Tanja und Thomas Frank vom Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Bad Urach auf der Schwäbischen Alb

Waiting for the reopening

Valentine’s Day at the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Valentine’s Day on February 14th every year divides people’s minds: some celebrated it as a day of love, others dismissed it as commerce. But this day is not only one of the best-selling days of the year for florists, but also for restaurateurs and hoteliers. So also for the married couple Tanja and Thomas Frank, owners of the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Bad Urach. During the lockdown it is unfortunately not possible for them to pamper their guests personally, because like all industry colleagues they are waiting for the reopening. That’s why they came up with something very special: visitors to the website are greeted by a pop-up with a three-course menu for Valentine’s Day that can be ordered, the Valentine’s box.

Boxes to enjoy from Bad Urach

The Frank family had already come up with something at Christmas: boxes on the subject of “goose”. The cooked dishes, according to the trained chef Thomas Frank, are of course not even delivered within Germany, but vacuum-insulated and sent on the journey in a package with ice packs. In fact, there were 40 boxes outside the region in winter.

We are always happy to come up with something for love and our guests

Familie Frank

No standstill at the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

As for the entire hotel and restaurant industry, it is also a difficult time for the Frank family. The companies have already been closed for 13 weeks and most of them are waiting for the day to reopen, with only a partial payment of the November aid.

At normal times, the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten employs 20-25 people. Since the hotel is below the regular workforce of 50 people, the Frank family can expect a reimbursement of sales of 75 percent instead of 70 percent. The application went very quickly, but processing still takes time: “We are still waiting for half of the total amount,” says Thomas Frank.

Exchange of colleagues within the Flair Hotels

As one of 42 Flair Hotels in Germany and Austria, the Franks always have close contact with their Flair colleagues. All Flair Hotels are family-run businesses, unique in their region and so geographically distributed that they don’t get in each other’s way.

The almost 50 hoteliers have been exchanging digital information every week since November 2020; Thomas Frank found out that some companies recently received the full payment. “Networking with my colleague helps a lot because you can discuss ambiguities and give each other tips.” And indeed there are unexpected revelations here, such as the competence of one’s own tax advisor: “The government is not to blame for everything, sometimes there is a problem somewhere else,” says Thomas Frank with a smile.

Stay optimistic and persevere

At the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, one no longer believes in the hope of being able to open at Easter. Nonetheless, Tanja and Thomas Frank remain optimistic. You are currently looking online for a specialist for reception and for a Chef de Partie. Because only three employees of the old workforce remained, some former employees are now trying their luck in other industries. However, the Frank family is certain: “The pandemic will have consequences. For this, however, you will only be ridiculed by some colleagues. But the industry has to change and we have already started.”

Change in the hotel industry

The Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten usually accommodates more than 50 percent business travelers; however, many of them will not come back as conferences often take place online now and in the future. Since November 2020, only 10 guests have stayed at Franks for work. And it is precisely this failure that the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten would like to compensate with those seeking relaxation.

For this reason, the Frank family is currently expanding the reception and setting up a new lobby. And all of this with more space so that the guests can keep their distance after the pandemic and feel even safer and more comfortable. Because not only the hoteliers but also the guests are waiting for an early reopening.

Our guests should feel even more comfortable with us

Tanja & Thomas Frank

Regional products in our own online shop

The regionality of the products used is a major issue at the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. That is why the Frank family recently entered into a cooperation with the Biolandhof Bleiche of the Bruderhaus Diakonie. And it is precisely these regional products and menus that are marketed in the in-house online shop. Thanks to Corona, Thomas Frank has finally found the time to set up this online shop, which he had had as an idea in his head for a long time. The shop is currently not yet profitable; Thomas Frank expects two to three years for it to be established.

Waiting for the reopening

With the low income, government aid and the reserves, one could hold out for a while. The Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is now in its fourth generation. And one has already survived much worse: during the Second World War, the house burned to the ground in a bomb attack in February 1945. Since an opening at Easter is unlikely to be expected, the operating couple Frank are now waiting for the second season and are looking forward to welcoming guests again soon.

Enjoy a few relaxing days in the Flair Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten.