This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 281 Transcripts (English U.S.)
[00:00:17.310] – Loren
Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week, inhospitality marketing. Live showin hospitality. Merry Christmas. It’s on Christmas Day and I did not expect to have company.
[00:00:30.720] – Loren
Merry Christmas, Adele. It’s a pleasure to have you join me. And I know you have a brief period of time because family is going to be everywhere for us.
[00:00:39.760] – Loren
But we got up to coffee breakfast and said our resume calls to family across the pond. We have family in Holland and they were having dinner, so to say hi to them.
And we’re left to our Willes for the rest of the day. So we’re like, we’re going to hang out for a few hours and start talking to more people this afternoon. How are you? How was Christmas? Well, I mean, I should say, how is the holidays? Because if you have a mixed holiday, right? Yes.
Yes. So I’m Jewish. I was born in Israel. My husband is Irish and Scottish and Norwegian. But some somehow we are so different, but we feel like two peas in a pod. But seriously, we are so different. I don’t know how we ended up together, but he’s the easiest to get along with companion for me. It’s so funny. I always say that I’m in a mixed marriage, I guess. And I’m I’m.
I’m not sure, but. But it’s so much fun.
And you know what? It has been such a joy to welcome Christmas into my life because it’s such a beautiful holiday. It’s just pure joy and love. And and I think that this year people as as I think it’s been said many times before, are getting back to that. It’s not about the president’s. It’s just about the the presence of us in our lives, even if we can’t physically be there. We really I think everybody’s really taking time to appreciate everyone that is in their lives and to keep those connections going.
You know, I had a weird feeling when, of course, you look at the counter and you know that the show is going to land. And I’m very much about wanting to make sure that the show stays the same each week, that we don’t say, oh, well, just because we don’t want to do it this week or whatever.
Mr Cole, Merry Christmas means to you know, you have a perfect last name for today, OK?
Oh, I thought it was like a lump of coal. Obviously, you were an abused child. Yes, that’s right. Yeah. Actually, growing up, I never I would get like underwear or something because I skied and so my parents would go get like new skis or whatever, like in September they’d have like this massive sales in Seattle on ski equipment, like on August 15th, September 1st to get my stuff then and then I got like get new boots or something.
And then Christmas wasn’t that great because you have to some poundage, my man. You are lost. Thirty pounds. How much. Thirty. The Dane. Wow.
When you were sick or just over the course of just over the course of the pandemic. More exercise and eating. Right. I lost an extra five with covid. It’s a new I’m going to write a book. The new covid Diet.
No, no. Then that would I think a lot of people I think a lot of people went completely in the other direction. But I think a lot of people said, well, I have time and I might as well come out on the other side of it, you know, better than ever. And that’s when your your fitness level and your weight and everything is is part of what will keep you strong and able to recover from. If you if you do catch it.
It’s so important. Yeah.
So I go I always you always a conscious. I learn something new about you that I didn’t know ten minutes ago, five minutes ago that you were born in Israel.
Yes. Yes. I really need to know that.
I know I have some mysterious questions. For instance, I’ve always been fascinated. I have never looked up dreidels. I do not know. What do you do with dreidels? I mean, I know you spend time and stuff, but what is it? I mean, what dreidels are some of you know what?
I don’t even remember it was such a long time ago. But there are different letters on different and depending on how it lands, you have to do something or say something. I don’t remember.
Well, OK, well, that’s better than what I have to go, because for me, I’m like, what is that? Because the reason why, as I have a dear client, the.
The ownership is Jewish, and in the holiday celebration video, I asked them to do that like you’re all your dreidels land on something G and I got to look that up because I don’t know what that means.
So obviously, it must be the good thing for live, like, you know, if you’re playing dice or something that lands on Lucky Seven or something. But I had no idea.
And I have I have no idea what I do now.
I’m just guessing I have a life, you know, like, yeah, I’ve got no idea of my heritage. I was brought up Roman Catholic, but I’m fifty one percent Jewish. So my my mom, my mom was Jewish, so she but I didn’t know until I was in my twenties when her brother told me I was like, who knew. Is it because they were hiding during the war.
You know actually well not a great Christmas. My, my grandparents who I never met, her mom died. My mom was born in nineteen twenty one. OK, so her mom died when she was three of influenza or something like that. So it wasn’t the Spanish flu because after, after that. And then her dad died when she was five by like a street car or something like that. They lived in Boston so they were put into a Jewish orphanage.
And we’re in it like through the depression or something. And and she never talked about it sort of thing because it was it was pretty rough. And then I talked to her brother, who it was weird. He would call like every Thanksgiving or Christmas, but should talk to him for like five minutes and just very kind of not curt, but. Oh, thank you very much for calling. Great to hear from. But not like, hey, how’s she would not initiate any questions about what’s going on with you already and just kind of cut it off real quickly.
And so now I finally ran into and met him in my twenties. I was working at actually at the pier at and I got this call and it’s like, it’s your Uncle Joe. I’m like, what I don’t have. And he goes, No, Eli, Eli. I changed my name from Eli to Joe. And I’m like, oh, OK. He was staying at the Sherry Netherland. He had called like a Thanksgiving, got my dad on the phone, told my mom.
So we’re like three hundred yards apart.
Remember that kind of day? Gosh, I can’t remember names for one, but let me just hear you talking about where he was staying.
How many years ago was this? When you’re twenty six, like a hundred and eighty. Eighty five. Eighty six. Well, it was a pretty big Warren. I met my uncle and then he told me about my mom’s whole bit like when he was twelve and he was two years older than her or something like that. Yes. I was born in 1919 when he was twelve. So nineteen thirty one. Right. Height of the Depression they go, Hey kid, you’re too old to be in the orphanage.
Get out there and fend for yourself.
Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, so no no my my mom was a bad ass. She grew up in a Jewish orphanage in the height of the Depression. And then she became a registered nurse and was an operating room nurse in a field hospital in the Philippines and World War Two. She didn’t talk about that a lot either.
Yeah, it’s for children, you know, during the Holocaust. And yeah, it’s very hard to get anything. I mean, even now, they’re in their late eighties and I still hear things that I never heard before. Fifty nine years.
And you never go to school, right? Oh, I know.
There’s a little bit to the holiday spirit. It just it’s so if we forget so much of how blended we all are and how diverse we all are and how many places we come from and yet cohesively we have holidays like this.
I mean, it’s not a holiday for everyone, but the spirit of the holiday is everyone. We all have this optimism today. This is a different day than another day. This day has a uniqueness to it, whether it’s because of the holiday or is because of whatever else celebrating the holiday is or in this case, great Chinese food just way it is the live show.
Laura, I thought of that happened every Friday, but I did Christmas every Friday in a strange, small way.
But now it’s that I have one connection. I was born in Piddock Tikvah. That’s the town that I was born in, in Israel. And connecting me to Christmas is everybody is waiting for it. Wonder Woman, she was also born in Raleigh. Always called you Wonder Woman.
Really? I was about to say that’s not a big surprise. We already had our one. From there, we just have another one, but I wonder why they did Wonder Woman. Nineteen eighty four. Was it because of the puffy shoulder stuff? I don’t know.
Oh, actually, Lauren. Yeah, we’re going to have a problem in 19 minutes. It starts streaming on Biomax.
You may lose your extruders. Yeah, but I’ll send the same.
I thought it was Robert. First off, thank you again for your list. And I was going through it as well. And given the fact that we are just for a few days away from New Year’s Eve, a year that everybody is really hoping is different than this year, I’m not going to sing your song.
Robert, I did put it in the show notes. I was going to refer to some of the highlights, but I’m not going to sing it. But I thought it would be interesting because your lead article was about predictions of twenty twenty one sentence predictions.
And since so many predictions are mathematically based and I have the privilege of having a deal with us, which is not about the mathematics, we all can do math. Oh wow. Oh, now we’re really impressed. It’s about the people.
About how do you feel, Addo? People are going to be different when it comes to people coming back to the hotel. Do you think the warmth of hospitality is going to come back more than it had before, where before we’d gotten kind of regulated to rev par and percentage growth and ADR expansion, all these things that just were constant whipping sticks for operations. And now it’s about make everybody happy, make them happy to be back. You know what?
What do you think?
I mean, I wish everybody really felt that way. I know that I still feel like I hit an emotional wall a lot of times when I speak to hoteliers. You think everything in terms of money.
Well, you know, we’re going to do something for the culture. So we have to put this much money in it. And it’s what we have to spend more on training. We’ll get spend more training. Nobody’s telling you not to, but it’s not how much you pay for something. It’s it’s what you’re saying and it’s what the thought is behind it. And just change the thinking behind what what you’re doing. It’s it’s not just teaching people, you know, here’s how to do something more politely, but it’s just shifting the mindset of every employee in the hotel to talk about loving the guests and really listening to what their needs are not.
They’re yelling and their emotion, but just listening beyond that and thinking about how we can be helpful and thinking about yourself almost like a healer like and I say this because I’ve been listening to book after book right now about hospitality or the patient experience and, you know, in in in hospitals and doctors offices, et cetera, trying to see if there’s a difference.
And it’s really it isn’t a difference. Those books also talk about it’s the mindset, you know, in that you came into this business to want to heal people or you came into hospitality because you want to make people happy and you got so caught up in the bureaucracy of it and the tasks and the systems and the computers and the budgets and everything that you think that just because you’re a huge conglomerate, that you cannot reach into the hearts and minds of your people.
But you can by coaching the coaches and having more communication. You know, a lot of times when I see a budget for a company or a hotel, for example, it includes so many different things. But where’s the communication budget, the internal communication budget, so that you can hear what make it easy for your your employees to tell you what they need and what they’re experiencing and so that the people that are, you know, layers apart from the people who are actually talking to the guests can really understand what’s happening at the ground level.
I just feel like it isn’t there. But we have a huge opportunity for growth in that area. Absolutely.
I’ve seen it in some small ways that just from interactions with the clients as they progressed through when we first started having to put out the logistics of hand sanitizer and increase cleaning and mask and whether we wore them, didn’t wear them, I guess, wear them now, we might have a there was a certain kind of like like, OK, there was a fight to it in that way, like, oh my gosh, now we’ve got to do this stuff.
And then as business kept deteriorating and other competitors started leaving the market space, then as people were, however few, they started walking in. There was a growing appreciation for that. Like it returned you back to a little bit of, oh, my gosh, somebody walking in the front door. Hi, is this is this this genuine? This is nice to see because I’ve been spending hours and then as the hotels did do business, depending on the regionality, depending on their safety and what have you, and they were able to bring back some of their team, a genuine appreciation to having another person helping with stuff before it was just day to day.
Oh, my gosh, my job. I got to work. This is now it’s like, wow, it’s great.
We have two housekeepers, you know, just one and me, you know, and whatever that process.
So there’s kind of a a reset in some ways, I think in a positive way of appreciating back down to the basics. But fundamentals of team and appreciation business and I think, unfortunately, that it may get passed by quickly as we get flooded, because that’s really what we’re really looking at, is I don’t think it’s going to be a gradual growth. I mean, this goes a little bit to your articles, Robert, and I know you’ve got more to it because you watch the numbers way better more than all of us is.
We’re dealing with. When do the floodgates for your market hit? When does it boom? All of a sudden now people feel that they can now come to your market and stay with you and what have you and to go from zero to hero and how fast can you handle that and everything else like this? Will we lose that appreciation for those who’ve gotten in that we have right now for the little things, the extra team member, the person that walks in the door, the fact that you’re still working, you know, how fast will that get lost when it’s like a line out the door and what have you?
Because I think your first article, Robert was talking about this is going to reveal, OK, but ADR not necessarily is the.
Well, yeah, not quite. It’s going to be the lower end of the V is going to go extend extend out is the problem right now.
