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Peter Ducker, Institute of Hospitality Continued Growth Gives Hope of Sustained Recovery Connected World: Mobile Travel Agents

Use Social Media to Attract Gen Y Hotel La Tour is Harnessing the Power of Customer Reviews

Pub Talk Management 5 Ways to Acknowledge Loyalty Advice on Budgets and Unlocking Additional Sales

News and Announcements from Hotel Suppliers


Hotel Industry Magazine Winter 2014 – ISSN 2051-0632 Editorial Editor: Lee Jamieson Email: editor@hotel-industry.co.uk Editorial Contributors: Elliot Adams, Mark Chambers, Peter Ducker, Caroline Cooper, Lee Jamieson, Victoria Jamieson, Conor Kenny, Angelo Rossini, Jane Schofield Hotel Data Partners: BDO and Euromonitor International Digital Web: www.hotel-industry.co.uk Supplier Directory: www.hotel-industry.co.uk/directory Twitter: @hotel_industry Facebook: www.facebook.com/hotel.industry Jamieson Media Hotel Industry Magazine and hotel-industry.co.uk are published by Jamieson Media, a UK Registered Partnership Website: www.jamiesonmedia.co.uk Email: contact@jamiesonmedia.co.uk VAT Registration No: 127 7969 65

The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions in this publication, however caused. All information in this publication is provided for general use. The publishers advise all readers to seek specialist advice before acting on any information contained in this publication. Readers are also advised to directly contact advertisers and companies mentioned in this publication in order to qualify the claims made, adherence to regulation and financial security. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher. © Copyright 2014, Jamieson Media

2014 will be an important year of transition for Hotel Industry Magazine: the brand is retiring its print editions with immediate effect. This is by no means the end, but rather the start of an exciting new era for Hotel Industry as it focuses on developing its digital and event offerings.

While there are exciting possibilities ahead for us, I wanted to assure you We believe that this move reflects the that the decision to cease publication views of our readers and allows us to of a regular print magazine was not keep pace with changes in the UK taken lightly. hotel sector. In recent years, UK hoteliers have worked tirelessly to The reality is that the number of print embrace the digital age and now have magazine titles for UK hoteliers is cutting edge technology at their increasing and their effectiveness is fingertips. decreasing. Technology is now so entrenched in our readers' business models, we believe that the traditional print magazine has become out-dated in this sector.

Combined with the ever-increasing expense of print and delivery, the creation of a traditional print magazine is no longer a tenable business proposition.

The hotel-industry.co.uk website will continue to deliver the same level of analysis, comment, data and actionable intelligence, combining content from the website and the magazine.

The Hotel Industry brand has always been about ―intelligence‖. For a time, a traditional print magazine was the most effective way to disseminate that intelligence, but times have changed ... and so must we.


After a prolonged period in the deepest UK recession since the War we are finally reporting bona-fide growth. The latest official statistics and forecasts make positive reading: unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2009, household spending and retail sales made modest gains in the second half of 2013; and, instead of the 1.5% it gave us a few months ago, the IMF now expects the UK to grow 2.4% this year, higher than any other European country. Of course, such positive news is hugely welcome, but it is not without challenges for our industry. In an even more fiercely competitive labour market, how will economic growth affect our ability to recruit and retain capable and talented employees? Undoubtedly, our industry was one of the success stories of the recession. While the public sector, financial services, manufacturing and engineering shrank, the hospitality industry created 153,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2012 – a quarter of all new jobs, according to the British Hospitality Association.

career of last resort. Trying to attract school leavers to our industry is leaving it too late. That is why a number of schemes aim to educate and influence primary school children about the variety of opportunities that hospitality offers.

offered that balance.‖ Career choice

Coming out of recession does not mean that we are returning to a pre2008 world. The environment has changed significantly, and in many Of course we need chefs, waiters and respects, the changes make receptionists, but we also need hospitality a more attractive career professionally-qualified employees in choice than ever before. IT, online distribution, revenue management, web-analytics, interior Firstly, the growth is set to continue. design, property and acquisitions, Long-term employment projections branding, sales and marketing. suggest that by 2020 hospitality‘s UK workforce will have grown by 6% and, Kristian Nenchev, 24, recently won an including replacement demand, an Institute of Hospitality Student Award. additional 660,200 people will need to He is now a revenue manager for be recruited, according to People 1st. Marriott International. His talent for This includes plenty of management maths and IT could have taken him roles, which gives hospitality a real into any sector, but he chose hotels. advantage over other sectors where Why? senior roles may not be available.

―I was thinking of joining IT College and studying to become a programmer. But somewhere along the line I looked at the stereotype of a person that works in IT and I just didn‘t see myself in it,‖ he says. ―And therefore I switched to something completely different because I wanted Attract to have human interaction and teamwork and just have a balanced Yet despite such facts, many parents, approach to work in terms of time teachers and careers advisors spent in front of a computer and continue to regard hospitality as a interacting with people. Hospitality

Secondly, more and more hospitality firms are being recognised as employers of choice. In the latest Sunday Times list of the UK‘s 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, there is a higher number of hospitality and leisure organisations than from any other sector. Seven employers make the list (IHG, Bourne Leisure, McDonald‘s, Marriott Hotels, Whitbread, Hilton Worldwide and Elior UK) beating six from the professional services sector and four from retail.


1. Look at your teams and identify your stars of tomorrow 2. Remember that highly effective work-based learning programmes are available to companies of all sizes 3. Engage with your local hospitality colleges and educators 4. Make sure that your training budgets and programmes are reaching staff at all levels in your organisation 5. Go to your local primary and secondary schools and give a presentation about the huge variety of jobs available in the hotel industry

Thirdly, hospitality is not badly paid. At IHG UK, 11% of employees earn ÂŁ35,000 or more compared to 3% or 4% for most retail companies. In a recent comparison of corporate and management roles across the UK by remuneration experts MHR Global, hospitality pay was higher than the general market in 30% of cases.

Educators, employers, trade associations and individual managers and supervisors all have a role and responsibility in this.

More and more organisations realise that developing their own staff is costeffective because it reduces turnover and recruitment agency fees. Even more critically, it helps an organisation Finally, studying at an English maintain consistent standards. The university has now become extremely opportunity for continuous costly, meaning that many young professional development people are looking at alternative underpinned by a caring culture that routes into employment or further recognises the need for work/life education. Hospitality‘s low barriers balance is understood to be the way to entry mean there are roles for to generate loyalty and discretionary everyone, with or without effort from employees. qualifications, and for those with ambition and talent, the career paths So how should organisations best are very clear. Our industry has many deploy their training and development leaders, such as Sir David Michels budgets to attain the best results in and Alan Parker, who started their retention? Research by People 1st careers working as chefs or waiting shows that turnover for frontline staff on tables. is the highest of any group of employees, averaging 30%. This Belonging group is also the most likely to stay by being offered regular and relevant Once our new recruits have entered training. Turnover among middle our industry, we need to make sure managers is 23% and among senior that we plan their development, managers it is 21%. Although training nurture them, motivate them, support spend on senior management has them with career-long learning; give increased over the last four to five them a feeling of belonging and a years, it has decreased for middle sense of identity. Lack of a clearly managers and frontline staff. This visible career path can be a major research suggests, therefore, that factor in failing to retain talent. current training budgets need to be

spread more evenly to ensure they also reach frontline workers who are the most likely to stay loyal to the company as a result of the investment. Retention We believe that full-time study and college-based part-time study have a valid place and have been proven over the years to be effective. We also see a growing demand for the flexibility of work-based education, enabling companies to tailor programmes such as ours to their own products and culture, but still deliver an examination-based and internationally-recognised qualification. Such in-house staff development programmes are by no means the preserve of large companies, but can be easily put in place for small and medium-sized operations. Offering work-based learning qualifications and management development gives hotel operators a tremendous good corporate citizenship message to staff, the local community and to clients. Providing opportunities and investing in your future managers can only reflect well on everyone concerned.


The performance of the UK hotel sector continued its upward trajectory at the end of 2013, ending the year on a positive note, according to data from Hotel Industry Data, in partnership with business advisory and accountancy firm, BDO LLP.

compared to £32.35 in December 2012.

Operators in the regions saw their room yields surge ahead followed by those in London giving further evidence that a sustained recovery in the sector and the economy as a whole is gaining a foothold.

Growth in the regions seems to be leading the sector out of recession, ending the year in positive territory in terms of room yield and only marginally down on average room rate.

Growth Across the UK Rooms yield in the regions increased by 9.9% year-on-year to £35.56,

This was the result of a 4.7% rise in room rate from £53.99 to £56.54, combined with a 5% improvement in occupancy from 59.9% to 62.9%.

In the capital, rooms yield rose to £95.44, a 5.9% year-on-year increase. This was driven by a 5.5% improvement in room rate from £118.79 to £125.31 and a 0.4% rise in occupancy to 76.2%, compared with 75.8% a year ago. London enjoyed a strong end to the year despite the difficult start when the City was managing the oversupply hangover from the Olympics.

Although the strong second half of the year didn‘t quite make up the lost This is the first year since 2005 where ground, improved sentiment the regions have led the charge over surrounding the economy and a the year as a whole—but will this strengthening corporate market bodes trend continue throughout 2014. well for 2014.


Dig deeper into BDO‘s figures in our interactive Hotel Industry Data Centre. Benchmark your occupancy, RevPar and rate by location and sector with our interactive graphs and visualisations. Discover More: www.hotel-industry.co.uk/data


In an information and e-commerce environment where consumers are increasingly using different platforms to access the internet, the mobile channel is constantly gaining ground, not only due to the use of smartphones and tablets as ―personal assistants‖ but also to make travel bookings. Today, the mobile channel is accounting for a growing share of the online reservations of OTAs (online travel agencies) and hotel chains, but we have also seen the first mobileonly travel agencies (MTAs) entering the market. These are currently niche players focusing on tonight-only bookings made by travellers on the go. However, in an increasingly competitive mobile travel arena, the most successful mobile-only players are expected to reach the mainstream market in the next few years, gaining share at the expense of traditional OTAs. Reaching Consumers through any Screen Today‘s consumers are increasingly ―multi-screen‖, moving from their television to their PC to their smartphone and tablet to consume information and entertainment content, but also for e-commerce purposes. This is why companies, and especially travel companies given the importance of online sales for this industry, need to be active throughout all platforms. According to Expedia‘s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, ―with the proliferation of devices coming out there you have to build your technology with very flexible architecture‖ so that companies are able to reach consumers on any type of device, also now including internet-connected glasses and watches. Evolving Roles for Internet Devices However, different devices are being used by consumers in different ways.

Laptop and desktop PCs still currently play a dominant role in online bookings. Mobile devices are clearly acquiring the role of personal assistants for travellers and their importance as a customer service tool is set to grow further over the next few years. The conversion rate of web searches into sales is currently still much lower for smartphones than for PCs, however, while tablets fare better from this point of view.

Moreover, there are already some online travel agencies which were born as mobile-only players. These include American company Hotel Tonight and European players Blink, JustBook and Hot Hotels/ ReallyLateBooking.

All these companies were created to focus on tonight-only bookings, targeting on-the-go travellers. However, following the development and increasing importance of the The convenience of smartphones and mobile channel, MTAs today have the tablets and a change in consumer opportunity to expand from being habits favouring last-minute bookings niche to mainstream players. when on the go, however, will Challenging Traditional gradually change this. Online Travel Players Mobile bookings have already started to rocket over the last couple of years Among the current mobile travel and are predicted to possibly surpass agencies, Hotel Tonight and Blink those made through PCs in some appear to have the strongest growth travel categories in a few years‘ time. potential. Hotel Tonight raised US$45 million in venture capital funding in Orbitz says that mobile bookings September 2013 while in the same accounted for 30% of its total hotel month Blink was acquired by reservations in Q2 2013, with the Groupon. In particular, the company expecting them to account combination of Blink‘s mobile booking for over 50% in the next few years, know-how and Groupon‘s hotel while Chinese OTA Ctrip states that inventory make the Spanish MTA a the mobile channel already accounted very promising player in this category for 40% of its hotel bookings in July in the near future. and August 2013. The next few years will certainly Are We Witnessing a Shift Towards witness major new developments in an MTA Era in Travel? the mobile travel agency space, including the rise of new players, The evolving role of mobile devices, substantial investment in them and which will see them gradually acquire some consolidation activity. a major and possibly dominant role in travel sales, means that all travel Some major moves will certainly be players will need to embrace these made by leading online travel platforms and the technological agencies such as Priceline and flexibility mentioned by Mr Expedia, traditionally at the forefront Khosrowshahi. of innovation as far as travel technology is concerned, in order to But, are we going to also see a rise in defend their positions in this rising specialist mobile travel agencies? channel through both organic growth and acquisitions. The first developments in this area are already taking place. The above- On the other hand, the most mentioned Chinese OTA Ctrip is successful mobile-only players will increasingly focusing its growth on certainly gain some ground in online this channel, aiming to essentially travel, tapping into the growth of the become a mobile player. mobile category.


