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I m p r e s s u m Published by Beyond Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. G. Kathlyn, L4 Daisy Magu, Male Republic of Maldives Managing Editor David Kotthoff Advertising

Print Novelty Printers & Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Welcome to the seventeenth edition of Hospitality Maldives. In line with our group’s current rebranding activities, we thought it was time again to also give Hospitality Maldives a new ‘outfit’. You will have already noticed that we’ve decided on a different text layout, with a different font and more columns for easier reading. The biggest change however, was our decision to go with a new concept for the cover page. In a constant effort to further maldivianize the magazine, we thought each issue should also feature something Maldivian on the cover. For this issue, the front page shows the new Water Villas at the soon to be opened ‘Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives’,

Cover Photo: Water Villa Bedroom at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives is the first luxury resort in Addu Atoll. The resort, which is currently under development, will feature 142 villas with views of the ocean or the island’s natural lush vegetation. The Maldives’ second international airport, Gan International Airport, is an eight-minute boat ride away from the resort and Male International Airport is 70 minutes by air.

something I am sure a lot of people in this country have been wait-

Disclaimer No parts of this magazine or its content (photographs, articles or parts thereof, design, layout) may be reproduced without the consent of the respective owner. Beyond Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. or any of its associates cannot be held responsible for the misuse of the information and intellectual property provided in this magazine. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Yours in hospitality,

ing for to see. If you have an interesting photograph that you think would make a great cover, please email me at As always our team is looking forward to receiving your comments and feedback on the new layout or any subject


Contributors John R. Hendrie Schihab A. Adam Gary Pelton ISPA Duncan Brodie Daydots Mark Hamister Kelley Robertson Roberta Nedry Ron Kaufman Doug Kennedy Klaus Reichardt Neil Selerno Bob Seldon Silvana Clark Chris Longstreet Dr. Rick Johnson The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd Anantara Maldives Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts

Dear friends and colleagues,

editor’s note

Design & Layout Beyond Media Design Pvt Ltd.

covered in this issue. Happy reading! ISSUE 17 03

David Kotthoff

Last words 68

Customer Service ABC 62

Reducing Office Paper Waste 56

Have you been Appreciated lately? 54



Going the Extra (S)mile can pay Dividends 53

Who’s Costing you Money? 50

The Myth of Selling 48

Hospitality Bites 47

Your Brand at Work 44

Management by Wondering Around 42

Measure Your Hotels Water Consumption 38

32 Fresh Ideas on Making a Great First Impression

28 Don’t be a Clown in the Kitchen

27 To be Distinctive, be Different

22 Common Errors of Evaluation

16 It pays to Help New Staff Start Right

15 10 Tips for Giving Effective Feedback

12 The Difference Between a Leader and a Manager

10 Why Some Hoteliers Excel, and Others Don’t

08 Make Hospitality a Priority

03 Editor’s Note



Qatar Airways Announces 4th Daily Non-Stop Flight between Doha and London Heathrow Airline’s Additional Services Raises UK Capacity To 42 Services A Week

London, UNITED KINGDOM – Qatar Airways today announced the introduction of a fourth daily non-stop flight between Doha and London Heathrow taking the airline’s capacity between Qatar and the UK up to 42 services a week. Effective March 30, the new late afternoon departure from Doha offers passengers more choice to the early morning and lunchtime flights to Britain’s busiest airport. Flight QR017 departs Doha every day at 1635hrs, arriving at London Heathrow at 2200 hrs. The return flight QR018 departs London Heathrow at 0755 hrs, returning to Doha at 1650 hrs. The flight will be operated with an Airbus A330 aircraft in a three-class configuration of up to 12 seats in First, 24 in Business and 223 in Economy.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said London Heathrow had been the airline’s flagship route for many years, and stressed the importance of serving the British capital with more frequencies to give travellers more choice. “We are delighted to be adding capacity on what is an extremely popular route with both business and leisure travellers,” he said.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 60 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 81 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Far East and North America from Doha, the airline’s hub and capital of the State of Qatar. Added Al Baker: “London is a major market for Qatar Airways and what better place than the highly acclaimed Business Travel Show to announce our UK expansion.

Qatar Airways enters 2008 in buoyant mood with a further expansion of routes, including non-stop flights from Doha to the southern China industrial city of Guangzhou, beginning March 31.

“As a Five Star airline, we are constantly striving to provide our business passengers with the best in comfort and hospitality, throughout the entire flight experience and this exhibition is the perfect platform to showcase our enhanced quality and service.” Qatar Airways is participating for the third time in Europe’s leading Business Travel Show, taking place at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The annual event attracts the world’s leading travel suppliers from hotel groups, airlines, car rental companies and cruise lines – and is a key event in the industry calendar for anyone who buys or manages company travel, books business trips or sources meeting venues. Qatar Airways is showcasing its award-winning premium product and hospitality at the three-day show. On display is the airline’s 180 degree flat-bed First Class seat currently onboard Qatar Airways’ Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, together with the carrier’s on-board catering for visitors to sample.


Qatar Airways currently operates three flights a day to London Heathrow, and daily to both London Gatwick and Manchester with a total capacity of 35 weekly services. The UK expansion announcement coincided with the Business Travel Show taking place in London this week where Qatar Airways is participating with a dedicated exhibition stand.

With a growing international network, more travellers will have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways’ world first Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport. Features such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine-dining restaurants are exclusively available for departing and transiting First and Business Class passengers flying Qatar Airways.


Every passenger in all cabins will be able to take advantage of the airline’s fully interactive in-flight entertainment system in each seat offering a multitude of audio and video options to choose from. Furthermore, there is a live television option enabling passengers to choose from a variety of live TV programming.

“By launching a new early evening flight to London Heathrow from the start of the summer schedules, business travellers can spend a whole working day in Qatar before catching their flight. Passengers from London can take advantage of our first morning departure from London Heathrow and connect onto a choice of many flights to exciting destinations in Doha.”




Make Hospitality a Priority


Inarguably, it is true that hotels in all markets these days have access to far greater resources for hospitality training - Whether from their hotel brand or management company, the AH&LA Education Institute, or from a number of hotel industry-specific training resource companies.

Yet far too many of the front desk clerks that Iface an average eight times per month are more focused on their computer processes and electronic key systems than they are at extending the genuine and authentic warmth and generosity that define hospitality at its core.

As an example, as my frequent readers know, one of my pet peeves is standing alone in a hotel lobby, luggage in hand, and having the desk clerk ask, “May I help the next guest?” Alternatively, “hostmasters” I encounter always welcome me as I approach them; they always speak first. Instead of staring blankly

Although many hotels use these training techniques for systems and processes, only the best use these same principles to reinforce the communications essentials for hospitality excellence. and asking “Checkin’ in?” like so many desk clerks do, hostmasters I meet notice I have an overcoat on, and after welcoming me, ask, “May I have your last name please?” After check-in at most hotels, I completely lose my identity and thereafter become my room number, as in, “Room 305 wants more coffee packets,” or “Room 701 needs more towels.” Yet hostmasters I meet politely assure me my requests will be met right away and then thank me for creating extra work for them! “Okay Mr. Kennedy, we’ll send those towels right up to you and thank you for calling housekeeping,” they say.

Most experienced managers have been exposed to some version of a four-step training process, which is to tell them what to do,

The first step in transforming your staff into hostmasters is to establish a succinct list of communications essentials that will become your hotel’s “core values of hospitality.” But rather than just handing your staff a list of “standards,” it’s far more effective for the manager-leader to conduct a brainstorming session with the frontline team to flush out their own list as a starting point. Chances are they will come up with some of the same ideas the manager-leader would have put on their list anyway, but with significantly more “buy-in,” having been involved in the process. Below are examples of “Core Values of Hospitality” that our industry’s best “hostmasters” use. •

Welcome guests before initiating transactions.

Anticipate guest needs before they become requests; offer assistance before it is requested.

Welcoming complaints; listening with empathy, apologizing, resolving, and providing follow-up.

Once you have brainstormed with your frontline team and created a list of “core values of hospitality,” this can become the focus of not only a monthly departmental training reinforcement meeting, but also the basis for conducting one-on-one coaching daily in the workplace. Of course, a key component of any development program is to measure the results of the behaviors and performances that were the focus of the training. Of course guest surveys/comment cards are the most traditional tool; however, the best hotels also regularly measure hospitality in other ways on a continuous basis. One such example is for the managers, supervisors, and senior frontline staff to regularly conduct “hospitality audits” for each associate several times a month by watching them in action interacting with guests and completing a score sheet. Another way to measure hospitality is to use a camcorder or digital camera to videotape the staff as they demonstrate hospitality excellence during role plays and skill rehearsal exercises, or for those who interact over the telephone, by recording phone calls and playing them back for training/coaching purposes. Of course there are numerous other ways to measure hospitality, such as involving guests in a “catch me at my best” program where they identify any staff members who were especially helpful, as well as via feedback from on-premise mystery shopping inspection companies. By refocusing your staff’s attention on these communications essentials for hospitality excellence, and by measuring the results of training on an ongoing basis, you, too, can transform your guest contact staff into “hostmasters.”

Telephone hospitality techniques/standards for answering, placing calls on hold, and transferring when necessary.

Doug Kennedy, president of the Kennedy Training Network, has been a fixture on the hospitality and tourism industry conference circuit since 1989, having presented over 1,000 conference keynote sessions, educational seminars, and on-premise training workshops for diverse audiences representing every segment of the lodging industry. His articles have also appeared worldwide in more than 17 prominent international publications. Visit for details or e-mail him at:


Perhaps these situations occur because we as an industry have actually been educating our staff on what to do and why to do it, versus training them to change their behaviors and performances. When we educate them, we cover lists of techniques, strategies and approaches. Yet when properly structured, training can link up what’s said in the workshop to what happens daily in the workplace.

So here’s a game plan for using training to transform your staff into hostmasters by not only telling them and then showing them what to do, but also by watching them do it and then providing individualized feedback.

Greeting guests first when encountering them in the lobby, corridors, and elsewhere on property; speaking first.


It doesn’t stop there. When something doesn’t work in my room, which is at least one of 10 stays at even the best hotels, I often have a maintenance worker knocking at my door, staring blankly when I open and asking with indifference, “Drain clogged?” to which I nod and say, “Yep, drain clogged,” which is often the extent of our conversation. Yet hostmasters I’ve met in this same scenario say, “Good afternoon Mr. Kennedy, may I enter the room to take care of the work order for you?”

show them what to do, have them do it, and then provide feedback on how they did. Although many hotels use these training techniques for systems and processes, only the best use these same principles to reinforce the communications essentials for hospitality excellence.


Why Some Hoteliers Excel and Others Don’t. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at a senior management conference for a hotel company celebrating its tenth anniversary Their enthusiasm and excitement was pervasive; capturing a larger share of business through the Internet is their focus for ’08. Their enthusiasm for the magic of the Internet was obvious, from their president on down. This is a company that excels. For the past few years, the Internet has played a major role in hotel marketing and an increasing number of hotels are reaping the benefits by embracing the electronic media. This is good news for our industry. More than 60% of hotel revenues will be influenced by the Internet in 2007; that’s a ton of business.



Franchise Internet Marketing Has Improved


Most franchises have vastly improved their web sites to make them more competitive with each other and online travel agents. Some, are now permitting their franchisees to have their own proprietary web sites to supplement franchise Internet marketing efforts. This marks a giant step forward in franchise thinking; their only proviso is that the hotel site must use the franchise booking engine for online reservations…that’s fair enough.

The fact is that “search” is the major vehicle used to find hotels on the web and only a small number, roughly 22%, of hotel searches are performed by franchise brand name. That, in itself, is a pretty good reason for franchised hotels to have their own property web sites to capture generic search. A franchised hotel site can create a strong synergistic relationship with its franchise site by capturing generic-driven searches and driving that additional traffic to the franchise booking engine. Generic search is the single biggest weakness of franchise web sites. Hotel franchise companies can relax; they should know, by now, that their fear of the loss of strength or control was unfounded; permitting or even encouraging franchisees to have their own property web sites will strengthen their franchise Internet marketing position. Increasing the possibility of being found on the Internet is a good thing for franchisor and franchisee. Franchises, that are still resistant to this idea, need to apply some common-sense to their thought process. You cannot be everything to everyone; third-party aggregators have taken possession of destination search on the Internet; just try searching for a hotel by its location. Franchised hotel web sites can capture their fair share of those searches. Some companies, like The Preferred Hotel Group, are way ahead of the internet marketing curve, they encourage, even assist their hotels to develop proprietary web sites and support them with in-bound links to improve their search popularity. Their Internet marketing and revenue management programs lead the industry.

Understanding How & Why People Choose Hotels We know that generic search, based upon destination or trip purpose, is by far the number one hotel search criterion. With very few exceptions, staying at a hotel is not the purpose of a trip; people choose to visit an area for many varying reasons, and then select a place to stay, near where they want to be and the value they perceive. Sometimes hoteliers get so self-absorbed as to think that people are traveling just to stay in their hotel; maybe this is the reason so many hotel web sites look like hotel brochures instead of being designed for the Internet. Knowing this, common-sense tells us that location is still the number one hotel selection criterion; so why don’t more hotel web sites better define their location? The mystery to me is why so many web site designers think that the hotel’s address is an apt description of the hotel’s location; or worse yet, simply show the hotel’s location as a point on a map. My hope is that common-sense will prevail among franchises to finally understand the synergy they can develop by working with and supporting their franchised hotels in their Internet marketing effort. The Internet is now a major source of business; its nonsense to think that franchise web site portals can do the job alone. Contact: Neil Salerno, CHME, CHA, Hotel Marketing Coach Email: Web Site:

The Difference Between a



Leader and a Manager


Make no mistake - to maximize your own effectiveness you have to be able to function both as a leader and as a manager. The trick is to know precisely when to go into the manager mode and when to become that servant type leader. I once read a quote on the difference between a manager and a leader that stated: “A Manager “does the thing right” and a Leader “does the right thing.”

How Do You Become a Who?

Doing the Right Thing

I don’t know who said that but it is quite a simplification. First of all, a manager doesn’t always do the thing right and conversely leaders don’t always do the right thing.

