Hotel Business Review: Week of Dec 15, 2014

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • Leveraging Your Key Performance Indicators to Boost Bottom Line
  • Key Performance Indicators or KPIs as they are popularly known as, are a favorite topic in management meetings or in boardroom talk and owner conferences. Everybody likes to wax eloquent about these magical measures that deliver revenues and profits on a consistent basis. The sad truth though is that these KPIs are grossly misunderstood, vaguely interpreted and abundantly under utilized. KPIs are often revenue, profit or operation related indexes or measures that play a big part in the business results of a hotel. It is thus important that firstly, these measures are specifically identified and listed for monthly scrutiny and review. Secondly they must become part of what are known as Management Reports and reviewed thoroughly every month by key personnel. Read on...

Klaus Kohlmayr
  • Revenue Management
  • Effective Front Desk Upselling Increases Online Reputation by 25%
  • Implementing effective upselling methodology into a hotel’s front desk protocol has long been demonstrated to have a substantially positive and immediate effect on property revenues. Also considered a subsequent result of successful upselling is an increase in guest satisfaction, due to each guest receiving a unique experience, tailored to match their own specific needs. While instances of increasingly satisfied guests would seem to go hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of positive online reviews, until recently, no data had been collected or analyzed to validate such a relationship, or that of upselling’s ability to influence online reputation. Following a joint study conducted by Brand Karma on behalf of TSA Solutions at multiple Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts properties, the results demonstrate the very real impact that a well-structured and consistent upselling program can have on online reputation and therefore future revenue streams. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How a Tissue Box and a Pepper Shaker Rocked My World
  • Chilled champagne in a silver bucket, chocolate -covered strawberries, spectacular floral displays, elegant upgrades and décor, delicious chef creations, limousine luxury and red carpet treatment… each of these are extraordinary gestures and touchpoints in the world of hospitality. These examples are some of the ways in which hoteliers and their teams go above and beyond for guests to celebrate an exceptional moment or occasion. They are designed to create a special feeling, extra recognition, a moment of surprise and a sense of appreciation. They are “WOW” efforts that are usually recognized with WOW reactions. Though many of these moments are unexpected, these examples are the more ‘expected’ or traditional ways to demonstrate something extra special. They are the creative efforts, amenities and products designed to cause that intense or focused moment of pleasure. Read on...

Michael Koethner
  • Spas, Health & Fitness
  • When the Body Says Stop!
  • As people are becoming aware of the new sense of consciousness, they are also in the process of discovering their bodily limits as well as their infiniteness; all pretty much at the same time. More and more people are inclined to step aside from old-fashioned and outdated systems, currently presented in all societies around the world. There is a very powerful shift happening around the world that unites likeminded people who are ready to establish a new system of collaboration and cooperation instead of the old system of competition that has separated humanity and created endless fights and wars. No one is better than the other; we are all unique. Read on...

DECEMBER: Hotel Law: The Biggest Challenges

Marjorie Obod

What steps do Hotel HR Managers need to take to determine if the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) requires that changes be made to the healthcare benefits offered to employees by January 1, 2015? Although the seasonal exception may apply to employees in the hotel industry, the fact that the definition for “full time” employees under the ACA lowers the threshold number of hours an employee needs to work to be considered a “full time” employee from 40 hours a week to 30 hours a week, requires that HR Managers recalculate whether the fifty (50) full-time of full-time equivalent employees cutoff has been met. In addition to factors that must be considered in determining if the ACA applies to your hotel, this article outlines what HR Managers need to do to prepare for the January 1, 2015 effective date of the ACA. Risks for non-compliance are outlined so that HR Managers are aware of how to act prudently in protecting businesses from unnecessary costs that can be avoided through understanding the law and taking responsive action. Read on...

Banks Brown

As this article is being written, two armed police officers guard the front of the building that houses our law offices, and have been a fixture since the UN was in session over three weeks ago. The officers first appeared at the same time that government agents encased in flack jackets, bearing machine guns, and accompanied by canine units appeared on the streets outside of Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library. Last week also brought news that NYC’s Office of Emergency Management ran a training exercise that simulated an emergency response to a 10-kiloton nuclear device exploding in Times Square, which according to the simulation, killed 100,000 people instantly, took down skyscrapers for a half-mile radius and inflicted damage up to two miles away, all as a radiation cloud swept over the entire metropolitan region. No doubt, the nation’s safety and security are still critical issues. Read on...

Andria Ryan

The problem of employee theft in hotels is an age-old problem. Businesses lose billions of dollars each year in employee theft. And hotels, by nature, present numerous opportunities for employee theft from guests and the house. Theft in a hotel can take many forms – from identity theft to credit card fraud to theft of merchandise and guest property. No employer hires an employee thinking that the employee is someday going to steal. Hotels need to take steps to prevent theft and be cautious in taking action against an employee after a suspected theft. Both have practice and legal implications. Read on...

J.Thomas Cairns

New rules allowing the sale of condo hotel rooms as investment securities will affect not only the way that condo hotels are marketed, but the way they are structured. Mandatory participation by owners in a rental pool may allow hotel operators greater flexibility and control and ensure a critical mass of available room inventory and permit operation of a condo hotel as a true “common enterprise”. Read on...

Coming Up In The January Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Mobile Technology: The Necessity for a Well-Defined Strategy
Mobile technology has altered the way the world does just about everything. With mobile devices in our hands (smart phones and tablets) and media and information up in The Cloud, the possibilities for immediate, worldwide, personal access are limitless. Smart mobile devices are dictating how we live our lives and as a result, these developments are game-changers for all businesses, but especially for service industries, including the hotel sector. These advancements are literally redefining how guests interact with a hotel in virtually every aspect of its operation, and savvy hoteliers who are implementing the latest mobile technologies and best practices in each critical channel will steal market share from their competitors, decrease dependency on their Online Travel Agents, and generate incremental revenues which will substantially increase their bottom line. A well-defined mobile strategy is no longer a "nice-to-have" but an essential weapon in an industry that is evolving at a blistering pace, and those operations that are slow to respond do so at their peril. The January Hotel Business Review will examine which mobile strategies some operators have adopted in order to meet these challenges, and will report on the solutions that are proving to be most advantageous for both companies and their guests.