The Hotel Financial Coach · 19 Apr
The hotel business is a retail business and in order to stay on top of your business, you must fully and completely balance your daily revenues and settlements. This means dotting the eyes and crossing the Ts, examine them. Every day we begin anew and every day is a story unto itself when it comes to the revenues and settlements. I may sound like I'm repeating "revenues and settlements," but it cannot be emphasized enough.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 8 Mar
My hometown is St Andrews, New Brunswick in eastern Canada. The town overlooks Passamaquoddy Bay and to the south we are flanked by the great state of Maine. Every year in this part of the world the US governors and the Canadian provincial premiers get together for bilateral talks, some good food, and fun. This story is about one of those meetings, The Algonquin Hotel, and how I met our then Premier, Richard Hatfield who is partially responsible for my hotel career.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 1 Mar
This post will tell you about financial leadership in the hospitality industry. It is a summation of information from her research thesis at the Hotel Management School of Maastricht in The Netherlands. The aim of this research is to provide hoteliers with tools to improve their hotel's financial performance with effective financial leadership.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 18 Jan
I am a big fan of the Uniformed System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), or as she is affectionately called "You Sally." It has been the guide that our industry uses to properly present financial information for a long…long time, in fact almost 100 years. It lays out the format for our financial statement presentation and essentially acts as a referee if you like, to tell us what goes where. What revenues, costs of goods, expenses, and payroll belong to which department.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 28 Dec
As you know the front office is the command post for your operation, and it's also the point where all the receipts come through. Making sure you have solid internal controls at the desk is not only good business, it's mission-critical. Without these safeguards you are wide open and as someone once said, good internal controls help keep honest people honest. Now don't get me wrong. I believe we need to trust the people we have on our teams, and I also have seen what can happen when there is an opportunity. So, this piece is about eliminating most of those weaknesses at the front desk.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 14 Dec
In this hard-hitting interview, you will learn what to tell your owner about how you're going to successfully manage their asset. What are the leadership strategies you will use to generate a superior return on their investment? How will you show up as the number one and instill confidence and lead your team around the money piece? If you're looking for the silver lining in all that is COVID in the hotel industry right now and getting your aspiring career back on track, then you are not going to want to miss this one.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 7 Dec
If you wish you could do more each day and you're open to looking at things differently, to consider there may be a stronger system to follow, perhaps this one is for you. Also, if you're a big fan of multi-tasking then YOU HAVE TO read this.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 30 Nov
By someone's estimate there are roughly one million hotels in the world. I take it that number includes all the different kinds of hotels from small inns and hostels all the way up to your full-service multi-outlet mega hotel operations. For simple math I am going to estimate that half of this number of hotels fall into the small inns and hostels, and that leaves 500,000 of what I'm going to call real hotels.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 23 Nov
In the hotel business if you want to get ahead you better be ready to move. It's the way in which you can multiply your opportunities and increase your chance for greater personal prosperity. That's the way it was explained to me many years ago and it has certainly been my experience. On the flip side, moving is not easy and it can take its toll on you and the people in your relationships.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 19 Oct
Most hotels measure payroll as a percentage of revenue or, as it is commonly referred to, labor cost percentage. This is not helpful. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, if sales magically increase because of an increase in the average room rate or average cover, your labor cost will automatically improve. Did anyone actually do anything better with the payroll? No. Or, if there is an increase in wages due to an outside force like the minimum wage increased, then your labor cost will suffer and did anyone actually do anything negative? No. So you see the limitations of labor cost percentage.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 5 Oct
Hot on the heels of creating a hotel policy manual is the newfound ability to create an internal control review process. Policies are all about the rules of the road and the ICR is all about the roadside check stop.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 7 Sep
Bloody is a great word. It's English and I'm Canadian so that's close enough and I'm adopting it for this piece. The word is so descriptive, and it immediately conjures up images of battle and of great suffering. Much the same as the annual carnage we refer to as budget season in the hotel business. It's the epic contest between line managers and executives, hotel leadership teams and the brand and hotels and their owners.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 31 Aug