But not none at all.
But you don’t have to lose that appreciation if you work it into your system, you it in to your processes.
And if you have a clear purpose and vision that’s laid out in, say, every day, you know, we’re going to, you know, during our line up or are appreciative titles or during a voicemail message to the general manager sends on an app that goes out to every employee’s smartphone. We’re going to talk about kindness and compassion. We’re going to say every time somebody is walking out the door, thank you so much for everything you do today. If you’re if you if you have it built into your system, just like, you know, checking the credit card when somebody arrives at the hotel or, you know, changing the sheets, just build it into your system.
You can you can you can keep everything that you want to, but you have to everybody needs to know that it deserves their focus and attention every day, right, Stuart? That’s correct.
You is going to be part of the DNA. It’s not something you can have posters that tell you what to do. You’ve got to live and breathe it every minute of every day. Hey, everyone, Christmas.
I was thinking Lauren was going to be sitting there all on his lonesome.
So one of us. That’s so nice. Yes. It’s a problem like you doing.
It’s like it’s I found out I broke my little tummy.
I got the turkey bacon. I’ve I’ve only got like five minutes. I’m in between. I cook a big English dinner on Christmas.
I’m in between bits right now. Nice night. Snack is is the biggest thing. Do so. Yeah.
Woodings I want to know but what is what is what.
Prince Yorkshire pudding. What do you call them.
Like pop up. So popovers or something up. No. Yeah.
Yeah it’s a little similar to that but it’s basically it’s an egg and flour and milk batter mix that you stick in a, in a muffin pan, a really really heat, high heat like five hundred degrees in and it kind of expands. It’s very airy. It’s like the bread piece of the first in a meal. You’re supposed to have it with roast beef, but I like it little almost in. Covered in gravy. It’s good that you put your New Guinea heritage.
What we saw on Christmas is the same for the holiday. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to say is famous, right? Is that your Christmas tradition?
So we actually just did an episode of the podcast that I think it came out yesterday on Christmas Eve. And we did three things we’re thankful for for 2020. And then one thing we’re looking forward to for the twenty, twenty one. And, you know, there were a few things that I was thankful for. I won’t spoil them all. But one of them was relationships like this, you know, talked about how this is a tough year and it’s been different.
But one of the neat things about it is getting to know people on a different level, like clients, colleagues in the industry, like yourselves, where I feel like we all got to know each other a lot better because we relied on each other a lot more to for sanity and for getting through this from a professional standpoint and a personal standpoint. So I really have appreciate getting to know all of you guys and my clients and my employees even on a different level, because when you get to see them on video conference in the house, you get to learn things that you wouldn’t necessarily learn while they’re in the office.
Well, certainly, Stanley Stanley from New Zealand, we’ve learned so much about this. But I compliment you and I think probably out of this in a positive because, you know, it’s funny down here, they have a newscast that they were running around the streets saying what? What good job, 20, 20. And they were making the highlight that people were having a hard time with that.
And I’m thinking there’s a lot to be somebody else. Oh, yeah.
And one of the things with you was when early on when it was the darkest and you didn’t know what was going to happen, you made the conscious choice to your team to say, we’re going to keep everybody as long as we can keep it until we run out of everything, that we can’t exhaust everything we can before we have to make hard decisions and that you can buy that knew what the impact of that is in the future tense and worry about your money where your mouth was literally.
Yeah. I mean, we figured we could replace money, we could take on some debt and we would recover that. But the people especially, you know, it takes a long time to train a feel again to to think the way we want them to think.
So we’re the last thing we wanted to do in that basement, in the water hose. But the military, we got to break them of everything they know before born.
I didn’t know. Yeah, I’m easy, but but, you know, it was the right thing to do. And now we’re able to service our clients who need us, you know? So it was I mean, I get it. There’s a lot of scenarios where you couldn’t you wouldn’t have the luxury to do that. We were just fortunate. You know, we privately owned we were in good cash position in the bank and we had we had creditors that would be willing to work with us.
So, yeah. Yeah, it was it was a conscious decision. But this is pay off. I mean, it seems like we’re doing it just to be noble, but long term, we’ll probably end up ahead because of it, you know, because we don’t know what we know about it, like, oh, we’re just going to take the higher ground because we get to brag about it.
You were the most imminent of about all of it. You really didn’t emphasize that this is what you’re doing. You just made the choice to do it and did it. It’s our way. Right.
This is a cold, heartless, financial calculated decision.
When they ran the numbers, they go, wait, if we’re nice and we treat our employees well, we profit what we have to do.
This is weird how that works. You wouldn’t miss choices, too. I mean, had this not happened, do you think you’d be doing what you’re doing now or just doing what you were doing?
No, but you know what, I, I know that I. I know that I want to be doing it. I was thinking about it.
I was I was getting tired of all the travel and, you know, it was I was ready to make a change, but I wouldn’t have because I’m so loyal even even now.
I just got to my my former boss, the owner of the library. And, you know, I’m still so loyal to him and want to be there for him when he’s ready and and needs any help. Yeah.
So it would have been really hard to go, but under the circumstances, I’m so glad that I came to the realization quite quickly. And my husband is so much happier to be here. My dog is so much happy to be here. I’m loving how much space I have in South Carolina that I can go out for. You know that it’s not not as many cold days. It’s this has been such a great choice for me. I love that I’ve been able to a little bit see my parents.
Not so much right now because it’s just from. A little too intense right now with the with the Kobe, but I know that they were going to get vaccines soon and and things will be moving in the right direction. But I’m so grateful.
And even though it may not be profitable, I I’m learning so much and I’m making so many new connections and and I’m loving every minute of the experience. Sanjay and I thank you guys for all your encouragement.
It’s it’s a joy. And I am I still remember to the day when you got on the show and you were when you first came down to the Carolinas and it was just like this, be me, like, oh, my gosh, this is awesome.
And yeah, everybody everybody is very comfortable. And thank goodness we have such a comfortable place to hide out, you know, during this time. And I feel that this computer, this connection to the whole universe has just kept me sane. Thank goodness we have all this wonderful technology to keep us together and a blessing this year.
This had been 20 years ago. I mean, a whole different experience. We’ve been all very much different.
And horse and buggy ride over to Robert’s house is to hang out with single people, all the single people who may live alone, and especially young people who haven’t met their future partners yet.
And and we really need to get back to an office setting and at least part of the time and get back to conferences and other things where we get to meet other people, because how are these people ever going to meet their future bride in their apartment all day, that great companionship and family and everything. So I think that I think that the future will be bright also for anything that brings people together as a community.
And the wonderful thing is, I think right now we might not be at the end of this. But I think, you know, to steal Churchill’s words, we’re at the beginning of the end, right? We definitely it’s going to get hard the next couple of months. But there’s there’s a vaccine on the horizon. People are getting it. And it seems to be effective from from everything we’ve seen from the data. So, you know, this is a moment in time.
It’s a tough one and it will get tougher. But there’s light that we can finally see at the end of the tunnel and we just got to hang on and hunker down and do our responsible parties. I just told my parents they’re on complete level four lockdown. Again, they can’t even see my anyone right now. No allowed out of the house and getting groceries and pharmacy stuff. So it’s it’s bleak. And the US is going to be like that again here in another two or three weeks because it’s going to be really bad in three weeks.
It’s very grim, like much worse if you camp for the next month or to get the most at risk people vaccinated.
And then out in Dallas has 17 ICU beds available in Southern California. That has none at this point. Now, you’ll be proud of me. I mean, on the podcast shows, it is a persistent theme of mine that I refer to. People that are salvation to the industry will be our endorsement and an active participation in vaccine.
We have to do it and we are interested in all those things, social distancing, all the things that reduce the ability for one person to give it to another person. That’s yes. And that’s the irony of that whole thing. I mean, if you could lock down everything for three weeks, like globally, everybody just stays inside, doesn’t do anything, doesn’t interact. It’s gone. Right. But instead, now we’re going to drug we’re going to drag it out for a couple of years from now.
The vaccine projects and rollout’s. I mean, depending on how people behave, depending on how bad this gets, depending on how many people against vaccines, this could drag on until. Oh, yeah, right. So weaselling is industry need to set the standard. We need to be getting vaccines quickly, encouraging all the. Is political. We need to be doing it’s not political, it’s a public health thing, we need to lean on the other that a lot of, I don’t know, a million or something like that.
I saw on the news yesterday, I wish you could remember the number of million already got distributed, but only a small percentage of them have gotten delivered. Right. And thinking about all these things that are going to get rotting in their storage container because, you know, this is a very volatile thing and that needs to be actually injected in a very short time frame and at a certain temperature and everything like that. And I don’t understand why is it that so much went out and so has actually hipple that simple?
Because a little just explaining what they stop that we’re going to send it to the states and then it’s a states problem to deal with it. And the states A are budget crunch. Right. So they don’t and they have the whole thing. They have people who are out and unavailable because of, you know, because of the pandemic. They’re running through all those, you know, all those problems and the others just not there’s just not a plan for it.
And that’s the it’s like, OK, you got the vaccine, you’re done.
It’s like, no, it’s the last of this. Right. If only we had nine months to figure out the logistics.
We had so much bureaucracy built into it, too, with so much paperwork for every single injection. And, you know, if it was only somehow simpler to just move people through faster. Yeah.
And I think we’ll catch up, but we just need to make sure we’re doing our part. The media is doing its part.
But I think anyone that has a platform right now like this, we need to be cheerleaders for the vaccine and also to lean on the platforms that we know people in, like all us, all the associations associated with our industry, every HÔ, HLA, HSM. You should be waving the banners of even Providence, right?
Maybe at some point it’s not yet, but maybe there’s an incentive and you get it’s the vaccine vacation. You come with proof, you’ve had the vaccine and you get a discount.
You know this ways we as an industry can step up and really be the leaders in this now because I mean, no offense, Rob, but I’m so tired of, unfortunately, the negative projections of permanent closures, permanent non opening’s permanent impact.
The longer it goes, the worse that’s going to be flat out. And the whole all of the messaging, everything from the beginning should have been this is serious. If we deal with it seriously and we do the right things, we can get through it quickly. And there won’t be yeah, there won’t be these negative outcomes. And that’s the problem that I don’t I really don’t understand how a lot of leadership, either between the industry or the government, doesn’t understand the economy is an output.
Right. It’s not an input. It’s a result of all this other stuff going on. Right. So just saying, hey, we’re going to keep the economy. It’s like, no, you can’t just how many other things in life do you just jump to the result sort of things. So, yeah, but it just doesn’t work that way.
I just I’m going to go put my spuds on so I love you all and leave you a happy of holiday merry.
You make you a wonderful picture this Christmas to replace your LinkedIn picture.
And that’s one of our guys. Thank you.
So actually is one thing I wanted the ties into. Our whole theme was hospitalities about how you make people feel. Right. That’s the that’s the bottom line. And again, that’s kind of the outcome. People don’t go off, you know, finish your vacation, go. Wow. We spent twelve hundred thirty seven dollars and eighty two cents on that trip. That was great. Yeah. Nobody looks it’s like all the things they did, all the memories and it’s how they feel and then it ties in.
It’s the same thing with with the staff. Right. Because the bottom the bottom line is still you need to hire the right people who have a hospital period. Because again, if you hire someone who is like Stewart, right.
Who doesn’t like people very much, it’s it’s hard.
He he has to struggle to struggle with people. Yeah, that’s right. But but yeah, if they just aren’t geared, they don’t care about other people and things like that, that’s going to be that’s a heavy lift. Or you get people who are really geared into. Yeah, I like to help other people feel good. Now we’re going to train you a few things that you’re going to learn how to check people in. You’re going to learn how to clean rooms or you’re going to learn how to do things like that.
