Outsourcing Revenue Management —“…how can a General Manager who has never been a revenue manager, touched a CRS, updated a channel manager, analyzed segment pick-up curves, or performed displacement calculations possibly effectively qualify a candidate for a revenue manager vacancy?” ….”How would you actually manage a revenue manager? Check the quality of their work and methodology? Trust me, this is important, as it’s easy to make small mistakes, which if go unchecked could lead to a loss of revenue. And many RM’s do not have the tendency to audit their own work.”.
This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 285 Transcript (English U.S.)
[00:00:17.240] – Loren
Hello, everyone, and welcome to this gloriously happy, fun day of this week in hospitality, marketing show. Number two hundred and eighty-five. I’m good for the happy thoughts.
[00:00:28.040] – Loren
Other cool stuff with me, Adele Guttmann with Aspire Reputation Management and with also Mr. Challenge from Flip to and Melissa Cavanough to know enough about Fuel travel.
[00:00:41.870] – Loren
I’m just excited. I know what it is.
[00:00:44.720] – Loren
That’s, you know, it’s kind of like a switch or it’s to swap roles. It’s OK. So it’s all good stuff, but thank you. Yes. I just was telling you that this is a good day. I know whether it’s the weather. I don’t know what it i just today’s a good day.
[00:00:59.180] – Loren
Well, it was nice. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The neighborhoods get a little rougher.
[00:01:06.320] – Loren
Mr. Tim Peter is such a pleasure to see you, sir. Melissa, you teased us with this Oh yeah I have an update thing.
[00:01:13.610] – Loren
So it’s like, yeah, I did bring some really cool items of discussion that I have, but and I know everybody else did, too, as well. But I do want to make sure we don’t miss this cool uptick thing you were talking about also.
[00:01:27.650] – Melissa
So, yes, please, that we have an update to our last survey, which we talked about a couple of weeks ago now, where we broke out on our update, people’s responses based on whether they have traveled during the pandemic versus when those who did not travel yet during the pandemic. And this is literally hot off the press right now. It is not even published on the website. So you heard it here.
[00:01:55.880] – Melissa
First, breaking news we just threw the original stuff into here is the original survey result link so that people can follow along.
[00:02:13.970] – Melissa
[00:02:14.960] – Melissa
So if we recall when we asked about whether people had traveled or not, we had almost a split response evenly. Fifty three percent of people said that they had traveled during the pandemic versus not. So our follow up responses are basically split between evenly between these two groups, which is kind of cool that we have an even amount of responses to discuss on these questions. So first of all, we asked, do you plan to get a vaccination? Fifty five percent of those who already traveled voted yes versus seventy five percent of people who have not traveled voting yes.
So definitely a higher percentage of people who haven’t traveled are more likely to get vaccinated. Not entirely surprising. They’re right. The question is. Yeah, yeah.
Asking about when you’re likely to plan a trip and book a trip, assuming that cases are dropping of the virus and vaccines are being distributed. We had thirty two percent of people who traveled saying that they would start planning in January. And this was by far the most popular answer for those people who have already traveled. For those who haven’t traveled, it was a lot more evenly distributed looking graph with April taking the top spot, and that was with 14 percent of boots and talking about booking their next trip.
It was basically repeated answers. It looked exactly the same. But when talking about actually traveling for our next trip, those who have already traveled again leaned very much more significantly into the first six months of the year. June was the peak with 17 percent of responses versus non travelers. That really looked more like a bell curve across the year, with significant increases beginning in April. And then May was actually the top response, but it was still only 12 percent of responses.
Unfortunately, quote unquote, 20, 20 to or later really had nearly as many responses as our peak season did. So travelers. Yeah, yeah, well, that’s good, right? No, no, no, please, please, please, please. I was going to say, I think one of the epiphanies we’ve had in the last couple of weeks is we started looking at this data by slicing it between the two two distinct cohorts. These are two completely different animals.
How they think, what motivates them, what fears they have. People that have drowned, people that have not traveled need to be treated differently, and we have probably already you know, the people that have traveled are likely to continue travel. We know that 70 per cent of people that have traveled at least once have traveled more than once. So our job as marketers needs to be how do how do we reach both of these groups with different types of communication?
So your strategies really need to look at that. OK, if I know that someone’s already traveled since March, the types of communication I’m sending to them probably need to be significantly different than the people that I have in my database that haven’t traveled since March. In the types of language I’m using, the types of reassurance I’m doing needs to be very different. You need to be deliberate about this because these guys do not think the same and I do not behave the same all.
If you happen to ask any of them if they were in D.C. recently, yeah, now we actually got specific weather like did did you penetrate the Capitol building?
And over 60 percent of respondents said yes. Yeah, probably, yeah. More of the the people that have traveled had been to D.C. than the ones that hadn’t because we don’t know what that was.
You know, you bring up a very outstanding point as to the differences between them, because I’m noticing as time goes on with just my small sample of friends, there is a divide division between those that have exercised their options and those who are stored in there. I’m not doing this until this criteria. And I was very much excited about the data released when you first rolled out about January being the discovery to converging opportunity, the midyear to third quarter. Let’s look at what we’re going to do to handle that kind of surge of interest.
And then we get the daily updates of the slowing or the slow progression of vaccination, the real aspect of what that herd percentage reality is and the time it’s going to take for us in transitions of government to to facilitate the differences of how it’s being handled and all these other things. And you’re getting that that kind of repeated conversation of the statistics saying the data saying that it’s twenty, twenty two, that you should really be looking at the the value proposition of herd immunity, general consensus of normalises, so forth and so on, and not just basing it on the anticipation of excitement of people’s decision to travel, which is, you know, in the survey reflects it.
But in the reality, that may still just be until you do the next survey and find out that they extended the thing, especially with the April conversion. I thought that was very interesting from January and April. Like, wow, that that’s that’s a substantive time shift for that audience size to just say, I’m not even looking at this until the middle to latter part of spring.
Yeah. I mean, it’s you know, there was a great these can require had a thing that I can share in the other day and it goes with what we were talking about. The key for this year for many folks is just for agile because the numbers are going to change day by day, week by week, month by month, based on whatever the reality is in your destination markets, based on one of the markets that matter to you. You know, when you’re.
You’re going to need to be flexible around this, because as people feel more comfortable, as people get vaccinations, as people have disposable income, depending on what’s going on with the economy, I fully agree with them. Something we talked about a couple of weeks ago, you know, are going to be bursts of travelers, going to be revenge drama. They’re going to be people who want to get out there. And there’s going to be a lot who are sick.
You need to be in a good position to capture your fair share or better than your friends when people are traveling. And also just acknowledge the fact that there’s going to be points where there’s not going to be as much travel as we would like to see this year.
I think first is a great way of saying it, because we saw that even in some markets last year where there were these just like spikes out of nowhere that you couldn’t predict. And people either capitalized on that or left a lot of money on the table. And you’ve got to be like great management. For example, if you’re someone that lets a machine dictate your rates. Right. You using some, you know, tool out there that tells you when to increase and decrease your rates.
And it’s based on historical behavior that that’s not going to cut it this year because the models don’t hold up to scrutiny today. And things are going to happen at such a rapid pace that it’s going to be almost impossible for the machine to inform you quick enough. Like we literally saw last year. In some markets, hotels go from less than 20 percent occupied, looking on a Thursday, looking through the weekend to 100 percent occupied within twenty four hours through the whole weekend.
This is weird bursts, like you said, that that you’ve got to be really, Adso, you’ve got to be looking at things in real time every day and not just looking at updating rates once a week anymore. It’s got to be almost real time.
I think something you need to remember flexcel flexible rates at some hotels where, you know, it’s a really posh hotel, but it’s like one ninety nine one day and 500 the next day. And I think for me it just gave me a lot of hope that it’s not just oh just take it at any price. There is definitely some demand happening to, to be able to see something such strong rates like 500 coming up. And I can say it’s true with the ebb and flow because myself, I was very comfortable to go.
To spend a weekend somewhere, not for lack of partying, but to go visit my parents, say no, to go eat outside, and I stopped being comfortable after I just had some experiences that did not make me feel I was as protected as as advertised.
Consumers are fickle. We’ve seen that, too, where sentiment can shift based on that stimulus, based on the media portrayal, based on their own personal experience and exposure. This isn’t a this hasn’t been a lynching or anyone who wants journeys is a rollercoaster.
I’m the same as you and I was traveling back in the middle of last year and I haven’t in the last couple of months because the numbers I think I’ll refer to something from a from a point perspective.
And you made a very good point about the theme parks a few weeks ago, how they have created their response. And that was one way of looking at how we’re looking at things that rather than sitting and wait for the, I would say randomisation, because it’s not randomisation. It has all the impacts we just talk about, but the ebb and flow, the the sporadic demands and so forth, they’ve decided to translate what they need to do to answer to what they know is interest and want to come to these places, but to to control the environment in a way that allows people to make good decisions.
And I’ll tell you, I mean, the theme parks, I think, are a great case study in how to do it right and what the effect that can have on it. So, I mean, during the holiday break, I went to two different theme parks, which, by the way, a normal year, you would never catch me doing that.
But with that bowl, theme parks were rocking right up to the edge of their current capacity that they set for themselves because the state of Florida said, do whatever you want, but the theme parks are still being responsible.
And and I’ll say this. I felt safer even in a crowded theme park, because I understand Universal Studios at 50 percent capacity is still very crowded.
But I felt safer there than I did at IKEA than I did at Home Depot because they did a really good job. And there was an interesting difference in approach that SeaWorld and Universal took because we did both of them during a busy time. SeaWorld took very much an approach of every employee pouncing on people who are wearing masks correctly and things like that. So as you walk through the park, all you kept hearing was someone saying something to someone about, hey, please pull your mask up, things like that, which I did SeaWorld first.
And I was like, oh, that’s great. You know, there are these Jack Jack whatevers I’m not going to square walking around cheating the system by having oh, I have a mask on. It’s just, you know, on my chin. But then I went to Universal and Universal took a very different approach that I actually think is better.
Everywhere you go in Universal, there are signs that say if you’re not wearing your mask correctly, you will be ejected from the park with no refund. And there were signs everywhere where you were entering a place that maybe you wouldn’t be supervised by an employee that actually said you’re under surveillance and had a picture of what the surveillance looked like.
The entire time I was at Universal, I did not hear a single employee say a single thing to a park guest, but I also didn’t see a single park guest trying to jack up how they wore their mask and stuff. So it actually made the day more pleasant because I didn’t constantly hear, you know, all this craziness and I didn’t see anyone trying to skirt past the situation by wearing their mask wrong. The other thing I’ll say that Universal did incredibly well was at the end of every queue, they forced you to take hand sanitizer.
They actually had someone standing there, and as you were going to go into whatever ride, they were like squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, you can go. But even with that, they thought it through. It was a lotion based hand sanitizer, so it didn’t dry out your hands. So their thoughtfulness and level of detail was amazing. And I would highly recommend anyone who wants to go to Universal because we know for both parks, we also stayed in one of the hotels and the hotel did a fantastic job.
I can tell you you’re safer going there than you are going to IKEA or a grocery store or Home Depot because they are taking extreme care to protect their partygoers.
Reminds me of is we’ve had this fun Wigney discussions. I have anyway. I’ve been wanting more stuff when you go home and we used to fly and there’s a difference between the gate attendant keeping track of the people as they progress on the plane. If they’re following the guidelines of which people are boarding versus the people are just snaking the line and going in when they want to. And you get mad when you know somebody that is in zone six, walked in with zone one and you’re like car at least five.
