are very proud to launch Cliste Hospitality. Our team has put a lot of work over the last year and a half into preparing for this moment, creating a solid platform that can seamlessly step into any quality hospitality offering, whether that’s a city or destination hotel, a resort, a restaurant or bar group or a tourist destination, to identify and maximise any asset’s business potential. Our team’s track record show that our guidance, expertise and systems can transform a good operation into a great one, with the right return on investment for owners.”