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Juan Carlos Flores

The influx of new and interesting wines to accompany gastronomical innovations has produced a hunger for learning and experimenting with pairings of wine and food. Dessert wines provide an open window to delightfully sweet and powerful experiences. They are also so varied that you can present them in any number of ways. Dessert wines are produced in limited quantities throughout the world and tend to be more expensive than the average bottle of everyday drinking wine. Yet, a single glass of these wines, at any moment of the day, is capable of giving great satisfaction. READ MORE

Juan Carlos Flores

You can't sell wine when the atmosphere in your restaurant puts all its emphasis on cocktails. Often we find owners, managers and professionals in the art of the table who think that wine is just one more option on the restaurant menu and that it is as simple to sell as a coke or an iced tea. We all know that selling wine in a restaurant is an important income producer if it is done in the correct way. We must also understand that wine is not just another liquid product: It is a moment. It is culture, history, sensuality and opulence that people share while they are drinking wine. We need to respect this moment, and we do so by paying attention to the details that honor it: with correct glassware, correct temperature, correct quantity and with skill and professional attention from the people who are serving it. You can't sell wine if you and the ambiance of your location do not offer your clients the small but significant details that they normally don't have at home. READ MORE

Juan Carlos Flores

We know that knowledge of special cuisine and wines is not easily acquired, but comes from the investment of time, study and money. How often we see the people we have spent months training in our restaurants or wine boutiques leave for other jobs, taking with them all they have learned from us. Here we will discuss not only motivation and incentives, but also the importance of making the small changes in our business that will encourage staff stay with us. READ MORE

Juan Carlos Flores

How often have you gone to a restaurant and though the setting was beautiful, the total experience was merely adequate? And how often have you thought how rare it is to find a restaurant where the entire experience was perfect? Proper ambiance, good service, good food and a good selection of wine among other beverages are all important for the success of a restaurant. But more is required to make your restaurants a standout. It takes perfect communication and interaction between the kitchen and the service, the chef and the sommelier, to create the perfect fusion in everything your guests will taste. READ MORE

Juan Carlos Flores

Throughout time, food and beverages have been the most important pairing on earth. Our existence depended on them. Water has been and still is the most important liquid-vital to survival. Through evolution and experimentation, human beings have found ways to produce additional liquids by pressing fruits, cacti and various other plants. Adding a further element of sophistication, we have also learned to mix these liquids and infuse them with cereals, flowers, spices and herbs to obtain the wide variety of interesting beverages we now have available. Pairing food with wine is very pleasant, but sometimes we want to try something different and we discover that other beverages can offer great moments too. The more we learn about them, the more we try and the more we discover new sensations to share. READ MORE

Andrew Freeman

As business becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, and consumers become more sophisticated and informed, finding ways to extend your brand with unique and creative solutions becomes increasingly necessary. Partnership marketing, a valuable and often underutilized tool, offers a powerful solution, providing a means to gain significant exposure to potential new guests and new markets, as well as increase the benefit of what you provide your current guests. What is partnership marketing? Traditionally known as "cooperative advertising," partnership marketing is a grass-roots approach to making marketing dollars last, and extending your brand to people and market segments you didn't have direct access to before. Partnership marketing is aligning yourself with other like-minded organizations and businesses to reciprocally expose your brand to one another's customers and provide added value to your own existing customers. READ MORE

Susan Stoga

Like all industries, the hospitality industry has its share of crisis...and as anyone who has worked the hospitality front lines know, a crisis seldom happens from 9 to 5 when everyone from general manager to controller to sales manager are on-site. Indeed, most "situations", whether great or small, happen in the wee hours when the newest front desk clerk seems to be in charge. That's why it is so important to develop a sound crisis communication plan and keep it a vital part of operations and any new hire programs. Just as associates learn reservations systems, sign up for health care or learn about their 401k, this plan should be on the high on the agenda. While no crisis is ever the same, being prepared, in a general sense, will have a positive impact on any post-crisis quarterbacking. READ MORE

Mary Gendron

The process of selecting a public relations agency is the business equivalent of embarking upon courtship and marriage. You look for the spark of romance from the very beginning, yet you desire reassurance that the relationship can be sustained over time. Finding the right balance of attraction, substance and compatibility is key. If you approach it with eyes wide open, there's a better chance of the relationship working over the long haul. Although it's best to approach your agency search in a positive frame of mind, it may be useful to briefly consider common pitfalls so you can avoid mistakes others have made in the process. READ MORE

Donald R. Boyken

The Baby Boomer's new "theme park" are now the casino and the spa. In the 1990's, the baby boomer generation - those born between the years 1946 and 1962 -- spent a great deal of their time and money visiting theme parks with their families. Now that their kids have grown, these same thrill-seekers have shifted their focus toward entertaining themselves. One venue that has been a major beneficiary of this trend is the spa. According to the International Spa Association, based in Lexington, Kentucky, some 57 million American adults have been to a spa. There are an estimated 12,000 spas in the United States, and that's up from 5,700 just a few years earlier. Today, spas occupy an estimated 86.7 million square feet of indoor space in the U.S. Spas are this country's fourth largest leisure industry. Collectively, they generate more than $11 billion in revenue each year. READ MORE

