Mid-scale Hospitality Embraces Wood Laminate Furniture

By David Foliot Vice President, Hospitality, Foliot Furniture | October 12, 2014

Co-authored by Daniel Foliot President of Foliot Furniture

There was a time when hotels of all scales used only furniture made from solid wood and veneer. Furnishing a hotel room with a laminate desk, armoire, or headboard was unheard of. In fact, the use of laminate of any type in the hotel industry was seen as somewhat taboo. Considered an inferior alternative to wood, laminate offered little in the way of durability, modularity, and aesthetics. It was therefore widely avoided by hotels.

However, just as the hospitality industry has grown and evolved, so to have the offerings of today's laminate.

The Advantages of Modern-Day Laminate

1. Multiple Finish Options

Gone are the days of monotone faux-wood or brown laminates. Wood laminate is now offered in an almost endless variety of styles and finishes. This allows designers to mix and match virtually any style or color of furniture.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.