April FOCUS: Guest Service

April, 2022

Guest Service: Restoring Amenities

Frontline staff have been the real heroes in the hotel industry during the global health crisis. They were the ones tasked with enforcing mask mandates and other health protocols, and explaining to guests which services were temporarily unavailable - all while putting their own health at risk daily. However, now that the pandemic is waning, guests are expecting the return of some hotel amenities to which they are accustomed. At the top of their wish list is the return of breakfast, especially in limited-service hotels that usually provide a complimentary hot breakfast. Guests have expressed a dissatisfaction with the reduced variety and quality they have been receiving, and it's clear they expect this service to resume. Also important to guests is the return of health and wellness facilities, and more flexible cancellation policies. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to enhance guest services during the transition to a more normal operation.

This month's feature articles...

Monica Salter

For nearly 75 years, Outrigger Hospitality Group has been synonymous with authenticity. The brand has been guided by a values-based process called "Ke 'Ano Wa'a," which translates to "The Outrigger Way," and allows the three core elements of the hospitality industry to exist in harmony: the guest, host and place – resulting in a memorable, one-of-a-kind guest experience for every traveler. READ MORE

Wendy Stevens

It's easy to hide behind the excuses and adjusted expectations the pandemic has yielded over these last two years, but the team at Maverick is looking at these new guest standards as an opportunity to go above and beyond to manage expectations and still provide the richest experience possible which will not only satisfy their guests, but also their bottom line. READ MORE

Rute Palma

After two years of changing restrictions, guests are eager to jet-set around the world, enjoying all the enriching experiences travel has to offer. As the appetite for revenge travel grows, it's vital that hotels respond to increasingly discerning and demanding customers. Read how hotels can digitally optimize the guest experience during the pre-book, pre-stay, and post-stay stages of their journey. READ MORE

Danny Hiatt

We are seeing a new alteration and shift in guest expectations as the pandemic is waning. As we look forward to average rate elevations and increased profitability, the industry will have to examine and embrace the new guest service demands to emerge as leaders in loyalty, service delivery, and value to maximize market share. READ MORE

Andrea Grigg

With the U.S. lodging industry facing a historic labor shortage in the face of accelerating demand, hotel operators must balance a return to pre-pandemic services and amenities with mounting margin pressures. Hotels therefore must evaluate which services to add back that fulfill guest expectations without negatively impacting profit. READ MORE

Amy Carenza

The pandemic changed our "normal" way of life forever. Personal health safety is top priority. Why should we accept "return to normal" when we should all be demanding "return to better than normal? "Just as airport security changed for the better post-9/11, the way we address airborne contamination will change post pandemic - air quality is a significant consideration. READ MORE

Robert Reitknecht

As COVID begins to subside, the luxury hotel industry is not only building itself back up but has the potential to be stronger than ever. More folks are craving A-list travel experiences with top-of-the-line guest service as restrictions lift. What opportunities await luxury resorts in this "new normal," and what protocols or best practices should be considered? Read on for ideas, advice, and examples! READ MORE

Matt Hagerman

As guests return to our hotels, they may not know all the challenges that have occurred to keep the lights on over the past two years. We examine two distinctly different properties, with relatable twists and turns on how they navigated trying times by listening, learning, and leaning-in to new solutions leading to greater guest experience. ? READ MORE

Rich Bradley

The global COVID-19 pandemic turned vibrant hotel properties at the start of 2020 into empty shells just months later. Hoever, the decision to resume operations was just the beginning of a slew of unique and complicated hurdles for both the operator and the consumer. As the hotel industry re-wakens in a world still full of operator challenges, how do hotels balance what is possible and what is expected with guest experience moving forward, while placing critical pandemic lessons learned into action? READ MORE

Stan Kennedy

The pandemic paved the way for massive changes in the hotel industry, including new safety protocols, a reduction in staff, a new profile of travelers, and adjusted amenity offerings and services. As travel continues to grow back toward pre-pandemic levels, it is essential for hotel leaders and staff to remain aware of changes in guest expectations as the mix of business shifts from predominantly leisure back toward more historical segment mix including corporate, group and government. Understanding and anticipating these changes requires hoteliers to be nimble and to reinforce the focus on guest satisfaction. READ MORE

Safet Dokara

With pandemic easing its grip on the travel industry, hotels occupancy and room rates are getting closer to pre-pandemic levels. While that is a very encouraging and welcomed trend, it certainly poses another set of challenges for the industry. With higher room rates, guests are expecting all services and amenities to be restored to pre-pandemic levels, but labor shortage and uncertainty of labor market definitely impact hotel industry ability to restore all amenities and services. READ MORE

Herbert Laubichler-Pichler

As we look to restore much-loved hotel amenities in a post-COVID world, some aspects recently introduced will go, heralding the return of smiles and handshakes crucial to a personal connection with guests, while the likes of frequent handwashing and app technology are here to stay. We will continue to experiment with services such as breakfast to continually improve our offerings. READ MORE

Michael  Heflin

Mobile technology that was once seen as a high-tech luxury in the years before the pandemic, has now become a necessity in the post-pandemic era. But technological innovation in the hotel industry is only speeding up, with mobility, expanded asset classes, and data-driven personalization combining in the near future to form a hyper-personalized guest experience. READ MORE