Doing the right thing doesn’t sound very complex for a person of character and integrity but think about this for a second.

Oh sure, most leaders do the right thing most of the time, but what the “right thing is can cause quite a debate and who gets to decide what the right thing really is? And who decides who and what is actually right. How does one get to become a who?

During my ten years as a turn-a-round specialists there were several occasions when I had to sacrifice the jobs of many to save a company and the jobs of others. Was that the right thing to do in the eyes of those that lost their job, their income, their security? If you were the wife, the husband or the child of one of those employees that were

A Manager “does the thing right” and a Leader “does the right thing.” “

sacrificed for the sake of survival of the company would you think that it was “the right” thing to do? We are not talking about malcontents, under performers and employees with issues. We’re talking about pure innocent sacrifice here. All of a sudden, “the right thing” gets a little more complicated. That’s why I quit being a Turn-A-Round specialist after ten years. I got tired of being the “Darth Vadar of Distribution”. Leaders Inspire Others to Greatness True leaders inspire others to greatness. In spite of what may seem the contrary, being a true leader in times of sacrifice and turbulence is even more important than in normal times? However, it’s equally important to adapt to the role of manager as well when sacrifice is necessary. I often talk about compassion as both a strength and a weakness when it comes to individual leadership models. I have met numerous CEOs that boast of long tenure employees.

So how does an effective leader balance compassion with performance and accountability? A leader must demonstrate the need for maximizing performance to the team. This is communicated more by action than words. Tolerance for the lack of excellence or sub par performance sends a distinct message. The wrong message.

Sound confusing? It is……… There is a fine line between leadership and management. A line that is often shifting according to circumstance. If you are going to maximize growth and profitability in your organization that means that every manager must become an effective leader.

Leaders lead by example, they delegate and empower people. They also seem to have a keen sense about selecting and developing the right people. That in itself is a key difference in transcending from being just a manager to becoming an effective leader.

A leader encourages, leads by example, cares about the team and gives regular feedback. People need to be recognized and praised. A leader influences and inspires others to believe in themselves and to follow a vision for the future.

Selecting the right people with potential to excel and then developing those people through the coaching and mentoring process to achieve greatness is a primary responsibility of leadership. Effective leaders know precisely when to coach, when to mentor and when to manage.

Communication is essential, knowing when to go into the manager mode and become less a servant is also necessary. This mode should be the exception but it does exist for even the greatest leaders and it is necessary at times. In fact, a true test of an effectivleader is knowing when to go into the manager mode. Effective communication can stir emotions and emotions can become a powerful motivator.

So what’s the Difference?

Confidence, Self Esteem or Ego?

The results will speak for themselves in the long run...

In reality if you are going to be responsible for the actions and results of others it just isn’t good enough to be only a manager. Effectively, managing is about leadership. Personally, I believe to be really effective, there is no difference. An effective leader must be a good manager and a good manager effectively must be a good leader.

We all have egos but effective leaders control their own egos and understand how to utilize their understanding of people to inspire peak performance. They are confident and have high self esteem without demonstrating arrogance. Leadership can not be ego driven but good leaders command a presence when they walk into the room. They are not only compassionate but they are passionate about success and they make every effort to coach and mentor their team. However, a leader can’t afford to waste too

E-mail if you would like a copy of the “Lead Wolf Leadership Creed”. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your


The Balance of Compassion and Performance

much time in the minutiae of the team. In fact a functioning team will solve many of its own problems and they are expected to. This happens when the right people are on the team.


However, there are some that earn that tenure simply due to the compassion of ownership. Certainly compassion for people is a strength but it can become a weakness if it stands in the way of accountability and maximizing the effectiveness of the organization.

A leader must lead by example whereas a manager uses direction and enforcement of policy and procedure to accomplish specific tasks. Of course, a manager must also be able to lead as well.


10 Tips For Giving Effective Feedback As a manager or leader, part of your role is to give feedback to your team. Feedback is incredibly important to individuals and teams. They want to know what they are doing well and where they need to develop. Sadly, managers and leaders are often poor at giving feedback or worse still, don’t give it at all. So what are my 10 top tips for giving feedback? Tip 1: Catch people doing things right It is so easy to fall into the trap of only giving feedback when things have gone wrong. In reality people get more right than they do wrong in the work place. Make a point of noticing when people do things right like hitting sales targets, dealing with an angry customer or hitting deadlines. Tip 2: Look for the signals that the employee wants feedback

I notice you were behaving aggressively in your dealing with x I saw you take decisive action when it was clear we might slip on the timetable

In the first scenario you are referring to aggression as the behaviour in your feedback. In the second scenario the behaviour you are drawing attention to is decisiveness. Tip 5: Avoid feedback that cannot be acted upon The purpose of giving the feedback is to facilitate action. Make sure is can be acted upon. For example, there is no point is telling someone who has a stammer or stutter to get their message across quicker. Tip 6: Check the feedback is understood

Tip 3: Feedback as early as possible

Tip 7: Give the opportunity to the other party to discuss how the feedback might be improved

You don’t have to wait for an appraisal or meeting to feedback. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, give it at the earliest opportunity.

If you ask people how you could improve the way you give feedback and allow them to respond authentically, truthfully and openly, you will learn and improve.

Tip 4: Focus on behaviours

Tip 8: Use non threatening language

It is important to focus on the behaviours that are helping or getting in the way of achievement when giving feedback. For example:

When giving negative feedback, choose your words carefully. While you have to make clear the consequences if improvement is not achieved you don’t need to do it in a threatening way.

How they are doing in the job Whether they are living up to expectations Be alert to these signals.

One of the most effective ways of demonstrating that you are open to feedback is to actively seek it. Many organisations have formal 360 degree feedback processes. One organisation I worked for did not have a formal 360 degree process so I simply sent out an e-mail to a mixture of subordinates, peers and superiors asking them: • • •

What I did well What I did not do so well Where I needed to develop

If you are worried that people will be reluctant to respond, ask them to send their responses to your boss and ask your boss to feedback key themes anonymously. Tip 10: Set up a date for follow up The final thing to do after giving feedback is to set up a follow up appointment. This lets the other party know that you are committed to supporting them and to making the necessary change. Giving feedback will always be a challenge but you can greatly enhance your performance by following these simple but effective tips.

Duncan Brodie helps managers and leaders to achieve their true potential. Sign up today for his free monthly newsletter at


• •

The quickest and often most effective way of doing this is to ask the other person to tell you to play back to them what they understand they heard. This lets you deal with ambiguity there and then.

Tip 9: Be a role model


People are sometimes a little hesitant to ask directly for feedback. They may ask in a much more subtle way by asking:


It Pays to Help New Staff Start Right Effectively orienting your new employees can pay big dividends in staff retention, employee commitment, company culture and customer satisfaction.

right and consistently. Now is a good time to review your staff orientation program to be sure your new staff ‘start right’.



Here are some guidelines to doing it right:


Staff members who are properly trained and welcomed at the beginning of their careers will feel good about their choice of employer, fit in more quickly with peers and colleagues and readily contribute new ideas. Properly oriented employees will also speak well about your organization to their family and friends. They will represent you more confidently with customers, business partners and suppliers. But poor orientation of new employees can cost you dearly. Those who don’t start right don’t tend to stay long, either. High staff turnover meansyou must recruit, hire, orient and train new staff all over again. Staff turnover also takes a high toll on the morale of those who remain behind. When people leave your organization, those who remain inevitably wonder if they should seek new employment, too. While many managers agree that orientation is important, very few invest the time and attention necessary to make sure it’s done

Think long-term. Effective orientation is a gradual process and does not end after the second day on the job. The initial induction of employees during the first few days is important. But it is even more important to make sure new employees fit in and feel comfortable over the long term. This can mean six weeks for a factory worker, or up to six months for new members of a senior management team. A time for everything, everything in it’s time. New employees arrive with basic questions that must be answered quickly: ‘What is the dress code? Where are the tools for my job? How does the telephone system work? When do people eat, meet and get paid?’ After the initial induction period, your employee’s questions will change and mature: ‘How am I being appraised? Why is the system set up this way? How can I (safely) suggest changes? Who can I see for guidance,

approval and support?’ Don’t try to answer all possible questions in the least possible time. Stretch out the process to cover the first weeks or months on the job. This lets new staff understand essential information more gradually – and thus more completely. An extended orientation program also reassures new employees. Newcomers are under great pressure to perform and adapt. Your extended program shows you understand their situation, you care about their adjustment and you will continue to show interest and support over time. Involve everyone in the process. New employees are not the only ones affected by the design and quality of your orientation program. Other groups are influenced during this important period as well: peers, bosses, junior staff, senior managers, customers, suppliers and even the new hire’s family back home. Each group has different questions and concerns about the new employee. You can address their concerns by giving these groups an active role in the overall orientation pro-

gram. Buddy systems, lunch meetings, panel discussions, site visits, family days – these methods and other activities can involve diverse groups of individuals in the overall orientation process. The reputation of your human resources and training departments are also at stake. If orientation is well planned and conducted, these departments will be seen by new employees as a valuable resource for addressing their future concerns. On the other hand, poor staff orientation sends an early message that these ‘people departments’ are ineffective or out-of-touch. A well-designed orientation program should accomplish seven major objectives:

1. Create comfort and rapport. Newcomers want to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging inside their new organization. You can accelerate this process by creating abundant opportunities for new hires to interact with peers, managers, direct reports, colleagues from other departments, customers and suppliers. Diversify the time and nature of these meetings. Coffee breaks, meal times and after-hours get-togethers are all good choices for informal conversations. Include new hires in formal gatherings as well: customer visits, focus groups and even department or management meetings. Send your new employees on short assignments to visit other divisions and departments. Spending a week, a day or even an afternoon in a different part of the business will do wonders to build rapport and understanding for the new hires throughout your organization. 2. Introduce the company culture. New staff usually want to fit in with accepted norms and values. ‘How do things really work around here? What importance do people attach to style, dress, presentation? Is punctuality important? Do meetings start on time? Are long hours the exception or expected?’ Understanding the company culture only comes over time, through formal presentations, informal dialogue and a lot of personal experience. What gets said ‘officially’ is compared with what gets said ‘confidentially’ during lunch, after hours and between colleagues in the washroom. Extend your positive influence beyond the formal presentations. Create a buddy system or mentor program to match your most successful and enthusiastic staff with your incoming employees. But don’t expect your enthusiastic staff to stay that way if their mentor role becomes a burden. Give the mentor relationship real support: pay for lunches, allow time in the work schedule for mentoring conversations, include mentoring in your annual staff appraisal and show genuine appreciation to your chosen mentors with tokens of reward, recognition and respect.

3. Showcase the ‘Big Picture’. You must help new staff find honest answers to all of the following questions:

Point to the career paths of those who have come before to illustrate advancement possibilities and potential. 5. Handle administrative matters.

‘Where has this company been? Where is it today? Where are we heading tomorrow? Who are our customers? What do they say about us? Who are our major competitors? What is our market position? ‘What is our current focus? Are we expanding operations, going regional and launching new technologies? Or are we trimming costs, stabilizing product lines and streamlining operations?’

You can orient new staff to these ‘big picture’ issues with a well-designed presentation. Using multi-media, highlight your history and present status, future targets, goals and directions. Share humble beginnings, detail greatest achievements.



Show excitement for future direction, but be candid about company weaknesses, too. Talk openly about difficulties and challenges in the market. Keep your ‘big picture’ presentation lively and up-to-date.


In large organizations, very senior managers are often the best authorities to share insights on the future of the business. But these same managers may frequently be out of town or involved in handling current situations. They are not always available when you want them to participate in a new staff orientation session. You can solve this problem by capturing them on video as they discuss the opportunities and challenges facing your organization. Then use the video in your program and bring the managers back ‘live’ at a later date for panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions or informal ‘meet the manager’ conversations. 4. Explain job responsibilities and rewards.

There will always be detailed procedures to follow and paperwork or online procedures to complete: employment agreements, insurance policies, benefits packages, charitable contribution forms, locker allocation, issuing passwords, uniform distribution – the list goes on and on. While these are important, resist the temptation to ‘get it all over with’ in one long (and very boring) session. Instead, spread those administrative tasks over several short sessions in the first few weeks. Hours spent filling out forms on the first day at work is not the way to inspire enthusiasm about the dynamic nature of your organization! 6. Provide reality checks. Make sure your orientation program is not a fantasy tour of what you wish the company would be. If your program shows only the bright side of the business and the happy side of daily work, don’t be surprised if new employees are shell-shocked after two or three weeks on the job. Be open and candid about the pressures and realities of your company, your team, your customers, your industry and your competition. One large regional firm developed an extensive orientation program along the following theme: ‘You will know more about the problems of this organization than the people who have worked here for years!’ This novel approach creates new staff who understand the realities and are ready to work – and work hard – to help their company succeed. 7. Gain full participation.

Clearly define your expectations from the beginning. Ensure new staff are well versed in their responsibilities and corresponding levels of authority. Demonstrate and thoroughly explain your approach to staff appraisal. Show new staff the actual appraisal system and illustrate how good performance will be measured, assessed and rewarded.

Invite the new staff’s family members to a special ‘Meet the Company Day’ and take photographs at the event. Later, send the best photos back to their homes with a copy of your company’s newsletter – and a handwritten note from you to the entire family. Most important of all, gain full participation from the new employees themselves. Resist the temptation to project all the information in a one-way stream from the company tothe new staff. Have your newcomers explore the company, research the competition, meet the customers – and then generate their own good questions for you and your colleagues to answer. Finally, get your new employees involved in welcoming the next batch of incoming staff. This ensures that your orientation program stays fresh and relevant. It can become a watershed event, making your new staff feel like company veterans: experienced, involved and useful.

Key Learning Point The time, money and human resources you dedicate to new employee orientation can be one of your best long-term corporate investments. Make sure your program is thoughtfully designed, carefully delivered, continuously upgraded and improved. Action Steps Gather a cross-functional team of recent hires, seasoned employees and key managers. Do a complete review of every aspect of your existing new staff orientation program. How does your current program measure up? What is being done well? What is engaging, motivating and effective? Is anything boring, tedious or out-of-date? What else could be included? What should be taken out? Revise your program and conduct a trial run. Ask the participants for suggestions to make your program even better. Keep adapting, keep improving. Keep it up! years to come.

