“Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™” , a regular feature at HospitalityEducators.com, includes interviews such as those found in our HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS, and and it also allows industry professional the opportunity to share their perspectives, values and opinions on additional areas and subjects that may not have been part of the planned discussion. This segment includes a wide range of hospitality professionals from all portions of the industry. We ask participants to answer at least five of the listed nine questions. Their responses will interest, sometimes amuse and definitely inspire you to consider how YOU might answer.
These questions were answered by Don Farrell of Memphis, Tennessee who calls himself the “Chief Cultivator at Fresh Revenues”
Don began his working career as a pot scrubber for Marriott Hotels and worked his way up through the operational ranks, settling on a career in the sales and marketing arena. He worked in major sales and marketing opportunities for Holiday Inns Inc and several leading hospitality management companies. He started Signature, Inc, in 1986 and was able to help lead that company into the largest and best sales and service training company in the world with 265 employees and licensees training in 45 countries. He sold Signature in 2007 to start Fresh Revenues. In 2009, his first book Ethical Theft was published.
On a personal note, I have known Don Farrell for more than 15 years and found each of his professional efforts have been well thought out and innovative. He is highly energetic, creative and understands how to establish and maintain quality, which was evidenced by the long standing success of Signature. John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com
1. Name your favorite hotel and why it is special to you:
The Windsor Court in New Orleans because it has beauty, benefits and hospitality you don’t see often enough. I also like the SoHo Grand in NYC because of its urban cool feeling.
- Name your favorite restaurant and why it is special to you:
Advertised as the oldest restaurant in America, the Union Oyster House in downtown Boston. Come dressed as you are, watch the bar back shuck dozens of raw oysters and then throw the shells into a hole in the floor….as you hear someone below shoveling them up to be hauled away later to be made into driveway material. Then, sit down and fill your face with fresh seafood parts and pieces from a big trough called a seafood boulliabase (sp?) drinking an ice cold beer. What’s not to love about this? You can almost feel the presence of the Colonials.
3. Where do you vacation the most often?
I don’t…..I work.
4. What is your favorite charity or cause?
5. Name your pet service peeve, why and any ideas you may have to address it:
I have lot’s….but let’s just start with when the experience usually starts for most guests: the point when the guest calls up looking to make a reservation. The solution is to train and then reinforce your front line folks to deliver the experience guests are starving for.
6. Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?:
- I am one of few who never had the ultimate role model/mentor.
- I came from the other side of the tracks where even in 4 star hotels I worked at I could see things being done wrong….and know they were wrong and vow to never do what they did in that respect.
- Take all of these “errors of our ways” and put them in a big pile and you can learn a lot about what not to do.
- I had role models who showed me firsthand how doing something wrong makes you pay.
7. In the last five years, what has been your most memorable meeting or convention experience and why?:
I have done many, but Bed and Breakfast meetings I have been to have been most impressive. They have incredible passion….you are living with them so it comes naturally to them.
8. What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a graduating student with a hospitality degree?:
- I hope you focused on revenue generation, how to develop a service and sales culture and sustainability of our resources.
- To me, to focus on these items in your studies and in practice will give you a leg up on getting a challenging and rewarding career.
- The hospitality world is sensational….there are so many different avenues you can pursue that are loads of fun….but be ready to pay your dues in getting there.
9. What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?:
I wish there would be more questions relative to developing a business’ greatest asset and it is their desired culture.
Don Farrell 901-853-4885 http://www.linkedin.com/in/donfarrell
We have asked dozens of people involved in hospitality businesses around the world to answer up to nine questions in this special section of HospitalityEducators.com. If you would like to participate, please contact John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com
Feel free to share an idea for a column at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.