Kyle Mais

Even in unprecedented times, Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios has maintained its high level of service standards for a truly memorable Caribbean vacation experience. This intimate beach resort continues to add new amenities and activities to the guest experience while staying up-to-date with industry trends and health and safety protocols. READ MORE

Audrey Laurent

How does the new pandemic reality shape our future hotel strategy? The hospitality industry continues to adapt to the ever changing world. Maintaining guest satisfaction is crucial now more than ever. Guests are no longer accepting what we could or did do to survive but rather what we can and will deliver now. The answer? Achieving balance-weighing economic efficiencies versus standard changes. READ MORE

Janet Jaiswal

Consumer adoption of new technologies has accelerated greatly for many reasons. Also, the pandemic has brought about significant labor shortages increasing pressure on the hotel industry to adapt to meet rapidly evolving guest expectations. In this article, we discuss how creating omnichannel guest experiences can help hoteliers to innovate and automate operations, as they continue to face new challenges. READ MORE

Katie Davin

Hotel guests want many of the services and amenities that were suspended during the worst of the pandemic, and they also like the convenience of some of the new features that were created during this time. More importantly, guests want choice and control – in wellness options, food and beverage, entertainment, and communication. READ MORE

Lucille Yokell

What's different, you ask? Plenty. Some good .. less waste and guests ready and wanting to travel. Some not so good .. inconsistency and frustration abound by employees and clients alike. Employees say there are not enough staff to cover a shift. Supplies are often not available. Clients cannot reach people, often for days. Everyone is concerned that the hospitality business will not return to what we remember and love. READ MORE

Bonnie Knutson

By calling everyone a hero, are we diluting the specialness of what they do, who they are, and how they help, save, or serve? What about a hotel's front desk receptionists, housekeepers, server, chefs who come in and work a double shift so that the hotel can function? Are they heroes? In this article, Dash, from Pixar's The Incredibles will give you another way of thinking about this question. READ MORE

Robert O'Halloran

For the lodging industry, effectiveness and efficiency of operations need to be meshed with guest service delivery and the price-value expectations of their guests, including the return of some amenities and service extras that provide guests the experiences they seek. This article will examine current guest service trends during the recovery process including the delivery channels that lodging operators have created. READ MORE

Dhruv Patel

With changes in policies, frequent restriction updates and unpredictable occupancies - managing the return of guest services and amenities is another challenge that has resulted from the pandemic. Add to that, budget concerns and staffing shortages and the problem solving tasks just get bigger. While all of these issues are our industry's realty, we are still committed to providing our guests with a wonderful experience. How we manage this process has tremendous impact on our successful recovery. READ MORE

Patricia  Olinger

While many hotels responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by temporarily halting certain amenities and services, properties are increasingly reassessing their offerings as travel begins to rebound, especially the leisure sector. Meeting guests' expectations is crucial as independents and chains compete for bookings, repeat business, and positive word of mouth. What will the return to normal look like for guest service? READ MORE

Ken Greger

As occupancy trends move up and the industry begins to recover, guests are seeking more normalized hotel and resort operations, and the related amenities and experiences, but it's not quite as simple as flipping a switch and swinging into action. It's human to be impatient as the battle with COVID continues, but, as this article reveals, the process leading us all to the new normal involves multiple considerations and is still evolving. READ MORE

Ernesto Osuna

Much has been said and written about change across the hospitality industry due to COVID-19 but has that much really changed? Despite the devastation to befall the industry and host of health and safety measures implemented, guests' demand for an exceptional buffet experience, for example, signals their wish for the return of certain guest services that dominated the "old normal". READ MORE

Alexandre Sogno

The pandemic saw guest amenities stripped back as hotels were closed and then reopened only with the greatest of caution. As that caution eases, we look at what hotels are doing to enhance guest services during the transition to more normal operations. Now that we are moving away from the sudden shifts of the past two years, what new practices will hotels adopt? READ MORE

Isabel Chua

With the pandemic waning and travel picking up, hotels have an opportunity to innovate. The Fairmont Century Plaza is enhancing service and amenities, leveraging new technologies, and standardizing popular options that grew out of the pandemic – like outdoor dining, in-room fitness gear, and text-messaging apps for guests. The theme "Service Is Here to Stay" reflects this renewed commitment to the guest experience. READ MORE

David Stange

Guests who enjoy exceptional personalized service anywhere on your property will not search for other places to go. Integrating a new generation of mobile solutions can extend the reach of your existing POS system to the pool, beach, golf course or outdoor event space, and will give guests a reason to stay on your property and enjoy all it has to offer. READ MORE

Jane Ubell-Meyer

As hotels and the publishing industry move into a post-pandemic world, hotels are seeking ways to provide travellers with relaxing amenities, that include reading materials and more, in a safe, eco-and tech-friendly, green and contactless way. An understanding of the how trends in the publishing industry is impacting the daily read – from newspapers to in-room magazines and more is shared. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

While technology keeps nibbling around the edges, it still takes great people to run a hotel. During the past two years we have been challenged as never before by the pandemic as well as shifting guest expectations. With honest and frequent communication and thoughtful leadership, hospitality organizations can make the necessary journey from managing human resources to caring well for guests. READ MORE

Conor Kenny

If you think the answer to attracting and retaining staff lies in an appreciation day, a small pay rise or celebrating the latest award then you might think again. Technology and a pandemic have changed how people choose their career and what it is that makes them choose you. This article will give you the tools to reboot your strategy and recruit successfully. READ MORE

Coming up in March 1970...