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I m p r e s s u m Published by Beyond Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. H. Always Happy House, L2 Asrafee Magu 20034 Male’ Republic of Maldives www.bynd.co.uk Managing Editor David Kotthoff editor@hosmal.com

Design & Layout Hawwa Sithna info@bynd.co.uk Print Novelty Printers & Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Contributors Angsana Velavaru Bert Van Walbeek Chris Longstreet Dan Kutis Hassan Haneez Hassan Marine Engineering Service Hilton Maldives Jorely Mathew Kelley Robertson Mandarin Oriental Neil Salerno Osvaldo Torres Cruz Rick Johnson Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa The National Learning Institute W Retreat & Spa Maldives www.ehotelier.com

Dear friends & colleagues, Welcome to the 24th edition of Hospitality Maldives.

editor’s note

Advertising Hassan Hisham ads@hosmal.com

With the International Monetary Fund finally having acknowledged that we are indeed facing the first worldwide recession in almost 20 years (according to IMF definition, the last took place in 1991), the Maldivian tourism industry certainly is feeling the economic

downturn too at the moment. And if that wasn’t enough, the world now seems to be in swine flu fever, with the international news channels dedicating most of their airtime to covering this ‘new’ crisis these days.

Yes, the economic situation around the globe doesn’t look too rosy right now, but hey, what’s new? Let’s face it, there’ll always be some sort of crisis or catastrophe going

on somewhere in the world and most of them do have a direct impact on our jobs and personal life, even if sometimes we barely notice it. Surely the next few months will be

tough for everyone involved in the tourism industry here as arrival forecasts predict lower than usual figures, however, I for my part don’t believe that panic measures are the right

answer. After all, looking at the statistics of the first quarter of this year, arrival figures into

Maldives are only down by about 10%, which compared to Seychelles, Singapore or Fiji for example is still very reasonable. History will repeat itself and Maldives, much more than

many other destinations, has shown that it always bounces back strongly from whatever Cover Angsana Velavaru, located in the pristine South Nilandhe Atoll, is set to unveil new standards in resort living. In July 2009, it will launch the first standalone collection of water villas in the Maldives that is not on an island. This exclusive cluster of 34 InOcean Villas, together with a dedicated Italian restaurant and bar, is located one kilometre away from the island of Velavaru. Read more on page 56... Photograph (c) Angsana Hotels and Resorts 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.

happens in the world, be that a war, bird flu, SARS, the tsunami or something else.

That said, let’s seize these times of comparatively low business and turn them into

something positive. In my last note I mentioned that crisis situations are not the right time to restructure or conduct strategic planning activities unless absolutely necessary,

but when was the last time you spent some quality time on reviewing your business procedures, brainstormed with your staff for new revenue generation opportunities,

conducted in-house training sessions or team-building activities? These and many more are effective initiatives which will not only help you be more competitive once the economy picks up again, they also won’t burn a hole into your bank account.

Yours in hospitality,

David Kotthoff


Last words 68

Every Hospitality Executive Is The Author Of His Own Health 66

Proper Chemical Storage 64

Why Learning How You Learn Is Important 60

Who Built Your Career? 54

Tough Times Call For Tough Leadership 52

The R Word 44

Anatomy Of An Internet Savvy Hotel Manager 38

32 Do You Hate Preparing For Interviews?

30 Customized Service: Key Strategy in Guest Service

26 General Managers Don’t Call Back

20 How A Players meet Customer Expectations

16 Just How Important Are First Impressions?

08 Dealing With Distractions

06 Total recovery = Customer Delight

03 Editor’s Note

CONTENTS


Total Recovery = Customer Delight Douglas, an elected delegate at the Democratic National Convention in the United States, dropped his Handspring Visor personal digital assistant (PDA) onto the stone floor of his downtown hotel lobby. The outer case of the PDA was chipped in one corner, but the software and the system still worked. He called Handspring to purchase a replacement cover. ‘Nothing doing,’ Handspring customer service replied. They insisted that he needed a completely new Visor. ‘No way!’, Douglas retorted. ‘Why should I buy a new Visor, costing hundreds of dollars, just to replace a plastic part worth a dollar or two at most?’ ‘Oh no,’ the representative assured him. ‘The new Visor won’t cost you a penny. Your current Visor is still under warranty.’ The representative promised to ship a brand new Visor to him immediately, and then explained that Douglas could ship the old unit

back in the very same box. She apologized that the deadline had passed for next day delivery, so the new PDA would arrive in two days instead. Two days later, as promised, a small package arrived for Douglas at the hotel. Inside was a brand new Visor – with complete instructions on how to transfer data from the old Visor into the new one, as well as a pre-addressed courier delivery slip. All Douglas had to do was transfer his data, put the old Visor with the chipped cover into the box, apply the pre-printed label and then call the toll-free number to arrange an immediate courier pick-up. Douglas is clear and expressive about his feelings: ‘This was truly delightful service. I define delightful as something completely beyond the expected, something that brings joy to the customer. And I certainly received it in this case. I give a big hand of applause to Handspring!’

Key Learning Point When things go wrong, you have a precious opportunity to completely `Wow!’ your customer. Do everything you can to solve the problem in a fast, generous and very convenient manner. Handspring understands the value of a truly delighted customer. Do you?

Action Steps What is a truly delighted customer worth to your business in repeat sales, active referrals and positive word-of-mouth? Do your policies reflect this understanding? Do you actively make the investment required? Does everyone in your company agree?

Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the “Best of Active Learning!” newsletter (free at www.ronkaufman.com) and the new book “UP Your Service! Strategies and Action Steps to Delight Your Customers NOW!”


Dealing With Distractions Distractions are sometimes positive. A break away from work can clear your mind, give you the opportunity to refresh yourself, and increase your energy level. However, it is important to remember that you have a responsibility to yourself and your business to limit these distractions.


In today’s business world it is not uncommon for many sales people to work from a home office. At first this may seem like a great opportunity, however, it does create some unique challenges. One of the biggest obstacles is the number of distractions that can take us away from our work and prevent us from achieving our objectives. When you work from a home office it is easy to get distracted from work, especially if it is work that you do not particularly enjoy like prospecting or cold calling. Watering the plants, running errands or even doing laundry can be a welcome change from the daily drudgery of selling. And, if you have young children, the number of distractions increases dramatically. I, too, work from a home office and have had to deal with this challenge. Here are a few ideas that can help manage these distractions and improve your productivity. Create an office. When I first began working from home almost a decade ago, I used to work at my dining room table. Unfortunately, this put me in the middle of our household action. My wife would turn on the television and I would be instantly distracted from my work. In other cases, she would talk to me or ask me a question simply because I was in the same room. As a result, it was often difficult to focus on my work. Now I have an office and do the majority of my work there. If you don’t have space to create an office, find somewhere in your house that has the least amount of traffic and opportunities for distractions. •

Set specific “business” hours. This is particularly important if you have young children. It can be very difficult for children to understand that they can’t disturb us while we’re working. If you have an office, close your door and place a do not disturb sign on it. This is particularly important if you are making client calls because it prevents family members from inadvertently barging in on you during a critical call.

Use a “to do” list—everyday. Having a list of what you need to accomplish each day can help keep you focused; otherwise, it becomes too easy to do other things around the house. If you know that you need to accomplish a certain number of tasks by the end of the day, it can prevent you from getting distracted during the day. One of the challenges with this is that household duties or running errands are more enjoyable compared to work we have to complete. However, I have frequently found that once I get involved in my task, the desire to do something else fades.

Set deadlines for the projects you’re working on. Although I don’t have anyone holding me accountable to these deadlines, it find that this approach can help keep me on track. You can also share these deadlines with other people to help keep yourself focused especially if this type of accountability works for you.

Give your permission to relax from timeto-time. It’s okay to allow yourself to get distracted once in a while. As long it’s not a regular occurrence, you don’t have to worry too much about it. However, if your relaxation time overtakes your work time, then you need to reconsider your priorities.

When you work from a home office it is easy to get distracted from work, especially if it is work that you do not particularly enjoy like prospecting or cold calling. hours per week. When I evaluated my results at the end of the year I realized I couldn’t afford to maintain this mentality. So I started working more. And, I got better results. I eventually learned that the more effort I put into my work, the better results I achieved in terms of the revenue and income I generated. This made it easier to avoid the distractions and focus more on my work. •

Share your goals and objections with a group of advisors. This type of accountability works well for many people because they know they will have to report their progress on specific projects.

Lastly, you can try an approach I learned from Brian Tracy many years. When you find yourself procrastinating on a particular task or project, repeat the following three words to yourself over and over. “Do it now.” This can be a great way to prevent yourself from getting distracted by other things you would prefer to do.

Recognize that the results you achieve are a direct result of the effort you put into your work. When I first started my private practice, it was easy to put aside work and do chores or run errands. In my first year, I treated work like a parttime job, clocking an average of 20-25

Distractions are sometimes positive. A break away from work can clear your mind, give you the opportunity to refresh yourself, and increase your energy level. However, it is important to remember that you have a responsibility to yourself and your business to limit these distractions.

Kelley Robertson works with specialty retailers to help them capture more from each sale. He is the author of two books including the best-seller, 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 http://www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.


Mandarin Oriental Announces An Exclusive Hideaway Resort In The Maldives Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group today announced that it has signed a management agreement for an exclusive luxury resort currently under development on a pristine, private island in The Maldives. This exceptional retreat is scheduled to open in the next 12 months. Mandarin Oriental, Maldives is located 185 kilometres north of the capital city Male, a journey of 45 minutes by seaplane. The luxurious hideaway is being developed on its own exclusive island, Maavelavaru in the Noonu Atoll, encircled by five kilometres of uninterrupted white sand beaches and the turquoise blue lagoons and colourful reefs for which the region is renowned. Offering the ultimate luxury of space and privacy, the resort comprises 114 spacious, stand-alone villas, including 20 water villas and four Presidential villas, ranging in size from 300 to 1,750 square metres. Each secluded villa is surrounded by generous landscaping, providing total privacy, while opening onto a private pool and the lush

vegetation of a serene garden with sweeping ocean vistas. All are designed with exquisite and pampering interiors, with indoor and outdoor bathing options, using a combination of Maldivian architecture and internationallysourced materials. The largest of the villas have private spa facilities, and the water villas extend over a lively coral reef affording stunning sunrise and sunset views. Mandarin Oriental’s seamless technology and superior entertainment systems, for which the Group is renowned, are employed throughout. Alfresco and underwater dining with an eclectic selection of local and international cuisines will be available at seven restaurants and bars, including an all day poolside café and bar, a beachfront signature restaurant, an alfresco Maldivian grill, a comfortable lounge and a dramatic underwater wine cellar with private dining room. An authentic Lebanese restaurant and bar, as well as a Japanese restaurant will be built over the ocean. Meeting facilities include a spacious multi purpose function room, a business

centre and a well-stocked library. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Maldives will be a destination in itself, focusing on the well-being of its guests by offering total rejuvenation and relaxation in a serene, meditative setting. A spacious spa which is situated within 13,000 sq metres of tropical gardens, will feature 14 expansive treatment villas and six treatment suites, situated around a lavish outdoor Jacuzzi. Each villa consists of four separate pavilions dedicated to Mandarin Oriental’s welcome rituals, signature treatments, water and heat therapies and relaxation areas, allowing guests to be guided through an intimate and personalised spa journey. There are endless leisure pursuits for those who tire of the transparent waters and remote beauty of the island, including a fully equipped fitness centre, a badminton court, tennis courts, squash courts, a soccer field and a beautifully appointed outdoor lap pool.


