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In coincident ever greater related world consumers own much bigger expectations of the businesses they deal with.
They want groups to understand their preferences and bring a customized, advantageous journey. What's greater they are expecting this the entire time not just at the factor of sale.
To assist businesses carry for his or her shoppers IBM is the usage of its Smarter Commerce global peak in Florida to unveil ExperienceOne, an built-in portfolio of cloud-based and on premise offerings to assemble advertising, sales and repair practices and support create deeper, extra effectual customer engagements.
IBM ExperienceOne draws on innovation from IBM analysis as well as more than $3 billion invested in organic building and acquisitions. or not it's too constructed on top-quality practices drawn from IBM's suffer of working with over eight,000 corporations throughout the globe.
"Smarter Commerce is about assisting shoppers normally reinvent themselves around the client journey," says Craig Hayman, time-honored supervisor, trade Cloud options at IBM. "IBM ExperienceOne provides a at ease and simplified portfolio -- including innovation from greater than 1,200 companions -- to uphold consumers design and bring extra constructive client engagements. With cloud, on premise and hybrid options, IBM ExperienceOne quickly scales to engage every client in the second while retaining their privateness".
New capabilities aid to enhance understanding of client relationships, maximize earnings through directing the correct tender to the correct consumer, and get utilize of cell and convivial media to convey improved client event. Combining ExperienceOne with SoftLayer cloud infrastructure IBM is additionally in a position to tender client statistics, customer analytics and digital commerce as a service.
The enterprise is aiming to deliver similar stages of customer insight to the B2B sector as neatly with the launch of recent associate and organization engagement application via its Smarter Commerce initiative. This contains a Multi-business Relationship management (MRM) platform for improved collaboration. IBM Sterling B2B features Reporting and Analytics to video display transactions and back trade spot traits and get recommended decisions. Plus other tools present improved adherence to compliance requisites and sooner and more efficient sharing of information.
"Now more than ever, the kismet of any trade is deeply intertwined with the success of its network of partners and suppliers outright over the world," says John Mesberg, vp, B2B & Commerce solutions at IBM. "by using orchestrating these intricate engagements with surprising precision and perception, organizations can create current gateways to alternate that permit groups to convey outstanding consumer experiences. With today’s news, IBM basically transforms these dynamics with partners and shoppers to pressure faster time to salary throughout the prolonged cost chain".
which you can find more about IBM ExperienceOne on the enterprise's web site. there's additionally an infographic on how Smarter Commerce can carry greater consumer engagement beneath.
graphic credit score: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock
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2. The Up & Comers: Health and Auto are immense progress areas for AI/ML due to the copious amount of data being created in those industries. For example, patient records house vital information related to disease identification and treatment. In Ontario alone, there are over 2.3 billion medical test results from 11.1 million Ontarians. On the other immediate of the spectrum, automobiles are constantly generating slews of data — distance traveled, average speed, destination — that can live used for optimizing traffic, city planning and accident prevention. For AI/ML to live effectively implemented within the enterprise, it needs to live integrated into core conclusion making processes within a company; just notice at Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm and Uber’s surge pricing and route optimization system. AI/ML will supersede a lot of the grunt labor in the enterprise, freeing employee time for more value-add activities (e.g. Amy, x.ai’s robot assistant, who saves me from so many unnecessary emails when scheduling a meeting). Near-term opportunities in the enterprise are in data optimization, data search and messaging (think: commerce, payments and gaming), and you’ll likely survey this quickly penetrate areas such as Enterprise Optimization, Law, Security and Sales.
By Tyler Titherington
I am a restaurateur. I’m behind schedule. Again. Not because I am disorganized or own too much to do, more so because I own a hierarchy of tasks that are addressed based on priority. Guest needs are my first priority, staff needs are a immediate second and everything else last. There is a tertiary hierarchy in the ultimate basket as well. Some tasks with a lower priority tumble through the cracks. Not because they are unimportant, but rather there just was not enough time. The truth is that I am obsessively organized. I fancy “To Do” lists, calendars, flow charts and the accomplishment of tasks. I consume projects for breakfast, while animated on the edge of chaos and complete catastrophe. Short staffed? Yawn. Drains flooding? Been there, done that. POS system crash during service on a weekend? Bring it. I am the duck – peaceful above water and feet affecting nonstop below. However, how carry out I manage outright the curveballs and silent manage to gain time without compromising any of my other priorities? It is very simple – adjust and embrace technology wherever possible, specifically, cloud-based computing solutions that allow one to live in many places at one time. These applications simplify daily tasks for management teams and staff, which will ultimately leverage senior management down to focus on the bigger picture. Maybe even accept a day off…
Over the ultimate 10 years or so, the increased availability of cloud-based computing solutions (using network computers over the internet rather than property-based difficult drives) has been a major paradigm shift for many industries. However, as with most technological advances, the restaurant industry has been very slack to adapt. tense margins, resistance to change, and horror of unknown outcomes own long driven the restaurateur’s decision-making process. However, with increased options, cheaper costs, and ease of use, that mindset is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Restaurant operators are genesis to embrace cloud-based solutions for everything from Point of Sale and Tableside Payment to Menu Design and Scheduling.
Our foray into cloud computing began with an unlucky set of circumstances that the entire industry was facing. The year was 2010 and the impending doom of PCI Compliance was upon us. At best, their network infrastructure was dated and they needed to act quickly to accept it into compliance. like most operators, their hand was forced and they had no choice. What is PCI Compliance? The respond depends on who you ask.
Your guests own never heard of it and own no notion what it is. Most restaurant operators will disclose you that PCI Compliance is an almost unachievable set of network security standards designed to protect the credit card giants, who already permeate them pass too much for credit card processing and continually squeeze them with a plethora of monthly fees. The definition of PCI Compliance is below, according to PCI ComplianceGuide.org
“The Payment Card Industry Data Security gauge (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that outright companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. The PCI Security Council Card focuses on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. It is an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, determine and JCB.).”[i]
PCI DSS is mandatory for any and outright businesses that accept credit cards. It involves a process of assessment, remediation and reporting. Operators must identify network vulnerabilities, physical vulnerabilities, and operational vulnerabilities that could result in a credit card transgression and fix them. In summary, it is a painfully tedious, extremely time consuming, and potentially expensive process.
It is extremely captious for the security of their guest’s payment information, both for ensuring confidence with their customers and limiting legal liabilities. In 2017-8, major retail stores including Home Depot, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Lord & Taylor made headlines across the country for data breaches possibly compromising customer’s credit card personal information. The restaurant industry is too plagued with security breaches, including great chains such as Darden (Cheddar’s), Panera Bread, Sonic and Arby’s. The number of customers whose credit card information may live compromised totals into the millions.[ii]
At Grafton Group, the process of obtaining Credit card security involved working directly with their IT vendor and POS vendor to achieve PCI compliance. The first order of trade was to accept their network infrastructure in order. Some of the major network upgrades that they undertook were upgrading wiring, locking down patch panels, securitizing external ports, adding wireless access points (WAPs), and replacing firewalls. The WAPs and current firewalls were the heart of the upgrades and would ultimately allow us to operate unencumbered in the cloud. The current access points give their guests their own network and forestall them from accessing ours. The security firewalls forestall intrusions and too allow their IT vendor remote access so they can get changes without actually being in the restaurant. What used to live a scheduled visit from their IT vendor that may own taken weeks, is now a simple email and can often live addressed online in minutes. In a nutshell, PCI DSS forced us to upgrade their network, which ultimately allowed us to operate in the cloud. This unintended outcome to a painful requirement was truly a blessing in disguise and it pushed us into current territory – the cloud! Being in the cloud has allowed us access to exciting applications and services that would otherwise live unavailable to us.
IBM defines cloud computing as “the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.”[iii] For their purposes, these on demand computing resources primarily consist of “SaaS” or Software as a Service. Here are some of the areas where cloud computing can streamline their operation.Point of Sale
POS systems are the most radiant area of cloud-based solutions for restaurant operators. Legacy systems such as Positouch, Micros, and Aloha are bulkier, more expensive, and much harder to program and implement. There are quite a few cloud-based POS options, most notably Boston-based Toast. Toast has done a powerful job streamlining and simplifying the interface for both front and back immediate users. Management can access the system remotely for screen programming, troubleshooting or reviewing sales. It is extremely intuitive, like using a smartphone, thus needing very tiny training. As wireless POS solutions evolve, legacy systems will eventually live phased out. It is only a matter of time.Tableside Payment
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is another set of regulations that are coming to the restaurant industry. “EMV is a global gauge for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.”[iv] Used in Europe for years, the credit card never leaves the customer and outright transactions are processed tableside with a handheld device. One specimen of an EMV compliant, cloud-based device for tableside payments that they at Grafton Group are currently analyzing and fashion on implementing is Pay My Tab. Pay My Tab will fully integrate with their POS system and eliminates many bulky PCI DSS requirements. Many similar systems are already in utilize at quick service operations, where guests and staff own easily adapted to them. In addition to tougher security, the implementation should dwindle payment time, eradicate paper receipts (emailed instead) and simplify the process for management to search for specific receipts.
Reservations and Floor Management
There are a variety of solutions for reservations and floor management systems. Their firm has been using OpenTable for over 15 years, so when they rolled out their cloud-based system, GuestCenter, they were early adopters. This has been one of the solitary best applications in terms of roll out, ease of use, and seamless integration. It is iPad-based and eliminates outright the wiring and host stand actual estate. It is compatible to smart phones that allows for remote access, allowing management to check flow of service, identify unique reservations, and get confident that waitlists are being managed appropriately. Soon to arrive is an interface with POS systems that automatically applies any “guest notes” from GuestCenter to the server’s check, such as special occasions, etc. Most importantly, due to its intuitive design, their millennial hosts utilize the system seamlessly.Private Event Management
Private events are the foundation of most plenary service restaurant operations. They are the incompatibility between a advantageous week and a powerful week. However, it can live a very confusing process with outright of the affecting parts. In order to sojourn organized, they utilize TripleSeat to manage leads, create BEOs and track their events calendar. The cloud-based event management system allows their Private Event Coordinators to respond at any given time from anywhere, giving them a leg up on the competition, giving them the break to earn fees for each event. Since their coordinators receive an administrative fee for each event, they indulge in responding when available off-site; advantageous communication is key for making confident work-life equilibrium is maintained.Bar at the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Inventory
An area which the cloud has really saved their restaurants time is with food & beverage inventories. No more paper and no more transposing paper to spreadsheet. Inventories can live uploaded in actual time using a tablet, laptop or even a smart phone. BevSpot is used for both their food and beverage inventories. They own too given access to their accounting firm, in order to reduce bulky invoice scans and uploads. outright information can live entered into the cloud and accessed by outright of their approved users. It too allows for multiple people to pick inventory simultaneously. One person can live on the bar, another in the walk in fridge, and another in the liquor room, outright at the very time. In addition to being a major time saver, it has helped Grafton Group to reduce sitting inventory by a significant amount across outright properties.Scheduling
Staff scheduling is a weekly administrative headache for managers, but there are cloud-based scheduling applications that lessen the pain. They own organize HotSchedules to fit their needs as it interfaces with their POS system and allows their firm to carry out some creative reporting in regards to budgeting and forecasting, as well as taking employees requests and requirements into consideration.Email and File Sharing
Grafton Group has arrive a long pass from sharing access to a desktop version of Outlook and toggling between accounts. They were able to eradicate their main server entirely and now they utilize Office 365 for their email and file sharing needs. Not only is this highly securitized, it has redundancy so their information is always backed up. They access both their email and files from anywhere in the world. This has greatly improved productivity and allowed their management teams to communicate in actual time.Grafton Street in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Computer Hardware
Our office hardware now consists of much less expensive “Network Computers”, which carry out not require expanded reminiscence for giant programs, CD drives for downloading drivers, or expansion slots for extraneous drives. They can purchase more computers at a reduced cost and their managers no longer own to share computer access in the office.Menu Design
For their menu design need, they own organize InDesign to live the most efficient program, which is fragment of the Adobe Creative Cloud. This program can now live selected a la carte from Adobe’s menu of programs and paid for on a month to month basis for under $20. This is much more palatable than paying $600 for the entire Adobe suite.
These are just a handful examples of how cloud computing has impacted their operations and ultimately saved time for their management team and staff. Ten seconds here, 5 minutes there, an hour tomorrow – it adds up to impactful chunks of time that can live better spent elsewhere. They own only scratched the surface as an industry – they will survey more and more options for cloud-based solutions to actual world restaurant problems. Although the solutions highlighted above create efficiency and save time, they carry out not serve guests and they don’t understand the know-how of hospitality. It is imperative that as restaurateurs they continue to create a positive environment, embrace innovation, and engage and train their employees in the know-how and skill of hospitality.
There are some things you will never own time for in the restaurant industry, regardless of cloud-based advancements. “Lunch”, for example, I own heard is a meal that takes dwelling in the middle of the day. For me, “lunch” is the sandwich that I consume in 30 seconds somewhere between 2pm and 6pm standing over a trash can in the back of the kitchen. There is no technology for that…
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] “PCI Compliance lead FAQ.” PCIComplianceGuide.Org. September, 2018. https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/faq/#1. [ii] Green, D. and Hanbury, M. (Aug. 22, 2018). “If you shopped at these 16 stores in the ultimate year, your data might own been stolen.” https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4 [iii] “What Is Cloud Computing?” IBM.com. September, 2018. https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-cloud-computing. [iv] Kossman, Sienna. ” 8 FAQs about EMV credit cards.” CreditCards.com. August 29, 2017. https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php. Tyler was born and raised in Portland, Maine and has lived in the Boston area since attending Boston University. After graduating from the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Mr. Titherington operated a handful of bars and restaurants in Boston. He has been with Grafton Group since October 2007.
By Christopher Muller
In fragment 1 of this analysis of the restaurant delivery system they looked at the owner/operator models which silent tender some measure of control over expense and quality. This is swiftly becoming an issue with the tower of the Ghost Kitchen where the ODP is an integral fragment of the equation. Here they present the larger challenges from the preeminent ODP control of the marketplace. It is advantageous to remember that most of the ODPs themselves are silent looking to find profits in what they do, a suggestion that those profits will necessity to arrive at the expense of the restaurant providers in one pass or another.5. The Aggregator or On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) – No Driver Fleet
If someone were to say, “Let me pick confidence of outright of your delivery problems for a wee cleave of your revenues” many restaurant operators, especially those enthusiastic to accept into the market with the least amount of upfront investment, would jump at the chance. Enter the On-Line Delivery Provider with a trade model built upon a brand appellation customer-facing APP, website or phone number and an gigantic amount of back office computing power to drive order volume.
At its core, to live successful the Aggregator needs to live a world-class matchmaker for food orders, with both a great customer database of users and a broad assortment of restaurant menus offered in major cities. like many of what MIT’s Bill Aulet calls an Innovation Driven Enterprise (IDE) the cost of customer acquisition is the key hurdle in entering this distribution channel. What it doesn’t necessity is its own fleet of employee delivery drivers. Capitalizing on the DIY gig economy, drivers are hired on a contractual basis, working as independent delivery agents with their own vehicles.
The barrier to lowering this lofty cost of entry has favored early market entrants and great well-funded digital innovators. Worldwide, the fastest growing ODP is Uber Eats, the natural extension of car service provider, Uber, with its existing gigantic data ground of users, an ever expanding fleet of drivers, and the understanding for a driver that delivering food with an APP-based pre-payment system is considerably faster and easier than dealing with human passengers.
The upside for restaurant companies using an ODP such as Uber Eats, from those as preeminent as McDonalds or as wee as the local pizzeria, is that there is no necessity to hire and train non-core employees. As touted by Uber Eats delivery service can originate almost immediately upon signing up. The downside, that has a potential for long term impact, is two-fold. The fee structure for traditionally low margin restaurants can live between 20-30% of a menu detail price, leaving tiny to cover remaining expenses. Worse though is that the restaurant gives away its brand and trade dress image to the company making the delivery to the front door. McDonalds hamburgers may live in the bag, but the appellation on the ordering APP and the uniform on the person handing it to the customer says Uber Eats.
6. The Consolidator – Bulk “Bus Stop”
As noted, the most expensive solitary piece of the delivery mystify is getting food from the restaurant to the front door, what is called “the ultimate mile.” One proven pass to minimize that expense is to own the customer meet the food delivery at a central drop-off spot (see: Amazon ). A start-up, Yun Ban Bao, in current York City is taking advantage of ethnic Chinese food deserts through direct targeted marketing using the preeminent Chinese online service provider, WeChat. By doing so it is creating a captive delivery market with the advantage of pre-ordering and payment.
Taking online requests for delivery on the next trade day, then consolidating orders using a bulk delivery model, Yun Ban Bao is lowering the cost of delivery while maintaining control with its own fleet of drivers. It advertises a data analytics service for smaller restaurants as well as being a revenue growth accelerator for restaurants in suburban locations which otherwise could not find current or broader market opportunities.
Using a pre-arranged group delivery network, often outside parks, office towers or apartment buildings, the system mirrors a bus route, not the more traditional taxi route model of one-on-one delivery. This too affords the network of restaurants a pass to lower operating costs by controlling the production process in advance.7. The Aggregator ODP – Owned Fleet
Some of the largest ODP players started in the delivery trade by controlling their own fleets of employee managed delivery drivers. The global leader, Just Eat, has used this model throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. But it too has worked directly with restaurants who own their own in-house deliver fleets to create a broad partnership. Just consume acts as the online ordering platform, but then allows the local branded company to live the kisser at the door.
The skill to present a standardized customer facing brand identity means that confidence may live established with the customer directly. While this can arrive at the risk of the restaurant losing its direct brand relationship, what Just consume has been able to master is the collection of a vast customer database of its users. It has created a relationship with many of its restaurant partners to assist them in finding ideal store locations, menu detail design and creative targeted pricing and promotions programs which would not otherwise live affordable or even available to smaller companies.
For these ODP companies, the costs for maintaining their own fleets or working as a hybrid with a local restaurant creates a higher operating expense, but these are often offset with a higher fee share from both the restaurant and the consumer. It too creates a competitive advantage by building a broader network of restaurants to pick from for the customer, which builds long term loyalty and habitual purchase behaviors.