This is why I think it’s so perfect for what you’re doing. You don’t now going forward is this. People begin to reconstruct their teams. The people that were just doing it because the paycheck was there are looking and having to find other alternatives because their heart wasn’t really into it much anyway. And there may be thinking other alternatives, but then there’s the people that truly miss the experience that they get to improve somebody else’s. As you point out, with the currency, the currency of our industry is the joy that we create, the memories, memories.
Great. And if anybody denies that, look at the fact of how much you now look at your old pictures and go over there.
Look at that where you have to go back there.
This is the time to begin to cultivate that reminder of what you contributed to their memories. If, as you said, great experiences. And that’s what you you constantly been telling people for years is it’s not about how much they spend with you.
It’s how much they enjoy being with you. What they spent was the aspect of what it took to do that.
Yeah. And, you know, you we’re talking we talk again about training people that are already wired fatality. But the thing is, they will be wired for hospitality, but they you can pull out of quite absolutely.
The more for, you know, just you can you can inspire them with to to really bring it every day to every single person. And that is more important than the skills training, because someone who is really in it to win it and wants to make that person happy will find a way to make it happen. And you just need to. Take your foot off the brake and let them fly, you know, we are trying to control everything so much you manage thing and saying let’s make sure everybody behaves a certain way and instead to liberate them and tell them go ahead.
If you think it’s the right thing to do and it makes sense to go ahead and do it if it turns out to be the wrong thing. Well, we’ll talk about it later and we’ll talk about possible alternatives for next time. But I wish that the word manager didn’t even exist in our world because people are trying to control their teams.
It’s empowering. It’s empowering the people to do their job well and above and beyond. Right. Not not the minimum viable production of the minimum they can do, you know, possibly do. That’s not it. It’s how far can you go? And that just the interaction with somebody is checking in. What can you do to kind of, you know, connect with them and have them walk away from the desk feeling like, oh, hey, either I, I learned something or I’m feeling better about the Steyr.
I’m more excited to go do something or whatever. Yeah. How do you make all those interactions kind of a net positive for that guest. Right.
And one of my clients, I’m stealing this from him. He was talking about this about his training programs and so forth, and he initiates his orientation conversation with his team, with I’m going to get you off of fossil fuels, which is a dead thing, and make you now run off a solar power, which is happy things. You’re going to find joy in what you’re doing, not because of dinosaurs.
And on the fact that you’re the sunshine that you have is what’s going to power you, the happiness that you get to share. And as long as you know you can influence, because he’s also with the person I’ve said everybody has the power. You cost me twenty dollars, you cost me fifty dollars.
I don’t care as long as the guest get a positive impact to that that day that you help the guests experience better. So a housekeeper the saw that somebody needed a larger tube of toothpaste one got one and it cost him two dollars at the local store. They found somebody he picked up from whatever they got it for them and it was inconsequential. But they had the power to do that.
They didn’t have to ask anybody to do it. And that’s what he did for his team, was you tell me what’s going to take for these people. No, I’m not going to buy a new car. There is things OK, but how you can impact your positive experience with us by being attuned to what it is that makes it better for them. That’s what I’m telling you you need to do. And he was really excellent at it. And I always thought that was neat that you talked about.
I’m going to tell Fuscus Leach on solar power, you know, that that was pretty cool.
And and you need a way to celebrate it. You know, you need you need to have those people come back and say, you know, this is what happened and this is what I did and look how happy he was. He wrote me this great note.
He wrote this beautiful review, though. And we need to celebrate all of those little magic moments, because that’s what gives people energy and bravery to do something else that’s creative, that that’s that’s how you build your culture and you share that with the rest of the staff.
Right. So they know that Benji did this really cool thing. Right. And then Monique or whoever goes, oh, like it.
And all of a sudden it starts feeding into the, you know, feeding into the culture where everybody’s trying to do the right thing for GMO or for that, that he people say, oh, it’s really hokey that we have our Ali rally and we applaud somebody having getting a mentor or somebody has got a card.
That’s how far back it goes. Coming card, you know about this. And I said I said, no, it’s not. And this is the one people that really bitch about it. He says of the people that don’t get the common cards because we’re like other stupid we here. I listen to her get some comments, you get one, then all of a sudden it’s like, yeah, got me a common car, you know?
So it’s it’s it’s one of those things that it inspires the right people to feel like they want to participate in that, that it’s not the hokey ways of getting a Christmas card or something. You know, it’s the fact that they get to share the excitement of doing a great experience for somebody and they got recognized.
It’s a recognition. Yeah. And that’s what charges them, you know, charge them because you did your husband thing. It’s time for family time.
Yes. Yes. If you say something, you know, it’s just it’s important to discuss the things that didn’t go well. And they you know what? This happened. And I was you know, somebody was really trying to do the right thing, but somehow it didn’t land as being as positive thing as we started. So we looked into it and this is how we came out of it and for for that failure. Now we’re going to implement that in all the rooms or we’re going to change our our our communications on their website or our booking engine in order to make sure that nobody else feels that way.
So, yes, continuous improvement.
When we start celebrating the failures. I think that that’s what a lot of companies would call that. And so I’m just using the same. If you celebrate what you learned from the failures, then people will be more forthcoming. When they tell you when there’s something wrong happening at the office, we have no idea what they know and what the about may know, what the valet drivers or whatever. So it’s yeah, that’s what I know.
It’s a great point. It’s an excellent point that that way people feel a little bit more trusting. It doesn’t always have to be a success and hide the failures that that there’s appreciation for the fact that they shared what they felt could have been improved on or shared what went wrong so that it can be improved on. Either way, it’s a safe environment that people feel that they can trust who they’re working with rather than. Oh, such. And such as going to use that against me in the future because I didn’t do something right.
So no one.
Really quick, before Adele goes, I do a quick search. This is an old for season story because I was there and Izzy Sharp business for decades is an example. We all this hotel in Dallas first night and they have overnight shoeshine was a big thing for us. So they got their kid in. There is enough is high school or college or something like that. He comes in, they tell him, OK, so you should sign them up.
Here’s how you do it yourself. This is great. Does it. And he looks down and he’s got like one hundred and twenty eight shoes and then he’s got sixty four bags with the room numbers of where they were from over on the other side because nobody told him about that. Right. The important to the bag with. And so this happened and I was there overnight because I was helping the, the night audit guys make sure they had every thing going and the night manager calls me up because we’ve got a problem.
Like what? And we had all these VIPs and stuff like that. And I think we had the whole city council because the hotel was delayed or something. So we have all these government things like that is like, oh my God. And I go, hey, we got a call. Bernard and Bernard was the Swiss executive assistant manager who was not really the guy that you wanted to wake up at like 3:00 in the morning at home. But that’s OK.
It’s like, no, we’ll call Bernard. We’ll figure this out. And here Bernard was insanely good. He comes in and first thing, he does not yell at this kid who’s just a kid is just like, oh, my God, this is like no problem. That’s our problem for not doing it. By the way, great job on these shoes. Those are fantastic. But we’ve got a what’s he do? He calls the director of housekeeping, brings her and says, hey, we’ve got to straighten up.
We’re going to serve breakfast to these guys because we got to get them back. The shoes. Yeah. And we knew what the rooms were. So, yes, the easiest cheap thing would have been we’re going to write a little note. We’re going to just slide it in the door, will turn on their message light and say, hey, sorry, mess up on your shoes, come down to the desk and you can pick them out or something like come down to a conference room and know they serve breakfast in housekeep.
Got the room service manager. He got the chef. They set up a buffet line in housekeeping itself because that’s where all the shoes were and people came and people had bathrobes and slippers because Four Seasons provided the people that are going. That was fantastic. Do you have like breakfast the house? It’s like, no, no, we will never have breakfast housekeeping again. But they turned it into this great. And the kid wasn’t fired and up and thrown to the thrown to the curb.
It was like this great thing. And everybody learned what, hey, that’s OK. You did a great job. We missed one thing, really important thing we’ve discovered. That’s OK. That’s on us for, you know, so and it was and it was fantastic. And all the guys love it. Nobody had a problem with it. And the breakfast was great. And and the guests were congregating and sharing stories and laughing and comparing shoes and going, wow, look at how great these issues have.
Never they didn’t look this good when I bought them first class later. Yep. But if you take out blame, it’s amazing how to save you. If you don’t care who gets the credit, anything is possible. If you don’t find the reason to find blame, anything is fixable. Yeah.
I interviewed Sally Back, the general manager of the Royal Lancaster. Oh, Lancaster Hotel in London. Her hotel was number two hundred and seventy two, and now it’s 15 or 16 or something like that. And and it’s it’s going to keep going, I’m sure, under her. But she says remove fear from the building. Yeah. And that is so that is so key. Well it’s been a joy being with you though.
Thank you for taking the time today. It was my Christmas present that you showed up, like I said. That’s right. Yeah. Thank you very, very much.
Thank you for bringing with us all this year and what you’ve chosen to do this year for just it’s nice to know that more people can benefit from what you have done and what you’re capable of doing.
So that and until your husband. Happy holidays. Thank you so much.
Merry Christmas. Lowering Christmas, wrapping goodbye to oh for Adele.
For those interested in why we keep talking about what she does, it’s at Aspire Reputation Marketing that she does. That is by repetition. Marketing dot com is her website and she literally can help you do what she has done for many years, which is put you on the top of the creating a culture that helps your hotel become the best reviewed hotels.
And we’ve got to help her out marketing like she needs a new name for the company. She needs to be something like Sunshine Corps or something.
It’s like the Peace Corps helping people help themselves.
Yeah. Yeah. Know.
And it is, as she says, you know, being profitable and so forth. And you I mean, I want to ask you a question.
We do you think the outcome, though, it’s the same thing as we’re talking about with the economy. That’s what if you do these things right, then you’re profitable. Right? Because certainly an aspect is to not have it where? Well, yeah, everybody gets to stay free all the time. No, that’s not that’s not. No, it’s also. Is it fair you’re charging a fair price, you’re exceeding guests expectations. Right. You’re getting these great outcomes.
Well, what are they going to do? They’re going to tell their friends and they’re going to go others and they’re going to know you’re going to be their preferred choice and they’re going to come back. And when you come out of pandemic or something, guess what? All these people who are truly loyal and not just there for the points or whatever, who just couldn’t care because whatever brand you were there, you collect the point, they’ll come back first says actually reflects a bit of a systemic issue with our industry that I hope inverts itself.
I don’t expect it to, but I hope it at least some people get smarten up and wise up. We talk about analogies like fat fruit, like, OK, when I’m first going to tackle something, I’m going to take the easy stuff.
Fruit, the low hanging fruit.
Low hanging fruit. Yes.
Let’s go for the easy stuff first. And from a strategic point of view or maybe even logistics field, what are we going to look at it going for the obvious, what you should do first with the greatest impact, the 80 20 rule, whatever is logical. But here’s my problem with some of that mentality.
Things like training, sales, training, team training gets put at a different level, as does also relationship training, culture training, things that have a high productivity.
But they’re usually left to the very end, like what haven’t we done? We’ve done all the easy stuff, the big stuff, the good, the first stuff. You know what little stones haven’t we turned over? Oh, we should train our sales team or we should train our team to be more friendly or whatever.
And really, in all honesty, if you do that at the very beginning, if you built the car a little bit more aerodynamic now, thinking then rather than later, just a bigger engine, if you really took on that early first step and created the culture, especially now that you’re redeveloping the culture as you regrow your business, the impact is profound.