Social media is a key communications tool for businesses as they look to communicate with ‗Generation-Y‘ and the hotel industry is no exception. Big or small, independent boutique or internationally renowned chain, it is important to ensure customers feel their opinions are being heard. They need a window into your business, whether it‘s to praise you or to inform you of something that was less than satisfactory.

Generation-Y are using social media and review sites to find the perfect hotel for their stay, as well as nearby bars, clubs, restaurants and boutiques that will enrich their experience.

A business with an effectively managed online presence on reviews and recommendations platforms like Yelp, is far more likely to get customers through the door and have Here are a few pointers to help you them return time and again once they attract those younger, trendier realise their voice has been heard. customers.


People like to know about other people. Tell your potential customers where you‘re from and who you are, in order to really connect with them.

Your online profile is the first thing your potential Gen-Y guests will see, so it‘s vital to really bring it to life and give it a personality.

If you talk to them, they are far more likely to want to talk to you, and ultimately make that all-important purchase decision.

Pick photos that are colourful and vibrant, and make sure there are enough of them to really peak customers‘ interest.

Businesses can create an online journey for their customers before they‘ve even reached the door, without having to spend vast amounts of money on more traditional marketing methods.

It‘s also imperative to keep these photos up to date, so if you‘ve had a revamp or rebrand, be sure to pop up some photos so new customers know exactly what to expect.

Creating a full website may not always be right for every business, but maximising social media and review sites really goes the distance in building an online presence with a personality.

With review sites such as Yelp, users are also able to upload their own photos of your business, which adds a further personal touch.

Any online profile for your business must include updated contact details at the very least. Additionally, include information on other aspects such as pricing, business hours and nearest public transport links. Make sure all details are easy to find and that your profile is easy to navigate. Ultimately, ensure you never leave your customers needing more information about you or what you offer.


The family-run Avo Hotel opened in the trendy East End‘s newly emerging capital, Dalston, in March 2011. It soon flourished in London‘s hipster haven, with daughter Sunny at the helm of the marketing machine. The family attribute Avo‘s success to connecting with a newer, younger crowd through social media, using Yelp as a key tool to kick-start conversations with potential hotel goers.

―We drive people to the basic booking engine on our own website via social media, and also word of mouth through our relationships with other local businesses. I post regular updates on our own social media pages, then I log on to Yelp‘s talk boards to look for people asking about places to stay.

―What‘s really amazing about the Yelp community is that if I‘ve missed any enquiries on the talk boards, I ―First of all, Dad insisted on traditional marketing, tend to find that the network of Yelpers will actually putting an advert in the Hackney Gazette,‖ says Sunny. have recommended Avo on my behalf, as we‘ve built ―This was despite my efforts to convince him that our up a reliable presence and reputation with them. target audience was younger and trendier, and would look to the Internet to find information – they probably ―It‘s so important to allow your customers a voice and wouldn‘t even see that print advert. I soon managed to respond publicly to feedback too. It‘s great for younger show him that an online presence on social media sites, people to be talking about your business, and it‘s particularly Yelp, is so important in reaching that wonderful to have the opportunity to read and respond demographic and finding potential customers looking to our reviews, even if the comments are negative. It for somewhere to stay in the area. It‘s a free way to gives us piece of mind in a way, as we are still new to connect with the people we want to target – guests this and not professionals, so it‘s comforting to have looking to relax and have fun. feedback to take on board.‖


In keeping with our mantra of feedback, feedback, feedback, our website is now publishing live, unedited reviews gathered by a third party. I believe we are amongst the first in the luxury hotel market to take this step. We are using Feefo, the global feedback engine, to collect feedback from guests and the reviews are then posted on our homepage – you can take a look at www.hotel-latour.co.uk This move means we can publish the opinions of verified guests, ensuring the reviews are 100 per cent genuine. We view it is an important tool in allowing customers to make an informed choice and help in our aim of delivering outstanding customer service. We started to engage with our guests on Tripadvisor, Twitter and Facebook when our hotel opened in Birmingham in March 2012. Working with Feefo is an extension of our customer-focused approach to encouraging reviews and responding to genuine customer opinion. Prospective customers can go to our site and click on the Feefo button to see all of our verified reviews. It is a valuable tool in helping to improve our customer service and also for prospective customers when choosing where to stay. All comments received via Feefo are published and each review receives a unique response from the General Manager. We aim to respond to every review within seven days. In the case

of a negative comment, we try to respond within 24 hours as well as making personal contact with the guest by way of a telephone call from a director of the hotel.

