Click below for a fascinating look at one of the most successful of all American Hospitality businesses

Howard Johnson’s, Host of the Bygone Ways

For more than seven decades American roads were dotted with the familiar orange roof and blue cupola of the ubiquitous Howard Johnson’s restaurants and Motor Lodges.  The company’s founder and namesake was a grade school dropout who became a franchising pioneer and introduced the restaurant industry to centralized purchasing.  Johnson repeated his formula with motor lodges, creating one of the world’s largest hotel chains.

In 1965 Howard Johnson’s sales exceeded the combined sales of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  By 1979 the “Host of the Highways” had become the largest hospitality company in America, with more than 1,000 restaurants and 500 motor lodges.  But the company saw a decline of its rule over the roadways in the 1970s after a series of events destroyed the company’s earnings.
cover photo courtesy Ben Schumin

 

https://sometimes-interesting.com/2017/10/06/howard-johnsons-host-of-the-bygone-ways/ 

 

Howard Johnson first became locally famous for his ice cream.  He claimed the secret recipe came from his mother, while other accounts suggests it came from William G. Hallbauer, a retiring German immigrant who had been selling ice cream from his horse and cart in the area at the turn of the century.  The ‘secret’ was to double the amount of normal butterfat, and to use only natural ingredients.  This created a premium ice cream that was an immediate sensation and earned Howard $60,000 in revenue from his first beachfront stand.

An image accompanying a 1948 newpaper article shows Howard Johnson's 28 flavors at the time.An image accompanying a 1948 newpaper article shows Howard Johnson’s 28 flavors at the time (source).

Additional flavors were added – 28 in all – as well as “frankforts,” a premium hot dog sandwich developed by Howard that was grilled in butter.  Johnson clipped the frankfurters at both ends and notched them lengthwise.  He used only the highest quality meats grilled in a creamy butter, and for buns he used lightly buttered and toasted fresh rolls.

By 1928 Howard Johnson was grossing $240,000 from his store and small network of beachfront ice cream and frankfort vendors.

[ Howard Johnson’s original 28 ice cream flavors:  Banana, Black Raspberry, Burgundy Cherry, Butter Pecan, Buttercrunch, Butterscotch, Caramel Fudge, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Coffee, Frozen Pudding, Fruit Salad, Fudge Ripple, Lemon Stick, Macaroon, Maple Walnut, Mocha Chip, Orange-Pineapple, Peach, Peanut Brittle, Pecan Brittle, Peppermint Stick, Pineapple, Pistachio, Strawberry, Strawberry Ripple, Vanilla.

MORE DETAILS HERE
https://sometimes-interesting.com/2017/10/06/howard-johnsons-host-of-the-bygone-ways/ 

Howard D. Johnson personally ensured quality by testing every item before it went on the menu.

Howard-Deering-Johnson-press-photo-1962-age-65                  Howard Johnson's, "Landmark for Hungry Americans" ad

 

 

Comments and suggestions for future articles are always welcome john@hoganhospitality.com 

 

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

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Reflections- People Who Made a Difference | Donald E. Lundberg

Reflections

We don’t always know what we want or what we expect and my first undergraduate class in my major was a real shocker for me.

Donald E. Lundberg was the department head of Hotel & Restaurant Administration when I first enrolled at the University of Massachusetts.   Few department heads at that time taught the Hotel 101 class (Introduction to Hospitality and Hotels), yet Dr. Lundberg seemed to cherish the 8am class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday that was perhaps not such very popular time slot for the 200+ freshmen and sophomores taking the class.

My recollections of the class were two-fold:

1)      it was a very good class In the sense that it provided an exceptional history of many individuals around the world that had been pioneers and

2)      I also learned that university grading was not the same as high school.  My 85 became a C, as he decided in his wisdom that a curve was to be used, meaning that at least 10% of the class would fail, no more than 5% would get an A and the balance was a formula never shared with students.

