Monday, August 7, 2017

What are some interview questions for a general manager of a hotel?

So, you want to run one of our hotels?
This is a question that I took my time answering because I wanted to 'finish' it. But I'm never going to 'finish' it. Even if I could give you an exhaustive list, anyone who approached interviewing applicants for hotel manager accountabilities intelligently and responsibly would keep changing it or adding to it.
(I don't want you to have an exhaustive list, anyway -- I don’t like people ‘gaming’ my interviews, and giving up an exhaustive list would be like posting the 'right' answers in advance for those who'd want to access them.)
I'll add more as I have time and opportunity.
Pic #1 - Job Interview Tips
Frankly, I think the whole model of job seeking, resume-writing, and interviewing that prevails, is a sick game to begin with (it rewards, and even reinforces and encourages, inauthenticity; and penalizes honest applicants), but unfortunately, we're stuck with it -- like Sir Winston Churchill said of democracy and its well-known dysfunctions, no one's ever been able to come up with a different way of doing it that works even that well.
That's why I try to come up with questions that are not so easy, for people who want to tell me what I want to hear, hoping to manipulate the outcome in their favor, to anticipate the 'correct' answers to. It’s also why a short class in listening and re-creation, the way the Landmark Introduction Leaders’ Program trains people in doing it, is something that I try to give most people that I have doing any interviewing for anything more than a low-level hourly employee.

What is the difference between a 'guest relations officer' and a 'guest service provider' in a five star hotel?

Ask the hotel chain who has those titles posted on their job board.

Employers define their needs, they divide up the work that needs doing to meet those needs into individual jobs, they define those jobs and the accountabilities that go with each . . . and they dream up the titles for them. And you do have some very dreamy people in this business.

Image result for job titles

That's why W Hotels is always looking for “Go anywhere, do anything” people -- that's an actual job title. This past month, a Hilton Garden Inn near where I live was advertising for “Happy Morning People” to serve breakfast. A desk clerk can be a “guest services agent”, a “guest services representative”, a “host” or “hostess” (a breakfast server can also be a “host” or “hostess”), the list goes on and it's not standardized for every hotel. Even Walmart refers to its employees as “associates”, as though being a low paid hourly “associate” at a high-pressure job adds dignity to it when you have to apply for food stamps to feed your kids because you can't do it on what they pay you.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Should hotels and accommodation providers get together to create their own booking portal?

Like Room Key? It’s been done already, and it’s a failure.

Image result for roomkey

Room Key was launched by a consortium of hotel chains who wanted to light off a collective response to, and re-capture guest referrals from, online travel agencies like Expedia and Travelocity.

Only one teeny-weeny problem: the OTAs were already filling the demand for hotel room bookings via online travel agencies. Customers wanted to compare rates, and hotel features, at their destination side by side, and the online travel agencies were enabling that, and had first mover advantage, and the customers didn’t need Room Key in order to do it.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hotel for sale: Motel 6, Greensboro, N. C.

Image result for motel 6 greensboro nc

Property offering

MOTEL 6 (former Landmark Inn)
GREENSBORO, N. C.  27406

Listing broker: Vinit Mody, MTEL Consultants, via Loopnet

TripAdvisor reviews: Bubble score 1.5

Property website:

The facility:

This property (formerly the LandMark Inn) has had some renovations, was recently accepted as a Motel 6 franchise, has glaring security problems (not the least of which was three homicides in a two month period some years back), and still has a long way to go. But its location can be its salvation if it is upbranded to a mid-market product, a complete renovation occurs, some product differentiation is implemented to go along with that, and some corporate marketing is implemented. Also, quite a bit of acreage is included.

It's a voodoo hellhole, but you should buy it anyway.

Asking price$2,100,000.00Given
Number of rooms61Given
Annual gross$654,457.41Calculated
Occupancy71.00%Given (see note)
Room revenue multiplier3.21Calculated
Year built1967Given
Last renovated2016Given
Last sold2005Guilford County GIS
Lot size11.88 acresGuilford County GIS

Occupancy and REVPAR are based on the current inventory of 61 rooms. There are three guestroom buildings, each having 32 rooms (one seems to have three room bays knocked out for an apartment), for a total of 96 rooms. Let's try it again with the actual number of rooms:

Asking price$2,100,000.00Given
Number of rooms96Given
Annual gross$654,457.41Calculated
Occupancy43.31%Given (see note)
Room revenue multiplier3.21Calculated
Year built1967Given
Last renovated2016Given
Last sold2005Guilford County GIS
Lot size11.88 acresGuilford County GIS

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Seth's Blog : Merely transactional

From Seth's Blog

Merely transactional

"We owe you nothing."

This week, all but one NFL owner voted to let the Raiders leave Oakland for Las Vegas (I'm not a football fan, but bear with me).

A nearly perfect example of how one version of capitalism corrupts our culture.

The season ticket holder bought a ticket and got his games. Even steven. We owe you nothing.

The dedicated fan sat through endless losing games. Even steven. Ticket purchased, game delivered. We owe you nothing.

The problem with 'even steven' is that it turns trust and connection and emotions into nothing but a number. Revenue on a P&L. It ignores the long-term in exchange for a relentless focus on today. Only today.

There's an alternative view of capitalism. Modern capitalism. Capitalism for the long-term. In this view, the purpose of an enterprise is to make things better. To minimize negative externalities and create value. Value for the owners, sure, but also for the workers, the customers and the bystanders.

"We owe you everything."

You trusted us. You showed up. You tolerated our impact on your world, even when you didn't invite us in.

It'll never be even steven, but we can try to repay you. Thank you for the opportunity.

I think this is what sports fans signed up for when they were first offered the chance to support a team. Maybe your customers feel the same way.

Garbage out, garbage in



We've seen this before: Most people are overconfident in their ability to get accurate assessments based on a job interview.

People whose accountabilities include interviewing and hiring need to stick to a structured interview. 

People whose accountabilities include interviewing and hiring need to be trained to first determine needs and objectives, then conduct an interview and accurately note responses that are in alignment with those needs and objectives.

This isn't just a Starbucks disease

Many hotels are bad about it, too.

Business Insider article: Starbucks is quietly changing the business as furious baristas slam the 'cult that pays $9 per hour'

starbucks barista


We've seen this before: Management wants to micromanage the customer experience and leans too heavily upon 'service' and connection (which you can't force). Some even attempt to use it to cover inadequacies in the operation or facility itself. It makes any employee exposed to culpability for anything, and makes for a very unhealthy work environment.

No matter what the 'benefits' are, their value will show up as nebulous if you're not paying a living wage.