In addition, there is a comprehensive water sports centre with a full service diving school, catering for guests who wish to explore the abundant coral reefs that fringe the island. For added peace of mind, the resort also has a fully equipped decompression chamber and emergency medical clinic available on site. The project is being developed by Athama Investments Pvt. Ltd., a private Maldivian company with extensive and intimate knowledge of the destination. “Mandarin Oriental, Maldives will be a unique and extraordinarily private hideaway retreat that offers our guests tranquillity and seclusion in a stunning, natural setting. We look forward to bringing Mandarin Oriental’s renowned levels of service to this important leisure destination,” said Edouard Ettedgui, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. “We are delighted to be working with Mandarin Oriental on creating the most exclusive resort in The Maldives,” said Ibrahim Abdul Latheef,

Managing Director of Athama Investments Pvt. Ltd. “On opening, this luxurious retreat will embody Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service philosophy and the unique sense of place inherent to all its hotels,” he added. About The Maldives The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,190 idyllic islands spread over 26 naturally formed atolls, each surrounded by a lagoon in the Indian Ocean. The sheer natural beauty of The Maldives combined with the warm, tropical climate attracts international leisure guests from around the world, who come to relax and enjoy the variety of water sports, sea life and unspoilt beaches. A number of international airlines operate regular flights to the capital Male, from where Mandarin Oriental guests will be escorted to the resort’s exclusive lounge at the seaplane terminal for a stunning 45 minute flight to Maavelavaru island.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the awardwinning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, resorts and residences. Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, 40 hotels representing over 10,000 rooms in 24 countries, with 15 hotels in Asia, 15 in The Americas and 10 in Europe and North Africa. In addition, the Group operates, or has under development, 13 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, connected to the Group’s properties.


Q&A with Hussain Shahid, Assistant Director of Human Resources at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa has recently appointed Hussain Shahid as Assistant Director of Human Resources. Native from Maldives, Shahid has spent the last two years in Oman before returning to his home country. After 3 months in his new position, Shahid gives us his impression on his new challenging yet exciting appointment. 1. How does it feel to be back in Maldives? There is no better feeling than to be back home! I am really happy to be close to my family members again and so they are. It is also great to meet with my friends again as if I never had left home! 2. How has your experience in Oman widened your perspective and how has it prepared you for your role at ShangriLa’s Villingili Resort and Spa? I had the privilege of being an expatriate and meeting many people from all over the world from Middle East to South Africa and from Russia to Papua New Guinea, not to forget the many countries of Asia! Managing people with such a variety of cultures and skills has opened my mind, and helped me to be more patient and adaptable. I have also lived the opening of a resort, with its

many challenges and opportunities! This preopening experience will definitely assist me in my new role here at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. 3. How have you settled in you new position at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa? From the welcome at the airport to my new found home, from the resort orientation to the office work, I have been very impressed with Shangri-La hospitality! There is so much about Shangri-La that I was touched with from the very beginning including the beauty of the resort, the importance given to the culture and the staff focus. I am surrounded by so many hospitality enthusiasts and people with passion. This will be a success story for many years to come and I am confident that Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa will be one-of-its-kind. 4. What do you focus on in human resources at the moment? The focus in Human Resources at the moment is recruitment and training. We have recently carried out several “walk-in interview days” in both Malé and Addu Atoll to search for potential local candidates. On another hand, 36 local students are currently participating in the second Hospitality Course that began

in January this year and will be completed in April 2009. For our 185 staff already on board, we are focusing a lot on operational and culture trainings including corporate Shangri-La culture training, trainer skills, Food hygiene and system trainings. 5. What are your career goals for the years to come? Caring about people and developing them is my goal. As a human resources professional I would be continuing to work either directly or indirectly in the hospitality industry. 6. On a more personal note, what do you enjoy doing during your spare time? Music makes me happy and drawing fills my time. I miss my drumming days when I used to play 3 to 4 times a week in a resort late in the afternoon and return to Male the next morning. I still enjoy catching up with my music friends and ‘jam’ once in a while! Art has been the hidden talent that I received from my family background of artists. I like to surprise my friends from work at times by gifting them a portrait on their special occasions.

PRESS CONTACT: Leslie Garcia, Communications Manager, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, Tel: (960) 689 7888, Fax: (960) 689 7999 E-mail: leslie.garcia@shangri-la.com, Website: www.shangri-la.com


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Just How Important Are First Impressions?


Stung by the response to the three automotive CEOs flying in and out of Washington in their private jets, the CEOs are making different plans for their visit back to Washington this week. All three CEOs are driving to Washington in fuel-efficient hybrid cars. All have announced plans to sell their corporate aircraft. And Ford and GM plan to pay their CEO $1 per year if their companies take any government money. What do you make of this? What’s your reaction? Is your reaction different to what it may have been if these cost-saving decisions were made before the first visit by private jet? As Andrew O’Keeffe, a noted expert in human instincts suggests, “Given human instincts, the answer to the last question will almost universally be a definite ‘yes’”. As O’Keeffe explained, “One of our instincts called ‘first impressions to classify’ is at work here. Humans make quick judgments from first impressions and use these quick judgments to classify experiences. Once people have classified their opinion, it’s hard to shift that opinion. We judge subsequent events by how we have already classified the information.” O’Keeffe continued “Given that people have already judged the CEOs as ‘wasteful’ or ‘greedy’, people’s interpretation of this latest news will be negative or cynical - ‘I’ll bet they still get their bonuses’, ‘poor things will be down to their last billion’, or at best neutral ‘it’s the least they could do’”. If the CEOs had driven to Washington in the first place (or flew by commercial flight) and taken a serious pay cut, people would more likely judge them positively as that would be the first impression. Further, because they need to overcome the negative first impression, the automotive companies need to do more now compared to what they needed to have done at the start.

O’Keeffe’s take on this is that “The CEOs were left in a no-win situation. They had to reduce their largesse, but will never get the traction they want from doing so. For example, it’s hard to recover once people hear and ‘classify’ what Ford’s CEO said at the recent Congress Committee hearing. Asked whether he would consider cutting his current compensation package of around $22 million, he answered, ‘I think I’m okay where I am.’” As O’Keeffe suggests, “The benefit of understanding instincts is that we know what will work and what won’t, and we can then make intelligent leadership choices.” Unfortunately, it seems as if these CEOs are not aware of the human phenomena of “first impressions to classify”. Compare these actions with those of the CEO of Japan Air Lines, Haruka Nishimatsu (whom I wrote about recently in “20 is the magic number”). Nishimatsu receives an annual salary of $90,000. Yes, that’s right, not $9 million, not even $900,000, but $90,000. And there are no bonuses or share options attached. In fact Nishimatsu gets paid less than his pilots. JAL is one of the world’s top 10 airlines. What’s more, he doesn’t receive any executive perks. In fact, he lines up in the staff canteen with his fellow workers for lunch each day and even catches a bus to work! Nishimatsu clearly understands the “first impressions to classify” principle. JAL was going through some very tough times in 2007 when Nishimatsu was appointed CEO. Jobs were cut. People were asked to take early retirement. As he commented “The employees who took early retirement are the same age as me. I thought I should share the pain with them. So I changed my salary.” Now that’s really “walking the talk”.

Before they stepped into their private jets to fly to Washington and beg for billions from the public purse, perhaps the CEOs of Ford, GM and Chrysler should have realised that first impressions matter What’s the message here for CEOs, and in fact all managers? People do base judgements on their instincts. These instincts can be understood. The key for managers in stressful times such as these, is to ask oneself “What’s causing people the most pain at the moment?” Or, “What are people most worried about?” Being clear on these concerns, one can then pre-judge how key decisions will be seen by asking “What will be the likely response? How will others see this?” But most importantly, “If someone else did this, what would my gut reaction be?”

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 is currently researching topics for his new book on teams. Please email your suggestions for inclusion to Bob via http://www.whenyoubecometheboss.com


How ‘A’ Players Meet Customer Expectations

It’s not enough to achieve some or even most of your customers’ expectations-your objective is to meet them all. Yet, this can be quite a challenge during peak times when the counter is backed up, the phone keeps ringing and you are short personnel in willcall. Defining an ‘A’ player is not difficult, if we focus on meeting customer expectations and striving for service excellence. These objectives require specific skill sets. Remember, one of the key factors of success is building relationship equity. Good relationships set the stage for the development of ‘A’ player habits. Anything that could harm the relationship, misrepresent a product or aggressively push items a customer doesn’t want might damage the relationship and ultimately lose the customer. It’s much easier to help a customer buy something than it is to sell him something. I can almost read your thoughts, ‘What exactly does that mean?’ Well, it means helping a customer buy is all about helping him figure

out what he really needs and what will give him the best value. You gain his trust by offering him choices and letting him decide. Of course, you can make recommendations. In fact, determining his or her needs, problems and issues is part of the big picture service formula and becoming a total solution provider. That is what being an ‘A’ Player is all about.

by offering additional products complement or enhance an order. •

Service excellence is a top priority.

Knows the top 20 customers

Willingly pitches in to help other personnel maintain overall service excellence.

Takes calculated risk in the interest of relationship equity. Isn’t afraid to think outside the box when servicing customers (e.g.-buying product from the competition).

Maintains a very low error rate.

Proactively seeks sales growth and margin improvements through new customer development and penetration, increasing existing customer share of spend.

The ‘A’ Player Profile •

The customer always comes first in his or her mind.

He or she understands and can explain the difference between price and cost.

He or she understands value propositions and can sell based on value overcoming price objections. Listens carefully and asks questions to really understand customer needs. Confidently embraces suggestive selling

• •

to


How the ‘A’ Player Focuses on Service Excellence

Actual Tips from ‘A’ Player Customer Service People

asking for the impossible whenever I walk in.”

The actual tasks performed by customer service personnel vary widely from one company to the next. Job responsibilities depend upon industry experience, product knowledge and company size. The smaller the firm, the greater the tendency for customer service personnel to ‘wear numerous hats.’ The larger the company, the greater the potential for specialization where counter sales handle customer walkin traffic and follow-up with others handling inbound calls, purchasing, mailings, quotes or providing technical support, for example. No matter the level of specialization or lack of it, every inbound call and customer contact is an opportunity to enhance your sales relationship and prove you deserve a customer’s business.

#1: Pay Attention to the Relationship Details

Don’t underestimate the power of your tone of voice or facial expression. Like it or not, we judge others and customers judge us this way. Do you sound harried, bored, bothered or too busy to care? Or does your voice, your face and your body language project an attitude that encourages customers to build a relationship with you?

The problem with customers is: they’re just like us! They like dealing with people who are pleasant and smiling. Customer service personnel who appear to enjoy their jobs and who make customers want to deal with them achieve greater success. The perfectly processed and delivered order experience can be marred by a less than enthusiastic attitude. Even though customer service personnel handle many calls and walk-ins each day, every contact should demonstrate an energetic and positive ‘can do’ attitude. Personnel attitudes can be discerned from customer remarks. For example, one customer says, “They do a good job handling orders, but they make me feel like I’ve just interrupted something important or that I’m

#2: Quality Products and Quality Service Begin with Quality Thinking Service excellence is built around a series of ‘moments of truth’ that your customers experience during their interaction with you. Every person in the organization, even those you may not think of as customer service


personnel, has the ability to make a positive impact on service excellence. From the way the telephone is answered, use of voice mail, error-free orders, accurate billings, realistic promises made and kept, to the integrity of the information you provide?these are all moments of truth affecting service excellence. You, however, are on the front line and the first level of ‘offense.’ You are the customer’s primary contact, and customers expect you to help them do business with your company and make it a pleasant experience. They also want you to solve problems and coordinate with other people and departments.

the fact they recognize you and remember your name and make you feel important, or you consider them to be professionals who know their business, understand your needs and take care of them. There’s no secret to what keeps customers coming back for more, thereby contributing to the growth and profitability of your company. If you don’t provide service excellence, if you don’t build relationship equity, if you really don’t sincerely care about your customers’ needs, rest assured someone else will. In essence, Not caring means you will lose that customer.

#4: Do It Right the First Time

“What’s the reason for the price difference between this order and my last one?”

“Who should I talk with about a billing problem?”

• •

“How should I handle this return?” “Do you have a catalog you can mail me?”

“Can you send me a sample of that?”

“Can I get freight paid on that order?”