Regarding both the financial leader and the operationally managers roles: On the eve of starting my financial leadership course for the third year with Royal Roads University, I realized that most people have it somewhat wrong when it comes to how they think about the financials inside the hotel business. It occurred to me that most people think that a mechanic is the only person who can drive a car.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 24 Aug
Applies to financial leaders' and operational managers' roles: On the eve of starting my financial leadership course for the third year with Royal Roads University it occurs to me that most people have it somewhat wrong when it comes to how they think about the financials inside the hotel business.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 3 Aug
The hotel business is a retail business and in order to stay on top of your business you must fully and completely balance your daily revenues and settlements. Every day we begin anew and every day is a story unto itself when it comes to the revenues and settlements. I may sound like I am repeating "revenues and settlements," but it cannot be emphasized enough.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 20 Jul
Internal controls in your hotel are critical and they need to be designed to keep your assets safe and your money where it belongs - with you and not in someone else's pockets. I have seen this go wrong way too many times and I also talk to many hoteliers that are oblivious to this level of control or they just don't see the importance of it.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 13 Jul
In the hotel business, we have three equal pillars. The guest, the colleague and the money. We need to realize that the third pillar—the money, the owner, the P&L, the paperwork, whatever you want to call it—needs a proper voice. The right voice, a voice that speaks to the leadership and the highest purpose that a cornerstone of our business warrants. Far too often the voice of the money is scary stingy or downright mean. If the paper is going to have a voice, we want to ensure it's the proper one. The voice that will get and give equity to all our constituents.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 15 Jun
In the business world protecting your assets is a critical strategy. Without it you are open to "things" happening that can cost you a fortune. I was trained with the concept of the separation of duties as a foundation so in some respects I take it that everyone else has the same perspective. Recently I worked with a client that showed me just how far things can go awry when you put your trust in someone and you fail to have the proper separation and oversight.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 25 May
Inside of the hotel company I worked for there has always been a constant movement to increase efficiency, especially inside the financial function. Not surprising, right? That’s what all businesses have done and continue to do, to evolve and ultimately outsource or eliminate seemingly needless, value lacking work. I was heavily involved in such a project that took me all the way to England.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 4 May
Having been around awhile I have seen the changes that have come as a result of major global events. The starkest example is our pre- and post-911 world. It showed us that the idea of getting on an airplane means we need to prove we do not have any threatening objects with us, like guns, knives and explosives and we need to prove we are who we say we are. We even must prove we're not a threat and that we're on the right security list.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 27 Apr
In the hotel business we need to be relevant and on top of the key issues that make our venture successful and ultimately sustainable in the long run. This piece is about how we can differentiate between expenses and investments to make sure we recognize the difference and make the best decisions for the ongoing health of our enterprise. Especially now that we are sidelined and looking for a new normal.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 20 Apr
The simple and only answer is yes, you should. Without these tools, you are flying in the dark and sooner rather than later you are going to run into a mountain. In my opinion, if you are running your hotel business without this and you think that is okay then you are simply irresponsible. If you are thinking it is too complicated or only for the big kids, well, you are wrong again and this recap will be an eye-opener for you.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 14 Apr
Over the years I have seen a lot of messes in my career. Not only the ones that catch your eye because of the clutter and disorganization you see in the back spaces of your hotel but I'm talking about a mess on the balance sheet.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 30 Mar
When people hear the term food cost, they generally think of the simple calculation of cost / selling price = food cost %. This calculation does little more than give you a percentage. Understanding and controlling food cost is much more complex.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 23 Mar
Controlling the beverage cost is a big deal in hotels. People like to drink and that's great for the bar, but you have to remember the people serving your drinks need a tight set of checks and balances or else they will help themselves to your supplies. It's just human nature to mess around with the stuff at your fingertips all day long. There is a certain sense of entitlement as well because the wages are small, and people rely on tips. Bigger portions or the odd free one for a client can make a big difference in the tips left behind.
The Hotel Financial Coach · 16 Mar
In the business world protecting your assets is a critical strategy. Without it you are open to "things" happening that can cost you a fortune. I was trained with the concept of separation of duties as a foundation so in some respects I take it that everyone else has the same perspective.