Anyway, you appreciate it when they hold the law and you smirk when somebody gets caught doing it, like where they get the help. You’re not in this. Get the heck out and get back. You like. Yeah. You know, I felt like that when you’re talking about this, like, look, I will go to a place that enforces the law.
It’s fine to have the guidelines. It’s another to enforce the guidelines. And I guess in a strong way, the marketing perspective of this is that if we’re going to look for that segment, you just isolated differently than those who are a little bit more comfortable with the current traveling to those who are still yet to travel or make the decision to travel and are waiting for that decision opportunity if you start addressing it, kind of like with the theme parks did, if that’s the way you can do this, if you know, people are wanting to come to your market, this might be a way of easing that to say, you know what, if we do all this and show that we’re doing all this and validate how we’re doing this and have outside third party guests and advocacies and everything else showing that we’re doing all this, maybe we can get some of those people made up.
Well, and listen, one thing this has shown us is people definitely reach different levels of comfort at their own pace. I have a feeling that the more vaccines move down into the bigger spenders of our economy, the ones that are out actually putting out cash, I think you’re going to see them, you know, willing to do more as they go through things. And then I also think as we get to the point that the at risk people are all the ones that want to be vaccinated, are vaccinated, I think you’ll see more movement, you know, because naturally, if the vaccines are working and your high risk is vaccinated, the reported death rates are going to drop.
And as the reported death rates drop, people will look at what is kind of the remaining scenario of the coronavirus and they’ll look at it in a light of, oh, it’s not as bad now, even if the numbers and the cases are high, if the death rate plummets, because like in the state of Florida, you know, if you look at if you separate out the death rates by the most susceptible, if you took them out of the account, the death rate is very low compared to the number of cases.
So I you know, human psychology says that as those numbers start increasing their gap, that you’re you’re going to unlock more and more of the population willing to to go at it.
And they say that they have the therapy now that I can’t remember which pharmaceutical company it is that they brought out whenever there was a little surge or a few cases and in some senior’s senior living places and or something like that. And they gave it to everybody and they had an 80 percent decrease in the amount of people who showed symptoms of getting out of it. So that was pretty amazing. And they were thinking of using it, even though they had the vaccines that are supposed to be coming out.
My parents don’t have a scheduled date yet. Other seniors I know don’t have a picture of it yet. They’re still waiting for somebody to do something. And but this is very quick and it’s not as difficult to distribute.
And things also got better when they realized that you can avoid ventilating people. The death rate dropped quite a bit when they realized that there were other ways to avoid putting someone on about. Later and ventilator’s put a healthy person on a ventilator, there’s a high chance that that does not end well for them. So so I think as more and more happens, it will unlock more and more of the population. And so I don’t think it’s going to be we don’t feel real recovery until we’re at full herd immunity.
I think it will be sometime before then. And it will be a mix of vaccination, a mix of vaccinating the right people, like the ones who are the most likely to die from this, and a mix of treatment solutions that avoid unnecessary complications that cause, you know, the progression to make it fatal.
Probably lives in west Maryland right now. Right, because I didn’t win the Mega Millions.
I’m just wondering whether I was going to bring that up, because even it was in a small town of twelve hundred people, someone won seven hundred and forty million dollars to just.
450 million on a pill isn’t single payer, something like 450 million. Yeah. By the way, if you’re interested in fruitless waste of money, megamillions is nine hundred and seventy five million dollars right now.
This is my chance to have a one hundred ninety five million chance of picking the right series of numbers.
So, I mean, I throw them just for fun as to the contrast of how things people’s lives can change even though we’re in these times. But I want to go back to something I said, big wind about so much of my past with the show. When I used to run independent hotels, I used to talk about how I thought the people that ran food and beverage within hotels were very spoiled because there’s an independent restaurant you had always set up as if you’re going to be jam slammed.
And you were and you quickly had to assess what your business flow was to know how fast you could walk to his hotel, which is option to leave early. Your crew, like, OK, you go close the station, do the you know, and you had food prep balances and powers and things. You always had to be prepared for the big business, but you had to definitely be prepared for the little business. And I always thought that that from a food and beverage and hoteliers, they’re very small because they’re like, oh, we didn’t eat this captured percentage from this and this and this.
And it’s like, guys get in other rooms above your head here. Why aren’t you, you know, go find the business. I have to say the same thing. Now, we’re in a time cycle where everyone thought about now and not everyone. So I’m going to be there could be more accurate.
There was a feeling then from general conversations that about now we’d feel more optimistic about when we thought we’d start getting back to business.
This about it’s now January now kind of thing. I felt even from the survey information, most that you guys have shared that, wow, maybe this is a chance for us to begin getting some aspirational conversions. People are thinking about making plans. And the I segment, the data say, well, some people. Yeah, but other people are there pushing that down the road a little bit.
So I will tell you, like looking at the data that we can see, that we have visibility into which, to be fair, most of our partners are leisure driven resorts and things like that. The bullishness on spring, you know, mid spring through summer is really strong in bookings. We’re seeing it.
But I think there’s a trap door to that. I’m not disagreeing and I’m certainly not trying to put water on it other than to say a lot of it’s conditional on the fact that they have such great booking qualifications. They can can it they can dump it. There’s no penalties.
But there’s a lot of business.
And I think a lot of those people, even the ones that maybe this is the first trip they’ve booked since the pandemic started, I think by summer, if it’s not worse than it is right now, meaning case case growth and death count are not worse at a pace. I think you’ll see a lot of them go, you know what, I need this. I need the psychological brand.
And I think like we saw last summer, I mean, there is a lot of evidence, there’s a lot of data that shows when people are outside, you know, risk goes down, et cetera. So, I mean, it seems plausible that this summer could be good for some markets, for leisure hotels. Right. Just just based on the reality we are in from and I don’t like spending to a lot of time talking about the medical side because I’m not a doctor.
I’m let you just play one on TV. I just play one on TV. The Holiday Inn Express.
It’s OK. Exactly. Exactly.
I’m just parroting what I’ve heard people who seem to know what they’re talking about. We are in the worst period right now. Right, because people are indoors. It’s cold. You know, people are confined or like the conditions for spread are higher than they will be other times a year. I am. Bullish for the summer generally, but I think and we talk about this a couple of weeks here, because I was the one dumping cold water on everything a couple of weeks ago, not because I think it’s bad news, but because I think we have to be really conscious of plan for the worst and hope for the best.
And I think what you’re going to see, I think the data suggest and what you just said suggest I’m talking about something else I’m working with, you know, it’s going to vary widely by type of hotel and market and things like that and government influence and government. Right. Is there another stimulus as well?
Not just that California hotels will do OK and the California shut them down. Right.
And it’s still going to be soft for a while that there is no evidence that business travel is coming back or yet. There was an interesting study that Delta did. You may all have seen this, that Delta Airlines, where they said that, you know. Fifty one percent of the business travel folks we talked to basically said that, you know, they expect business to come back in twenty, twenty one the way they always have. Seven percent said they walked and forty two percent.
And I thought this was the most interesting number because it was it was a pretty healthy share of its own. Forty two percent said we have no idea right there in very much wait and see mode. So, so that’s a big number. When you take the forty percent who said we don’t know what the seven percent who said it won’t. But you’re talking to half of business travel is no pun intended here up in the air. Right.
And you intended that, but you did like the only reason you’re telling this story is because we came up with that pun on a call with one person and you’re like, I need to find a way to bring this.
I really appreciate you think I’m that smart, you know, but it’s something where, you know, if you are a city center hotel in a market in the north or someplace like that, who depends upon business travel, I don’t think you have a good story this year. I don’t think you are putting you’re setting yourself up for a bad situation if you plan on having a good story this year. Right. If you’re a resort in a warmer climate with a lot of outdoor space and things like that, you could crush it this year.
So I think we’re going to see a lot of of diversity in terms of how various properties and how various markets go.
So with that being said, I still make it a habit that every time I’m talking to a hotel, I ask them what their experience has been and how’s it going now? Because more often than not, I am surprised. So I was on a call last week with a large management company where a large amount of their concentration is New York City.
And so I said to them. Are your hotels closed? Are they opening soon? What’s the demand looking like? And they said, oh actually most of our hotels stayed open and actually so far the last four or five weeks, we’ve been able to achieve anywhere from 60 to 90, five percent occupancy in the hotels that are open now, rates not as strong, but we have found demand. And that was the key thing. They went and found that they were nimble.
They were using a lot of more advanced methodologies and they were spending to make it happen. And then they said they use that same methodology on their leisure hotels and they said they’re leisure hotels are like digging out. They’re they’re they’re well on their way of recovering from the losses of last year because they’re using the same methodology. Even though those hotels are doing OK, they’re trying to build compression into their rate. I think that’s the point that we probably need to focus on.
We spent a lot of time on the show kind of pontificating about the what ifs. And and I don’t think any of us really have a lot of clarity over the next, you know, that we can make educated guesses. But there’s more unknown, I think, than there is known at this point. And there has been. But each individual property, regardless of whether you’re in New York City or Panama City Beach, you can maximize your potential by your behavior, by the choices you make.
And I think the data that Melissa will eventually give back to you in a second can be a part of the insight that will help help you make decisions. So as simple as, OK, we know we just touched on all right. Demand is picking up the spring and summer for some places, but it’s at risk, right? Because this the psychological factor of these people could cancel at any time without any recourse. All right. So what can we do to mitigate that?
What can you be doing from a communication strategy to make sure that as few people cancel as possible? What can you be doing in a reassurance manner in your pre-arrival messages to the people that haven’t traveled versus the people that have already stayed with you since the pandemic? What should you be saying? So those are the things you know, I, I think that podcast tries to focus on the law is what what can you tangibly doing? And then think Tim Tim likes to call it romancing the cell.
Yeah, exactly. I do. Well, and I want to hear the rest of Melissa’s data. I do want to add one thing, because I want to first of all, start I agree with every single word you just said completely and utterly. I also want to add to that what Adele said before. I think it is an incredibly important point about the hotels that are five hundred bucks a night, some nights for one hundred ninety nine bucks a night.
The other nights like, you know, don’t give away. Right. Just to give away rate. You’re not going to drive Adimab. You need to get the rate when you can get the rate because that’s going to put you in a better position. Get one hundred percent. Agree. So, Melissa, I bet there’s more data. Well, since we’re talking about rates and revenue and things like that, let’s talk about travel budgets. So we asked in this upcoming year, do you expect you expect to travel with a budget greater or lesser, the same as twenty nineteen and also a number of tips and vacation days, et cetera.
So for all three of these questions, those that have traveled, the majority of votes were not changing compared to twenty nineteen and not twenty twenty. We’re talking about twenty nineteen. And of those that were changed, there were more votes for spending more or taking more trips or more vacation days, then less for those who haven’t traveled. We had less than half of votes that were unchanged and unfortunately, a higher percentage of those spending less, taking less, etc.
than spending more. So very, very different patterns between those who have traveled and those who haven’t. So these are by definition, the people that haven’t traveled are more cautious people, right? I think we can infer that in a lot of this data shows that, you know, the amount of vaccines we can see that day, that there are people that want to get vaccines because they’re cautious. We want to be protected. They’re spending less money because they’re cautious.