I got over the frustration of receiving a C in my first major class and learned a lesson on the need to better prepare on things that were important, because life is not always fair and there are many surprises to be experienced.  I learned there was a real need to do “a bit more”.

Dr. Lundberg left UMASS my senior year to begin a new program on the west coast and to continue his book authorship.  His books on restaurants, cooking, tourism and industry leadership remain available on many web sites today. The Restaurant: From Concept to Operation

I came to respect his knowledge and that his approaches were not as draconian as first imagined.  In fact, in my Junior year, I served as his undergraduate teaching assistant in that Hotel 101 class.   This experience led me to a career of interaction with higher education as an adjunct professor at three colleges over a 20 year period, as a corporate educator working with professionals and as an author and seminar leader.

The reflection here for me – remember those who influenced you and the reasons for that influence.    As I progress in my career, I try to impact others in the positive ways I feel provide value and growth for those I come in contact with.

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  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my 2011-2012 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.

How does your hotel provide memorable customer service? (Part 2)

About five months ago, I wrote a column that highlighted one of the most memorable service codes ever offered in hospitality – the Statler Hotel Service Code.  I included the original wording (penned in 1916) and gave readers the opportunity to receive a training powerpoint I created that is an updated version of the Statler Service Code, using current terms and approaches.  This offer generated close to 100 requests from around the world, in all six continents and from hospitality businesses ranging from a small airline in Scandinavia to tour guide services in South Africa.  Hotels and management companies representing luxury to mid-range brands and independent hotel owners and managers shared their goals and (at times) frustrations with motivating their staff.

Following this column, I included  an illustration of what I meant by sharing a lunch experience at a national, mid-priced US restaurant chain with these observations:

  1. The hostess sincerely welcomed us
  2. We were offered several options on where we might prefer to sit
  3. We were given the name of our server and were encouraged to ask anyone on     staff for anything needed

A major point of distinction in this experience was at our departure and this remains a major point in Statler’s Service Code.   As we left the restaurant, at least three people on staff who were not part of our service team went out of their way to offer a sincere “thank you, please come again!” Their appreciation of our business had little to do with what we ordered or how much we spent.

Recently, we went to another brand of this same ownership group.  We were warmly welcomed and promptly seated.  The server was introduced and offered a sample of the wine of the day.  We liked the flavor and ordered two glasses.  Service was good (but not great) and the hostess sort of threw a corporate questionaire on the table as she walked by.

At the same time, our check indicated the cost of each glass of wine was higher than each of our lunch entrees – a bit of a surprise, as it was also higher than anything seen on the table menu as well.  I completed the questionaire, attached my business card and handed it to the host or manager as we left, making sure to make eye contact.

It has been two months now.  No communication from the restaurant and by the way, no return visits from us.

Hm…. should I have “complained”?

Or should someone from this very large chain taken the time to read what they clearly said they wanted – feedback?

I’d like to open the topic to readers of this short column:

How does your hotel provide memorable customer service?

How does your hospitality business team provide exceptional and memorable customer service?

Recent blog postings on memorable service standards have prompted high levels of reader interest.  I am reaching out to top hoteliers for examples of how to deliver exceptional service that builds customer loyalty. We all recognize the need to avoid being viewed as a commodity.

Please limit each submission or idea to a paragraph or less and send them no later than May 5, 2011.  I will share your responses with readers in a future column.  Thank you in advance!

Feedback or ideas for future pieces are welcome.  Contact me at info@HoganHospitality.com

www.HospitalityEducators.com

www.HoganHospitality.com

Service is global in nature!

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 mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.   Special introductory 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.  If readers would like to contribute to the site, please submit your material for consideration to Kathleen@hospitalityeducators.com.  We are interested in expanding our global networks and resources as we support our membership.

A simple and often overlooked way to increase business

Are you working to increase the group and/or convention business at your hotel?

Not every group limits their hotel usage to large convention hotels and in fact, many larger groups look to offer a range of property types, amenities and pricing options.  Smaller groups often elect to choose different types of properties as they work to build or maintain attendance.