8. The ODP Aggregator – dismal Kitchens
One of the greatest threats to the bricks and mortar restaurant delivery partners is the emerging concept of a dismal Kitchen. This is a space created by an OPD to facilitate the lowest cost per delivery mile from restaurant kitchen to the highest density of users. While this is similar to the Cloud Kitchen model, in this case the OPD establishes a cluster of wee dedicated but competitive restaurant kitchens in a solitary site. A dismal Kitchen is too similar to the trending food hall concept, but comes with no direct customer interaction—no walk-in guest visits these production facilities. In the UK this was pioneered by Deliveroo with its urban RooBox or Editions concepts. partner restaurants rent portable kitchen space from the delivery service and pay a larger percentage fee to cover the build-out costs for their space. Restaurants staff the kitchens at their own expense, as well.
Earlier this year, Grubhub invested $1 million in Green peak Group (see Ghost Kitchen in fragment I), a startup with nine virtual restaurants operating from a solitary kitchen. DoorDash is renting extra space from the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., and making it available to foodservice operators who want to create delivery-only options. In Los Angeles, Postmates leased a commissary kitchen space so its restaurants can gain current customers. And UberEATS is exploring the concept with Poke Café in Chicago — a virtual restaurant serving Hawaiian poke bowls.
“We can labor with existing restaurant partners to create delivery-only menus. (They would) appear as entirely current restaurants on the UberEats app,” Ambika Krishnamachar, UberEats product manager, said in an article on Mashable.
And again, while on its kisser this appears to live a positive break for independent or chain restaurants to lower costs or disaggregate the dine-in from the delivery production process, it is not cost free. In fact, as a logical progression would suggest, the OPD Deliveroo service has realized that the actual local restaurant in this mingle is not a necessity for success. Instead by using its own “innovation fund” it will to disappear directly into the restaurant trade itself, creating “from scratch” concepts by working with hero chefs and data mining information from its gigantic customer data base. 
As more of the OPDs notice to find profits to pass along to the aggressive investors who own funded rapid growth, they will inevitably notice to cleave out the middleman and provide meals themselves to increase margins. The kitchen that may actually disappear “dark” is the local one on the corner down the street in an independent restaurant.
This is undoubtedly both an radiant and a challenging time for the restaurant industry and the Online Delivery Providers who are feeding from it. Neither side seems to own figured out how to get the current consumer demand for off-site delivery labor to their complete advantage.
It is impossible to believe that any restaurant can survive if it gives away up to 30% of its top line revenues when the average net profit is less than 10%. No amount of increased volume in sales will get up for that. As Cameron Keng wrote in his column “Why Uber Eats Will consume You Into Bankruptcy” in March, 2018:
Based on the average profit margins above, every restaurant that engages Uber Eats will lose money on every order they take. The more orders coming from Uber Eats, the more money a restaurant would lose.
At the very time, while it is difficult to accept exact information, it appears that almost nonexistent of the largest On-Line Delivery Providers, in any of the described segments is actually showing a profit. Uber Eats is only profitable in 27 of its more than 100 urban markets, and while Deliveroo’s sales rose in 2017 to £277 million ($356 million), the company lost an astounding £185 million ($237 million). Yet Uber Eats is offering over $2 billion to purchase/merge with Deliveroo.
Finally, as Jonathan Maze wrote in his Bottom Line column in early October the restaurant industry is simply unprepared for what appears to live a tectonic shift in traditional restaurant segments, consumer behavior, labor utilization, actual Estate valuation and investor interest.
If delivery is the future of the restaurant business, the restaurant trade as it is currently constructed is in trouble.
The service is growing rapidly. But it’s increasingly replacing existing restaurant trade rather than taking trade away from grocers or other food retailers. 
As they famous in the beginning, it took the lodging industry almost 20 years to originate to get this kindly of tectonic change and it is nowhere near complete. A few very great hotel companies, through merger and acquisition, own consolidated enough power to start the hurry away from handing over outright of their pricing to the OTA’s. In economic terms, hotel companies are trying to disappear from being expense Takers to expense Setters.
At this early stage of the restaurant OPD’s domination of the delivery cycle, it is not limpid that any restaurant organization is great enough to rupture the fever, especially now that McDonald’s is partnering with Uber Eats. While it may appear that the On-line Delivery Provider is a restaurant’s partner, friend or even savior, it is nonexistent of those. In fact, in order to become profitable the OPD is looking to become a direct competitor.
What is confident is that few restaurant companies, and certainly no independent operations, can survive the next two decades letting third parties ordain what convenience and expense mean. In fact, this might live a advantageous time to accept out of the house and disappear visit your favorite local restaurant. Sacrificing some convenience for a powerful suffer is a advantageous value and that restaurant may not live around the next time you want to flaunt up.
PDF Version Available HereReferences  survey Bill Aulet, Disciplined Entrepreneurship,  The Financial, October 25, 2018, https://www.finchannel.com/~finchannel/business/76317-amazon-expands-grocery-delivery-and-pickup  Menqi Sun, WSJ, September 9, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-get-food-delivered-from-your-favorite-faraway-restaurant-1536516000  See https://www.just-eat.com/  James Cook, trade Insider, April 5, 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com/deliveroo-editions-pop-up-restaurants-roobox-2017-4  Tim York, The Packer, March 23, 2018, https://www.thepacker.com/article/rise-virtual-restaurant Sophie Witts, immense Hospitality, May 21, 2018, https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2018/05/21/Deliveroo-to-create-own-restaurant-brands-using-5m-fund#  Cameron Keng, Forbes, March 26, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2018/03/26/why-uber-eats-will-eat-you-into-bankruptcy/#778a3b0621f6  Ibid., DealBook, September 21, 2018  BBC News, October 1, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45707700  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant trade Online, October 17, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/delivery-could-force-changes-restaurant-business-model Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the drill of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: email@example.com
By Christopher Muller
The entire restaurant industry, from the simplest quick service joint to the most intricate fine dining jewel, is caught in a veritable frenzy of delivery. It may be, unfortunately, a very risky path to travel for the uninitiated restaurant operation, but delivery is driving the investment community to a fever pitch.  They own entered into the time of the restaurant On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) which mirrors in many ways the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) which has so disrupted the lodging industry.
In two complimentary BHR articles here, they present a notice at the 8 different models of restaurant delivery and how they are affecting both senior management and customer choices.
A Quick Lesson From Pricing History
For observers of the global Hospitality Industry this should forward up warning flags. In a galaxy far, far away, the Lodging industry managed revenues by using simple seasonal or credit pricing models (On-, Shoulder- and Off-Peak rates, or premiums for “A play With A View”) and sold some limited excess inventory through a network of independent Travel Agents (at an onerous 10% commission!).
Then, as the Internet expanded, and the travel market imploded after the 9-11 tragedy, a current and exciting model emerged – the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) acting as a third party aggregator appeared. Hotel companies willingly gave open access to outright of their unsold play inventory to the OTAs (Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, etc.) to sell directly at profound discounts, often between 25 and 30% off posted Rack Rates. Occupancies rose, but average Daily Rates plummeted, and profits quickly diminished. Hotels, relying on the conventional pricing models were caught competing “with themselves” and watched as formerly loyal customers switched their buying habits and loyalties to the OTA that gave them the best rate. Customers could scroll through pages of prices, often for the exact very play in the very hotel, searching for the cheapest rate. Hotel rooms, instead of being unique destinations became interchangeable commodities.
It has taken almost twenty years, but through brand consolidation and a total system-wide transformation into a Revenue Management based pricing model, the hotel trade has been transformed and the OTAs are being aggressively challenged for dominance. This should live a lesson for the restaurant owner/operator, the OTAs drove nothing but expense as a conclusion attribute, the ODPs are poised to carry out the very thing with both expense and convenience, unfortunately restaurants probably won’t own decades to recover.
Today’s Restaurant Delivery Frenzy –The tower of the ODP
Whether it’s the savvy but shape-shifting Millennial, the rapidly aging Baby Boomer, or the rising puerile digital endemic from the i-Generation, it seems that customers in outright shapes and sizes just want to own their meals brought to them at home, the office, or somewhere in between. Breaking the code of the delivery model—becoming the customer’s altenative of who serves up breakfast, lunch or dinner at home, labor or play—has emerged as the Holy Grail of the foodservice business. But it may live more like the other mythic dismal Ages metaphor, the Plague, potentially killing upwards of 30% of existing restaurant units.
So, what exactly is “delivery” today, how did it evolve into such a big, expanding component of the restaurant offering and what are the implications going forward for the industry? Just how carry out the On-Line Delivery Providers, the ODP, dominate the market?
We can originate by agreeing that delivery is a several and rapidly growing distribution channel, although it has been around in one form or another for a very long time. And while not exactly a current technology, nor necessarily a profitable one, the exploding market for the delivery of food is poised for an inevitable shudder out as it quickly approaches a ripen phase consolidation.
In late 2018 delivery is outright about instant gratification, not just for the diner but some would imply for the restaurant as well. At first glance, it outright feels so simple and easy. But like so much in restaurant management, there is more than one pass to accept something done, even the simplest of things.
Emerging Key Success Factors
Like so many emerging trade models in the on-line digital age, food delivery is developing its own metrics and factors to live considered and mastered. While silent evolving, among these now are:
Delivery of food, especially from a restaurant to a consumer, has become a multi-billion dollar segment of the industry. Some are predicting that it will overtake the traditional dine-in segment completely within a decade, although the complexity of getting it birthright and turning a profit while doing so, can silent live elusive even for the largest players. And of course, no one should forget that Amazon is over in the corner waiting to survey how things evolve in an online delivery world they basically invented.