The moving turning a little bit now compared to trying to hard turn something a little bit later. It’s infinitely easier now. It’s like the old thing in your first semester in college, you can go from three point to four point by just getting the Bilimoria in your senior year. You have to have like oh yea 4.0. You get to tense up, you know, you just it’s a harder push to move the numbers. So why not now as you’re looking at evaluating, rebuilding your culture, your community and your team as business is going to eventually get to the point where you’re going to be needing all of this, that you make the change now, train your team as they come in now, create the culture now so that all of this is something you’re already doing rather than, OK, what haven’t we done yet?
Oh, let’s bring in Addo and have our teach our culture. Well, you may have hired a few bad apples in that process unknowingly, and you’re fighting a resistance.
And if your whole thing is you bring in Adell and yes, we’re going to have her come in and do a one day deal and that’s it. And you figure it’s flipping the light switch and you’re done. That’s not that’s not how it works. Because the the bottom line, things like great brands. Right. Are great organizations. It’s not that they do the easy things. Well, it’s they do the hard things well. Right. That’s. You got you start looking at an organization like Apple.
You go, wow, it’s a really valuable company or Microsoft or Amazon. Doesn’t matter. They’re doing some really hard things really, really well. Right. That’s and that’s the same thing for the for the hoteliers, if you want to just be. Yeah. We were in a very kind of generic hotel and there’s nothing to be negative about, like, hey, there weren’t any bad experiences and this was the bare minimum. And things got by and it was cheap and it just kind of that’s OK.
But guess what? A lot of other people can do that. Everybody else, if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be in the business flat out.
It like it was putting on our earlier conversations. You can try to create policies and support and guidelines and fences and rules and and conditions of punishment or penalty of what they do wrong, that this is what’s going to happen to them.
And, you know, third time you do this, you’re out the door and all this other stuff or you can train them. Why? It’s important to do it in a positive way and give them the motivation to do it right, not the penalty of doing it wrong.
Well, but I’m I’m a proponent of you to make sure you have. And if someone is stealing from guests or doing something really expensive, it’s like, yeah, this is yeah. There are some rules here. You cross this. No, you know, that’s the wrong thing to do. I mean, everybody should know the difference between right and wrong. And so I think that’s clearly wrong. You’ve got to design and then you go here.
But it’s the difference between going up and saying, OK, one company A goes over and says to their staff, when you see a guest, you have the five and 20 rule. You have to say exactly these words. You have to to to do this. You have to do that. You have to make sure this is that and so. And if you don’t, then you get one penalty. You get fined this year, two penalties, you’re on suspension, three penalties, or you teach the team member this is what makes the impact.
This is why doing greetings and looking for what you can do to help a guest benefit all of us and you educate them as to the reason, the motivation. Everyone doesn’t like just getting told how to do something. They want to know why, why, why do I need to do this? And a lot of people want to help guests and be friendly and helpful, but they don’t understand the mechanics of it sometimes.
Yeah, I mean, they may feel like they’re thinking that they’re helping a guest when really they’re making guest uncomfortable because they were never shown the way to make people feel good or help people in a way that people are expecting them to performance. So teaching them the skills is important.
But the motivation of why absence an elemental thing and you need to let them be their their own individual personality. And again, it comes down to kind of hiring the right people and making sure that that’s OK. And it’s not kind of like a bad fit. Right.
You never want situation where you go, wow, great employee in the wrong job sort of thing. Right. And you get those things you got that guy needs to be accounting fantastic on spreadsheets and doing analysis. Not so good interacting with other people.
But I mean, we’ve been told we have a face for radio. I mean, come on. Yeah, exactly. But again, that’s that’s the bottom line that you really want to make sure that they’ve got the. They they have the support structure where they can be successful, right, and they can do the they can do the right thing, they aren’t under fear of punishment for trying. But again, you can get these over scripted situations. Chick fillet drives me crazy.
Right. And people I know people have Chiclet things, but they always answer everything is always my pleasure. Right. And there’s kind of this joke to every time said, see how many times you can get them a sentence like that for some people. Great. And that’s kind of standard. But why can’t they vary a little bit and just say, hey, have a wonderful day. Thank you very you know, and somebody says, thank you.
No, thank you. I hope you enjoy your chicken strips or whatever, just to be natural and authentic and things like there’s nothing wrong with that. And again, yes, it makes it a little bit more complicated because people may say, you know, is this the right thing or is this the wrong thing? And they said the exact two words done.
But how do you make sure you get that apples down to trust? And ultimately, it’s a lack thereof that you don’t trust your team, that you reflects upon you if you didn’t treat and train your team well, to trust them to do the right thing to the point that you have to tell them exactly what to do. That’s a lack of trust. That’s a lack of capability of training as well. And yes, you can talk about scalability and bandwidth and you’re dealing with such diversity and said when you go to metrics of now tens of thousands of people, you’re going to have the random percentage that no matter how much you train them and trust them, they’re not going to do the right thing, right?
Yes. And you’re going to have problems where you have to deal with your staff in a way that says you’re not.
You go back to the fryer, but you’ll have to ask for the staff person is who knows what’s going on in their life. They’ve had a really stressful you know, their parents are in and I see you with covid and they’re sitting there going, oh, my gosh, yeah, I my mind is not on the job. I am distracted. And and that’s or you get the incentives out of sync with the rewards. Right. And you have someone who test positive or doesn’t test positive.
They know they’re exposed to covid. Right. But they come into work anyway because they know, hey, I need this job, I can’t do this. So I’m out of I’m out of sick leave or don’t have vacation. I need the money. So all of a sudden they make they start making bad decisions that are bad for the organization, that they can get everybody sick and that’s going to be even worse. Or what do you do to make sure it’s like, hey, this is OK, we’re set up and if you have to stay home, you’re going to get paid or you’re going to get X payer or we’re just going to do like Adele is saying, she’s very loyal to library because she doesn’t love them any more.
But she knows that they are trying to do the right things and they had their employees back and. Yeah. How do you do that versus. Yeah, we’re just cutting people and this is a numbers game and we’re explicit occupancy. So we got to cut X overheads because we’ve got to get the bottom line. Yeah, you can expect those people to come back who just go, hey, somebody is going to pay me a nickel more an hour.
So I work for covid.
I know what you were doing before. And then all of a sudden when you had to end up doing afterwards that you were man in demand.
I mean, you were you were pushing some serious hours when it hit and people realized, hey, you know, who knows that stuff?
And all of a sudden, I mean, you used to be always on the show.
Yeah. And then you just got absolutely. I mean.
Well, I what I’m just focused. Right. Which you actually very honestly, we stop doing some of these analyses because I was pushing from the beginning. It’s like, OK, this is great, we’re looking forward. But now let’s go back and look at these analyses and how accurate were they. Right.
We really discovered. It’s almost unpredictable, not looking forward, there’s there’s a way to say here’s what’s going to happen, but you almost have to do it the way the University of Washington forecasts there, covid spikes. Right. And it’s I am IMEI who does all the well. This is what’s going to happen if people mask look at that boom, it’s going to drop off. Or if you ease these restrictions, my gosh, cases are going to go through the roof and the outcome of that is going to be more deaths.
And, you know, they’ve got all this stuff modeled out we kind of looked at. But wait a second. If we’re off on these things, what happened? Oh, they did a lockdown, right. That changed the trajectory continuously. And there wasn’t a mechanism to kind of go back and to go do that. And I just kind of went and let’s not let’s not do this because that’s not a yeah, it’s not going to help people.
It’s got to be not just here’s the number in the forecast. It’s got to be here’s the forecast. Based on what we know now and given this trajectory and what’s happened in other markets and then here are these possible these possible outcomes. Right. But people didn’t want to live their lives like, well, what’s the number going to be? It’s like, you know what? You can produce numbers, but it’s the rationale of why they’re these numbers.
Historically, you think of the Nostradamus and all these people that became historically famous for predicting and everyone wants to know what the future is before the future’s there.
And it really it’s kind of in a way, strangely enough, in our analytics and data economics and so forth that we have we’re still trying to do the same thing only for more specific reasons or for the same reason, but more specifically identified of knowing what to do because we know what’s going to happen so that we can be in the better side of the conversation. All of us are trying to ultimately avoid. The negativities know we don’t we don’t want to be on the bad side of something that happened, especially if we thought that it was going to happen that way.
And so we all try to figure out what these numbers are. But really, in all honesty, is a kind of the same analogy when you talk to some of this falling stock market. If you get too granular, this is just doing this up, down, up, down, up, down by the minute, by the second, by I, by dollars and so forth, you would feel like, oh my gosh, this is like out of control.
I don’t know when do I step into this this massive traffic jam that’s going on and on and on. But the farther you step away from it, the less the jittery, the more the general. And then eventually it looks almost stationary.
It’s like if you go far enough away, I mean, I imagine there’s planets colliding and asteroids hitting things and what have you. But when we look at the stars at night, we don’t see that stuff because we’re too far away.
Well, yeah, well, and you look at the stock market or something like that, I mean, nobody is really outside of insider and outside of insider insider information like the Congress like that.
But that’s outside of that. It’s really hard to predict the market. Right, because it does it doesn’t always necessarily behave rationally overall. Yes. But in specific shares going up and down, you saw it with Airbnb, right? People going, oh, my God, that’s insane valuation and that’s stupid and things like that. We’ll know that the valuation of Airbnb really has nothing to do with its underlying operational day to day, what it’s doing and what it’s going to do next year.
It’s everybody betting on where is that going to go up or not. And I’m going to put my money on. It’s at one fifty eight. I think it’s going to go to one seventy. So I’m going to put money in and I’m going to take that’s all all that stuff is.
And you’re bidding on behavior not on before.
It has nothing to do with anything. It’s a completely separate. Yeah it’s gambling. Right. It’s basically gambling in the stock market.
I think it was there was something I remember talking about this, whether it was an article or whatever. So sorry, I’m not able to quote whoever it is. The stock market is the mirror of our society, right?
It is. It is is not there to judge. It’s there simply to reflect what we feel that particular time. Yeah. People think, oh, my God, I’m going to go let’s go buy this stuff.
Oh, it’s not going to be a vaccine soon. Oh. That means hotels are going to go back to school, going to travel. It’s all prognostication and something.
But again, part of it’s an outcome of government policy. OK, so interest rates are near zero. So how many people are going to put their money into the bond market and get no return? It’s like, well no, that’s going to deflate deflate demand for the. So all of a sudden you have all this assets, right. Which are out there. I mean, that’s what’s happening with Bitcoin. It’s like people got will work and I put my money.
Well I’ll go put it. Oh, look at it’s going up sort of thing. But the problem is all the people who are buying in at twenty thousand or something like when that goes down because their own bitcoin is not a currency.
I heard some great thing. It’s not a currency. It’s an asset class. Right. And you go right, you’re right. You’re buying some sort of cameleer pork bellies. Doesn’t matter. Right. It’s. Just something that your nobody else agrees to. Yeah, you’re speculating on on the future value of something, is it going to go up or down? And that’s basically asset class in equities, right. For for stocks. Same same exact thing.
So, yeah, it doesn’t necessarily tie into and some people are very good, but with all the Ehi and everything else that’s going on, you start looking at these. Go and wait. This thing is overheated. When are things going to adjust back. Right. Because at some point they will. That’s what happened in ninety nine when all these start ups and super valuations and tech stocks gone through. And yeah, there was an adjustment that came back to, you know, back to normal.
Right. And you’ve got to, you know, things revert to the mean eventually. Right. So yeah, it’s it’s crazy. But yeah. I don’t know how we got them down that path, but it’s yeah.
It’s coming from I mean, your world changed workwise because of covid. I mean all of us in some aspect changed workwise with what we’ve done and for what our demands were. I mean I went through a down in and up. I mean for me at first it was some clients permanently closed, some people temporarily closed. And, you know, we were still then we did a lot of pro bono of like, how can we help our old clients that can’t pay but still need stuff done.
