Library Archives

 
Steven Ferry

In the first two articles in this series, we looked at how independent Quality Assurance programs have fallen into a conventional wisdom and modus operandi that is out of touch with their clients' and their guests' needs and then examined the challenges and relevance of QA in helping their client's assess their performance in a world increasingly guided by the megaphone of social-media reviews. In this third and last article, we look at what an ideal QA program would look like, in the hope that third-party QA companies, and/or internal QA programs are listening and decide to upgrade their assessments and programs. Read on...

David Chitlik

Assessors across the thousands of taxing jurisdictions in the United States are calculating the value of hotels for tax purposes. Often the most complicated part of determining the value of a property is how to include capital expenses. This problem is worsened by the lack of information assessors usually have on such expenses and projects, and the complicated rules around brand standards. In this article, Altus Group's hospitality tax specialists explore how to manage these situations through communication and information sharing through their combined seventy years of experience in property tax. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

Hiring great people is critical to the success of a hotel or hotel tech company. It takes considerable effort and money to find employees that are the right blend of cultural and experiential fit. But hiring is only one part of the human resources equation. After going to great lengths to find the right employees, it is just as critical to keep them. This article looks at the ways many hotels are building employee engagement to increase retention, focusing on both obvious initiatives (like proper pay) and newer approaches (such as points programs). Read on...

Bernard Ellis

A labor rule was set to go into effect during the final days of the Obama Administration that would have called for almost doubling the minimum salary an employee must earn before he or she becomes exempt from overtime pay. Owing much to pressure from our industry, which would have been significantly affected, the rule was prevented from taking effect by the courts and summarily shelved. For those workers who were affected, especially those who were extended the raise then had it taken away, it was not only breaking news, but heartbreaking news, and made for low morale and heightened distrust. What now? Read on...

Dana Kravetz

Hoteliers in the Golden State better pay heed to a recent decision by the California Supreme Court and think twice before neglecting to pay workers for routine, albeit trivial, duties that are handled off the clock. The ruling in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation severely limits a hotel or resort operator's ability to rely on the so-called "de minimis defense," an argument that California employers have, for years, successfully asserted in wage and hour litigation brought by employees seeking compensation for brief tasks undertaken pre- or post-shift. As the author explains, hospitality employers, in the wake of Troester, are encouraged to leverage available technology to capture all of the time their employees actually work on any given day. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Hotel developers are realizing financial, marketing and operational advantages of building more than one brand on a single site and in many cases sharing a single building. Multi-branded hotel developments usually share back-of-house operations, administration, staff, recreational facilities and meeting rooms, but in order to maintain brand recognition and foster brand loyalty, they most often have separate entrances, separate lobbies and individual architecture and decor corresponding to each one's particular brand standards. In this article we will look at this relatively new product, how it is being developed today and what the prospects are for future development. Read on...

Gino Engels

The best business decisions are often derived from Big Data. With revenue management so heavily influenced by dynamic changes in data, this is more true of the hotel industry than most. Just consider the variables: seasonality, local events and conferences, room types, amenities, variations of packages (such as breakfast included)... the rate permutations across hotels in a given market can easily run into the millions. So how do revenue managers adapt to this firehouse of data? It's about having the most relevant dataset. With that in mind, Gino Engels discusses the good, better, and best tactics for leveraging data effectively. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

How we find, manage, and retain top talent at revenue-managing hotels has changed dramatically since the big-data boom began. It's important that we continuously strive to provide ongoing education and support in this competitive job market. Blended learning approaches are key to accommodate varying levels of expertise, job roles, and employee age groups. On-demand, quick learning tools are especially relevant as high-turnover rates necessitate faster uptimes of skilled, productive employees. Beyond that, career trajectory and a clear pathway for upward mobility must also be considered to attract top performers. Properly training, maintaining, and elevating talent is essential to achieving an ongoing return on investment in your people, technology, and processes. Read on...

Miranda Kitterlin, Ph.D.

Millennials are entering the workplace with the ideology that their tenacity and education would propel their professional career. They are being met, however, with some stark realities. In speaking to numerous millennial hospitality workers, it was apparent that there are some gaps between what they expected from the workplace versus what they are actually experiencing. These gaps are explored, and supplemented with direct quotes from millennial hospitality professionals. The millennial worker is a valuable resource to our industry, especially given the size of this young generation. It is important that industry professionals understand these misconceptions so as to maximize performance. Read on...

Julio Perez

The all-inclusive model has gone from a low-cost cookie-cutter to the cutting edge of hyper personalized service. Understanding and adapting to the needs and demands of today's niche-driven, segmented market where diverse subsets of experience hungry clientele is all searching for a comprehensive vacation comprised of equal parts value and authenticity is the key to successfully navigating the current and future travel and tourism industry. Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts' Julio Perez, Sales Executive Vice President, offers a unique perspective on how to survive and thrive today's ever-changing landscape. Read on...

Michael Hess

A haven for road warriors, a temporary home for traveling families, a site for trade shows and conferences-hotels are all of these things and so much more. For most people, waste is waste no matter the shape or size and, in the end, it all winds up in the dumpster. But for the smart hotel owner and operator, that's not always the case. Working with a proper waste broker, knowing where your hotel waste comes from and identifying key areas to focus on can greatly increase your operational cleaning efficiencies while simultaneously reducing time and stress, and helping you save costs. While there is a myriad of facets to hotel waste management, here are four key areas of waste management that are worthy of immediate attention. Read on...

Felicia Hyde

Biophilia, a love of life and the living world, continues to gain popularity in today’s modern built environment – especially as our population continues to urbanize. As a result, businesses, hotels and apartment communities across the world are incorporating biophilic design by infusing direct and indirect natural elements to create environments that promote health, wellness and productivity. While this design concept is already transforming the hotel industry, hoteliers can leverage design strategies from multifamily and residential communities to effectively create spaces that elevate the human-nature connection and guest experience to convert one-time guests into repeat visitors. Read on...

Paul Hancock

More and more food and beverage operations in hotels are having an active online presence by making their websites more mobile friendly, thus more accessible to smartphone users. Adding to that, social media also has a huge part to play in the food and beverage industry’s revenue. Also, apps like Open Table and Yelp now make it possible for customers to make reservations in the palm of their hand. Food and beverage operations aren’t just using technology to bring customers to them, many are providing their servers with smartphones to take orders. Smartphones are creating more efficiency within the food and beverage operation, which all means boosts in revenues. Read on...

Cristine Henderson

Site integration is a crucial step in designing a hotel and, when applied appropriately, has the power to impact guest satisfaction as well as the owner's business objectives and can even translate into a real value and return on investment. In this article, Cristine Henderson, AIA, NCARB, Associate Vice President at Hoefer Wysocki, shares the most important considerations when applying site integration in a hotel's design. Considerations include designing to increase the building's overall visibility and accessibility, while incorporating local inspiration and environmental influences. A designer's skills, creativity and mindfulness produce opportunities to build hotel interiors and exteriors that reflect and make use of local surroundings and enhance the overall guest experience. Read on...

Brett Tabano

Once summer ends, travelers start researching and booking flights and hotel rooms for holiday travel, an ideal time for brands to step up their digital marketing strategy and utilize new ways to increase sales. Programmatic performance marketing with a strong emphasis in native search enables advertisers to make smarter bidding decisions and allows brands to transform into digital publishers by selling comparison search ads to competitors. In this piece, Brett Tabano, MediaAlpha Senior Vice President of Marketing, will explore native advertising from the advertiser's and publisher's perspective, as an organic way for hotel brands to become more efficient and profitable. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.