That’s an insight you can use. And how do we take a cautious person and reassure them that traveling is OK? Well, maybe if we show them the things we’re doing, maybe we show them are the people that are traveling. It gives them a sense, you know, that social proof psychology hack that works so effectively, often in the sales process, showing them happy, safe people without incident, that that’s going to be what motivates them. So maybe a platform like flipped two could help with that.
That’s a great segue into our next question. Oh, lovely.
Which says and I love I love the differences in the answers on this one. So the next time you do travel, what would you want the property to communicate to you prior to your stay?
Lo and behold, for those who have not yet travel, they voted for updated cleaning protocols and local mask requirements, more than 80 percent voted for those two things of those who have not traveled. On the flip side, but those who have traveled, they want to know the open status of local restaurants was their number one choice. Seventy three percent voted for the status. The local restaurants then followed by the mask requirements and cleaning protocols, which were just under 70 percent of votes for those two.
So very different responses yet again from those who have traveled and those who have not.
I wonder how many people would make a choice to choose one hotel over another because one you could check in without going to the front desk and go straight to your room and use your your smartphone or something versus the ones that are staying a little bit closer to traditional and processes. And you bring up an interesting and this is personal, this we have gotten used to our newer lifestyle in the sense of getting food delivered from different restaurants that are offering it while cooking more at home.
We’ve doing different things in lieu of what we used to do, whatever that was, travel and or going out or whatever it is for those that are staying home more and more. And so it seems obvious that consideration that if I’m going to take the risk of travel, if I found the reasons of security or the necessity of travel, I’m going to be more concerned also as to the amenities of travel. Will I be able to eat something that is of worth other than the nucular egg basket tossed in a paper bag given to you in the morning because you can’t stand the buffet line anymore, stuff you’re going to want to know more about.
Am I just going to sit in a hotel room staring at a little TV? I can do that at home. Why am I here? So I think it kind of tends to lend itself a little bit to being a little bit more aware of the the logistics of your travel as well as the safety. So I think it makes sense and that’s it. And in that way.
So there’s a comment in here about the Marco Island Marriott over the holiday weekend being very sparse. And Lauren, rightfully Red Tide is screwing up parts of southwest Florida right now.
But the other thing is, is it’s a Marriott. So there’s no I’m sorry.
You can see that a lot of the heavily flagged, heavily restricted hotels are not faring as well because they can’t be they don’t have any levers to pull. And so, you know, I would I would bet that if you had stayed at another hotel on Marco that wasn’t as restricted, I betcha they probably had a better three day weekend, even with red tide being the issue. Yeah.
When we keep talking about flexibility, agility. Right. Those are that’s the the key to success right now. You’ve got to be able to be creative and your solutions to generate demand. The flags have many, many, many strengths. Agility is not one of them. Correct. The fact that one of the biggest weaknesses.
Well, and because of that too, the individual hotels don’t have equity in have having built an audience of anything meaningful. Right. Like even they’re social. They’re so restricted in what they can do on social, even their social audience isn’t as strong as as it should be for a hotel, the type they are. And a lot of that has to do with the mother ship’s rules, which have reasons like I’m not saying they’re ridiculous or anything like that, but, you know, you’re just not going to see it.
You’re just not going to see a hotel that’s still following the rules of their mother ship, you know, thriving even in markets that are a little bit having it a little bit easier like Marco Island.
Yeah, this is my lead card of conversation today and maybe we can get back to it another time. But in context, what we’re talking about right now is a lot of companies, I feel have been trying to weather the storm. And you brought this into our earlier coverage. They were all in the same ocean, in the same storm. We’re on different boats. OK, with that being the case, there’s been I’m from a client perspective, a lot of businesses, management, company ownership companies, brands have been trying to just stay as they have been reducing their cost in the the opportunity of emerging as they had operated before.
They understand logistically they may have made some variations or whatever, but for the reality of it, their structural approach to things have been in most ways kept in tact.
And now with this extension of time and now another extension of time and another extension of time, it’s like a carrot that never can be reached mentality.
I think there are some companies are going to realize they have to reconceive how they do business because they’re just I mean, there’s a couple of articles that Robert through notes last week that I kind of brought back in, I had in my podcast and I’d like to bring up today as well about should we have third party service? I’ve always been a blender of internal and external, but that was under a world that doesn’t exist currently right now. And there are really strong arguments as to why and I’m not trying to push fuel or flip to or, you know, reputation management.
There is a value proposition to third party quality service relationships that you may have thought internally should have been handled, revenue management being another one, you know, marketing, whatever it is, because it’s kind of the take this fish out of the ocean, put them in an aquarium. They’re no longer the aggressor anymore. They’re no longer lean and mean and capable. They’re fat and happy because you’re feeding them every day, you know, and there’s a politics of corporations and self-preservation and sandboxes and.
Agendas and all this other crap that gets confused when you’re under the payroll of the ownership of the one place you’re responsible to, compared to being a third party that says I can bring in all the resources of my familiarity with what everybody else is doing. If you listen to most of our conversations, we related to the variety of whom we deal with because we’re out in the ocean keeping alive. And so we’re dealing with lots of variations to whom we deal with.
And that skill set gets translated to everybody that we’re responsible for as a client, where if I was working for the company, I may be very focused on what I’m capable of doing, very little to what I’m doing. But I’m also plainly a little bit more narrowcast to what I’m doing to that was that’s my big happy thought for conversation.
Yeah. You can’t streamline your way through this, right?
If there’s a small dip in demand, you can batten down the hatches and cut some costs and weather the storm, blow everyone off the boat.
I’ll survive longer.
Yeah, I worked for the girl at the end of Titanic.
She’s a life raft and the that she let him go. But yeah. But now now it’s different, right? Because this is a storm that’s lasted longer than a lot of folks predicted and we don’t really know when it’s going to end. And you’ve got to you’ve got to rebuild your vessel in the middle of a storm, you know, and it’s you’re going to have to have skilled people to do that. Like we’ve talked a lot on the show about becoming hunters versus gatherers, right.
Being bring a predator. You’ve got to be aggressive in how you create demand today in a way that you didn’t used to. You could just kind of throw out your nets and catch the fish. Now you’ve got to attract the fish and identify the right fit. It’s just a mixing a thousand metaphors. But there’s no, like, green on your way through this. You have you have to be creative in solutions to get through.
You know, I once read an article on LinkedIn. I wish I remembered who wrote it, but it was an ex married person and I think maybe he even collaborated with another married person like decades of experience at the company. And they said, this is how you can be successful at Marriott. And I don’t remember anything on that list except for one. Challenge the standards, and I just was it was so delightful and surprising and wonderful to read that somebody who is successful at the company said that because sometimes when I’m speaking to somebody, I spoke to a general manager at a another big brand and said, oh, no, the brand, they said, don’t worry about this kind of marketing.
Don’t worry about reviews. Of course, I was asking about that. You know, don’t worry about this. But even things like if somebody says that they don’t like their room, you can’t don’t change their room. Like, do you love getting back?
The first thing I would do if I if it was in my power and somebody told me that they were unhappy is try to find them something that would make them happy. But just to have that rule for no for no reason. And I just wonder I don’t it’s hard for me to even imagine that that a company would say that to them. But somehow the way they’re receiving the message sounds like. Don’t do it when it’s really, you know. We’re you know, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any power and you don’t have any tools and you can’t do anything on your own.
Still, to be a successful hotelier, as a general manager or director, sales and marketing or whatever, you still have to have the mindset of an entrepreneur, a growth mindset, you know, a change and innovation and creativity mindset.
Looking at the article you shared, by the way, Richard, you’re in our, ah, chat audience on the show. I mean, here you can speak to Mariotte as good as good, if not better than most of us when it comes to how internally things work. I’m a little done this to Delta’s reasoning for this, Tim. I mean. Oh, yeah, this was the one I thought this was a bad headline or a pause turn a frown upside down.
Right. Putting the best possible spin of the numbers. You know, when they said that seven percent of their business travelers say that they are never going back to the normal levels of traveling, and they also say they’re not worried about the future of corporate travel. Well, you probably ought to be a little bit right. I’m not saying to do everything we’ve talked about. It doesn’t mean you bury your head in the sand and go, oh, God, woe is me.
The sky is falling. We can’t find some other way to make money. Right? But if seven percent of business travel went away permanently, that’s an enormous number. So you have to find other ways to make it up, right. Monopolies tend not to worry.
I mean, to be fair, because when the consumer has no other choice, who pays for the seven percent of corporate travel?
Yeah, yeah, exactly. All the other other travelers, that’s why they’re not worried is they ran the math and went, all right.
But we can jack up the fares on everyone else and it’s within the margin that it’s achievable without ever affecting demand.
So, yeah, we’re not worried because we have a monopoly. Right. Right.
The reason I pointed out that specific article and it’s it’s what we’ve been talking about is it you know, you have to look at your mix and say, is there some of this mix that’s going to change? And I’m going to use the words conservatively. Right. And I’m only using Gaudens probably, or I’m only putting I’m putting air quotes around it because you have a note to be everyone’s you know, if if it takes two years for that to come back, you still have to pay twenty four payments every year for the next two years to make that happen.
So you need to find someplace else for that money to come from. That’s exactly what you all been saying about. And we’ve got to be hunters. We’ve got to go find stuff. We have them. The other article is what I’ve written in the shameless self promotion category for hotel recovery last summer, just about the fact of assume that nothing goes back to normal. There’s no going back. This is where we are today. Where we will be 12 months from now will be different than what it was in 2013.
I don’t know exactly how. None of us know exactly how. We all have ideas. We have thoughts. We have some data. We have some insights. Right.
But if you assume that it’s going to look like, what, January twenty nineteen is going to look like in January, twenty twenty two, that’s almost certainly all reacting to how do we get back to where we were. Don’t think about how do we go forward to where we need to be. That’s really the point.
How do I maximize my current situation, whatever that situation, whatever that situation is, and set myself up for them to maximize the current situation a year from now? Yeah, yeah.
Like an example of that. Right. And I don’t really see many people talking about this, but he throughout this stack from an article I read on a podcast a couple of weeks ago, but you look at the D.C. market. There’s one hundred and fifty seven hundred forty seven hundred and one hundred and fifty properties that were being closed due to COGAT that are getting ready to open back up in the next, you know, two, three, four months.
Look, imagine if if a destination like that had one hundred and fifty new hotels that were opening brand new bill to front what impact that would have on the economy, that that ecosystem. And that’s the reality we’re facing. So even if you say one of the properties that was talking about it’s sixty to ninety five percent occupied in New York, a part of that is that they’ve done a stellar job relative to the competition. But a significant part is also that a lot of the competition hasn’t been and probably is closed and just a few.
And it’s going to change and you have to keep an eye on them.
They’re going to come open. Right. So if I was demanding prices and people see this and they open back up your you might end up seeing a dip in performance even as because, you know, there’s going to be this equilibrium that needs to happen with supply and demand. And people aren’t really factoring that. I think you’ve got to be aware. You’ve got to keep paying attention to the entire ecosystem. Every piece of data you can get your hands on should inform your decisions that you’re making today, tomorrow in the next day.
I was I was going to go on the Internet to look for one thing and you go scroll. At least I do. And I’ll go and see something else.
We know how you do it. Right.
Anyway, there is a fascinating history of New York at the transition of automobiles from horses and all of the paddocks and the blacksmiths and the stable people and the infrastructure associated with all of that as a transition from it to what would be eventually cars and what have you, gas station, whatever it is.