These are all questions you’re expected to answer. Quality thinking means focusing on the customer’s needs and making sure those needs are met. #3: Take Care of Your Customers and They Will Take Care of You You’ve probably heard of the KISS principle: keep it simple stupid. As funny as it may sound, it’s really just good business practice. When customers find it easy to do business with you, they keep coming back for more because people do business with people they like. Consider why you select the suppliers with whom you do business. Why do you go to one bank versus another? Why do you have your car serviced by one dealer versus another who may be closer to you? Why do you prefer a certain restaurant? Why do you select a particular dentist or doctor or favorite retailer? Chances are your selection criteria parallel that of your customers. You probably like the people or know you can depend on their thorough service. Or, perhaps you enjoy

What’s the cost of an order entry error? What does it cost the company for a return goods authorization because the customer got the wrong product? What does an order pricing error cost? What is the real opportunity cost of a lost customer due to poor quality or lack of service excellence? Each time an order is handled more than once, handling costs increase through what is called costredundancy, i.e., doing the same task over again. Mistakes mean corrections are necessary, work is duplicated, a credit may need to be issued, another delivery must be made, the wrong product must be returned, and the customer is generally annoyed if not angry. Errors can lead to the ultimate loss for a company: a lost customer. Remember this guiding principle: It’s not a travesty to lose an order. But, it’s never OK to lose a customer. The real loss to the company is not just the value of the order in question. It’s the lifelong value the customer represents to the company, presuming repeat business with the customer is maintained. Oftentimes, situations or errors that cause accounts to become inactive go unnoticed for some time by the company. No one realizes the customer is unhappy. In fact, sometimes no one notices that the customer is gone and no one works to get the customer back. As a matter of fact, most unhappy customers don’t complain, with only about five percent of dissatisfied customers actually aggressively voicing their dissatisfaction with the company. The majority of the customers may identify the

problem, but say nothing about their total dissatisfaction with the company. Eventually, this frustration builds to the point that the customer just goes elsewhere. Not only do they leave, but on average, the dissatisfied customer will tell up to 20 others about his or her negative experiences with your company. Don’t fail to recognize that negative word-ofmouth is more influential than advertising. #5: Always Give Customers More Than They Expect to Get (The “WOW” Factor) How do you define your competitive advantage? What is it? What’s the difference between your company and your competition? ‘A’ Player customer service personnel can answer that question distinctly without a second thought. However, many counter personnel reply: “We’re about the same. We all have about the same products. Sometimes we have something in stock that the competition doesn’t, so that’s one difference.’ Your primary competitive advantage lies in the hands of your customer service employees. You must recognize that and be proactive in leveraging it. If what you are selling is really good but your employees don’t focus on service excellence eventually you will lose because the competition that recognizes the role the employees play in customer loyalty and retention will take your business. Nowadays, customer service personnel must be problem solvers able to generate solutions for customers in their time of need. Therefore, they must possess a great deal of knowledge about your customers’ business. They must actually define what those needs are because the customer may not know, nor take the time to explain if they do know. Customers expect you to have the knowledge and intelligence to comprehend and analyze their problems and provide solutions. Customers will listen and buy from the customer service people that understand their “pain” and take it away.’

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 rick@ceostrategist.com. Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.


General Managers don’t call back ! Evil Erik is furious, and nearly “ killed “ his secretary, for letting guests know how to reach him and to promise them that he will call back .“ Don’t you understand how important I am and how valuable my time is? “ and “ Make sure you keep the lines open for the Owners “ are his major arguments, combined with some unprintable expressions of discontent.

Guest:

In Erik’s opinion, and in many of his peer’s views too, phone calls are always a nuisance and getting thorough to him is not only made difficult, but nearly impossible.

Operator 2:

So, dear E-Hotelier reader what was the last time that you checked how easy, or how difficult, it is to get through to you, if at all ! Calling Evil Erik in his hotel lately resulted in the following tragedy : Operator 1: Guest:

Operator 1:

APYGLHO , KA Good morning, is this the Happy Go Lucky Hotel? APYGLHO, Yes

Can I speak with Mr. Erik

“Fuer Elise”, electronic version 85 seconds later Operator 2: Guest:

Yes !!! Good morning is this the Happy Go Lucky Hotel? Justaomen ..... in background panic “ Call for GM..... “

“The sting”, electronic version 45 seconds later Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator: Guest: Operator 3: Guest:

Whattauwant? Can I please speak to Mr. Erik? Whattauname? John Rich Howdouspell? R from Rome Ah,you call from Rome? Mr. John

Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3: Guest: Operator 3:

Howdouspell? J, O, H, N Heeee? J from Jakarta, O from Ahhh, Mister Jones Yes, that’s great. Whatsucompny? The Winning Edge Heeeee? T from Tokyo, H from Ah, you call Tokyo No, from Bangkok Whatduwan? Can I please speak to Mr. Erik? What is the purpose of your call? I would like to talk to him about a complaint Heeee? Justaomen

“The yellow rose of Texas”, electronic version 30 seconds later


Operator 3: Guest:

Hold the line, let me check if he is in! Thank you !

“ The yellow rose “, second part 15 seconds later Operator3:

I connect you

“ The yellow rose “, first part again 23 seconds later Secretary: Guest: Secretary:

Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary: Guest: Secretary:

Office Mr. Krike, can I help you? Good morning , can I speak to Mr. Erik? This is not office Mr. Erik ,this is office Mr. Kirke !!!!! Yes I hear, can I please speak with Mr. Erik? Whattauname? John Rich Howdouspell? R from Rome, ... Ah,you call from Rome? Mr. John Howdouspell? J, O, H , N Heeee? J from Jakarta, O from Ahhh, Mister Jones Yes, that’s great Whatsucompny? The Winning Edge Heeeee? T from Tokyo Ah, you call from Tokyo No, from The Winning Edge Whatduwan? Can I please speak to Mr. Erik? What is the purpose of your call?

(I would like to talk to Mr. Erik!) or He is not in ...... (What time does he come back? He is out of country!) or I don’t know if he is in the office... (Oh, he just stepped out .....) or

Is it regard with advertisement! (No, about complaint! Oh, you must send letter) or He has a small meeting with his PR Manager..(Lucky him ! No this is Happy Go Lucky Hotel) or He is out for lunch (at 4 PM? He always come back late from lunch) or Are you a personal friend ? (No, I am guest ! He no have guests today) or Our Duty Manager is handling that .... (No, don’t... Too late , already connected) or He has no time, he has many visitors from overseas! (Another VP trying to be important?) or He is on the phone with his wife ! (Yes, of course , another “ who-gets-thecar” battle?) Guest:

Secretary 1:

I would like to talk to him about my complaint. Heeeee ? Justamomen

“ We are the future” electronic version 15 seconds later Secretary:

Guest:

He says you must call back later, he no have time now! No, thank you , I’ll start using another hotel

Now, who is complaining about time wasted in meetings? Did you know that daily, in any medium sized organization, around 1,000 times, 3 minutes are squandered on listening to electronics versions of The Sting, Fuer Elise and other songs, that’s : 3,000 minutes, or 50 hours, or 5-10 hours working days.

Did you know that daily, in any medium sized organization, around 1,000 times, 3 minutes are squandered on listening to electronics versions of The Sting, Fuer Elise and other songs, that’s 3,000 minutes, or 50 hours, or 5-10 hours working days. That is of course if you don’t have, like Evil Erik, operators and secretaries to defend you against annoying callers that spoil your otherwise tranquil and serene day! But in that case, why care anyhow about listening to the customers, after all you are ( still) the ever so important General Manager of the “ HAPPY GO LUCKY HOTEL” Sorry for having dared to call you, Evil Erik

Time measurements in the office will show you that you too, spend at least 120 minutes per day on “ around “ your phone, about the same time as the average daily “ waste “ during your meetings, on the internet or in traffic jams.

Bert “Bow-Thai” van Walbeek has been an Hotelier for 45 years and Marketer of Tourism for 35 years, a Motivator for 20 years, a Master of Disaster for 15 and a Lecturer for 15 years. He can be reached at bert@twe-winningedge.com


Customized Services:

Key Strategy in Guest Service

Service has to be adapted to each individual guest. This is a major factor to be considered when creating new services, ensuring that they offer an acceptable range of adaptability. It is often heard that one of the best ways for a hotel to be successful and stand out in the increasingly competitive hospitality industry is to offer customized services. The question is how to approach customers and learn what they want and how they want it. The answer is: by customizing services. Some hotel chains have understood the significance of getting to know the preferences and needs of their guests. However, by failing to determine which data should be collected and the way in which this should be done, they have come to the conclusion that the concept is wrong or that it cannot be applied to the industry.

Customized services have been instrumental in attracting guests and establishing a longterm relationship with them, for they have a positive effect on the guests’ level of satisfaction and on the degree of comfort experienced during their stay. When a guest lacks something, this is translated into a need that must be met through a specific service. In turn, the guest has certain requirements as to the manner in which such service should be provided.

Customized service demands more time and dedication, as well as permanent contact with the guests, so as to be able to get to know their requirements and their expectations regarding the services offered. The persons in charge of offering customized service must have at their disposal all the theoretical and practical tools needed for such purpose. Let’s analyze some of the characteristics of customized service: 1.

Customized service is based on both adapting the qualities and properties of a service to a specific guest and determining the guests’ expectations regarding the way in which such service should be provided.

Close contact with the guest: It is necessary to have as much information on the guest as possible before, during, and even after the guest’s stay; therefore, the person in charge of delivering customized service must be allowed the time and resources needed to such end.


35 YEARS OF TOURISM

MALDIVES

PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL FRIEDEL

Postcards and Posters 2.

Flexibility: Guests’ needs often generate the creation of a new service or the introduction of changes that had not been contemplated; therefore, they may modify existing regulations and policies. The secret lies in flexibility: looking for ways to satisfy the guests’ needs without significantly affecting the business.

3.

Creativity: A key element of customized service is offering something that no one has offered before, or doing it in a different way. This requires ongoing market research on international business trends as well as the analysis of the guests’ opinion on the services offered and of guest’s suggestions.

4.

Adaptability: Service has to be adapted to each individual guest. This is a major factor to be considered when creating new services, ensuring that they offer an acceptable range of adaptability.

Customized services offer the following advantages, among other:

1.

The description of the primary and secondary qualities of service for each guest.

2.

The determination of the level or degree of service quality for each guest.

3.

Service homogenization

4.

Knowledge of the guests’ needs, so that they can be anticipated

5.

Increased knowledge of the guest

6.

Positive effect on guest retention rates and brand loyalty.

Variety of over 60 postcards and 15 posters

Books, Magnets, Calendar and Map

German

English

French

Map folded Map Poster Hotel Islands marked in red

SATELLITE MAP OF THE MALDIVES Osvaldo Torres, Hotel Butler, hotelps@gmail.com

Calendar

EDITION MM

www.michael-friedel.com/akirishop-maldives GENERAL AGENT: AKIRI UNLIMITED · LOTUS GOALHI · MALE TEL: 331 77 00 · FAX: 331 28 06 · E-mail: akiri@netbox.com


Do You Hate Preparing for Interviews?

These Surefire Preparation Tips Will Help You Win The Top Candidate Thorough interview preparation is one of the most important aspects of successful hiring. Even busy managers can increase their company’s recruiting power and differentiate themselves by diligently following a preparation checklist. Preparing the Candidate The pre-interview stage should be a multistep process. I prefer to hold two phone conversations with each candidate before we meet in person. During the first call, my objective is to provide information and build rapport. I introduce myself, describe my position and role with the Hamister team, and establish the purpose of my call. I also give a brief overview of The Hamister Group, Inc., its business sectors, and history. While discussing the position in question, I gauge the candidate’s interest and advise her to have a look at our website. The second call is my opportunity to ask a few preliminary questions and gain a general impression of the candidate. Did he look over the website? What did she like about our team? Can he discuss any of our articles with me? What did she think of our company values? Before proceeding to the next step, I need to see evidence of research and a connection with our culture. Preparing Myself By the time I set up an in-person interview, the candidate and I have already set the foundation for a warm conversation. I know

that he understands the basics of the position and we have both considered whether The Hamister Group is a good fit for him. Whenever appropriate, I email our application and additional background documents before the interview. I hate arriving at an interview and being asked to sit down and fill out forms for 30 minutes before the actual meeting. It’s a real energy drain. If you don’t want to make candidates feel like they’re waiting for a medical appointment, it’s best to send the paperwork ahead of time. And, if they don’t arrive with the documents already completed, you get a few more clues about their level of professionalism. Candidates who have invested time in the interview process deserve an equal effort from the hiring company. While most managers take just a few minutes to look over a candidate’s resume before the initial interview, I perform serious due diligence. A good hiring manager can put the resume aside and discuss the candidate’s background from memory. Just as an interviewee does not make a good impression when she brings notes to the interview, hiring managers can weaken their position by consulting resumes frequently. It is also important to research the companies at which the candidate has worked previously. Instead of asking, “what are these companies and what do they do?” (which does not make me look like the smartest guy in the world), I show a solid understanding of the person’s background. This creates a strong, unique impression.