Give everyone a role to play in new employee orientation. Involve peers and colleagues in your mentor programs and buddy teams; engage top managers in talks and panel discussions; give junior staff a stake as hosts and guides in cross-department visits.

Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the best-selling “UP Your Service!” books and the founder of UP Your Service! College. For more information and a sample monthly newsletter, visit

Management Mistakes and Miscues:

Common Errors Made in “Evaluation”



Many errors are created when a manager lacks judgment and allows personal prejudice to factor into the process.


The errors managers make when evaluating employees or applicants are both very common and very serious. We evaluate people during the hiring process as well as on the job. In an interview, we evaluate candidates for open positions. In the performance appraisal process, we evaluate employees in the performance of their duties. Many errors are created when a manager lacks judgment and allows personal prejudice to factor into the process. Serious errors can result in the hiring of the wrong person or turning away a good candidate, or failing to promote the employee and thus not selecting the candidate with the best skills and greatest potential. You should know your own personal biases and not let them cloud your judgment and in-

terfere with the decisions you make. Refrain from basing decisions on small things like how a person looks you in the eye or gives a handshake. If you feel you are personally biased either for or against someone, take the initiative and get someone else involved in the process. When evaluating people, in the interview process or during performance evaluations, be careful to avoid the following common errors: HALO EFFECT: The halo effect refers to the situation in which a manager assumes that all of an applicant’s or employee’s traits are good because of one

or two outstanding traits. A manager should evaluate an employee high if they have a friendly personality and provide outstanding service to the guests. However, if they are regularly late for their shift and are slow in completing their duties and the same positive evaluation is given in these categories, it would be clear that the two positive traits are creating a “halo” and not all factors are being considered in the evaluation. HORN ERROR: Horn error is the opposite of the halo effect and refers to the situation when a manager assumes that all of an applicant’s or employee’s traits are bad because of one or two traits that are negative. One or two bad

qualities of an individual may not make them a bad employee overall. As stated, if a person has an attendance or tardiness problem, evaluate that as such and state that clearly. The fact that an applicant has worked for a competitor shouldn’t make all qualities of the applicant negative. PROJECTION / “LIKE ME” ERROR: Sometimes, managers will look for people who have personal traits similar to their own through a process known as projection. This error comes in the form of giving people more favorable ratings based on the fact that they have similar characteristics to you. People with different motives and personalities can get the job done. If an organization would hire only people who think alike, creativity would be hindered and the business would become stale and unimaginative. If you are a sports-minded person, are you hiring people who only like sports? Is an employee great just because they like the same music and movies that you do? During performance evaluations, are you reviewing people based on the way you would do the same job? and not the way they are doing it?

clear information and situations are stated. Refrain from using phases such as “you always” or “you never do this part of your job duties correctly.” STEREOTYPING: Assigning characteristics to all of the members of a group is the worst form of prejudice. Assuming that all chefs are temperamental, those women are absent more than men, and that disabled people are more accidentprone is unfair and incorrect. In fact, statistics have clearly shown that those with disabilities have fewer worker compensation claims and women generally have better attendance records. In performance evaluations, do you rate employees on their participation in certain informal groups? Is an employee connected to a group of under-performing employees and rated for their association to this group and not the effort they put forth? Or, because a certain employee associates with the “right group,” are their job performance weaknesses overlooked because of who they associate with?

cess, these impulsive conclusions are exhibited in the form of allowing good or bad performance at the very end of a rating period to overshadow or good or bad performance during the early portion of the period. This is called recency error judging employee performance solely on the most recent period. Is one month enough time to truly evaluate an employee? Base any evaluation on all the facts… not just a few.

Tips for overcoming miscues in an evaluation process: •

• • •

Get another person to assist in the evaluation if you feel you have strong biases. Make sure all decisions are based objectively and on factual information. Make sure all decisions are applied equally to all employees. Make sure any evaluation made is based on job related factors and not personal biases. Take your time when evaluating and avoid tendencies to hurry and make unfortunate mistakes.


A common error made in evaluation is to draw conclusions to quickly and without supporting evidence. This happens frequently in the interviewing process. We simply look at a few factors and immediately rule out candidates based on one or two characteristics. This can be warranted in some cases, such as criminal convictions and required licensees or certifications. However in the case of education level, don’t overlook people who are currently pursuing degrees and simply rule them out. In the performance appraisal pro-

Adapted from Managing Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry by David Wheelhouse, CHRE (Educational Institute of the AH&LA, Lansing, MI, 1989. For more information on the SOCIETY FOR HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT, visit our website at


In hiring or in the evaluation process, managers may incorrectly assume that because a person reacted one way in a given situation or instance, he or she will react that way in all instances. To prevent oversimplification, focus on repeated behaviors and patterns of action by asking additional questions or making further observation. In hiring, a candidate may respond to a question that causes you concern. To overcome that concern, ask other questions dealing with the same subject and see if the same response is given. In a performance appraisal, make sure that



Refrain from basing decisions on small things like how a person looks you in the eye or gives a handshake.


Anantara Resorts announces new Executive Appointments Dominik Ruhl General Manager of Anantara Maldives



Anantara Resorts, a leading hospitality and leisure organization in the Asia-Pacific region, has announced the appointment of Dominik Ruhl to the position of General Manager of Anantara Resort Maldives. Dominik will report into Adriaan Erasmus who has stepped up to the position of Area General Manager Indian Ocean, who is still based at the Anantara Resort Maldives.


Dominik, a German native, commenced his career in Hawaii in a Guest Services role at the renowned Ritz Carlton Kapalua prior to joining the Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico in the position of Front Office Manager. Following a successful career in the Americas, he took on senior management roles in the Maldives including Director of Operations at the Hilton Maldives Resorts & Spa (now Conrad). Prior to joining Anantara’s luxury resort in Maldives, he held the position of Area General Manager of Per Aquum Resorts overseeing operations in the Caribbean. As General Manager of Anantara Resort Maldives, Dominik will be coordinating and managing the 110-room luxury property which opened in September 2006 “I am delighted to be at the helm of Anantara Resort Maldives and will ensure that the hotel continues to enhance the Maldives reputation as a premier luxury destination” commented Ruhl. Michael Sagild, COO of Minor International added ‘We are very pleased to welcome Dominik on board the management team at Anantara Resort Maldives. Dominik brings with him a seasoned perspective on luxury and service and his outstanding leadership qualities will be an asset to our dedicated and enthusiastic team.”

Neil Shorthouse Human Resources Director of Anantara Maldives

Manish Jha Resort Manager of Anantara Huraa (Previously known as Bodu Huraa)

Anantara Resorts, a leading hospitality and leisure organization in the Asia-Pacific region, has announced the appointment of Neil Shorthouse to the position of Human Resources Director of Anantara Resort Maldives.

Anantara Resorts, a leading hospitality and leisure organization in the Asia-Pacific region, has announced the appointment of Manish Jha to the position of Resort Manager of Anantara Huraa, Manish was previously the Director of Food & Beverage at the Anantara Resort Maldives.

Neil, a British native, started his career working for Forte Hotels in England working in various operational positions. Following from this he worked for Disney Cruise Line on the start up of both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, from here his career has covered different cruise lines, with him moving to a senior role onboard the worlds only floating private resort ‘The World’ in the capacity of Onboard Human Resources Manager. Prior to joining the Anantara Resort Maldives, he held the position of Human Resources Manager with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. As Human Resources Director, Neill will be responsible for the staff working on all 3 properties, along with their training, development and welfare. “I am excited to be here in the Maldives, and am looking forward to taking our Human Resources Department to the next level of service for our staff.”

To Be Distinctive, Be Different There are many ways for a business to ‘stand out from the crowd’. One approach is to give your customers more of what they ask for. If others are fast, you go faster. If others are clean, you be cleaner. If others are cheap, you can discount deeper. If your competitors offer a lot, you offer even more. This approach has obvious problems. First, your top position can be overtaken by anyone else offering ‘even more’. Second, the cost of escalation can become overwhelming. You need happy customers but healthy profits, too.

How many times have you left your tube of toothpaste wet, wrinkled and gooey on the bathroom sink? Procter & Gamble helped solve the problem with the first standup

You can do this, too. (Stand out from the crowd, not the laundry.)

Key Learning Point Anyone can compete by doing ‘more’ of what’s already expected. But there’s another way to be distinctive: Be different!

Action Steps Make a list of all the ‘usual ways’ your organization offers good customer service. Now think of totally different ways you could surprise, intrigue or delight. What bothers your customers? How can you fix it? What do they do before or after your service? How can you integrate it? What do they bring, carry or take away? How can you replace it? The first bookstore to offer plush chairs and fresh coffee changed the industry completely. The first bank that offered drive-through service transformed our expectations. What can YOU do to stand out, stand up – be different?

Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the best-selling “UP Your Service!” books and the founder of UP Your Service! College. For more information and a sample monthly newsletter, visit


For example, international airlines compete on big seats, quality service, good wine and movies. But Virgin Atlantic was first to offer neck and shoulder massages on all long-distance flights. They stand out in the airline crowd. Most quick-service restaurants provide clean counters, fast delivery and low prices. But McDonald’s put enormous, colorful slides for children inside their restaurant buildings. McDonald’s french fries are made from potatoes, much like everyone else’s. Their play space stands out in the fast-food crowd.

The Garden Café in Dubai serves many customers who are bachelors, always on the move and short of time. So the Café provides a lunch and dinner buffet of good food and drinks, but also irons your shirts and shines your shoes while you eat!


A different approach is worth your time and effort: Find completely new and different ways to surprise, intrigue, support, nurture and delight your customers.

toothpaste tube. Their toothpaste container stands out from the crowd.


Clowning around in the kitchen can be a dangerous act -And if you’re not careful, it can lead to serious employee injuries as well as become a potential food safety threat. In today’s competitive foodservice climate, it may be tempting to relegate employee safety to a side show. However, by moving foodservice workers’ safety to the center ring, companies can accomplish many of their significant goals. A company that has an active safety program not only sees a reduction in workers’ compensation costs and staff turnover but also experiences an increase in employee productivity.1 A safe work environment leads to benefits for customers as well.

lasting five minutes or less. The trainer could focus on the proper use of just one type of knife or knife safety in general. The priority for the employer is to help ensure the safety of its employees. Most foodservice establishments also utilize equipment that includes blades such as meat slicers, cutters and grinders. Every company must be aware of state and federal laws prohibiting teen workers (less than 18 years of age) 3 from setting up, operating, cleaning or repairing such equipment. This equipment should be clearly labeled and the Department of Labor provides a downloadable sticker on its website. SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS

Customers benefit from consistent food quality, timely service and an improved company reputation. Managers and employees must keep safety in the center ring by following all safety practices. In order for a company to experience the benefits of an established safety program, a thorough hazard assessment should be conducted. A hazard assessment is an identification and analysis of all injury-producing conditions and instruments in the workplace.



It includes a review of existing controls, work practices and personal protective equipment. The assessment also includes determining where new controls or work practices will benefit the goal of injury prevention and workplace safety.


KNIFE SAFETY Preventing Cuts, Lacerations and Amputations. Walk into any thriving foodservice kitchen on a Saturday night and it will seem like a choreographed knife juggling act. Knives, in many forms, are necessary for any foodservice establishment. However, they are also one of the major causes for work-related injuries.2 To reduce this hazard, consider what could be used to eliminate or minimize knife injuries. • • • •

Evaluate different knives that could be used in the workplace Seek employee feedback Investigate and test knife options appropriate for the task Specify which task is completed by which knife, when sharpening is needed and where to store them.

Employees must be trained on appropriate work practices when performing tasks with knives. Have small group training sessions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sprains, strains and tears were the leading

cause of non-fatal injuries during 2005. Many of the over 500,000 incidents resulted in fractures, back injuries, head traumas and other injuries.4 Even more alarming is the average cost of a sprain/strain injury: $15,757 reflecting medical and indemnity.5 Preventing slips, trips and falls is closely linked to good housekeeping. Good housekeeping is EVERYONE’S job and everyone plays a role in its success or failure. Purchase “Caution: Wet Floor” signs, grease-resistant and slip-resistant mats and slip-resistant shoes. The easier it is for an employee to clean up a spill, the more likely they will do it. Keep “Wet Floor” signs available and inspect them periodically to ensure they are legible and are working properly.

Don’t be a Clown in the Kitchen

SHARPS AND NEEDLESTICK PREVENTION Each year, thousand of used needles are improperly discarded.6 From one discarded needle, it’s possible to contract HIV, Hepatitis B or C. Train employees to protect themselves. Supply required PPE. Use tongs to pick up needles and dispose them into specificallydesigned containers. Use a broom and dust pan to dispose of broken dishware. Dispose of waste according to state and federal regulations and not in the trash.

PROPER LIFTING Training your employees to properly lift and move heavy loads can greatly reduce their risk of injury and save you from costly lawsuits and medical fees. The general rule: When lifting heavy objects, squat down, bend at the hips and knees and grip the load, arch your back inward by pulling shoulders back and sticking your chest out, push up from the heels of your feet so your legs do the work and not your back. Also, teach your employees to follow these simple guidelines:

The best way to avoid exposure to bloodborne pathogens is to assume all sharps are contaminated. Most importantly, train employees to report any contact with needles or sharps immediately.

Use dollies, carts and auto lifts to do the work for you

Clear the path of any obstacles that may cause you to slip and fall


Two-person lifts distribute the weight of a heavy load so no one employee is over tasked

Thousands of burns can be linked to the foodservice industry each year. It’s injury causing if not life threatening not to have a burn prevention process. Even the smallest burn makes performing every day kitchen functions painful and often impossible. Identify tasks which expose workers to steam, hot oil and high temperatures that could result in burns.

