Hilton CEO: On track to open most luxury hotels in company history
Hilton CEO: On track to open most luxury hotels in company history

eHotelier.com · 16 Jul

Hilton to open more luxury properties in 2019 than in any previous year of its 100-year history.

Hospitality Financial Leadership - The Basic Principles
Hospitality Financial Leadership - The Basic Principles — By David Lund

The Hotel Financial Coach · 15 Jul

Accounting was a trade that had a global language much like carpentry or plumbing. There were universal rules that applied and these principles were exactly the same in the hotel business. That was good news. Accounting principles are universal. The way in which accounting is done throughout the world is a direct by-product of these principles: “Accounting principles are the rules and guidelines that companies must follow when reporting financial data. The common set of U.S. accounting principles is the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).”

Is the ICO's Fine on Marriott Unreasonable?
Is the ICO's Fine on Marriott Unreasonable?

Hospitality Technology Magazine · 11 Jul

The company is being fined approximately $0.31 per exposed EU guest record.

Resort Fee Litigation Advisory Group: Attorney General for DC sues Marriott International over hotel "Resort Fees"
Resort Fee Litigation Advisory Group: Attorney General for DC sues Marriott International over hotel "Resort Fees"

Hotel Law Blog · 9 Jul

If you are a consumer with a Resort Fee issue, please do NOT contact us! We do not represent consumers with complaints against hotels. We are part of

How to Increase Your Hotel's Profit by Driving Incremental Revenue
How to Increase Your Hotel's Profit by Driving Incremental Revenue

4hoteliers.com · 9 Jul

In last year’s article on hotel ancillary revenue we shared insider tips on how to generate extra revenue at your hotel or resort and we explained, a

Why Financial Acumen is So Important to Your Hospitality Career
Why Financial Acumen is So Important to Your Hospitality Career — By David Lund

The Hotel Financial Coach · 8 Jul

There exists a counter-culture to growing up, to raising one's self out of the guest- and colleague-only world into the financial arena. I know and have met many people who camp out in hospitality for this very reason. The idea that they will not have to deal with numbers and the black and white is part of our culture. In this piece, I am going to examine why this exists and what you can do to rise up!The hotel world has changed tremendously in the past 20-30 years. I have been at it for 35-plus years and the most profound change I see is movement away from the owner/operator model to one where most hotel companies become management companies. In simple terms this means the name on the door 30 years ago was the owner of the bricks and mortar. Today the name on the door 19 times out of 20 simply means the brand has a management or franchise agreement with the hotel owner or owners. What this translates to—as far as how the hotel is run— is where we have all seen and felt the changes.The old model had a much kinder and gentler approach to fostering a culture of inclusion, family, longevity and a strong service culture. I distinctly remember my first stint in a "managed hotel" inside my company. People had warned me that it was different and they were right. The owned hotels had a clear sense of togetherness and you knew what was important. I literally grew up with this slogan in my DNA, "Look after the guests and the money looks after itself." Leaving the safety of the owned nest I learned a few new things.The owner needed a certain return each quarter to meet his debt and investor obligations. Back home this was never a topic of discussion. It seemed head office was always grumpy about the results but never spoke of external obligations. These owner obligations had a profound effect on how we operated, especially the first year I was at the managed hotel.

Opening a Hotel? An Asset Manager Can Help!
Opening a Hotel? An Asset Manager Can Help! — By Saurabh Gupta

Hotelivate Private Limited · 4 Jul

Hotel openings are an elaborate affair that seek focused inputs from the ownership at a pre-opening stage. While the hotel management company and operations team are largely responsible for the pre-opening preparation, the owner also has his/her tasks cut out. Here's a look at the very basic set of expectations from an owner of a managed-hotel at this stage:

What is “Hospitality Financial Leadership Anyway?”
What is “Hospitality Financial Leadership Anyway?” — By David Lund

