April Focus     Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Trending articles this week...

Fernando Rivera

In the hospitality industry, the cookie-cutter approach just won't cut it anymore. With a new decade dawning, more and more travelers are looking for hotels that are immersed in local culture. They're on the hunt for a place the reflects local touches and offers local insight. They're avoiding the tourist traps in favor of truly local experiences, whether it's signature cuisine or attractions that shed light on a place. Today's traveler is searching for authenticity. Fernando Rivera, General Manager at the soon-to-be-opened Kimpton Palomar South Beach, has developed an array of strategies to help hotels tap into local culture. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

The hotel industry is complex, and every hotel and restaurant is different – where the hotel is located, the skills of the staff needed to effectively run the operation, the number of restaurants, cafes and other amenities offered – the list goes on. Finding the right labor management system is time consuming and requires extensive research, which is why so many operators chose to go with a simple, one feature set-approach. On the surface it reduces stress because of its ease of use, but depending on the business, a one-size-fits-all approach just won't cut it. READ MORE

Maryann Prestia

Hotel theft is steadily declining in the U.S. While hoteliers have made strides in guest safety through the implementation of on-premise security initiatives, there remains room for improvement. Understanding and addressing areas of risk, focusing on employee training, relying on outside expertise and incorporating new technical resources can further improve the guest experience by making safety a core principle. Distinguished Programs' vice president and hospitality program manager Maryann Prestia examines the typical types of hotel theft, steps hotels should take to decrease the frequency of these risks and the ways modern hotels are creating a seamless and secure customer experience. READ MORE

Brenda Fields

Are companies like Amazon and Apple setting better examples of great customer service than the hospitality industry? There has been a sharp decline in the hospitality industry in basic customer service with more reliance on technology, resulting in impersonal or rote customer interactions. Many times, calling a hotel requires extreme patience because of all the sales and reservation messages and the numerous prompts before getting to the right area, if lucky. This article will address what great customer service is from the guest perspective and the value of general managers setting the standards. READ MORE

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. 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.