Category Archives: Employee Practices

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hotel Owners Can Get More Green by Going Green”

When looking for the smartest ways for your hotel to implement resource and money-saving updates, reach out to a consultant who can help you determine the costs, returns,Tap with dripping waterdrop. Water leaking, saving. and impact that going green will have your business specifically. It can be overwhelming, but remember that one small change at a time will add up to a lot of savings over the long run.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase we’re all well-acquainted with, and for good reason. The earth’s natural resources that we depend upon are finite, so the advice is simply to use them wisely. Even if you don’t consider yourself an eco-focused person, it just makes good practical sense to be resourceful–whether it’s in vogue or not.

The best part about wasting less resources, though, is wasting less money. Wasting less money is having more of it, and because the nature of hotels requires the use of a lot of water, energy, food, and other materials, hotel owners have an incredible opportunity to save a lot of money by being more resourceful.

Save money, help the planet–these aren’t the only benefits. Taking responsibility for the way your business uses the earth’s resources reflects well upon your brand and becomes part of your company culture. Your business can effect positive change in the world!

Below we review three areas that are full of opportunities for savings. Some of the ideas do require an upfront cost but will pay for themselves in savings. Remember to look into opportunities for rebates and tax credits when considering the cost of efficiency updates as well.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Green Lodging, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “6 Ways to Prepare For the Next Downturn”

“Providing an exceptional guest experience is the best investment any hotelier can make.20150714_downturn_feature This is why we as a brand have rolled out a membership-wide training program all about the importance of unlocking the personalities of the staff and the story of the hotel when guests stay,” she said.

Good times continue to roll for the global hospitality sector with growth in the travel and tourism industry expected to increase by 3.9% this year, according to Ernst & Young’s “Global hospitality insights” report for 2015.

But in the cyclical fashion of the industry, the upswing can’t last forever.

So what should hoteliers be doing now to prepare for the inevitable down cycle, and how much can investing in their products and services now set them up for not so good times in the future?

For Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Debut Hotel Group and Hampshire Hotels Management, preparation now is absolutely key to success in a future downturn.

“Hoteliers should be pragmatic, preparing for when it is a bit more difficult to get those much-needed guests through a property’s doors,” he said. “Hoteliers that are prepared with a product and with services that guests value, appreciate and are willing to pay for will be ahead of the game.”

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Filed under Employee Practices, Finances, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Are You Breaking the Law by Recording Calls?”

“Regardless of the content of the call, hoteliers should be ensuring that they are using automatic disclosures—in order to obtain consumer consenthotel-phone—if using an automatic recording system. If an operator becomes the target of one of these consumer privacy class actions, taking an aggressive approach and attacking these claims as incongruent with the legislative purpose and intent behind the respective statute is a recommended.”

In the past few years, class action plaintiffs have recovered billions of dollars in punitive damages by exploiting strict liability laws that punish businesses for failing to properly notify customers when a phone call is being recorded.

Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes, businesses including hotels are prohibited from using certain tactics when telemarketing or making calls to solicit potential guests or customers. Hotels and other businesses are precluded from making calls or using any kind of prerecorded message, unless the caller has obtained a recipient’s prior express consent in writing or electronically.

Additionally, hoteliers are prohibited from making calls to residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and a future hotel guest calling to confirm a reservation also must be notified if the call is recorded. Hence, under these laws, if a hotel receptionist in Montana receives a call from a California resident to confirm a reservation but never notifies the recipient that the call is being recorded, it could result in damages ranging from $500 to $5,000 per call under federal and state laws.

This seemingly innocuous business practice of recording customer service calls without providing some variation of the oft-heard disclosure, “This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes” has the potential to financially cripple a business.

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Liability, Management And Ownership, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Risk Update: “Is Your Hotel Properly Collecting and Preserving Incident Related Evidence ?”

