Finding resolve in 2011
As it is that moment to consider what we can do better in the year at hand, I will offer a few respectful ideas to you hoteliers. Resolve to:
Make the revenue manager as important and respected as the hotel GM. And don?t make the GM become the revenue manager, either. Resolve to hire a dedicated revenue manager and pay him well as he/she could be the most important person on staff. Allow the GM to worry about guests, help sales, deal with the owners and carve out some time to actually get out in front and greet guests.
Make food and beverage a profit center. It is time to put egos aside, let tradition die and consider how your guests want to be served. Fine dining rooms, in most cases, are pass?. F&B needs to be practical, fun and fast. I love what the Grand Hyatt in New York City has done with its new grab-and-go Market concept, bringing in some of the best tastes from great neighboring restaurants into its colorful lobby space. It also offers locally-sourced essentials for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, including hot meals, sandwiches, beer and wine.
Invest in technology. As I am sure you have cut just about every ounce of fat out of your operational budget, there are few ways remaining to create efficiencies other than through technology. I am not a big proponent of front-of-the-house, guest-facing, depersonalizing technology. But you can invest in back-of-the-house systems, aging hardware and infrastructure that help drive revenue and have a tangible ROI. In addition, make sure your staff is properly trained on the systems you do have in place to make sure they are employed to their full capabilities.
Serve, serve, serve. At the end of the day, you will earn loyalty, free word-of-mouth marketing and build for the future of your organization by delivering the very best, most thoughtful service. Legendary service stories have more value than any Tweet, Facebook post or almost any other grandiose, self-important effort you can make. And remember, you don?t have to be a luxury brand to understand the value of service excellence either. Train for it. Live for it. It will pay back better than any other effort you can make.
This said, I will continue to do my best to serve you, HOTELS? readers. Please don?t hesitate to reach out to me and offer suggestions for new stories, different coverage or whatever else you think would help improve your experience with us. As always, our aim is to serve your needs as best we can.
In the meantime, accept my wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year!