Juston Parker

Revenue Management continues to change rapidly. The days of "right room, right person, right price at right time" have long disappeared. Keeping up with the latest trends and keeping staff well educated is increasingly expensive and difficult. Outsourcing a property's Revenue Management has become a real and viable solution. Revenue Managers also present challenges for a property. What is their role? What does their job consist of? In the industry, most Revenue Managers really are Reservations Managers handling the duties of both jobs. This, of course, takes away their focus from both managing revenues and managing reservations. Not exactly a win-win situation. READ MORE

Scott B. Brickman

Among the many challenges for busy hotel executives is trying to develop new ways to improve the guest experience. From complimentary breakfasts to in-room entertainment, the hospitality industry has earned a reputation for identifying market trends and quickly implementing ideas designed to make a guests' stay more comfortable and enjoyable. Whether a vacation destination for families, or a respite for weary road warriors, hotels serve many different purposes but are unified by the commitment to create a positive experience for each guest. One of the best ways to create a positive guest experience is through the use of smart landscape maintenance. A good way to start thinking about your hotel's landscape is through the eyes of a guest. READ MORE

Bob Dauner

As a hospitality industry professional, you recognize the importance of actively engaging your guests, learning more about what brings them to town and what they are doing in your city once they've checked in. Beyond business travel and family vacations, you've probably noticed that an increasing number of your guests are special interest travelers in pursuit of cultural attractions such as the arts, heritage, and other cultural activities. These individuals - known as "cultural travelers" - collectively make up the rapidly growing and lucrative market segment of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism is an emerging market that has appeared on the radar screens, and marketing plans, of travel industry suppliers in recent years. The cultural tourism segment is comprised of a select group of travelers who either plan a trip to attend a cultural activity or who actively participate in cultural activities while on a trip, even if they are traveling for other reasons. READ MORE

Louis D'Amore

While Africa is the "Cradle of Civilization" it lags behind all other regions of the world as we enter the 3rd Millennium. Half the population lives on less than US$1 per day, school enrollment is declining, and the average life-span is becoming shorter. While Africa accounts for 14 % of the world's population, its exports account for less than 1.6% and investment in Africa is less than 1% of global investment. Further, total net "Official Development Assistance" to Africa has fallen from previous levels of $17 billion to US$12 billion a year. This scenario is changing however. In July 2001, the 37th Summit of the OAU formally adopted a strategic framework for Africa's renewal called NEPAD - "New Partnership for African Development." NEPAD is first and foremost a pledge by African leaders to the people of Africa to consolidate democracy, sound economic management, peace and security, and people-centered sustainable development. READ MORE

Steven Marx

It is clear that the boutique/lifestyle hotel niche is longer occupied by just a handful of rogue, counter cultural hoteliers. The evolution of lifestyle hotels from a very small, extremely specialized industry segment, to its current status as one of the fastest growing product types, has been nothing short of astounding. It is sometimes debated who actually was the pioneer who developed the first of what has become generally known as contemporary boutique hotels, in the United States. But clearly, the concept did not come from the mainstream hotel industry. Depending on to whom you talk, Ian Schrager, starting with Morgan's Hotel in New York, gets the credit; others will say that Bill Kimpton was the founder, converting broken down old small hotels in San Francisco into "gems", with "hot" restaurants next door. READ MORE

Elaine Fenard

The hotel industry has taken spas to a level of sophistication that would have taken years to attain in the main stream. According to the International SPA Association (ISPA), hotel spas are the largest growing spa segment. Yet, with the spa industry still in its infancy we continue to hear many of the same questions we did two decades ago. Is spa a trend? Will we end up with an albatross? To answer these questions we need to further understand how spas have evolved. By looking at the spas of yesterday and today while thoroughly considering what research tells us, we can better understand where spas sit in our future. With this knowledge we can leverage and build our spa portfolios to effectively serve our guests while also meeting financial goals and expectations. READ MORE

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Coming up in October 2020...

Revenue Management: Maximizing Profit

Hotel Revenue Management continues to evolve at a blistering pace. Driven by technological innovation and new distribution channels, there are some dynamic opportunities for expansion in this fast-growing field. The technology is primarily designed to help revenue managers further refine their operations and pricing models to maximize hotel profit. For example, hotels can't be all things to all people, so a key strategy is to precisely identify their target audience. By employing geo-targeting techniques and analyzing behavior such as previous bookings, on-property purchases and online shopping practices, there is an increased capability to define guest demographics. By segmenting customers in more specific ways, hotels are able to create more personalized experiences which, in turn, allow managers to optimize their room rates. It is also an effective way to fulfill the unique needs and preferences of the individual. Another methodology is to consistently monitor the competition's pricing strategies. There are software tools that analyze a competitor's current rates, and then allow a hotel to make its own pricing adjustments. It is also a useful means to conduct forecasting models. Other technologies that are being integrated into a revenue manager's toolkit include Artificial Intelligence in the form of automated algorithms, and Voice Recognition (VR) for data inquiries, rate changes, and booking behavior. Predictive and analytic software programs are also being leveraged to provide more forward-looking data, instead of the usual reliance on historical performance. These metrics allow managers to be more proactive - rather than reactive - with their revenue strategy. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine these developments and report on how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.