German aviation entrepreneur Hans-Rudorf Wöhrl is flying high with the launch of a new hi-tech hotel chain under the name Dormero Hotels together with his son.
But the businessman, who is head of the family's fashion store chain, has also quietly built up a small chain of five-star hotels in the last few years under the management of his 28-year-old son Marcus. The Wöhrls currently have eight Domero hotels, including in Hanover, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stuttgart and Dresden, with a mix of ownership and leases. They plan to expand to 20 locations in the next few years. The main characteristics of the properties are hi-tech rooms with giant flatscreens, smartphone docking stations, free wi-fi, and trendy furniture, as well as limited gastronomy. But even more unusual is the staffing policy. Instead of hiring experienced hotel workers, the Wöhrls prefer to take on staff from other industries and let them wear fashionable clothes at work rather than uniforms. In a joint interview with fvw, Marcus Wöhrl explained that he mostly communicates with the hotel managers through a WhatsApp group, rotates the head office managers through the hotel properties and ensures that the hotel managers also work in the head office from time to time. "That creates respect for other people's work. I can't stand arrogant managers," he declared. Explaining why Dormero employs non-hotel staff, he said: "We want to be different in many areas. That's why we need a good mix of different professions. It makes us unpredictable for competitors." Hans-Rudorf Wöhrl said the group wanted to reward customers who booked early and opposed offering heavy discounts for last-minute bookings. "Why should someone who books later pay less? We want to offer fair prices." This meant that room prices gradually rise along with the occupancy rate. "At the end we might be slightly cheaper than others but we have better average rates," he claimed. Dormero, with prices ranging from €59 to €399 per room, has an average occupancy rate of 68%.