And then we made general offers to everybody saying, hey, how can we help you if you’ve had to reduce the people that we’re doing this for you with the condition that you don’t replace somebody by us doing it for you and or cut somebody out or whatever, all that kind of stuff that we offered and then business started coming back and we start getting more and newer clients that were wanting for to change what they were doing and or expand or they they joined with other things that they need more work.
And so now business is bigger than it was before. But the idea was that everything was impacted in this.
And I can only imagine as more and more companies emerge out of there, locking down the hatches in survival mode and they start trying to get out into the world again. How rusty some of their stuff was. I mean, I still see websites. I still see hotels that even if they tried to stay open, are so out of step and out of time and tone deaf in their in their presence right now, that they haven’t even broached the fact that they are out of modality that nobody’s going to want to go to.
The hotel is not even talking about what they’re doing.
Let me tell you, I’ve been I can’t really go into a lot of detail with this client because there’s a bunch of litigation around it. But this client happens to work with a ton of hotels, even the quality of photographs of one major, not a large hotel group, but a nice luxury hotel group, the quality of their photography and the numbers of them where it is just crap.
I mean, yes, you’ve got you’ve got a picture of the the desert. And it’s a beautiful looking peach that’s like whatever garnishes and stuff on a plate. And it’s like, well, yeah, but that says absolutely nothing about your brand or your identity or what makes it unique, what the key selling propositions are of your home. And you look through this stuff and you go, you got nothing. You got literally this is a fantastic ski property in one of the best locations you could possibly be.
And what do they have? They’ve got a shot of the exterior of the building. They’ve got a pork kosher shot. The best shot they had was like of a a smiling dog on a balcony where you could see in summer ski runs behind it. And yeah, because there is no perspective on like, where is this to the slopes or how is it community? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It could be any brand, any product, nothing that differentiates us.
And you’re sitting there going, what a complete.
And then there’s a lot of hotels that that did the maybe for financial reasons they had to. So please understand, I’m not just pooping on every hotel that didn’t do what I think they should have done, but a lot of hotels. This was not in the front of their mind. They they were worried about other things.
And then, unfortunately, I think the worst culprits of all this were companies who tried to retain value by simply shutting things down, even though they probably could have sustained some operational.
Well, if you cut a dollar of expense, it drops straight to the bottom line. Right. And I’ve often argued really well, really well on that. You go, hey, we’ve eliminated all of our expenses.
I’m not doing the business. And I’ve always been a proponent. You can’t cost save yourselves into profitability. You just can’t. Yeah.
So with that in mind, now they’re thinking, oh, well, we’re just gonna open the doors and we’re going to go back. And it’s like, guys, while you’ve been closed or not doing any of this stuff, all your competitors who have decided to do this. We’ve started talking to your audiences. They’ve started identifying with them, not you. They’ve cultivated their content in their communications and their skills to dialogue with these people. They’ve identified them better.
They’ve honed their websites. They’ve identified the current interest in current things that are of concern for people’s travel. And they’ve done all those things. So the people that you think are coming back aren’t going to even if you drop well below what your competitors do because they know what they’re getting by going there, they have no idea what you offer anymore. It might be something that they still would be interested in should you be able to communicate better with them.
But the reality is you haven’t. So the likelihood is they won’t until you change what you’re doing.
Well, and how do you do it smarter. So you get a situation in group sales, right? Well, let’s just get rid of all the salespeople. Well, guess what? There are a bunch of folks out there who are still they want to have events. They’re trying to plan them. They you know, maybe they’ve postponed it four times or something, but they’re out there trying to get I need a quote. We’re going to we’re going to see if we can run this thing May 15th or whatever the case may be.
Well, how quickly can you get back to them? Right. And yes, it’s the top of the funnel and nothing may convert and come from this thing. Right, because it’s one hundred and you’re going to get, whatever, 20 out of the out of the bottom of the funnel. But how do you do that part, like, super efficiently? I mean, where you can get the response back, they can get it. They know how much or how many websites can you go to?
Where are you going to go? I’ve got a group of 12 people for four nights in April right now.
How much is that going to cost? And they go, great, reserve it. Let me put a credit card. Oh, it’s cancelable. It’s refundable. And they can just do it. For how many how many hotels allow you to do that? No, you’ve got to go call the sales department. What are you going to get? Voicemail. Well, because of covid, we will try to get back to you within five business days, but then I’ll find what I need to find doing.
But it goes on to and this is something that should not be blinded to most people.
Is the sales people out of your entire organization with the most networked people right in your operation or that if you’ve got a covid networking and who knows who is a valuable component to communications?
Because, hey, I got a Facebook page.
Yeah. But if nobody knows me and has connected to me on Facebook, how valuable is that in LinkedIn? Oh, I never really bothered with it. Blah, blah, blah. If you weren’t keeping up with your dialogue of people within the business ecosystem that you had and for those people that were doing business in your market house, I mean, I don’t care how good of a game we are. If you were too busy for this kind of stuff and left to sales and then you terminated your salespeople, how much of an asset do you really have?
I mean. Oh, sure. It’s salespeople wanting to sell you. RPM’s systems and housekeeping gear and stuff are going to want to know you as a GM because I think you’re going to have a decision process in there. But from a business development point of view, you’re starting from scratch.
I’m try to find somebody in your in your industry or in your area that wants to do business with you. How do you do that? You need to know how to do that. I didn’t know how to do it.
How do you begin when they didn’t even get connected to and these people have relationships with other people and they’ve got their LinkedIn network, things like that. And what and then they go down the street to a competitor. Guess what’s going to happen? They’re going to go. And it’s not like, oh, they took the file of business. It’s like they don’t need the file of business and exactly how many bookings and the phone number. They’ve already got connectivity with these folks.
They’ve got relationships already. Yeah, they aren’t. They aren’t stealing anything. Right.
And that goes I mean, we should get Holly back on the show here. And just the old timers sake is like this is where I calling the old timer.
That is rude. Old timers say, because all the time or say not old timer.
Yes, but, you know, when you talk about the value proposition with her during the sales training that she’s doing and so forth, this is that opportunity to not just bring back the sales team like we’re talking about, put them in the chair again, but also how to make them better at it.
They’re closer. So we know how to do this. Right. That’s that’s how she trains them, right?
But again, it goes OK. So in the spirit of the fact that you are so generous each week by giving us a list and we very rarely be able to hit a lot of the points. Are your main top your main headline article. There was a statement that I have a little bit of question to you now. I think you said from what you just mentioned, you sound a little bit more optimistic about this than I do. But when it comes to this, why articles from hotel news now and it was the five predictions of twenty twenty one by Jan.
OK, the group. Business referral that she has about this, John, John is a gentleman, John Freitag is the head of research for you.
But the the the group reference of growth. But I don’t see it that way.
OK, what you’re thinking, what group will do, what it’s going to bounce back superstrong or it’s not going back or what I, I think it’s my thing is two waves of this is the testing the water wave and then the deluge wave, the testing the water will be small moderated gatherings just to be in the room with another human being, which is what we’re all craving to have the large conferences, the mega conferences, the high tax, the the the ITVS, the all those big, huge things I think will be later.
Absolutely. But in a credible demand like one, those trigger off. I think that when when they finally can be projected, they have to we’re going to do this. I think that a huge amount of people are going to be really hungry for the multi booth gatherings because they feel safe doing it, which is the key element to that. And they’re going to be wanting to do it because it’s back to this is what it is, you know, I think yes.
And I’m not sure there’s the deluge coming. Right.
Well, but there’s a lot of companies are never going to come back. Right.
Or at least not one, the ones that create value for the attendees where it is really good and I need to be there. And that’s important because there’s a it’s all going to get ROIC driven, right? Yes. It’s like if I go to that conference, can I write that? And that’s going to put a lot of they’re going to be two things that are happening. One is the all the groups of the ten, they’re so like an ETB.
You have the hotelier’s. They’re going to start, let me tell you, they’re going to be a lot of sharpened pencils to go. Yeah, well, we normally do the giant booth and we send 40 people and they may start looking at going, you know, let’s not do the two story booth because we don’t know how many people are going to attend. And so you’re going to get this kind of awkward. What are the signals to go?
So you’re going to get some with the toe in the water, some who just dive into the deep end. But you’re going to have this kind of oral wine. It’s what’s going to put the drag on, especially corporate business and group business comes from the whole Bill Gates. Same 50 percent of corporate business is gone. Right. Is going to disappear, which I think is maybe too aggressive. Now, I can get to those numbers pretty easily.
Right. And you kind of go, oh, crap, that would be a horribly bad outcome. And I think there is a I don’t know if it’s a 20 percent chance or twenty five percent chance that he’s dead on right now. There’s probably a twenty five percent chance where you go. No, it only went down 20 percent. The percentage chance it comes back stronger than twenty nineteen. Oh I know.
There’s a couple of things.
First off, I completely agree with you on the ROIC and also I believe honestly, I truly believe that the the massive costs to attend an ICP or high tech or focus.
Right. Even are going to get realigned under the our model of is it really worth nine hundred bucks for me to show up walking boots. Right.
And if you aren’t doing anything and you’re just walking boots and you aren’t doing but like focus. Focus. Right.
Is the this is the poster child for the focus. Right. Streambed all the sessions. I mean not necessarily some of the breakouts and things like that, but all the main center stage sessions for free for like the last four or five years. You can see what Steve Cougher, whoever you are going to book, whoever’s your book and whatever, whatever they’re talking about, you can see and consume all that. But that’s not why people that’s free. That’s my girl cost.
You can get that. Or if you’re in the audience, all of a sudden you’re hanging out and talking to whoever. Yeah. And all of a sudden doing a deal making. And that’s why people pay the four thousand dollars. Right, because they’re in the group or the other. And you can go sit down and have like I did with Steve Cougher and probably twenty twelve at the end of the thing there were a bunch of tables there kind of outside I think it was in Scottsdale or something like that.
That’s like oh the seat open high and we talked about TripAdvisor and stuff and other stuff. I just and it wasn’t a business he’s referred consulting to. To me, it’s like really four or five years later, it’s like, wow, he knows my name.
We kind of know.
You’re absolutely right about that. Yeah, but and I think I think that that will come back to whether you absolutely believe it is. I mean, in all honesty, I think there is still yet adaptations between technology and person that have yet to come through.
And I say that because of now and I mean, you know, me and toys and platforms and so forth, I just picked up a platform called Air Meet, and it’s really neat in the sense of doing online webinars because it allows literally there’s virtual tables you meet drying thing.
It’s not. Yeah, probably that too. But that’s probably the secondary thing. But this one would reconsider certain tables that can be sponsored tables, what have you. But the cool part is now it creates more interactivity where you can say I’m interested, like if you’re listening to a vendor. So I’m interested in some of the fun stuff of all this is that there’s probably more enhancements where if by saying I’m interested, I’m also going to get the little tchotchke, the t shirt, the little Kewpie doll, or whatever it is as a part of the ongoing discussion of somebody that may not physically be able to go to the set and to to the conference.
Those conferences, I think, will come back because people want to and are hungry for interactivity and and team building networking collaborations and hearing people again in a room rather than on a screen and all this other stuff.
I totally think when it comes to focus. Right.
The networking as to coin a phrase from Hamlyn, Hamilton is in the room where it happens. Right. You want to be in that room where those people are in a casual setting, where you’re not a speaker, attendee or whatever. So those things will happen.
But I think they’re going to come in iterations. I think the first iteration is the small cluster. But BASTABLE groups.
Well, but it’s all the stuff that was like at the peak, right. Twenty nineteen. We’re full. To hell with Smurf. We don’t, we don’t want that crappy business. So that’s all there is folks.
Yeah. You’re going to see reunions really.
