Hotel Business Review: Week of Apr 14, 2014

Peter Brooke
  • Sales & Marketing
  • How a Hotel Executive Can Beat the OTA at Their Own Game
  • As a hotel executive, maybe you attended Cornell or another prestigious hospitality school. You have really honed your skills over the years, paid your dues and worked your way up from housekeeping to the front desk and through the ranks to general manager or some other highly esteemed position. Hopefully, it’s been worth the hard work, long hours and working almost every vacation, only to be thanked with the usual Tuesday off, which you could enjoy with your friends, except they had regular jobs and couldn’t enjoy it with you. Now that you finally have a more stable schedule and some sense of normalcy, along comes the OTA (online travel agency) to regulate your reservations and force you to pay an unheard of 12% – 25% in order to get reservations you would normally have received through your relationships with various associations and travel agents you cultivated over the years. The OTA fleecing has begun! Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Social Media & PR
  • How to Monitor Social Media
  • You know they’re out there: people talking about your hotel on social media. But if you’re not listening they could be shooting arrows at your back and you won’t know it till you feel the pain. Monitoring the conversation in social media doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. It not only gives you a chance to deflect the arrows, it can help you learn what customers are looking for and find better ways to market your strengths. Here’s how to get started. Read on...

Kathleen Pohlid
  • Hospitality Law
  • Background Checks for Employees
  • The decision whether or not to conduct background checks on prospective employees presents liability issues for establishments. Failure to conduct background checks for employees who have frequent contact with the public poses potential liability for negligent hiring. However, use of background checks to screen applicants for employment may also pose a risk for potential charges of discrimination and unlawful employment practices. Additionally, establishments must comply with federal and state laws when conducting background checks. This article will discuss these issues and provide best practices for establishments in determining when to use background checks and policies for conducting them. Read on...

Marco  Albarran
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Educating the Guest on Your Services in Order to be Measured Fairly
  • So what truly matters to the hospitality guest? Their perception/interpretation and quality that we, the hospitality business, have to offer to them. Interestingly, they are more intrigued by the intangible service, or personal service, that they receive from the staff members above everything else. They want employees that care. This is why we need to always have a consistent culture of service be the overall main focus of our success, as this is the most important service component, even more so that the latest trendy tangible products, which you may invest in and offer. Read on...

APRIL: Cultivating Guest Satisfaction and Retention

Simon Hudson

According to the Oxford Dictionary an apostle is a “vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause”. For hotels, creating apostles should be a priority. They are the most loyal customers and they are so satisfied that they want to convert others to share their experiences. But how do hotels create apostles? This article looks at how some hotels around the world are delivering not only superior products and services, but through customization and personalization are creating guests who would not dream of staying anywhere else. Read on...

Edward Reagoso

In the hustle and bustle of being accountable for so many facets of the hotel business, a hotel general manager needs to do one thing to truly secure his or her future in our industry, that being “insuring your team members truly care about your guests stay.” Sounds simple enough, right? This is not rocket science and I mean no disrespect to anyone struggling with operations or sales issues that can often seem surmountable. We all have these problems at one time or another. There are resolutions to every issue we have. The resolution to any problem is really just a matter of applying a specific strategy that will minimize the issue or frankly, make it go away completely. How many times have you walked into a situation with a guest that was surprised and upset that a tiny issue was never dealt with by a front desk agent, housekeeper, waiter, maintenance person, or even a manager that worked for you? I have too, the important thing is that we learn from this and move forward. One must insure everyone on our team grasps the importance of caring and the application of certain techniques can solidify a culture. Getting everyone on your team to care about your guests really is the key. Read on...

Rick Garlick Ph.D.

A primary objective of hotel operators is to keep their properties full of ‘heads in beds’ to capacity. While this goal is understandable, there is a risk hotels may market themselves indiscriminately and draw guests that are not a good match to their particular value proposition. While this meets a short term goal of wasting as little inventory as possible, there is a longer term risk that these guests may provide negative feedback about their stays, even though the hotel was being true to its own identity and branding. Indeed, the guest experience cannot be fairly evaluated apart from the expectations and preferences a person brings to the hotel from the time he or she books a room. Using a comparative restaurant example, a top steakhouse could never deliver a satisfying experience to a committed vegetarian, even if it provided the best cut of meat and the most attentive service. You have to like steak to positively evaluate the experience. Read on...

Aaron  Housman

Things will go wrong. It’s inevitable in life and in business. And the sooner one gets to that conclusion the sooner he can get on with what comes next: preparing for the inevitable. In the hotel business that means following up with guests when the experience is substandard for any number of reasons, from guest service to property maintenance to the type of sheets on the bed. But there is a difference between just preparing for the inevitable and being well-prepared. Following up effectively with upset guests doesn’t happen accidentally. It is planned, trained tracked and executed every day. It is a way of life for best-in-class operations. Read on...

Coming Up In The May Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Sustainable Development: Integrating Practices for the Environment and the Bottom Line
The term “sustainable development” was first coined in 1987. In a report entitled, “Our Common Future,” the Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as follows: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition immediately caught on. In the business world, it is sometimes referred to as a triple bottom line – capturing the concept that investments are profitable, good for people and protective of the environment. Within the hotel industry, companies have taken an active role in committing themselves to addressing climate change and sustainability. Hotel operations have realized that environmentally sound practices not only help the environment, but can lead to cost reductions, business expansion, and profit growth as consumers increasingly seek environmentally sustainable products and services. In a recent survey by Deloitte, it was noted that 95% of respondents believe that the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives. Additionally, 38% of respondents said they made efforts to identify “green” hotels before traveling, and 40% said they would be willing to pay a premium for the privilege. These results suggest that consumers want and expect sustainability in their travel plans. In response to these trends, many hotel companies and on-line travel agencies have even begun offering their consumers an opportunity to purchase carbon offsets to reduce the environmental impact of their trips. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some leading hotels are integrating sustainability practices into their hotels and how their operations, consumers and the environment are profiting from them.