The Hotel Financial Coach · 1 Jul

This is a question I have been asked many times. Exactly what is financial leadership and why hospitality? Finding the three words together "HFL" in a sentence three years ago was not possible. I know because I tried to google them and came up with a bunch of leadership consultants and courses. Even the words "financial leadership" revealed surprisingly little. Some tidbits about CEO's and their role but nothing any broader.Financial leadership is in my opinion the cornerstone of any manager, executive or leader's business acumen. It enables the individual to see the importance of being plugged into the strategy of the business regardless of their vocation or the industry that they are in. They could be a human resources manager, a facilities manager or the head of information technology but they are financially tuned to the business at hand. They know the role they play in delivering the results inside the strategy and they also use their financial leadership skills to communicate and lead their team. They make the numbers in their world just as important as the other disciplines like people, service and processes. Financial leadership skills enable these managers to create a level of understanding and sophistication around the business strategy. They can relate this understanding to their mission and vision of the team they are leading as well as the individual development and contribution of the team members. They see the numbers as a form of currency that provides fuel to ignite and mold the talent and contribution of their team's collective efforts. The executive with financial leadership skills knows that the key ingredient that each of his or her squad needs to propel their individual careers is a sound grasp of the company and industry business strategy. They are in essence an enabler of the financial leadership knowledge within their group and, as a result, they produce leaders who help propel the company's growth. Without these skills being brought out of the individuals by the functional leader, the contribution of the person and the collective team are restricted. Great leaders are developed, and they need the exposure to the financials to grow; without it they are limited. Hospitality Financial Leadership is the missing link for many hotel leaders and executives. It is hard to think or believe that some of our senior members are playing the game with a short hand. If you have been in hospitality for your career you know exactly what I'm talking about. We promote people from operations, sales and other senior roles to be the General Manager. It's been this way since the dawn of time and again, if you're in the business you know what I mean. It's also quite frightening to think we have the most senior person sitting in the seat without the proper flying skills. In many instances they are winging it and if the owner knew just how green they were they would slip a disk. But don't worry too much about the captain not knowing how to sail. He or she will be fine as long as they open up to financial leadership. This is where the rubber meets the road. Knowing you have the ability to manage your people, the owner and the brand is key, but knowing how to make the numbers work, that's the nitro you must have if you're going to get off the ground and stay there. So just exactly what is this fuel? The fuel is the commitment to make the numbers just another equal part to what you do. Holding the direct reports accountable for their departmental results on all levels. Not giving anyone a pass when it comes to their budget just because they are a valuable team member with amazing soft skills in their area who to date has not taken the necessary time or made the required commitment to get their financial shtick together. They are the leader who does not blame the finance department when the operating department numbers are upside down. They are the quarterback who calls the plays and ensures the finance department also lives up to its commitment providing the necessary resources and living up to its own schedules. They make sure the forecasts and budgets all come from the department managers, not from the accounting department. This man or woman of steel ensures each department head writes and owns their own monthly commentary. Our hero makes darn sure the daily communication around the numbers is consistent, positive and clear. Making sure your team is provided with the resources and training to get it going, to get everyone to step up and they take no prisoners. Blame and victims are not allowed on this ship. That my friends is what Hospitality Financial Leadership is all about.

Revitalizing Old Buildings Sets Growing Trend for Hotel Industry
Revitalizing Old Buildings Sets Growing Trend for Hotel Industry — By Clayton Daspit

The Beck Group · 1 Jul

Across the great cities of our country, the trend of rehabilitating old buildings into luxury hotels remains one of the brightest spots in the hospitality industry, offering a unique and rewarding experience for travelers seeking modern-day accommodations linked to a bygone era.

The Pod Hotels Set to Become a Force in the Capsule Hotel Market
The Pod Hotels Set to Become a Force in the Capsule Hotel Market

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com · 1 Jul

The Pod Hotels will be expanding from five to fifty properties over the next decade across North America and, eventually, globally. BD Hotels has app

ADA For Hotel Websites Explained
ADA For Hotel Websites Explained — By Hope Waggett, CHDM

Vizergy · 27 Jun

Allow me to begin by stating that I am not qualified to offer legal advice on any topic, particularly in the area of discrimination and accessibility. This information is based on experience with real-world lodging operators trying their best to serve every guest they can connect with. That is what makes ADA compliance so important to hoteliers. It's not about avoiding legal complaints, but how important it is to treat every possible guest with respect and to offer the hospitality travelers expect from their host.

Zero Based Expenses – How to Plan and Manage
Zero Based Expenses – How to Plan and Manage — By David Lund