Show Time In addition to intellectual readiness, interviewers must also pay attention to some physical details. First, the obvious: tell your receptionist to hold your calls and turn the flipping cell phone OFF. And the email, and the blackberry, and the pager, and any other technological wonder that can interrupt the interview and distract you from the most important person in the world: the candidate. Yes, during an interview, the person in front of you must be the center of your universe (and hopefully my wife won’t read this). You need to show candidates their significance in every way possible, including your attire. Wear your Sunday best, no matter what you usually wear in the workplace, and even if it’s 110 degrees outside. Men, please: ties and jackets. Ladies, please: blazers. If you normally wear a branded shirt, change for the interview. You don’t make a good impression when the candidate is dressed better than you are. Be punctual. An interview that is scheduled for 11AM must begin at 11AM. If a candidate arrived 20 minutes late for an interview, you would probably cross him off your list. If you make candidates wait in the lobby for 20 minutes, they may be doing the same thing to you. Plan your schedule to accommodate unexpected events and be on time for every meeting. And finally, breathe, smile, count to ten, and focus. It’s show time.

Dan Kutis is the Corporate Recruiter of The Hamister Group, Inc., a hotel and health care management company based in Williamsville, NY. Feedback can be sent to him at news@hamistergroup.com . For more information on The Hamister Group, Inc., see www.hamistergroup.com


Grilled Grouper With Herb Risotto, Spaghetti Vegetables, Tomato Compote.

Hassan Haneez Executive Sous Chef Banyan Tree Royale Hayat Kuwait

For the fish: Grouper Salt pepper Olive oil

For tomato compote: 180g 3g 20ml

For spaghetti vegetables: zucchini Eggplant Carrot Bell pepper red Bell pepper green Bell pepper yellow

10g 10g 10g 10g 10g 10g

400ml 15g 10g 10g 2g 2g 2g 60g 2.5g 2.5g 15ml pepper to

100g 25g 4g 75g 2.5g 2.5g 2.5g 2.5g 75ml

1.

2.

For garnish: Deep fried basil leave Spring onion or chive

For risotto: Chicken stock Fresh cream Freshly grated Parmesan cheese Butter Fresh parsley (chopped) Fresh chive (chopped) Fresh basil (chopped) Risotto rice Garlic onion Olive oil Salt and freshly ground black taste

Tomato White onion Thai red chili Sugar Salt Cinnamon stick Cloves Star anise White vinegar

Method:

1g 1g

3. 4.

Season the fish with the lime juice and salt. Crush all the peppercorns and rub over the Grouper. Grill until cooked medium risotto Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in rice and cook 1 minute. Add broth little by little and cook, stirring, at gentle simmer. Add cream & herbs during last 3 minutes of cooking. The process should take 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter cheese, salt and pepper. Julienne cut all the vegetables and sauté with crushed garlic in olive oil Cut the tomatoes in half; mince the onions and small chilies. Then sauté the onions, tomatoes and chili. Add the dry ingredients including the sugar and continue to cook for 1 hour on medium heat. Add some of the vinegar to taste, add enough to balance the flavor, you may not need the whole bottle. Continue to cook for at least 1 hour more or until a proper and consistent flavor is reached. Let the sauce cool completely before packing and storing in the cooler.


Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort And Spa, Maldives Signs Agreement With Hithadoo Regional Hospital Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, signed an agreement with the Hithadoo Regional Hospital on 9 April 2009 allowing all of the resort’s employees to access local medical treatment at the resort’s cost.

“The well-being of our staff is a top priority here at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives and I am delighted that, thanks to this agreement, medical assistance will be easily accessible to all employees,” said Mr. Moesker.

The agreement signing ceremony was held at the office of the Hithadoo Regional Hospital (HRH) in Hithadoo, Addu Atoll, and attended by Mr. Fathuhulla Naseem, director of HRH, and Mr. Jens Moesker, general manager of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. The agreement permits all of the resort’s employees to seek, within the guidelines defined by the resort’s policy, both in-patient and outpatient medical services at HRH and Feydhoo Clinic without having to provide any advance payment.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives will be the first luxury resort in the southern Maldives, on Addu Atoll. The resort 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 eightminute boat ride away from the resort and Malé International Airport is 70 minutes by domestic flights operating around the clock.

The agreement with HRH is part of the resort’s commitment to provide a healthy work environment to its employees.

deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has over 40 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Macau, Maldives, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States. For more information or reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.shangri-la.com.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 62 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 28,000. Shangri La hotels are five-star

PRESS CONTACT: Leslie Garcia, Communications Manager, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, Tel: (960) 689 7888, Fax: (960) 689 7999 E-mail: leslie.garcia@shangri-la.com, Website: www.shangri-la.com. For digitised pictures of the group’s hotels, please go to http://www.shangri-la.com/imagelibrary.


Anatomy of an Internet-Savvy Hotel Manager In these uncertain times, the Internet can produce a large portion of a hotel’s overall business. Become Internet-savvy, it could become the difference between success and mediocrity. It’s 1:20 am and the hotel manager is reviewing last month’s profit & loss statement, room revenue is below planned budget and expenses were higher than ideal. That’s not great news, but the really bad news is that forecasted revenue looks weak for the next several months. Something has to be done quickly. This scenario is not uncommon, the challenge is to drive more business and/or cut expenses but deep cuts in expenses will usually begin to negatively impact service levels. This could easily start the dreaded downward spiral, poor service levels would lead to less business, which would lead to further cuts and on and on. After months and months of boom business, gas prices and the economic downturn are beginning to catchup to the hotel industry. The conundrum is that the hotel industry has always been reactive, rather than current, to

the economy, often enjoying good business levels for months after a downturn begins and suffering that downturn for months after the economy recovers. Smart hoteliers know that last month’s revenue is more likely the result of what marketing was done, or not done, several months ago, positive changes made today can take months to show substantial improvement. Many years ago, when I was a sales pup, this scenario was more depressing than it is today. We simply had no sales or marketing vehicle which could or would produce quick results. Most hoteliers have never been advocates of advertising, few hotels have the money with which to advertise on a scale which would be beneficial. Advertising programs are expensive and provide no benchmarks or promises for producing results and could take months to show those results.

The answer is to have a strong Internet marketing program. But, before you flinch, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and the payback is relatively quick. The fact is that many hotels are paying far too much for web site design and allocate too little or nothing for generic search and sales promotion. The savvy hotel manager understands that an attractive site isn’t necessarily a productive site and any site needs to be promoted to be successful. The most unique and wonderful element of Internet marketing is that results are almost totally measurable, something we could never achieve with media advertising. Sometimes, even a small change or addition can make a huge improvement in reservation production. The ability to quickly measure the impact of that change is priceless.


The true function of any kind of promotion is to produce incremental business. The Internet savvy manager isn’t satisfied with simply knowing how many people sees his/her ad (web site), it’s the number of reservation conversions that count, that’s measurable too.

Using the Internet during Difficult Times

It may be painful, for some owners and managers, to actually pay a commission to help fill vacant rooms, but this is makes far more sense than reducing rates on all your rooms, which never works. Most, if not all, business derived from online agencies would not have been booked directly with the hotel. Stop thinking of third-party sites as competition and start recognizing them as an additional sales source. Social Media Dilemma

Faced with these challenges, the Internet savvy manager turns to the Internet. Due to the sheer nature of the Internet and the ways, in which people use it, the Net has the ability to produce quick and lasting results. The Internet-savvy manager knows that a properly designed web site is the foundation of any successful online sales effort. The big question is ‘what is a properly designed web site?’ There are those who believe that all one needs is a web site which demonstrates hotel facilities, amenities, and services, with plenty of photos. The fact is that this information alone does nothing to help make your site searchable. Before you commit to paying for a new site, make certain that the company knows why and how people select hotels on the Internet and what sales elements are necessary. The Internet savvy hotel manager knows that the best place to start is to have someone analyze and evaluate the ‘workings’ of your hotel’s web site. This makes sense even if you have already decided to have a new site developed, this analysis will act as a guide or blueprint to avoid mistakes on the new site with the how’s and why’s to incorporate certain necessary elements. Third-Party Travel Aggregators The Internet savvy hotel manager also knows that Third-Party sites still play a huge role on the Net. Hotel franchise sites have improved greatly and some are finally participating in pay-per-click advertising and generic search protocol, but third-party sites still hold the advantage with the unique ability to sell total travel, air, hotel, and car rental.

Our industry is still struggling to find ways to utilize the sales potential of social media. The one area of social media which is currently viable for hoteliers is travel oriented social media such as TripAdvisor. This area of social media has become a valuable collaborator with the hotel industry.

Travelers search the Internet for activities and places to visit, D/F marketing can help them to also find your hotel. The Bottom-Line The Internet savvy hotel manager recognizes that, properly used, the Internet can provide valuable market exposure and incremental business for his/her hotel. In these uncertain times, the Internet can produce a large portion of a hotel’s overall business. Become Internet-savvy, it could become the difference between success and mediocrity.

One of the results of the popularity of Internet and electronic sales has been to create a void in the personalization of travel. When it was necessary to call to make a hotel reservation, travelers had an opportunity to ask questions and ‘feel good’ about their reservation choice. TripAdvisor provides the valuable service of allowing travelers to read comments from satisfied travelers to validate their reservation choice. Hoteliers should closely monitor travel social media sites like TripAdvisor. Good, even bad, comments from your guests will provide you with valuable information to improve your product and services. Comments from former guests can also provide hoteliers with insight into new marketing opportunities to build business. Destination-Focused Marketing The Internet savvy hotel manager understands that the selection of a hotel almost always comes after the decision to travel to a specific area. Knowing this, a savvy hotel manager decides to provide the ‘reasons’ to travel to where the hotel is located. This can be done in the form of destination-focused marketing and the listing of activities and attraction on the hotel’s site.

Neil Salerno, CHME, CHA, Hotel Marketing Coach, www.hotelmarketingcoach.com, NeilS@hotelmarketingcoach.com


Hospitality Bites Desert Palm celebrated its culinary excellence with two prestigious award wins and one ‘Highly Commended’ accolade at the fifth annual Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2009. Rare won ‘Best Steakhouse Restaurant’ and also came ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Best New Restaurant’ category, while Epicure was named ‘Best International Restaurant’.

Mr. Shiyam – Concierge of HIH receiving appreciation letter from Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – General Manager of Hulhule Island Hotel and Mr. Ali Shakir – Human Resources Manager

Ahmed Shiyam of Hulhule Island Hotel selected to attend exchange program in Japan Mr. Ahmed Shiyam, Concierge of Hulhule Island Hotel, Maldives has been selected to attend to the program “Japan – East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths training for University Students Studying Japanese” for the period February 25, 2009 to March 25, 2009 from the Japan Foundation Japanese – Language Institute, Kansi, Japan. This is due to Mr. Ahmed’s interest and initiative on learning Japanese language by attending language school at Male’. Mr. Ahmed became one of the three participants from Male’ selected for this program. Mr. Ahmed Shiyam joined Hulhule Island Hotel on May 5, 2002 as Laundry attendant and due to Mr. Ahmed’s communication skills, performance and hard work the Management had promoted him as a Concierge in Front Office Department. Mr. Ahmed has been receiving praises from the hotel guests regularly for his exceptional services. Mr. Ahmed also attended the Outward Bound Training - Team Development Program held at Bangalore, India in 2007. Mr. Ahmed was awarded Employee of the Year 2005, Employee of the month during 2005 and awarded perfect attendance certificates in past years. “We are indeed proud to have such stars like Mr. Ahmed and as a part of our team that works as a cohesive unit and we certainly look forward to Mr. Ahmed’s continued contribution” said Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – General Manager of HIH

Per AQUUM is delighted to announce the appointment of Noel Cameron to the position of general manager of Huvafen Fushi, one of the Maldives’ leading resorts. Noel joins Huvafen Fushi from the world-renowned Singita Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania, where he held the position of senior general manager. Kiwi Collection proudly announces the addition of Jean-Jacques Gauer and Bill Heinecke to their prestigious advisory board. The strength and authority of this expert panel continues to elevate Kiwi Collection as the ultimate luxury hotel forum for the discerning traveler. Amanresorts has announced the opening of the Aman New Delhi, a luxurious city resort within reach of Delhi’s bustling center and just minutes away from numerous iconic sites such as Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Qila and India Gate. Designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill, Aman New Delhi houses 31 rooms and 36 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, located in the main nine-story building or in an elegant five-story structure overlooking a manicured courtyard and hotel pool. The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has been voted the overall winner in the renowned German Spa Magazine, ‘SENSES’ annual wellness awards. The SENSES Wellness awards have been running for 11 years and are co-ordinated by the SENSES editorial staff together with a select panel of experts. Competing against over 350 hotels and resorts, the lush twin-island resort was chosen the ‘Overall Winner’ for 2009.

