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Developing Your Ownership-Leadership Style

One of the greatest challenges that you face as an owner or asset manager is stepping back from the day-to-day and delegating unencumbered operating responsibility to your on-property team because not doing so can have disastrous effects. Countless times I have witnessed general managers and other senior executives working in full spin mode to accommodate a direct and often-unexplained request from an owner, which ends up being counterproductive to the business’s goals as well as highly demoralizing. There is no set definition as to what constitutes an appropriate demand by an owner for his or her team. After all, it’s your investment! Clearly, issues that would be considered material to the property from a monetary standpoint – such as major CAPEX or significant changes to financial position versus budget – are worthy of a timely discussion. Conversely, an urgent call from an owner to management addressing, for instance, a single …

lmaadminDeveloping Your Ownership-Leadership Style
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The Housekeeping Training Revolution

Modern advances in employee training and ongoing retraining have such profound benefits that it’s near impossible for any senior hotelier to disregard their implementation. First among these advantages is what’s paid forward to your guests – improved compliance with SOPs, faster service, better staff demeanor and, ultimately, better customer satisfaction. Then there are the back-end benefits which also impact the bottom line – better team morale, less employee turnover, greater empowerment, increased productivity and decreased onboarding costs. Of course, this all relates to technology – putting your internal curriculum onto an online portal, thereby enabling e-learning. It works because it fosters an environment of microlearning – that is, allowing your team to learn at their own pace and in bite-sized, modular chunks, both of which are better for knowledge retention over the classical intensive and condensed period of instruction. Additionally, by putting your curriculum online, it frees up your supervisors’ …

lmaadminThe Housekeeping Training Revolution
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Breakfast of Champions

I’m sick of boring breakfasts, aren’t you? It’s about time that our chefs in the hotel industry woke up to something different than the same old bacon and eggs or oatmeal and raisins. In this sense, breakfast is another overlooked opportunity to wow your guests and leave a lasting impression. Here’s a simple test to see if your morning foodservice is staid. Order breakfast in your own restaurant and take a picture of what’s served on the plate. Now, go to any Denny’s – or any other well-known diner of this ilk – and order their Grand Slam or equivalent. This meal delivers a plethora of plate-filling carbs and all at a very reasonable price. If your plate looks similar to this, then it’s time to seriously rethink your approach. Remember, Denny’s price is well under ten bucks including coffee. That’s the baseline your customers have in the back of …

lmaadminBreakfast of Champions
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Enhancing Your Public Relations Success

As a card–carrying member of SATW (Society of American Travel Writers), I am literally bombarded with emails from those interested in garnering just an ounce of my attention to have me publish their materials. Keeping score this past week – nothing out of the ordinary – I received a total of 82 different press releases from hotel suppliers, properties, travel bureaus and destinations. How can any single release stand out? Thinking of all the hours that are spent by hotel managers and public relations agencies in preparing this material is mortifying, especially since 99% of these well-crafted pieces of literature will be trashed without the recipient ever getting beyond the headline. What a waste! Moving forward, as the general manager or director of communications, you must find a way to get a better return on your PR investments. When public relations works, it is a fantastic use of your financial …

lmaadminEnhancing Your Public Relations Success
Welcome to Oregon

In Vino Veritas LVII: Cascade Wines

The New World, and North America have come a long way in the past few decades. Since the Judgment of Paris in 1976, vintners beyond of the hallowed soils of the northern Mediterranean have sought to grow their stocks as far more than jug wine. It is the knowledge and passion for the process of winemaking that gives live to the end product, not just where you are on a map. Some 40 years later and exceptional viticulture flourishes in every corner of the continent where vines will grow, especially California where it all began. But just north of the Golden State, in Oregon and in Washington, they are doing incredible things as well, and for a fraction of the cost to consumers when compared to the some of the outrageous price tags on renowned Californian labels. While the appellations vary wildly across these two territories when it comes to …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas LVII: Cascade Wines
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Why We Love the Hotel Business in Ten Parts

Have you ever sat back for a moment to reflect on the profession of hospitality? With all its ups and downs, could you think of any other business you would rather be in? As someone who admittedly has never been at the helm of a property with the exception of short term MOD responsibilities, I feel as close as anyone can be to hotel management. Yet I recognize that it is not the same as the burden of being general manager, where day-to-day decisions can make or break the budget as well as destroy hard-earned asset values. I am humbled by many of the GMs I’ve met and in awe of their ability to stay calm in the midst of multiple mayhem constantly surrounding them. Perhaps this is why hotel management is such an adrenaline rush – the landscape changes hourly and there is no time to get bored. It’s …

lmaadminWhy We Love the Hotel Business in Ten Parts
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Defining Modern Hotel Luxury In Five Parts

How many times have you heard the word ‘luxury’ in a hotel description? It seems to be one of the most abused words in the hoteliers’ dictionary! I’ve seen many hotels claim to be luxurious, when at most they are just slightly better than average. There seems to be no clear definition for luxury. Looking for some clarity in the dictionary, the word ‘luxury’ come from Old French luxurie and the Latin luxuria or luxus, meaning excess. In other words, something that is luxurious is an inessential – a desirable item that is more than basic but not a necessity. In keeping with this definition, the basics of our product/service offerings are definitely not luxuries. These include cleanliness both for rooms and public areas, free and fast wifi, comfortable beds, sufficient amenities, generous hot water for showers, enough towels, quiet HVAC, good lighting for all needs, entertainment facilities, and security. …

lmaadminDefining Modern Hotel Luxury In Five Parts
Arrangement of different types of baked foods

Give Us Each Day Our Daily Bread Basket

I intentionally played upon this line from The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11: 1-4) for the title of this article in order to underscore the importance that bread plays in Western culture. When we go into a restaurant, a bread basket is all but an expectation. If we must ask for it, then there is a service problem! And for those restaurants who feel as though they can charge extra for this item, be warned that you certainly aren’t winning customers over with your penny-pinching approach to F&B. Knowing how profound a role bread has played throughout the course of civilization, still to this day nothing sets the stage for a great meal better than a freshly prepared loaf. The smell of baked bread and the satisfaction of physically handling its chewy texture are both as communal as they are primal. Yet, for many hoteliers, bread is given mere ‘lip service’ …

lmaadminGive Us Each Day Our Daily Bread Basket
Irritated young businessman at the office, feeling his back tired after working at laptop, uncomfortable chair, feeling itching, difficulty sitting, touching his left side with pained face expression

Raising Awareness For RSIs

An important issue affecting many hotels that merits further discussion is repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), especially those with an aging workforce. A combined aggravation of both the nervous and musculoskeletal system, an RSI is typically caused by repetitive tasks or those which put the body in an awkward position. There are many different types of RSIs, but as I am not a doctor, the diagnoses and exact syndromes are not the focus here. Rather, it is vital that all hoteliers recognize how RSIs may develop in a workplace setting so that steps can then be taken to reduce or prevent their occurrence altogether. RSIs can not only hamper an employee’s ability to perform at his or her best but they can also have a toxic effect on those closest to the afflicted individual. Being a true leader means caring for your team and their health, and thus corrective actions must be …

lmaadminRaising Awareness For RSIs