USS Midway and San Diego. USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and San Diego Skyline at Night. California USA.

Messages for Hoteliers from the USS Midway

No trip to San Diego is complete without a trip to CV-41, also known as the USS Midway, the largest ship in the world until 1955. The carrier was since decommissioned in 1992 and has been turned into a floating museum. As basically an entire town in a boat, the sheer size of this craft defies imagination. Touring her decks and viewing the wide variety of aircraft and exhibits can easily take a full day. Not having a military background, I was in total awe and full of admiration all those who had boarded this great vessel and served in the Navy. A tour of the Midway is not complete, though, without listening to the living history provided by the many docents who willingly share their experiences. While the information they provided clearly reflected the life on the ship, significant parallels can nevertheless be formed with the vast array of …

lmaadminMessages for Hoteliers from the USS Midway
Two men talking in a modern office

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
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
Maslow pyramid with five levels hierarchy of needs in flat colours

Moving Up The Ranks Of The Guest Experience Hierarchy

I’m mystified, or should I say confused. Perhaps you can help me solve this conundrum… In most annual budget processes, hotel managers go into immaculate detail on spreadsheets for such line items as capital for renovations, expense allocations for operations, personnel, and sales and marketing. Yet rarely is there a section, nay more than a single row devoted to training or any of its other more elaborate forms such as ‘service culture development’, ‘associate engagement’, ‘team improvement’ or ‘guest experience enhancement’. If we are truly in the hospitality industry, why do we neglect the fundamental service function that is our namesake? Giving more thought to your internal service R&D also means you are working to substantially distinguish your hotel when more extravagant facility upgrades are far outside of budgetary scope. Through continuous technological installations and judicious procurement, most limited-service properties now have quiet HVAC, comfortable beds and ample bathroom facilities. …

lmaadminMoving Up The Ranks Of The Guest Experience Hierarchy
young caucasian businessman revealing a hidden tattoo

Are Tattoos Taboo In Hospitality?

This is a topic you should definitely review with your HR director. Does a sentence appear in your hiring policy to specify whether or not a candidate is permitted to have any visible tattoos? Or, while unwritten, have you or someone within your organization ever dismissed potential applicants outright on this basis? If you have answered affirmatively to either of these two statements, it may be time to re-evaluate your hiring practices. While discriminatory cases involving skin art have yet to reach the spotlight in our court systems, modifying an outright ban in your internal policies is nevertheless something to consider. In the past two decades, the tattoo parlor has moved from a badge for military personnel, ex-cons and Hell’s Angels to mainstream, at least in a North American context. Increasingly, millennials – and soon to be post-millennials – regard tattoos as a rite of passage to adulthood. In our …

lmaadminAre Tattoos Taboo In Hospitality?
Hotel service. female housekeeping worker maid making bed with bedclothes at inn room

Are Entry Level Jobs At Risk With Airbnb?

Raising the argument that Airbnb’s business model does not directly support the local economy is not anything new for the hospitality industry, and even more so for real estate. However, there appears to be an additional impact on hotels, one that requires a bit of explaining. (Before we get underway, know this Airbnb is simply the largest of these alternate lodging accommodation companies. Its namesake in this article is used as shorthand to represent all others in this category and that Airbnb is not to be singled out in any way.) A hotel represents the combination of both a physical space and an array of services. This range of services includes housekeeping, maintenance, groundskeepers, front desk personnel, valets, reservations staff, bellhops, restaurant servers and kitchen staff. All this amounts to numerous entry level employees – individuals who are looking to better themselves and their families through gainful employment. And due …

lmaadminAre Entry Level Jobs At Risk With Airbnb?

The Three Axioms Of B2B And B2C Communications

For about five years ago, I’ve encouraged readers to examine their B2B and B2C communications from a Marshall McLuhan-esque standpoint – that is, how the medium impacts the message itself. To help organize my thoughts on the matter, I proposed a heirarchial flowchart outlining 13 different forms of modern communications based on the level of importance conveyed by each. My motivation for tackling this subject was the rise of email and mobile communications, both of which have had sweeping influences on how we behave and socialize. With each passing month, mobile becomes more significant as a channel, thus necessitating a reexamination of the communications hierarchy I first drew up half a decade ago. This updated ranking is based may not be exactly the same for everyone, although the broad strokes will ring true. What remains unchanged, though, is that the more intimate the interaction, the greater the influence. Any opportunity …

lmaadminThe Three Axioms Of B2B And B2C Communications
Portrait of young businessman with his tablet in a hotel lobby.

Respect Your Hotel Titles

The workplace today is vastly different than it was 50 or even 20 years ago. Organizations have a flat structure, people opt to work from home, attire is far more casual and we’ve all but stopped addressing our superiors by their formal titles. While most of these progressions are indeed progress and advantageous for productivity, employee happiness and innovation, it’s the latter one that may cause some problems specific to the hospitality industry. A while back, I wrote about how the phasing out of the neck tie for front desk staffers (for the men at least) will change guests’ perceptions of a hotel. I argued that even though this change may invoke a more casual and breezy attitude for the brand, there is nevertheless something to be said about a sharp dressed man. When you dress for success, then you will get exactly that. Upholding a brand standard of neat …

lmaadminRespect Your Hotel Titles
3D rendering pool ball or billiard ball number 11 isolated on white.

The Magic Eleven Qualities of Successful Hotel Owners

There have been so many books written on leadership and management styles that you can fill a bookshelf. In fact, my personal library has half of its shelves devoted to this very topic. There is no question that, apart from financial acumen, leadership is what will most certainly make or break the success of your property investment. In many cases, you have a general or hotel manager that deals with the day-to-day responsibilities of your property. This short essay is devoted to how you, as an owner, can demonstrate leadership to members of your team in order to build a better, more effective team. In my 35 years of working with both individually and corporately owned properties, I have distilled the essence of leadership down to a few simple qualities, which I call the Magic Eleven. While I cannot guarantee immediate improvement to your P&L, you most certainly will be …

lmaadminThe Magic Eleven Qualities of Successful Hotel Owners

I’ve Learned From My Dog And So Can You!

Anyone who has met me knows how crazy I am for my dog Hondo, a 125-pound bouvier des flandres puppy. We rescued him from an owner in Pennsylvania who didn’t realize that he was going to get to a size that is bordering on unmanageable. Hondo is not our first dog; he is our third. And each one is unique in its approach to life. Hondo is quite a character – pet friendly is an understatement! Looking at the world from Hondo’s perspective, there is a lot that can be applied to the hotel world. In many ways, our pets instruct can us how to effectively manage our employees and how to best treat our teams. Here are ten takeaways that relate to your job as a hotelier. Pets thrive on routine. Routine means following a set course of activity everyday. Now think of your hotel operation – routine allows …

lmaadminI’ve Learned From My Dog And So Can You!