Capella Singapore, an ultra-luxury hotel on Sentosa Island welcomed its first guests today. The opening ceremony was graced by Singapore’s Professor S. Jayakumar, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security. Professor Jayakumar was hosted by Mr Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of West Paces Hotel Group (parent company of Capella Hotels and Resorts), Mr Kwee Liong Tek, Chairman of Pontiac Land Pte Ltd and Mr Michael Luible, General Manager of Capella Singapore. Michael Luible, General Manager, Capella Singapore, commented “As the first Capella in Asia, it is our intention to set a new standard of personalised service. Our guests are invited to determine the experiences they desire, and we will do everything to facilitate it. Our personal assistants, a Capella hallmark, are well equipped to facilitate every need - from planning a culinary tour of Singapore specialties, to booking a corporate meeting, to arranging a romantic dinner, children’s birthday party, deep sea fishing or even a private jet.” The hotel has opened with two high-profile events in its first days. Iconic luxury brand Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is previewing its new 200EX model, while Gucci will be showcasing their spring/summer 2009 collection with a fashion show lounge event in the ballroom. The opening of One&Only Cape Town on 3 April 2009 will mark the beginning of a new synergy between art and hospitality in South Africa. Drawing on his own passion for collecting art, Sol Kerzner, world renowned interior designer Adam D. Tihany, Liza Essers of the Goodman Gallery and leading South African art historian Michael Stevenson, commissioned several prominent South African artists to create works for the resort and personally sought out thought-provoking pieces to form a unique environment of creativity and individuality. By tapping into the country’s cultural landscape, spaces within One&Only Cape Town will be given over to eye-catching installations and cutting-edge canvasses, while the mezzanine level of the resort will launch a new branch of the contemporary art gallery, Goodman Gallery.


Hilton Hotels is expanding its hotel network in Asia despite the downturn. It plans to double its presence in the region over the next three years. Despite the tough economic climate, Hilton said it is planning for the longterm and sees India and China as markets with high growth potential. With 53 hotels under its brand in Asia, the hotel operator is hoping to double its properties by 2012. So it is targeting to open 58 new hotels in China and India. Source: China Economic Review The Kuoni Group’s net profit increased by 12.1% year-on-year to a record 152.1m Swiss francs (£93.1m) in 2008. Turnover rose 3.3% to CHF4.86bn (£2.97bn), including 4.4% organic growth and 5.9% from the seven acquisitions made during the year. Unfavourable currency movements eroded a ‘substantial’ 7% of turnover. Costs were cut by 3.9% to CHF3.8bn (£2.33bn), resulting in gross profit of CHF1.06bn, 1.4% ahead of 2007. However, gross profit margin slipped to 21.8% from 22.2%. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved by 8.6% to CHF151.5m. The EBIT results included CHF5m in costs related to the group’s ongoing restructuring process and CHF9.5m of depreciation no longer required following the sale of Edelweiss Air’s aircraft to SWISS. Cash flow from operating activities amounted to CHF108.7m in 2008, down from CHF256.9m in 2007, primarily due to a reduction in advance payments from customers as a result of ‘more hesitant’ booking behaviour. The group’s UK division saw turnover decline by 14.2% to CHF661m (£404.6m), while EBIT dropped to CHF31.5m (£19.3m) from CHF43.9m in 2007. Kuoni said the division had been hit by the weakening of sterling, which fell 17% versus the Swiss franc, and the continuing economic crisis. Source: e-tid.com

Courtesy of ehotelier.com

Mr. Gerd Steeb, President of Centara Hotels & Resorts recently announced the appointment of Mr. Grant Jefferies as General Manager of Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives. Grant’s career in hospitality began at the tender age of 6 by cleaning glasses at his parent’s hotel in Southeast Queensland, Australia. From humble beginnings, Grant began a journey of traveling and working in hotels and resorts around the world. Grant has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry working in Australia, New Zealand, New York, UK, Singapore, Maldives and multiple world cruises on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2). Such an expansive career has enabled Grant to develop an ability to view issues from many perspectives whilst remaining focused on the fundamentals of good management. With a penchant for pre-openings, Grant will embark on another journey in opening the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives. Hilton Colombo’s Executive Chef Rohan Fernandopulle was recently named “Chef of the Year” at the prestigious 2nd Travel & Tourism Awards 2008. Organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the Travel and Tourism Awards recognize excellence among industry stakeholders in Sri Lanka, which further aids to encourage their contribution to the sustainable development of the tourism industry. Chef Rohan said: “It is a great honor to win this award, especially when I am recognized by the industry in my homeland. Going forward, I hope to delight guests with more unique culinary experiences, such as the revamped lunch concept at Hilton Colombo’s Spoons Restaurant and a new menu at the popular Sunday Brunch.” One of Chef Rohan’s strong specialties is his ability to inject local flavors into international preferences, providing guests with the opportunity to taste first class gourmet fused with the authentic flavors of homegrown ingredients.

Luxury boutique hotel operator, Alila Hotels and Resorts, is set to expand its footprint in Asia with six new properties slated to open this year, which will include the launch of three Alila Villas properties, the new generation of resorts that deliver ultra luxury in design, space and bespoke hospitality combined with innovative lifestyle concepts. “These upcoming properties represent a significant milestone in the growth of Alila in both established and emerging destinations across the region,” says Frederic Flageat-Simon, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Alila Hotels and Resort. Source: btbtravel.com Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM), the region’s leading showcase for the luxury travel industry, returns to the Shanghai Exhibition Centre from 15-18 June with a strong turnout of both returning and new exhibitors. “ALTM is pleased to see continued support and commitment from leaders in the global luxury travel industry. This year we are also proud to welcome a host of new exhibitors from around the world and spanning the industry”, said Christina Wood, Exhibition Director. A team of three UK environmental experts will make a return visit to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island between 12 April and 12 June to continue their groundbreaking ‘Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme’. The Not for Profit organisation has established new whale shark protection guidelines in the country, with the Maldivian Government providing directions on establishing community and tourism industry guidelines to protect the vulnerable species. During the team’s visit, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will once again provide sponsorship and equipment including a research vessel, dive kit, food, fuel, maintenance and accommodation to support the team’s efforts as part of their ongoing commitment to protect the fragile paradise setting of the resort.


The ‘R’ Word

Change is imperative in a ‘Tough Profit’ market. Most companies will thrive on the concept of change, achievement, responsibility and accountability. In order to survive or even thrive facing today’s economic conditions, which may even see gas prices hit five dollars a gallon, it will require sticking to the basic principles of running a well managed business. Some economists say we are definitely in a recession even though the actual numbers don’t really validate their opinion. The question is.... Does it really matter? Personally, I believe what really matters is what is actually happening in the market place. We are going through a mortgage crisis meltdown in the housing industry, gas prices are going out of sight and that fact alone is impacting the cost of nearly

everything we purchase in this country from our vacations plans to the food we eat. Facing Reality Let’s face it. During the past five years prior to flirting with the ‘R’ word --- Recession, it wasn’t extremely difficult to make a profit. The market forces have been very kind to the majority of us through 2005, 2006 and 2007. However, 2008 is a brand new year and the wave we have all been riding has shrunk in size at varying levels in our industry. The success we have enjoyed in the past will not

be as easy to accomplish in 2008 & 2009. In fact, we may have to adjust our expectations as the rising energy costs will have an impact on every aspect of business in general. Past successes may have camouflaged internal problems and annoyances that could become a crisis in 2008 and 2009 under different circumstances. To not just survive in 2008 and 2009 but to maintain acceptable levels of growth and profitability is a goal that I am sure is shared by virtually 100 % of the individuals and companies that read this article. So,


Guard your customer service initiatives with a passion. This is the absolute last place that you can afford to lose focus. If customer service starts to slip..... Customers will soon follow and that could lead to a death spiral. let’s review some principles that can help us maintain our focus, uncover some of those sins that may have become covered by profitability and create the kind of success that you can be proud of: 1. Go back to basics in managing your business 2. Understand your role in the market place 3. Develop or refine your strategic plan 4. Continue to develop and train employees (Don’t scrimp here) 5. Upgrade your sales force and all support services 6. Don’t let up on your drive to provide world class customer service 7. Insist upon sales territory plans that target accounts based on potential for growth 8. Create change based on changes in your markets and your industry

Strategic Planning If you don’t have a strategic plan, make it a priority to create one in 2008. It is money well spent. If you do have one, go through an extensive review of all the initiatives. Do they still make sense? Has anything changed that will make a significant difference on your focus. Do you need to change your ‘End Game’ or Vision for the Future?

Maintain World Class Customer Service Employee Development is Essential to Profitability Don’t cut training and development dollars. Continue to focus on people development. This will maintain employee respect, trust and will create a culture that will maximize employee efforts and willingness to do whatever it takes to create success. Upgrade - Upgrade

Basic Best Practices Take the time to review best practices as they apply to your business. Look at your processes, your procedures and your policies. Do they reflect good management principles or do they become a little spongy due to past practices? What is Your Role? Has your role changed in the market place? Are your business segments still the best match for your core competencies? What has changed and more importantly, what changes do you need to initiate? Do an internal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) with your management team and initiate a brainstorming or scenario planning session to reflect upon your changing role in 2008 and beyond.

eternal success that doesn’t require a 100% effort. It can lead to a comfort zone that is not healthy for long term success. Make sure your sales force practices a sales effectiveness discipline that requires documented action planning for specific targeted accounts that support individual territory plans. Of course, these plans must be in alignment with strategic initiatives as well.

While employee development is critical to success, so is making sure that you have the right employees performing the right functions. The opposite of the ‘Easy Profit’ market forces that cover-up employee incompetence is the ‘Tough Profit’ market that will highlight employee incompetence. Economic conditions like those we face today eliminate places for under performing employees to hide. Don’t let too much compassion for long tenure employees cloud your judgment. Make sure expectations are clear, employees are trained and have the proper resources. However, if they can not perform you must act swiftly.

Guard your customer service initiatives with a passion. This is the absolute last place that you can afford to lose focus. If customer service starts to slip..... Customers will soon follow and that could lead to a death spiral. Create Change Creating, instigating and managing change takes passion and courage. It’s not for the weak of heart. It is not for those who embrace simple traditional expectations. Effective leaders reach beyond these expectations. They become agents of change. Change is imperative in a ‘Tough Profit’ market. Most companies will thrive on the concept of change, achievement, responsibility and accountability. Make it part of your culture in 2008 and you will not only be a survivor but you will perform in the upper quartile of your industry.

Sales Effectiveness It’s really fun being a sales person in an ‘Easy Profit’ market. It is not difficult to do well and sometimes we can be lulled into a sense of

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 rick@ceostrategist.com. Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.


Do You Have The Diesel Advantage? Mercury Commercial Boats are designed by world renowned Mercury Marine according to strict CE standards and are being built in Vietnam using the latest boat building techniques. These vessels have been specifically designed for commercial usage in the passenger transportation and tourism industry. In the case of the Maldivian tourism industry, high speed passenger transportation and tourism industry vessels have remained petrol powered due to speed and manoeuvrability requirements that traditionally could not be met by inboard diesel powered vessels. Yet, petrol propulsion has remained highly fuel consuming in an industry where cost efficiency in transportation is crucial as the Maldivian tourism industry relies heavily on sea transportation and water based recreational activities. The lack of alternative options that could potentially compete with petrol propulsion has meant that the industry is almost fully dependent on petrol power for high speed transportation and recreational activities. Now however, with the introduction of Mercury Commercial Boats to the Maldives, the Maldivian tourism industry finally has a viable alternative, providing the superior manoeuvrability and performance generally associated with outboard engines, with outstanding fuel efficiency, range and durability. These vessels have been specifically designed to be powered by the Cummins Mercruiser Diesel Commercial Stern-drive propulsion package. Cummins Mercruiser Diesel is a joint venture between two legendary names in marine propulsion, Cummins Inc and Mercury Marine, which brings together a combination of world-class research and engineering expertise, an exceptional range of products and unparalleled expertise in the industry.