Feefo then emails guests directly for their comments and ratings along a four point scale from ―excellent‖ to ―bad‖ in the areas of hotel and restaurant service, hotel accommodation, conference facilities Since the system was implemented in and dining experience. All hotel March this year, some 1,300 reviews guests receive a Feefo request and have been posted. An average of returning customers are invited to 95% of correspondents describe our respond once every three months. service as ―good‖ or ―excellent‖ and a similar percentage also rate the hotel All responses are posted directly onto product as ―good‖ or ―excellent.‖ our website, as well as Feefo‘s. The system is completely independent and We have made a number of business allows no editing or deletion except changes as a result of the insights for the cases of personal details being gained from this genuine customer disclosed or the use of inappropriate feedback. These include placing language. bottled water in bedrooms, providing a choice of pillows, enhancing water Our policy is to embrace social media pressure in showers, and altering the and online customer reviews: it makes TV and radio channel selection so good business sense to listen to your guests can receive BBC Radio 4 and customers, respond to what they are BBC Midlands in the hotel bedrooms. saying and, where appropriate, make business changes which will enhance It is also a great mechanism for your offering. Guest comments are allowing specific requests from also extremely valuable in the onindividuals to be addressed. For going training of our team. All our example, our IT director was able to customers are invited to share their personally assist a regular guest who experiences via Feefo and around had queries about our wifi logins 16% do so. This is above average for (incidentally, wifi is complimentary the hospitality sector and we continue throughout the hotel). to work to encourage more to take part. This touch of personalisation is something we aspire to offer wherever The fact that the system is completely possible and which, incidentally, independent, affords credibility and always elicits glowing reports back demonstrates our determination to from those who benefit as a result! ensure all our guests have the very best possible experience when Feefo has been integrated into our staying with us. At the same time we Micros booking system. Guests now know that, on occasion, things will go automatically receive an email from wrong and I think that anyone looking us thanking them for their stay and at our reviews can see that we notifying them they will receive an genuinely do strive to deliver the very invitation to provide feedback. best customer service.


It‘s Not That Simple Stupid! When storms hit the high seas, people perish. Sometimes they perish at the hands of pirates. Sometimes by managers who manage by slogan. As the world economy slowly tries to get back on its feet, like an out-flowing tide, we can‘t help but see what damage the storm left below the surface. That damage is often not repairable. When people are under pressure they can reveal the truth behind the superficial charm. That‘s easy in a boom, not so easy in a collapse. Thing is, masks that slipped are not easily forgotten.

the solutions to good management day long. Happiness for him was to can be lifted off a bookshelf and learnt lay traps and watch, on CCTV as they in a day. They can‘t. tumbled. Of course the next step was execution. A Good Boss Words If you ask anyone to reflect on the good bosses or managers they Words, no matter how simple, can encountered in their lifetime, you‘ll have an impact we never know. Our see that it is always a very small language is complex enough and number. If you asked about bad ambiguity can destroy a gentle soul. bosses, the numbers would rise. What we say, and how we say it, can A good manager is often remembered make or break the most loyal as ―tough but fair‖ and, interestingly individual. Yes indeed, words, damn enough, never ―fair but tough‖ words, can paralyse a giant. In my own daily life working with managers, I can remember a handful that are outstanding. At the other end of the spectrum, I remember a very tall manager doing his best to knock out a member of his team across the boardroom table.

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Peter Drucker, in The Age of Discontinuity said ―Management is simple but not easy. The simple part is knowing what to do. The part that is Thankfully the table was wide enough not easy is getting others to do it‖ to reduce his powerful reach.

Words can be the ignition to launch an army and words, misused, can wreck your voyage, capsize your ship and feed the pirates.

Books Bearing False Promises

Those that you remember, as well as being tough but fair, also have a strong sense of their own humility and how their words and actions impact on those below their rank.

The Manager’s Slogans

I can think of great managers who never did anything but the ‗right thing‘ even when it was difficult and unpopular.

We talked ―management by slogan‖ and I gave them a 15 minute breakout to come back with classic Pub Talk Management clichés.