If you treated them really poorly, how interested are they going to be right now when you need their business. You know, you got this transactional. I’ll pay attention to you when I need you, but when you need me, right.
Right now, all those things are going to be family reunions, weddings, gatherings are those that will be the first out the door.
Scrupulous. Oh, right. Things that are like somebody is going to get married. They’re like, when is it safe? Because we want the big wedding. When can that happen? Those will happen. And there’s going to be a hockey stick for that stuff. Right. Because now the second quarter, twenty twenty quarterly budget review and strategy meeting, that’s not happening because I believe honestly, I think the next iteration pass the Smurf growth is small corporate gathering of let’s get the people back to the mothership.
A lot of companies have either downsized their retail spaces, lease spaces that they may have a lot of people to work at home, but there’ll be a gathering. There will be gathering’s. Yeah. And obviously their main mother ships are not going to really accommodate them physically in space. They’re going to need hotel accommodations, maybe even meeting space with this. But that travel entity will then begin to come back where it’s safe enough to travel. Let’s gather everyone together to recreate the culture that the screens can’t provide us unless we identify who’s doing what and who’s left and who we’re hiring and all that other metrics that are going on with corporate redevelopment right now.
Right. OK, doesn’t mean they’re going to stay at the mother ship.
It just means that they’re going to be gathering like other ships, going to be smaller and they might not have all the office space and go, you know, that little internal conference center, we had to do it. There’s no Oroya that we can go use hotels and kind of rent. That’s why own that space or there isn’t dead space now for most.
Go use it. Yeah. When we when we need it sort of thing. Yeah.
So those will begin to roll through then. I believe that after those two iterations coming through and more and more people feeling safer about a longer distance travel, then I think you’re going to start getting reasons to gather.
That will be let’s translate this off the screen is bring in let’s start doing those chain of trainable, tangible things that we can do together that could create that community networking spirit. Like everybody can rally together, like America, a conference like this, rah, rah, rah, and have that.
If there are if there’s a clear ahli that can be communicated by the meeting planners and things and.
Well, that will come from the fact is they bring in more team and more staff. A lot of these new team members, new staff members may not have been exposed to all the people that knew what this was like when they used to do these things. And it’s a need to get them together to get that camaraderie off. I just don’t know you from being on the screen, I. Because I spent some time with you in person and our our our corporate CEO, I think what the hotel industry needs to have teed up, this is just like when we were talking in March about some of the leaders of the industry going, hey, guys, watch out.
You should be doing these certain things on cleanliness and process. And it took them 60, 90 days to kind of get there. Like, no, you need to be thinking it needs to be here are the are legitimate are not just the self-serving Arawa of a conference that you give us money. And that’s good because we want money. That’s like how these things help you. And we really talk to and understand our you know, our clients here are the benefits of having these sorts of conferences at our thing.
And here are the guys that these guys have measured. You need to do this right, because this is going to help your business and it’s going to accelerate your return. There’s none of that analysis. None of that communication is going on in the industry, and that’s what’s going to accelerate it. I’ll give you a great example. In a 2005 Hurricane Wilma hit Cancun Category five hurricane set over the Yucatan Peninsula for fifty two hours, like, oh, good, we’re in a blender decimated.
I mean, they had palm trees in guest rooms and toilets filled with sand. I mean, just horrible situation.
So the results come back in us with Mark Travel. What did we do? We tried to try to. How do you bring this back faster? It’s like people have to see what the outcome is. So instead of having well, we’ll do a video conference with people at their sales offices in Miami or New York or whatever. It’s like, no, we’re going to go down in destination. We’re going to send video crews who will film and we can go have this presentation go.
This area is back, right? The Mexican Caribbean is back because we all of the footage that you’re seeing was filmed within the last seven days. And we have the general managers of all these and they held it at Caret, which is kind of a tourist destination, things like that down there, Playa del Carmen. And this is great. And all of a sudden it’s of the games. These are the guys. Yes, we are open for business.
We are doing such and such. We are ready for you. Here’s how everything is. And again, that was kind of the the natural destruction crisis sort of thing or the, you know, the big epic hurricane impact. But again, all of a sudden, business came flooding back because they had actual video proof and it wasn’t bussing people because it was like, well, yeah, we’re only 30 percent open. And let’s just tell people in 60 days we’ll be there.
But let’s just pretend like it’s like no real stuff. Here’s what’s happening on the ground. You can trust it. You can take it to your bank, you travel agents, you send your clients down there. It’s going to be great because the experience is fantastic. There aren’t any crowds. You’re going to be you’re going to get service like you’re royalty and look. And the prices are low.
And the thing you need to do the same thing in the in the the group world is going to look at you are our focus. We got nobody else. We are going to take care of you fantastically. We can. What’s your budget? We can do these things. How do we make this work? Let’s go. That’s what the conversations need to be. And that’s where you need the good salespeople to really get that the bottom of the funnel and get the stuff closed as opposed to how do we efficiently deal with this from a technology perspective, the kind of give people information that they don’t need, the deep conversations and things like that.
At that point, they need the basic information to figure out, good, I need to move to the next stuff down the funnel and go. And now let me get an expert to really nail this thing down and figure out the contractual terms of, oh, I don’t need one hundred percent deposit. That’s nonrefundable nine months in advance. Cool. That helps me. And here’s how. And if things cancel, yes. We’re going to wind up giving you the if there’s nothing on the you know, in that space, you’re going to get it, you know, sort of thing, all those things.
What do you do to help that meeting planner be able to accomplish their goal right now?
If there was one article I want to make sure of thrown just out of the context of all this, and that was from the hotel executive, Dotcom, the one you threw in their hotel. How hotel brands are gaining customer satisfaction and loyalty at first. Oh, yes.
I was not real keen on the lead because for me, I have really started beating a drum of how inefficient and inept brand has been. Yes. And I was like, this is bullshit. Yes. Because, I mean, you know, with their baby, what they have been doing for the brand. The brand of that property, right, as you really have their house up property experience, as opposed to the overall glut of those.
There’s one statement out of it that I really took to heart, though, that I thought was very, very true. And it was under the subcategory tapping into a prevailing mood of the traveler and they make a great statement. In any case, it is clear that travelers today are increasingly open to splitting the travel dollars between alternative lodging, lodgings and hotels. Often their choice depends on the spiritual objective customers have. That’s that’s all.
That’s it. Yeah.
You know, it’s not about being Rewards Member or Hilton Honors or IHG. It’s it’s what am I getting if I’m with you and being able to answer those questions? Everyone’s questions are different. Some people don’t give a rat’s butt about whether there’s a massive amount, which I hope they just stay at home because I want to deal with them. The others are what are you doing to make sure that I’m safe and my family safe or my guests, whoever I was with is safe and well.
And by the way, what else is there around you? Why should I travel there for if I don’t already have a reason to be traveling there and answering all that kind of questions?
And then as we evolve forward with that, what am I getting by choosing you? Right. You know, what’s the value relationship? Are you offering me something? Oh, you’re married. OK, so what does that mean for me? I got a few points that you know.
Well, this is an opportunity for the valuation calculation. And again, I don’t think a lot of people are going into this with a spreadsheet, but I think it’s going to be more kind of a neat understanding. A hotel, as I always say, they are not loyalty programs. They are reward programs. Yes, flat, flat out. And what is the game? Right. This is their pure gamification when you get when you’re talking about rewards.
Right. So it’s converting corporate business travel expense from your employer into personal leisure travel benefit for the employee. That is the game. Right.
When you remove that corporate travel spend from the equation, all of a sudden it’s like, oh, am I going to pay full freight at a Marriott or whatever just to get points so I can return for X cents on the dollar for my vacante, that’s not a beneficial ROIC for the guest. So all of a sudden that’s going to disappear and there’s going to be a bunch of flex. And that’s exactly what happens coming out of these downturns, like, oh, wow, look at the otus screw.
Well, yeah, there’s a bunch of brand agnostic customers going to go, no, where can I get to? Where can I get a great experience at the best possible available price. And I’m not saying they want to pay fifty bucks a night to stay at a six or a night’s dinner or whatever the case may be. That could be. Can I spend six hundred and fifty bucks a night instead of seven fifty at the luxury or whatever. Yeah.
Why should I spend more than I need to. That’s, that’s a negative to me because I can’t go. Yeah. Yes. Maybe I have a ton of money but again, why would I waste stuff. Why would I set that stuff on fire right now I get more, more value for my dollar. Right. And that’s that’s the bottom. That’s the bottom line of it. All people all those equations. What’s my experience? I feel safe to travel.
Hey, I’m not going to get sick and oh, I can go do whatever. That’s fantastic. Well, if it’s go to New York, it’s not going to be easy to see a Broadway show anymore. Right. It may or may not be to be in that restaurant and to dine. And so that’s going to be really tough. But there are a bunch or the museums open and they aren’t crowded. Wow. That’s a great opportunity. All of a sudden, you know, to go go do some really, really cool, great things.
But again, it may not be the same target market of people doing.
And that’s the key element to this, is that you’re now having to identify and communicate and answer to people that are asking questions that go beyond what you used to be familiar with, which goes back to our earlier discussion about those businesses that have abandoned keeping up with all this stuff and did whatever choices they had to coming back into the market. And and literally the world has changed. And knowing that what they used to talk about is no longer relevant because there’s not enough people interested in what they had to say anymore.
And to your point about the corporate culture, everyone acts differently when it’s money out of their own pocket. If it was if it was a company spending it, then OK, sure, I’ll stay at America because I can get some points for me that I can use later. And all that you said that was a model that worked well. That model isn’t the same in work as corporate travel is coming back. And I’m again going back to the article I said slightly disagreed with my group business and so forth.
I don’t see coming back. I know Bill Gates is wrong, but I don’t see coming back in the level that really is going to say, boy, that’s that was just a bad year, but we’re back on this and that’s what got us.
The VIX goes down. And basically what he was saying in his article, he said, and we’re looking at this stuff coming back and it’s going to be five years. And guess what? We don’t project out that long, but five years from basically he said whatever is twenty twenty five, twenty twenty six, because it’s not back to twenty nineteen at that point.
And we don’t know because we don’t even have the numbers to back it. But look at this trend line. Why would that trend line go like that and then all of a sudden the hockey stick up in year four. It’s like what business driver would cause that outcome?
Now that said, I said from a positive perspective that the negative for most places is that they reduced their footprints and for the mothership, we talked about that before that a three story of these in a building in Dallas or New York is now a two story going to one story, at least because they don’t take that space up anymore. And that’s going to have its own metrics associated with that.
But but from a positive perspective, I believe that there will be more mother ship trips of people that are working remote now. And every once in a while, whether it be once a quarter, once a half a year, once a year for some or that’s unnecessary for most, they’re still going to come back to the mother ship. And I think from a group perspective, there is an emerging potential market. Even in the short term, a year or two, we’re hosting and creating mother ship returns where OK, look, the office that we used to have three stories is now one story and it’s really small and we all want to get everybody together.
So what’s the nearest hotel that has the meeting space, has the rooms, has the caliber, has the stuff that we have everybody show up for and we spend or two or three days and have our corporate gatherings, have a breakouts, have our departmentalized have all that stuff that we want to do, get everybody together, get the culture we infuse, get some happiness, joy, first time meetings in person, all that stuff, and then goes back home and works again.
Right. I think there’s a market for that is going to come through. Is it going to replace the old market? No, but I think that is a market that we didn’t have before. We had training, travel. We know that we have people that had to come to mother ship for training. We had corp travel for people that were road warriors that had still come back to the mother ship and they didn’t live by the mother ship. They worked from their home because they were traveling forever.