This means that Mercury Commercial Boats couple the fuel efficiency and sturdiness of Cummins Marine Diesel Engines with the high performance and manoeuvrability of Mercury stern-drives, giving you the best advantages of both inboard and outboard propulsion. Coupling Mercury stern-drives, the undisputed world leader in the production of commercial stern-drives, with the legendary reliability of Cummins diesel engines leads to maximum performance and torque through commercially rated stern-drives while requiring minimum engine horsepower to attain these standards. The wide range of Mercury Commercial Boats ensures that there is a vessel for almost every commercial tourism industry requirement. From the Baracuda Parasail boat and the Bluefin Dive Boat that are ideal for watersports and diving excursions at a commercial level, to the Victory, which can transport forty passengers in full-cabin, individually seated comfort at a breathtaking top speed of forty knots. Now that the Maldivian Government has pledged to cut import duty completely for diesel fuel imported into the Maldives, the price of diesel fuel will decrease significantly in the local market, meaning that high-speed diesel vessels will enjoy an even stronger cost advantage over common petrol powered speedboats. Mercury Commercial Boats have a fuel efficiency of over fifty percent when compared with outboard motor powered vessels of the same size and performance ratings. Combined with the decrease in price of diesel, the fuel efficiency that Mercury Commercial Boats offer will amount to significant cost savings for tourism establishments while ensuring that quality, safety and the comfort of your valued clientele are not compromised.

HMES, the authorised sales and service dealer for Mercury Commercial Boats and Cummins Mercruiser Diesel in the Maldives, has over a decade of experience in the marine engineering industry with two active Service Centres in the heart of Male’ and mechanics who work daily in the field of speedboat propulsion troubleshooting and maintenance. Our mechanics have been trained to troubleshoot and repair the CMD Commercial Stern-drive propulsion package and the equipment installed on the Mercury Commercial boats when the first vessels were introduced to the Maldives in 2008. Furthermore, the HMES marine equipment shop maintains stock of all parts required for the maintenance of the Mercury Commercial Boat models currently running in the Maldives. When a new model is introduced to the market, HMES ensures that sufficient stock of parts for that particular model is maintained for the requirements of any particular client at all times. Therefore, operators of Mercury Commercial Boats are assured that they have a reliable local partner who specialises in this industry and will ensure that the vessels are always in operating condition with the HMES team always standing by to assist when needed. Each one of the Mercury Commercial Boat models comes with a one-year warranty for all manufacturing defects which will be upheld in the Maldives by HMES in cooperation with Mercury Marine Singapore so that you can be assured there is a world-class guarantee backing up your vessel. High-speed diesel marine transportation is now here in the Maldives...do you have the diesel advantage?

Hassan Marine Engineering Service [HMES] ,11 Fareedhee Magu, Male’, Rep. of Maldives, Tel: (960) 331 2733 Fax: (960) 331 2133 Email: info@hmes.org


Lights Out! Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa And W Retreat & Spa Maldives Celebrates Earth Hour Starwood Hotels & Resorts Around the Globe Observe Environmental Awareness Event

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa and W Retreat & Spa - Maldives participated in Earth Hour, a global environmental awareness event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), on March 28, 2009, together sent a powerful global message about environmental awareness and caring for the planet. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa and W Retreat & Spa - Maldives observed Earth Hour by turning off its lights and taking other energy-saving measures for one full hour further underscoring Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to environmental sustainability. Earth Hour is drawing strong support from Starwood hotels around the globe. “We are very proud to participate in this global initiative. Sheraton Maldives Full

Moon Resort & Spa invites our guests to get together as a community and participate in this special occasion. By participating in this momentous event while enjoying a once in a lifetime holiday, our guests will definitely find their stay with us a spectacular & unique experience.” said Justin Malcolm, Hotel Manager, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “Everyone must do their part in order to tackle climate change. We at the W Retreat & Spa-Maldives feel very fortunate to live in such an unspoiled paradise that we have measures in place to help create a sustainable environment. Our participation in Earth Hour is a small, but significant, highlight of our commitment and also gives our guests a chance to do their part, even while on holiday.” said Coetzer Deysel, Resort Manager for W Retreat & Spa-Maldives.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa and W Retreat & Spa - Maldives took several measures such as turning off non-essential power for both resort and associate areas, including lighting, air-conditioning, laundry, computers and music for one hour. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has created an evening under the stars for the guests in Atoll Grill restaurant and Anchorage Bar. Atoll Grill was set up with candles, fire pits and torches for the Earth Hour themed dinner and served a special designed buffet menu with green cocktails. Anchorage Bar was highlighted by oil burners for guests to spend a nice evening out. Full Moon Restaurant, Baan Thai, Sand Coast Café, Drifters bar and fine dining restaurant Casa Luna were closed on the evening of 28


Starwood made history in 2006 when it launched Element Hotels, Starwood’s green trailblazer and the first major hotel brand to mandate that all U.S. properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification. Across its entire portfolio, Starwood is rolling out initiatives that aim to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and enhance indoor environmental quality for Starwood guests and associates alike. About Earth Hour Earth Hour began as an awareness effort in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when more than two million homes, businesses, and the city’s largest landmarks shut off their lights for one hour, resulting in a significant energy reduction across the city. Quickly evolving into a global phenomenon, Earth Hour drew an estimated 50 million people in 35 countries and 370 cities in 2008, and this year one billion homes, businesses and countries are expected to take part. For more information and video on the genesis of Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org. About Starwood Worldwide, Inc.

March 2009. Guests were informed about the resort’s observation of Earth Hour and were encouraged to participate in this momentous occasion through in-room messages. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has saved approximately 50% of energy consumption compared to same time other nights.

was paired with equally planet-friendly cocktails including organic wine and hand pressed cocktails. In FIRE restaurant, they extended their jungle-meets-beach BBQ concept and presented international cooking stations amongst a bonfire and tiki torches while local musicians filled the air with their acoustic tunes.

W Maldives closed KITCHEN restaurant for the evening, but offered eco-friendly alternatives for their guests. In FISH, the island’s signature seafood restaurant – the guests dined on a 5-course set menu including king fish tataki, scallop carpaccio and barramundi all prepared with minimal power. This menu

Additionally, hundreds of Starwood hotels around the world are coordinating supplementary awareness events such as walk-a-thons in their local communities, public candlelight unplugged concerts and receptions for guests featuring signature green cocktails.

Hotels

&

Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 940 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www. starwoodhotels.com.

Media Contact: Cyrus Im, Marketing & Communication Manager, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Phone: +960 664 2010, Email: cyrus.im@sheraton.com, www.sheraton.com/maldivesfullmoon Rosemarie Domdom, Director of Marketing, W RETREAT & SPA - MALDIVES, Telephone: + 960 666 2208, Email: rosemarie.domdom@whotels.com, www.whotels.com/maldives


Tough Times Call For Tough Leadership


They can reduce operational costs and defer capital expenditure. That’s the approach adopted by mining giant, Rio Tinto, which is cutting operating costs by $2.5 billion per year and more than halving its capital expenditure to $4 billion. They can review operating procedures, tighten controls and upwardly delegate decisionmaking approvals so that expenditure is tightly controlled. They can narrow the business scope or reduce prices on products and services in the hope that people will buy more.

approaches we see being taken. Rather a style of leadership that is inclusive and cooperative, but still tough might be the way to go. In this month’s Harvard Business Review, Tamara J. Erickson argues that leaders need to take a quite different approach. •

Or they can cut staff numbers, something that companies such as Sony are beginning to do as it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs and shut one in 10 of its electronics manufacturing sites. • Looking at these leadership strategies, it is striking that they are all-top down decisions. There seems to be a thinking among business leaders that leadership is best displayed by taking the approach of “call the shots”, “carry the ball”, “Make decisions!”. So do these type of strategies work? Well, the stock markets seem to think so, particularly in the short term. It’s quite noticeable that shares in companies that take these measures invariably rise. For example, Rio Tinto share’s rose 10 per cent when its new measures were announced. But what happens in the long term? Price Water house Coopers reported that following the 2002 downturn, nearly 60 per cent of global CFOs conceded that the costs they were then currently cutting, would creep back into the business within two to three years.

Ask great questions - “Challenge the organisation to respond (to the current situation) by setting intriguing and complex goals. Articulate a compelling mission that will get people to rally” Build trust across the organisation “Don’t cut out meetings, or intensify internal competition, or reduce investments in learning. Increase your firm’s collaborative capacity by building relationships and encouraging the exchange of knowledge” Challenge the status quo - “Ensure that your team is regularly exposed to diverse points of view and experiences”

How might such leadership strategies work in practice? The simple answer is to ask the people. What might happen for instance, if the company leadership said “We need to reduce costs by 20 per cent - what are your suggestions for doing that?”

They just might find that employees come up with some stunning suggestions. Suppose that staff said “We can reduce costs 20 per cent by taking a reduction in pay - working four days a week instead of five”. Unbelievable, you might say? Well, employees and management at Corus, the huge UK steel maker (owned by Tata of India) have suggested a 15 per cent cut in pay as a sop against job losses. Now, take Sony’s 8,000 electronics job cuts - the equivalent of five per cent of its workforce. How much more would they save if the 160,000 employees decided to take a 10 per cent, 15 per cent or 20 per cent pay cut? And think of the 8,000 jobs this would save. Would staff be motivated to suggest such initiatives? Well, in today’s uncertain times, which would you prefer, a cut in pay or a loss of job? Today, job security is a key motivator. The question is, are leaders tough enough to take the risk to involve their people?

What do business leaders do when confronted by a downturn? Now, just as in previous recessions, their responses tend to fall into four main areas.

And that’s just the cost creep. What happens when the economy starts moving again - are these organisations flexible enough to rehire, re-train and re-develop lost markets? What’s needed in times like this are not the sort of short-term, top-down balance sheet

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 is currently researching topics for his new book on teams. Please email your suggestions for inclusion to Bob via http://www.whenyoubecometheboss.com


Who Built Your Career? Jobs are the building blocks whereby a career is the finished structure with which you refurbish and redecorate your dreams. A career entails everything you learn and grow with during your lifetime. Jobs are the building blocks whereby a career is the finished structure with which you refurbish and redecorate your dreams. A career entails everything you learn and grow with during your lifetime.Take a moment and look back at your career. Who was in charge of the journey? I have had this discussion with many of my friends, colleagues and some hospitality industry leaders on several occasions. The responses were interesting and attributed to different reasons. Personal / Public Relations: PR and networking are good and associations of convenience can do wonders! A senior hospitality professional once confessed to me, “You may be a superstar, but what you need to know is how to press the right button at

the right time,” this was his secret quick-win formula and it did work in his advantage. God Father/Mother: My professor at the university, a walking encyclopedia and management expert in organizational behavior, during his informal sessions of sharing his personal views remarked how management is so different from B-school modules or scholarly books. He gave examples of individuals who built careers only because they were close to the power centers or channels of power. He also warned about the ill effects of being to close for comfort. The Human Resource Director of a reputed International Hotels Chain once said ”Why

I could not manage a transfer from the Maldives for several years was just because I did not have a “god father” in my company” (this gentleman of course moved out of the company for greener pastures). He also recollects the creative designations he had to carve out to accommodate certain individual’s personal interests and adjustments in the manning guide. Personal Interest: One of my batch mates shared his personal experience: His manager spotted his latent talents in nanoseconds over a meeting to ensure an auto eject for himself to a higher branch by promoting the homebred resource to replace him. This manager’s promotion and transfer abroad was also based on a successful replacement.


My friend honestly remarked that his Manager had always been ungrateful of his works, but my friend is happy about the sudden paradigm shift for mutual benefit. A Learning Director for a reputed organization confessed to me that he was forced to start a special program for developing supervisors by his boss. Implementing a supervisory program was part of his goals for that year and achievement of that target was the single motive for this program, which was short sighted and not with a clearly defined purpose. When a disappointed hospitality professional admits that he was helpless when glaring gross racial discrimination was spotted when promotions were considered by senior management, yet another individual mocks about the lost opportunities being a man! Coincidence: A sweet accident turned a tea estate manager into a General Manager of a five star hotel. However, he proved himself to be effective without any professional qualification in hoteliering, though the only connection was that he had few opportunities to visit five star hotels previously. A senior executive of a leading international hotel says, “I had great plans on paper. I had three bosses in two years and unfortunately, I am in the cross roads having listened to the endless promises that were made. My present boss is in no mood for any promises for unappealing reasons.” Mentors: They could be bosses, parents, teachers, friends and all well wishers who could influence or inspire you to take the right decision and/or coach for better performance. “I am always thankful to my earlier Executive Chef Mr …( lets call him X) who identified the talent in me. He was very strict and gave me all encouragement and has a big role in what I am today”, says a successful Sous Chef. Vacancy: A housekeeper at a reputed resort got promoted simply because his boss left, which paved an auto jump for him though not through succession planning. He did not have a career/professional development plan and yet he secured it because he was simply seen aspiring for it. Moreover, it was in the interest of others to showcase it as professional growth, cut recruitment cost and lowers the turnover ratio. Isn’t it amazing how a quick fix career could be made with just gut feeling?