And convenient access to these items may drastically decrease the risk of burns in your establishment. Burns usually occur when:

• • • • •

Management has not enforced or properly trained employees on safety rules Employees ignore the safety rules Employees take shortcuts Employees are fixed on time Employees become laxed in their job and take uneccessary risks Employees are sick, tired or compromised by an addiction and they are not able to concentrate

OSHA has been aggressive in requiring employers to provide appropriate PPE for each task. 29 CFR 1910.132 requires employers to conduct a hazard assessment to select the appropriate PPE to protect an employee from a recognized hazard. Each position must have written documentation of the outcome and be certified by the conductor of the assessment. Ultimately the employer is responsible and accountable for ensuring employees wear designated, assigned PPE.

SICKNESS From colds and flu to stomach viruses, there is always something going around and it spreads quickly in the workplace. Foodservice operators are concerned that a sick employee can infect another employee or customers. First and foremost, every manager should have a policy in place that tells employees what to do when they are sick. Bottom line is if you’re sick stay home. Employees should also know how many days they can call in sick before it negatively affects them. Plus they need to know who to call and how much advance notice they have to give. It is your obligation to provide a safe working and eating establishment for your employees and customers. An effective employee safety system that helps prevent these injuries and properly treats accidents when they occur is well worth the time and minimal expense.

CHEMICAL SAFETY Hazard Communications as it is known by OSHA, is the third leading cause of citations and fines issued by the agency. All chemical containers must be labeled. Containers bought from the manufacturer should already have a clear label, but if

[1]American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) White Paper addressing the return on investment for safety, health and environmental management program. LLC, Inc. A Safety and Risk Consultant Company. [2]National Safety Council. Occupational Injury Facts. Page 57. [3]Department of Labor, Prohibited Occupations for Non-Agricultural Employees and 29 CFR 570.2 - Minimum age standards. [4]These figures reflect only employee incidents. [5]Keep in mind these are only the direct costs. Indirect costs can be ten to twenty times the direct costs. [6]Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS FAQ. 7OSHA Compliance Assistance, 29 CFR 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Standard and Appendixes Retention of MSDS for 30 Years. 29 CFR 1910.1020 Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records Standard. OSHA Standard Interpretation Letter About 29 CFR 1910.1020. Published with permission from Daydots, Inc., an Ecolab Company


From cut-resistant gloves to thermal aprons, the last safety defense for employees is also one of the most misunderstood.

They indicate flammability, toxicity, proper PPE to use, chemical ingredients, first aid procedures and proper chemical storage. Copies should be maintained for the required 30 years.


Every employee needs to be given proper protective apparel. Heat-resistant aprons and oven mitts provide the best defense. Employees should wear long pants and shoes made from non-porous leather to prevent burns to the legs and feet.


the chemical is transferred from its original container, the employer must label the new container. Along with labeled containers, employers are required by OSHA to maintain Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on every chemical stored at the employer’s location.


Trainer Martin Alejandro De Castro of the Shangri-La Academy, Beijing putting the students through the paces. From Left to Right: Aishath Rishfa Hussain, Martin Alejandro De Castro, Aminath Fazna, Ansar Moosa Didi and Behind: Mohd Madheen looking on



Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives Commences Hospitality Course in Addu Atoll


Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives has announced that 27 successful candidates has commenced the Shangri-La Hospitality Certificate Course on 20 January 2008 in Addu Atoll in southern Maldives. The candidates were selected following the resort’s recruitment drive in December 2007 with the offer to sponsor potential job seekers for the three-month hospitality course. After a two-day recruitment drive, the resort received 70 applications. The candidates, all from Addu Atoll, have been carefully selected after a series of interviews by Shangri-La executives. On completion of the course, five outstanding students will be chosen to train in a Shangri-La property in Malaysia and assume supervisory positions when the resort in Villingili opens. Jens Moesker, general manager said “We are extremely pleased with the response and the quality of the applicants. Although some

of them have not worked in hospitality, we observe that they have great potential. The aim of this HR initiative is to give promising young Maldivians the opportunity to start a successful career in the hotel industry. What they will learn during the course will be a foundation for them to launch a long-term career with Shangri-La”. The three-month course is conducted by certified trainers from the Shangri-La Academy in Beijing, China and other Shangri-La properties. Classes are held at the Youth and Sports Centre on Gan Island in Addu Atoll from Sunday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is the first luxury resort in the Addu Atoll. The resort which is currently under development will feature 142 villas with views of the ocean or the island’s natural lush vegetation. The Maldives’ second international airport, Gan International Airport, is an eight-minute boat

ride away from the resort and Male International Airport is 70 minutes by air. Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and manages 55 hotels under Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 27,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has over 48 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Japan, Macau, Maldives, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. For more information or reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at

PRESS CONTACT: Susie Lim-Kannan, Director of Communications ,Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Pre-Opening office Singapore, Tel: (65) 6213 4934 Fax: (65) 6836 4804, E-mail: Hussain Naseem , General Affairs and Public Relations Manager, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa , Pre-opening office Maldives, Tel: (960) 332 136 Fax: (960) 332 1722, Email: For digitised pictures of the group’s hotels, please go to

Fresh Ideas on Making a



Great First Impression


Creating a good first impression is often less about what we say and more about listening and fulfilling commitments As a hotel manager turned assisted living administrator, I have a unique perspective on what it takes to make a good first impression in both the assisted living and hotel industries. When I joined The Hamister Group, Inc. in 2006 as an assisted living administrator, I had 24 years of hospitality experience, most of which was spent in management positions at full- and select-service hotels across the country. My recently acquired assisted living experience has given me a fresh perspective on making a good impression in hotel sales.

Staff Involvement Increases Credibility Positive encounters with staff other than the administrator or sales person are crucial in assisted living. We ask all staff to acknowledge both touring customers and the tour guide, and to say a few kind words if possible. If the input of certain department managers—such as the Director of Nursing or the Food Service Director—is of special significance to the touring family, we may ask them to participate in a sit-down discussion. Although staff

involvement in sales is not always possible in hotels, where most customers are unlikely to visit before making a decision, the technique can be used with great success in attaining group business. Duane Rankin, one of my hotel colleagues, regularly involves other staff members in hotel visits when appropriate. Duane recently had a group of gamers stay at his hotel. The group was concerned about electricity problems because their equipment drew more power than most hotels could provide.

Duane asked Ed Horn, his maintenance director, to join the tour; Ed spoke with the customer, assessed his needs, and guaranteed that he could provide a solution. The technique proved effective: Duane booked the group and received a letter from the customer commending his extra effort. Customers Sell In assisted living, it is fatal to forget that present customers contribute to the first impression. It’s not enough for staff to be well-dressed and friendly. Residents are also selling, whether they realize it or not. If your customers look unhappy or disheveled, prospective customers will notice and fear that their family member will not receive proper attention in your residence. I ask residents to speak to new customers on our behalf. We have residents that have been with us for 15 years. When I see these long-term residents during a tour, I ask them to tell the new customers what they think of their home and their care. Customer comments are priceless: they carry more weight

with new customers than anything my staff or I can say. Again, one might think that involving present customers is not feasible in hotel sales. Let’s think more creatively: hotels may not be able to involve present customers in the sales process orally, but they can certainly ask for written comments. Testimonials can be posted on websites, used in advertisements, or distributed by sales people. Creating Comfort In hospitality, we all know about the importance of creating a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Comfort, however, is not just about upgraded linens and fluffy pillows. In assisted living, we are always reminded that comfort is also about personal attention: little things like using a customer’s name during a discussion, showing that you know the names of other customers as well, and listening to customer needs instead of guessing. It’s about being down-to-earth and showing people that you can solve their problems be-

cause you have successfully handled situations similar to their own in the past. Comfort is an important contributor to a good first impression. Less Is More Finally, I would like to emphasize the following: while it is necessary to be warm and empathetic, one should never be too bubbly in sales. I see this very clearly in assisted living: overly extroverted people come across as insincere and have trouble closing the sale. People who listen with understanding, do everything the can to meet the specific needs of a customer, and follow through on promises are highly successful in both industries. Creating a good first impression is often less about what we say and more about listening and fulfilling commitments.

Gary Pelton is Administrator of a Hamister Group affiliated assisted living residence. Feedback can be sent to him at . For more information on The Hamister Group, Inc. or affiliated companies, see

New Spa industry trend watch

From hemlines to hair colors we love to watch trends come and go. As the spa industry has become engrained into everyday culture many spa trends have extended their stay and moved into full-blown tradition.

The Next Generation of Spa-goer - The teens are coming! Nearly 4 million of them have been to a spa where they learn how to deal with stress, eat nutritiously and care for their skin. With 16 percent of spas offering teen programs, 34 percent offering teen packages and 17 percent offering packages for children, Millennials will never have to worry about a bad MySpace picture.

Compiled through comprehensive research and daily communication with a vast network of more than 3,000 members in 75 countries, ISPA releases the following Spa Industry Trend Watch:

Corporate Wellness - Google was selected as Fortune’s No. 1 company to work for in 2007. Google is also a member of ISPA and offers on-site massages to its employees. According to the American Journal of Health Promotions, for every $1 spent on wellness programs, employers can expect a return of up to $10 through lower medical claims, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and other factors. “A spa experience is the perfect way for employers to show their team that they care about their health and wellbeing,” added McNees.

Plenty of Cooks in the Kitchen - You’d be hardpressed to find a better combination than spa treatments and delicious, healthy food. Spas are responding to restaurant industry reports that the gastro-travel phenomenon has taken off with more families organizing vacations around food. In fact, 19 percent of U.S. spas offer cooking experiences running the gamut from week-long schools with celebrity chefs to private lessons with tips on taking the healthy cooking experience home.

High Touch and High Tech - In our constantly-connected society, in order for some people to take a time out, they still need to

Luxury Brands Opening Luxury Spas - Too much of a good thing is ... a good thing! Brands that are known for their chic designs are opening over-the-top spas around the world. Some of the well-known brands include the first Armani-branded spa in Tokyo, Versace Group’s spa at its Australian resort, spas at Bulgari’s hotels in Milan and Bali, and Prada Beauty’s line exclusively at Ritz-Carlton properties. Greening Grows - As 76 percent of U.S. spas apply environmentally sustainable practices, the spa community’s commitment to the environment is not a passing phase. On-site organic gardens; products made from locallygrown fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants; mineral makeup; and green building tactics are just a few of the ways that spa professionals are showing their commitment to the earth.

About ISPA: ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA’s membership is comprised of more than 3,000 health and wellness facilities and providers from 75 countries. ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth. More details on ISPA are available on


“Savvy spa-goers are shaping the trends. Spa professionals want to create the best experience possible, so it’s a ‘buyers’ market’ for consumers who express their wants and needs,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “The spa lifestyle is in fashion, though it’s also timeless. As a leading leisure industry, spas have the staying power similar to that of cruise lines, skiing and golf.”

be plugged in. Spas are incorporating technology such as Wi-Fi in relaxation rooms, cyber treatments that combine biofeedback technology with guidance from wellness professionals and light therapy to help those suffering from depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder and insomnia. Customized Relaxation - You can make almost anything your “own” today from custom workouts built into your Nikes, fragrances blended to suit your nose or a zenned-out playlist on your iPod. Spas are creating unique experiences for their guests as well, with 24 percent indicating that clients can book blocks of time instead of specific services. This time block allows them to create a treatment that is all their own from the music to the products to the room temperature.


As the voice of the spa industry, the International SPA Association has been forecasting spa industry movements since the early 1990s and welcomes 2008 with this Spa Industry Trend Watch.

Spa Lifestyles Equal Healthy Lifestyles - Eating nutritious food, exercising and relieving stress are critical in leading a healthy lifestyle, and spas are championing this effort by teaching these basic principles. In fact, 51 percent of U.S. spas offer educational programs and nutritional consultations, 40 percent offer healthy eating classes, 26 percent have educational offerings on obesity or weight gain issues and 17 percent offer exercise programs for children and teens.


Hospitality Bites The Nam Hai, the luxury all-villa beachfront resort in Central Vietnam has won its first award for 2008 claiming the top prize in the Best Resort category at the distinguished Travel & Leisure Magazine Design Awards 2008. “To receive the Best Resort from Travel & Leisure’s Design Awards for 2008 is a true testament to the beauty of the resort. The Nam Hai is setting the standards for resorts in Vietnam and we are very pleased and proud to accept this award” said Wayne Duberly, General Manager, The Nam Hai. The jury included many well known connoisseurs of design such David Rockwell and Agnes Gund and various others from the fashion, art and culture world. The awards were announced at the Frank Gehry designed IAC headquarters in New York on February 12th.



Dusit Thani Pattaya recently toasted to its new name in line with Dusit’s rebranding concept that has seen it successfully ensconced in the international world of hospitality business. The 462-room hotel was formerly called Dusit Resort Pattaya, and adopted its new name after Dusit International renamed it with four other 5-star deluxe hotels under its wing: Dusit Thani Bangkok, Dusit Thani Hua-Hin, Dusit Thani Manila, and Dusit Thani Dubai. Speaking to reporters, Dusit Thani Pattaya’s general manager Chatchawal Supachayanont mentioned the five hotel brands of Dusit International, namely: Dusit Thani Hotels and Resorts, dusitD2 hotels and resorts, Dusit Princess Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Devarana Hotels and Resorts, and Dusit Residence Serviced Apartments. He added that each brand offers a distinctive promise, and that for Dusit Thani hotels and resorts, including Dusit Thani Pattaya, the brand promise is “Creating Heaven on Earth”.


The St. Regis Bali announces the appointment of Oscar Perez as the new Executive Chef. Oscar joins The St Regis Bali after over two years at the award-winning W Maldives (among which, Travel & Leisure Design Award 2007), the very first W Retreat & Spa in the world. Having worked in kitchens for the past 18 years, Oscar brings a wealth of experience to this new resort. Reprinted with permission by

Leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso, has just released the 2008 edition of its Best of the Best directory.

Mystery surrounds a multi million dollar undersea resort, being constructed in Fiji, in more ways than one.

