Two television shows have the hotel industry buzzing: Anthony Melchiorri’s “Hotel Impossible” on the Travel Channel and Gordon Ramsay’s “Hotel Hell” series on Fox. In the “Hotel Hell” series, Gordon Ramsay sets out on a quest to “fix horrid hotels, awful inns and just plain bad bed and breakfasts.” And in “Hotel Impossible”, Melchiorri, a renowned hotel fixer, helps to turn around the businesses of struggling hotels.
No matter the show, the national exposure that the hotel in each episode receive undoubtedly brings a good amount of positive PR and awareness. It’s their 15 minutes of reality show fame. Melchiorri is definitely easier to watch than Ramsay, but both series astutely point out that unless they shape up, some hoteliers just shouldn’t be in the hotel business. Oh no…He found dusty knickknacks in the lobby - run and hide!
Standing out from the buzz in all of the hospitality industry publications is Larry Mogelonsky’s recent blog on the HOTELS magazine site. The column highlights lessons learned from “Hotel Impossible”, outlining ten insights that hoteliers can gain from watching Melchiorri rip through hotels like a (loveable) Tasmanian Devil. These tips are especially important for independent hoteliers who may not be held to a strict operational brand standard - and they are also a great reminder for every hotel team from the bellman to the General Manager. Excerpts from the HOTELS blog:
Lobbies are a social experience. Outdated décor, cluttered furniture and a lack of good F&B offerings will drive people away from the lobby and ultimately from returning to a hotel. The lobby should be an extension of a pleasing first impression, and it also has to be inviting for a host of other activities. The first step always centers on your front desk and its clerks. This is the nexus of operations. People shouldn’t be discouraged from hanging around or approaching a staff member…
There’s no excuse for not listening to online reviews. Note the word “listening” — not “reading.” There’s a big difference. With typos, missed punctuation and run-on sentences galore, sometimes it’s hard to process what it is your past guests are saying. If this is an area where you need to improve, try this: print off each review onto a separate page (Sorry, trees!) and take notes in the margins. From there, transcribe the key points into a spreadsheet, then look for overlap. Keep in mind that when a guest takes the time to write a review, they will most likely be describing their “sticking points” — the things that stuck out and lingered in their minds, for better or for worse. Pay attention to the “worse” pile, as these are items you’d better fix if you want guests to consider returning.
Check out the full story here. And hoteliers, if you are listening, remember to play to your strengths or your next guest may be Anthony Melchiorri (or, gasp, Gordon Ramsay)!