Videos can make or break a case. For example, in one case, video footage clearly showed that the plaintiff initiated the fist fight that was at the heart of his lawsuit.collecting evidence The video would have absolved the hotel from all liability, but the hotel failed to properly preserve this key piece of evidence.As a result, the case had to be settled instead of vigorously defended. Further, as digital surveillance systems continue to become the industry standard, judges have been less forgiving when it comes to claims that the pertinent footage was either lost or never preserved.

By the time a case reaches an attorney’s desk, all too often pertinent evidence either has been lost — or was never collected in the first place. California’s statute of limitations for a personal lawsuit is two years; consequently, an attorney’s first involvement in an incident on your property usually happens more than two years after the incident has occurred. If your hotel or resort has not properly gathered and preserved evidence, it becomes very challenging to recreate what transpired. Hence, it is imperative that; your hotel have formal written evidence retention policies; that first responders and security teams are properly trained on how to gather the evidence; and that hotel staff take steps to ensure that this evidence is preserved. Failing to collect and preserve evidence can turn a defensible case into a major settlement.

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Filed under Crime, Employee Practices, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “5 Ways to Improve Responses on TripAdvisor”

Leisman cited data form a Phocuswright poll of the TripAdvisor community of travelers that found 84% of U.S. users agreed that an appropriate managementonline engagement response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel.” Six of 10 users (62%) said seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally “makes me more likely to book it (versus a comparable hotel that didn’t respond to travelers).”

It’s funny observing the disparate number of policies hoteliers employ regarding reviews on TripAdvisor. Company A insists on responding to every comment, while Company B tells its managers to reply only to the bad. Company C takes a different tact entirely: It doesn’t respond to any.

Those are the broad buckets. Nuances and further variation exist at each stage along the spectrum. And each company that employs them insists theirs is the only and obvious approach.

Some variety might be warranted. One hotel is often not like the other, so I understand a degree of unique plans that appeal to unique bases of demand, product offerings and location types.

But clearly there are some hoteliers who, despite their best intentions, are engaging with guests on TripAdvisor in a manner that could prove potentially harmful to further review rankings and thus future bookings.

In cases such as these, I find it’s best to go straight to the source for the prescribed best practices. In this case, that would be TripAdvisor—or more specifically, Heather Leisman, business VP of industry marketing.

This topic was top of mind for her. TripAdvisor recently released a report which examined why travelers write reviews. The top reason? “To share useful information with others” and because “they find reviews helpful, so they want to give back.” (Who knew the TripAdvisor online community was so altruistic?)

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media

Hospitality Industry Conference Update: “Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference”

CH&LA and AAHOA have once again partnered to present the annual Northern California Hotel & Lodging Conference.  This year the event is moving back to the DoubleTree San Jose.  Each year this event gathers together over 300 hoteliers who enjoynorcal-button-highres the free educational seminars, updates on industry topics and to attend the trade show.

The show will include the usual abundance of networking opportunities, general session luncheon, and of course the trade show, the largest of its kind in Northern California.  Over 100 vendors will be eager to show off the latest industry products, many who offer special rates and discounts for this conference.  There will also be a reception in the trade show at 4:00 pm, with appetizers, soft drinks, no-host bar and lots of networking.

For more: http://bit.ly/1zkW1gW

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Filed under Conferences, Employee Practices, Hotel Industry, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology, Training, Workers' Compensation

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hospitality Industry, Firm Reduce Waste, Save Lives With Soap Recycling Program”

Thus far, Clean the World has collected 166,225 pounds of soap from LVS properties worldwide, says Kristin McLarty LVS director of corporate communication.soap-42715 That’s the equivalent of 886,540 bars of soap to children and families around the globe. LVS also has diverted 49,347 pounds of bottled amenities, that’s 526,368 bottles of lotion, shampoo and conditioner for reuse by Clean the World.

As hospitality companies strive to increase sustainability and lessen their environmental footprint, hotels across the country and around the world are recycling used soap and other discarded amenities from guest rooms to reduce waste and even save lives.

