The Heart of Hospitality Remains Service | A Reminder to us all from HospitalityEducators.com

Lobby

The Heart of Hospitality Remains Service

by  John J. Hogan, CHA, CHE, CMHS CHO

Co-Founder HospitalityEducators.com and Principal of HoganHospitality.com

Hospitality and tourism arguably make up the world’s largest industry. They play a major role in the world economy and  contribute significant revenues and net wealth to many countries. When we think about it, we recognize that many components of hospitality are based heavily on the personal, “high touch” side of life.

It was a number of years ago that I first learned anything about hotels and hospitality when a high school friend’s family bought a seasonal resort. That family did not remain in the industry, but I learned from another family of hoteliers in that same location about the many disciplines in hospitality.

In our careers, we understand that the need to learn purchasing protocols, how to interpret and anticipate market trends, and keeping current with legal and safety requirements is essential. We recognize that we must evolve with technology, that we must address revenue management, and provide meaningful training to our staff if we expect them to meet the expectations of guests in our facilities.

The hotel industry has evolved significantly in many aspects during the past 20 years. Energy awareness and sustainability are now essential factors in both construction and ongoing operations. Purchasing, design, event planning and sales have changed dramatically. Innovations in culinary offerings have extended to creatively serve groups of all sizes in restaurants, conference centers and banquet events. Entertainment options in clubs, pubs and arenas have grown enormously, as has the need to be more attentive to security in a changing world.

The physical buildings have evolved and range from mega-hotels with casinos in certain markets to bed and breakfasts in communities of all sizes. There are now properties of all sizes and configurations at airports, in mixed use buildings, attached to convention halls, on converted ships, in secondary and tertiary cities and many other conversions and forms.

These hospitality offerings and hotels today are owned and managed by a wide array of groups, ranging from individuals to multinational corporations, Real Estate Investment Trusts and single industry companies of all sizes. Many are franchised; some are managed by individuals, some by third parties and others by family units. Properties can range from a ten-room country inn to a 2,000-room property on the ocean or in a city center attached to a municipal convention center.

While much has changed in hospitality, on reflection we still note that the experience element of hospitality depends not on the size or ownership of a hotel or restaurant, but on the personal, “high touch” delivery individually provided by hospitality staff to guests – one on one.

I recall somewhat “bragging” to the founding partners of the family business mentioned earlier how much I was learning at the large multinational hotel company that had hired me out of hotel school into a management training program in their 1500-room flagship hotel. They smiled and said that I could learn from the major companies how to follow the large company rules and be part of a major corporation, but I probably would not learn how to be a host or a real innkeeper profitably. Those skills and competencies would be developed through time and hands-on experience. I gained what I felt were incredibly important perspectives and experiences in those seasons and something else that I feel I did not learn at university or at big corporate hotels, either. That something was the need to apply innkeeper and host common sense to formulas, percentages, calculations and protocols.

Many brands today have customer service programs and some are quite good in their advertising value and in general guest satisfaction. Those programs may or may not exceed the guest’s expectations or hopes and that is why it is so critical for hospitality associates to truly “care” about their guests. It remains up to each individual hotel associate to deliver that exceptional “one-on-one” experience.

There is not one single, guaranteed way to deliver service.

  • There are many private companies, such as ours  HospitalityEducators.com and HoganHospitality.com that have unique programs already developed and ready to customize.
  • A good percentage of the major brands have different types of customer service templates and programs.
  • The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has a guest service training program, The Guest Service Gold Program,  that shows employees and properties how to achieve a new standard of exceptional service based on emotionally engaging with guests in memorable ways.

Choose the approach or program that works for you, but remember that it is service that builds loyalty and that loyalty is what leads to long term success! 

John J. Hogan   CHA CHMS CHE CHO

Hospitality Educators                 Hogan Hospitality

Hospitality.jpg

 John J. Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan MBA CHO are the co-founders of HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share,occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CHMS CHO

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283, John Hogan 602-799-5375 or  service@hospitalityeducators.com

Click here for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

Reflections: People Who Made a Difference: Brian Broom, CHA English Hotelier Extraordinaire

Reflections

Brian Broom, CHA, English Hotelier Extraordinaire

My first interaction with Brian came in the late 1970s after a massive hotel fire in Atlanta.  The entire hotel of 400 suites and rooms, 30 conference rooms, two large ballrooms, two restaurants and what had been the number one disco in Atlanta were completely shut down.  While the hotel staff and management received national recognition the following year for its well trained response to the fire, the experience was an eye-opening one for me as the resident manager in rebuilding the facility and the hotel’s reputation.

Based in New England, Brian worked with Dunfey Hotels and many other national companies . Brian was a master project manager with great vision and stamina.  While it might seem simple enough to have had a generous insurance reimbursement, planning from scratch is not nearly as simple as that sounds.  In a period before “ just in time delivery” options and computer simulations, Brian taught and delivered advance planning, intricate and coordinated deliveries and trade construction, with extensive content in quality checklists.  The entire hotel was completely renovated and reopened less than six months after the devastating fire.