An instrumental tool for consumers when going through the vacation planning process with their Virtuoso travel advisor, Best of the Best is a comprehensive guide to the world’s best hotel experiences. Although the guide is released annually, 2008 marks new changes, including the addition of a Villas & Private Retreats section and acknowledgement of preferred hotels and resorts that were nominees and winners of Virtuoso’s first-ever ‘Best of the Best’ Hotel Awards. Best of the Best is the only travel guide in the industry that turns to the network’s member travel advisors to write descriptive copy for each of the 730-plus exquisite experiences in the book, all of which is based on first-hand experience. By incorporating their insight, travelers are privy to the thoughts and opinions of industry experts who also share extra tips with the ‘In The Know’ feature. An added value appearing only in Best of the Best, ‘In The Know’ provides insider advice on interesting foods to sample, rooms that offer the best view and more. In addition, travelers can learn about the extra amenities each hotel offers exclusively to Virtuoso clients in Best of the Best. These amenities range from spa treatments and dining experiences to special excursions, learning experiences, destination-specific gifts and more. The travel guide has a readership of 375,000.

Called the Poseidon Mystery Island, the project on an unnamed island in Fiji is being built at an estimated cost of US$105 million. The Poseidon website says, “The exact location of Poseidon Resort’s Mystery Island is still, well, a mystery.” Fiji’s trade and investment promotion body, the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau, does not appear to know anything about this project at all. A questionnaire sent by last year to FTIB said the bureau was unaware of this project. But it appears the resort is on the verge of finishing with September this year given as the completion date. Source: Pacific Island Report

Violence across Kenya has scared off many visitors. On the coast, where the blue waters of the Indian Ocean caress white sandy beaches, it is no better. Tourism was on the crest of a wave. It was the country’s top foreign revenue earner and brought in about $1bn last year. There should be more than 30,000 visitors at the height of the season. But the hotels lie empty. The industry used to employ a quarter of a million Kenyans directly and about 3m indirectly. Tourists buy souvenirs, use taxis and dine at cafes and restaurants. But over the last month, 20,000 people working in tourism have lost their jobs. The head of the Serena Hotels chain, Mahmud Jan Mohammed, says despite the devastation, holiday venues could recover by the end of this year, but only if the violence stops now. Source: BBC News

Beachcomber’s Shandrani Resort & Spa, the first luxury fully all-inclusive resort in Mauritius, has opened a new La Source Wellness Centre. Covering 2,400 square meters the centre will complement the existing La Source Spa. The design for the Centre features pure symmetrical lines to define the area, which is dominated by calming slate waterways and a centuries old badamier tree on a central island. There’s also an additional plunge pool and decking providing spacious relaxation areas. At the far end of the waterway is a vast Indian-style doorway leading through to the Ayurvedic Centre. Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has received the certificate of approval from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance for its compliance with the International Organisation for Standardisation 14001 (ISO 14001), the first of its kind to be conferred upon a Singapore-based hotel. The ISO 14001 requires an organisation to achieve and demonstrate that a sound environmental management system is in place. This internationally recognised standard is objectively audited based on stringent requirements. Environmentally friendly and cost efficient practices that were assessed include the use of energy saving light bulbs, biodegradable cleaning materials, water restrictors and sewage treatment facilities to prevent water pollution.




In a three-week period - Denver was hit with three major snowstorms unlike any the area has experienced in decades Each one caused the city to essentially shut down. At about the same time this was happening, New Yorkers were enjoying near 70 degree weather, at least 30 degrees warmer than what is expected this time of the year. Although global warming may indeed be playing a part in this year’s crazy weather, scientists say a lot of it is because of El Niño, a weather pattern that has played havoc in North America before. In the past it has brought torrential rains, snowstorms, and unusually mild weather, which is then often followed by one or two years of lack of rain and even droughts. For hotel properties, these weather changes and fluctuations in rainfall can cause all kinds of problems, many of which can seriously affect a hotel’s bottom line, in part because some localities will raise water rates during severe dry periods. Water officials may also implement a variety of restrictions and regulations on water use, again directly impacting hotel properties.



To weather the storms, hotel owners and managers should look for ways to reduce water consumption and make water awareness and conservation an ongoing priority. This not only helps save money but protects this valuable resource.

Measure Your Hotel’s Water Consumption, Then Start Saving


Baselines and Benchmarks The first step hotel owners/managers should take in water conservation is to learn how much water their hotel property uses. This varies, but most studies indicate hotels use between 100 and 200 gallons of fresh water per occupied guestroom per day. This averages out to about 36,500 to 73,000 gallons of water per room per year. With water charges in the United States ranging from two dollars to more than five dollars per 1,000 gallons,

it becomes clear how efforts to reduce water use can potentially and significantly lower hotel operating costs. To determine your actual water use, average three or four months of water bills and divide the average expense by the total number of rooms occupied during this same time period. If possible, select months during different times of the year— summer, winter, spring, fall—so that the average of water use and occupancy better

reflects annual usage. It is often a wise idea to try and compare your figures with comparable hotel properties in the same area. If your property is using 250 gallons of water per occupied room while other, similar properties are using about 150, it is an indication that some serious steps must be taken soon. Sometimes local hotel associations or water departments will already have undertaken these evaluations so that you can compare

your water usage—and costs—with many other local properties. With figures in hand, establish a water reduction target goal. This can be in stages with the first-stage reduction achieved just with repairs to existing plumbing fixtures and the implementation of opt-in water conservation measures. The next change can involve the purchase of devices and fixtures that can reduce water usage more substantially. Stage One: Repairs and Opt-In Measures Leaking sinks, tubs, and showers can waste tens of thousands of gallons of water per year. It is estimated that one water leak, which might be nothing more than a slow constant drip from a faucet, can waste more than 40 gallons of water per day. Usually, these fixtures can be repaired relatively quickly and inexpensively. Toilets can be tested by placing a drop or two of food coloring in the tank and then inspecting after a couple of hours. If there is colored water in the bowl or no colored water in the tank, it is an indication that the flapper and flush valve need to be replaced. This test should be repeated regularly, about every three months.

Additionally, a lot of water is used and can be conserved in the laundry. Reduce water levels where possible and program machines to minimize rinse and prewash cycles. Maximize all laundry loads to use water most effectively.

Additionally, all sinks and showers should be fitted with water-flow controls. Some 20 years ago, when these devices were first introduced, guests often complained about these controls because they hampered the flow of water so noticeably. However, those made today are even more effective and rarely cause complaints. Exterior Areas No discussion of water conservation would be complete without a look at hotel landscaping. To maximize water conservation, especially in dry areas of the country, hotel landscaping should fit the local climate. When the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas was first built, the hotel’s landscaping included acres of lush green lawns that required thousand of gallons of water every day. More than half of these lawn areas have since been replaced with plants and landscaping more typical of a desert climate, reducing water usage dramatically.

However, the dam building era is over due to a combination of financial, environmental, and political factors. What is necessary now for all of us, including hotel properties throughout North America, is to begin to conserve water. Finding ways to protect this natural resource are many and will benefit us for years to come.

The first step hotel owners/managers should take in water conservation is to learn how much water their hotel property uses.

Additional steps that can be incorporated include: • • • • •

Stage Two: New Devices and Fixtures

Adjust sprinklers so that they cover just lawn and plant areas and not sidewalks and driveways. Climate fluctuations and growing water demands are taxing water supplies, especially in the western part of the United States. Traditionally, increased water demands have been met by developing additional water supplies using dams, impoundment reservoirs, and canal systems.

Reduce watering frequency wherever possible. Stop hosing down sidewalks, entries, parking lots, etc. Install irrigation systems on timers to better control water use. Place mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weeds. Remove weeds and unhealthy plants so remaining plants can benefit from irrigation.

Klaus Reichardt is managing partner of Waterless Co., LCC, a manufacturer of waterless urinal systems and other plumbing supplies and fixtures. He can be reached at This article first appeared at


Guests can participate as well by deciding if they can go an extra day or two before their linens and towels need washing. These programs, now found in large numbers of hotels, have proved surprisingly successful.

To conserve even more water, many facilities are replacing conventional urinals with waterless systems. As the name implies, these urinals use absolutely no water at all. Because they do not need to be connected to a water source, they often cost considerably less to install and, because electricity is necessary to pump water in and out of a facility, they are not dependent on water delivery in emergencies or brown out.


Opt-in water conservation measures include such things as increasing staff awareness of the conservation steps taken at your property. Turn your housekeeping staff into water misers. They are often the most attuned to how water is being used—and wasted—in your hotel. Many properties provide financial incentives for staff members that help achieve water reduction and conservation goals. In addition, they can help by reducing the amount of water they use in the cleaning process.

If your hotel’s toilets and urinals are more than 15 years old, some of the most significant water conservation measures will take affect once these fixtures have been replaced. Older toilets and urinals use 3 or more gallons of water per flush. New, more efficient toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush, and urinals use about 1 gallon of water per flush.


Vegetable Tart, Organic Chicory & Herb-scented Bell Pepper with Cranberry Sauce



Schihab A. Adam, Executive Pastry Chef The Beach House at Manafaru Maldives

For the dough:

For the tart filling:

01 kg 25 g 20 g 02 450 ml

500ml 5 25g 1T 4g 5g 20g 20g 20g 20g 10g 2g 20g

strong bread flour extra virgin olive oil fine table salt eggs water

Method for the dough: 1- Mix the entire ingredients together in a small bread dough machine until the dough is firm and strong. 2- Keep the dough in the fridge 2 hours before lining it into a tart mold

cooking cream (Elle & Vire) whole eggs flour salt tabasco white pepper fresh asparagus baby beans baby corn bell pepper leek thyme leaves olive oil

Method for filling:


1- Mix cream and eggs together in a bowl, then add salt, tabasco, white pepper and flour. 2- Dice all the vegetables and sautĂŠe with a little olive oil. 3- Pour the mixture into the lined tart mold and bake approximately 15 -20 minutes at 180 C.

To assemble: Marinate organic chicory and julienne of mixed bell pepper in lime salt, crushed black pepper, olive oil, and then top the tart with the mixture and cranberry sauce.



Management by wandering around


The original concept of this clever acronym MBWA, which is to encourage teamwork between management and staff, increase the number of informal problem-solving opportunities on a daily basis, and thereby produce immediate and creative solutions. Adding an “I” for interaction to MBWA: My experience in teaching this brilliant management technique. MBWA, “Management By Wandering Around,” has been my favorite business acronym since the early 80’s, when Tom Peters and Robert Waterman made this Hewlett-Packard hallmark famous in In Search Of Excellence.

I eagerly began teaching it to all of my management staff as soon as I read the book. Just as I had requested, my managers started spending less time in their offices and more time out and about in our properties. I was seriously disappointed, however, when I saw little improvement in their effectiveness as managers.

How could they be employing this brilliant technique and still failing to address operational problems and understand customer desires? Further examination showed me not only the reasons behind this failure, but also the solution.

The concept of MBWA is that managers cannot be effective if they spend most of their time in their offices. They need to get out into their co-workers workspaces and offices and to every nook and cranny of their departments. They need to have informal discussions with their co-workers about problems, ask questions, and provide positive reinforcement for a job well done. Praise and correction are always more effective when they are given immediately, not in a monthly review of a co-worker’s progress. We drilled this concept into our managers’ heads, but to no avail. So I engaged in some MBWA myself by accompanying my managers on their wanderings. What I found was that our management staff was indeed wandering, but they were forgetting that the other half of the practice was interaction. They weren’t asking the questions they should have, and therefore they weren’t able to identify areas which needed improvement. Their legs weren’t their only body parts that were wandering: their minds were wandering, too.

One great example of how MBIWA helped us was when we talked to the nurses and dietary staff of our Adult Living Residences about our hiring practices. We were having trouble (or thought we were having trouble) selecting the best candidates for these positions. When our managers asked our staff for their suggestions about how we should change our interviewing process, they told us that the problem wasn’t so much our hiring practices as a need for better training.

inal concept of this clever acronym, which is to encourage teamwork between management and staff, increase the number of informal problem-solving opportunities on a daily basis, and thereby produce immediate and creative solutions. Revise your program and conduct a trial run. Ask the participants for suggestions to make your program even better. Keep adapting, keep improving. Keep it up! years to come.

We decided to respond to their input by hiring a corporate Director of Training, whose first project was to establish orientation programs for all new staff. These programs greatly improved the performance of new staff members, showing that the staff for better training was valid. We would never have realized this without the practice of MBIWA. A simple example of how MBIWA helped our hotel management was the discovery of the fact that we were wasting an excessive

The result of the new teaching acronym, MBIWA, was amazing. Managers immediately began obtaining better information and therefore making better decisions. Staff and managers began working as teams and our performance began to improve significantly.

amount of money and time under-loading our washing machines. One of our managers, on his daily rounds, realized that the machines were not loaded to capacity and had a discussion with the housekeeping staff about the issue. He discovered that they had never been trained on how to determine if a front loading commercial washer is full (such machines are at capacity when laundry starts to fall when rotating the drum manually to 45 degrees). This interaction with staff showed us that we needed to improve our training. The result was reduced operational costs. Adding an “I” for Interaction to MBWA made all the difference at The Hamister Group, Inc.. It enabled us to finally enforce the orig-

Mark Hamister is the CEO of The Hamister Group, Inc. and The Hamister Hospitality Group, LLC, a rapidly growing hotel property management company. The Hamister Group is actively seeking hotel acquisitions and management contracts in the United States. For more details, please see our web sites: and .


So I decided to adapt the acronym for use within The Hamister Group, Inc.: we now practice MBIWA, or “Management By Interacting and Walking Around.” Since acronyms are very powerful reminders of practices and theories, I believe that the “I” is necessary to remind our people that they must interact while walking through their departments. For us, this was the only way to convince our managers to stay true to every aspect of the concept of MBWA, as described in In Search Of Excellence.


The concept of MBWA is that managers cannot be effective if they spend most of their time in their offices. They need to get out into their co-workers workspaces and offices and to every nook and cranny of their departments.


Your Brand



at Work!