The self factor: Many employees are not in control of their careers. The powerful “self factor” is often forgotten since it may not reward instant successes compared to other modes. Many employees get frustrated when they are put down by the boss or their colleagues. Most people experience rejection at work when their ideas are not being heard or simply being ignored, when they do not get a raise or promotion, are not a part of the ‘in’ crowd in the office or don’t get the job that they applied for in the first place.All this can take its toll on them emotionally.

How To Manage Negative Influences • •

• •

• The above mentioned rejections and lost opportunities should be taken as a point of reflection. Yes, it is more than normal to feel low or terrible, but you should not let that affect you for a longer period, perhaps not beyond the end of the day. Most often employees do not hunt for an explanation and calmly ask the potential employers or management the reason for their decision that did not go in the individual’s favor. Most often, this decision has no correlation with the individual’s ability, but rather with the company’s limitations. And if the reason is individual related, this should be the pivotal point for self awareness and change. In today’s scenario, the credit crunch, reduced tourist inflow leading to lower occupancy percentages and lost revenue in all quarters may force downsizing, freeze promotions and delay recruitments for certain positions to balance the bottom line. This may cap the aspirations of employees and may spark job changes seeking better career. ”There are many occasions where the applicants are overconfident, at times not convinced within themselves with a rationale for their career ambitions. There are individuals who don’t know their own value and it is in our interest to get a better deal for our clients, of course also due to our professional interest involved,” says a well known hospitality recruiter. Essentials to Career Planning • • •

• •

Soul searching to reconcile with that big dream. Honest assessment of one’s knowledge, skills and attitudes. Identify the career anchor. At times, it may be half way through the professional life! Right Investment: time and effort more than money. Follow through with right decisions at the right time.

Jorely Mathew, BHM, CHE is the Training Manager at Soneva Gili by Six Senses, Republic of Maldives.

Realize that a job is just one facet of your life. Accept rejections gracefully. (You are above the last cocktail party you attended and the number of digits in your salary slip) Consider that your talents may not be suitable for that higher position. Accept your limitations and challenge those who try to limit you by demonstrating positive results. First look forward to a change in you; as only you have the power to truly influence yourself and stop feeling like a victim.

Negative emotions may pile up from over expectations and miscalculated self assessments. Employees demand promotions with the sole criteria of seniority at work place. Most of them do not keep the learner in them alive. It is a faculty that needs to be kept well-fed with challenges like any other, thereby growing professionally to build careers. Often hoteliers compromise and take short promoting from within in order to retain an employee, although this bears potential hazards in sustaining the standards and morale of other employees. Naturally there are undue influences and biased decisions at any workplaces that are quite universal and there is no unique formula to overcome these, however, what one can do is to take more control of one’s own growth, even though this may not offer immediate achievements. Don’t wait for accidents or god fathers to emerge. If you don’t have someone to market you at workplace, don’t cultivate a lazy mindset; be a silent steamer but get rid of the old contrary beliefs and unpleasant emotional memories through perseverance and self discovery. Success is about careful planning to reach your goals, even if it takes a change of job or occupation. It is not what others say or think about you that count, it is your belief and perseverance with the focused determination that matter. This is indeed the secret formula, but only for those who dare to dream and size up opportunities and pursue them sticking to the plan when they have the passion and commitment towards the long-term goal. Who stole the cake, baker and the bakery? A seasoned hotel professional said, “My General Manager made a professional development plan for the senior team members at the year end so that he had some data on record to justify his full score in the balanced score card for the PDPs and succession planning initiatives he had driven year round!”


Angsana Velavaru Innovates With Inocean Villas In The Maldives


Angsana Velavaru, located in the pristine South Nilandhe Atoll, is set to unveil new standards in resort living. In July 2009, it will launch the first standalone collection of water villas in the Maldives that is not on an island.

further relaxation, indulge in some pampering Asian-inspired massages deftly delivered by the resort’s skilled Angsana Spa therapists. In the evening, wine and dine under the stars or indulge in hearty Maldivian curries as the sun dips into the horizon.

This exclusive cluster of 34 InOcean Villas, together with a dedicated Italian restaurant and bar, is located one kilometre away from the island of Velavaru. A first in the Maldives, the “floating resort” is perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, creating a unique castaway experience where guests never need to venture far from their retreat to enjoy the Maldives. Introductory rates start from USD 750++ per night per villa, inclusive of daily breakfast for two.

Modern amenities to complement this resort chic lifestyle include a flat screen TV, stereo system with iPod docking station, a full-sized bath tub, and wireless Internet connection. Considerate touches include two sets of snorkelling gear placed in the villa for marine exploration whenever desired, as guests are mere steps from the clear lagoon waters and its colourful inhabitants.

Arrive in Style Angsana Velavaru is accessible via either a scenic 40-minute seaplane journey or a leisurely eight-hour cruise onboard a Turkish Gulet originating at Malé island. Upon disembarking, a quick speedboat ride will bring guests to the dedicated jetty serving the InOcean Villas, where they will be warmly welcomed by the resort hosts. Meanwhile, colourful reef fish dart underneath the boardwalk connecting the jetty and reception area to the InOcean Villas. A Series of Pleasurable Discoveries Await Ranging in size from 175 square metres to 290 square metres, each of the spacious 20 InOcean Villas, 11 Premier InOcean Villas and three Sanctuary InOcean Villas offers guests an intimate oasis for blissful enjoyment and unparalleled solitude. Upon entry, guests will be greeted by a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean through the sliding glass doors along the living, sleeping and bath areas. Reminiscent of stylish city lofts and accented with contemporary coral designs, each two-storey villa comes with a spacious outdoor deck, an infinity pool of at least 21 square metres, and a hammock suspended over water. The Premier InOcean Villas and two-bedroom Sanctuary InOcean Villas also feature an extended deck into the ocean, complete with a cosy pavilion for leisure lounging or yoga practice. On the upper deck, guests can bask in the warm sunshine on the sun beds or take shelter and read a book in a plush sofa lounger. For

Guests who wish to take meals outside of the villa may walk over to Azzurro, the gourmet Italian restaurant and bar located towards one end of the InOcean Villa cluster. Aside from delectable Italian classics, Azzurro will offer an extensive international wine selection showcased in floor-to-ceiling wine racks. A Unique Two-In-One Proposition Guests staying at the InOcean Villas also enjoy complete access to the facilities and services available at Velavaru island where there are 79 beachfront villas. Whenever desired, guests have the option to retreat to the discreet privacy of the InOcean Villas or enjoy the convenience of full resort services and amenities at the main resort.

About Angsana Velavaru Known also as ‘Turtle Island’ in the local Dhivehi language, Angsana Velavaru is feted for its turquoise lagoon and spacious pool villas, being one of the few resorts in the secluded southern reaches of the Maldives. The resort is a scenic 40-minute seaplane journey from Malé island, and provides guests with a back-to-nature experience complemented with a wide range of activities for friends, loved ones and the whole family. Angsana Hotels and Resorts Angsana is a hotel brand that caters to the modern traveller seeking style and authenticity. Comprising contemporary and chic retreats., Angsana properties are designed to create and deliver vibrant enlivening experiences for guests at work and at play. Each Angsana hotel, resort, spa and retail gallery exudes the spirit and conscience of its environment, while offering a strong sense of individuality infused with our Asian heritage. Facilities and services at all Angsana properties are focused on enabling guests to draw the most of every moment. Managed by the Banyan Tree Group, Angsana Hotels and Resorts operates over 10 resorts and hotels, over 40 spas, and in excess of 40 retail galleries.

At Angsana Velavaru, the facilities and services on the island include: • Eclectic dining options at Funa and Kaani restaurants, and exotic cocktails at Kuredhi Bar • Chef’s culinary classes • Angsana Spa treatments in an outdoor spa pavilion or air-conditioned treatment room • Kids’ Club – open from 10am to 8pm • A dedicated Marine Lab which organises hands-on eco activities like coral planting, reef cleaning, and marine biology class • Water sports like diving, guided snorkeling safari, wakeboarding • A selection of local crafts and spa amenities at Angsana Gallery For reservations and enquiries, please contact Angsana Velavaru at +960 676 0028 or email reservations-velavaru@angsana.com. Onestop reservations at the best rates can be made online at angsana.com.

For further information please contact: Ms Tracy Lui, Manager, Regional PR – Southeast Asia, T +65 6849 5876, tracy.lui@banyantree.com


Why Learning How You Learn is Important How do you learn? What impact does how you learn affect your performance on the job? How does your learning style affect how you approach learning? Over the past several years, I have required students in an introductory hospitality management course to take an assessment to determine their learning preferences. I did this so I could analyze the classroom environment and therefore determine the best way to lead the class. Without providing the numerical raw data, it was clear that the preference of most students entering the hospitality management program were visual and kinesthetic learners – that is, they learned best by seeing and doing. Every person was different. Every person was unique.

What are learning styles and why are they important?

People Learn Through Seeing – Visual Learners

Learning styles are different ways people learn. Learning styles classify ways people learn and how they approach and process information. Marcia Conner, learning expert and author of Learn More Now, states, “You learn and process information in your own special way, though we all share some learning patterns, preferences, and approaches.”

Visual learners think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including diagrams, charts, illustrations, overheads, Powerpoint presentations, videos, flipcharts, and handouts. During a lecture or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information.

What types of learning styles are there? Many studies and assessments have been conducted on how people learn. However, in its simplest form, people learn in one of the following ways:

Marcia Conner describes visual learners as people who “prefer seeing what they are learning. Pictures and images help them understand ideas and information better than explanations. A drawing may help more than a discussion about the same. When someone explains something to a visual learner, he or she may create a mental picture of what


the person talking describes. If you are a visual learner, you may find it helpful to see the person speaking. You may watch a speaker talk, as well as listen to what he or she says. People Learn Through Hearing And Listening – Auditory Learners They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and using a tape recorder. Marcia Conner characterizes these learners falling into two categories. Auditory learners prefer spoken messages. The less understood auditory learners need to hear their own voice to process the information. The more prevalent type, ‘Listeners,’ most likely did well in school. Out of school too, they remember things said to them and make the information their own. They may even carry on mental dialogues and determine how to continue by thinking back on the words of others. Conversely, those who need to ‘talk it out’ often find themselves talking to those around them. In a class setting when the instructor is not asking questions, auditoryverbal processors (talkers) tend to mutter comments to themselves. They are not trying to be disruptive and may not even realize they need to talk. Some researchers go so far as to call these learners ‘Interactives.’ People Learn Through Doing – Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learners Tactile/kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.

Marcia Conner describes tactile and kinesthetic learners different, but very similar. “Kinesthetic learners want to sense the position and movement of what they are working on. Tactile learners want to touch. ‘Enough talking and looking,’ they may say. ‘Let’s work with this stuff. Let’s get our hands dirty already.’ Even if kinesthetic or tactile learners don’t get much from the discussion or the written materials, they may catch up and exceed the lesson plan by working through scenarios and labs. Often, they don’t thrive in traditional schools because most classrooms don’t offer enough opportunity to move or touch. Most assessments group kinesthetic and tactile styles together, though they mean different things. Their similarity is that both types perceive information through nerve ends in the skin, as well as organs through muscles, tendons, and joints. (There are many other classifications of learning styles. Refer to the notes at the end of the article to discover other resources which outline these subjects.) Why is understanding learning styles important? How will it help me? “Learning style assessments,” states Marcia Conner, “provide you an opportunity to learn how you are likely to respond under different circumstances and how to approach information in a way that best addresses your own particular needs. Knowing your own style can also help you realize that other people may approach the same situation in a way that’s different from your own.” Understanding learning styles allows professionals the opportunity to seek out educational experiences that maximize time and effort. Going to a lecture might not be appropriate to learn how to use a new computer system. In this case a workshop might be more appropriate. When looking for professional development opportunities, matching a program or learning experience with the learning preference or style will maximize time and effort and provides assurance that learning will occur.