Traditional and Controlled
As noted, the delivery of food from a restaurant directly to a local customer is not a current notion although traditionally the customer came to the restaurant and picked up or carried out their food order. Both delivery and carry-out were best suited to a restaurant with a simple, easily transported menu. Where a significant amount of the value of the meal was the dining suffer and table service, meals to disappear were often comprised of a package of leftovers or the long gone term “doggie bags.”
Here is a notice at four models with some measure of control for restaurant owners and operators over the property and profitability of their offerings.
1. The Independent – One Shot
As a service provider a restaurant may resolve that in order to meet the needs of its local customer ground it should provide a delivery option. At one time, only a few restaurants in an urban core would own delivery offers and these might typically live delicatessens or Chinese restaurants with few seats and a very strong focus on offering takeout options. The food can live cooked, boxed, wrapped and brought quickly to an office or apartment within a few blocks on foot or by bicycle.
This model is the most basic – a caller, the kitchen, and an employee bringing sizzling food directly to the customer. The restaurant controls the quality, manages the relationship with the diner and absorbs the plenary cost and outright the revenues. It typically comes with higher operating costs for labor (primarily from an in-house paid delivery driver fleet) and with premium rent from the necessity for an attractive customer-facing retail space. On the plus side, outright local customer information may live controlled by the restaurant and there are no fees to share with an outside third-party service.
But as the independent operator reaches for the brass ring on the delivery merry-go-round, they too necessity to live watchful not to lose their grip on their existing ride. A current distribution channel can live much more challenging that just taking a customer order. As famous by Jennifer Marston:
…restaurants are under pressure to adapt…More and more, that means altering the physical restaurant space so it can better accommodate this influx of current orders. Extra meals require extra bodies to cook and package the food, after all, not to mention extra space for third-party devices, and somewhere to do completed orders waiting to live picked up by a delivery driver.
An radiant twist on this solitary restaurant model of trying to find a pass to both control and expand the delivery system while maintaining some measure of profitability is one recently proposed in the restaurant trade magazine Restaurant trade Online:
He (CMO Nabeel Alamgir) explained that Bareburger is already striving to transform customers ordering through third parties’ apps into users of the chain’s own channels. Patrons of an Uber Eats or Postmates might live offered a 10% discount on their next order if it’s placed through Bareburger’s website. The chain can afford a discount that profound because the financial impact is silent less than the 20% or 30% discount an outside service typically charges.
Alamgir famous at the start of the panel’s presentation that a service started by restaurants for restaurants would own been an attractive alternative to some of the third-party giants. “Let’s get their own platform. Let’s get their own Grubhub,” he said.
2. The Cloud Kitchen – A Hub & Spoke System
It can live argued that today’s focused delivery channel began in earnest when Domino’s offered up a “30 Minute or Free” guarantee in 1973. In order to get this guarantee effective, the company created a hub and spoke system, in outcome building a string of franchised units in low cost locations. They were characterized by being geographically market-centered but with no necessity for a “High Street” customer facing address. This was directly in contrast to the overwhelming market advantage owned by Pizza Hut and its network of “Red Roof” plenary service pizzerias with their focus on dine-in and takeout service. But the competitive advantage that came from having units with no dine-in, limited customer carry-out, and which were serviced by a central commissary set in motion the shift away from the traditional eat-in model.
“The reality is, when the red roof restaurant was created, the notion of delivery wasn’t fragment of the concept,” said Pizza Hut chief executive David Gibbs, a 26-year veteran at parent company Yum Brands…”so in many cases, their trade has outgrown the capabilities of those restaurants…”
Now, four decades later Domino’s is the world leader in delivery, pizza or otherwise. It has done this by controlling the entire process or what is called the “full stack” in the delivery cycle. Now describing itself as an IT and logistics company that sells pizza, the backbone of the system is that they control the customer ordering process, the production property process, and through a vast franchise network the delivery process.
Next to come, using current GPS and AI technologies, Domino’s predicts that it will live able to get deliveries not just to a formal building address, but to anywhere a customer can live located by tracking their cellphone, even if that is a park bench or a blanket on the beach.
But Domino’s is not the only leader to live expanding its Cloud Kitchen delivery system. Already designed on a commissary production system model, giant swiftly casual leader, Panera Bread, tested delivery in Boston and then announced an expansion across the United States in early May, 2018 with a system based upon using its own delivery drivers.  Following the trend in October the largest chicken sandwich chain, Chick-fil-A, announced it was genesis to test the hub and spoke model of delivery in Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY.
Chick-fil-A is opening two current restaurants that don’t own something you commonly associate with the chain: seats.
Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based chicken sandwich chain, is testing catering and delivery locations in Nashville and Louisville, Ky., that will open this month.
The locations, according to an announcement on the chain’s website, own no dining rooms or drive thru’s and are designed to live hubs for catering and delivery orders. The restaurants will not accept cash, either.
The Cloud Kitchen model can live very effectual for restaurant companies with great enough scale, whether in a solitary city or across a region, to pick advantage of a solitary production kitchen site with remote staging kitchens. Ultimately the “full stack” control from order to front door can arrive from as few as three restaurants or as many as 3000. This too means that the foundation is laid for vast proprietary customer data collection and eventually data mining by the most forward-looking operators.
It can live argued that the Food Truck movement of the past decade is a subset of the Cloud Kitchen model. By most local health code laws, food trucks must own a “home kitchen” or commissary for their bulk production that meets outright health and sanitation code requirements. In many urban centers, to be successful a food truck company needs to own multiple trucks on the road acting as a distribution network. While this is too a classic Hub & Spoke model, it comes with similarities to a model in the next article, #6 The Consolidator, with distribution on a bus quit route and not a one-to-one ultimate mile taxi route.
3. The Ghost Kitchen
One further refinement of the Cloud Kitchen is the Ghost Kitchen. As delivery becomes more of a threat to the traditional dine-in restaurant option, some imply that this model, in fact, is the future of restaurants—basically a highly efficient hybrid of menu concepts, specialized production and logistics, and low labor cost with no eat-in customers.
In that way, this model is identified by three key components.
First, it removes the dining play or takeout from the restaurant completely, working out of a kitchen whose location is based on nearness to its core customer market yet in a typically low rent out-of-the-way space.
Second, it does not hire any paid employees to deliver, instead making utilize (through partnership or agreement) of the many third-party delivery companies like GrubHub, Postmates or Doordash.
Third, and possibly the most important, because of the flexibility of only needing an APP, website or traditional telephone ordering system, more than one cuisine can live produced in the very kitchen space. smooth to prepare, cook and deliver foods such as salads, sandwiches, Asian and other ethnic dishes, or gourmet pizza can outright live offered while cross-utilizing similar ingredients in creative menu offerings.
This can best live described as an “order only” restaurant. The most prominent or well-known of these Ghost Kitchens would live Green peak (see transition to #8 dismal Kitchen in fragment 2). While garnering a advantageous amount of press, the hero chef David Chang’s Maple, closed its operation in 2017 with some assets affecting to London and the delivery company Deliveroo. Chef Chang sold the physical kitchen space, Ando, to Uber Eats after ceasing operations in January, 2018. 
Because no customer ever sets foot through the front door the owners can do outright of their investment in kitchen paraphernalia and the technology of ordering. A Ghost Kitchen offers customers great menu choices, and just as its cousin the Cloud Kitchen, has the option to uphold track of its own proprietary customer data set through the direct ordering process. The tradeoff is that ownership sacrifices the customer interface at delivery of the Cloud Kitchen model. Operating and start-up costs are low and efficiency can live very high. The risk is that a great portion of the margin (sometimes up to 30%) from market-driven menu prices is taken by the delivery partnership, who too control the brand image when customers receive their orders off-site.4. Virtual Restaurants
Along with disrupting the taxi business, Uber Eats is about to globally disrupt the restaurant delivery business. As of October, 2018, Uber Eats had over 1600 “virtual restaurants” around the globe, with almost 1000 in its US partnership portfolio. The majority of these are not the Cloud or dismal Kitchen models mentioned above, but are existing restaurants with current brands that only exist through Uber Eats. This model, while charging very lofty fees to the restaurant, allows them to technically not compete with themselves in the home delivery marketplace. Uber Eats gains more menus to offer, and limits any necessity for an investment in a commissary space.
For SushiYaa, Kim says the virtual restaurant concept has been transformative. “Because this concept worked so well for us, they actually changed one of their restaurants from a sushi buffet concept to a regular restaurant with 8 different virtual restaurant brands inside it. The buffet sales weren’t doing so well and the delivery side was doing better, so they thought — let’s change it completely so we’re focused more on delivery.” From a sales standpoint, he says it’s “almost as if they own another restaurant without paying additional rent and labor, even though [Uber Eats] takes about 30 percent.”
One other nature of Virtual Kitchen involves the licensing of existing restaurant recipes and menu items in a curated virtual model. The start-up concept advantageous Uncle is using this to compete in the university meal fashion segment, offering a gain of pricing options for higher property prepared meals, delivered by their own delivery fleet using the bus quit common drop off method. This is a limited menu, limited target market, which benefits from a direct marketing approach, lower operating costs, and uses both a subscription and premium fee based pricing system. It is a Virtual Kitchen because there is no restaurant or other customer facing facility, it exists only online.
