Library Archives

Katharine Le Quesne

As we look forward to the next decade, I've been picking up the phone (I know, very retro) and meeting face to face (… yes, really) with some of the professionals who, like me, have forged a career against the backdrop of an asset heavy industry dominated by suits and on the back foot when it comes to innovation. This is the beginning of a series of interviews, paraphrasing proper conversations with people I respect. The "plat du jour" this week is role models, mentors and sponsors with an inevitable garnish of technology, product trends and climate change. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Leadership has always been at the forefront management training. The four functions of management depict leadership as one of the four. The four that seemed to stand the test of time are controlling, leading, planning, and controlling. Leadership, being the core of management, has manifested itself into the forefront of many hotel executives. Leadership can help hotels to achieve a sustained change and eventually a higher degree of effectiveness. In the absence of effective leadership, hotels are not capable of effectively implementing changes at the competitive level. Hotel leadership is crucial to business success----both from a performance and management level. READ MORE

Rani Gharbie

The Pod Hotels will be expanding from five to fifty properties over the next decade across North America and, eventually, globally. BD Hotels has appointed Rani Gharbie as Head of Acquisitions & Development to lead this robust expansion plan to key markets such as San Francisco, Miami, Austin, Boston, Nashville, Seattle, Toronto, and Mexico City. The Pod Hotels portfolio includes New York-based Pod Times Square, Pod 51, Pod 39 and Pod Brooklyn, as well as Pod Washington D.C. with two more hotels in the direct pipeline - Pod Philly and Pod LA. In addition, there are over ten ongoing discussions for new deals. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

In our busy day in hospitality, we are constantly talking, texting, posting or emailing to another individual or a group of recipients. However, is anyone listening or understanding what we are saying? Being a great communicator is a core skill and function of our hospitality world. Some people are naturals at communications but it is something that all hospitality organizations must also cultivate for all of its members, including frontline staff. The result is strong relationships with our guests, our vendors and partners, and others in our own group. READ MORE

Dianna Vaughan

This year, the All Suites brands by Hilton, comprised of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton, opened their 1,000th property, reaching a major milestone in the brands' explosive growth. Global Head and Senior Vice President of the All Suites Brands by Hilton Dianna Vaughan lends her insight on how the brands work closely with their owners to drive strong demand for the brand, leading to industry-leading growth in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

Charting a path for growth is an enviable and exciting journey for any hospitality organization. It takes a bold, yet careful blend of vision, strategy and technical expertise in a wide variety of areas, including property identification, financing, human resources and organization building, and day-to-day hotel operations. Regardless, as in all successful business endeavors, this journey ultimately depends on the relationships of trust and mutual benefit, with everyone from investors and brand partners to our staff, that we cultivate and secure along the way. READ MORE

Mark Ricketts

The best leaders in hospitality understand why and how to empower their staff, assigning not just tasks but giving them the “permission” to solve issues that come up in our everyday conduct of business, internally or with guests or our professional partners. Moreover, adopting this leadership style has many valuable benefits for hospitality organizations in helping to recruit new staff, in encouraging community involvement and in growing a culture of quality and value. Another key element of leadership is in having the intent, skills and confidence to empower our staff—assigning responsibilities, but, also, giving individuals defined authority to solve issues, internally or with guests and our professional partners. READ MORE

Derek Olsen

Outsourcing components of hotel operations is very much location-driven, property-specific and varies based on Ownership's investment objectives. So, while outsourcing might not be the solution for every hotel at this point in the cycle, an astute asset manager or operator should evaluate all opportunities to enhance profitability. When pursuing the employment of a third-party, performance should be closely monitored, with transparent lines of communication between owner and operator to maximize guest satisfaction. READ MORE

Stephen J. Renard

A panel moderated by PwC's Scott D. Berman; Chris Cahill, CEO, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels; Steve Haggerty, Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Kevin J. Jacobs, EVP & CFO, Hilton; Elie Maalouf, CEO, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Mit Shah, CEO, Noble Investment Group discussed the industry's growth potential as it related to geopolitical and economic shifts. READ MORE

Lewis Fein

Hotel executives need to help their respective employees, as some of these individuals may have problems with drugs or alcohol. Creating a culture of trust is critical to assisting these men and women. Hence the need to find the right drug treatment center: A place with the credibility, resources and expertise to work with hoteliers, so employees can get the care they deserve to receive -- in a setting that exudes compassion and understanding. This approach is as indispensable as it is invaluable, because a hotel can only succeed with a strong and healthy workforce. This priority demands our attention. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Much has been discussed about managing millennials, who have brought their own set of priorities to the workplace - greater work-life balance, broadened lines of communication, flatter organizations, and expectations of social engagement. Now, as millennials are poised to step into managerial roles, they will find themselves overseeing a workforce that spans as many as five generations, from the vanguard of Gen Z to the tail end of the traditionalists. Among the challenges new millennial managers face will be gaining the trust of older workers. And the conversation is shifting from how to manage millennials to how will millennials manage? READ MORE

David Lund

When heads of state come to visit your hotel they usually make a bit of a show. The Russians are no exception, they even bring their own warship, the KGB and a wad of cash! I had the pleasure of witnessing the Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev arrival in San Francisco in June of 2010. He flew in the presidential plane, meanwhile his missile cruiser Varyag sailed into San Francisco Bay to accompany his visit. Heads of state often have a ship accompany them on their state visits. READ MORE

David Lund

In your hotel, you either share the financials with you leaders, the department managers or you don't. If you already share the financial statements, you know the power it unleashes with your team and the result it helps to create. If you don't share you're wondering what the management team will think about the money and how much goes to you and the owner. You naively think no one needs to know about the finances in your hotel. You think it's none of their business. You're also pretty sure the team will judge you and your results. READ MORE

David Lund

Creating financial leadership in your hotel has the same fundamental realtionshift at its roots. The traditional relationship in the hotel with reports and deadlines to submit; forecasts, budgets and commentaries is to have the financial leader tell the non-financial department managers when reports, forecast, budgets and commentaries are due and to send out schedules and hound everyone every month several times about the pending deadlines. This system does not work. I know because that was my system for nearly 20 years and all it ever consistently produced was my frustration and a lack of usable content. READ MORE

Arman Sadeghi

Excellent service is indispensable to a hotel's reputation and success. That fact is the one thing - perhaps the only thing - that a hotel executive can refine without great cost.For service is both an attitude and a series of actions, starting with a personal investment by management and labor to do better; to do more; to learn more; to listen more; to achieve more; to grow more; to do more of everything, for everyone, by anyone who works for a hotel. Teaching these lessons to hoteliers is a chance to give them independent analysts. It is an opportunity for them to prosper. READ MORE

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Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.