And if it were here today, he’d be reminding us of what that was like.
First hand account. You could be right there. Cheap shot. Cheap shot. I shouldn’t take cheap shots or go ahead. There are no but just we.
History has an opportunity to point out some of the things of how we transition for a lot of these hotels. As you’re pointing out to them, as they come back into market, they’re firing up the gas lamps. OK, metaphorically, we’re in Ladyland now and they’re not going to be in positions. Yes, they’re all bringing inventory to market, but they’re also turning on websites or going back to using websites that are way out of whack. They have marketing campaigns.
They might be just turning on their way out of whack. They have methodologies or nobody, really, because they’ve really shoestring themselves up to. And that’s the sad part, is that some of these companies, major companies, ownerships and what have you are going to think that they’re going to open up the hatches, so to speak, let in some sunlight, try to get business started and they’re going to false start. They’re going to they’re going to invest in money that’s going to get squandered away.
They’re going to try initiatives that they think based on old methodologies that aren’t going to work. And they’re going to find themselves in a worse position because what little dry powder they had, all these metaphors being thrown together isn’t going to isn’t going to let them match. So that’s a worry that if anybody is looking at starting back into, they need to consider where they need to change first before they just decide that they’re going to come back into it. And for those that are transitioning, this is the time to invest, is what I’m saying.
This is the time to rethink where you’re saying why I’m going to spend money on tech.
I’m going to spend money on how I who does what for me, third parties, whatever is because you have to rethink what you’re doing before you go do it and waste the money to find out.
Learn from the point you spend so much when I think you’ve got to approach it like it’s a new build, like a new opening.
Some sense because all of the hotels that closed all committed the same sin, which was they went completely silent to any database that they had.
So you’ve lost it? Yeah.
There’s only one thing we were screaming at any of the hotels we were working with that we’re closing. We’re like, do not stop talking to your database. Otherwise, you are a brand new open. You know, on the other end of this, you know, keep something going, have some engagement, talk to them, put something in front of them so they remember you, because otherwise you’re going to you’re going to turn everything back on and you’re going to go push that button on the machine and the buttons just not can do anything because you unengaged your social audience.
You are engaged, you’re smart, you’re CRM. You lost a lot of your juice on your your paid advertising like you need. You know, we any one of our customers, even the ones in the toughest of markets where, like, you need some type of trickle to continue or, you know, the battery’s going to be dead when you when you come back. Worse than dead. Right. Sometimes it’s better than the battery because, you know, if you’ve got a large, unengaged audience, the way the Facebook algorithm was, the way that Gmail inbox algorithm works, they look at engagement as an indicator to see who even gets to see your message.
So you’ve got 100000 Facebook fans that no longer care about you. You’ve been silent next time you send a message, even the person that signed up this week may not see it because you’ve got 100000 unengaged people that even look at the logistics of a sales, you’re going to reinspire your sales team.
You’re finally bringing back that salesperson wherever it is. Most of the people inside that they used to have a chair to sit in, a company used to do business may not even be there for all that’s happened.
So you have to establish relationships to reestablish communication, but it has to be genuine. Just can’t blank it out. Hey, we’re back and being open. We’re ready to do business with you. You might be talking to nobody.
Can you call up your your past clients and be like, got any of that money?
Were going to go and get a new phone. Who dis. Yeah, exactly.
I love it. But you know, Jim uses that the quote and I forget who was attributed to. But what about the you know, the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, but the next best is today or tomorrow. And this is where we’re at in the situation now where if you are facing a reopening in the next few months, you should have been marketing already. You should have had your sales team picking up the phone and trying to book groups.
But if you haven’t, you got to start now. Don’t wait until you reopen the doors because you will have no demand in the competition is going to be ferocious. Ever see what happens in nature when there’s a bunch of, you know, animals competing for a smaller and smaller dwindling food source? It gets pretty brutal. And we’re going to see that here. Right. There’s less demand is going to be more inventory and people are just going to get ultra right to staying on the tree thing.
There will be the scavengers that didn’t stash away, didn’t do the right thing. And our goal is going to be is to kick down all the trees you planted to try to get their stuff going.
They’re going to undercut you like crazy. They’re going to steal position like.
So there are two there are two highly related comments in the in the comments, one from with Richard, where Cameron said, you know, she said, ha, I just sent an email for a Smurf group this morning waiting to see how many come back as undeliverable. Right. Some of the people you’re used to calling on don’t exist any longer. Gets very much in line with what Richard saying does. A lot of these hotels were built with the idea of attracting lots of different and diverse segments that simply do not exist.
They may not for another eighteen to twenty four months. And that’s kind of the point is if you were built for this kind of business. It is safe to assume that some share of this kind of business no longer exists, and you need to figure out how do we replace that business from what does exist?
Yeah, I constantly go back to all the big box convention hotels in downtown Atlanta, like how on earth do they come back? And honestly, like, if I was running one of those hotels or if one of those hotels were mine, I’d be doing it with a sense of humor. I’d be like showing videos of empty downtown Atlanta and say from experience what The Walking Dead looks like and there’s no one here. That’s the best Atlanta experience you’ve ever had.
And I would be trying to to get attention by kind of being brutally honest about the situation. But also, let’s let’s not forget, Atlanta sucks to go to when it’s busy. So it would be awesome to go there right now because everything is back open. So you can go have the reason you would go to Atlanta without any of the real downside of it, which is Atlanta is one of the worst cities to go to when it’s busy.
I don’t know, riding the dirt at two a.m. is a whole other thing.
But remember the humanisation, it is, too. You’re going to come across to Tamar’s from your comment that tomorrow is that that you’re going to go over and find people out of position from a from a positive point of view, maybe create a relationship with them that, hey, you’re in that same pond, you might know somebody else that needs something like them if if you feel good about them or that, you know, they’re a good person in a bad circumstance.
But you also know of another company that’s looking to reemerge or whatever, connect dots and things, not just because it’s the great thing to do and the good thing to do, but also from a business perspective, it helps you because that relationship, that loyalty building, that humanization of your relationship comes back.
You help somebody, they’re going to appreciate that.
They also know you’re good people, they’re good people. They’re going to want to do business with good people, you know, so you just other than just being the good thing to do, it’s also a good business to do as well.
You know, and I’ll say, like, there are a couple of hotels I’ve come across that, you know, really built for a specific type of traveler that doesn’t exist.
And they’ve done some really creative stuff that’s you know, there’s a hotel here in Orlando that is designed for you really only stay there when Disney seven hundred bucks a night and you can’t get any of the hotels near it. So starting in around October, they built a haunted maze. They built some big outdoor games and stuff because they have lots of property. Then they transition that into Christmas lights and entertainment.
They took their ballroom and turned it into like like a Nerf war type room that like you could pay to get into. And they did all this stuff and then they pumped the heck out of it to locals. And it helped. It helped a lot.
It helped a lot more than leaving all those spaces empty and not making as much as they got. So, you know, that’s one thing I’ll say, too, is if if you are one of those hotels that there is no hope in the near term, because even if you scrape together a little bit of leisure for your market, it’s still only going to fill know 10 percent of your inventory. Then you got to look for what else exists. How do you keep how do you keep the lights on?
How do you how do you find new reasons? And you’ve got to try now, fortunately, like most of the owners of hotels like that, they’re giant Rietz.
They’re their investment grade companies. They’re probably not going to open their hotel for a year or two. And they may even be running numbers right now and converting it to not be a hotel. And I know that sounds horrible, but that’s the best thing that could happen to a private hotel owner, is if a big box in your market stops being a hotel, that inventory disappears permanently. That’s helpful.
Like that can help you, whether it comes from any more data. Also typologies. I have a hard stop here at the bottom of the hour, so it’s always a delight to see you all. Great discussion. I hope you have a great weekend.
And we look forward to seeing your reenactments of Bernie Sanders. I’ve been waiting for those pictures.
Yeah, I thought it was a funny story, by the way.
You know, even even in bad times, you occasionally get some good news. Do you know the person who makes the vitamins they sold out?
I bet, yeah.
What’s going to be the top Halloween costume? Exactly. Exactly. That’s the Meems. I was crying last night. I was laughing.
So I think I’ve I think I’ve saved like 50 of them, but I’m just trying to figure out when I could start building them into. Presentations because we have just gotten some good books out there. Yeah, but some time on your hands this weekend, just go look for the Bernadi.
Oh my God, they are definitely fun. And it’s great to see you next week. We’ll make sure everyone knows where to find your next store in the future.
So, Peter Dotcom, by the way, Tim Seventy-eight today in Orlando, just so no and by the way, 22 degrees tomorrow, my wife told me that the high tomorrow would be 22 degrees.
And I had to remind her 22 is not a high temperature, but it is not a high.
We’re going to hit we’re going to hit 80, I think, down here over the weekend for us to come up. So something to look forward to. Tim? Oh, yes. OK, Melissa, yes, please. All right, my next question is to me the most shocking response out of everything that I’ve seen so far.
So I quick but you should have said that at the very beginning, that you have one that’s probably shocking me would have stayed and lost opportunity on a scale of zero to five. How will the following vaccination scenarios increase your likelihood of booking a vacation within the next six months? We have the three scenarios of once you’ve been vaccinated was all at risk, people been vaccinated or once, 80 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
So of the people who have already traveled, forty four to forty seven percent said that the vaccine would have zero impact on their likelihood of booking a trip.
That’s one that of those who have not traveled. Now, here’s the thing. So knowing that they’ve already traveled, I get it in my head. And all the other questions we were asked about makes this makes sense. But it’s the fact that this particular database of people and respondents skews to older people. So we have 60 percent or more of people who have already traveled. In this survey, those are the people responding here, and nearly 50 percent are saying the vaccine is not going to have an impact.
That’s what surprises me when you don’t get from actually, you know.
Now, why would something making something you don’t care about. Why would it make an impact? Right. We’ve already traveled to. So, I mean, that’s actually something I was going to ask you guys is now you’ve done many runs of this. Did you keep an identifier to. Because it would it would be really cool as like a backwards look at how people answered versus did they change their answers in a future one because they ended up traveling, even though they said they wouldn’t?
You know, because I still have a feeling that a large amount of people are answering in the moment based on the reality that is in front of them right now and had no real consideration for how things change. And I think that’s both positive and negative. I think the ones who were overly bullish just didn’t think this thing would get any worse.
And those who were, you know, overly pessimistic didn’t think that they thought that they were going to wake up one day in a post apocalyptic era.
I’d be really interested to see if ever anyone ever goes back and looks at, OK, so you said this and then you said this, then you said this, and then you hit a marker where you went against what you said. How many people did that happen?
Because I feel like yeah, it’s more than a little. Well, yeah.
And we know we did not track people on an individual level, so we don’t have that historical timeline. But but I will say one of the things that we’re acutely aware of is that the data shifts in both directions. It’s Miandad and there’s a risk in doing what we’re doing because we we fall prey to the paradox of averages, meaning that we’re aggregating numbers and coming up with percentages. But when you start splitting the audience into categories, you start seeing that the average is a blend of different truths.
So, for example, this is what we’re doing now is a great exercise where we’re saying, OK, how are people that have traveled different than people that haven’t traveled? You could equally do that, male and female. You could actually do that on, you know, any other dimension. And at the end of the day, this is a database of individuals. You know, it’s not a homogenous group of people that all think alike. Each one, to your point, has their own experience, their own environment, their own thoughts, their own philosophies, their own inclinations that that is going to impact what they do as individuals.
