Today's Human Resource Director: New Attributes in Times of Change

USA, Miami, Florida. February 27, 2019

Having read this far, no doubt you are probably wondering what fairy tales, video clips and a gum ball machine have to do with your hotel. It's simple; they lead to the inescapable fact that B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore hit the nail on the head in their definitive book The Experience Economy. This 1999 classic showed us that just having attractive guest rooms, a nice spa and fast room service is not be enough for your brand to have economic value. Rather, business is entering "a new economic era in which all businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers [guests]."

Somewhere along the way, we came to believe that all it takes to generate value, loyalty, and great ambassadors for our hotel are outstanding facilities, programs, and services. And don't forget those loyalty programs. While that may have been true back in the 20th Century, it is no longer enough in 2019; these qualities are just expected in a hotel. To provide the kind of experiences that will drive guest value and hotel revenues, it takes more than top facilities and good service. It takes what Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager and Raving Fans calls, "Deliver +1", what the Cajun culture calls Lagniappe, what I call E3 - Exceed, Excel, Expectations, and what Joseph Pine and James Gilmore call the Experience Economy.

In fact, they say that the curtain has already risen on this new economic era in which businesses - including hotels - cannot just provide a place to sleep, eat, meet, entertain, party, workout, hang out, or relax. Instead, they must orchestrate memorable experiences for guests to increase the value score. They visualize a future where every hotel uses its facilities as props, its services as a stage, and its employees as actors intentionally creating lasting, memorable experiences for its guests.

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences.  Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha,  kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns  creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.