Over an eight month period,  Brian shared design insights with the hotel ownership, management, staff  and the insurance company that included his gift of conceptualization at a time far in advance of those shared today on Restaurant Impossible, Hotel Impossible and many other cable offerings.

Brian had a successful career as a consultant, management company owner, designer and entrepreneur.  Brian and his spouse Sheila worked together on many renovations and  projects over a 15 year period with me and others across the US.

The descriptor of the English Hotelier Extraordinaire is used and because Brian used his English perspectives to focus on delighting guests. He was known for using space creatively and efficiently, in operating hotels profitably and for fair business practices.

Time and circumstances intervened and we lost touch. It remains a regret to me that we did not reconnect, as he passed away in that time.   I always found Brian’s standards to be of the highest quality,  his integrity was front and center and I learned a great deal from this consummate professional.

Think back a moment on people who have impacted you and your career – it is worth the time for reflection.

Success in hotels and hospitality does not come by accident or chance.

We can help

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

 

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Boston Dec  2010

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 CEO and Co-Founder of HospitalityEducators.com , which has more than 2000 resource pages and has become the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

Contact us for assistance – John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com 602-799-5375 HoganHospitality.com : john@hoganhospitality.com

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™, THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™ and Principles for Success.

Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com| Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels In New York

“Over the past four years, I have reviewed roughly 100 books that have dealt substantially with business, hospitality, and professional development. ‘I must say here that is has been a sincere privilege to review Built to Last: 100 +plus Year-Old Hotels in New York by Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC. I found it a fascinating read and it should be for anyone interested in history, building design and hospitality.
 

100+ Year Old Hotels in New YorkWhile there are historic hotels in a number of states (Boston has its Parker House, Providence has its Biltmore, Charleston has its Francis Marion among others), there is a greater concentration of historic hotels in New York City that have made dramatic impacts on America than in likely any other single center.

 

The collection of historic properties that Turkel has chosen for this book features 32 distinctively different properties. Some of them are well known such as the Plaza and the St Regis hotels, but most of them are less well known but just as interesting as they evolved from their original design and market positioning.

In this review, I can mention only a few of the hotels that are featured, but the author has substantially researched all of them and has included original promotional material, detailed descriptions on the design and a reasonable number of photographs and/or drawings of some outstanding buildings.

Manhattan has the tendency to intimidate visitors, especially if they are from small cities and towns. I used to feel that way and books like this one can assist travelers in appreciating the uniqueness of Americas largest city.

In his introduction, Turkel indicated that these properties were built to last and many of them were pioneers in their own right and time. For example, a 2012 trend is womens only floors in hotels. In 1903, the Martha Washington Hotel (now the Thirty Thirty) became New York’s first women only hotel and the Aberdeen hotel followed in 1904 as the first transient hotel to admit unaccompanied women travelers.

The Algonquin Hotel lists a political, literary and entertainment Who Who list in the years since 1902 and has evolved to become part of the Autograph collection of Marriott.

Today we tend to think of mega hotels as being located in Orlando, Hawaii or Las Vegas. This book shows in great detail on how the Ansonia was designed to be the world’s largest resort hotel in 1904 and the hotel Saint George (built an 1885) became the nation’s largest in 1929 with 2623 rooms! These properties included every imaginable entertainment center option of the time.

Boutique hotels have become the range in the last 15-20 years, but they were essentially preceded as individual centers of excellence three generations ago.

The Chelsea hotel was built in 1884 and has hosted a range of literary artists including Mark Twain and Eugene O’Neill , actors from Stanley Kubrick to Jane Fonda, musicians from the Grateful Dead to Madonna and artists including Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Dozens of films and musical performances have been shot at this hotel.

The former Breslin hotel (built in 1904) originally served as a corporate hotel and evolved into an artist’s hang- out in the 1920s. Today, one will find it on Trip Advisor’s highly ranked list of trendy hotels with its new name, the Ace Hotel. Turkel includes the Knickerbocker Hotel which was built by the Astor Family (of the Waldorf: Astoria fame) and the Harvard Club, which today serves 11,000+ members as a private club.

On a personal note, we used a recommendation that was in an article written by Turkel several years ago and selected the Wolcott. When we stayed there two years ago, we found the oversized rooms and junior suites to be a NY bargain. The gracious lobby that included memorabilia from former mayor LaGuardia’s second inauguration hosted visitors from around the world. This hotel is in a central location near the Empire State building, the Garment District and Norman Vincent Peale’s Marble Collegiate Church.

This review is longer than many I have written because of the precise details included. It is easy to see in the fine points of this book that the author is passionate about NYC, well designed hotels and the hospitality business. His biography includes some of those experiences in New York Hotels and his attention to research makes this an excellent book.

I would recommend it for anyone interested in New York or hotels of this time frame. I will also recommended this as a university level resource for a discussion book in analyzing trends, design and hotel management practices. (www.stanleyturkel.com)

I have not yet read the author’s earlier book on industry pioneers, but look forward to doing so.

As always, feedback is welcome.
Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 1,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   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 CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers 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.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.