So I think we’ve got to be careful when we’re talking about this data, especially with how small it is.
I mean, you know, because as it is, I mean, it’s a big study. You guys have done a bigger study than most anyone else, but it’s still statistically irrelevant. Yeah, I mean, and data size, especially if you do any parsing of it whatsoever.
Correct. When we start getting the smaller groups, I mean, this to this one was it was a little over two thousand total respondents, which which has statistical significance. I mean, the largest we did was over ten thousand, which gets to into a whole nother level where you can extrapolate. But, you know, I don’t want anyone to look at this data and say this is the gospel truth. What I want is to glean insights like we’re trying to extract.
Case in point, OK, people who have traveled thinking and look and care about things differently than people that haven’t traveled, that’s an insight that you can take and be it can be actionable. So, yeah, it’s tricky when you’re dealing with. Right.
Just to take the intrinsic value of the data, which you can use statistical certainty. But just intrinsically to humanize this for me, I find that I am very much greater pendulum of ups and downs and I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve got infuriated with people that you’ve gone through in the past 12 months.
I mean, not only that, but maybe it’s also just, you know, people that just just start like, well, that’s wearing on him.
I’ll get back to people like, what were you thinking? And then other minutes, I’m like, I’m crying because something emotional happened. And then I was I’m like, Jesus Christ, I’m all over the board with this.
I you go up and down with your pregnant. Well, I was going to mention it now. No, actually, I’m losing too much weight, so no, now I’m no longer pregnant. No, it just as we go through back and forth, I go through the acceptance and denial process all the time. You know, women screw it. I want to go do something next minute. Oh, my God. This is the worst it’s ever been.
I can’t do anything. Then I get mad at a neighbor because he gets ten foot next to me or something. You know, it is up and down.
And I think that’s a microcosm of other people. I mean, traffic. Oh my God. Traffic. I don’t I shouldn’t drive. I shouldn’t drive because I’m mad at everybody. I’m mad at how they stop, how they drive, how they speed. Whatever it is. I’m mad at them, OK.
And then other times I’m just happy that I’m not driving.
It’s these these these things are going up and down. Just add that to the travel experience. I miss the hell out of my friends. I miss the hell out of my family. I miss the hell out of seeing people. OK, and then the next minute I’m so happy I’m not with them because I feel like I would jeopardize them if I did.
So, yeah, I’m sure people that told us six months ago on travel, I’m never going to do this. Ah, I got to go. I get you know, I’m out. I’m going.
Yeah well they were going to tell them we’re going to do it and say wow I just met somebody you know, I know eleven people right now that are sick to her in the hospital on a respirator.
I’ve been to two virtual wakes. That sucks. That keeps me from going over and saying, I would like to go see someplace, you know, somebody I see Richard Problems is down in Makawa and my first reaction was, oh, we should oh, no, no, I can’t go see somebody up.
And the only and everyone is going through some stage of this. And so the only potential positive that could come from this is maybe people will finally wake up to that. Mental health is a real thing and not made up stuff. Depression is a real thing and not made up. You know that this is something that needs to be thought of. And self care is incredibly important because, you know, I think more people have battled depression now than probably any time in our history.
Like from a global perspective, I think more of the population has probably had a face to face run in with some level of depression, anxiety over the past year than ever in our history, because everyone is going through some level of massive upheaval in their normalcy, you know, massive questioning of what the future will hold.
You know, we’re witnessing more heart heartbreak than they’ve witnessed in one condensed time. And and that’s what you’re going through. And I think we all go through it. And I think it is like being mindful of it when you’re like, I’m on top of the world and then you see something and you’re just like, oh, my gosh. Like there is a future here that is that is hard, especially when you consider how many people have designed their lives to be shielded from any form of change.
Can you imagine how they’re feeling? Mm hmm. And that’s a lot of people. I would say a large amount of the population has designed their lives around like no, no outside change. Right. It’s my life moves forward. Every day is very similar. I’m in a routine and my routine is my routine. And I tend to talk to that is like I read all the articles about how many people dislike their friends, but they still stay their friends because they’re situationally in their life like that prove.
So imagine how people like that have dealt with this where everything’s changed and there is no certainty to the future and everything’s going to continue changing. Plus, add to that isolation, add to that guilt. Add to that all these emotions, people are ticking time bombs, loss of identity.
And I think many people lost.
Oh yeah, we’re road warriors. And that was their existence was the perpetual what’s next? Where next to the next adventure.
What’s your business? And we had a good conversation, literally brought up grief a few weeks ago, several weeks ago now, which is a really good conversation. But you’re right. And I think the more we have an earnest conversation about this stuff in public, you know, is things that that shouldn’t have ever been stigmatized but have because of a lack of understanding. And I think through conversations, we can all learn a little bit more. We can grow our appreciation for a subject that we don’t fully understand and even the experts don’t fully understand.
But I do know that human beings weren’t built. We haven’t evolved to be told, you know, do we have to be bottled up like we have for the last year? You know, and keep in mind, we’re at a year. The first US confirmed case was a year ago. This is this has been going on for a long time with intense stress and in every aspect of our lives.
You know, that’s what I think that that whole the recent information that we’re at, transitions and crossroads, we know the transition in politics and so forth. And but for us, our daily hasn’t necessarily fundamentally changed.
But we I felt personally I felt that about this time in January, we should we would have some perspective of when we thought we would be doing more than what we have been doing in the past less than a year now.
And by the way, we are way ahead because, first of all, we have multiple. Vaccines that exist, yeah, and that are where you get to treatments for sure. Yeah, way better treatments. We understand way more about what works, what doesn’t work. We are in a much better place. Oh, yeah.
I think I think too many people looked at the magic of the change of calendar. As you know, things are things are going to be like end in sight. And I got news for you. There is there’s never going to be an end in sight. This is a this is a new normal like this live reality. It’s like you can never completely eliminate it.
We will get feeling you have when you’re walking a long way and you think you’re going to get to the top of the ridge and be there and you get to the top and see the road, keep going.
We’re like, oh, OK, we can manage. Right?
It’s like it’s like other other challenges that we have learned to adapt to and live with it and think once, once we can get to a point where the mortality rate is under control. Once we can get to a point where the hospitalizations under control, it becomes less of a, you know, daily conscious conversation like it is now in the of the background eventually. Yeah. But I will say to Lauren’s point, I agree in that we’re in a better position today than we were, you know, nine months ago, no doubt.
But I think if you’d ask people nine months ago where we would be today, I felt like a lot of people would have thought we would have 14 days to stomp out the virus, is all I’m going to say.
Do you remember that flow?
Yeah, I remember having a conversation with someone that I have a lot of respect for, a really smart person that heads up a large property management group and they’re like, you know, we see this being this is going to disrupt 30, maybe 60 days of business and then we’ll be back to normal, which, by the way, we’ve never cured a virus.
So and if you remember, I was saying that back then, I was like, guys, we’ve never cured a virus. Like, I have learned many things with you.
And one of them is that you’re never wrong.
That’s I’ve learned this over time comes he’ll pretend like, you know what? Going to take the time to go back and look so he can say, yeah, I definitely said that. I definitely.
Because I’ll be honest, I was not as bullish on vaccines, but what I didn’t consider was the new RNA editing technology and how much of a medical breakthrough that really is. And now I’ve gone fully bullish because if you look at some of the other research of this technology and what it’s potentially presenting, they potentially have a strong candidate for a vaccine for M.S. And it’s based on this technology, a strong candidate for a vaccine that’s effective against all influenza variants, meaning you would get out of this game of trying to guess which strain of influenza is going to be prevalent.
Single vaccine, it’s all based on this technology. They’re now starting to look at using this technology to cure certain types of cancer. And so, you know, that’s the thing I didn’t see coming. I was thinking old school, how we’ve always developed treatments and vaccines and things like that which take forever. Right.
Like the old school vaccines, like just cultivating a scale of an old school vaccine is pretty substantial. It’s why we never have enough in most flu seasons. So, I mean, but I will say I’ve also been super pessimistic that we’ve never beaten a virus like we really haven’t. And it’s because viruses are living organisms that adjust. And, you know, and let’s also not forget, we exist because of viruses. The mutations in DNA that that caused us to be able to become human beings strongly has to do with our DNA bonding with a virus DNA.
So viruses are not simple, as simple as bacteria and things like that. And we need to understand that it’s never going to go away. But like, I’m actually blown away by how far we’ve come. And a lot of that has to do with, you know, where we are on treatment, where we are on back like war time technology.
It is. It’s the process that happens. But to Stuart, you’ve been the one that’s been vanguard in the perpetual messaging of viruses, of to vaccines will be the redemption of our industry in that sense, because without it, we can’t get back to what we would love to do at whatever level that the industry for hospitality has to adopt the embrace the value that that taking the vaccine is a method to the solution.
And I highly recommend those that are frightened by the two current primary vaccines because their new technology go do some research on the technology it is in. Credible also to it’s not new. OK, this this, fortunately, had been something in the works years before the reading of science’s perspective, right? This is something that has been building.
The technology is not just popped out of the hat these past few months. This is after years of work.
This was just overnight success. And I think, you know, I think some of the concern is, is because it’s fairly new. Right. It has been fast tracked. The implication there’s the corners were cut. But if you really look at it, the actual the actual technology has existed for a long time. The specific sequence that they engineered for this particular virus was actually created within 48 hours over the weekend from when the DNA sequence of this virus was released publicly.
They had they had engineered the solution. The last nine months has been literally testing the efficacy in the side effects.
You know, so my mind is, when you dig into that data, you know, you can’t understate how effective these two current vaccines are.
So, yes, in their medical testing, it was a ninety five percent effective. Mm hmm. But the other five percent fared so much better than those who didn’t get the vaccine in the trial. So it has impact on one hundred percent, which I can’t think of anything else we’ve ever created to fight an illness that hits at that type of number.
And there are other people. I’m sorry. I wish it would work on, though, how to prepare it in a way and get that antibody. That’s the difference without the inflammation response, because for some people it’s I know a lot of other people that inflammation response is so dangerous.
And you can take if you take prednisone in order to control that crisis of the information, you diminish the efficacy of the of the vaccine, because that’s and this is this is the challenge of our understanding of how immune systems function.
Right. We’re still not there. You know, it was just 10 years ago that there was never a talk about the immune system’s role in cancer. And yet now if you look at almost all research, it is around the fact that cancer is highly linked to malfunctioning immune systems.
So our understanding of our immune system, where it lives, how it hot wired it, the whole stomach and digestive system have been so important, you know.
Yeah, well, I mean, it was only eight years ago that it was discovered that there is a there is a like a direct pathway from your stomach to your brain and that know that I saw hamburgers, but.
Yeah, but actually they’re actually realizing certain mental illnesses are linked to that malfunction. We didn’t even know that pathway was there. Not that. So there’s still a lot we don’t know. Quite happy to see the faulty smile.
I mean, I don’t know whether you saw Foxy’s first back at the podium. I don’t remember the last time I saw folks. He’s smiling. He was just like a kid cancer, I guess, when I get to talk.
So this is also another really big piece of advice I’m going to give everyone.
Stop watching the live news like you’re having a hard time. Is your watch too much live news and research and then check your research against other sources. But that’s not coming from anyone who makes money off of ratings. My life got far better when I turned off all live news and found ways to get my information without having to hear someone’s point of view about data.
