The Hotel Financial Coach · 17 Jun
It is the worst lie financial leaders can tell themselves. Nothing is more important than the health of your books. If your books are not caught up and if your account reconciliations are not clean and up to date, nothing else you do in your financial world matters. Period. Full stop.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 11 Jun
Hands down one of the best experiences I ever had in my career was being part of the team that reviewed the financial performance of the hotels in my region. The reason I enjoyed it so much, and have such great memories, is because I learned so much at each one and not only did I learn about the business of hotels, I had a lesson in people.The review team consisted of my boss, the hotel GM, the hotel Controller and me. In addition to the four of us, one by one the other executives or department heads would be in attendance or be called when it was their turn to review their area. The examination was a low-tech event. No PowerPoints and no presentations - just financial statements, eyes, notes and questions. We would typically visit each hotel 2x per year to take a deep dive into what they were doing and how they were performing.There was always a bit of pomp involved in our visit. We would typically arrive the evening before and we were always treated very well. A nice room or suites and a special dinner in the hotel or some new hot restaurant were the standard fair. No expense spared here. I almost think it was like they knew we were "going away" tomorrow so they put on a big show just to deny one last time any guilt. They all knew that tomorrow the sheets were coming off and the truth would be revealed. You could feel the curious anticipation of the victims just like in the movies when you know the mobster knows he's going to get whacked!The day starts with breakfast in the private lounge where my boss and I cover some basics. He is a master at knowing what's really going on in each of his hotels. He wants nothing but a path forward to improved financial results for the hotel and he knows all the tricks. We run through the year-to-date performance to budget and the prior year. Flow through is the pulse and blood pressure of the patient. We zero in on what it should be and the difference equals what's been squandered. With our direction clear we head into the battleground so to speak, the meeting room. My job is mostly to listen and make notes. It's funny how some people see things. You see we're all friends so to speak. We know each other quite well. We have been working together for some time and it's a small world we live in. We always start with the welcome. Sometimes we're greeted by the core team for a hello and casual coffee. Often, we are welcomed by the whole department head squad like we're visiting politicians or celebrities. Occasionally they even line up as you would at a wedding to say hello. I remember one time we walked into the meeting room to be greeted by the core management team all sitting on one side of the table, their side of the table, like a military tribunal. Heads were down, books open, pens drawn. Serious business that day! What messages people send by their actions.We always start at the beginning with rooms revenue. What's going on in the market and how is the hotel performing relative to the competition, aka the STR comp set. Where is the RevPAR index YTD and what is driving the results? Product, competition, new supply, sales team, corporate resources, regional economics, renovations, asset, service levels, weather, citywide performance, etc. It all gets laid out to paint the picture of where the hotel is, where it has been and, most importantly, where it's going. A combination of the revenue management discipline, the sales strategy and the marketing plan get flushed out.The director of sales lays out the strategy and the information. You can tell very quickly if he or she has their act together. There is a very small circle of key indicators of performance in this arena and you can easily see what's working or what's missing. The sole purpose of the review is to find ways to improve moving forward. What strategies from the sales and marketing plan are working and what's not? What new ideas need testing and what old processes need to be deleted?From the rooms revenue, we turn our attention to F&B - namely banquets. What has been the performance of the conference services area with conventions and meetings and what's the social scene with catering and events? Banquets are the engine that runs F&B in any hotel with meeting space. Always an interesting aspect is a view of how the meeting space is managed. Group sales vs. catering. A good DOS knows when to release the space and when to hold on to it. Banquet performance is such that a hotel, when it's busy is like a turbocharger on your car's engine; you can feel it kicking in and propelling you further and faster.Now it's time to review the MOD's - any other department that makes revenues in the hotel. Here we take a different approach and do a top-down review looking at the whole picture. My boss is always looking for the path forward. He hates looking at a departmental statement with what he calls hooks! Or expressed another way - a loss. We sift through the revenue picture in each department and then the payroll and expenses looking very closely at each line and always asking the same 3 questions.
