Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Increase Hotel Profits by Keeping Your Employees Happy”

Customers often base their spending behaviors solely on their perception of the service. This is particularly true in the travel industry. Happy hotel maid at work in hotel roomQuick and efficient check-ins, a welcoming and accommodating staff, honesty and brand reliability are essential. When combined, these ingredients create the ultimate recipe for profitability.

The hospitality industry is thriving, but with that success comes responsibility. Hotel and restaurant owners need good management practices in order to remain relevant and realize sustained profits. Effective management includes overseeing employee satisfaction. Research has shown that there is a direct connection between employee contentment and customer loyalty. This is why it is important to take an interest in each staff member’s happiness.

In an accommodation industry, the key to customer satisfaction is high-quality service. However, employees who are unhappy often lack the motivation to provide such service, which results in disgruntled customers. This trickle-down effect can adversely affect a company’s revenue. Studies have proven that the attitude of an employee is directly related to a customer’s spending. Essentially, happy employees create happy customers.

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Much Bandwidth Does Your Property Need?”

Hoteliers need to know how the bandwidth is currently being used so they can prioritize different types of usage. Packet inspection equipment can help you figure out if guests are using the Internetbandwidth to download movie torrents or to make voice over IP calls, and then you can prioritize and make more bandwidth available for one activity over the other. “You don’t want to overpay for excess bandwidth when it isn’t necessary,”

Two years ago, BioMarin, a pharmaceutical firm based in San Rafael, Calif., called Inn Marin to book an offsite training session. This wasn’t unusual since the 69-room independent hotel is located eight miles up the road from the company’s headquarters. And with only 35 people attending, the meeting requirements were far from onerous. But there was one last-minute request that nearly caused Inn Marin to lose this booking. BioMarin needed an Internet connection that was six megabits per second (Mbps) or faster to allow 20 desktop computers to log into the corporate server in San Rafael. And the DSL line coming into the hotel was only capable of 1 Mbps down and 1/2 Mbps up. “I just about had a heart attack,” says Inn Marin General Manager Robert Marshall. “That’s when I realized that we couldn’t keep doing business like this.”

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Tech Will Make Your Hotel Room Feel Like Home (Or Better)”

In the wireless Internet age, guests increasingly expect a personalized experience abroad as well as at home. That can be tough on hotels, as rapid changes in technology makeforbes it difficult and expensive for them to adapt. A few years ago, hotels equipped themselves to handle two mobile devices per guest. Now, guests may have three or more, and just when they thought they had needs covered, hotels have to build more robust networks.

When you receive your morning wake-up call at theWit hotel in Chicago, there’s no robotic voice intoning, “It’s time for your wakeup call.” Instead, you can be rousted by a very different message:

“Hey you dirty rat, this is Al Capone reminding you to get your rotten bones out of that sack. Now get moving—I’ve got an overdue Valentine’s Day gift for Elliot Ness I’ve still got to deliver! [Laughter and gun shots].”

Or perhaps you’d rather hear Muddy Waters. Or Ann Landers. The touchscreen next to the phones in all of the hotel’s 310 rooms lets you choose who will urge you to rise and shine. Touch that same screen to request extra pillows, get a toothbrush or order meals—without ever picking up the phone.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Hidden Cameras Reveal How Much (And How Little) Some Hotel Maids Really Clean”

At a Crowne Plaza hotel, the maid collected all the used drinking glasses, put them into the sink, and turned on the water. Then she gathered all the dirty towels from the bathroom floor,housekeeper held onto one, and used it to help dry the cups. The Crowne Plaza maid then used the same towel to wipe down the countertop, the toilet and the bathtub. She never used soap on anything, but she did return to spray the room with air freshener.

When you check into a hotel room, you assume the maid has cleaned everything, including changing the sheets and disinfecting the bathroom. But a hidden camera investigation revealed that may not always be the case.

The Rossen Reports team booked rooms for two nights at some of the most popular hotel chains and rigged them with cameras (all three of the hotels were in northeastern New Jersey). In each case they put soda in the glasses, threw towels on the bathroom floors and made the rooms looked used before calling to have housekeeping make them up, as well as prominently displaying the card requesting that all linens be changed.

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Hospitality Industry Security Update: “Cybersecurity Needs Planning, Periodic Review”

Whatever the cost, hoteliers are advised to take certain precautions. “Complacency” is dangerous, Schoshinski said, adding that hoteliers should update security protection plans periodicallyhackers…Despite such resources and other preventative measures in the hotel industry, “the bad guys are getting smarter,” Cividanes said. “The bad guys are watching what you do.

Data security breaches, a hot topic at last year’s Hotel & Lodging Legal Summit, took center stage again at the 2014 conference as the No. 1 topic that keeps hospitality lawyers “awake at night,” said Robert Lannan, program co-chair and principal of Lannan Legal PLLC.

His opening remarks mentioned several headline-making cases, including breaches at Target, Home Depot and White Lodging, where it was revealed in January 2013 that attackers allegedly collected customer credit and debit card numbers, security codes, card expiration dates and other personal information from guests who had stayed at 14 hotels.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Managing the Millennial Hospitality Employee”

In terms of attracting and hiring millennials, employers should be mindful that this is a generation that fully embraces technology. Thus, job descriptions should always be listed online,managing millennials and posts should be creative and convey sufficient information about a company’s culture and career path opportunities. Millennials seek employment where they perceive they will be doing meaningful work, and care a great deal about the environment and sustainability. They are the most ethnically diverse workforce to date. In terms of motivation and training, millennials seek constant feedback, and prefer to be coached rather than managed.

Generation Y, commonly referred to as “millennials,” comprise the roughly 80 million people who were born between 1976 and 2001. A great deal has been written about this unique generation that has grown up immersed in a world of technology and social media: they are frequently stereotyped as self-involved with a strong sense of entitlement, coddled, and even labeled “Generation me.” Regardless of whether these frequently bandied about assertions are true, in the next few years, millennials will make up approximately 40% of the U.S. population.

In the hospitality industry, this means not only tailoring and reshaping services to accommodate millennials, but also recognizing that an increasing percentage of hotel and restaurant employees are currently, or will be, part of this generation. Notwithstanding the likelihood that millennials will flock to this robust, growing industry, it only makes sense that hotel and restaurant employers would be actively looking to hire employees who mirror their customer base.

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Examining Hotel Labor Costs”

Labor cost is a major expense item throughout all operated and undistributed departments within a hotel. Not surprisingly, the labor-intensive rooms and food and beverage departments have the highest labor cost ratios.labor costs In 2013, labor costs represented 61.1 percent of total expenses in the rooms department and 59.6 percent in the food and beverage department. At the other end of the spectrum, labor costs are less pervasive in the administrative and general (48.8 percent) and maintenance (51.5 percent) departments.

As revenues continue to grow for most U.S. hotels, the combined cost of salaries, wages, bonuses, and payroll-related expenditures has declined as a percent of total hotel revenue. In 2013, labor costs represented 32.3 percent of total revenue, down from a high of 34.8 percent in 2009 but still above the long-run average of 31.2 percent. Labor costs measured as a percent of total revenue run from a high of roughly 35 percent at convention and resort hotels to a low of 22 percent at limited-service and extended-stay properties.

Strong growth in revenue, however, has the potential to mask the struggles hotel managers face to control labor costs. Therefore, it is important to also measure movements in labor costs relative to changes in other hotel operating expenses. While labor cost as a percent of revenue has declined significantly in recent years, labor cost measured as a percent of total expenses has remained relatively constant.

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