Part One – Conclusions
Delivery models, some traditional, some evolving, tender many opportunities for restaurant operators, especially those in the QSR and swiftly Casual segments, where accelerate and expense and convenience are the drivers of consumer choice.
The challenge in today’s delivery market is how owners and operators can maintain both lofty property and long-term profitability in the products/services they offer. For many meals, the time and distance from kitchen to table can live more than 30 minutes or multiple miles. property of presentation and flavor may quickly diminish. More importantly, where the medium annual profitability for restaurants across outright segments in the USA is considerably less than 10%, losing up to 30% of top line revenues is not a path to a successful future, (even if total sales increase by 20%).
PDF Version Available HereReferences  Heather Haddon and Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal online, October 24, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-are-craving-food-delivery-companies-1540375578?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=contextual&cx_artPos=4#cxrecs_s  Liam Proud, DealBook, NYTimes, September 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/business/dealbook/uber-eats-deliveroo.html  Jennifer Marston, The Spoon, July 31, 2018, https://thespoon.tech/delivery-is-making-these-restaurants-literally-redesign-the-way-they-do-business/  Peter Romeo, Restaurant trade Online, Oct. 19, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/3-big-changes-looming-restaurants  Karen Robinson-Jabos, Dallas News, Jan 6, 2016. https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2016/01/06/pizza-hut-is-ditching-the-iconic-red-roof-for-a-more-modern-look  Janelle Nanos, Boston Globe, May 7, 2018, https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/05/07/panera-expanding-its-delivery-service-cities/sZg4pO0yTw9cEdYpv514tL/story.html?event=event12  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant trade Online, Oct. 09, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/chick-fil-opening-new-delivery-focused-prototype  Neal Ungerleider, 01.20.17 swiftly Company https://www.fastcompany.com/3064075/hold-the-storefront-how-delivery-only-ghost-restaurants-are-changing-take-out  Closing announcement from Maple, May 8, 2017 https://maple.com/letter/  Whitney Filloon, Eater, October 24, 2018, www.eater.com/2018/10/24/18018334/uber-eats-virtual-restaurants  survey the online Audiopedia site https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKO5JFbqKTA  Ibid, Eater, October 24, 2018  survey https://www.gooduncle.com/ Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the drill of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Makarand Mody and Monica Gomez
For a long time, the hotel industry did not regard Airbnb a threat. Both the industry and Airbnb claimed they were serving different markets and had different underlying trade models. Over the years, as Airbnb become more successful and grown to being larger than the companies in the hotel industry, the rhetoric has changed. The hotel industry began to realize they had something to worry about.
A stage of denial was followed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) attacking Airbnb by sponsoring research to demonstrate its negative impacts on the economy and lobbying governments to impose taxes and regulations on homesharing. The association is arguing for a flush playing realm between homesharing and hotels (and rightly so). The next stage of this battle involves competition and integration. Not only are hotels looking to add homesharing-like attributes and experiences to their properties, to more effectively compete with Airbnb, but are too looking to tap into the platform-based trade model that underlies Airbnb’s success.
The Past: How does Airbnb impact the hotel industry?
Airbnb’s disruption of the hotel industry is significant, both existentially and economically. A recent study by Dogru, Mody, and Suess (2018) organize that a 1% growth in Airbnb supply across 10 key hotel markets in the U.S. between 2008 and 2017 caused hotel RevPAR to decease 0.02% across outright segments. While these numbers may not appear substantial at first, given that Airbnb supply grew by over 100% year-on-year over this ten year period means that the “real” dwindle in RevPAR was 2%, across hotel segments. Surprisingly, it was not just the economy but too the luxury hotel segment that was difficult hit by Airbnb supply increases, experiencing a 4% actual decline in RevPAR. The impact of Airbnb on ADR and occupancy was less severe. In Boston, RevPAR has decreased 2.5%, on average, over the ultimate ten years due to Airbnb supply increases. In 2016 alone, this 2.5% dwindle in RevPAR amounted to $5.8 million in revenue lost by hotels to Airbnb. Brands that felt the impact the most were those in the midscale and luxury segments, with a dwindle in RevPAR of 4.3% and 2.3% respectively. These supply increases are too fueling Airbnb taking an increasing share of the accommodation market pie. For example, in current York City, Airbnb comprised 9.7% of accommodation demand, equaling approximately 8,000 rooms per night in Q1 2016 (Lane & Woodworth, 2016). As a whole, Airbnb’s accommodated demand made up nearly 3% of outright traditional hotel demand in Q12016.
Buoyed by a growth rate of over 100% year on year, Airbnb now has over 4 million listings, with the U.S. being its largest market. The company too has significant play to grow in other countries, particularly emerging markets in Africa and India. The company has elope into some competition in China, with local rivals Tujia and Xiaozhu. Also, within the U.S., the advantageous advice is that Airbnb will not grow at 100% indefinitely and will eventually plateau as it reaches a saturation point (Ting, 2017a). In view of this, the company has turned to alternative strategies to continue to increase supply. It is now targeting property developers to revolve entire buildings into potential Airbnb units, through its newest hotel-like brand, Niido. Currently, there are two Airbnb branded Niido buildings in Nashville, TN and Orlando, FL with over 300 units each and Airbnb plans to own as many as 14 home-sharing properties by 2020 (Zaleski, 2018). Niido works by encouraging tenants to list their units on Airbnb, with Airbnb and Niido taking 25% of the revenue generated. Airbnb has too clearly evolved from its original premise of “targeting a different market” to attracting segments traditionally targeted by hotels, such as the leisure family market, trade travelers, and the upscale traveler, as evidenced through its latest offering, Airbnb Plus. These homes own been verified for quality, comfort, design, maintenance, and the amenities they offer. They too own smooth check in, premium internet access, and fully equipped kitchens. Their hosts are typically rated 4.8+, and disappear above and beyond for their guests. Through Airbnb Experiences, travelers can partake in everything from the powerful outdoors—hiking and surfing—to “hidden” concerts and food and wine tours. In addition to these products, Airbnb has too “created” its own segments of travelers: novelty and suffer seekers who are looking for unique and unconventional accommodation like yurts, treehouses, and boats, outright things that a traditional hotel company cannot provide.
The Present: Understanding what consumers want lies at the heart of the battle between hotels and Airbnb
There are larger societal trends that are impacting what consumers search travel, and they deem this has implications for the Airbnb and hotel dynamic. These trends include:
What carry out these trends mean? They require marketers and suffer designers to re-think what the travel suffer means to the customer. The notion of the suffer economy was created by Pine and Gilmore in 1998, and included four dimensions: escapism, education, entertainment, and esthetic. Leveraging one, or ideally, more of these dimensions creates memorable experiences for customers, which in revolve results in brand loyalty. This dynamic has been fairly well-established in the academic literature. However, Airbnb has changed the game for the suffer economy by emphasizing the sharing lifestyle and a sense of community, cleverly incorporating the above highlighted trends into its communications with customers. Because of Airbnb popularity and success, six current dimensions own been incorporated into the suffer economy, in the context of the travel experience: personalization, communitas, localness, hospitableness, serendipity, and ethical consumerism, as was presented by Mody in 2016.
Interestingly, in a recent study by Mody and colleagues (Mody, Suess, & Lehto, 2017), the researchers organize that Airbnb outperformed hotels on outright the dimensions of this new, expanded, accommodation experiencescape. Airbnb outperforms hotels in the personalization dimension because of its wide array of homes and locations, enabling genuine micro-segmentation and the “perfect match” between guest and host (Dolnicar, 2018). Moreover, no one home is similar to another, giving customers a unique suffer every time, enhancing the serendipity associated with an Airbnb stay. Airbnb elevates the sense of community that consumers seek, particularly when sharing space with other travelers and/or with the host, and allows consumers unparalleled access to “the local”—that café or cute tiny store that only locals know about. However, there are areas where hotels hold their own. For example, the pathways between these dimensions and memorability were just as strong for hotels as for Airbnb, emphasizing the necessity for hotels to engage customers by leveraging the “right” dimensions for the brand—dimensions that align with the brand’s mission, story, and personality.
One such dimension where hotels fulfill just as well as Airbnb is hospitableness, as confirmed in a study by Mody, Suess, and Lehto (2018). More “investor units” on the Airbnb platform means that the host is often not present when guests arrive to the home; moreover, outright communication is done electronically and with someone who “manages” the Airbnb unit and doesn’t necessarily own or live in it. In turn, hotels that leverage the human factor—the welcome of a friendly check-in agent, the helpfulness of the concierge, the warm greeting and genuine interaction between guest and food and beverage staff—create more positive emotions, which subsequently lead to higher brand loyalty. It is imperative that hotel brands really deem about the high-tech, lofty palpate suffer they are looking to provide, particularly in the golden age of brand proliferation that they live in.