Well, our news cycle and now it’s so, you know. Yeah, Fed reporting the news. It’s now and it’s now about creating it.
It’s entertainment, understand? It’s entertainment. They make tons of money off of getting you glued to it. It’s the same thing. And anyone who lives in Florida understands this. When you see a weatherman or woman walk that fine line of hiding their elation that some horrible storm is about to come through sweeps week, what are you talking about?
But like, because they’re in their shining moment of all eyes on them, they’re in their moment. Even though they are scientists, they’re an entertainer. Well, that’s good.
But we’re still in January and remembering about the vaccination and so forth. It is still human trafficking month. Do not let that topic go away. And I mean, I’ve got to actually keep that as a client conversation. I’m inclined. Meetings is like and it’s nice to know that some of my clients are actually proactively doing training, awareness and so forth in the midst of everything else everybody has to worry about. These are realities that have to make sure that they don’t get missed.
And this is still the month of recognition of that. Not that I should ever just be a month, but that make sure that it doesn’t get forgotten. This is that you train your stuff to look for the signs because it’s happening everywhere in every city in the US. It is happening. It recently happened to one of my clients and fortunately, they had training that they looked for the signs and they saw them and they took action.
That’s critical and not not as bad advice, but not in the sense of daily news. What about that waitress that that she saw the small child boy that was being abused? Yeah. Yeah.
And had that sign and persisted with it. I mean, she could have used her consciousness, but you ok, OK. This one, if she knew something was wrong. Yep.
She knew something. Take action. Don’t don’t be afraid of looking for the way law and I knew about that without watching live news.
Well see there you go. It’s like musicI. It’s more of just musicI. I will say just one last thing on the vaccine. So different states are handling it differently. And in in our local area of Myrtle Beach, we had two hospital systems. I’m going to name one. I’m not going to name the other because I don’t want to get mad about them. But one of them on the Wednesday before last is when they started rolling out these B so anyone above seventy could apply to to get an appointment for a vaccination.
So my wife, you’re only there.
So my wife went and applied for my in-laws who live with us here in the area. And so she went to two different hospital websites. One of them, you have to click through a bunch, navigate, try to figure it out. Wasn’t a lot of information. Eventually it led you to a click click, a link, which was a male to tag. It just popped open your email browser and you had to write them an email with all the details, with no format.
So you imagine how they were handling the other the other hospital system, tidelands health. It locally had a beautiful website with a lot of only. It frequently asked questions, had a form that you filled out with all the relevant information. You got an automatic responder when you submitted it saying thank you. Here’s our process. Later that day, you’ve got another automated email saying we had over twenty thousand applications. We’re going through them in order. They were received will notify the first two thousand people tomorrow when their appointments the next day we got an email and a phone call from that hospital system and saying that the following Monday at ten ten they were going to have their first appointment and they because they were family, they get to do it together.
We went and have already both had the first shot, very few side effects. It was really, really smooth. The whole experience was great. We’ve not heard one thing from the hospital. Yep, not one. OK, just in a microcosm.
Sorry, twisting it back to the marketing thing. How different of a user experience in comparison to you? You have to tell you that walks around and says, oh, we got an e-mail newsletter thing we just send out, you know, of course, customer versus the tailoring, customization, interaction, engagement, follow up incubation, whatever you buzz word, things you want to talk about it, that personalization, that feeling that you are being handled, you understand you’re one of many it’s not always blind to this, but being handled in a way that you’re identified is such a critical component, so much confidence at a time when you should.
There’s so many parallels to the hospitality industry, like you said, I mean, not least of which is collecting data in a way that you can do something with it. Having been twenty thousand people send you an email, imagine how long it would take you just to pass that information into something you call wait six months from now, they’ll have it.
They’ll have to disclose the fact that someone has hacked that because the email is the easiest thing to have.
It never is one of the Brazilian problems.
This strategy, a thought well thought through. Let’s look at the entire thing. What are we trying to accomplish? How do we best do that? And what are all the steps in between? One of them had their stuff together. The other one clearly didn’t. And I guarantee one of them is going to be a lot more effective at rolling out the vaccine than the other one.
But it also lends itself the way I look at it, there’s two types of people in the lots of circumstances. The person that you’re you ask to people do the same thing.
One person won’t come back to you and tell you the many things the tried and failed at.
And it seems to come up with excuses of why something more. The other person just got it done and then you go, so how did you get it done? What do you want to know? The hundred and five things I tried before. I get the one right. But or just the fact that I did what you asked me to do?
Well, your check is literally a tale of two cities, one that fell behind the excuses of, oh, we can’t do that. There’s so many, many calls we’re giving each time you many emails, we this is too many people. The system won’t have a system those and then we’ll just figure it out and said, let’s do this. Works, you know, the patient experience issue is so much more in an in a terrible state compared to the hospitality issue.
I actually spoke to a group of doctors recently about the patient experience and comparing it to the way we are. Can you imagine if our guest arrived not being able to make a reservation online at all, not being able to give us their information that we need in advance and then arrived and said. Here, fill out these forms, even though you’ve already had a reservation, sit in the lobby and wait, it could be 15 minutes or three hours, we don’t know.
We’ll check you in when we want. Can you even imagine if we worked like this?
So, again, I’m just going to throw it out and it’s hungry and tired. These are people who are sick. They are in pain. They’re scared.
You know, it’s and it’s a crisis that we do a consumer experience when it’s a monopoly. I mean, that’s the bottom line. Now, that being said. There are companies that do it incredibly well, even though they don’t really have to, because they have a monopoly, you know, like you look at the main hospitals in the state of Florida, they’ve done it really well. They’ve they’ve handled this really well. They even prepared really well for covid.
And you compare that to like they didn’t really have to because like where I am, you have two choices of hospital, like Stuart, you just said the same thing. You have two choices of company to go to for health care. That is a monopoly. So one of them goes, you know what effort? We’re busy. We’re always going to be busy. Screw it. And the other one, you know what? We care. And our mission is to care for people.
And part of care is making their life better. But in the grand scheme of things like this is the problem with monopolies.
Well, OK, I don’t and maybe I should ask this question before I make the statement, but do you feel that Disney World in Orlando would have done as good of a job with how you had this experience or SeaWorld or Universal, any of them, if they were the only park compared to being in comparison to a park ridge on the road? Or do you feel that they just rose to the challenge and said this is the best way for us to do business?
I mean, which way do you see?
I mean, I think it’s actually it’s it’s C, which is we don’t want to be shut down. We need some level of open. We have to figure this out so that there is no media coming after us saying we caused an outbreak. Was it? Yeah, it has nothing to do with either. They don’t want none of them want what’s happening in California to them to happen in Florida, because if it does, they’re theme park businesses are over.
But how is that different than what you just said about the hospitals? Because the hospitals could take the same excuse. Like we just want to be charged with this stuff. I’m sure there might have been part of motivation, but are they really looking at is a higher ground perspective of this is what we’re tasked to do is a very different type of service you’re talking about here.
One, when you’re sick and you need medical care, you have to get medical care. You don’t have to go to a theme park.
That’s not the comparison I’m referring to. I’m referring to the people that are running the business saying we’re always going to be busy.
You know, they’re everywhere, right? I mean, yeah, hospitals are always busy, right. Sorry, sir, I was just going to say it’s different because like you said, ho, theme parks are always, always going to be busy if they’re succeeding in delivering an experience. As soon as they stop that, they’re not going to be busy for a hospital. Whether you deliver good experience or not, if you’re one of two choices in a metropolitan area, you’re going to have people in the beds because.
Ambulances are going to drop, people are they’re not going to have a choice, like if I get picked up, if I have a heart attack on the street, I don’t get to tell the ambulance driver where to take me.
Well, let’s not forget, in a lot of cases, your insurance company only gives you one choice because they only have a relationship with one of the two hospitals.
The hospital doesn’t control the demand, you know.
And so what’s the motivation to have done differently? The way you described it was the difference for them declaring the leadership of the West Coast.
And Verka, you get into the health care business in with a vow to heal people and to make their lives better. And your you know, it’s one thing to learn how to medically treat the person, but that’s a person you’re treating, not a disease. And the way their their their health outcome is, it definitely makes an impact if they are treated with humanity and respect, if they feel cared for and if they trust you, then they’re going to be more life, more likely to be compliant with your recommendations and actually follow through.
And people who know that they’re getting a terrible experience are going to avoid going for care when they need it and are going to blow off, going for follow up visits and and blow off the the advice and treatment that they should be getting. I mean, that communication between health care communication is the key to any great relationship in the hospitality business. And so also in the health care business and their communication skills before, during and after the visit are mess.
You get a doctor to look at you sometimes.
Now, the free market is starting to make some inroads against these hospital systems with the, you know, just explosion of urgent care facilities. And a lot of them are incredibly customer focused. Not going to lie to you like nine times out of ten. I prefer going to the urgent one of the urgent care companies near my house than I do going to my own doctor. And a lot of it has to do with convenience, how speedy they are, how no nonsense it is.
Heck, they even have testing facilities on site. It’s just a better consumer experience. So I think there are things coming. But when we’re talking about traditional bed hospitals, there’s there is a problem in most of the United States where they’re all monopolies and and it’s part of the insurance industry monopoly. And, you know, you can go, but like health care in general is problematic. And a lot of it has to do with the money involved in it.
And that’s it.
And I think there’ll be disruptions that you look at things like some like Blue Cross Blue Shield owns and forget whether it’s doctor’s care or urgent care. Right. Owns one of those urgent care chains because they’re trying to make things more.
One of them, I think Aetna or one of them just bought CBS.
Right. Right. And got like the influx of telehealth now. Right. And it’s been an accelerator, a virtual doctor’s visit. So we just had with with a family member and oncology visit this past week, and it was virtual, the biopsy done separated, and then the follow ups, which would usually be just a whole hassle of going in. It was a virtual one. And I think I think we’re going to see that, which we’ll have more choice.
I will say this, the two hospitals, actually three hospitals in the Myrtle Beach area, one one was not offering to you to submit an application for vaccines. Of the two that were one of them is an established hospital that’s been here for a while. They’re the ones that did a terrible job. The other one is a newer hospital system that’s recently come to the area, has acquired a hospital and is building a lot more facilities, a lot more medical, tangential medical facilities as well beyond just the hospital.
So there is definitely a business incentive for them to do a better job and have a better image in the community. But I do think at the end of the day, it comes down to leadership and management. And just like in the hotel space, we have hotels that are run by real estate investors and we have hotels run by hospitality people in. And you can tell very quickly, you can even tell which by the GM, right. Is the GM up and around and walking around the property and engaging with guests or are they behind the spreadsheet?
You know, that that’s a very telling indication of what type of property it is. And I think these hospitals probably fall into the same trap.
Right. And, you know, very often in. Offices, they don’t even they don’t really oversee that team that’s in front of them, they can’t fire them. They can’t tell them, you know, how to treat their patients with hospitality because they really report to somebody else. And and there’s another reason why that system has to change, because the doctors are miserable and the reception staff is miserable and the patients are miserable.
You know what? I when I went on a on a Facebook group with thousands tens of thousands of people in it, and I said then the hospitality family and I said, yeah, I’d like some examples of situations that have happened to you, good and bad regarding hospitality, having it in the in the office, in the doctor’s office or not, or in the hospital or any other place.
And there’s a lot of stories.
