April FOCUS

Guest Service: Health and Safety First

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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Library Archives

 

Last month's feature articles...

Stacey Oliver-Knappe

Are you challenged onboarding new employees or keeping current employees trained on evolving information? Do you struggle how to upskill staff to maintain high guest service levels? This article simplifies the training function to teach any leader workforce learning tactics and strategies to continue staff develop. I am confident you can do this, and do it well, with these ideas. READ MORE

Zoe Connolly

Covid happened, the industry is starting to adjust, and now what? While we don't know how soon things will get back to normal or if this is our new normal, what we do know is that travel is starting to pick back up. This means hotels need to restaff and reopen. Let's focus on how we can find the best talent and get our teams to thrive. READ MORE

Suzanne McIntosh

The impact of 2020 will have a long term effect as millions of jobs were lost, hotels closed and businesses that depend on our industry were shuttered. This article shows how hiring managers can source and hire the very best candidates in this new environment. It will also give some guidance to job seekers on how to compete for the fewer positions that are available in this different employment landscape. READ MORE

Sheetal Singh

As we seek diverse individuals to fill our organization's ever evolving human capital needs, we also need to ensure that we hire individuals that are a good fit for our organization. In this article we highlight the traps leaders need to avoid and how to look for similarity in value that helps them find candidates with good fit. READ MORE

James Ward

Devastated from COVID-19, our current focus is a return to normalcy. We terminated millions globally. Those who remain are tired and worn. Our mad rush to terminate left sentiments of distrust, distaste, and dissatisfaction. Future potential employees are encouraged to steer clear. Without a "call to action" on recruitment/ employee satisfaction we face rough waters ahead for talent acquisition. READ MORE

Florian Kittler

Can a virtual interview be enough to hire senior executives without meeting them face to face? Can a brand entice top talent to join based on a Zoom call? Florian Kittler from HVS Executive Search explores how virtual recruiting is becoming the new form and why hospitality companies should revisit their biggest strength and incorporate it into their hiring process. READ MORE

Adam Calli

What kind of support should a hotel executive receive from their HR team in 2021? And what kind of support should they expect their HR team to expect from them? Find out from an expert how HR has changed over the past 40+ years, how you should change with it, and how all will benefit along the way! READ MORE

James Houran

Psychology says that decision-making is complicated by a "speed-accuracy" trade-off. This issue becomes more salient as the post-pandemic "rebound and recovery" period approaches. Many organizations will need to increase their talent bench-strength quickly to meet pent-up demand. New psychometric research and AI-technologies confront the traditional trade-off by facilitating more efficient and effective hiring decisions than ever possible before. READ MORE

Paul Feeney

No matter your role or how long you have been in it, we all have situations we would rather avoid. No matter the situation, most would agree that leaving your comfort zone can create the opportunity to flourish professionally, personally, and financially. Yet that comfort zone can be a cozy blanket of security quite difficult to shed! READ MORE

Conor Kenny

The pandemic, like a nasty cut, will leave many scars. Healing will take time but there's a bigger problem coming for a fragile and bruised hospitality industry. A problem that has the capacity to destroy the heart of what excellence in hospitality is all about. We are talking about young people and how they are choosing to leave the industry before they start. READ MORE

Mark Munoz

As a result of the pandemic, the hotel industry experienced diminished numbers in market size and employees in the workplace. This requires a reframing of conversations pertaining to the practice of human resource management. With challenges emerging in various fronts, solutions are available through a three-pronged strategy involving the rapid response to issues, heightened revenue focus, and revitalization of technology. READ MORE

Robert M. O'Halloran

The hospitality industry needs to embrace reskilling and define it for their operations and apply it through education and training. Potentially, new contexts can be incorporated into hospitality business models to include enhanced mentoring programs, a focus on technical abilities, improved organizational culture and highlighting empathy as a skill. All of which need to be incorporated it into hospitality training and education and seeing the issues from a guest and fellow employee perspective. READ MORE

Albert Brannen

President Biden promised to be "the most pro-union President" in U.S history. In his first days in office, Biden took swift action to change agency personnel, sign Executive Orders promoting unions and begin a dramatic pivot toward a pro-union environment. This article offers 20 steps that employers can take to increase employee engagement and minimize their vulnerability to union organizing. READ MORE

Merrick Dresnin

Just like with any sickness, it is important to take your temperature to determine how it is affecting you. The same holds true in business -- companies need to take their temperatures and use the reading to see where they are on the "road to recovery". Human Resources can be a company's thermometer and provide numbers that tell us if we are on our way to recovery and normalcy. READ MORE

Eugenio Pirri

As the adage goes, with every cloud there is a silver lining. This crisis has undoubtedly changed the face of hospitality for years to come. It too has transformed the way HR is seen in a business, and how organisations and their workforces will look. As a result, we are now seen the 'Covid Dividends' - the learnings and some surprisingly positives outcomes. We need to take all that we have learnt, done, adapted and use this so it becomes part of our strategic fabric. READ MORE

Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Millions of confined people are longing to hit the road again. Many have already begun to do so. Are you ready to welcome an influx of guests? Now's the time to rethink your entire talent strategy so that you're able to quickly staff up, with the right talent, the moment hotel bookings begin to rise. Here's where to begin. READ MORE

Coming up in May 2021...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Now More Than Ever

One theory about the pandemic states that future viruses are more likely to originate and flourish due to global warming. If true, the urgency to accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices is greater than ever. Of course, there are many other reasons to create a sustainable operation, including reduced utility costs, savings on operational costs, healthier and happier guests and employees, and positive publicity, marketing and community goodwill. Many hotels are introducing innovative programs into their operations - from recycling bins in guest rooms to starting a roof top garden. Other hotels are using eco-friendly cleaning products, reusing towels and sheets, sourcing locally grown food, supporting the use of electric vehicles, and permitting guests to refill their reusable water bottles with clean, filtered water. Finally, some hotels are encouraging guests to get involved by making it possible for them to participate in local community clean-up projects. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.