From a non-experience standpoint, regulation is another bone of contention that merits immediate inspection. After years of denying that Airbnb was a competitor, in 2016, the American Hotel & Lodging Association first began an extensive lobbying effort for the imposition of taxes and regulations on Airbnb that flush the playing field. Over the ultimate yoke of years, the voices of the hotel lobby and other community groups own translated into governments taking some action, in the U.S. and abroad. However, in a study of regulation across 12 European and American cities, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) organize that governments own been fairly lenient towards short-term rentals with tiny to no (meaningful) regulations thus far. Moreover, regulations own been designed to alleviate the negative externalities of Airbnb on neighborhoods and communities rather than to flush the playing realm between Airbnb and hotels. Another challenge with regulating the peer to peer economy has been enforcement. In current York City, under the Multiple Dwelling law, it is illegal for a unit to live rented out for less than 30 days unless the owner is present in the unit at the time the guest is renting. However, it is silent practicable to find “entire homes” on Airbnb in current York City, even though, in principle, these typically include homes where the host is not present during the guest’s stay. Moreover, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) and Hajibaba and Dolnicar (2017) own organize that regulations mind to live very similar across cities, without accounting for the specificities of a particular location, which makes the process perfunctory and superficial. There too remains the danger of over-regulating Airbnb, given that there is silent very tiny erudition about effectual ways of regulating these innovations in the sharing economy, thus stifling their potential. Avoid over-regulation is critical, since Airbnb has significant welfare effects in the economy. In addition to stimulating travel to previously inaccessible markets, Airbnb too creates customer surplus (Farronato & Fradkin, 2018), an captious economic value measure. Moreover, other research has suggested that the average resident is not as negative towards the Airbnb as media rhetoric might imply (Mody, Suess, & Dogru, 2018). The necessity for a data-driven approach to Airbnb regulation remains paramount.
The Future: Competing with the sharing economy requires re-thinking the brand and the experience
While regulation is outside the control of the hotel industry, the brand and the customer suffer are not. They contend that these are the areas where hotel companies’ efforts necessity to live focused. Hotels necessity to re-think the brand promise, both for the parent brand as well as individual brands in the portfolio, and how it defines and shapes the guest experience. Recent research by Mody and Hanks (2018) indicates that while Airbnb leverages the authenticity of the travel experience—by enabling local experiences that provide a sense of self and sense of place, hotel brands that are perceived as being authentic—original, genuine, and sincere—can generate higher brand loyalty. Thus, while it’s difficult to compete with homesharing in terms of experiential authenticity, brand authenticity is a pillar on which hotels can build a strong foundation for loyal brand relationships. This is particularly captious because while Airbnb promotes experiential authenticity as a key understanding to utilize the brand, most travelers mind to sojourn with the brand for much more functional requirements, such as space and expense (Chen & Xie, 2017; Dogru & Pekin, 2017)
There is no one definition for or manifestation of an “authentic” brand. It’s a perception, a feeling that consumers own about what you stand for. An authentic brand has at its core the brand promise, an authentic value proposition that gives consumers a raison d’etre for associating with the brand. However, what an authentic brand does require is effectual storytelling. A brand is perceived to live authentic, if it has an authentic chronicle that feeds it. Brand stories can arrive from many sources: a brand’s values, personality, heritage, uniqueness, or its quest and purpose. What is captious is telling compelling and coherent stories across the brand’s various touchpoints to engage consumers at a visceral, emotional level. Taking off industry blinders, and looking for inspiration outside the hotel industry, is critical. Tom’s Shoes is an excellent specimen of leveraging its quest—One for One—in creating a compelling brand story. As another example, in an industry typically focused on the in-store, “physical” experience, Burberry has set the gold gauge for authentic, digitally-led and emotive storytelling, by looking within and leveraging over 150 years of history (Watch the YouTube Video here). In this vein, they deem that Fairfield Inn and Suites’ return to “where it outright began”—the Marriott family’s Fairfield Farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia— to craft the brand suffer of the future, from a design and communications standpoint, is an excellent specimen of leveraging authenticity and crafting a compelling brand swear (Ting, 2017b).
Another notion that lies at the heat of the brand swear is what they summon the experiential value proposition, or EVP. For the longest time, hotel marketers own relied on the guest play as the primary source of value for the guest. But deem about the ultimate time you traveled. Was it the prospect of the hotel play that got you excited about your trip? Or was it everything that the hotel enables you to carry out – the suffer outside the guestroom? From experiencing know-how and music in the lobby to its proximity to the must-do craft beer garden, hotel marketers must realize that it’s the complete package—what’s inside and outside the room—that customers utilize as cues for making their conclusion to pick an accommodation. They summon this proposition offered by the hotel—what’s inside and outside the guest room, enclosed within an suffer of hospitableness and a connection to humanity—its EVP. They present the EVP in pattern 1. The EVP mirrors the value paradigm of the modern traveler, something that must live reflected in the hotel brand’s sales, marketing and pricing and revenue management efforts. Thinking about a brand through the lens of the EVP paradigm has the power to re-orient the customer’s mindset from one of price-shopping to experience-shopping.
Figure 1. The Experiential Value Proposition Framework
How does a hotel marketer apply the EVP paradigm? Its application can open up many avenues. Hotels can start by rethinking the design of their primary digital channels, led by the website by adding more rich, vivid content that goes beyond the guestroom, in order to better integrate aspects of the wider hotel and local experience. The gauge Hotels serves as an excellent specimen (http://www.standardhotels.com/) Its website feels more like a local lifestyle and culture magazine than a digital media property “selling” a hotel room. The website’s moneyed images and stories draw the visitor into wanting to learn more about what the brand has to offer. While not every hotel can or would want to disappear the gauge way, since the brand has its own several voice and personality, there is a case to live made for going beyond static images of beds in guestrooms, which mind to blend into one indistinguishable all after a point, particularly on OTA websites. When was the ultimate time the image of a hotel bed excited you to want to sojourn there? Yet, when you notice at the imagery do out by most hotels, this is what marketers silent focus on.
Placing an emphasis on humanity and providing a sense of hospitableness can too enhance a brand’s EVP. Instead of technology replacing the human connection, the industry needs to notice for ways in which technology can actually free up employees so that they can expend their time crafting more personal and unique experiences, delighting guests instead of performing routine transactions. Moreover, if the human connection is what people search out when traveling with Airbnb, why is it that hotel confirmation emails silent accept sent out by automated systems that highlight the “facelessness” of the hotel entity. Why not utilize that as an break to truly welcome the guest; a simple palpate such as a welcome note from the GM with his/her photo, or that of an employee who is “assigned” as “your personal host” during your sojourn can disappear a long pass in emulating the human connection that the sharing economy enables.
The design of the hotel’s public spaces can live used to enhance the guest’s suffer of “communitas”. Ian Schrager would harmonize (Schaal, 2017). After all, with much of Airbnb’s supply being dominated by investor units that provide tiny or no host contact, what better an break for hotel brands to flaunt that they are the original connectors of human beings? Sheraton has been judicious in incorporating some of these communal elements into its brand makeover by introducing productivity tables and studio spaces and a day-time coffee bar that transforms into a bar at night. In terms of another design element, Airbnb’s attractiveness to family and group travelers can live offset by offering connecting and/or multiple rooms for one price, with other suffer value-adds thrown in (as with the Marriott family play connecting rooms package.
Finally, the role of the loyalty program cannot live emphasized enough. Loyalty programs must hurry beyond programmatic levels to being able to leverage data from guest history, convivial media, and other marketing data sources, powered by predictive analytics, to personalize and individualize the guest suffer of the brand. In an age of instant gratification, the loyalty program has to live gamified to unlock value-adds and tender creative bundling.
At the flush of the hotel company, beyond the individual brand, the hotel industry has started participating in the home sharing trade and is increasingly looking to integrate these platform trade models. For example, while Accor purchased Onefinestay, Marriott has teamed up with Hostmaker to create Tribute Portfolio Homes, a partnership that was recently expanded to four European cities (Fox, 2018). From an organic brand progress standpoint, Accor’s newest Jo & Joe brand mimics the sharing economy within the confines of a traditional hotel space. Other, more innovative and bold ways of integrating the sharing economy ethos into a hotel could include offering an “Airbnb floor”, an antithesis to the club floor, one that would not tender housekeeping and other hotel services and thus live offered at a lower price. With hotel brands becoming “branded marketplaces” for accommodation and not just hotel rooms, perhaps there is merit in listing hotel rooms on alternative accommodation platforms. HomeAway is already adding hotels to its platform through the Expedia Affiliate Network, while Airbnb is making a shove for bed-and-breakfasts and boutique hotels. Homesharing providers hope that by adding these options to their listings, they will fulfill their goal of being “for everyone”, while allowing independent and boutique hotels to reap the benefits of branded distribution at a lower cost than traditional OTA brands.
In sum, hotels must adopt a sales, marketing, and revenue management approach that is both strategic and tactical.
At a strategic level, hotel brands necessity to re-think their story, and how they portray and fulfill their authenticity and brand promises. At a tactical level, it’s the suffer and value beyond the guestroom that must live factored into what is presented to current and potential guests, what they are charged for it, and how it is leverage to create “memorable memories” that lead to higher net promotor scores and brand loyalty. They present a graphical summary of the past, present, and future of Airbnb vs. hotels in pattern 2.