Walk in to any bookstore and you will be bombarded with books bearing promises of simple solutions. They draw attention because they confirm our prejudices. They draw attention because they pretend to make something complex simple.

People are not machines and emotions play an enormous part in I can think of one especially awful our decisions. It is all too easy to think manager who spied on his staff all

Recently, I gave a workshop to a fantastic group of very bright managers.

They did and here‘s just some of the list they produced:


Conor Kenny and Associates are experts in sales, marketing, sales training and people development. They help you to get the most out of your people and your business. Companies don‘t innovate; people do. Discover more: www.conorkenny.com

                     

I‘m the boss – just do it! Hmmm – I don‘t like that I heard you...but.... Tried that, done that, not doing it again Going forward/Action it/cascade etc. It‘s out of my pay grade That‘s just the way it is Not him again! I‘ll do it myself Yeah, yeah, yeah I wouldn‘t bother asking him What would you expect? I bet that‘s ―....‖ on the phone They need more training Sure you love doing cash don‘t you? Get rid of them! Maybe another time Do us a favour and say this... What are you talking about? I could but I won‘t No or no you can‘t Keep your eye on the ball

A New Year’s Thought When they were done and when the laughter was over, smiling faces turned a little dark. Of course they had just realised that they were energetically writing down the very things they themselves say. When the day was over this exercise had really stood out. In the end they realised just one thing. Slogans that are only good for Pub

talk have no place at work. Now that you‘ve read this article, perhaps you‘d agree too? Better still, avoiding Pub Talk Management Slogans might even be a powerful New Year‘s resolution.


2. Show your Appreciation It's estimated that over two thirds of customers will fail to return if they feel unappreciated. Show your appreciation of their custom with a simple thank you This is the number one reason message. businesses lose customers. So are you doing enough to show your Naturally you‘ll do this in person. But appreciation of your most loyal follow up with a simple personalised guests? thank you note a few days later to show your appreciation. Here are 5 things you could be doing if you‘re not already… Give them something to remember you by, especially if it is handwritten 1. Ask for Feedback and tailored to them. Some think in this web based age this is out dated; Never take your regulars for granted; how would your guests react to ask for their feedback and resolve any receiving something in the post, rather shortfalls quickly. than clogging up their email inbox? Problems or challenges are often your opportunity to shine and leave a positive lasting impression if dealt with positively. Now‘s a chance to exceed expectations.

What better excuse to invite them back to show changes?

Remembering such details will always be appreciated. Record their personal details and any special requirements so whoever is on duty the welcome your guest receives is consistent. 4. Make them Feel Special Give them access to events, packages or facilities which are exclusive to them, and that have genuine benefits.

3. Remember Them

Not only addressing your guests by name (although don‘t under estimate the impact when someone remembers your name especially Face to face feedback will always win when you aren't expecting it), it‘s also over a comments form or about remembering their preferences. questionnaire. Ask them what they like and what disappoints them if Do they have any particular likes and anything, so you can learn from this dislikes, what is their favourite table or and continually improve. room, do they have any particular Guests will be flattered if you ask for their opinions. Keep them updated with the changes they‘ve made to demonstrate that you have been listening.

requirements such as a late check in or special diet. How do they like their drinks mixed? Do we know their birthday or any special anniversaries?

How does it make you feel when you see promotions offering special deals for new customers that aren‘t available to you as an existing customer? Make your loyal customers feel valued. This not only demonstrates your appreciation of their custom, it potentially prompts additional bookings or sales.


Caroline Cooper is an author, trainer, and consultant on customer services and loyalty helping businesses to get more sales through their existing customers. She is founder of Naturally Loyal and author of The Hotel Success Handbook. Discover more: www.naturallyloyal.com

5. Show you Care Be attentive to your guests‘ individual needs and specific circumstances. Listen, engage and take time to show your genuine interest in them. Take every opportunity to give spontaneous and unexpected little extras that they won‘t get from your competitors, pay attention to detail, be consistent, do that little bit extra when needed, so your guests always feel appreciated. Your guests will compare you with anyone else who delivers a service. So as long as you deliver a five-star service you‘re going to compare favourably with all your ‗competition‘.


As our thoughts turn to the budgeting process, we will be busy in January reviewing the financial performance for the new fiscal year of 2014/15.

result. There are a number of ways to grow your business, often this is done through physical changes such as building, converting more space to bedrooms and introducing new facilities, but this is often brings capital expense and a major shift.

set tables is one example – sounds basic but it works!

