Professional Design & Purchasing Is a Wise Investment

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | May 06, 2010

In the hotel industry, good design is good business - a more stylish property generates more return visits, so it's worth more now and at the time of re-sale. However, too many owners still resist hiring a professional designer and purchasing firm because they want to save money by handling the design themselves.

Yes, working with experienced FF&E specialists costs - but more importantly, it pays. Here's how.

The Designer

An interior designer can be one of an owner's most valuable weapons in the "hotel wars" because today's travelers want more than a hotel stay - they expect a hotel "experience" from check-in through check-out.

For example, amenities that were considered luxuries just a few years ago are now "must have's" even in mid-priced hotels - things such as flat panel TV's, granite countertops, designer furniture, high speed internet service, high-quality bedding, high tech gadgets, and bathrooms many extras.

However, it takes an interior designer to put these special amenities into a proper context and an attractive look which achieves a balance between ambience and functionality, as well as between design innovation and brand consistency.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.