Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “An Introduction to Data-Driven Decisions for Managers Who Don’t Like Math”

“…Companies are vacuuming up data to make better decisions about everything from product development and advertising to hiring.Image In their 2012 feature on big data, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson describe the opportunity and report that “companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors” even after accounting for several confounding factors…”

Not a week goes by without us publishing something here at HBR about the value of data in business. Big data, small data, internal, external, experimental, observational — everywhere we look, information is being captured, quantified, and used to make business decisions.

Not everyone needs to become a quant. But it is worth brushing up on the basics of quantitative analysis, so as to understand and improve the use of data in your business. We’ve created a reading list of the best HBR articles on the subject to get you started.

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Hotels Dazzle Guests With High-Tech Amenities”

“…Hotels should exercise caution before taking random leaps into the world of modern gadgetry.Image The first consideration must be the customer. Some people may find apps that know what movie they’re watching, where they’re going or whether they’re sleeping to be creepy. Other guests might not like the sight of a lobby full of high-tech devices…”

At Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle, guests who want to sleep late don’t have to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their doorknobs. Each of the hotel’s rooms contains an infrared sensor that detects body heat and displays the results to the housekeeping staff on a door panel (unless the guest doesn’t want it to). If the sensor shows someone is in the room, the cleaners skip it and move on.

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “‘Mother Whose Son, 11, Died in Killer Hotel Room Starts Foundation to Raise Carbon Monoxide Awareness”

“…The mother and son, in town to pick up Jeffrey’s sister from a science camp, did not know that only two months earlier an elderly couple died in the same room after being overcome by carbon monoxide gasImage…Mrs Williams also hopes that in sharing her tragic story, she would raise awareness of the silent, odorless and colorless killer that has robbed her of her son…”

The North Carolina mother whose 11-year-old son was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning has started a foundation to raise awareness of the lethal, odorless, colorless gas.

Jeannie Williams nearly died from a carbon monoxide leak in a hotel that claimed the life of her son Jeffrey Williams, and now she’s made it her life’s mission to make people aware of the killer.

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How to Protect Your Online Presence”

“…Hoteliers can take a proactive approach to dealing with spammers by regularly checking their information is correct on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and BingImage…Once hackers identify an easy target, they can install their own codes on the back-end of the hotel website. For instance, they may switch the booking widget so that it brings customers to a copy of the hotel’s website and then the booking is subsequently made through a third party…”

In January, spammers hijacked official website links for thousands of hotels listed within Google+ Local, rerouting visitors to third-party booking services. Since these listings feed results into Google Search, Maps, and Hotel Finder, Google worked quickly and quietly behind the scenes to correct the links. And despite the irritation of this hack, there are key takeaways for hoteliers that can help them protect their online presence.

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Hospitality Industry Bed Bug Update: “Suit: Calumet Park Hotel Infested With Bed Bugs”

“…The one-count lawsuit claims the hotel negligently and carelessly failed to provide guests with safe and sanitary rooms; Imagefailed to take steps, including inspections and extermination, to keep its premises clean and free of infestations; and, among other things, failed to train staff appropriately to recognize signs of bed bugs…”

A woman suffered from bed bug bites after she stayed at a hotel in Calumet Park, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Bridget Flowers rented a hotel room Feb. 14 at the Magnuson Hotel, 12800 S. Ashland Ave., and slept on the bed and used the sheets that the hotel provided, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Claims, Guest Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Lincoln City Hotel Sues for Defamation After Anonymous Person Posts Scathing TripAdvisor Review”

“…In March, the Oregon Court of Appeals for the first time took up the issue of whether Oregon business owners can sue people who post scathing reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook or elsewhere.Image In its March ruling, the appeals court said the owners of an outdoor wedding venue could sue a wedding guest who posted a Google Review that included the statement that attending the event was ‘The worst experience of my life!’..”

Less than a month after an anonymous user posted a very unflattering review of a Lincoln City hotel, the hotel has filed a $74,500 defamation lawsuit in an attempt to stop the reviewer from posting again and driving away business.

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Marriott Bids for Gen Y Business With AC Hotels”

“…Personalization will be key to success as the next generation will guard their privacy except with a handful of brands,Image and then they will expect the company to know and meet their expectations. ‘Loyalty, big data and digitiization. You combine all the those and the epicenter of that is where you get personalization,’ Jhunjhunwala said. The key operating word is ‘trust’…”

As hotels are learning it’s going to take more than free Wi-Fi, a Facebook account and extra sockets to please the millennial traveler, Marriott is bringing the AC brand to the United States with hopes of locking in the loyalty of the Gen Y business traveler.

It has so far approved plans for 33 hotels in the United States, with the first set to open in New Orleans in September, followed by Kansas City and Miami, said Callette Nielsen, brand vice president for AC Hotels by Marriott.

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “Texas Teen Found Dead in Hotel Room After Her High School Prom”

“…When police arrived at Gomez’s hotel room, they found evidence of that after party, including what police referred to as ‘an indication of alcohol.’ ImageInvestigators are also looking into the possibility that prescription painkillers may have been involved…Another teen guest staying at the Hyatt Friday night said he could hear partying going on all night in Gomez’s room. ‘We knocked on the door to see if anything was going on, but they didn’t answer,’ he said…”

On May 18, homicide police in north Houston are still investigating the death of a high school senior found dead in a Hyatt Hotel room yesterday morning following her MacArthur High School prom.

The deceased has been identified as 17-year-old Jacqueline Gomez, a senior at MacArthur High, according to ABC News. Gomez has been described by other news outlets as being 18.

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Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Hotel”

“…When working with contractors, make sure to check references and ensure that the company has the proper permits before starting construction on a project, says Stephen Barth, the founder of and professor of hotel law at the University of Houston…ImageNew requirements from the International Code Council (ICC) for the International Building Code and the International Fire Code state that carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in any location that includes a device that could potentially produce carbon monoxide…”

Last spring, three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning after staying at the Blue Ridge Plaza Best Western Hotel in Boone, N.C. The victims—elderly couple Daryl and Shirley Jenkins and 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams—visited the property seven weeks apart and all stayed in room 225.

Though the initial investigation following the Jenkins’ deaths was inconclusive, toxicology reports eventually revealed that the deadly gas was to blame for the tragedies. The pool heater’s exhaust pipe, which ran directly under room 225, was the source of the lethal leak.

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Filed under Claims, Guest Issues, Health, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Pool And Spa, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Hotels Working On Concierge App For Check-in Via Smartphones”

“…Marriott Hotels, for instance,offers mobile check-in for select members who can check in via the mobile app and collect their key card from a designated mobile check-in desk. Image‘This technology will change the guest arrival experience and streamline the entire check-in process,’ said Prasad Iyer, head-cluster e-commerce, Indian subcontinent and Maldives at Marriott Hotels…”

Come 2015, guests arriving at the Aloft and W Hotels will be able to bypass the traditional check-in desk and enter their rooms using their smartphone as the room key.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which owns the two boutique brands, is working on collaboration with locking and security solutions provider Assa Abloy to develop keyless checkin technology that will allow the guests to check in and out of their rooms using their mobile phones.

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