Knowing the learning preferences of an employee may help you determine whether an employee should watch a video, read a manual, or be trained by another individual From a training perspective, understanding the learning styles of your employees will have a positive impact on your training. Knowing the learning preferences of an employee may help you determine whether an employee should watch a video, read a manual, or be trained by another individual. How do I discover my learning style and the learning styles of my employees? Here is a list of learning style assessments that can be taken free on-line: Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS) http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ ilsweb.html The VARK Questionnaire http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page. asp?p=questionnaire “What’s Your Learning Style” by Marcia Conner h t t p : / / a g e l e s s l e a r n e r. c o m / a s s e s s / learningstyle.html LdPride.Net Learning Style Assessment http://www.ldpride.net/learning_style.html Consider having your employees take one of these assessments. Learning how you learn and how your employees learn will allow you to use this information to make your training more effective. Match your learning style to the programs you participate in and maximize the effectiveness of your learning.

Chris Longstreet is President & CEO of the Society for Hospitality Management. He also serves as a visiting instructor for the Hospitality & Tourism Management Program at Grand Valley State University. For more information, visit the SHM website at www.hospitalitysociety.org or contact Chris at clongstreet@hospitalitysociety.org.


Hilton To Expand Offerings In The Maldives The Hilton Maldives / Iru Fushi Resort & Spa Is Set To Entice The Yachting Community, Nature Lovers, Spa Seekers And Honeymooners

Hilton Hotels Corporation has announced that its subsidiary has entered into an agreement with Sun Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd, to manage the Hilton Maldives/Iru Fushi Resort & Spa. A conversion hotel project, the property currently known as the Irufushi Beach & Spa Resort is scheduled to open as a Hilton Worldwide Resort in July 2009. Martin Rinck, President Hilton Hotels Corporation – Asia Pacific, commented, “The beauty of the Maldives, its pristine white beaches, turquoise waters and fascinating underwater world continues to entice yachting and diving enthusiasts, spa seekers and honeymooners looking for an island hideaway. This is one of the most exotic and idyllic island destinations in the world, and we are delighted to add the Hilton flag to the Conrad brand already present”.

Comprising 220 villas, the Hilton Maldives/ Iru Fushi Resort & Spa will sprawl over 52 acres of powdery white sands and abundant tropical vegetation on Medhafushi which is nestled within the unspoilt Noonu Atoll. Traditional Maldivian architecture and materials are used to dramatic effect to create luxurious villas for discerning travelers. The resort will offer a range of room options, from beach villas that open onto private shores and are surrounded by rich tropical foliage, to over-water villas with private whirlpools and sundecks from which guests can take in uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean. Four unique restaurants will enable guests to embark on an epicurean journey during their stay. From an alfresco restaurant with

live stations and grills serving freshly caught seafood to a fine dining restaurant blending local and international flavours. A selection of distinctive bars and an over water wine cellar will allow guests to unwind with beverages and watch the famous Maldivian sunsets. HILTON TO EXPAND OFFERINGS IN THE MALDIVES A stunning spa sanctuary with 21 private spa pavilions will be complemented by a fitness centre, swimming pool, tennis courts and a range of water sport activities, while book lovers can curl up at the resort library and Internet cafe. Famed for its beautiful and rare underwater reefs, warm water temperatures and high visibility, the Maldives enjoys a reputation as one of the best diving destinations in the


About Hilton Hotels Corporation Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries, with more than 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly ® regarded hotel brands including Hilton , ® Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, Home2 Suites by Hilton™, the Waldorf AstoriaTM, Waldorf Astoria Collection™ and Denizen™ Hotels. The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly ® regarded hotel company: be hospitable . The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity. For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonfamily.com. About Sun Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd.

world. The Hilton Maldives will have a diving centre on property to enable guests to learn to scuba dive with qualified trainers as well as enable dive enthusiasts to make the most of their experience of the house reef and crystal clear waters of Noonu Atoll. Over 30 dive sites are available to explore within an hour from the island, all with an abundance of marine life and a rich variety of colourful corals. “We’re thrilled to welcome the Hilton Maldives/Iru Fushi Resort & Spa to our portfolio,” said Jeff Diskin, senior vice president - Brand Management, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “This beautiful location, coupled with our unique brand of Hilton hospitality is sure to make this hotel a favorite among the world’s travellers.”

Located approximately 60 kilometres north of Malé International Airport, the resort is easily accessed by a 45-minute seaplane flight. The management contract will further enhance Hilton Hotels’ presence in the Maldivian archipelago, where the company will have several of its Hilton Family of Hotels Brands. The Hilton Maldives will build on the success of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island which opened in 1997 (originally as a Hilton hotel before being rebranded to the Conrad in 2007). The Doubletree by Hilton Malé is also scheduled to open in the Republic’s capital, Malé, in 2011.

Sun Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. has a portfolio of products including the highly successful Sun Travels & Tours, one of the most established and respected tour operators in the Maldives; and the Sun International Diving School, which was created for providing safe, professional, and exiting diving in one of the most sought after diving destinations in the world. The company currently owns and operates over 500 beds in the Maldives and enjoys strong ties with the resort owners and tour operators worldwide. In addition to the Irufushi Beach and Spa Resort in Noonu Atoll, its collection of exclusive resorts include Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort in South Nilandhe Atoll; Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in South Male Atoll; and The Beach House, a luxury resort in Manafaru. The company also owns a luxury cruiser Sunset Queen.

Press Contacts: Faith Thoms, Communications Director – Asia Pacific Tel: +65 6833 9762 ; Email: faith.thoms@hilton.com


in food prep areas. Chemicals should not be stored above food, equipment, or utensils, unless they are used specifically to clean and sanitize warewashing areas. To ensure the proper use of cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, review the manufacturer’s directions for use on the labeling, as well as the accompanying Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Labels and MSDSs will include handling practices and any personal protective equipment for foodservice employees to follow and use. Manufacturers of chemicals for foodservice use are required to send MSDS information with their products in order to help promote chemical safety in the workplace.

Proper

Chemical Storage In restaurants, a clean and sanitary environment is imperative. Clearly, cleaning and sanitizing solutions play an important role in the success of any foodservice operation. But, when cleaning and sanitizing products are stored or used improperly, the results can be dangerous or even devastating. Damage to equipment, workplace injuries, foodborne illness and accidental poisoning can all result from improper storage and handling of cleaning and sanitizing chemicals. And the incident of improper use and storage is probably larger than you think. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently reported the out of compliance rate at more than 30 percent of quick-service restaurants and at almost 40 percent of full service restaurants. How can foodservice operators help protect their business and their employees from this risk? As a first line of defense, operators should choose only chemicals that are This article reprinted with permission by Daydots 2009

approved for their establishments. Chemical sanitizers and other chemical antimicrobials that are applied to food-contact surfaces, such as fruit and vegetable washes and drying agents, also must meet requirements for use in foodservice restaurant. Operators must then ensure that the chemicals are being stored and used properly throughout their facilities. Cleaning and sanitizing chemicals should be stored in their original containers with a legible manufacturer’s label. Working containers used for storing cleaning and sanitizing chemicals should be clearly marked and individually identified with the name of the chemical or product, the manufacturer’s name and address, and the potential hazards of the chemical. Chemicals should also be stored away from food and food prep areas so they cannot contaminate food or equipment

The manufacturer labels and MSDSs are the best sources of information for specific storage and use requirements of individual cleaners and sanitizers. When disposing of chemicals, foodservice employees should again follow the instructions on the label, as well as any local regulations that apply. Containers that were previously used to store cleaning and sanitation chemicals should never be used to store, transport or dispense food. Proper storage and use of cleaning and sanitizing chemicals will go a long way in helping to prevent chemical emergencies. If a chemical emergency does occur in your foodservice establishment, review the product label and MSDS to find the proper steps to take. All foodservice operations should also have an easily accessible firstaid kit that is clearly marked and stored in a container and location that prevents the contamination of food. A clean environment is critical to the ongoing success of any foodservice operation. Choosing approved cleaning and sanitizing chemicals for foodservice use and training foodservice employees on the proper storage, handling and emergency procedures for approved chemicals will help ensure the safety of your guests, your employees and your reputation.


Every Hospitality Executive Is The Author Of His Own Health !


Evil Erik had a stroke, then recovered more or less and is now looking for a new job, so managers around the world, think twice

responsibilities towards you, and that employees also have responsibilities towards them.

Mark Twain once said “ the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want to eat, drink what you don’t want to drink and do what you’d rather not“

Health and safety at work is everyone’s responsibility. It is important that everybody has a general understanding of health and safety for the industry in which they will be undertaking their work experience or work placement.

Evil Erik spend his health gaining wealth and ended up borrowing money to regain health, since he didn’t have the wealth himself. What only a few leaders in our industry realize, is that we have to improve the knowledge and understanding of occupational health and safety issues related to our industry. It should be the responsibility of the employers to educate their employees, junior and senior, about the challenges in working in the hospitality industry. All of them should know about : • • • • • • • • • • •

emergency evacuation procedures hazard identification drugs and alcohol manual handling slips and falls machinery and equipment noise and light pollution electricity hazardous substances heat stress handling of wounds

But when was the last time you had a training session about occupational safety and health hazards and laws or were provided with some practical solutions to common health and safety problems in the Hospitality Industry ? Eric’s job and those of all his associates, whether full-time, part-time, casual or an apprenticeship, can be an exciting and demanding experience as new responsibilities and expectations are placed on them in an exiting working environment.

While they are at a workplace the employer is responsible for ensuring the workplace is safe, including: • • •

providing safe work areas, machinery and equipment; providing information, instruction, training and supervision providing personal protective equipment.

The employer must ensure that your health or safety is not harmed in any way and the employee must take responsibility for looking after their own health and safety, and make sure not to put others at risk. But that means also staying away from drugs and alcohol, both so easy available in our international orientated workplaces and many executives being too busy to take care of their health, becoming like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.

What Evil Erik doesn’t realize is that health is not simply the absence of sickness and that to preserve health is a moral duty, for health is the basis of all virtues. He can, and is, no longer useful since he is not well ! The bottom line of this article is that health is not a condition of matter, but of mind ! That is of course if you live, like Evil Erik, without realizing that health of mind is of far more consequence to success in the workplace than the health of the body, although both should deserve much more attention then either of them receive. Soccer players are hired, providing their physical tests are positive, shouldn’t Hospitality Managers being tested too, before they are employed ! Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings, so next time you hire a Senior Executive, don’t only look at the CV, but also at the greatest possession of all : Health ! Evil Erik, sorry for having dared to mention that the health of hospitality employees is really the foundation upon which happiness of our customers depends. So Erik, “ be well “ as Dr. Cocteau in the Demolition Man says, unfortunately I can’t put in writing John Spartan’s answer, but is starts with “ be f..... “

the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want to eat, drink what you don’t want to drink and do what you’d rather not

Employers will provide employees with valuable opportunities to gain experience in the workplace, but it is important to understand that employers have

Bert “Bow-Thai” van Walbeek has been an Hotelier for 40 years and Marketer of Tourism for 30 years, a Motivator for 20 years and a lecturer for 15 years. In 1993 he became the Founder and still is Managing Director of The Winning Edge, (www.twe-winningedge.com) a boutique consulting company, offering marketing audit, sales and service training and consultancy services mainly to the Hospitality & Tourism industries. He is also lecturing the “next generation” at Universities in Asia and Europe and speaks on leadership, crisis management and marketing subjects during industrial and academic conferences.The company is presently handling projects in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand. He can be reached at bert@twe-winningedge.com


“Every issue of Hospitality Maldives has helped me develop my career in one way or the other. Thanks to everyone behind the magazine.” Mohamed Arshad, Guest Relations Supervisor, Irufushi Beach & Spa Resort

“Honestly the best and most practical mag in the industry.” Kenn G Munyeki, Resident Manager, Irufushi Beach & Spa Resort

Whatever you have to say, we want to hear it! Email us your feedback today to editor@hosmal.com

LASTWORDS

“David, great magazine! I read it this morning and was impressed with the amount and quality of the information. Nicely done!” Kelley Robertson, President, Robertson Training Group (USA)


Hospitality Maldives Issue 24  

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

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