We have also looked at ways to increase the productivity of our spa spaces at peak times. Our As ever, I will be speaking to our spas, like our restaurants, are General Managers about ways to often sold out on Saturdays but obtain some growth within the demand is always high so business. This is particularly What I‘m talking about here is lots squeezing more out of the spaces critical as we, like most of little things to ―create the available is key; starting staff businesses, are facing ever change‖. earlier and finishing later are increasing costs. If we are to obvious moves. protect and improve the profit Some ways of creating increased performance of the business we sales are fairly elementary; the The message here is not simply need more top line sales. introduction of new services, a necessarily the ideas themselves push around the conversion of but introducing a change of So how do we do this? sleepers to diners and creating approach, a different way of more room service covers are all thinking about your business and I always use the adage that ―if you perennial favourites but these will taking the time out to spring clean always do what you‘ve always not win the day. Growing your strategy. Taking your teams done, you always get what you‘ve significant sales needs much more on the journey with you is always got‖ and it is never truer innovation and thought than that. essential for a supportive buy in, than in this case. Hotel rather than just dictating a change management is not complex, nor We have recently looked at this which is often just seen as extra is the process needed to make challenge within our business and work and effort for no gain. things work, however growing have made just a couple of subtle sales is always a challenge. changes to make a difference. The I don‘t have the answers on all of introduction of additional tables this but what I urge everyone to do Within our operations we are often into our restaurants on busy is take a fresh look at the way they in the mind set of doing the same Fridays or Saturdays when the do things, as it‘s often a number of things, day in day out and clearly demand is there, rather than small changes that ―create the this will always achieve the same always doing the same number of change‖.


It‘s 2014 - Do you know about latest advancements in mobile technology for hotels? A Monscierge innovations and technology specialist will co-host a discussion panel during London‘s Hospitality Technology Europe, Feb.5th 2014, highlighting the newest features in mobile technology being implemented throughout hotels this year. The panel members of the Maximising App Power in Hotels forum seek to engage in discussions on various topics from marketing and promoting your hotel app, to guest utilisation of

app features, monitoring spending behaviours, and quantifying guest satisfaction results, as well as discussing other areas of app functionality. Monscierge was selected for the panel because of a persistent dedication to improving guest experiences and hotel staff efficiency - for continually seeking technology advancements that both inspire customer loyalty and increase property revenue. We are excited about discussing mobile apps that feature full functionality in multiple languages, control at a brand level with unique property highlights and local

recommendations, and an app for hotel staff that answers guest requests and monitors guests‘ feedback in real-time. Delivering this level of technology with your brand and design in a few weeks across hundreds of properties is what we do; innovative collaboration such as that from Hospitality Technology Europe is where we look to combine strengths for tomorrow‘s technology. If you miss the show, please contact us for information, ideas, thoughts or questions. Monscierge UK+44 78 1000 3838 USA+1 (405) 633 0070 www.monscierge.com


HRS is widely regarded amongst corporate bookers, with over 35,000 companies booking via HRS. HRS is the world‘s largest online corporate hotel booking portal, offering business and leisure travellers access to over 250,000 hotels in 180 countries across the world.

For hotels looking to maximise this market, HRS is an ideal partner, with a superb platform.

The site facilitates rich content, translated into over 32 languages and has over 5million independent reviews. Hotel results are based on The site is fee free, and offers a price search criteria and not by advertising, guarantee with a money back promise enabling a level playing field for if bookers find the same room independent and chain properties. cheaper on another site. It is this transparency, combined with its depth HRS also works with hotels to of hotel content that keeps the site‘s optimise their content, providing statistical data on how a hotel should 12 million visitors returning month best display itself– whether by after month. changing descriptors or sharing more

We will configure the system to your own requirements so you will have no steep learning curve to climb. The Hotel Locking System will operate the way you do. TSS Card Locks use RFiD Technology to give you trouble free performance partnered with high customer confidence and satisfaction from our Electronic Hotel Locks. You too can benefit from the advanced management our Hotel Lock systems offer whilst reducing maintenance overheads and removing customer frustration with older Hotel Card locks and key systems.

photographs, for example. Its vast resources of data mean HRS can recommend tactical changes in order for hotels to increase conversions. For hotels looking to attract significant business travel traffic and to see a real return on these bookings, HRS is ready to hear from you and find out more.

