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

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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

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 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 : Flo Cunningham – unexpected lessons learned

Flo Cunningham – unexpected lessons learned

 Flo was a contradiction of the times.

In the mid 1970s, the glass ceiling was very real in much of the hotel business.  At the flagship 1500 room Sheraton Boston hotel, there were no women department heads, sales managers or executives at the time I was a management trainee.  The few supervisory roles filled by women are often in housekeeping or the coffee shop .  This was not considered unusual at the time.

Flo was transferred into the hotel from world headquarters, also in Boston.  A take charge personality, she was strong willed and handled both public relations and special projects.  By watching her from afar, I learned of how interaction was addressed both from and within a corporate home office of a large company.   The support was sometimes appreciated, and sometimes appeared to be meddling.   Flo was focused on achieving results and fitting in with others as appropriate, and I even recall she joined other executives in smoking the occasional cigar.

I was reassigned from Boston to Houston in 1976, and I had  no further interaction with Flo.  I do recall visiting the Sheraton Boston in the last five years and women executives and managers have taken their rightful place in positions of responsibility.

Flo’s example and persistence gave me insights as a trainee not to make first judgments on others too quickly and this lesson has remained with me my entire career.

 

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 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 my ongoing 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,


 

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.