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Bonnie Knutson

This article is not call for vegetarianism although there is a lot that can be said for eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains. This article is certainly not an environmentalist decree either, although a lot can be said about saving our planet's natural resources. Nor is it another call for recycling, low energy light bulbs, and conserving water, although those are likewise noble goals. What it is, however, is a piece of the puzzle that can explain the consumers' changing eating behaviors. And it presents both challenges and opportunities for every food operation from the Golden Arches to a luxury hotel. Yours included. You might think of it as feeding the future. Read on...

Larry Gillanders

There are approximately 6.5 million lead service pipes still in use in the United States. However, it's lead leaching does not only occur solely as a result of lead pipes - often lead contributors are present, which may go unnoticed, although they can release dangerously high levels of lead. Learn more about lead contributors and critical steps you need to take to ensure your hotel isn't liable for harmful lead leaching. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

Your hotel's landscape is responsible for making a first impression with your guests. Your landscape should be a reflection of your hotel's brand and should clearly demonstrate to your customers the type of experience you hope your property will deliver—relaxing, comfortable, safe, and fun. In other words, dedicating financial resources to landscaping and grounds keeping are more than worthwhile from an ROI perspective. Nevertheless, as any hotel executive knows, unforeseen circumstances often require difficult budget decisions. If you are forced to dedicate less budget and resources to your landscaping, follow these best practices to ensure that your landscape's health, aesthetics, and safety do not suffer. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

Whether a guest is staying at your hotel for business or pleasure, their first impression can be a lasting one. Even before they walk into your hotel's lobby, they've already started to form their opinion of your hotel - whether that was based on a visit to your website or as they drove up to your hotel. Just as the messaging on your website helps to set expectations and provides your guests with a glimpse into your commitment to making their stay at your hotel an enjoyable one, so does the appearance of your landscape. Every touch point the guest has with your hotel impacts his or her customer experience, making it even more critical that those encounters reflect your brand. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

Hoteliers place a significant investment in their grounds that can be dramatically diminished without proper care and oversight. Given how important it is to protect this asset, you should have a grounds care provider you can rely on. Someone who knows the specific needs of your hotel, what challenges your region can expect, and how to take care of your landscape. Otherwise you risk the health and overall appearance of your landscape. Your grounds care provider should have a plan in place to handle the various dangers your property might encounter. Depending on the location of your hotel, your landscape can face several threats throughout the year, either as a result of natural causes or human error. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

As temperatures start to warm up and thawing begins, many hoteliers across the country are thrilled to say goodbye to winter. In some regions, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, this winter proved to be a hotelier's worst nightmare. With above freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, it was difficult for some guests to even travel to their destinations. Keeping entrance ways, parking lots and sidewalks clean and safe was another challenge many hotel owners and managers faced this winter. Now that winter has officially come to an end, it's time to prepare your landscapes for spring. Read on...

Grace Kang

It's that time of year when everyone is working hard towards their ambitious new year's resolutions. Here's one more I would like to recommend hotel owners and operators to put on their list. Join the Hotel Owners for Tomorrow (HOT) coalition to help advance sustainability for the hotel community. HOT is a no-cost initiative, bringing hotel owners, hotel brands, management companies, industry bodies, and other supporters in hotel development to build awareness and get the important discussion of sustainability started among the hotel community. Read on...

Grace Kang

The Green Lodging Trends Report 2016 launched last month with the objective to catalyze green practices and innovation across the hotel industry worldwide. The report is a result of a survey open to all hotels around the world regardless of service type, location, segment or size. One of the main benefits to the participants was the ability to benchmark against its peers on over 100 sustainability related best practices. Each participant received a confidential compare report showing the uptake of best practices, segmented by global, region, country, city, service type and hotel type, where applicable. The result was the production and release of the Green Lodging Trends Report 2016, which summarizes data collected from 2,161 hotels located in 44 countries. Read on...

James Gieselman

Start discussing a technical topic and watch as people's eyes glaze over, even if those people are fully aware that it's something they should be paying attention to. Embarking on a path toward a more sustainable and energy efficient hotel operation qualifies as one of these 'glazed' subjects, so to eliminate any possibility of eyelid fatigue, let's talk about this extremely important issue in terms of something just a bit more fun - golf. Read on...

Michael Barbera

Most hotels have a sign in each bathroom that ask the guest to be environmentally friendly by reusing their towels. When a guest re-uses their towels, the hotel saves money on laundry expenses, which includes a reduced use of water. However, many hotels find these signs to be ineffective. The cards cost a fee to print, and they use employee resources for placement in the rooms, but hoteliers find little to no return on investment for these paper signs. Read on...

Ken Hutcheson

As hoteliers, you rely on your irrigation systems to help protect the investment you've made on your property's landscape. It is critical for the overall health and appearance of your landscape that the irrigation system is properly installed, operated, and maintained. Otherwise, your system is at risk of wasting water and damaging your property. Scheduling a technician to perform routine maintenance checks can ensure early detection of a problem, increase the efficiency of your irrigation system, and conserve water. Here are three common challenges grounds managers often face with their irrigation system, and how technicians overcome them. Read on...

Larry Gillanders

Americans are increasingly concerned with their water quality. But you should be, too. You may not even know that your property could be liable for delivering lead-contaminated water to guests. But what causes high lead levels in water, anyway? What actions can you take to ensure your hotel's water is safe and healthy? How do insurance companies leave you liable? This article will help provide vital knowledge about the current lead problem and how you can make your property's water safe. Read on...

Tom Seddon

Refining the concept of modern corporate social responsibility, Extended Stay America have created the Hotel Keys of Hope℠ room donation program a partnership with the American Cancer Society that leverages their greatest asset (hotel rooms) to impact real people (cancer patients who have to travel from home for treatment), rather than presenting a charitable check donation. Read on...

Mark Sisson

In 2012, my business partner and I invented a line of self­cleaning surfaces for healthcare facilities which we named NanoSeptic because they were based on nanotechnology. We knew hospitals were having a challenge with hospital­acquired infections (HAI), some of which were being spread through contact with high traffic touch points. So our mission was to deliver an actual health benefit, creating healthier hospital environments by creating self­cleaning surfaces for places that had the greatest chance of cross contamination. We never dreamed that these surfaces would be adopted by other industries, and more surprisingly, why they would be adopted. We found that the visible nature of the products fundamentally change how people viewed the concept of "clean." What we came to understand was just how scared people are about the cleanliness of public facilities and how much their perception of a facility changed when a visible indication of cleaning efforts was present. Read on...

Joseph Ricci

Good relationships with all vendors in a hotel's supply chain are critical for smooth, efficient operations. With laundry, the stakes are higher than with many others; encountering stained linens or being forced to wait for towels can sour a guest's experience of a hotel. In this article, we take a close look at what a great hotel-laundry relationship looks like through a case study of the relationship between a large hotel and their commercial laundry contractor. We identify the principles underlying this successful partnership and what it means for hotels looking to close an on-premise laundry or select a new laundry provider. 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.