Travel Tripper/Pegasus · 11 Jun
ADA compliance lawsuits are on the rise. In 2018, the number of website accessibility lawsuits exceeded 2,250 — that's nearly triple the number from 2017. In this post, we explain the issues surrounding ADA-compliant websites and what to do if your hotel receives an ADA web compliance lawsuit. The Impact of ADA-related Lawsuits With the recent spike in lawsuits, it only makes sense to know what to do if your hotel receives a compliance lawsuit of its own. To add context to this issue, it's first worth highlighting a few recent examples. At the start of this year, a Fort Lauderdale woman and her attorney reached settlements with at least 20 hotels and motels in Florida because their websites' reservations systems "failed to provide any information regarding the accessibility of the hotel or rooms". In a separate case last year, Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because its website was deemed as inaccessible to people with seeing or hearing problems. For the hotel to address the issue and make its website ADA compliant, it will cost about $3,000. Payment in damages to the plaintiff is reported to be an additional $8,000-20,000. Confusion Around ADA Compliance The surge in lawsuits is partly due to a lack of clarification around ADA, which was enacted back in 1990, before the rise of the internet. The law only provided the requirements for businesses' physical locations to properly accommodate disabled individuals but didn't provide any guidance for the internet, or web-based and mobile applications. Instead, hoteliers have to make their best judgment based on the suggested guidelines from the Worldwide Web Consortium or W3C — the governing body of the web. If a website does not meet these guidelines, it risks being on the recipient end of a compliance lawsuit. Yet businesses, including hotels, remain confused and continue to feel vulnerable by the overall lack of clarity. For that reason, we recommend having a plan that mitigates the risk of an ADA-related complaints, and being aware of the steps required How Your Hotel Should Handle an ADA Web Compliance Lawsuit Below, we've outlined the three key steps to take if your hotel finds itself on the receiving end of a website-related ADA compliance lawsuit. 1. Seek legal advice If your hotel receives notice that it's being sued for violation of the ADA, get in contact with a lawyer. Choose an expert who specializes in ADA compliance and Internet Law. 2. Get a website audit After getting in touch with a lawyer, you'll need to carry out a website audit. An audit will help you to identify if your website doesn't meet any of the accessibility guidelines set out by the W3C. There are plenty of audit tools available. If you're on a budget, you can use free-to-use options, such as Lighthouse, which can be added within the Chrome browser. However, bear in mind that the free version of Lighthouse won't fix any issues it uncovers — you'll have to do this yourself or ask your digital marketing agency to carry out the fixes for you. Premium tools offer a more comprehensive audit process. At Travel Tripper, our ADA Compliance auditing and monitoring platform is specifically designed for hotel websites. It includes automated scans, manual testing using accessibility tools, and testing across multiple desktop and mobile browsers, all of which helps guests to navigate your website and complete a booking. 3. Update your website After the audit is complete, you can start making any necessary changes to your website. Even if the lawsuit never makes it to court, your hotel website still needs to be ADA compliant — most obviously to help avoid further lawsuits. Of course, the main reason is that ensuring your website is accessible to anyone with a disability is clearly the right thing to do and shows respect and care for your guests. How to achieve ADA compliance It's actually relatively straightforward to make sure your hotel website is ADA compliant. Here are some of the main areas to consider: Ensure all of your images, graphics, animations and video have "alt" text that describes their content. Having easily resizable text. Make sure the code on your website and booking engine supports assistive tools, such as screen readers and alternative keyboard devices Make sure documents are available in HTML text-based formats For more in-depth information on this topic, read our comprehensive post to ensure your hotel website is ADA compliant or sign up for our webinar about how to mitigate the risk of compliance lawsuits. In the meantime, stay tuned for the final post in this series where we'll provide hoteliers with an essential checklist for ADA compliance. Travel Tripper & Pegasus can work with you to ensure your hotel website conforms to standards of ADA compliance. Request a consultation today to get more information and support!
The facility management industry is unique. You've got customers with all different types of buildings and a wide array of needs and demands. This me
HotStats Limited · 7 Jun
In a previous blog post, I took aim at RevPAR. My pursuit: to puncture the long-held notion that it's the most exemplary data point to consult within the hospitality industry. And, according to one comment, I succeeded in doing so (thank you, Don Weintraub, you made my mother very proud).
skift.com - Digital · 6 Jun
Lola clearly made a good choice with this partnership, but it raises some questions. As the startup works with increasingly larger companies, in loca
MarketingProfs · 4 Jun
Here's some good news for marketers: The amount of advertising spend lost to online bot fraud is declining, according to a recent report from White O
The California legislature recently passed SB 970, which requires hotel and motel employers in the state to provide 20 minutes of human trafficking a
eHotelier.com · 2 Jun
Without the line managers preparing and using their own forecasts we're like a ship in a storm without a rudder.
Hotelivate Private Limited · 29 May
Some sayings are so profound that in time, they become the absolute truth in all matters of economy, society, culture and our very beings. One may wonder if Ben had any inkling about just how applicable his words would be, especially to the world of business consulting today.
HotStats Limited · 23 May
Ever since Fred Harvey opened his first "eating house-hotel" establishment along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) tracks in Kansas in 1878, food and beverage has become an integral part of the hospitality business in the U.S. Harvey's invention was a more formalized approach to what was served to guests of the grand hotels and smaller inns that dotted the landscape from Europe to Asia throughout eras before.
