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Do You Think Outside the Box? I Mean Really Think Outside the Box?

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

Much has been written about that.  But do we really do it?  Thinking outside the box isn’t about buying white china to replace the patterned one.  It isn’t about going with a splash of color in the new bedspreads, or selecting new uniforms.

Thinking outside the box is doing something that is radically different than you did before, or perhaps than has been done before.

GM-150x1501A couple of examples from “So Many Hotels, So Little Time”

We built our first owned hotel and I would sit in the lobby watching guests bypass the coffee shop that opened into the lobby.  It was enough to give one acid reflux.  We were serving breakfast to 25-28% of the hotel guests, as is typical of many hotels.  So, we installed a couple of small wall ovens at the hostess stand where we baked muffins and danish in the mornings.  Who can pass on the aroma of freshly baked bread products?  Our guests having breakfast jumped to 76%.

In one large convention hotel we had a shortage of large suites.  The suites were all at the end of a hall with one or two bedrooms.  The normal fix for that would be to connect a couple more bedrooms with new connecting doors.  But, many guests don’t like rooms with connecting doors.  They feel their privacy and security are compromised.  So, we installed movable walls in the hallways.  They hung from tracks in the hall ceiling, could be repositioned down the hall to encompass whatever number of bedrooms were desired and dead bolted into the fixed walls.

Thinking outside the box can be applied to almost any business.  But, due to the many complexities inherent in hotels the subject is pregnant with opportunities.

Are you creative?  Do you really think outside the box?  What have you done that others could benefit from?


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Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.
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