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A safe and savvy crystal ball

Year end — check. New Year — check. The timing of this week’s post couldn’t be any better, as I slipped into interview mode to engage fellow hospitality peers about their intentions and trendsetting goals for 2013 — professionally and personally.

Of the 24 I interviewed (CEOs, presidents, VPs, directors, managers and staff members), from chain headquarters and individual properties, I was astonished by the universal theme that kept surfacing about playing it safe and balanced but with a twist of savvy in the upcoming year.

Compared to the responses I got in 2012 (which centered around improving technology skills, going green whenever possible or focusing on a bucket list filled with must-see things), last year was definitely about “doing and exploring” while this year the general consensus is about going tonal.

The responses for 2013 carried an undertone about leading a life of simplicity or focusing on less is more. Several spoke about restraining or reducing their pace from 2012 in order to make more time for creative impact and just smelling the roses. Giving back as well as striving for quality versus quantity appear to be on trend. Let’s take a look at the four most popular resolution responses and how they stacked-up both professionally and personally:

Going local

PROFESSIONALLY: Injecting more originality at properties to better express “the local vibe.” Menus spotlighting local ingredients or popular local culinary trends. Retail, lobby décor and even employee uniforms to better represent the local community. PERSONALLY: Spend more time patronizing smaller businesses. Shop local, buy local.

Engaging

PROFESSIONALLY: Encouraging interaction. Thinking socially, with inviting lobbies and staff offices. Incorporating games into marketing strategies. Reactivating the guest birthday greeting. Adding hobbies and passions to employee name badges.  PERSONALLY: Activating weekend breakfasts or Sunday dinners with family and/or friends. Starting a common interest club. Practicing periodic random acts of kindness. (Give to live.) Enhancing social media boundaries. (Try pinning.

Enhancing creativity

PROFESSIONALLY: Enhancing the unexpected and “wow” factor for guests. Adding tablets at restaurant tables to show images of plated meals or in guestrooms pre-loaded with endless libraries of popular magazines and newspapers. Equipping housekeeping with smartphone, tablet and PC power cords for guests who have forgotten theirs. Reviewing guestroom basics — water glasses? Surprising guests with colored versus clear glasses. Reducing quantity and improving quality — two robes? Try one robe and one spa-wrap.

PERSONALLY: Creating something original — anything.  

Less is more

PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY: Decluttering. Looking for simplicity. Making each item in your home, office and guestrooms of great value. Starting fresh. Living clean. Giving to get. And learning it’s okay to just “be.”

The New Year’s resolution torch has been passed, so it’s your turn to share some of your own goals and resolution trends for 2013. Cheers to a fabulous year both in and outside the trendsetting industry of hospitality!

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