They were at and then have to return to the mother ship for a variety of reasons. Those still exist and they will continue to exist, I think. But a lot of the sales travel. On the negative is instead of the two or three road trip travels because somebody was already on the road, let me stop by their office here. I’m in the city and I grab some dinner with you. Let’s talk some shop or whatever is now less frequent.
I think that the four to five trips is now the one true true destination. Not necessarily because they’re going to hopscotch. Right.
Well, I think that’s where Gates. No, when he says 50 percent. Yeah. You start saying, well, wait a second, how do you start carving out this number? And you go, how many? Let’s just say corporations at this point, how many corporations are going to say, hey, we are going to cut our overall number of trips like you normally hit the Northeast for you at the quarterly trip? Let’s do it twice a year, right?
Or to think that all of a sudden that could be a dramatic cut, that could be half of their travel. Right. But that’s let’s not let’s just say that that cuts out things like that. Cut out 15, 20 percent of the trips. OK, all of a sudden that corporations travel spending. How many of them are going to go, hey, instead of sending eight people to that meeting, we’re going to send four or something like that.
Right. Or how many are going to be you know, instead of making a four day trip, let’s just make it a two day. Yeah. And also, this is also true out of that pie. And if you start doing that, you start going, oh, I can get the 50 percent pretty quickly and easily. Right. And it’s not just all coming out of one thing. It’s just like you’re getting. Yeah.
And also add to those same traveling issues where it was no big deal to go to Boston, to Cleveland or whatever to say I don’t want to fly. Maybe the rates are so high and whenever they are like, let me just drive.
The airlines now divide up even further the origins and just I mean, my daughter happens to be in Wisconsin right now with her boyfriend, right? It used to be Southwest, flew nonstop. American flew nonstop. I can’t remember Delta had one maybe from I can’t remember. It was a weird one, like from Madison or so all of a sudden it’s just American. Got that nonstop. That’s right. And frequency’s down. Right. The numbers of flights per day, per day, all of that stuff is gone.
And so you kind of go, oh yeah, if you want to fly on Southwest, you got stop in St. Louis or Nashville or wherever on the way to get up there. That dynamic has changed. A lot of these airlines are going to be gone. Yeah. For leisure travel used to be subsidized by corporate travelers, not corporate travel work. If you got to fly, you’re going to pay for everything and you’re going to go to multiple places.
It’s not just going to be dropping you off in a certain spot, you know, but but that goes to headwinds.
Those are all headwinds for hotels going, oh, wow, now they’re spending on airfare.
What’s the total value of every three points?
Yeah, someone’s going to go to Philadelphia, to Cleveland, and all of a sudden I have to go through Nashville to do that. Right. OK, well, I don’t have anything in Nashville, nor do you know. But I also. But I do have something maybe in Cincinnati. Well, I can’t I’m not going to fly from Cleveland, Cincinnati and I can’t fly to Cincinnati. We’re not going to play. So why don’t I just drive from Philly down and hit both because I can do both in a car and leave it at that or train combo or fly and then try to drive with it.
You know, how many and how many hotel groups have the ability to go say, you know, if you stay with us here and here on the same trip, we’ll give you a know, hey, we want to that technology. Yes. Does it exist? Yeah. Kinda is isn’t available diploid. No, absolutely. I mean, again, looking at the cloud and apology’s Mariotte, but I’d love to bet on you as a poster child here.
Family business is pretty important. And boy, there are a lot of rooms that are constructed with connecting doors.
You ever notice Roselawn, you can sometimes get the way out into the hall.
They seem to spend a lot of money on the. Can you book one of them? I’ve got a confirmation for that. And I just bought a connecting. No, you can’t write. And because they’ve never been able to justify the ahli to Mariotte. Right. To go to because it’s millions of dollars and they kind of that stuff will get worked out. But the ability to go say that and that’s where the alternative accommodation comes in. You go, oh yeah, I can go get a three bedroom place or a two bedroom or something like that.
That’s great. The kids have a room. I see what that is and the parents are done. I can book it. It’s easy. I know exactly what I’m going to get.
And you go, the hotel can’t do that and you go now it’s all multi property ownership groups start figure a way to Latisse your hotels together regardless of their brand. Do a portal site, do something it’s not going to want you to feature there Hilton products in your portfolio and vice versa. But you know what? Your management group, our ownership group that has multiple brands, there’s got to be ways to collaborate. What you can possibly do by saying if you’re staying in our hotel in City A and you’re planning to go to city, be where we have another hotel, maybe not the same brand.
Don’t worry, we’ll give you this benefit. Just show up with a receipt from our hotels and we’ll give you this discount.
And it’s and it’s not just a discount.
Can you organize your wi fi, which is now getting back addresses and things like that, which you now can know? Well, you can still use the apple. It’s going to stop pretty damn quick, probably in twenty four. But hey, when you do that, you aren’t even going to have to log in and get all your stuff and things, you’ll just be automatically unboarded because we got hotspot 2.0 and you’re just going to go full. No, no, no.
And you start communicating that stuff. Is it for families? Oh, yes. With your profile, because you’re traveling, you can say, oh, you’re using our app. That’s great. Oh, let’s link this to my Netflix account. Let’s look at the Disney. Plus, we’ve got these really cool hunks of glass hanging on the wall and we just upgraded ourselves. This is fantastic. You can go get all that stuff and every time it just happens.
Here’s a simple thing. Go around your hotel with your with your phone, whatever brand carrier you have, and hopefully find other people that have been carriers. And we all try to keep up with our phones. I mean, most people are buying new phones all the time anyway.
And just check your signal stream, check you go online and check your T-Mobile kind of coverage in your every for your hotel versus your AT&T versus your Verizon and actually put it into your content that says, you know what, we’re in five G zone.
Oh, yeah. And five G doesn’t work that well indoors. Did you have you figured it out for what you’re going to do to have your own little private, you know, private repeater?
You put a repeater. But the idea of it is, is that for those that don’t want to do the wi fi thing and they have the 5G and the most people have the unlimited of the mega sized data or whatever they’re having. OK, sure. So show up in our hotel. You keep connected with your thing and you can still broadcast over that.
You never know you’re going to catch is your TV and it’s your set up. Set up for casting. Right. Is something that isn’t necessarily there’s one major one major hotel group. I thought I did a big thing on Wi-Fi and guest experience, big research thing for focus. Right. And I think a white paper is going to come out pretty soon on it, I think in the first probably in January, but which is only a fraction of what we what we did with the with the overall research.
But with it there are some of the outcomes were just crazy, like, oh yeah, well, we’re thinking of getting rid of like the set top box and having any sort of hotel provided. Just let everybody cast because they go. Yeah, we’ve had casting standards for five, six years. You got. Wow, that’s fantastic. And what is really the deployment of those standards by our hotels? Well, yeah, that’s kind of a problem.
It’s only about seven percent. Oh yeah.
You’ve had it for five or six years and only seven percent of the hotels are deploying it. That’s not a good combination. Right. So, yeah. So those little those hotel apps can do a lot of. Yes. Everybody’s focused on touchless and and go in and. Yeah. Not have to interact at the front desk and pick your room. That’s open your door. But then what’s the experience in the room, especially with the Wi-Fi being able to order from room service and things like that.
Hey, why do you have door dash and Uber ites all over your hotel. You’ve got a freaking restaurant downstairs, you’ve got these big banquet kitchens that aren’t getting to you. There are some really interesting opportunities that again and now the ghost kitchen things finally kind of coming up. And you’re like, yeah, nine months later, you thought ghost kitchens were an operative. Come on, guys, that’s that’s a little slow here.
So, hey, let’s hit the boop are the Barbro and then the boop. Oh yeah. Because, you know, it’s Christmas Day.
Yeah. Well, the rut row was oh and sorry again hotelier’s trying to be profitable because that’s it. But it’s basically there’s a new rule that can cost waiters more than seven hundred million dollars in lost wages by allowing employers to take more of their tips to pay other workers. Right. So this is the classic and again, I’m old enough with quite my first job in hotels where I was bussing tables and cooking food at Sun Valley Resort. Right. Which was great.
I was getting paid a dollar or two an hour because some of our tip positions for banquets. But at the end of the night they took that fifteen percent tip line, cut it down into cash and gave it to all the waiters so you would get eighty bucks in cash at the end of the night. Go. Thank you. I love this job and I will be back at 6am to start setting up for breakfast. You know, I got no issues with this.
This works well for me. And then they changed it to oh no, it goes to the company and we do this and we’re going. And all of a sudden it’s like, wait a second, there’s a line item on the bill that says fifteen percent for service. But I don’t see that getting paid out so well. Their overheads and things like and all of a sudden that’s a profit. Yeah, it’s a margin. For the for the organization.
Well, here’s another one, because what do they say? Oh, well, it wouldn’t be fair to just keep the we need to give some to the the dishwashers and the cooks and things so everybody can can participate in that. And you’re like, wait a second, that’s off of a service line item and that tip. And you’re doing it wrong because guess what? Guess how much of that’s going to get absorbed as corporate profit versus translate to what the intention and the understanding of the guest or the meeting planner was.
That gap, that’s not healthy. It’s just like resort fees. Right. It’s a it’s a disingenuous method to go make the same thing as put the little card on the pillow and you’re going to protect the environment. No, you’re going to you’re going to affect labor cost savings by reduced.
Well, it kind of goes back to to to the it’s funny how economies, internal economies always work. For instance, I’d like you back in the day, used to work in and I worked in places where the tips you got or the tips you kept. Now, in that environment, if I didn’t tip my supporting team, my busboy. Right.
Reception hostess, they helped you out as much, Lauren, as strangely enough, I didn’t get seated as much at my tables, took a little longer to clean. Funny how that worked, but if I really bonus step them and give them some better cash, I seem to get a little extra tables and a little faster service. So I worked out really well.
Then I worked in other places where all the servers pooled their tips together and you know, when that really began to suck because some people didn’t do quite as good as me. I’m crank in twenty, twenty five percent tips. Everyone loves me. I’m making some big bucks, I got some big tables and I’m thrown in a few hundred bucks and somebody else win a hundred bucks. But then we’re all splitting them all up and then going away and I’m like wait a minute, I don’t have to work.
Are not aligned with your rewards. Right.
And when they started saying we need to eat the dish and the line cooks, I’m like, excuse me, that’s your job. You own the place, you pay them. If you don’t pay them enough money, as I understand, we have a bad cook, guess what? I’ll then leave because I need to go to a better restaurant that I can make more money from, because instead of serving shitty food, I’m serving good food because there are dirty plates or whatever and everything else.
I got a staff for the paper and that’s a choice for them to make.
Yeah, and for that I didn’t even know I was going to get this extra thing. So yes, let economies run as they do. And yes, to your point, I worked in other places where it’s like we’re going to has to pull the to put their chips into the kitty and we have to take all the percentages, banquet fees, OK? And then we’re going to divide it all up. And then it’s like, wait a minute, I worked twenty hours on this thing, OK?
I busted my nuts from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight, OK? And I got the same on my knees. Somebody walked in the door for two hours and walked back out. Whoa. So is that what we’re going to based on the amount of time you spent on it? Yeah. OK, here’s the thing. They lugged trays out and they didn’t do a very good job because they were lazy. And I had to constantly looking, waiting for a tray to serve a table.
OK, so I end up having to lug my own trays, but I’m still paying them because they spent two hours here basically picking their nose in the back hallway. OK, I don’t want to pay them that much money for the money that I made for the banquet event. And then also then the salespeople got their cut off waiting on women. The salespeople got their bonus for selling the project. Why are they making tip money right off of what we did a service?
Yeah, well, you wouldn’t have the business if they didn’t do it. Yeah, that’s why you pay them the bonus. OK, OK. You’re paying me to provide what they sold so I should get what I get. So I’ve always been an advocate of allowing those people that excelled in performance to be rewarded for the performance. And me as a manager, if I had a bad server or a bad busser or anything like this, I’m like, look, I can’t see you because you don’t service them well enough.
