HOTEL BUSINESS REVIEW

April FOCUS: Guest Service

 
April, 2021

Guest Service: Health and Safety First

Though expectations are that hotels will return to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, their highest priority must continue to be the health and safety of guests and employees. To that end, hotels are training their guest service personnel in enhanced cleaning routines, which include the following practices - bathrooms, elevator buttons, remote controls and other high-touch items, are disinfected and cleaned with a higher frequency; all tables, chairs and menus in restaurants are cleaned at a much higher frequency, and after each seating; floor markers in public areas to remind guests and team members to maintain physical distance; hand alcohol stations and disposable gloves in lobbies and restaurants; loose items such as pens, note pads and information material removed from rooms and meeting rooms; limiting the number of seats in restaurants and public areas; and revised food & beverage offerings. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will review how guest service personnel are being trained to maintain health and safety protocols in their operations.



This month's feature articles...

Shayne Paddock

Establishing connections across your property(s) or brand is more than just shuttle service to the airport. Connections can be an apt metaphor for person-to-person interaction, the guest experience as a whole, and even the way technology can support lasting guest relationships. In fact, the argument could be made that hospitality is an entire industry of connections. READ MORE

Katie Davin

As travelers return to the road and the skies, they have new and traditional expectations for hotel service. They are worried about their safety and health and therefore expect options for low-touch and no-touch service. However, they still expect personalized, attentive service. This article offers six ways for hotel leaders to meet and exceed the expectations of the post-pandemic traveler. READ MORE

Mark Johnson

Most hotel marketers agree that if a consumer has a "connection" with a brand, they will buy more from that brand over their lifetime. Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, the trade association for customer engagement and loyalty programs, says the benefits of these relationships are obvious: those with high levels of emotional loyalty do not easily switch to other brands. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

The pandemic has accelerated an existing trend to remove human contact from the hotel experience. While this offers quite a few advantages to both hotels and their guests, there is a danger that reducing face-to-face interaction puts the hospitality aspect of travel at risk. There is also a concern that taking people out the equation reduces the emotional bonds that guests experience with their favorite hotels. READ MORE

Robert Reitknecht

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only challenged hotels to stay afloat in a year that decimated their businesses but has asked that they begin to think outside the box to provide stellar guest experiences. This blog offers six ways hotels can embrace the paradigm shift that has rocked hospitality by creatively maintaining safety for guests while still providing memorable experiences. READ MORE

Herbert Laubichler-Pichler

A smile, a handshake and even a hug are touchstones of good, old-fashioned hospitality but can these gestures even exist in the hotel industry or can we enact that goodwill in other ways? Alma Resort's general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler delves into where guest service is headed and what we can do to 'connect' with our guests as best we can. READ MORE

Michael Kasavana

Hotel operators are investing in unique ways to replace lost pandemic revenue arising from vacant guestrooms and restricted dining areas. Among candidate creative strategies is implementation of a hotel ghost kitchen and/or virtual branding partnership that supports and extends a property's food and beverage offerings. Successful operational relationships, coupled with advances in multi-brand technology, are moving the industry toward enhanced profitability. READ MORE

Peter McAlpine

Covid-19 has caused the hotel industry to make contactless service the New Normal. This article discusses the dire effects this will have on hospitality, and makes the point that the virus has actually provided a golden opportunity for the hotel industry to reset itself in order to move on from the old-style, mechanical guest experience concept of SOP-Customer Satisfaction and embrace energetic and spiritual Heart-Based Hospitality in which unconditional love is the focus. READ MORE

Natasa Christodoulidou

The global pandemic forced one of the greatest evolutions in the hotel industry's history. With a light at the end of the tunnel, everyone is eager to return to normal, but what will new normal look like for an industry has been forever changed? This article shares best practices hoteliers should embrace to thrive in post-pandemic times that will undoubtedly bring about more change and industry transformation. READ MORE

Ahmad Ouri

Our industry has a chance to redefine the hospitality experience. We can exceed guests' expectations, streamline operations and elevate the roles of our staff with thoughtful changes to how technology is incorporated in the hospitality continuum. Embracing the idea of digital hospitality means rethinking service delivery and upgrading the hospitality operations model altogether. And now is the time to do it. READ MORE

Darrell Schuurman

The LGTB+ community is poised and ready to travel, representing a $200 billion global tourism opportunity. When your property starts the process of understanding your LGBT+ guests, it quickly becomes apparent the value they can provide to your business. In this article, we examine best practices for making your hotel LGBT+ friendly and speak to experts about why it's so important. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

Guest service has evolved into more than amenities and pleasantries. In the time of the pandemic, service needs to also offer productivity and efficiency. Additionally, guest service needs to reflect business knowledge, empathy for guest perspectives and, also focus on guest safety. This discussion provides a context for the lodging industry creating a blueprint for guest service going forward. READ MORE

Fred Lounsberry

Who could have predicted that the most desirable hotel amenity of 2021 would be a complimentary COVID-19 test? As the tourism industry bounces back, hotels and resorts across The Bahamas are reinventing the guest and guest service experience through innovation and adaptability, writes Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board CEO Fred Lounsberry. READ MORE

Rachel Hodgdon

As hotels assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest challenges they face is how to transition properties back to mainstream operation, while guarding the health of guests and staff alike. What if we commit to these learnings going forward and invest in the interventions that prioritize well-being for all? READ MORE

Laurence Bernstein

Luxury hotels are quite rightly very concerned about the first impression the guest gets on arrival and the importance of every "touchpoint" or experience-moment. Both of these strategies are probably misplaced: the arrival experience is less important in terms of influencing memories than the departure experience; and it is not necessary to focus on every touchpoint. READ MORE

Robert Reitknecht

Guests today aren't flocking to hotels in droves, but that doesn't mean the power of hospitality brands on social media is any lessened. In this blog, we dive into how to leverage social media to keep your hotel front-and-center with guests, connect with them on a unique level, and cement your brand with them to build a stronger image and customer retention. READ MORE

Coming up in October 2021...

Revenue Management: Monetizing All Offerings


Of all the departments within hotel operations, Revenue Management may have been the hardest hit, due to the pandemic. The logic goes - no revenue, no need for revenue managers - so many industry professionals were furloughed. If business rebounds in 2021, as expected, then hotel management will have to determine when prevailing occupancy levels justify bringing back their revenue management team. Also, the pandemic seems to have exposed some weaknesses in the traditional RevPAR models. There is a growing understanding that it is no longer sufficient to use a "revenue per available room" model; instead, hotels are adopting a TRevPAR model (total revenue per available room). This model recognizes that revenue streams from other departments are just as important as the revenue gained from rooms. As a result, hotels are looking at ways to monetize any and all hotel offerings - from dining outlets and spas to outdoor function spaces and local partnerships. 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.