You do not have to be a Super Action Hero from the Classic Comics to appreciate the impact of these words: POW, WHAM and WOW They are usually displayed as some nefarious dark character is dismissed, paving the way for goodness and light. This is a bit like we would wish to accomplish with our Brand, reflecting energy and passion, as we deliver on the promise. The crux of being a successful brand in the Experience Economy revolves around orchestrating ‘Branded Moments of Truth’, not only into an exceptional exercise in service but also a seamless Brand story built by the geometric progression of staged, authentic moments. We are in the ‘feeling business’. If that sounds manipulative, it is, because Consumers have been lied to so often. The truth is that if you present yourself as you really are in all things, deliver on the functional, emotional and aspirational promises you make, and engage your customers in a personal, ongoing relationship, Brand loyalty will be your reward.

It is difficult for business people who are often driven by numbers and processes to switch gears, but that is what separates also-rans from the winners, particularly in the Hotel realm. How authentic and compelling is your Story, the passion around which you framed your Brand? Have you created stimuli for the five senses which will engage your Guest? And, most importantly, have you crafted the Experience within your Business, where literally each and every aspect of your operation positively ‘touches’ your Guest throughout their time with you. The challenge is to stay ‘ahead of the curve’, as we match our products and services to that perceived Consumer need or dream. The landscape is ever changing with our competition more creative and aggressive. It is always in the “Eye of the Beholder”, and the better we understand our existing and potential customer, our business, and the story we wish to share, the easier we can manage the Experience. Your Strategy commences with the POW, how you construct and frame your Brand

message. This exercise does not take place in a vacuum; rather, the ingredients include listening, challenge, taking a few whacks, chancing innovation, all wrapped around a force field of energy and passion. Some may be fortunate to have a masked crusader to encourage the process. Mine was Uncle Bill, whose stature rose mythically through his POW interventions. No matter the situation – business, marriage, philosophical angst, he was ready to lighten the load, so to speak, with humor, riposte, creative avenues, hard questions, swashbuckling initiatives. There was neither whining nor retreat. At the end of these sessions you were refreshed, invigorated and ready to proceed with clarity. I miss him mightily! His approach was masterful, and the transforming process to define and enunciate your Brand message, its integrity and value, requires the hard work, and, just as the Super Heroes blast off the comic pages, so must your Brand – the POW! So, now we are what we say we are and our Brand is to be verified by our customer, based upon how we delivered on their expectation(s), impacted by what they feel,

how all their senses interacted, and how their perceptions turned into reality - the validation process - the WHAM, our Delivery. This Cosmic challenge is dictated by two factors: the reliability of your Brand Promise while your Guest/Customer is with you and the successful interaction of you staff, who create the relationship, which makes the Experience Remarkable and Memorable. Many businesses waste the chance to indelibly Brand by sending messages that are mixed, too weak, or simply wrong. Guests will always have a Branded Experience, whether the business tries to influence or not. Therefore, make your stand, and transmit your crafted messages at every step of the Guest’s visit with you. Tour your property, from the parking lot, to your entry, throughout your rooms, evaluate the dining, the guest room, the Public Areas, asking at each juncture, “Does this meet the Brand Promise I have established?” Your Brand is those sensibilities – color, texture, sight and smell. Frequently, your Web Site is the First Impression, which sets the parameters for the expectations. Be clear, concise, candid and compelling. Next, we need to consider those folks who have the Guest/ Visitor/Customer contact and represent our esteemed values. Have we shared and imbued our Brand Story with the Ambassadors who will deliver it (enculturation)? Have we hired for talent, compensated competitively, trained and developed our corps, rewarded excellence? Have we created alignment, providing a Brand dynamic, focused upon skills, attitude, culture and support to enhance the Guest Experience? Service is the differentiator. Management creates either the compelling dynamic or the lost opportunity. A solid Customer Service orientation and superb Communication skills, specifically interpersonal, dramatically reinforce, or not, effective interaction and relationship building. We need to understand Relationship Management, why we act like we do and how to optimize any exchange. Our individual style, our strengths and weaknesses, impact our effectiveness as Brand Ambassadors. POW, then WHAM, “HOLY BRAND AWARENESS, CAPTAIN!” The Experience business is driven by that memorable relationship and achieving customer delight - the WOW. Take nothing for granted and continually evaluate your performance, bringing your Guest into the equation. We are what we state, and that must be translated and delivered throughout the entire time our Guest is with us - the whole time, not just the welcome. Everything we do is integrated into how we represent ourselves, and we must demonstrate this every minute, through our staff, through our business environs, and certainly through our Brand marketing. Judiciously define yourself, craft your words carefully, perform with distinction, and prosper. Become a Super Hero! Embrace the POW, deliver the WHAM, enjoy the WOW.

The author believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the portal to the Memorable Experience. Seek solutions at:

Hospitality Bites Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) is delighted to welcome two unique hotel brands to its membership, Anantara, Asia’s luxury Resort & Spa brand, and Cham Group, in the Middle East, as it grows to nine members and further solidifies its reputation as the ideal organisation for enabling small and mid-size independent brands to compete more effectively with the mega-chains, through mutual collaboration in their sales, marketing and distribution activities. For more information visit www.



In an unprecedented event of its kind in Egypt, McDonald’s Egypt opens the doors of its kitchens to the public inviting them to learn about its food, kitchens, procedures and systems.


The “Open Door” program invites its customers to meet the people behind their local McDonald’s and ask the questions they always wanted to ask but never had the opportunity. Through the approximately 35 minute tour, visitors will be able to get an insight on the hygiene and safety measures, the ingredients used, and sterilization processes used by McDonald’s through out the meals preparation phase. The “Open Door” program can be experienced in the following branches: Messaha (Dokki), Al Ahram (Heliopolis), Serag Mall (Nasr City), and Lauran (Alex). “The purpose of McDonald’s “Open Door” is to give our customers the opportunity to experience our quality, food safety & hygiene systems first hand. We want them to see for themselves how our food is prepared. It’s about showing pride in our restaurants and that we stand behind the messages we communicate” said, Mr. M. Ismail Mansour, Manfoods- McDonald’s Egypt General Manger. Job profiles and respect priority for Indian employees. According to a global workplace research by human resource consulting firm Mercer Llc, Indian employees hold job profiles and being respected at their workplaces more important than compensation. Base pay and benefits come at the third place for Indian executives. The study into employee attitudes and per-

Reprinted with permission by

ceptions was conducted in 22 countries. Curiously, employees in India give less importance to work-life balance contrary to their counterparts globally, who consider healthy work-life balance to be important. Overall, respect was the topmost factor noted in the UK and the US. For more information please visit The Design Hotels™Yearbook 08. In 2008, Design Hotels™ celebrates its 15th year of existence: but to celebrate we’ve chosen to focus on the future instead of looking back at what we’ve accomplished. Design Hotels™has added 38 new properties - all exemplary in some way - to our portfolio, bringing our total membership to 162 hotels in 40 countries. For more information of the Design Hotels™new Yearbook visit www. Source: http://www. U.A.E. Firm Grabs Bigger Piece of MGM Mirage Pie. After a busy year together, MGM Mirage and Dubai World wrap up 2007 with the U.A.E.based investment entity, increasing its stake in the gaming entertainment company from 4.9 percent to 6.5 percent through the acquisition of five million shares from a philanthropic affiliate of MGM Mirage lead investor Kirk Kerkorian, according to a report by Dow Jones citing a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dubai World coughed up $84.50 per share, taking the stock off the hands of Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation. The move by Dubai World marks yet another major transaction between the Dubai government’s investment entity and MGM Mirage this year. In October, Dubai World completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of 4.2 million shares of MGM Mirage common stock, leaving it with its 4.9 percent interest in the company. And last month, the two closed their 50/50 joint venture deal regarding the $5.4 billion CityCenter mixed-use development in Las Vegas; the transaction called for Dubai World to contribute nearly $3 billion for its stake in the partnership. Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage owns and operates 17 gaming and entertainment properties in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and holds

investments in three other properties in Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois. Company stock opened today at $84.65. Source: CPN Singapore achieved a new record for its tourism sector when it received its 10 millionth visitor this week. Sanjeev Bhandari 36, landed at Singapore’s Changi Airport to a surprise welcome from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). This year’s achievement of ten million visitors surpasses last year’s record arrivals of 9.7 million visitors and continues the upward trend from 2004 when Singapore crossed the eight million mark, which took a decade for Singapore to reach since achieving seven million visitors in 1995. Since 2004 however, it took only two years for Singapore to cross the nine million mark, and now only one year to reach the ten million mark. Observing this strong growth momentum that Singapore’s tourism sector is experiencing, STB’s Deputy Chief Executive, Quek Swee Kuan, noted: “This year has seen record high visitor arrivals for each month this year compared to the same month in previous years. In July, we also had the highest ever visitor arrivals recorded in a single month with 951, 000 visitors. Similarly, the hotel sector has had an exceptional year, with hotel occupancy and room rates at an all-time high.”

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World Photo: LHW



Celebrating 80 years of a quest for excellence


The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., the prestigious luxury hospitality organization marks its 80th anniversary in 2008. For eight decades, it has set the international gold standard, offering discerning travelers exceptional levels of comfort, service and style. Throughout the year, there will be many novel and exciting events to celebrate this 80-year milestone, including charity benefits, auctions, contests, special rate promotions, regional parties and receptions – all culminating in November at the 2008 Annual Convention. Formed in 1928 by an entrepreneurial group of forward-thinking Europeans, the company was initially known as The Luxury Hotels of Europe and Egypt, representing 38 hotels with approximately 9,000 rooms and suites. Today, with nearly 450 members in 80 countries, The Leading Hotels of the World is the largest collection of the finest hotels, resorts and spas in the world. Each hotel has a unique and distinct character, and provides an authentic travel experience, while adhering to exacting levels of quality. This unparalleled portfolio offers guests an unrivaled breadth and depth of choice for both business and pleasure travel.

Recognizing the need of today’s luxury traveler for more personalized service delivery, the company established the Leaders Club guest loyalty program which offers enriching, exclusive benefits at Leading Hotels when club members reserve through The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

ing 1,500 separate standards criteria covering all aspects affecting guest comfort and convenience. Only the world’s most distinguished properties are admitted to The Leading Hotels of the World, thereby assuring a constant adherence to the organization’s exacting standards of high quality.

In addition, the company has responded to the demands of another increasingly important customer segment by launching Leading Spas – the first international spa evaluation and accreditation program. The current roster of more than 100 includes destination spas, urban retreats and day spas, to meet the varied preferences of today’s spa-goer. Another of the company’s pioneering innovations was the establishment of Quintess, The Leading Residences of the World, the world’s premier luxury destination club, providing a portfolio of more than 70 exquisite properties in 30 international destinations.

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

To preserve the reputation of the Leading brand, hotels seeking admittance to this exclusive group must apply for admission, as the organization does not solicit new members. To be considered for inclusion, a hotel must be in the deluxe/luxury category and pass an anonymous inspection encompass-

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing nearly 450 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, and is the operator of and – the online sources for your luxury lifestyle. As the largest international luxury hotel brand, the firm maintains offices in 25 major markets across the globe. Since 1928, the company’s reputation for excellence derives from the exacting levels of quality it demands of its members, each of which must pass a rigorous, anonymous inspection covering 1,500 separate criteria. Reprinted with permission of





My wife and I recently needed to renew our mortgage for another term. The last time our mortgage was due, our bank called several months in advance and offered a good interest rate so we automatically renewed with them without shopping around. This year, however, was a bit different. We decided to do a bit of homework before speaking to our bank so that we would be in a better position to negotiate a better interest rate. We did some research and found a lender who offered an extremely attractive interest rate—almost two full percentage points below the posted rate of our bank. Armed with this information, my wife called our bank directly but was transferred to a call centre. Here’s a summary of the telephone conversation. Call Centre Agent (CCA): Hi, may I help you? My wife: Yes, our mortgage is coming up for renewal and the last time our mortgage was due someone contacted us several months

beforehand but we haven’t heard anything from you yet.

they’re offering a good interest rate. Are you saying that we should go with them?

CCA: No problem. What branch do you bank with? I’ll contact someone there and they can probably renew your mortgage over the telephone.

CCA: I guess so.

My wife waited several minutes until the agent came back on the line.

CCA: There’s nothing we can do.

CCA: I’m sorry ma’am. They don’t want to talk to you. Your mortgage isn’t due for six weeks so we can’t renew it right now. Wife: I don’t want renew it yet. I just want to get some information. CCA: There’s nothing they can do—it’s too early. Wife: So no one will talk to me about this? CCA: No ma’am. Wife: My husband and I have received a quote from another mortgage company and

Wife: You really want us to transfer our mortgage to one of your competitors?

Wife: So you’re saying that you have no interest in keeping our business and renewing our mortgage? CAA: I guess so. Wife: Okay, I guess we’ll take our business somewhere else. My wife and I were somewhat flabbergasted when she hung up the telephone. In my opinion, it was evident that no one had taught this particular call centre agent how to effectively deal with this type of situation. He clearly had no idea that his actions were costing his employers thousands of dollars. Or, perhaps that was what he had been

Costing You Money? A ‘throw away’ comment made by an untrained employee can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in sales depending on what you sell.

If you are a sales rep, think of how your actions and behaviour could cost your employer money in the form of lost sales and market share. By the way, we did eventually receive a call from our bank—four weeks later. It went something like this.

Obviously, the conversation we had with the call centre rep was not forwarded to the actual mortgage person at our bank. And once we told her about that conversation her shock, frustration and concern was quickly apparent. I’m sure she makes a commission or is responsible for achieving sales targets each month and the actions of her colleague in the call center cost her business. Don’t let this happen to you. If you rely on other people to help you reach your sales targets, take the time to coach and show them exactly how to do it. Don’t let other people cost you money!

So, how does this affect you? If you run a business and rely on other people in the organization to make contact with your customers, you could be losing business

“Hi Mr. and Mrs. Robertson. It’s Debbie calling from your bank. I’m calling to remind you that your mortgage is coming up for renewal and I’d like to talk to you about the options you have.”

© 2006 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved. Kelley Robertson is a professional speaker and trainer on sales, negotiating, customer service, and employee motivation. Visit He is also the author of “The Secrets of Power Selling” and “Stop, Ask & Listen-Proven Sales Techniques to turn Browsers into Buyers.” Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free newsletter available at his website.