Figure 2. Summarizing the past, present and future of Airbnb vs. hotels
PDF Version Available HereReferences Chen, Y., & Xie, K. (2017). Consumer valuation of Airbnb listings: a hedonic pricing approach. International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2405–2424. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2016-0606 Dogru, T., Mody, M., & Suess, C. (2018). Adding evidence to the debate: Quantifying Airbnb’s disruptive impact on ten key hotel markets. Dogru, T., & Pekin, O. (2017). What carry out guests value most in Airbnb accommodations? An application of the hedonic pricing approach. Boston Hospitality Review. Dolnicar, S. (2018). Unique Features of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 1–14). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Farronato, C., & Fradkin, A. (2018). The Welfare Effects of Peer Entry in the Accommodation Market: The Case of Airbnb. Fox, J. (2018). Marriott expands homesharing program in Europe. Hotel Management. Retrieved from https://www.hotelmanagement.net/own/marriott-expands-homesharing-program-to-3-european-cities Hajibaba, H., & Dolnicar, S. (2017). Regulatory Reactions Around the World. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 120–136). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Lane, J., & Woodworth, M. (2016). The Sharing Economy Checks In: An Analysis of Airbnb in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.cbrehotels.com/EN/Research/Pages/An-Analysis-of-Airbnb-in-the-United-States.aspx Mody, M. A., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2017). The accommodation experiencescape: a comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb. International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2377–2404. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2016-0501 Mody, M., & Hanks, L. (2018). Parallel pathways to brand loyalty: Mapping the consequences of authentic consumption experiences for hotels and Airbnb. Mody, M., Suess, C., & Dogru, T. (2018). Not in my backyard? Is the anti-Airbnb discourse truly warranted? Annals of Tourism Research. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2018.05.004 Mody, M., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2018). Going back to its roots : Can hospitableness provide hotels competitive advantage over the sharing economy ? International Journal of Hospitality Management. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2018.05.017 Nieuwland, S., & van Melik, R. (2018). Regulating Airbnb: how cities deal with perceived negative externalities of short-term rentals. Current Issues in Tourism, 0(0), 1–15. http://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2018.1504899 Schaal, D. (2017). Ian Schrager Calls Out Hotel Industry’s Airbnb Strategy as Misguided. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/12/08/ian-schrager-calls-out-hotel-industrys-airbnb-strategy-as-misguided/ Ting, D. (2017a). Airbnb Growth chronicle Has a Plot Twist — A Saturation Point. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/11/15/airbnb-growth-story-has-a-plot-twist-a-saturation-point/ Ting, D. (2017b). Marriott and altenative pick Varied Approaches to Reviving Classic Midscale Brands. Skift. Zaleski, O. (2018). Airbnb and Niido to Open as Many as 14 Home-Sharing Apartment Complexes by 2020. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-14/airbnb-and-niido-to-open-as-many-as-14-home-sharing-apartment-complexes-by-2020 Makarand Mody, Ph.D. has a varied industry background. He has worked with Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Mumbai as a Trainer and as a property Analyst with India’s erstwhile premier airline, Kingfisher Airlines. His most recent experience has been in the market research industry, where he worked as a qualitative research specialist with India’s leading provider of market research and insights, IMRB International. Makarand’s research is based on different aspects of marketing and consumer conduct within the hospitality and tourism industries. He is published in leading journals in the field, including the International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, Tourism Analysis and the International Journal of Tourism Anthropology. His labor involves the extensive utilize of inter and cross-disciplinary perspectives to understand hospitality and tourism phenomena. Makarand too serves as reviewer for several leading journals in the field. In tumble 2015, he joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (SHA). He received his Ph.D. in Hospitality Management from Purdue University, and too holds a Master’s degree from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Monica Gomez is a graduate student in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management from the University of Florida and has held previous internship positions in hotel operations and event management. She is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International Association and is interested in hotel revenue management.
By Christian E. Hardigree, J.D.
Today’s hospitality conversations are rife with dialogue about sustainability, initiatives ranging from linen reuse programs, to donating toiletries, to auto dimming lights, to food sourcing, etc. Hospitality practitioners’ quest to define the ROI (return on investment) is often at foiled by a concept that includes intangible metrics and differing definitions of what “sustainability” really means. The oft-used “Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet, Profit” embodies the commonly agreed upon themes of sustainability, which include ensuring a hardy environment, improving economic prosperity, and implementing convivial justice initiatives that ensure the well-being and property of life for current and future generations.
Companies struggle to determine what role they play in advancing and addressing convivial and global challenges while enhancing their brand, ensuring consumer loyalty, and expanding their market share. Many companies evaluate and refine their efforts for engaged brand activism, particularly through marketing, which they equilibrium with efforts to implement higher standards for suppliers, ameliorate equality among workers, and uphold pricing competitive – falling in line with the generic categories of most corporate convivial responsibility efforts: 1) environmental efforts; 2) philanthropy; 3) ethical labor practices; and 4) volunteering.The “Arms Race” of Corporate convivial Responsibility Reporting
For many companies, particularly in hospitality, corporate convivial responsibility (CSR) reporting has emerged as a key trade approach to articulate the benefits to the company’s stakeholders through strategic initiatives. According to the Governance and Accountability Institute, sustainability reporting by S&P 500 companies increased from 19% in 2011 to 85% in 2017.[i]
Companies now cherish the marketing value of CSR reporting, particularly as a mechanism to attract and retain customers. Increased societal pressure for greater regulation and transparency, coupled with research showing that consumers demonstrate a preference toward companies they perceive are more responsible, own resulted in a current “arms race” with companies are making operational decisions that are more tightly linked to ethical values, environmental stewardship, and respect for the human equity. They want to ensure those efforts are known to their stockholders, investors, and the public.
While many CSR disclosures are currently willful in the United States, there are increasing requirements mandated by various statutes. Such mandates, commonplace in the European Union, are increasingly required in the United States. In particular, there is growing market demand for a more accountable and transparent corporate supply chain. Current statutory requirements gain from the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases rule for great emitters of greenhouse gases to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 to ensure that great retailers and manufacturers provide consumers with information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.[ii] The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which impacted virtually every fragment of the US financial services industry too includes provisions for confident reporting on their exercise of due diligence in the source and chain of custody of confident minerals that are associated with armed conflicts in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, minerals that are associated with the manufacturing of devices such as cell phones, computers, and digital cameras.[iii] Most recently, the European Union’s sweeping Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into outcome May 25, 2018. Intended to give EU citizens greater control of their own, widely-define personal data, GDPR has far reaching implications for any company doing trade with citizens of the EU. For the hospitality industry, current processes are required to live implemented to protect things like IP addresses and cookie data, similar to the protections currently provided to ensure privacy for addresses and convivial security numbers. In the three months prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that 79% of companies were unprepared.[iv] The mandatory disclosure landscape is changing fast, and hospitality is challenged to uphold up.Not outright Changes Are Mandated
As consumers are holding corporations accountable for effecting convivial change in their trade practices and beliefs, ultimately impacting the bottom line, companies refine their sustainability initiatives as a result of public advocacy, stockholder proposals, or consumer feedback. A 2017 study by Cone Communications illustrated some key elements, including:[v]
To illustrate, on February 6, 2018, in a commitment associated with improved packaging in betterment of the planet, Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would phase out the utilize of polystyrene foam cups by 2020 and supersede them with double-walled paper cups, estimated to own a net impact of eliminating over a billion cups annually from the consume stream.[vi] This was on the heels of McDonald’s announcing in January that it would phase out the utilize of foam packaging in outright global markets by the immediate of 2018.[vii] Straws and stirrers get up over 7% of plastic organize in the environment, an issue initially addressed (and banished) by George McKerrow, co-founder of the restaurant chain Ted’s Montana Grill, that has gained widespread attention as consumers are reminded that they utilize 500 million straws a day, a wont that widely impacts wildlife and the oceans.[viii] Just this month, Bon Appétit announced they were banning plastic straws from their over 1000 café locations in 33 states.[ix] As cities like Miami and Malibu own banned solitary utilize straws (and in Malibu, banned outright solitary utilize plastic utensils and stirrers), they find some municipalities are forcing hospitality businesses to incorporate sustainable practices.Avoid Greenwashing
As hospitality companies search to out-promote each other, they would live well-advised to avoid greenwashing – today’s version of “snake oil”, more akin to “eco-fraud” – when a company holds itself out as more environmentally friendly than it actually is in practice. Clearly consumer preferences demonstrate an increasing trend for purchasing products and services that are sustainable – for their impact on the environment, in how they are manufactured, and/or how the workers are treated. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of “greener” products increased by 73%.[x] In order to capitalize on this trend, many brands are trying to competitively out-do each other with their eco-credentials – exaggerating their claims, or at times, completely manufacturing them. In legalese, greenwashing may amount to deceptive marketing, misrepresentation, and/or fraud.