I have never had so much response to a post or a question in my life and the emotion and the passion and the tears. I mean, people did have several stories of very heroic examples as well, but mostly everybody has a story about what should not have happened to them.
I think that’s holds true, though, for hospitality as well. And let’s be honest, if you did that same thing with hospitality, it would overwhelmingly be the negative because that’s what sticks out. I think the emotion would be less because it’s lower stakes of an interaction. But let us not forget, one bad issue is ten times louder than any of the most good thing that could happen.
I feel like most of the time. So if I’m in a doctor’s office, I feel like the staff is miserable. As opposed to, you know, I don’t I don’t feel that way when I even the word stellar, that’s actually that’s prevalent in.
So one of the challenges with doctors offices specifically is they don’t teach doctors how to run a business in medical school. That’s right. And yet many doctors end up being their own business owners and they run their business poorly, which includes how you manage humans, how you manage billing, how you manage everything all the way down to the facility and how it looks and all of that. Same thing with dentists. It’s the same thing with most lawyers, like, you know, they don’t teach them how to be their own business owner.
They don’t teach them the importance of customer service. And let’s face it, a lot of them, like bedside manner, was the level of education they got. And that’s it. There was no other thoughtfulness and, you know, following up and all of that stuff. So part of that is also the education system failing, you know, the the many that they’re pumping out by not making giving them an entrepreneurial course and how to run them better ad digital marketing to the curriculum and then.
Oh, my God, seriously.
But I also say this about this is my problem with most of the education system like engineers. How on Earth, especially in super huge universities, how do you not force your engineering students to take Focus’s in other industries? So, you know, they’re actually a useful engineer coming out of school. You know, just because you teach someone how to be a certain type of engineer without any knowledge of what you would apply that to, like it takes them years to get to being a truly useful engineer.
All right. Do we want to get back to hospitality? And actually, we have a I have to run.
So you have a fantastic weekend. Thank you. And thank you to my friend. I’m dying to ask for something.
And that is you have been the keeper of this data since its inception and you have been the adapter of the data since its inception and its interpretation since its inception.
If you were running a hotel or group of hotels, and I know you’re responsible for many of them, what would be your own self advice right now? It’s January. Twenty second. You know what you know, see what you see. What do you want to do? What would you want to do?
How I would be hunting everybody within a one hour radius of my hotel like my life depended on it. That’s great advice.
Looking to expand that to two and three hours over the next couple of months, you know, but yeah, I definitely agree with it and I would actually add a bit of a humanistic touch to it, based a lot on what it says. And I know what she represents in that sense from my perspective. And that is I also have a reaching hand out to everybody in my community as to how we can do that together. You know what? Restaurants around us can we collaborate with?
What events, what activities, what venues, what whatever it is, it’s available based on the constructs of your market. Realize that you’re all can pool your audiences together or your messaging together, your content together, your services together and collectively make that same target of like who will show up an hour or two hours, maybe, you know, whatever it is that drives our business, Sourcefire. So, yeah, I definitely wouldn’t be so shameless plug.
So episode one seventy or five. What was the last one we did, Melissa. Seventy four I think. Yeah. So Episode one seventy, The Fuel podcast was published last Monday. We did twenty one tangible tactics for twenty twenty one and like things you can not rather than this kind of hypothetical quantification that we like to do a lot, we were like OK, let’s just list twenty one things you can actually implement today that is going to have a meaningful impact on your business.
And that was one of them and it was, you know, forming these partnerships. And one one of the reasons you outline is really key, which is they have an audience is probably maybe has some overlap. But the core of it is probably different than your audience. You have an audience that’s different than this. If you pull those together and cross promote, you’re reaching a wider net out. And when we got to be hunters, we’ve got to be smarter.
We can’t just throw nets into the water and catch the fish we used to. We’ve got to go find new fish in new areas. And so that’s that’s one of the ways you can do that, is forming these partnerships, promoting your deals on their Facebook page or to an email, maybe putting a package together that promotes you know, it’s a it’s a show. The tickets today show, whatever it is.
That’s a really tactical thing you can do. It doesn’t cost you any money, just takes you a little bit of time to invest and build a nice relationship.
And then after that, if you want to twenty dollars, you can go to the full podcast right now.
I know it’s an excellent point. I also add to that if if they are not capable of or don’t have those things, those assets and you have the capability or understanding or methodology to help them offer to be that person. If you don’t think I can really support.
The legendary bellowing Scotland story that the connections were a little weird. It’s going to come anyway. I’ve got a stat to back up my hypothesis on the one hour market, you just want to throw this out there like a. Even those who haven’t traveled during the pandemic, when we asked them how soon will you be willing to make the following trips in terms of distance from home, those who haven’t traveled? Forty one percent said within a month they would be willing to travel one hour from home.
Even those who have traveled still said forty one percent, I’d be willing to go within the next month, within an hour. Sixty six percent of those who traveled during the pandemic said within a month. Fifty three are within an hour. Fifty three percent said two hours before age two or within three hours. So, again, we know those who have traveled are more willing to travel again, but even those who haven’t. That one hour distance seems to be a huge, sweet spot.
So go find those people. Go find them.
They just want a change of venue. They want I mean, yes, I think of it for me.
I’m always in personalization is like, OK, so I’ve been getting you know, I go pick up groceries in the pop the trunk, they throw it in the back thing.
And now I’m actually doing the online getting the Biloxi Shrimp Company to send some because it’s while, you know, I’m expanding my radius of specialty stuff, you know, like, oh, let me get some Alaskan king crab and let me get some oysters from the Chesapeake. And, you know, I’m doing all these things where it’s not the local grocery store any more. It’s like, oh, well, let me let me do it. But it doesn’t still replace the I just want to see something different.
I mean, I’m not suffering enough. There’s so many people that have so many other worse things to worry about. By all means, just from those that have the propensity to be able to take advantage of getting away for someplace and our distances is a safe leap of faith to say, let me just get somewhere else.
And I just want to get the tone right, it’s not something they want to jump into footage and fly across the country so, so little we can get away, you know, an hour away is the way that people are going to gradually build their confidence up. And we do this again.
This is not a budget driven issue. So if you can grab these people, you can hold your rate. Do it right. Maybe you have to create a reason, right? Maybe you have to be a little creative, like Ed was talking about with the the property that had repurposed some of his some of his rooms to, you know, enough gunfight or whatever. You know, maybe you need to you need to spend a little more effort, a little more time creating an experience that is appealing.
You know, maybe it’s a romantic getaway where you add some stuff, maybe you put some fire pits outside and you do s’mores. But in a family unit, you know, there’s a campfire. There’s reasons you can attract people. But we’re all in the destination marketing game now. It’s not just a hotel and a getaway, but what why they keep people coming there. One of the reasons they want to visit and you’ve got to sometimes create those will find people that have created it and partnered with them.
And having such limited experiences in terms of breakfast and other things, you know, we just find a different way to do it. That’s as good or better.
It’s not about. Well, you know, things that you may have thought of before back in older, different times to now have changed. I was talking to one of my clients about their hotels and reaching back out to food trucks. And the first response was the I wouldn’t say automated response, but it was the close to being a kickback to why they’re not doing it is, oh, they require a minimum, blah, blah. This they you know, I got to pay so many covers for them to show up.
I said, when was the last time you asked them that?
Because I bet they don’t like to park there, but their truck parked in front of their house not doing business right now. Maybe they might be a little bit more tolerant of just showing up, hoping what they can sell versus being told when they could call the shot and say, I need 300 covers before I show up. Maybe they’d be a little bit more willing just to show up because they might be able to sell something good.
The rules have changed, man. Your your assumptions no longer valid. If you’re trying to find reasons not to do something, you’re asking why, why, why you need to quit and say, why not? Let’s go explore this and pretend like this is a new new era and a new planet with a new property. Just because something didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it won’t now. So I just went from one little quirky thing that was from last week that we didn’t know about that I did talk on the podcast.
That was a pretty cool article. And this was Virtual Tours. Now VR tours. Don’t you think we’re off the deep end of this one start just virtual computer thing tour, but it’s a live tour where you go and you join at a certain time.
And the person, a typical person that drives a tour with a little flag and you follow them around and they have a little horn and they tell you what you’re looking at.
They do these things now and they don’t even charge you to join them. You just tip the tour person. Yeah. So it’s as good as you want it to be. OK, but the cool part of it is, is when I went and dug into it because I thought was pretty cool. I mean, Amazon, we know, did their little version of it. So for them they’re relatively expensive.
There’s a lot of places that aren’t in these things. The cool part is these platforms are offering the technology that if you were to run out of your front door and say, I can show you New Orleans and you would think, my gosh, New Orleans would be, well, nobody’s going to New Orleans, nobody to Vancouver.
That’s great. If you’re with your demo listening, you need to embrace this. This is somewhere in some way for you to get top of mind. And you better believe that the people that get to experience things virtually have a much higher percentage chance of coming to visit you in person. Right.
That’s the part of town that you’re leading them. Yes. It’s not so much that you’re not staying with you. I understand that. It’s that they’re being educated and aware of what you’re capable of offering them for them to make that choice in the future tense.
Yeah, it’s the gateway to them coming to stay and it’s the best you can do right now for a lot of people. So DMI watching this.
You need to be all over this semi picture when you take that three sixty camera in your head. I want to see a picture of you with that little hamlet from Myrtle Beach.
Can I make an article that I saw in gift shop? So there’s an article about the rise of vegging is the end and the demand, the rise demand for vegans. And they even said that vegans in the US rose from one percent to six percent. Wow. I mean, I don’t know is could that possibly really be true? That seems pretty amazing. But I’m a vegetarian. I think that there’s a lot more vegetarian people in the country than than that.
And I happen to be one based on compassion that wasn’t even mentioned in the article. The main thing that they were talking about were emissions and the ecology and, of course, health. And, you know, they had a. Such an interesting fact about the emissions, let me see, emissions from food are potentially greater than emissions from transport when it comes to travel. So if you’re feeling guilty about traveling, making too much of an ecological impact, your food makes a greater one, potentially, according to this.
And so as a vegetarian and someone who’s been a vegetarian for the majority of my life from a very, very young age, I told my mother when I was maybe nine that I didn’t want to eat cows with big brown eyes and let me get new faces.
And I that it is absolutely unbelievable to me that hotel and restaurants are still so many of them not even acknowledging that market of people who are vegetarian.
And it’s not that you’re not getting that market. If you can’t take care of my mom and give my mom enough options where she is going to feel content and happy, you’re not going to get a table of 10 for my family. So it’s it’s for the one person you’re missing, everybody. And you all know that you have ways of serving some dishes that would be vegetarian, but you don’t put it on the menu. So when we look on the website in advance to see if this is a good restaurant for us, we’re not going to choose you because you have not marketed yourself, you have not communicated yourself.
And we don’t want to be. Oh, please, can we please have something? You know, if it’s not too much trouble, that’s that’s not the way a customer feels welcome.
The customer feels welcome when you show them what you’re able to do. And it’s not OK to just take the steak off the Fifita salad. You have to actually give us something that’s going to give us protein and nourishment and make us feel cared for.
It is funny you bring this up because I just had this conversation with my restaurant client about this technology transition. Now that we have the need to be less touched and menus sharing and so forth, it’s this huge opportunity for more detail to what we offer it.