Hospitality Times · 23 May
In 2016 alone, 4.8 million people were victims of forced sexual exploitation worldwide. Nearly 200,000 were trafficked in the Americas, and more than
Marijuana consumption in America has lost its stigma, and it is on track to become a $23 billion U.S. market over the next couple years. Hotels in st
The Hotel Financial Coach · 20 May
I am a big fan of professional car racing. I follow the major series; Formula One, NASCAR and my favorite times 10 is Indy Car. When I think about what I like so much around the Indy Car Series there is a parallel to the hotel business that I think needs to be exposed so people will have a better understanding of why Indy Car is so special and how being successful in the hotel business is kind of the same. You might think I’m stretching things here just a little, but I promise you I’m not.
CBRE Hotels · 20 May
Per the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), the income received from transient and group guests that fail to occupy a room, or cancel a reservation in the prescribed timeframe, and for which payment was guaranteed on an individual basis, is recorded as No Show Revenue in the Rooms Department. This source of revenue is frequently difficult to identify as a discrete source of income on the standard hotel operating statement format. On the other hand, the fees hotels receive from the cancellation of group meetings are typically presented as a separate line item in Miscellaneous Income.
Bizzmark · 17 May
Saving money isn't easy in any business, especially through cutting back on expenses. The prospects seem even more discouraging in the hospitality industry, where the quality of service is directly related to customer satisfaction. While it's hard not to spend money, spending as a business is not that different from spending as an individual consumer of goods and services. From services that charge us more than they do, to supplies we can provide at a lower price, there are always ways to save money by cutting on costs.
HVS · 17 May
Independent, budget motels are often operated by resident owners that are talented at running efficient, safe motel operations but lack sophisticated and complete financial models that generate proper reports upon which to base purchase and valuation decisions. It is important for a buyer to understand that available financial information may not tell the full story, and relying solely on what is available may sell short the profit potential of the hotel and, ultimately, its true value. In Part 1 of this series, I discuss the importance of deriving a proper revenue estimate and testing its reasonableness against the norms for the neighborhood and market.
HOSPA · 17 May
Asset managers are a conduit between a hotel’s owner and the company operating the hotel, writes HOSPA’s Jane Pendlebury, and as such they add great value to both parties. One key to their success is the ability to carefully manage both parties’ expectations.
HVS · 16 May
At the most basic level, the value of a hotel is based on the property’s net income divided by a capitalization rate. As such, one has two possible levers to adjust as a means of increasing a property’s value: either increase the property’s net income or decrease the capitalization rate.
Hotel Online · 13 May
Getting your hotel leadership team excited about accounting is like someone thinking it’s fun to go to the dentist. Your average person wants nothing
The Hotel Financial Coach · 13 May
Getting your hotel leadership team excited about accounting is like someone thinking it's fun to go to the dentist. Your average person wants nothing to do with it because they have a predisposed notion that it's yucky, boring and better left for someone who has a hard time walking and talking at the same time.What I have learned about getting your average hotel leader excited about the numbers is just the opposite. Let me explain.Hotel leaders ALL want to have the "financial where-with-all" to dazzle their peers. They know it's the secret sauce to propel their career. They all want their seat at the captain's table. Being close to the engine room and having an invitation to be part of the inner financial circle is exciting and sexy.Why then is there such a disconnect between leadership's desire to be financially astute and their typical complete lack of attention and discipline when it comes to the numbers? It's all because of the approach.Here is the typical hotel scenario as it relates to the numbers and how they are viewed by most leaders.
green lodging news · 13 May
MGM Resorts International announced that MGM Springfield, located in Springfield, Mass., has received the world's first United States Green Building
Hotel Law Blog · 10 May
Jim Butler, Chairman of JMBM's Global Hospitality Group(r), along with Jack Westergom of Manhattan Hospitality Advisors, will speak at the 4th Annual
Hotelivate Private Limited · 8 May
Change is inevitable, and more so in an industry as dynamic as hospitality. Market performance, lending environment, number of players, owner and operator objectives, costs and margins, and customer profile are all changing almost constantly, and so are hotel management contracts that have evolved remarkably in India in the past decade. Once an operator stronghold, hotel management agreements had little to no room for negotiations, leaving an inexperienced owner (with no expert advice) with a sub optimal contract. However, the game is now changing!
The Hotel Financial Coach · 6 May
When I work with hotel clients around their financial leadership it’s often centered on getting the team to do their monthly financial forecast. A greater interest in doing it produces better and more consistent results. When doing financial leadership workshops and individual coaching, I inevitably discover the same thing time and time again. It’s the disconnect between the executive team/director of finance part of the operation and the department line managers.