I realize that banks make the bulk of their money in the first half of a mortgage. However, it still blew me away that they were willing to give their competition our business so easily. Most large lending companies invest millions of dollars in advertising in an attempt to attract and draw new customers. What if they took a portion of this money and taught their call centre agents how to properly deal with every type of situation? Imagine the money they could save.

due to their actions and behaviour. Invest the time and resources teaching your team exactly how they should behave, what they should say, and how they should respond to specific situations. A ‘throw away’ comment made by an untrained employee can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in sales depending on what you sell.


taught to do. This may have been an isolated incident but I highly doubt it. Needless to say we started the process to transfer our mortgage to another lender.


Going the Extra (S)mile can Pay Dividents It was late Monday evening, after a day that already felt like a week. Though we were hungry, our work was unfinished so we lugged a laptop computer, DayTimers and cellular phone into the restaurant ... probably not the best meal etiquette. Seeing our heavy load, the hostess seated us at table 64, in the back, in the corner, behind some plants. Wondering if we’d ever be discovered in this remote part of the restaurant, we’d barely sat down when our server greeted us with a warm, infectious smile.

Like a concerned mother, our waitress noticed once more and inquired if she could do yet something else for me. I didn’t have the heart to say anything after her first noble effort, thanked her and said this salad would be fine.

Without interrupting us; she went out of her way to play a role in creating a positive guest experience for us, even though her shift was almost over and the time was late. She takes her role seriously while having fun at the same time. She seems to understand the impact she has in the overall experience of eating at this restaurant and delighted us with her caring desire to serve. Needless to say, we acknowledged her service in the tip and will probably visit this restaurant more frequently because of her extra efforts. A casual, late-night dinner with no expectations turned into a surprisingly memorable experience. Another unexpected experience took place at a local self-service gas station. I noticed my car’s left rear tire was looking flatter than normal and as I needed gas, hoped the attendant would also check the air. The

Fearing I would need a new tire, I took a deep breath and waited for the sales pitch. Without skipping a beat, he went straight to the garage, assembled tools to plug the hole and remove the nail and had the whole job completed within ten minutes. Even though I was not purchasing gas, this mechanic recognized my need, immediately addressed my anxiety, resolved the problems quickly and performed an extraordinary and unexpected service. His honesty, initiative and dedication for service delivery left a powerful and lasting impression. I’ll be back. Both of these individuals show a commitment to service above and beyond their routine jobs, and they performed their roles with sincerity, enthusiasm and smiles. They both represent two very competitive industries, restaurants and gas stations. Both of these environments potentially affect thousands of tourists, visitors and residents alike. I know the next time I go to fill my stomach and/or my tank, I will remember Melissa, our server, at Houston’s in Pompano Beach and Dick, the mechanic, at Coastal Gas in Wilton Manors. They went the distance by going the extra mile — and in my book won the race for exceptional service.

Roberta Nedry is President of Hospitality Excellence Inc., consultants in guest experience management, and an adviser to the South Florida Business Journal’s The Guest Report. She can be reached at (954) 779-7772 or by e-mail at


I was pleasantly surprised by her concern and chose another salad, which she delivered with her consistent smile. Believe it or not, the second salad had been drenched in dressing, a bit soggy for my tastes, and my fork twirled again.

This restaurant server is an outstanding example of service excellence and going the extra mile to meet the needs of a customer. Throughout this entire meal, I had not initiated any complaints and/or concerns. She was the one who noticed and wanted to make sure I was happy. She also was very sensitive to our anxiety of working late and to our need to relax a little.

station temporarily was out of gas, but the mechanic immediately responded after hearing my concern about the tires. He intently studied the tire in question, filled it with air and studied it again. Not satisfied, he jacked up the car, spun the wheels around, poured water on the tire in question and found both a puncture and a nail in it.


She seemed to understand our anxiety as well as our need to relax and rushed to get our drinks. After prompt delivery of our selected dishes, a chicken salad and a plate of ribs, we were back at work. The salad was not what I had expected, and my fork seemed to twirl aimlessly through the salad. Within minutes, our server was back to check on us and noticed my salad neglect. When I explained why, she instantly grabbed it and insisted I order something else.

Within minutes, she was back with salad number three, with the dressing on the side. Needless to say I was amazed at her extra efforts, her initiative and her attention to detail, especially with the restaurant only minutes from closing time.


Have You Been Appreciated Lately? Six Steps to Make Yourself and Others Feel Better at Work thank-you’s” came first and “a note of appreciation from my manager” came second. “Money” came in at 16th!

Here are six ways we can put praise for a job well done back into our working lives. 1.

Praise, the thing that motivates us the most, takes so little time and costs nothing! Famous management writer Rosabeth Moss Kantor once said “Compensation is a right. Recognition is a gift.”

We all want to be associated with a winner, be it a winning person, a winning team, a worthwhile cause or a successful organisation. We all have sports people, teams, actors or artists that we consider “ours”. When they do well, we bask in their reflected glory. It’s the same at work - we want to be associated with a worthwhile “winning” organisation. Our greatest reward is receiving acknowledgment that we have contributed to making something meaningful happen. More than anything else, people want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high regard.



Have you appreciated the work of others lately? Has the value of your own work been appreciated? Here’s a quick test - over the last week, have you:

A famous study by Lawrence Lindahl in the 1940’s came up with some surprising results. When supervisors and their employees were asked to list “What motivates the employees?” . . .


Employees listed “appreciation of a job well done” as number one and “feeling in on things” as number two. Supervisors, on the other hand, expected the employees would rank these two items as eighth and tenth respectively (supervisors thought employees would put wages as number one and promotion number two!).

These results were replicated in similar studies in the 1980’s and again in the 1990’s. In another recent study, employees were asked to rank job-based incentives – “personal

• • • • •

Told someone they have done a good job? Looked specifically to find someone doing something well? Made someone else look good rather than taking the credit yourself? Thanked others for your own success? Passed on positive comments you have heard about others?

These are simple examples of the things we need to do regularly to acknowledge the good work of others. You might say, “If it’s that easy, why don’t more people do it?” There are many reasons, but they all fall into two categories – personal and organisational. On a personal level, many of us are not comfortable giving praise. We may be awkward about it, or perhaps believe that people are paid to do a job, so why do we have to praise them? From an organisational perspective, it may be the culture that is holding us back, or perhaps technology preventing us from valuing the work of others. For example, technology has changed the way many of us operate. Email may have replaced personal interaction, so we no longer see what others do well – out of sight is out of mind, so how can we praise good work if we don’t see it?

2. 3.




Look for things people do well and acknowledge them for their good work. Be a model of acknowledgment – show others it’s OK to give praise. Have a conversation with a colleague about how to give praise for work well done. When people have performed above the norm, write them a small thank you note. Encourage others to thank one another and pass on stories of good work to your manager. Work to create a culture of appreciation – make acknowledgment part of your daily routine.

Finally, you might get the ball rolling by passing on this article to a colleague as an introduction on how you both can encourage others to give more praise. The essential point is that praise must be frequent and given locally (by colleagues and managers). It should not be seen as a corporate initiative or program, but merely “the way we do things around here”. What’s not been said so far, is that praise must be genuine. People in general are very good at spotting insincerity. The message? When you do praise someone, make sure it’s for the good work they have done and not just for the sake of it. A final word of warning. Many organisations turn acknowledgment into an event. They distort it with extrinsic motivators (such as money) and taint it with internal competition. Pure and simple, giving praise for a job well done is just that – pure and simple. So, find someone doing something good today and simply tell them what a good job they’ve done! If you’d like to give me some thanks for this article, you can do so at

Bob Selden is the author of the newly published “What To Do When You Become The Boss” – a self help book for new managers. He also coaches at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney. For free advice on management issues, you can contact Bob via



Office Paper Waste


Many businesses and institutions are discovering that they can reduce disposal costs, save paper costs, earn money, and preserve our natural resources by reducing, reusing, and recycling office paper.

TYPES OF OFFICE PAPER THAT CAN BE RECYCLED Virtually all types of office paper can be recycled. Office paper is typically divided into two grades: high-grade and mixed. High-grade paper typically consists of white or off-white paper such as: • • • • •

letterhead tablet paper bond copier paper typing paper notepad or scratch paper

Newspapers (with glossy inserts removed) and corrugated cardboard containers are frequently found in office areas. While they can be recycled, these materials should be separated from high-grade and mixed office paper. Check with your recycler to make sure you know what papers are considered “high grade” and which are “mixed.” Your recycler will also tell you what other papers may be recyclable. All plastic and personal trash must be separated from office paper designated for recycling.

REUSING OFFICE PAPER Many offices make sure that their paper is fully utilized. This usually requires a bit of creativity and extra time, but will cut your paper use and paper waste by half. •

• •

Use both sides of the page. Draft reports can be printed on once-used paper and reports can be printed back-to-back. Set aside special cartridges of “draft” paper for printers and copy machines. Convert scratch paper into memo pads, telephone answering slips, and similar items.

Recycling one ton of paper typically saves $25 to $30 in landfill disposal costs and about 6.7 cubic yards of landfill space. REDUCING OFFICE PAPER AT THE SOURCE Your office can reduce the amount of paper it uses by: • Mixed paper, also known as file stock, is a collection of several grades of paper including some grades that are not acceptable for bond quality recycled paper. Mixed paper has lower marketing value than high-grade paper.

• • • • • •

colored paper business forms manila folders carbon paper envelopes with clear plastic windows and pressure-sensitive adhesive flaps

Limit the distribution of correspondence and reports to those who really need paper copies. Provide one copy for several readers rather than multiple copies. •

• • • • •

Limiting computer printouts. Use electronic mail for sending and receiving business messages. Review text on the computer screen to limit mistakes on drafts. Storing information on computer disks instead of paper copies. Minimizing the use of colored, glossy, and special thickness papers that are difficult to recycle. Using reusable or two-way envelopes to mail your letters. Actively encouraging all employees to use less paper.

Beyond reducing the amount of paper used, many offices establish recycling programs to divert paperfrom the wastebasket. Office paper recycling programs are relatively easy to set up, especially if you follow these steps: Step 1. Appoint a Recycling Coordinator The first step in setting up a paper recycling program is to appoint a recycling coordinator. This person should do the necessary research; design the recycling program; implement and manage the program; and be a liaison between management, employees, and outside recyclers. Specific responsibilities of the coordinator frequently include: • •

Developing a plan of action with measurable goals and a feasible timetable. Representing and promoting the program to both management and employees. Obtaining management authorization to purchase needed equipment and supplies and for negotiating contracts with recyclers and brokers. Informing employees about the recycling system and their roles in the project.


However, there is demand for it in the manufacture of consumer tissue products. The advantage of recycling mixed paper is that less attention to compatibility of paper types is necessary. Typically, mixed office paper includes nearly all paper generated in an office, and may even include limited amounts of:

Using a single space format for the text of final reports. Printing only the amount needed.



High-grade paper is a specialized and particularly “clean” grade of office paper. Carbon paper, glossy paper, heavily-inked paper, tape, plastic, cardboard, newsprint, and similar items are contaminants and must be avoided.


• • • • • •

Working with haulers and recycling markets. Designing the collection system to be used. Identifying and ordering collection, storage, and equipment needs. Monitoring program results to identify and resolve problems. Listening to and evaluating feedback from management and employees. Reporting the results of the recycling program.

Generally, businesses select one person to serve as recycling coordinator, although several individuals are likely to help in overall planning and implementation. The initial efforts may necessitate that the recycling coordinator spend considerable time away from normal job assignments. Once the program is established, time demands will decrease and stabilize.

There are many variations within this basic approach. Some offices have employees transfer paper from desktop to centralized containers. Other offices have custodial personnel empty desktop containers as well as centralized containers. Since most office waste is paper, some offices further encourage recycling by limiting trash containers. Other office paper recycling tips include: •

• Step 2: Determine What is Recyclable •



Learn what types and quantities of paper are in the office waste stream.


centralized locations. Custodial personnel transport paper from recycling containers to recycling dumpsters at the building’s loading dock or waste area. A designated hauler empties the recycling dumpsters and hauls the paper to a recycling facility.

Containers should be well-marked and labeled clearly with recycling do’s and don’ts. This provides a continual prompt for employees to recycle. Individual employees should separate their own paper from waste, rather than relying on custodial staff. Consider compacting or baling paper on site. A cubic yard of “stacked” office paper is equivalent to approximately 300 pounds. Store recovered paper in a dry location.

Step 3: Identify the Markets

Contact potential recycling markets. Determine the recyclers’ prices and services. Learn about restrictions on contaminants and establish an acceptable schedule for pickup. Seek outside technical assistance from consultants, waste haulers, local and state government, and local recycling businesses to help you with terminology, pricing, and markets.

Step 5: Implement the Program

Step 4: Design the Recycling Program In cooperation with management and employees, design the recycling program. As part of this step, the coordinator should target specific paper grades for recycling, identify the types of containers needed and identify the program’s personnel requirements. The coordinator should also be prepared to “sell” the program to management and employees. Most office paper recycling systems follow a three-part process: •

Employees put paper into recycling containers. These recycling containers may be at employee desks and/or in more

The keys to successful program implement tion are acceptance, education, and promotion. To encourage and maintain participation, consider the following: • Send a “kickoff” memo, signed by top management to all employees. The memo should explain the program’s operating procedures and indicate that program success depends upon full cooperation of all employees. • Hold meetings with management and all relevant employees to explain program objectives and operating procedures. Answer questions about the program and explain how recycling will benefit the company and its staff. Provide literature explaining the need for resource conservation, waste reduction, and an end to throw-away habits. Solicit employee volunteers to help watch for contamination in recycling bins. • Place posters throughout the facility explaining operating procedures for recycling. Include the name and telephone

(C) Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Assistance Division

number of the recycling coordinator so that questions can be easily addressed. Prepare an article on the recycling program for the office or company newsletter.