Through Clean the World, an Orlando, Fla.-based social enterprise, hotels recycle soap and bottled shampoo, conditioners and lotions previously adding to the waste stream. The company, says founder and CEO, Shawn Sheiperl, is remanufacturing used soap and distributing it to impoverished people fighting diseases like pneumonia and cholera in countries in Africa, India and Central America.

Partnering since 2011, Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which owns hotels in the U.S. and Asia, including the Venetian and Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas, recycles with Clean the World as part of its global corporate program, Sands Cares, which works to reduce its global environmental impact.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Green Lodging, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Marriott International Announces Energy Conservation Results on Earth Day”

Since 2013, Marriott International has used Green Hotels Global to track the environmental footprint of each managed and franchise hotel in the company’s portfolio.Earth_Day_-_Earth_from_Space The data in Green Hotels Global allows the company to identify and drive programs to support the reduction of energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste.

As part of its global sustainability strategy to address climate change, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) announced the company’s global energy intensity decreased cumulatively by 2.6 percent over 2013, 13.1 percent compared to a 2007 baseline.

Across the majority of the company’s four global regions, energy results continued to decline. In The Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, energy intensity for managed hotels decreased over 2013 by 3.0 percent, 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. In the Middle East and Africa, energy intensity increased by 1.2 percent over 2013 as the region stabilized and travel increased.

“Our global decrease in energy intensity demonstrates the commitment Marriott International has made to attain its sustainability goals,” said Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity, Marriott International. “As Marriott’s global footprint expands, we continue to look for new ways to conserve energy at our more than 4,100 properties.”

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Getting Serious About Risk Management”

“To be successful, an organization must do a good job of communicating the importance of risk management, which should raise awareness and provide how-to information to employees.Employers must understand that educationrisk-management needs to occur in order to drive continual improvement and adoption of a risk management mindset. This communication should bleed through all levels of the organization in a consistently open and honest manner.”

Success in today’s complex business environment is greatly dependent upon workforce productivity. Creating a proper work environment—one that is safe and secure for employees, customers and data—is vitally important. It means minimizing downside risk and creating a risk management culture.

There has been an invigorated focus on enterprise risk management, the analysis of a broad spectrum of loss exposures that businesses often face. Executives need to be concerned about reputational damage, falling stock prices, shifts in customer appetites for products or services, and even currency fluctuations. In addition, businesses may be impacted by traditional insurance exposures. Some dramatic examples in recent years include:

  • Hurricane damage from Superstorm Sandy and other severe weather events.
  • The Ebola crisis that left a Dallas hospital reeling.
  • Recent cyberattacks on SONY Pictures, Home Depot, Anthem Inc., Target Corp. and the federal government.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Attract Millennials With Millennials”

“I see folks around me in the hotel industry, and they’re bouncing between jobs.… When we are bringing on this staff, it’s important to show them there is this upward mobilityInforgraphic Attract millennials and there is a reason you should be here for more than two years,” he said. “I think that’s important and maybe this whole jumping around between jobs is getting a bad rap about loyalty.”

Front-desk associate or freestyle rapper? The two need not be mutually exclusive—particularly as operators seek “rock stars” to provide a more authentic level of service to guests who increasingly want that real experience.

Who better to know about what millennial guests, in particular, want than hoteliers who belong to that generation?

“I always harp on with my corporate staff, I want people at the front desk who have a rock-star personality,” said Ravi Patel, the 29-year-old president of Hawkeye Hotels.

He has just that in Del, a front-desk associate at one of Hawkeye’s hotels who dabbles in freestyle rap on his off days. Working alongside Del is another double-duty performer who spends part of his time as a bartender.

“These guys know exactly what it is to be really engaged with your audience,” Patel said. “So now whenever I see the surveys come in from that hotel, it literally names off, ‘Oh yeah, I talked to Del, and he told me what he does in Des Moines.’ It’s really capturing a different kind of associate as well and getting them to work for you.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1b3hlSV

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media