Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bankoski

Linda Bankoski

Co-Owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC

Linda Bankoski is co-owner and Managing Director of Education and Assessment of SpaQuality LLC, a company that has provided a roadmap to authentic performance excellence for spas through quality system standards, education, assessment and certification since 2004. Ms. Bankoski is the co-author of The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM, which provides a framework for spas to create effective and efficient spa operations that result in consistent delivery of excellent spa services, guest and staff loyalty, as well as business success. The inspiration of The Standards comes from internationally accepted quality system standards used by other industries including ISO 9000 (international quality management systems), ISO 14000 (environmental management standards), the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in the United States, the Canada Awards for Excellence from the National Quality Institute in Canada, the EFQM Excellence Award in Europe, OSHA (US health and safety), FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (US), TedQual (tourism education quality), JCAHO (US healthcare organization standards), and more. Basic concepts from these standards along with years of spa experience were combined, translated, enhanced and organized into a complete spa management system that provides spas with what is necessary to achieve long-term success. While created for spas, the key concepts provided in The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM can be applied to the entire hospitality industry including hotels, resorts, cruise lines, clubs, restaurants, theme parks and more. Now in their 5th edition, The Standards have been sold to spas in 28 countries. Ms. Bankoski co-created and co-teaches Building and Sustaining High Quality Systems for Spas, a six-week, on-line course for the University of California - Irvine Extension's Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate Program, which uses The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM for the textbook. Ms. Bankoski is a quality expert with 30+ years of experience leading, coaching, consulting, and helping organizations and businesses in a wide variety of industries succeed and thrive. She is people-and goal-oriented and motivated by opportunities to learn, encourage and inspire others. Ms. Bankoski has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a healthcare professional, corporate trainer, customer advocate, market researcher, culture change pioneer and business advisor. She served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for five years and looks forward to helping spas attain this prestigious award in the future. Ms. Bankoski is a professional speaker and was chair of the local section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). She has been a Good Manufacturing Practices Auditor (FDA regulations) for 25+ years and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, RAB Certified Quality Systems Lead Auditor and a Certified Lead Assessor (ISO 9001) for over 15 years. Ms. Bankoski is past president of the Board of Directors for the Delaware Quality Consortium, Inc. (Delaware Quality Award). She was an adjunct professor in the Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Delaware and a lead instructor in the Quality Management Certificate. She taught courses in quality management and organizational improvement. She developed and taught courses on the ISO 9000 standard, quality system auditing and problem solving for the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Ms. Bankoski can be contacted at 302-426-0274 or bankoski@voicenet.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.