• Step 6: Monitor the Program The coordinator should observe operating procedures, watching for undesired contaminants in recycled paper collection containers. Educate new employees. As the recycling practices become ingrained in most employees, the program will proceed smoothly. Step 7: Follow-up The recycling coordinator should start gathering quantity data when the first pick-up of recycled paper is made. Maintain a log of pounds of recycled materials shipped from the facility and monies received for the materials. Publicize this information on bulletin boards and/or in the office or company newsletter so that both management and employees will know how the program is progressing. Publicity on paper recycling should include information on how monies received from paper recycling are being used (i.e. for recreational and educational programs). It is important that employees know what direct benefits are received from recycling. Use Recycled Paper The collection of office paper is only a part of the recycling loop. Paper collected for recycling must be manufactured into marketable products to complete the loop. For most office applications, recycled paper can be directly substituted for paper made with “virgin” fibers. By purchasing and using recycled paper, your business can help to complete the recycling loop. If every business used recycled paper, both demand and price for office paper collected for recycling would increase. In return, the cost of purchasing recycled paper will decrease. State of Michigan offices are required to use at least 50 percent recycled paper. Federal government and state government offices in other states use recycled office paper. Wide participation by the private sector is needed to make a significant impact on our environment.

ADA launches new cosmetics line FUSION Introduces Cosmopolitan Flair to Hotel Bathrooms



Kehl, November 2007 - Many hotels have been incorporating international trends in their corporate presentation, whether it is their interior design, their service or their wellness programs. FUSION, the latest cosmetics line from ADA Cosmetics International (ADA), now is turning the hotel bathroom into a showcase for a sophisticated, cosmopolitan lifestyle. The new line of personal care products, in well-proven ‘Made in Germany’ quality, combines selected characteristics from different cultures, blending the contemporary European lifestyle with a touch of Asian Feng Shui and a breath of exotic sensuousness. Such assets lend these products a truly cosmopolitan character that make them at home anywhere in the world, be it Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid or Dubai.


FUSION blends the invigorating freshness of tangerine and mint aromas with a blossoming bouquet of jasmine and violets and warm notes of sandalwood and cedar wood, providing a unique fragrance and personal care product line. Top quality ingredients are the basis of the new series that has a state-of-the-art 21st century formulation and pampers skin and hair. With regard to its design, ADA was inspired both by the contemporary, puristic elegance of western understatement and the ancient Asian tao art of a balanced life. Europe’s leading cosmetics manufacturer has followed these philosophies down to the last detail. The warm beige and brown tones of the ingredients play to the senses, while the flacons impress the user with their extravagant but linear simplicity. These modern, impressive attributes make FUSION an integral part of a cosmopolitan hotel culture that not only aims to please its discerning guests with a sophisticated interior design but also offers them cosmetic products of a high international standard. ADA’s new product line includes shower gel, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and cream soap. Shampoo Hair & Body and liquid soap also are available in economical “press & wash” dispensers. Various accessories complete the new line. All products can be turned into private label articles with the hotel’s logo. For further information please visit

It’s not just opposites that attract each other Why are exclusive cosmetics found in the bathrooms of leading luxury-class hotels throughout the world? What are decision-makers’ reasons for this and how do guests react? Representative answers from the directors of two renowned hotels: Brands promise consistent quality, communicate a clearly defined lifestyle and have a signal effect that is transmitted to the person using the brand. In excess supply markets, customers allow themselves to be guided by brands. Therefore, hotels strive to coin a unique brand image. Apart from location, the range of products and services, service cu ture, design and gastronomic expertise, the presentation of the rooms and their bathrooms also contributes to this image. In this age of a continuously growing trend towards wellness, the latter has gained distinctly in importance. In a four or five-star hotel, guests expect a bathroom to have a certain size and fixtures. This also includes free use of high-quality care products such as shampoo or shower gel. More and more luxury-class hotels make use of customised hotel products from internationally known lifestyle brands. In marketing, this is known as “successful brand transfer”. ADA Guest Supplies, the European market leader, has contracted suitable brands for this purpose: “Chopard”, “Lanvin”, “Bvlgari”, “Bogner”, “Comptoir Sud Pacifique” and others. The following two examples show how successful this brand transfer can be in leading hotels around the globe: Doris Greif’s career has been unique. She is the director of the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai. When it became clear that there was an increasing demand for peace and individual luxury from business women travelling alone, she decided to reserve the 40th floor exclusively for women. Together with Chopard, the renowned Swiss jeweller, and ADA, ten rooms and an Apex Suite were designed to meet the needs of business women, who can, among other things, now enjoy exquisite beauty and bath products by Chopard in their rooms. Furthermore, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers had a series designed just for the “Chopard Ladies’ Floor” that includes towels, bathrobes and satin bed linen. This received an enormous wave of approval from female guests.

ADA’s exclusive trading partner in the Republic of Maldives is Beyond Amenities Pvt Ltd. For inquiries please contact

Customer Service

What makes for outstanding customer service in your business? Follow some of these alphabetical tips to provide high quality service, along with a dash of fun for customers.





Anticipate: Plan ahead for possible sangs.Do you need extra staff on a busy weekend? Is rain predicted the night of your outdoor luau? Will you have enough merchandise for the upcoming sale? Anticipating problems saves you headaches later on.


Balance: Maintain a balance between your personal and professional life. It’s easy to get so caught up serving customers you forget to take time for personal relaxation and recreation.


Creativity: People are looking for more than dull, ordinary customer service. Be creative in signage, programs and special events. Many businesses offer customers a chance to get their picture taken with Santa. Why not offer pictures with the Grinch?


Donate: Foster positive community relationships by donating products or services. Offer a free monthly swim pass from your athletic center to silent auctions or community fundraisers. Offer to loan your extra


display units to an elementary school planning a reading festival.


Exceed: Exceed customer expectations. Do that tiny bit of extra service that leaves people with the feeling of, “Wait till I tell my friends what happened at that bank!”


Fun: Doesn’t everyone want some humor in their lives? Add elements of fun for customers. Give a box of chocolate to every 25th customer signing up for an account. Hold raffles for gag gifts. Have staff dress in costumes for various events. Offer half price admission to your theater or bowling center if people wear pink or white on Valentine’s Day.


Go Green: Many people want to do their part for the environment. Provide recycling bins. Sponsor a recycling carnival where you use empty cans, newspapers and egg cartons to construct carnival booths

Help: Help your staff have a positive attitude. Your smile and upbeat personality helps them cope with the stresses of the day.


Innovative: Take a risk and try new things. Encourage staff to give input about registration or ordering supplies. Their new ideas might provide better customer service.


Juggle: Expecting extra long lines? Hire a professional juggler to teach juggling skills to customers if they have to wait in line at your business.


Knowledge: Even though you feel there’s never enough time, try to learn some new skills. Read a book on something besides your particular field. Take a class in an area that’s new to you.


Leadership: Often, the leader of a department determines its success. Develop your own style of management. People see when you are sincere, instead of trying to imitate Colin Powell.


Memory Making: Does your business cater to families? Some families have limited time together. Do what you can to create a time of positive memories for them. Offer small rewards to children with good grades. Offer discount tickets to movies or skating centers.


Novelties: Many people love getting small key chains or notepads from businesses. Pass out novelty items as a fun way to let customers know you appreciate their business.


Organized: If organization isn’t one of your strengths,get help fast! Customers immediately notice when a business is organized. Make checklists, have supplies on hand and have a back-up plan.


Pretend: Pretend you are a customer. See things from a customer’s point of view. Eat the hotdogs sold in the snack bar. Stand in line to open a new checking account. Better yet, ask your mother to pretend to be a customer. She’ll certainly tell you where you need to improve!


Resourceful: How can you stretch your staff training budget? Ask Toastmaster groups to lead a session on public speaking. Ask a local high school for the decorations after their prom. You’ll get great themed items to use to decorate your business. Set up a display about your business at community events.



Versatile: Try cross-training staff so they become more versatile. They’ll also gain an awareness of the various duties required to keep the business running smoothly.


Why? Ask yourself why customers would want to do business with you. What can you offer that your competitors can’t?


Surprise: Add that unexpected element of surprise to your customers. Call them by name. Thank them for participating in past programs. Send them a birthday card.

Xylophone: Learn to play the xylophone so you can perform at staff meetings. (What did you expect from the letter X? Install a coin-operated X-ray machine?)



Training: Ongoing training is essential to keep staff motivated. Use role playing and small group discussions at staff meetings. Invite a customer to share their personal experiences, so staff has insight into customer’s opinions.


Unique: What makes your business unique? Is it the quality of staff? Extra clean restrooms? Unusual facilities? Low cost? High cost for quality service? Find something that makes your programs stand out from the rest.

Young At Heart: Don’t forget intergenerational marketing possibilities. Grandparents enjoy spending special time together with grandkids. Plan a tea party for grandparents and grandkids when you open a new branch office or have a special sale.


Zany: Let loose and get silly at times! Customers enjoy seeing your staff with a light hearted attitude. It is possible to be professional and also have fun.

Silvana Clark presents keynotes and workshops on improving customer service. Her sessions are practical and involve audience participation. -

The Myths of Selling For more than a decade I have the opportunity to interact with thousands of salespeople and I have discovered a few myths that many of them have fallen prey to. Here are just a few.



Buyers are liars.


I’m constantly amazed how many salespeople use this expression. Do people mislead salespeople? Absolutely. But this usually occurs when the sales person has failed to earn that person’s trust. Gaining someone’s trust means not pushing them into making a buying decision. It means focusing your attention on THEIR situation rather than trying to close the sale. Earning trust means treating people with respect and dignity even if they are not prepared to make a buying decision right now. Anyone can be persuaded to buy. This may be true of impulse purchases but in today’s business world, buyers are more savvy than ever before. I once heard someone say, “If you have a strong case you will clarify it. If you have a weak case, you will try and persuade the other person.” The real key is to determine whether or not the person or company you are speaking to has a genuine need for your product or service. If they do not, then your best strategy is to move on to someone who does need AND want your particular solution. Even if a company could benefit from your product but they are reluctant to give you the opportunity to discuss, your time is better spent talking to other companies.

Price is the only reason people make a buying decision. I will never dispute that price is a factor in the buying process but it is not usually the primary reason, unless, of course, you fail to establish the value of your products or services. If you don’t clearly show how your solution will help your customer, price will become the default decision-making criteria. A technique that works well for one person will work for everyone. Countless books have been written about one sales strategy or another and I have read many of them. In this search, I have discovered that we all have our unique personality and what works well for someone may not work as effectively for us. However, instead of discarding that particular idea you should look for a way to integrate it into your natural style and approach. You must close the sale quickly. This is one of the craziest beliefs. Yes, it’s important to move people towards a buying decision. Yes, it is important to gain commitments along the way. Yes, it is important to include a call to action in your proposals and conversations. But, it is also important to recognize that not every sales decision will be made quickly. Decisions can be delayed for a number of reasons, and in certain situations, trying to rush the customer to a commitment will actually cost you the sale.

Close the deal at any price. Too many people feel they have to close every deal, even if it does not make good business sense to do so. I have spoken to countless sales people who will accept a deal that has virtually no margin just so they can get the sale. I recall talking to a store owner who quickly matched the prices of her competitor in order to prevent people from going to her competition. However, this seldom creates loyalty and only conditions that customer to continue asking for a better price. Decisions like this cost you or your company money. If you are not making your desired gross profit on a particular sale, then you need to consider whether it makes good business to accept it. I know small business owners who will offer substantial discounts to a large company in the hopes of generating additional business from that client in the future. Unfortunately, they end up giving away their services and expertise because they don’t get any more business from that company. They neglected to negotiate an upfront agreement. Do whatever it takes to get the sale. Manipulative, aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics work. But, they don’t create loyal customers and clients. You may win the sale, but in the long run, you will lose the customer. I once had a participant in a workshop proudly state, “I don’t care what my customer’s want, I’ll sell them what I need to hit my quota.” Ouch! As a sales professional I take serious offense to this mentality and type of behavior. Selling is an honorable career and sales professionals need to avoid falling prey to these myths. Focus on helping your customer make an educated buying decision. Concentrate on asking high-quality questions and positioning your solution appropriately and these myths will not affect you.

© 2007 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved. Kelley Robertson is a professional speaker and trainer on sales, negotiating, customer service, and employee motivation. Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free newsletter available at his website. For information on his programs contact him at 905-633- 7750 or He is also the author of “The Secrets of Power Selling” and “Stop, Ask & Listen—Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers.”



Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts Wins Best Mice Sales Team Award from CEI Asia Pacific


Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, has been voted as having the Best MICE Sales Team in the annual industry survey of CEI Asia Pacific magazine, the market-leading magazine focusing on the region’s conference, exhibition and incentive industry. In addition, ShangriLa Hotel, Singapore is the first runner-up for Best MICE Hotel in the region.

“This represents a significant endorsement by meeting organisers for Shangri-La’s standard of service excellence and the ‘Signature Events’ programme -- our commitment to meeting organisers to deliver expanded features and enhance benefits to them,” said Ms. Barbara Pang, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

A total of 361 readers participated in the annual survey with respondents from different sectors including advertising, public relations, manufacturing, retail, media, banking, finance and investment. The survey was conducted online by leading global market information provider TNS in November 2007. CEI Asia Pacific’s readership includes key corporate decision makers and company conference planners in the region.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, has launched “Signature Events” – a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to position Shangri-La firmly at the forefront of delivering streamlined, successful events. Meeting organisers can take advantage of additional services and benefits tailored to their needs, from initial inquiry to event follow-up. With over

130,000 square metres (over 1.4 million square feet) total meeting space in 55 properties, Shangri-La offers more meeting capacity than any other Asia Pacific luxury hotel group, featuring pillarless, high-ceilinged ballrooms up to 2,240 square metres in key city locations. For more information, please visit

PRESS CONTACT: Elizabeth A. DeMotte, Vice President - Public Relations, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Tel: (852) 2599 3323, Fax: (852) 2599 3374 E-mail: Elizabe¬, Website: For digitised pictures of the group’s hotels, please go to



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Hospitality Maldives Issue 17  

The magazine for the hotel, travel and tourism industry in the Maldives.

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