By Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor
What Now? Where to Now?
I RECENTLY had the opportunity to sit down with owners and management services of the hospitality industry. It was an informal breakfast meeting at a local San Francisco Hotel. The main points being what now? And where to now. With all of the new technology that has inundated the industry how do we put it to use effectively? Some of the points brought up were:
- Get to know your customer, not just through e mail and surveys, but by personal contact, as we all agreed, it is still the best way to build loyalty. People still want to put a face to the contact.
- Establish personal visits to your competition, weather hotel, or restaurant. Don’t rely on web sites and reports, you will be surprised at what you can learn by actually staying at a hotel property.
- It is easy to gather around a bunch of hospitality guru’s and discuss issues that affect the industry. To act upon them is a different story, for you must implement the strategy for the issues to be solved. You must be able to see the long term forecast while implementing your short term solutions in place to make your goals attainable.
These were some of the highlights of our discussion during the meeting. Just on the three items discussed you should be able to see how much work it will take to implement it to your respective industry, and management services. Who will provide the guidance to all department? Who will do training where needed? What methods will be used? How much will it cost? This went around the table for a while, it got in to how much is too much?
Where to now? Ok, it’s like the dog chasing the cars’ hubcap, what does it do with it when he finally catches it? We the industry have caught all of this technology, now we must use it or it will by-pass us. Some points brought up:
- Hotels don’t run on beds only, they also must provide food for the soul, that is have some form of eating outlet whether a full restaurant, or walk by, or room service. Man does not live on great lobby’s and balcony views. What is a city scape view without a meal and wine?
- Is technology our friend? Yes it is if used right, just think of all of the smart phones and tablets that guest use to communicate with us. With wireless tracking we can see where our guest is coming from as well as where he is going.
- Green initiatives are at the forefront, they can save millions of utilities expenditures.
- We discussed that sometimes it is necessary to spend on technology that is new, but not in vogue yet. (Leap of faith)
The day was very productive and hope that some of the points that were discussed could be acted upon by the participants.
Note: I was asked to sit in on this as an outside consultant, as one of the owner’s property I service. These points were brought up by the participants themselves, and my views were not expressed, mainly because I operate by invitation only and I did not invite my views.