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Lessons from the Field: A common sense approach to success in the hospitality industry
Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of the most widely cited United States Supreme Court justices in history
I recently shared my definitions of the word HOSPITALITY in a column published in this service and asked readers to contribute their definitions. The response was very positive and I am pleased to share a sampling of the responses from a diversity of people and places.
My original article included personal and professional reflections as follows:
Reader input came in from many different people. There were definitions from people relatively new to the industry and from seasoned veterans. Some were individual operators and others who managed companies and multiple brands. There were educators and there were those who supported the industry.
Enjoy their reflections and definitions of Hospitality.
A shared definition from a relatively new Director of Sales and Catering and one of his sales managers
From a resource that works with many family owned hotels and companies
"When it comes to hospitality my thoughts drift toward Marriott. Based upon my travels of 23 years plus throughout the United States of America, Europe, Scandinavian countries, Caribbean Islands, etc., the following are my thoughts on hospitality.
From a lifetime career hotelier who operates in multiple locations and continents
From an industry professional now in academia:
From a professional who has worked with a major hotel brand in support services, central reservations delivery and as liaison between hotel owners and the brand:
From a well known and established training resource
From an International Executive Search Group
From a franchisor
Here is the definition of Hospitality I generally use:
From a leading educator at one of the largest hospitality programs anywhere with multiple campuses and specialties:
"I have been teaching this subject for a number of year and find that people try to put it in a small box. I suggest and finally have resolved to use the following:
Hospitality - The care and feeding, and their supporters who care, for people away from home.
This really does expand the skills and knowledge of where our students may eventually find themselves - Vast areas that many may not have thought that really belongs to hospitality .
Originally, I used just the Care of Feeding of People away from Home. I have since amended it to include those people who are the suppliers, association groups etc. -
An interesting exercise is to divide groups of students into their areas of interest- hotel- food- Travel and tourism- and Sports, event and meetings- Let them then define the different aspect, segmentation etc. and when finished put it all on the board. Most students have never thought their options were so vast or that the skills and knowledge and attributes we teach are transferable across all of these options. "
Caroline A. Cooper, CHA, Ed.D, Executive Director, Business & Hospitality Relations, Johnson and Wales University, Providence, RI . Dr. Cooper is also the current chair of the AH&LA Educational Institute's Certification Commission.
From a European based industry consultant:
"As your article leads to express, there may be many definitions of Hospitality. Some may be more meaningful to the customer; some other, more meaningful to the professional. I wish to contribute with a couple, addressed to the professionals:
From several global hoteliers in property management
From South Korea:
Here is my (quick) definition of Hospitality:
H = home: the original ‘Public House' was exactly that: a house where the inn-keeper welcomed strangers to stay with him: at a (fair) rate
O = openness: a place where one is welcomed with openness: genuine and caring
S = secure: where you are ensured that you can indeed sleep without a worry
P = peaceful: in order to be refreshed upon departure
I = intelligent: a place where they have given your stay more than a good thought
T = trust: the re-assurance that you are ‘not taken for a ride'
A = able: where there are ‘able' men (and women) there to serve you
L = listen: where one is being listened to
I = informative: where you can gather news and information as well as share it
T = together: in the sharing warmth of other travelers and providers
Y = YOU: are our Number One: the Guest Jean Keijdener, Country General Manager, Executive Office, Somerset Palace, Seoul, South Korea
From a recent international hospitality school graduate
From a career professional serving the industry as a sales resource and trainer for several major brands:
From their web sites
My personal thank you to the readers who took the time to share their thoughts - the insights are meaningful and cross cultural boundaries.
I am looking for additional insights on the following topics that readers have emailed me looking for ideas on:
1. Problems and solutions for room service
2. How to effectively say "thank you" at check out
3. How to provide training for all levels of staff in a tight economy
4. Making Cultural Diversity Real in today's workplace
Please communicate your thoughts and I will post a collection of responses in an upcoming column
Feel free to share an idea at email@example.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops or speaking engagements. Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD - a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES can be obtained from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com and other industry sources.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
About the Author
John Hogan is a corporate educator and a frequent guest speaker at management company and franchise industry events. He writes and advises on industry 'best practices' and conducts reviews of quality in operations and marketing, including mystery shopping and repositioning of hotels.
Hogan's professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis. He holds a number of industry certifications (CHA, CHE, MHS, ACI) and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John's background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors' bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world's largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners' Association with his ongoing involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,100 workshops and seminars in his career. He served as senior vice president for a client in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He has published more than 350 articles & columns on the hotel industry and is co-author (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD - a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from a range of industry sources and AMAZON.com. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is finalizing his 2nd book based on his dissertation - The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Expertise and Research Interest
Service to the Industry and Hospitality Education
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