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Unsung Heroes of Hospitality: Butlers

What comes to mind when you think of the job title “butler”? Perhaps it is the Mr. Carson character, the butler of “Downton Abbey” fame — an impeccably attentive British sort attired in formal waistcoat. Or maybe it’s the unflappable Cecil Gaines, expertly acted by Forest Whitaker in the aptly named 2013 movie “The Butler.” Wikipedia defines a butler as a domestic worker in a large house. The St. Regis Bal Harbour meets the large house definition with 227 guestrooms and suites. Of this total, some 40 suites have complete access to the St. Regis butler service. Having experienced this service firsthand, it was time to talk to my butler, Marc Rapp, who happens to be head butler, and shed some light on better butler-ing. Marc’s entire life has been steeped in the world of hotels. His family owned an eight-room B&B near Lyon, France. And, like any family business, …

Larry MogelonskyUnsung Heroes of Hospitality: Butlers
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Earth Day Special

Happy early Earth Day everyone! The official date of Earth Day is April 22nd, although some also commemorate Earth Hour on March 29th.While this holiday may pale in comparison to the larger, more commercial festivities like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, it is nonetheless vital for hotel operations, not only because we must all do our part for the environment, but because these eco-improvements can save you a lot of money. It has been shown time and again that while ecosystem-conscious upgrades can be expensive upfront, in the long run they can save you hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in operational costs. If you don’t believe me, contact an environmental consultant for more details. What I emphasize is a cascade of minor improvements over a long breadth of time instead of the fast, grandiose and very pricey changes. Everyone wants the latter because you see immediate results, but it’s important …

Larry MogelonskyEarth Day Special
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Goodbye Is As Important As Hello

I have written and am well aware of the numerous ways that properties focus their attention on building their sense of arrival – that is, the initial impression a hotel makes on a guest. These might include beautiful flower arrangements, warm smiles and effusively welcoming staff members. The expression I use to denote why we hoteliers should focus on delivering an excellent sense of arrival is this: first impressions are first assurances. When a guest arrives at an establishment, having all operations in order comforts this visitor and sets a precedent for the remainder of the trip. Its importance recognised in this light, by and large most properties have got this sense of arrival pretty much down pat. Additionally, I am pleased to see that good progress is being made by most full-service properties, not just the luxury abodes. However, a guest’s departure still continues to be somewhat of an orphan in …

Larry MogelonskyGoodbye Is As Important As Hello
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Adapting To Digital Meeting Channels

We all know digital advancements have impacted and will continue to impact the way we reach and transact with customers. We’ve seen this most prominently to date with the OTAs and other similar electronic accommodations channels. However, the meeting and conference business has yet to feel the full brunt of this evolution. This is not to say group business has been ignored by Internet startups — they are just warming up in terms of how much these new channels will influence the way hotels acquire their meetings revenues. Websites like Hotel Planner, Group Hotels, Groople and meetings.com are all viable candidates. Two I am quite familiar with are Cvent and eVenues. The former, which I’m sure many of you already know, is a publicly traded company specializing in facilitating large meeting RFPs and registration. Still in the gestation phase, the latter allows any venue provider to post their space for …

Larry MogelonskyAdapting To Digital Meeting Channels
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Larry Talks with DeGroote School of Business

Have you checked the hompage for DeGroote School of Business lately? A part of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, DeGroote is the school where Larry completed his MBA, and he was ecstatic when they approached him to discuss his career to date and advice for newcomers to marketing. Check out their Alumni Dispatch, which sheds some light on Larry’s entry years before entering the hospitality industry. The article also talks about Larry’s books, “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” and “Llamas Rule.”

lmaadminLarry Talks with DeGroote School of Business
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Gray Is the New Green, Part 6: Thinking Medium Term

While drawing more Millennials seems to all the rage these days, we should not forget they are still in their 20s and 30s — ages not immediately indicative of free-flowing cash reserves. Yes, it’s a good long-term strategy that will pay off in the next few decades, but what about the interim? In the short term, critical matters affecting all age groups are what take precedent. How about the medium term, the next three to nine years? As of now, Boomers and Gen Xers hold most of the buying power, even though the Millennials are a more populous and outspoken demographic. Moreover, the paucity of Millennial money becomes even sparser when you think of their expenses — namely paying off education debt, starting a family, buying a first home and living large on one’s home turf. These are fiscal scenarios more akin to younger persons, regardless of generation. And to …

Larry MogelonskyGray Is the New Green, Part 6: Thinking Medium Term
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Strategist or Tactician?

Which one are you, strategist or tactician? Or, do you even know the difference? It’s subtle, but very important to remember. Strategists are the big picture idea generators and recommenders of this world. They are the ones who get the prestige for coming up the winning concept that reaped a heavy payload down the road. Oftentimes a single thought or suggestion can save a whole company or launch it into an entirely new marketplace. Strategic planners, consultants and corporate advisors all fit this role for the purpose of helping an organization find that ‘next big thing’ to propel it forward. But, while strategists can banter to no end in abstract terms about an operation, there comes a time when you have to execute. And this requires logistics and a stalwart tactician to coordinate this grand movement. As Einstein cleverly pointed out, “Innovation is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” Tacticians are the …

Larry MogelonskyStrategist or Tactician?
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In Vino Veritas, Part XX: Trio de Pinot

Ah, pinot — my favorite grape. And not because I’m hopping on the “Sideways” it’s-so-temperamental-so-you-have-to-love-it bandwagon, but because I love the light, fruity taste and the transparent, crimson-violet color. Plus, it can pair with just about any main, be it meat, chicken, fish, veggie or cheese. Most of my gratitude applies to pinot noir — the red- or dark purple-skinned grape of the family — but the other two key siblings are also worth trumpeting: pinot gris (or pinot grigio if you find yourself in northeast Italy) and pinot blanc. As colors are the going descriptors for the pinot grape, gris implies gray or opaque pinkish-brown skins while blanc denotes, well, white or pale yellow varietals. This trio de pinot represents quite a diverse collection of wines both Old and New World, and thus deserving of their own post. For starters, “pinot” stems from the French for “pine,” so called …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas, Part XX: Trio de Pinot
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The Hierarchy of Needs in Communication

With so many mediums for contacting friends, family, guests, clients, managers, purveyors, employees and all in-between, proper communication etiquette is a vital subject matter. We all have needs and wants, and the mediums for which we choose to express ourselves play a large role in determining the tone, importance and passion of the message. Furthermore, the method by which we respond plays a similarly critical role in terms of how our message is perceived by the original sender. As it concerns hotels specifically, what we are addressing today is the degree of influence that each communication vehicle will have when it comes to cementing a guest’s positive feelings for you or convincing them to talk about your brand with their friends and family. On the internal or business side of things, to cite one such instance, the correct choice in medium can work to better motivate staff members to perform …

Larry MogelonskyThe Hierarchy of Needs in Communication
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New Microsite for Allegiant Airlines

LMA is pleased to announce the launch of Allegiant Airlines’ new bilingual microsite for Canadian travelers. This site, built by LMA, was created to better assist Canadians with their U.S. travel plans. Route maps and travel information are featured in both English and French. With a focus on key cross-border airports, users can select a nearby airport served by Allegiant and find all the necessary information one might need when flying with Allegiant. The new user-friendly microsite also features an FAQ specifically targeted at Canadian needs, U.S. border airport information including parking, accommodations and restaurants, and estimated driving times from Canadian cities. Visit the site at http://allegiantcanada.ca/en.

lmaadminNew Microsite for Allegiant Airlines