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Johnna Freud

It used to be that when a person decided he was going to need hotel accommodations, he called either a hotel directly or a travel agent for reservations. Fast forward to today, and with the impact of the Internet, the options for reserving a room -- whether in a chain, boutique or independent hotel, bed and breakfast, inn, all-inclusive club, or timeshare -- are extensive. Of course, a person can still call a hotel or a travel agent, but now he can also conduct research and make reservations via the Internet. Here is where the choices become whelming. So, when do consumers make reservations online? When do they call a travel agent? When do they call you or central reservation numbers or properties directly? And, when they consult the Internet, are they reserving directly through the hotel chains' or properties' websites or are they surfing the Web for third-party sites, many of whom provide reduced rate accommodations? What factors impact this decision-making process? Read on...

Mike Paton

With so much business being conducted "online" today, you may be tempted to let technology do all the heavy lifting for your hotel. After all, you probably get plenty of transient reservations via brand websites or TPAs, and perhaps your sales staff can barely keep up with all of the electronic RFPs you receive. Certainly, you and your sales team have had to change the way you work to accommodate the increased role technology plays in business today. But, like champion athletes, you must make sure not to rely too heavily on automation and just "go through the motions." And you shouldn't drastically change the way you work just because you're more frequently connecting with people online. Technology just creates additional ways to link buyers and sellers -- it's not meant to replace basic sales skills and old-fashioned hard work. Read on...

Naseem Javed

We are being forced to re-design to a new level of "micro-nization" of business units, a "wireless-izing" of mass communication and a "voip-izing" of populace conversations in marketplaces, under a massive globalization with highly localized customization to fit the demands of consumers. This subject is very hot and research on these issues is still being drafted. Read on...

Debbie Bermont

The new year has begun and now is the time every business is setting their 12 month sales goals. Here are two words which could easily give you a significant boost in your sales this year - follow up. Two simple words that are rarely followed in a timely fashion and in some cases ignored completely. We are in the age of instant information. Because of technology we now have the opportunity to connect 24/7 with anyone around the world. People carry their cell phones with them to the grocery store, the restaurant, the bank and the movie theatre. From your phone you can send e-mails, documents, text messages and receive pictures across the globe. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.