Spring Cleaning: 5 Simple Steps to Cut Costs and Attract More Families

By Matthew Rosenberger Consultant & Publisher, ABC Travel Guides for Kids | April 30, 2010

My daughters enjoy playing soccer and I enjoy coaching them. My oldest daughter not only scores goals but she is a goalkeeper as well, she understands the game and is a leader. My younger daughter scores goals too, understands how the game is played, and plays to win. As a soccer coach my job is to prepare my daughters, and the rest of the team, for the spring soccer season so when they step on to the field, win or lose, they are able to compete. In putting together my "game plan" for our first practice, just weeks away, I decided to highlight my 5 simple steps to becoming a great goalkeeper. While working on the practice plan it was clear to me that the principles were also applicable to the work I do in the hospitality industry so I decided to modify them so I could share them HotelExecutive.com.

1. Understand How the Game is Played

Most goalies don't start out in the position they grow into it. Gaining experience in different positions on the field helps a player to understand the different responsibilities of each player on the team. It is no surprise that the ending point for many goalkeepers is coach or manager. The experience gained in playing different positions on the field prepared them to become a coach or manager. There are countless stories in our industry of individuals who have started their career in the hospitality industry at the lowest levels and ended up in high-level management or front office positions. Understanding the different jobs and responsibilities in a hotel enables relationships to form and respect to be won. To cut costs and trim the fat you must understand how the game is played much like the goalkeeper does as the field general and a team leader. On the soccer field it's not all about height or ability to punt a ball, its about athleticism, instincts and positioning. In the hospitality industry it's not all about college and advanced degrees, it's about experience in the trenches and learning the role of each tool in the toolbox. Understanding how the game is played, and valuing and respecting your employees will save you money and attract more families to your property.

2. Talk, Talk, Talk

Soccer goalies must never forget to constantly talk to their teammates. They see the field better than any other player on the team. They often understand the game better than any other player on the team does. They must constantly communicate with their teammates - which opponents to mark and make sure each player is in the right position. If their teammates don't mark the right opponent the opponent will be in a position to score. Great goalies encourage their teammates, they don't yell at them they teach them. It is this communication that allows a team to become successful. Players must understand that the goalie is the field general with one goal in mind, how can we win this game. Fundamentals are the key, mark the right player, be aggressive and win your ball, don't be caught out of position, and anticipate and know where my teammates are at every time. The only way to achieve these goals (no pun intended) is to talk to each other. The same is said within a hotel. It's all about fundamentals. The front office must talk to the back office. The sales team must coordinate with the marketing team. The food and beverage department must be on the same page with the direction of upper management and market trends. The concierge must talk to the marketing team. Failing to talk to each other results in wrong decisions that will cost your property money.

3. Know the Angles

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.