Smoothie bowl with chia seeds, muesli, strawberries, banana slices and coconut flakes

Answer the Call for Healthier Desserts

It’s 2017; people are drinking less alcohol, renouncing cigarettes, exercising more often and eating healthier. If you’re smart, you’ll get with the program. Many other articles, especially those under the purview of New Year’s resolutions, will cover methods and choice tips by which to give your mains and appetizers the health kick they need to keep drawing in patrons with increasingly esoteric dietary restrictions. One nutritional piece of advice around this time of the year that can be quite damaging to our restaurants, however, is to cut out desserts entirely as a means of weight loss, unclogging arteries or mood elevation. While there will always be a market for the uber-indulgent and ever-inventive confectionary creations of your pastry chef, nowadays if you only offer decadent desserts, you run the risk of alienating many with this compelled-to-stay-perfectly-thin mentality and crippling your chances at getting a few extra dollars from every table. …

lmaadminAnswer the Call for Healthier Desserts
Singapore, Singapore - February 29, 2016: Fullerton hotel building at Marina Bay in Singapore at night. It is illuminated with light and reflected in the water.

Finding Your Flag

Flag selection is one of the most critical decision you have to make when building a new hotel or rebranding, outside of location and financing. It can have sweeping impacts on just about every operation, and yet there are few guides available, apart from speaking to each firm’s sales folks and eliminating those brands in immediate geographic conflict. Accordingly, I’ve arranged a panel discussion with four individuals representing a broad range of experience in flag selection. Below their brief profiles are eight questions I posed to them during the confab. Rupesh Patel (, CEO of 3Hospitality. Rupesh is an owner/operator of several Dayton Beach properties. Michael Pleninger (, Chairman of Newport Hospitality Group. Michael’s team manages over 40 branded properties primarily in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Vikram Sood (, Principal of Nupala Hospitality Development. Vikram manages critical hospitality projects for owners/operators, primarily in Southern California. Anil Taneja (, President of …

lmaadminFinding Your Flag
Festive place setting for Valentines day

Valentine’s Day Only A Month Away

For hotel directors of sales and marketing, Valentine’s Day is less about romance or showing one’s affection and more about delivering some semblance of occupancy during the traditionally low-revenue winter months (outside of the ‘sun destinations’). Most plans are ideated and drawn out in broad strokes in late fall or prior to the holiday season, with tactical execution beginning in earnest once all the holiday season hoopla dies down in the first week of January. With Valentine’s Day falling a month and a day from this writing, if you haven’t already started acting on your plan, realistically you are only two weeks behind most of your competitors, so there’s still time to attract guests. Below are some ideas to help you do just that. And even if you have kicked your Valentine’s plans into gear, perhaps there’s one that you can tack on to enhance your offerings. 1. Valentine’s Day …

lmaadminValentine’s Day Only A Month Away

In Search of Hotel Excellence: The Meritage Resort & Spa

Just an hour from San Francisco or Oakland International airports and buoyed by Silicon Valley money, California’s Napa Valley is an eclectic mix of boutique inns, quaint B&Bs, chic ultra-luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants and, of course, some of the finest vineyards this side of Europe. It’s this last aspect which serves as the main draw, but also perhaps a slight drawback for larger groups that need scale and facilities unavailable this far north of San Francisco. Their loss, really, as this area is home to some spectacular properties with important lessons for all hoteliers. I was fortunate enough to find myself staying at a true Napa gem during my most recent trip there. Checking in at The Meritage Resort and Spa, a member of the Meritage Collection, my initial thought was one of awe. Along with the adjoining timeshare property, this hotel has over 500 guestrooms and suites spread across …

lmaadminIn Search of Hotel Excellence: The Meritage Resort & Spa
Typing on laptop closeup, chatting in Facebook, meeting website. Blogger, journalist writing new article.

Big Picture Questions For Your New Hotel Website

Everyone knows you need a functional website, no matter the business or the locale. For hotels, most of us recognize that often a website may be a customer’s first introduction to your property. As such, it should entice, educate and make them want to stay with you. Hence, for many GMs, one of the largest items on the 2017 marketing budget is likely the development of a new website, or at the very least a refurbishment of the current one to show newcomers that there’s something new to get excited about. This can come in the form of new interfaces or layout schemes, pages, offers, events, exciting visuals, plugins, iframes – whatever it takes to boost the user experience (UX) and keep customers engaged. I say this taking into full account that for many of you, the website is something beyond your control, as dictated by the corporate overlords of …

lmaadminBig Picture Questions For Your New Hotel Website

Unsung Heroes of Hospitality – Security Director

An interview with Irving “Bulla” Eastman, Senior Director Safety and Security for Aqua-Aston Hospitality While most of us in hospitality focus our efforts on finding ways to enhance our guests’ comfort (and make more revenues!), we can only do so in an environment where both safety and security are assured. We often take the role of our security department for granted. After all, this is a department where reports stating ‘nothing has happened’ are considered the norm, and management tends to respond to incidents versus the status quo. It is also hard to measure the performance of the security department when assessments are largely binary. How do you know if team members are meeting your needs when the expectation is that ‘nothing has happened’? Irving “Bulla” Eastman knows. As Senior Director Safety and Security for Aqua-Aston Hospitality, he works to ensure the safety and security for the group’s nearly 50 …

lmaadminUnsung Heroes of Hospitality – Security Director
Friends Connection Digital Devices Technology Network Concept

Hospitality Technology Predictions for 2017

While there have been many heretofore predictions about the coming year, both for the hospitality industry and for technological advancements, none thus far have effectively bridged the gap between these spaces. When it comes to technology, hotels are often seen as laggards to adoption, but I don’t see this as the case. Quite the opposite in fact, with our resources and the diverse range of operations, we’re very well situated to be the benefactors of many incredible tools soon to be released. Hence, it would serve you well to keep pace with what’s on the forefront so that you can make a better decision about what will work for your particular hotel. Highlighting general industry trends and a few companies that I consider to be game-changers, here are my top five hospitality technology predictions for 2017. Energy efficiency everywhere. Whether or not you are a proponent of climate change is …

lmaadminHospitality Technology Predictions for 2017