Library Archives

 
Kristi Dickinson

A spa's treatment menu is the primary piece of communication with guests and is so much more than just a listing of offerings. It tells the story of the spa's brand and makes a promise of the experience. The spa menu and related pricing is a critical tool to ensuring your spa thrives. Savvy spa directors go beyond simply designing a menu by thoughtfully engineering it. Menu engineering is widely used in food and beverage, but other departments can utilize this valuable tool as well. In this article, we will review how to develop a menu engineering strategy and special considerations which are unique to spa. Read on...

Ford Blakely

Artificial intelligence has become a prevalent part of our everyday lives. From the digital assistants in our homes providing us with access to virtually anything we can think of to the AI-powered apps helping us make important financial decisions, we rely on AI to boost efficiency and productivity in just about every area of our lives. And while no industry has been impervious to the impact of artificial intelligence, hospitality has seen especially significant changes due to the rise of the machines. In this article, we look at how AI has affected the end-to-end guest experience from booking to checkout. Read on...

John Tess

Portland's Harlow Block is the second oldest commercial building north of downtown. Built as a hotel in 1882, it thrived well into the 1920s but then began a descent into disrepair and disinvestment that ended in the building becoming a flophouse before being closed. For the last forty years, people have tried to revitalize the building, only to leave it in worse condition than before. In 2007, Ganesh Sonpatki of Parum Hotels took on the challenge. Despite more than a decade of struggling through code and historic preservation issues, the building is today reborn as a historic boutique 26 room hotel/restaurant. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell uttered his famous words, "Mr. Watson. Come here. I want to see you." Watson, who was in an adjoining room heard Bell's summons clearly. The telephone was more than an invention by an unbelievably creative mind. It was a disruptor. There is a distinct difference between an invention and a disruptor. Today, there is a disruptive "new sheriff in town" and its name is Blockchain. In this article, you'll see how this technology can be integrated into your hotel and transform your Loyalty Program. Read on...

Priyanko Guchait, PhD

An organization's forgiveness climate is pivotal in reducing negative and promoting positive consequences of errors, mistakes, or offenses in the workplace. Organizational forgiveness refers to the abandonment of resentment and blame as well as the adoption of a positive, forward-thinking approach to errors, mistakes, and offenses. A forgiving climate in hospitality organizations can increase hospitality employees' job satisfaction, organizational commitment, performance, fairness perceptions, and learning, and decrease turnover intentions. Therefore, hospitality organizations and leaders should consider promoting a climate of forgiveness. Recommendations are provided to managers to create a forgiving work environment in hospitality organizations. Read on...

Steven D. Weber

Interests in the hotel industry are bought and sold. Contracts in furtherance of the sale of those interests may contain restrictive covenants. In some cases, restrictive covenants might take the form of contractual provisions that, among other things, restrict competition from a new owner or prevent certain uses. Use of a restrictive covenant may lead to litigation when one party contends that another party is in violation of a restrictive covenant. Hospitality industry players should be aware of the risks associated with restrictive covenants, and aware of the hospitality-related litigation that can result from them. Read on...

Adria Levtchenko

Hospitality has always provided a great entryway to the world of work for younger individuals, while also attracting older individuals who wish to embark on a new career in an exciting service-driven industry. This is fortunate at a time when the industry faces a labor shortage, especially in areas like housekeeping. This article discusses how available technologies, including today's best hotel task optimization software platforms, can help bring newcomers to hospitality on board and up to speed quickly, and propelling those inclined on to a rewarding career path. Read on...

John Mavros

Regardless of the number of employment law best practices a hotel successfully embraces, one factor can be a strong indicator for future litigation – a problematic, underperforming employee. Therefore, one the best ways to protect your hotel from litigation is to hire right at the outset. In the chaos of peak season, it may be tempting to impulsively hire the first application for help received; however, hiring is a process that should not be rushed. An employee who fails to meet performance expectations or mesh with the hotel's company culture, not only can create a toxic environment at work for other employees but will likely harbor resentment which frequently motivates litigation. Read on...

Kurt Meister

Today, some of the foremost hotel security threats are crimes on which insurers have started to tighten the reigns. These include abuse (both sexual and physical), battery and molestation. Adding to the mix is the despicable global crime of human trafficking. Each of these emerging threats brings new questions for hotels and their employees, including how employees can identify this type of deviant activity. This article walks you through each of these emerging threats and explores the risks, the potential solutions, the value of getting it right, and the ever-expanding costs of allowing this type of activity at your hotel. Read on...

Michael Jacobson

Illinois hotels and their restaurant, banquet and spa outlets are – more than ever – dedicating resources to establish eco-friendly practices that aim to preserve our environment. There is an abundance of ways hotels are being mindful in their everyday business practices, including initiatives ranging from monitoring for energy and water efficiency to reducing plastics, crafting sustainable wine lists and even placing used furniture with those in need. As one of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association's core platforms, we explore how hotels nationwide can implement thoughtful, sustainable and turnkey practices as exemplified by others leading the way in this critical effort. Read on...

David Ashen

Remember when rooftop bars and cool restaurants were novel? What was once unique enough to rile up crowds and delight hotel guests has now become the norm. Fortunately, hoteliers are now looking for fresh ways to connect with – and inspire – the communities that surround them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, examines what's behind this shift and some top ways today's brands are answering the call for connection, from art installations that excite to socially-conscious initiatives and more, hotels are more than a mere place for heads in beds. Read on...

Amanda Hurley

As people continue to take more interest in their pet's well-being, pet travel has become increasingly popular. In fact, according to the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 37% of pet owners travel with their pets every year, which is a nearly 20% increase from a decade ago. Savvy hoteliers know how to capitalize on this and stay relevant among the competition. In fact, more than half of US hotels now allow pets, according to the 2018 American Hotel & Lodging Association Hotel Trends Survey. This case study explores the ways in which the Inn at East Beach, managed by broughtonHOTELS, used operational and promotional strategies to ensure the hotel was set up for success in becoming a dog-friendly hotel. Read on...

Bob Neal

Rooted in history, our nation's capital is full of character and charm, and a focus on preservation is the norm rather than the exception. That's why the design for Columbia Place, a recently completed, mixed-use development combining a dual-branded hotel, residences and retail with historic buildings in Washington, D.C.'s Shaw District, didn't need to invent a new sense of place. Design and architectural firm COOPER CARRY in collaboration with tvsdesign instead built upon its origins. Striking an artful balance between "then" and "now", Columbia Place blends centuries-old structures with modern living to honor history while also welcoming the next generation. Read on...

Dianna Vaughan

This has been a monumental year for the All Suites brands by Hilton, and the category has big plans in store to push the envelope even further next year. Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton have each broken into new markets domestically and abroad with innovative construction methods, enhanced their technology offerings to make personalizing a guest stay easier than ever, and have doubled down on their social and environmental initiatives. Looking ahead to 2020, the All Suites brands vision has never been clearer. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

So, what does the future hold in store for guest loyalty? And more importantly loyalty for independent hotels? Well, independent hotels have their work cut out for them but do not need to despair. The customer is looking for value offerings and in recent times does not care whether they are from independent or chain hotels. A slickly executed marketing strategy on the foundation of strong differentiation and tying into guest personalization demands can bring the bacon home. Owners of these independent hotels who have already stuck their necks out with the investment can then laugh all the way to the bank. Read on...

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Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.