HRS Corporate – The Hotel Solutions Provider 0208 846 0643 www.hrscorporate.com

Hotel locking solution designed to meet your high standards in conjunction with convenient payment options if required.

Call us today to discuss how we can All our systems can be installed into a help. live Hotel if required, with the minimum of disruption to guests and staff. Our system support gives you total peace of mind. Your system will be backed up by 24 hour telephone support direct to an engineer, free dial in support, Annual Maintenance visits and free refresher TillSecure Systems training for staff members. 0844 99 33 253 www.tss-locks.co.uk We can offer you a cost-effective


is there to support your next decision; With a user-friendly design; software that makes sense. Many of us at iTesso come from the hospitality business. Most of us got frustrated with the PMS and CRS systems out there. So we decided to create our own. One we know works for the job that needs to be done.

To learn all about all the benefits of the iTesso Enterprise Lodging System, visit us at Hospitality Technology Europe, booth H256.

The system we created is much more than another PMS or another CRS. It is hospitality technology the way we as hotelier would like to have it at our iTesso disposal. With mobile apps, both 020 70965920 guest-facing and staff-facing; With dashboards showing information that www.itesso.com

Vax Commercial cares for more than just your floors. Cosy sofas, carpets and soft furnishings all help make a room more comfortable and relaxing, but it can be a challenge to keep them thoroughly clean and hygienic. Vax Commercial‘s VCW-05 quick-drying spray extractor makes it easy, as its powerful suction removes embedded dirt and stubborn stains from carpets and upholstery, leaving them thoroughly clean and smelling fresh. It has excellent drying times, so your carpets are ready to walk on in no time. For a really hygienic clean of professional kitchens and bathroom surfaces, including windows, ovens, taps and tiles, Vax Commercial‘s VCST-01 steam cleaner is ideal for almost every surface around the premises. This multi-purpose cleaner switches easily between functions for steam cleaning and sucking up wet

spills. In steam mode it heats up in just 90 seconds to produce 4.5 bar of hot steam that sanitises and deodorises without chemicals for a thorough, hygienic clean. The VCW05 spray extractor is available from January and VCST-01 steam cleaner from February 2014. A leading brand from one of the world‘s largest floorcare manufacturers, Vax Commercial‘s product range includes robust and upright vacuum cleaners, scrubber dryers, floor sweepers, carpet washers and cleaning detergents. Based in the heart of the UK, Vax Commercial has an excellent support and distribution network, plus unrivalled after sales support 7 days a week to help you with any query – big or small. Vax Commercial For more a free demonstration, training or further information, please email: sales@vaxcommercial.co.uk Follow us on Twitter @vaxcommercial


Bookings are up and attendee calibre is higher than ever for the 2014 Hotel Summit – an event supported by Hotel Industry Magazine.

Development Manager at DHL International

Now in its 15th year, the Hotel Summit, being held on the 12 -13 May at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire, puts its continuing success down to the attention paid to matching the requirements of delegates and suppliers alike, condensing months of work into under 2 days.

Forum Events Sales Director Sarah Hendy puts The Hotel Summit‘s success down to the level of research and planning put into each event:

With 4 months still to go until the summit, over 60% of delegate places have been booked. ―I was delighted with the quality of appointments, far from being unworkable. I found each delegate to be receptive and willing to engage in meaningful dialogue with a view to progressing a business relationship‖ said by Andy Garside, the Business

Planning for Success

―From both the delegate and supplier perspective, we ensure every attendee gets the most from the Summit. Delegates attend knowing that they will only meet with supplier companies they have requested, and in turn, the suppliers are aware that their meetings are matched with delegates who have an avid interest in the products or services they are promoting.‖ Throughout the event, delegates have the opportunity to attend industry related seminars presented by leading professionals. These inspirational,

motivating and educational 45 minute sessions will cover topics that are pertinent to their role within the Hotel industry. Delegate registration for the 2014 Hotel Summit is totally complimentary and includes meals and refreshments throughout the event, a place at the evening gala dinner on the 12th May, plus overnight accommodation at Heythrop Park Resort.

Hotel Summit For further information please contact Emma Fludgate on 01992 374068 or email e.fludgate@forumevents.co.uk For supplier availability & costs contact Sharron Fothergill on 01992 374072 or email s.fothergill@forumevents.co.uk



Hotel Industry Magazine - Winter 2014