I get complaints for your from your guests and a buzzer. Look, I can’t have you on the floor when it takes an extra five minutes before you can get to a table that I needed five minutes before. OK, so if you get faster or I get somebody else, you get better, I get somebody else and you wind up.
But the other person you get is someone depending. Again, if if the rewards are not aligned with the incentives which aren’t aligned with the work, you’re going to get someone who’s not so good. Right. They might not be attuned to hospitals. They’re just sitting there trying to get. Yeah, they don’t care. They could be doing anything. And they aren’t necessarily the best banker crew I’ve ever seen was that. And again, those is in Sun Valley.
Yeah. People with master’s degrees, grossly overqualified people to be banquet servers. Right. But guess what?
The resort gave them seasoned ski passes because they were all these people were hardcore skiers, great skiers there and doing a fantastic job. Well, what did they do? They pulled all that back and all of a sudden they’re selling the place. Well, you’ve got to buy a ski pass to go and you’re kind of like, well, the mountains there and you’re now making me pay rent to go do.
And again, the incentives weren’t there and all of a sudden the quality starts dropping off. And all those people in the hospitality oriented and very good and doing all this stuff and living a great life that started going away because they weren’t getting the compensation.
They want other places, I have to tell you, with an ownership of a hotel I was GM of and that was that the bank with food that we served was then served in the employee kitchen.
Right. And that was the reward to the crew, hey, you’ve been serving it all, you should be able to enjoy it. I don’t care what this flaming prime rib, whatever was brought into the kitchen for the crew.
Right. And then ownership, trying to squeeze a dime to make a penny because everyone says, well, we want to go over, reconstitute that for the restaurant meals for specials. Like, I understand the one that you wanted. I’m not going to do that. And they’re like, well, you’re just squandering the money. We want you to do this because you’re just squandering this food. It could definitely be repurposed and sold or done differently or done in different ways.
There’s a there’s a full cycle of usage usages of.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. How what’s the best use of all.
Yeah, but but the idea of item is to look the morale of what people do because then I had people what pretty much worked out is that those were on a board would have orders for people sorry. OK, and cruise the cruise, you know, they’re looking and they would be looking at the menus too, like when they serve and what are they serving. And I would get where I never needed crew or good crew for any event. Know.
And the thing was, is that if there was a kind of a bland like whatever, I still got the crew because they knew I would be watching if they were only trying to be a part of the schedule, availability of the good stuff. I’m saying I’m sorry. No, you you have to work and even balance here. Right. I’m going to give it to the crew that does that for me. Not because you like the prime rib. So you only offered to work those shifts for prime rib.
You have to have everything.
You have to you have to have a certain number plate. They ate the food that was prepared. They ate what was being served at that event as opposed to having to go to the employee cafeteria kind of for everybody. And now I, I kind of like it generally goes to employee cafeteria.
Well, no, but then it also went to the plate that evening. That day it went to the cafeteria. So everybody, the kitchen that made it, the people that served it, that was their dinner for that day or their lunch for that day was brought in.
Housekeepers, first off, always get taken care of. Sorry, everybody. They always, always got availability. There wasn’t because you just worked on food beverage. You got this despite Housekeep. You always they got served. It wasn’t like that’s your operation. Right. And they start, they understand, hey, the food and beverage guys or guy that this is great.
I understand what they do because if you weren’t working that day, you couldn’t come into the cafeteria that day. So obviously you want to work that day to have that and, you know, the old hotbox stuff like what’s in the box.
That’s important because again, the crappy food where they’re just preparing the. Yeah, the powdered mashed potato just whipping up.
And just as a scratch thing to all, the employee had to be of the same caliber. We served in the restaurant all the time and we didn’t have any events that had leftover food. Obviously, the onus on the kitchen was that we didn’t have that kind of substantive leftovers. Right. But we cost savings where I could eat it into employee benefits with the food left over. Yeah. You know, I could save that. And you can manage that right where you’re going.
OK, you know, the South Korean employees is more the ends and the tips of the things versus the ways. Always make that stuff, make that stuff happen.
OK, so OK. So now to poop on the poop was I like this one a lot, which is. Should you be living in a hotel and they gave an exam, this is from Architectural Digest. And they picked some good ones, so I don’t know if you look through them, but yeah, and again, they kind of started off with all the kind of celebrities who lived in hotels and things like and those oh, I can’t remember the name for the library hotel in New York or not.
The Alysse say who lives. I think it was like Cole Porter or something, lived there for like X number of years and things like that, which is great. And they have a they have a suite with the. Ah no. Actually I think he was at the Waldorf, but it was some writer, things like that. They have some great ones. They have the standard in the Maldives, which is very nice, overwater bungalows with private pools.
So why would you want to get into the water of the saltwater so you could be up on your own thing or the Drake in a Drake in Toronto, which is again, kind of just this very cool little hotel on Queen Street West. And again, it’s adjacent to the hotel. They have two long term stay, eight hundred square foot lofts. And you kind of go, that would be cool. Live in a loft on Queen Street West.
It’s only twenty five hundred Canadian a week, so you’ve got to pay ten thousand bucks a month. But, hey, you know, that’s that’s nice. The Betsie in South Beach in Miami, Sugar Beach, which is a viceroy in St Lucia. I mean, that’s just a spectacular, spectacular setting of Brown living in Tel Aviv. Not familiar with that one, but looks pretty good. You know that. And Roundhill on Montego Bay. I’ve been Lappe property.
It’s fantastic. In Jamaica, the crane in Barbados, again, another spectacular. It was a health spa built in eighteen eighty seven. That’s pretty cool. Those are nice places to to live. And yeah, again, the target was four thousand bucks a month instead of in Toronto. Ten thousand bucks a month. I mean but hopefully Sello is good to you and gave you a large supply of unmarked bills and a satchel that you’ll be able to spend on rent next year, get rid of your house and go live in a hotel.
So and help the hotel industry. Right. With that nice long term stay. And you won’t you probably won’t have to pay. Oh, the hotel tax. Right.
If you stay thirty three days, you know you’ve got to saving if that’s right.
Yeah. New York. You’re saving eighteen percent right there. Yeah.
Well Robert, thank you for the wonderful surprise being with me. And actually the whole time we pulled the whole two hour show off, I thought I was going to be in for like a half hour, maybe an hour.
You know, I would go through your list, say something between the two of us.
We can speak indefinitely. Oh, yes, we can keep the day busy. But I was there for you all the way now, just through New Year’s nonstop.
I don’t know how we could possibly do it.
We could probably was the filibustering Congress or Marathon on TV. Either way, we could handle that, you know, but honestly, it’s a pleasure to have you. I mean, I feel like a Miss Universe for New Years.
Yeah, well, probably you won’t see me again. I mean. Oh, yeah. You’ll be back into the chaos again for a while. I’m in. Well, yeah. And this chaos is actually. Can I just do a quick aside before this is the nightmare. Talk about a nightmare scenario for an organization five years ago. This is my client. Five years ago they signed like a no out deal with somebody to manage their website. Right.
Just locked in five year commitment because these guys are going to bring in some money and develop and things like a well, they destroyed eighty five percent of the traffic over those five years. That’s not a good outcome. But at the end of the five year deal, what did they do to put on top? Because these guys wanted to go flip the thing to somebody else and the profit from that kind of the exit, which was kind of it was supposed to go up and everyone supposed to make a bunch of money, they locked out the website.
Yeah, and wouldn’t do I mean, talking all assets, all social, everything locked out, right.
So we got it back and redeveloped the whole thing and got but again, traffic is off like 60 percent. Right. It was up 70 percent. And it’s coming back. But it’s just like really real. And again, there’s no money because it’s a pandemic to go. That’s absolutely evil. So now they’re big like court cases and things like that. And we’re going to they’re absolutely going to be executed by these guys. I mean, because the the amount of data we have and information on what they did to destroy this and then to keep doing it.
And then the piece de resistance was they they accidentally took this entire website and loaded it onto another U. RL, which was very similar to this. And it actually went live. Right. They didn’t mean to bet they’re idiots. Right. Those like, oh, so how did all of the content that said copyright X, Y, Z wind up on this other you are all these days and be ranked in Google because we went out and did a site thing.
Oh, you’ve got X numbers of pages and here’s where they are. And oh we did a site map and we compared the timestamps of those the XML sitemap. Only four pages changed on the whole thing, which was about page where oh you eliminated the names of the people who actually own the site and did this and all the copyrights at the bottom.
Still had the other website name. Oh my gosh. Oh, just insanity to make the money back just from the legal suits they’re going to win.
Oh yeah. Yeah.
And and I’m telling them, you go for everything that you go after their family members, you got nowhere to go.
No, no. It’s they destroyed your livelihood. You go back and you make them pay literally. So, yeah, that’s what’s taking care of my Fris for the last again since April. It’s just like. Yep I got that scratched out to go.
Oh, it’s nice to have you back this time and spend the whole time on Christmas Day. I’m going to go and get things done.
Great case study on how to redevelop a website at some point.
Yeah, that sounds like you will. Oh I’m going to do. Engagement is through the roof. The number of page views, the number time on site, the whole everything is going. But they just don’t have traffic. Right, because they destroyed all and they didn’t have access to any of the assets and they’re gradually trying to pay to rebuild all the stuff, all the blog posts that were done from there were still relevant from twenty twelve. And to be made like that, you know, none of that for the thousands of pages, the website exist.
So that’s horrible. But you’re also going to look like the rest of my day unstructured, no plans.
I’m going to do my podcast recap of today and I think I’m on this call today and well actually I got to produce a little info graph for client just oh, we postponed all of our family.
So actually, my younger daughter’s off boyfriend and out of state. But we’re going down with my older daughter who’s married and her her in-laws. We’re all going down, actually, I think on Sunday night. So we delayed it because there are some logistical issues of getting everybody together. So that’s going to be great. So next week, I’m kind of down the down there. So, yeah. So I actually have unstructured time.
Yeah. Well, enjoy your time and thank you fishtank.
That needs to be cleaned up and I’m going to skip the fish tank cleaning, but I appreciate the fact you spent the time that you had unstructured with today.
You know, I mean, like I said, other than doing the we the podcast, which I would do after the show always and a little infographics produced by the end of today for client, I’m then going to go home. I been I’ve been very home to Susie Q Homemaker.
I’ve been making roasting my own coffee, making my own cheese. I made a wonderful key lime pound cake last night. I’m dying to try. Oh, OK. You want mute? I lost your voice. Is that there’s an omen? No, I’ll ask again, I’ll be damned. Yeah, wow, no. Huh? Nothing’s changed from our side now. Well, by Robert, we’re wrapping up anyway.
If you want to know more about Rakita, go to Rukshana dot com. If you want to sign up for Robert’s most excellent newsletter, you can go to Bitly Beitar our or slash Rokita all lowercase no space you nickname meant. No, no nothing. No nothing.
Anyways, for the live show here, the replay of this and all previous 280 shows, you can go to hospital digital marketing dot com for such a live look for show number 281. There will be the show links and the links to all Roberts news items and his wonderful music rendition, which I did not put on the show because, well, you know it. You just have to read it to play it back in your mind as to how it would sound.
So with that in mind, Mr. Robert, merry merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful next few days. Also on top of that, because it looks like you had a little delay function going over the holidays. Enjoy your unstructured time. Thank you to Adele and Stuart both for joining us on Christmas Day for the live show we look forward to next week, which will be New Year’s show. No turning to. Sounds like Robert might be able to join us again and for anyone else who wants to join us as well.
Thank you all for your time. We’ll see everyone next week by everyone. By Robert.
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