Home Away From Home
Mayur Patel was the first Studio 6 ‘zee in the Dallas market, and he now owns five.
Winner: Studio 6
Finalists: Days Inn, Econolodge, Super 8
You can’t eclipse Mayur Patel’s experience in hospitality. A huge chunk of his immediate and extended family are in the hotel business, and Patel actually lived in a hotel up until he was 25, helping his parents with everything from working the front desk, housekeeping, pool maintenance and even stocking the vending machines. He followed a well-worn family path into hospitality, and he’s not short of his own enthusiasm for the industry that’s defined his world to date.
Based in Dallas, Patel is one of the very first Studio 6 franchisees and has six properties and 10 Motel 6 locations, which are both owned by parent company G6 Hospitality.
As a second-generation hotelier, Patel has family and friends associated with most major brands, but he has a love of the extended-stay category and Studio 6 in particular—both of which he wholeheartedly recommends to anyone considering getting into the biz.
“The franchisors at G6 truly care about the business, they want to be involved, want to help with the process when it comes to renovations, to openings and operations and ongoing help, sales and marketing support, so they’ve been right with us throughout,” he said. “Out of the numerous brands we’ve worked with, whether it was a Holiday Inn, Ramada, Travelodge, none were as successful” as that first Studio 6 location.
He added the keepers of the Studio 6 brand grew too quickly and went down some misguided paths years ago. The brand has refocused itself on smart growth, which has produced a notable boost to his family’s bottom line.
Before getting first-hand experience with Studio 6, he and his father and uncle noticed how a nearby Motel 6 was always full, which sparked the interest that led to later acquiring a different extended stay property and converting it to a Studio 6.
The brand recognition of the “6” in the Studio 6 brand is one of the key reasons Patel said he’s found such success with extended-stay lodging, rather than traditional one- or two-night guests. That recognition from the public has proven to be worth its weight in gold.
“Their signage is very recognizable, so that truly helps with driving people to the door,” he said. “That 6 on the signage helps bring in a lot of walk-in traffic, and those can be your nightly stays and drive up your ADR,” or average daily rate.
Looking forward, Patel feels like demand is still outpacing supply growth in the extended-stay sub-category, which means he’s just as bullish about his next years in the category, with plans to continue growing his portfolio.
“Growing with the S6 brand is an absolute no-brainer,” he said. “We like working with this brand, the ‘zor has truly created an environment where they truly care, want you to succeed and provide you all the tools you need to succeed, so going forward that’s where I want to be.”
Personal cell phone numbers
Fifteen hundred miles to the west in Southern California, Amar Patel is another second-generation hotelier who’s found success in hotels and built his family portfolio to 20 properties and counting. He owns one Studio 6 and Motel 6 a piece, and expects to open two more by the end of 2019.
While he enjoys the profit margin Studio 6 has delivered, he also likes simple things like the layout of the guest rooms, which is even more important for longer-term guests. Asked what needs work at Studio 6 or G6 Hospitality, he wasn’t able to find fault, especially with its hands-on franchisee servicing.
Speaking of his experience with renovations, he said the company’s staff and management team—even VPs and directors—handed out personal cell phone numbers in case any problems arose during the project.
“They were getting on a weekly call with myself and my brother to see how the renovation was going and how they could help us,” he said. “They helped us with the layout of the guest rooms, they flew out here four to five times throughout the year to see if they could do anything to help us out.”
Our Zor Awards researchers found good things about Studio 6, as well, including an Item 19 with a full breakdown of franchisee income based on the number of rooms. Using data pulled from our Top 200+ ranking, the Studio 6 brand posted 12 percent year-over-year sales growth during 2017, which is an exceptionally strong showing, even in the hospitality category that is seeing years of almost uninterrupted sales and unit growth.
G6 Hospitality CEO Rob Palleschi was previously the CEO of TGI Friday’s and spent 12 years at Hilton as its global head of full-service brands, which bodes well for the future of a fast-growing hotel company that’s raised more than a few eyebrows among hospitality lifers and newcomers alike.
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