The Hotel Financial Coach · 24 Jun

I help hotels manage their profits more efficiently and in the hospitality world, there are only two main cost types that need a system and a strategy to properly control them. The two culprits are payroll and expenses. In this piece, I am going to talk about expenses, namely a process for establishing and managing your expenses on an ongoing basis in real time using a zero base.Zero based expenses are nothing new. Here is the definition from Wikipedia. Zero-based budgeting originated in the 1970s. Many businesses will budget and plan out things to maintain financials. In the past, businesses would only look at specific things and would assume that everything is already in place and does not need to be double-checked. However, in zero-based budgeting, everything that is to be budgeted needs to be approved. Since zero-based budgeting requires approval for budgeting, this means that budgets are started from a zero-base, with a fresh decision on everything being made every year. In hotels, we find the zero base very hard to establish but, in my experience, it's just the opposite. It's actually easy to find and define the detail but it competes with the other business constituents, the guests and the colleagues. Both of its competitors have voices and they can speak, so unfortunately the expenses in many instances take a perpetual back seat. What this means is hotels operate without a concrete plan when it comes to managing their expenses.Oddly enough this is OK for most hotel managers, but owners have a very different view. Managers are interested in keeping things fluid and smooth. This means department managers can operate with a certain amount of flexibility and their spending reflects this. After all, the top line is coming in and we all know a certain amount of volume hides a multitude of sins. At least that's the case until the customers slow down or, heaven forbid, the phone stops ringing. When it does or when the hotel chooses to make the effort to control their expenses the system they need to use is the tried and true Zero Base.In order to establish a zero base, we need to do some homework - nothing too complicated but it requires a focus and some discipline. When this is required all too often the task of getting the detail is left to a Jr. somebody. This is a mistake. Teaching them the system once established is a good idea, but getting this process working and right requires the individual who can organize and allocate resources within their department and that means they need to be seasoned.To establish the zero base, we need to create our list for each General Ledger account in complete detail. The best way to do this is to run the line by line from each account for the prior 12 months. Once we know the vendors we then pull the corresponding invoices and record the items purchased, the quantities and the unit price. This is not rocket science, but there is no other way. Once this is done you have your detail and now it's time to plan. What are the parameters of your expense budget or historical cost for this expense line? From your research and your knowledge of how your department operates what do you need to include in your forecast? Make your plan and include all the items, the price and the quantity. Taking into account the forecasted occupancy or cover counts for rooms or F&B, and for non-operating departments, it's total revenue you want to measure your expenses against. From the forecast of each line, we now have the departmental total expense forecast for the month in front of us. We submit the totals for each line to the finance leaders and they consolidate our data with all the other departments. When this is done it's inevitably too many dollars of expense and this is the pivot point and the most important part of the exercise so far. You may be asked to reduce your department's expenses by a dollar value - say a $5,000 reduction is requested. Now you have a list to look at and you get to decide what you can live without next month. Remove these items from your forecast detail and retain a copy of what was axed. Now you have the detail to support the forecasted dollars of expenses and it's time to start ordering your supplies. This is another critical junction because we want to ensure our spending is in keeping with the revenue projections. In most hotels, we book a significant portion of our revenues in the rooms area "in the month - for the month." We need to order in 1 or 2 week installments allowing the ability to reduce or even increase quantities needed based on the pickup. This is what we do the zero-based work for, the ability to flex our spending based on revenues, allowing our department to manage its flow thru. If the forecast was for 75% occupancy and a rate of $150 and the projection on the 15th of the month is 70% and $145, I need to adjust my ordering and expenses to compensate for the drop in revenues. If I don't have my detailed list, I'm sunk and I have no way of knowing what to trim.I have a section in my workshops where we discuss zero-based expense planning and I explain it like a household grocery shopping experiment. It goes like this. If I send you to the store with $200 and ask you to buy some groceries, you will spend the $200 and come home with lots of interesting things. On the other hand, if I send you to the store with the same cash and a shopping list you will come home with what's on the list. Now the pivot. I only have $180 this week, so I send you to the store with the same list and I ask you to decide what we can live without this week. Now we have a chance to get what we really need for groceries given our revised forecast. Your hotel departmental expenses control and your zero-based system are the same.It's not rocket science it's just being organized and having a list. With that list you're going to know what you need, what to order and if need be, what to trim. Without it you're sunk.

Hotels Can’t Afford Counterfeit Goods
Hotels Can’t Afford Counterfeit Goods — By Larry Mogelonsky

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited · 19 Jun

Look at these two coffee mugs. Both say Pantone Universe (trademarked) on the surface. But one is a knockoff. Can you tell which one?

Lies Financial Leaders Tell Themselves; The Lie: My Balance Sheet Accounts Can Go a Month Without Being Completely Reconciled
Lies Financial Leaders Tell Themselves; The Lie: My Balance Sheet Accounts Can Go a Month Without Being Completely Reconciled — By David Lund

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.

Conducting Financial Operations Reviews
Conducting Financial Operations Reviews — By David Lund

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.

What to do if your hotel receives an ADA web compliance lawsuit
What to do if your hotel receives an ADA web compliance lawsuit — By Nate Lane

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!

Revenue Management - Don’t Push The Panic Button
Revenue Management - Don’t Push The Panic Button — By Sarah McCay Tams

Duetto · 10 Jun

Alex Slors is an independent asset manager who also provides development support for new hotels.

Why Facility Management Leaders Need B2B Customer Support Software
Why Facility Management Leaders Need B2B Customer Support Software

Customer Service Blog - Tips and Tricks for B2B Customer Success · 7 Jun

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

What Is TRevPAR (Definition and Why It Matters)?
What Is TRevPAR (Definition and Why It Matters)? — By David Eisen

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).

Lola Navigates Big Growth a Year After Amex GBT Deal
Lola Navigates Big Growth a Year After Amex GBT Deal

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

Is the Fight Against Bot Ad Fraud Succeeding?
Is the Fight Against Bot Ad Fraud Succeeding?

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

New Human Trafficking Training Requirement for California Hotels and Motels That Anyone Can Implement
New Human Trafficking Training Requirement for California Hotels and Motels That Anyone Can Implement

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com · 3 Jun

The California legislature recently passed SB 970, which requires hotel and motel employers in the state to provide 20 minutes of human trafficking a

The financial forecast disconnect and how to correct it
The financial forecast disconnect and how to correct it

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.

The Value of a Good Consultant
The Value of a Good Consultant — By Achin Khanna

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.

Making Food and Beverage a Focal Point in the Hotel Industry
Making Food and Beverage a Focal Point in the Hotel Industry — By David Eisen

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.