Put yourself in the shoes of a meeting planner who has (in all probability) not ever been to your hotel before unless you are the major hotel connected to a large convention center.  These meeting professionals are just as busy as hoteliers are and they have their share of challenges in budgets, programs, marketing campaigns and people issues.

They can look at emails, brochures and photographs on your web site, but if they cannot make a personal site inspection, they must trust either their own professional instincts and/or other people’s experience to make the decision on whether or not to consider your hotel.

Meeting planners and travel agents have learned one way to compare the proverbial “apple to apple” when seeking sites for their clients’ meetings and conventions is to have a hotel RFP completed and submitted by properties being considered.  The RFP (Request for Proposal) is well known to larger hotels, but the concept and information included in these documents can have a positive impact on hotels of all sizes.

Even if your property does not regularly receive these RFPs, the fact that you have in essence what is an organized and concise “fact sheet” will add a certain degree of professionalism to any presentations you make.  A potential client considering your hotel will recognize that you understand both sides of the booking agreement and will likely have a positive impression, including when they obtain this information by email or from your web site.

Consider the following elements of a detailed RFP as a guide as you develop your own fact sheet:

  1. General information (One would be surprised at how many people omit some of this important data.)
  • (a) Full property name,  physical address (not PO Box), local and toll free phone numbers, direct numbers to sales if appropriate, web address and email contacts
  • (b) Brand or chain affiliation, if appropriate. This could also include a membership or group referral affiliation.
  • (c) Distance to convention center and/or downtown and/or airport and/or attractions, etc (the important centers in your location)
  • (d) Total number of rooms and suites in your hotel

Contacts

  • (a)  Principal meetings or group contact at hotel
  • (b)  Director of Sales
  • (c)  Reservations Manager (or front office manager in smaller hotels)
  • (d)  General Manager
  • (e)  Brand, chain, referral service or management company (if appropriate)

General Rate Information (This advises the potential client of the value you place on their business and some details of your revenue management practices, i.e. your high and low seasons)  List all rates in both single and double rates if appropriate

  • (a) Standard (rack) rates
  • (b) Standard corporate rates
  • (c) Validity date policy (early check-in/late check-out rooms)
  • (d) Commissions paid, tax obligations
  • (e) Any value-added – is breakfast included? (if not, identify the cost of breakfast options)

Safety and Security (Do not let this be a negative factor. The fact that you detail your awareness highlights your overall commitment to quality and the concern you have for the safety and well-being of your guest and staff).                Be specific.

  • (a) Number of floors
  • (b) Year hotel was built
  • (c) Details on most recent major renovations or upgrades
  • (d) Security provisions in guest rooms (in room safes, special services, women’s only floors, your special touches, etc)
  • (e) Smoke alarms, in guest and public areas
  • (f)   Sprinklers in guest and public areas
  • (g) Details on handicap accessibility in all areas
  • (h) Details on automatic links to fire and/or police departments
  • (i)    Overviews on hotel safety and security training provided to staff
  • (j)   Overview on security in entire facility
  • (k) Nearest medical centers or hospitals

Hotel Services and Facilities (If your hotel has limited in house services, it is essential to identify services and facilities adjacent to or near your hotel)

  • (a) Restaurant(s) – this should include name, type of food offerings (ethnic, seafood/steak, casual dining, etc)
  • (b) Room service and general hours
  • (c) Parking facilities and charges
  • (d) Van/shuttle service, destinations, hours and charges
  • (e) Entertainment in hotel and in guest rooms (pool, exercise room, in room movies, etc.
  • (f)   Nearby facilities – golf, tennis, massage, shopping
  • (g) Unique features of your hotel – historical significance, adjacent to museum, cultural center, etc.

Consistent use of this kind of fact sheet can bring competent sales managers more focus and business, because they share specifically more about their hotel and its strengths than many of their competitors.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:Focus on Solid Communication

Be as detailed as possible when communicating with all parties.  In this age of instant information, there is no second chance for that first impression.

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2010 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.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 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 that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.   Special introductory 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.