Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kasavana

Michael Kasavana

NAMA Endowed Professor, School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University

Michael L. Kasavana is the NAMA Endowed Professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. His teaching and research efforts are sharply focused on information technology and transaction settlement systems for self-service and full-service applications in hotel, restaurant, club, and casino environments. Dr. Kasavana has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Managing Front Office Operations (Eighth Edition), Menu Engineering (Third Edition), and Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry (Sixth Edition). In addition, he has written numerous academic journal and industry trade magazine articles as well as designed instructional and operational software products. He is an active industry consultant and popular seminar leader. Dr. Kasavana was selected the 2011 Industry Person of the Year by the National Automatic Merchandising Association and is an inductee of the HFTP International Technology Hall of Fame and recipient of the prestigious FS/TECís Distinguished Achievements in Food Service Technology Award. In addition, he has garnered the coveted MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, MSU Broad College of Business Withrow Teacher-Scholar Award, MSU Academic Spartan of the Year Award, MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and was in the inaugural class of NAMA Certified NCE5 executives. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Kasavana serves as the MSU Faculty Athletic Representative to the Big Ten, CCHA, and NCAA conferences and is Chair of the MSU Athletic Council. The Kasavana family also provided significant financial support to create the Kasavana/Schmidgall Faculty Research Endowment in the MSU School of Hospitality Business. Dr. Kasavana received his B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, his MBA in Finance, and his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Mr. Kasavana can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or Kasavana@bus.msu.edu

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.