I’m not saying it was always kept as a mystery, but usually is relatively mysterious. When you went to a new restaurant, exactly what they offered. And of course, we went through that whole cycle of daily specials and chalkboard menus and things. And you didn’t even know other than, oh, they’re really good at this general stuff. You show up and then you had to go through the process you just described. Do you have these variations? Can you do these things not as a favor, but as a requirement of us to come up with you and because they always change things up, you never really had clarity as to what they would be able to offer you to make sure that your guests would be coming in.
Well, I think Viksten with us. He does a gluten free program for things. And you go over and say gluten free.
All that’s just it’s a huge thing.
It’s a huge, huge thing. OK, back to the inflammation topic. It’s very inflammatory.
And for people who can tell you if you popped on gluten free stuff, tastes like crap most of the time because nobody gives the effort to make it better than just the hey, if you’re the one that’s got the gluten problem, so, you know, cardboard pieces, cardboard pizza to eat it, if you like. If you don’t like it. No, you want that experience for everybody based on whatever they have. So I think in a strange way, the technology demand of what we’re going through has maybe helped the cause of vegans and those that are looking for quality alternatives, gluten, gluten free variations, lactose, lactose intolerance, the ability to quantify what is actually in the items and to offer a variety of items that are sensitive to those things.
You’re only improving the guest experience by doing so without just doing it. As you said, the token mixed vegetable pasta, you can’t give me enough of that.
If you want people in your restaurants, hotels, you want people in your restaurants, even if it’s for delivery. So there’s a whole market of people that is really growing. If you make mushroom risotto or mushroom fettucini, don’t put pork in it, if you’re making minestrone pasta visual with some delicious vegetable soup, don’t do chicken stock with it. I mean, that should be obvious if you can ask the woman to add chicken to the zoo. But no, you know what?
They’re they’re a wonderful, wonderful vegetarian dishes.
And then you ruin it by just putting some bacon in it or just throwing the other villages you’re dealing with with a crustacean allergies and peanut allergies.
These are very real things.
This isn’t just somebody has a preference of eye. And I’m not in any way deciding to be a vegan. I’m not I everyone has certain meat and foods and things that just don’t eat because I’m you know, I haven’t found one yet, but I’m sure there’s one out there.
Well, you know what, I I’m not a good vegan. I try to have I try to have as many beginnings as possible, but I don’t claim to be I am vegetarian because I do love a little parmesan on almost anything. But, you know, you can do so much better. And you know what, strive to be more inclusive simply is do your best to accommodate as many people as wide a market as possible. Don’t be so limited and be generous, and you’re going to develop a much more loyal following that way.
And as far as opening up it, well, but there’s a vegan restaurant. I mean, open up a vegan restaurant. Guess what? I’ll never go in it because none of the people I love my mother are willing to go there with me. You know, my husband wants his steak and I want my SO and I’d like your husband to see you.
But you don’t agree for all the things I’m going for, you know, dieting. So I might my proportion changes I’ve really come to appreciate because I love cooking that I’ve changed the portion of it in the meats now are the infrequent and when they are in the meal, it is the less dominant.
Before it used to be.
Yeah, I have something with me, so yeah I could. And it is, it is something in a restaurant. Can’t be all. I mean you look at Thai Fridays, you can’t have a Bible for menu. It just, it was you can’t have fifteen flavors of variations. Be good at what you do but be clear about what it is that you do.
Don’t try to act like you’re all things and not it. But we are. Wow. We lost her because he said tech wise, his computer took a dump. So we lost Stuart. So Melissa again and justifiably so. You are the sole representation of the quality of your. So no, no. LA really lost. Stuart had to bow out because really he was just, you know, visual candy.
But thank you for the update. And we missed no numbers. Right. We feel like you hit everything you wanted to make sure you hit all the important things.
Yes. Yeah, I know that.
And thank you for bringing them that. That really was interesting. When you segment the takeaway for me was the January, April thing most of all, and also the the distancing of interest first on the propensity of travel. So some very cool things for it. And I’ll make sure the link that you shared with us goes back to it when you push it out or the updated information off of that.
Well, for everybody that we missed ahead with fuel travel with Computer Associates and then see what else we miss the list anyway. Now, uh, nope, nope, no estimates. So with that in mind, field travel podcast, we’re going to find everything.
All things are fuel travel. You can find out you can get all the podcast stuff. You can learn about our booking engine, our CRM system, all the things. And if you would like to connect with me, I’m on LinkedIn. I would be happy to connect with anybody there. Awesome.
Adell, if you want to find, you know what it is you do and your podcast. Thank you. Come to aspire reputation, marketing dot com and you will find a link to my podcasts and blogs and please link in with me. I’d love to link in with you. And if you need any assistance on guest satisfaction, patient satisfaction, anything, I look forward to chatting with you.
I have to say, in contrast to podcasts, fuel, travel, you write down information as you see it, or you make highlights because you make such succinct action points. Adele, when I listen to your podcast, it’s about making me think about things I hadn’t thought about and the value of them. It’s it’s interesting. You think we were in kind of the same. A lot of things, but we approach it from completely Sterzenbach anyway, and we approach it from completely different perspectives.
You know, we are in the same space, but we did different concepts in the different priorities are definitely Stuart, I’m sorry.
Now that you’re back, if you want to know about all the super cool stuff that you’re at and all the cool things you are and how special you are. And so where can they find you?
They can go to LinkedIn and search for Melissa Cavenagh.
Your technology challenge to my computer just I don’t know.
It does this sometimes. I wasn’t plugged in and it just started to fan, just kept on and decided overheat and reboot it. So anyway, yeah, if your child comes the mothership, go check out the podcast. You know, hopefully you’ll find some stuff that’ll help you navigate this crazy recovery period. We were actually doing an episode recording this afternoon on the data will go into a little more depth and maybe a few tangents like we did today. Yeah, nice, nice, nice.
I won’t be poaching some of your twenty one items of twenty twenty one. I’m speaking to the HSBC chapter in B.C. and I structured the statement of what to do without money and with whatever little money you’re starting, how do you start rebuilding and constructing where you’re at and how you figure it out and go forward? So I will probably poach your best items out of the twenty one. Of course, I’ll give full credit to Melissa for all of that. So there’s no worry about that.
Very little to do with that one.
So it’s not taught you anything.
Take all the credit and we don’t always know. But you’re already, you already have a fan base in Vancouver already because God knows how many times for you to add. Tim Adell, DM. It’s like they seemed like they already know you kids already ask questions with names attached. So what do you think? Screw it up or do you think you’re dead already? They already know well enough, so I’m sure you’ll be part of the and the list of people that they asked to speak to.
Can we look at the stats on the podcast? We’ve got a number of folks from up in the area that listen to the show.
So, yeah, I mean this in the strange, good way. You have a lot of travel click fans just saying there’s a DoubleClick office up in Vancouver.
They really refer to your podcast a lot. Really.
You know, it’s weird. It’s it’s helped us with our relationship with other agencies, like when we talk to folks, you know, like Milestone, like ecommerce, people that maybe at one point would have been considered competitors. It’s really bridged us together in a way that I didn’t anticipate it doing because we end up kind of sharing collaborating ideas. They hear what we’re saying and they end up, you know, kind of thinking with with us and us with them.
So it’s it’s been really cool. I think it’s a positive not just aspects of the industry beyond what we imagined it to be in its inception.
It’s been a blessing along the way.
I think a lot of what you guys have done over the time period of people, you know, you figure travel, clicking, how huge they are and so forth, Amadeus and the but the the concept that you wouldn’t think a big organization that would make changes.
But I can honestly say I have a very deep respect for Anthony, his team up there and so forth.
And they really do make a difference. They took they came into the market and shared a lot of data to just generally the market audience, not just Vegas, but just in general, like any that the quarantine conversations and Zoome calls of people getting together, whatever was the context of it, they shared openly what they were aware of in market to help whoever it could help. And that’s you guys did the same thing. But I think a lot of how you guys did it was a little bit of an exposure to them to realize that that’s a good thing, too.
I think as you see each other doing these things, it brings good people and says enough with the walls, enough with the sandboxes and the silos. Let’s start making our industry. We have to help our industry. And I think that, you know, you guys have done it and they and their market, I know particularly have done very well with the two. So and that sense, I think you all should like to have a happy time together and talk and stuff, but that’s just me.
Well, we have one.
So we do I think, you know, so this show and I’ll probably do an eighty four shows you can find outside the husband of the digital marketing dot com for such live the podcast. I’ll be doing a recap of the show, which I’ll be recording here shortly. So while you’re recording your podcast, I’ll be recording my podcast. We’ll see who gets out there, who gets the audience. We know it already.
OK, so not a competition. I know. I know. Right. That’s the fun part of it is like I go is I got more interest.
And when your podcast launches than the one I make the same do with Dell.
I tweet with Gizmodo because I have the privilege of helping her launch her podcast. Yeah, I have nothing else to do with. Than the fact I help her with the technology, but I listen to it when I make it purposely because it’s like I get to listen before anybody else. OK, I’ll just listen.
Can I say something real quick? Because this has been this is really impressive. So so a client of ours. He’s also active in HSM. I’m Michael Goldreich with Headquarters Hotels. His son, 17 years old, maybe a little old in that, but he’s a young guy just graduating college, has started his own podcast called the STEM Pod Leaders podcast. And its goal is to expose science to a younger audience, right. To expose possibilities within science.
And he just on his own and with a small group of friends from college, put this together, got the equipment, figured out how to record it, figured out how to publish it, and just went out and roll up their sleeves and started asking people to be on the show. They’ve done 13 episodes. They’ve had Nobel Prize winning scientists on the show. Wow. They’ve got they’ve got Belcea coming on the show.
And the next Abilio would like this this college graduate kid, you know, just as a passion for wanting people to to learn and they do other stuff. The STEM Pod program is a mentorship program for people, aspiring scientists, people in science in school that that need help. They offer free mentorship and other programs as well. And so this this podcast has been an extension, but it’s like it just goes to show with a little a little bit of scrappiness.
You can you can compete with the biggest in the world, you know, to give folks like Nobel Prize winning scientists about the foushee on your show within the first couple of months. Unbelievable. Really, really proud of it.
But just in comparison to that, what about the the poet laureate?
During the inauguration, she was one of only brilliant. Every breath was perfection. This the just not just the gestures, the articulation, the pace, the cadence, the content that just I’m sitting there going, oh, at twenty two. I was lucky to be whatever I was doing, but it certainly wasn’t that I’d be just and then to find out that she had a speech impediment that she had to, she couldn’t see certain letters. I’m like, you’re kidding me.
So on top of all the amazing this, there’s even more amazing, this very impressive person.
And I mean, wow, it was heartfelt, regardless of your political persuasion. I think everyone nothing to do with that.
That would have felt the truth, the honesty and the beauty in what she said. It’s yeah.
If you ever wondered how the power of those words in the power of prose could be a value, then she brought you to school with that because that that just at the end of it, you felt what she said. It was really very, very, very impressive. Oh, yeah. Very cool.
Well, listen, thank you all so very, very much, as always, for the time to thank you for the data as always and the time and that content or else and tempo. Smart. Thank you and good to have you in there. And Thick and Lex, Richard and everybody else was in the show over there and everywhere else.
We never talked to any of the channels as difficult, but we’ll see everyone next week show no tornadoes. Six eleven thirty PM Eastern US Time. And of course this is requested Sydney in UK time, that middle of the week and so forth. So thank you, everybody. We’ll see everyone next week. Thank you again. Bye, guys, I.
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