In the “sins” of greenwashing, hospitality entities would live judicious to avoid vague, over-reaching, or unverifiable assertions. Hotels increasingly embolden their guests to embrace green practices – shut off lights, reuse towels, avoid changing the linen as frequently, etc. Research by faculty at Washington condition University organize that a perceived ulterior motive of a hotels’ environmental claims evoked consumer skepticism, which negatively influenced consumer’s purpose to participate in the linen reuse program, as well as negatively effecting the consumers’ purpose to revisit the hotel.[xi] At a time when as many as 79% of travelers harmonize that eco-friendly practices is an captious factor in their altenative of lodging, companies risk losing valuable iterate customers if their motives are self-serving. As a result, to avoid the negative aspects, hoteliers are cautioned to install comprehensive green programs, train their staff to implement practices, and ensure their green claims are accurate and not overreaching, perhaps through third party certification.For Goodness Sakes, Don’t Greenwash the Food
Greenwashing is of particular concern in today’s environment, particularly in the context of food. For example, in 2016, organic food sales jumped 8.4%, to over $43 billion, while overall food sales only increased 0.6%.[xii] Similarly, organic non-food items jumped 88% to $3.9 billion in sales. As restaurants and hotels are asked questions by their customers about the source of their products, facilities necessity to live aware of the claims they are making to ensure they are not overreaching or deceptive, as greenwashing has become the “flavor of the month” in consumer class litigation. Claims challenging products advertised as “natural” are the most frequent suits encountered.
While no definition of “natural” is provided by the FDA, food products in the US labeled as “natural” get up roughly $40 billion in sales, and are growing by an average of 6.6% annually. According to Food Navigator, there were 20 food labeling class actions pending in federal court in 2008 – a number that rose to 425 by 2016. Cases that specifically focus on “natural” claims increased by 22% from 2016 to 2017, notably with suits against generic Mills’ Nature Valley bars and Dr. Pepper Snapple’s Mott’s Apple Sauce. Of particular note is that three quarters of federal court food class actions are in four states: California (36%), current York (22%), Florida (12%), and Illinois (7%).[xiii] Many of the suits are rooted in claims that items such as lofty fructose corn syrup, lofty maltose corn syrup, soy flour, soy lecithin, and GMA yellow corn flour, as well as synthetically derived vitamins, are not “natural”, and thus such claims are fraudulent.[xiv] Overreaching statements can live a source of eroding consumer confidence, destroying customer loyalty, and/or litigation.Conclusion
Sustainability initiatives will continue to live an imperative fragment of a hospitality entities’ brand, evaluated by outright stakeholders. In order to ensure consumer confidence, it is imperative that those initiatives live authentic in their implementation, supported by third party verification, and in alignment with the legal requirements of the jurisdiction. In doing so, their efforts in supporting the three E’s – environment, economic, and equity – their industry will collectively tower in to ameliorate the future for ourselves and for future generations.
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.ga-institute.com/press-releases/article/flash-report-85-of-sp-500-indexR-companies-publish-sustainability-reports-in-2017.html [ii] 40 CFR fragment 9; and California Civil Code §1714.43 [iii] https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/pdf/PLAW-111publ203.pdf [iv] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/03/27/u-s-businesses-cant-hide-from-gdpr/#33b76ef052c8 [v] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2017-csr-study [vi] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://news.dunkindonuts.com/news/dunkin-donuts-to-eliminate-foam-cups-worldwide-in-2020 [vii] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2018/01/10/mcdonalds-phasing-out-foam-packaging-this-year.html [viii] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/megykarydes/2018/05/23/the-future-of-take-out-exhibit-how-we-can-eliminate-packaging-waste/#37a1213c7580 [ix] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/05/31/615580695/last-straw-for-plastic-straws-cities-restaurants-move-to-toss-these-sippers [x] Retrieved April 6, 2018 form http://sinsofgreenwashing.com/index5349.pdf [xi] Rahman, I., Park, J., & Geng-qing Chi, C. (2015). “Consequences of “greenwashing”: Consumers’ reactions to hotels’ green initiatives”, International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 Issue: 6, pp.1054-1081, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2014-0202 [xii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/9394-u-s-organic-food-sales-jump-more-than-8 [xiii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/uploads/sites/1/TheFoodCourtPaper_Pages.pdf [xiv] Examples include Janney et al. v. generic Mills, 3:12-cv-03919, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Rojas v. generic Mills, Inc. 3:12-cv-05099, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Bohac v. generic Mills, Inc., 3:12-cv-05280, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Van Atta v. generic Mills, 1:12-cv-02815, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
As Founding Director and Professor of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw condition University, Dr. Hardigree oversees the Bachelor of Science degree program which houses over 260 majors and services over 1500 students enrolled in classes each semester. Addressing both “sustainability on the plate” as well as “sustainability beyond the plate” in terms of water, consume and energy efficiencies, this highly relevant management program provides a competitive advantage and discernible point of differentiation as the epicenter for teaching, research and best practices in sustainable culinary and hospitality management. The flexibility of the program’s curriculum allows students to emphasize careers in beverage management, event planning, specialized cuisines, and the hotel industry. Christian conducts research and presents nationally at industry conferences as related to her areas of expertise, including food safety, risk management, sustainability, workplace violence and employment/management issues. She is a national expert on bed bug litigation, speaking across the country on the subject. After obtaining her B.S., cum laude, from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV, Christian obtained her Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, focusing on employment discrimination, arbitration/mediation, and labor management relations. She is of counsel with the law firm of Parnell & Associates. Christian serves on a variety of committees and advisory boards, including the ConServe Sustainability Advisory Council for the National Restaurant Association, the KSU Brian Jordan seat for Excellence and Professional progress at LakePoint Sporting Community, and formerly on the Women in Lodging Advisory Council for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
By Martin Zsarnoczky
Digitalization is among the most captious changes in their rapidly evolving world. Digital innovations and technological novelties are engines of progress and flaunt their impact everywhere, especially in the realm of manufacturing, ICT and other service industries. Given the fact that tourism is based on the cooperation between a wide gain of services and products, the benefits of the digital revolution in the sector are quite obvious.
Our animated environment is a combination of online and offline spaces that co-exist together, defining their everyday habitat. In tourism, the special utilize of spaces has always been a unique feature of the industry, and as of today, the spaces of the digital world own become fragment of it. The rapid progress of the digital world brings novel and innovative solutions into the digital tourism spaces by the day. Peer-to-peer communication is outstandingly captious in the technological environment of tourism. This nature of communication, together with the spreading of smart devices own revolutionized scheduling, administration and finances, and too opened current horizons for the introduction of innovative sales and marketing technologies in the all tourism industry. As a result of the digital revolution, the international progress trends in tourism own opened the pass for novel solutions like cloud-based booking sites or information and suffer sharing via digital platforms.
In line with the current trends of travelling, there is a dynamically growing demand for special tailor-made offers beyond mass tourism, as conscious consumers hope personalized solutions that respond their individual needs. As of today, the vast majority of tourism market stakeholders own access to minute information on their consumers and can closely supervene and track consumer conduct and its changes. These novel systems of personalized products and services are available thanks to various springy follow-up techniques like CRM client databases. The cloud-based CRM client database systems – ones that create offers by analyzing previous sales records and demographic data – own evolved rapidly. As of today, they can dissect huge datasets by immense data analysis and scaling methods in a cost effectual and anonymous way, searching for significant event points. Although immense data research is based on working with great samples, it is the most efficient fashion to disclose individual personal preferences (Stadler, 2015).How did sharing economy pave the pass to personalized tourism services?
In previous decades, the results of digital progress own opened the door for the actual life implementation of shared economy theories. It was almost ten years ago that Chris Anderson (2009) introduced his pricing theory in digitalization, basically suggesting giving away products for free, based on the principle of shared goods and resources. Although at the time Anderson’s theory was considered as a technological solution, the principle of digital sharing own induced solemn convivial changes as well. One of the most captious positive messages of shared economy is the maximum utilize of resource capacities for the purpose of convivial well-being (Sundararajan, 2014). convivial well-being is too a key priority in tourism, because a well-managed tourism industry brings profit not only for the trade operators but too for the local communities.
In the sharing economy model, the stakeholders – who are too consumers at the very time – tender their excess capacities for collective utilize in order to maximize the exploitation of their goods and resources. These economic processes consist of so-called hybrid transactions with maximum capacity utilize (Hyde, 2007), for both commercial and convivial purposes. An captious drive in the evolution of collaborative consumption theory was the realization of the fact that using or possessing the very consumer goods can result in different advantages. The core ingredient of the model is that sellers tender their excess capacities, while the consumers in necessity utilize them in return for payment. In the sharing economy (based on the aforementioned primary idea), more and more industrial, commercial and service providers tender innovative solutions.
The principle of sharing is not a current notion in the tourism industry. In the case of some accommodation services, seasonal expense reduction has always been a practice. Hostels and youth hotels own always been favorite – these facilities are often used as dormitories throughout the academic year and lease their rooms for backpackers in the summer season, when the students are away. Of course, these seasonal options would not own been enough for creating a current market sector; the dawn of the current trade era was marked with the emergence of wide platform solutions like Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, etc.
In the strategy of digital platform tourism businesses, consumers are considered as partners in the trade activities. This shared operation can live best defined as a postmodern trade model. Although the intricate notion of postmodernism is quite difficult to describe, its main characteristics – shared participation and the subjective zeal of each contributor – can lead closer to understand the phenomenon. It is limpid that postmodernism will change some processes of the classic market laws in the near future. While “shared experience” has become a key marketing term for selling goods and services, specialized offers inevitably lead to a market fragmentation that will result in the fragmentation of users as well. In a disintegrated market, consumers will behave differently in fragmented times and spaces, paving the pass for personalized services and tailor-made solutions. At the very time, individualism has become the key characteristics of the younger generations (McCrindle et al., 2009); a phenomenon that will own to live taken into account whilst creating trade strategies. Due to the emergence of individualism, more and more puerile people are trying to create something unique that can serve the long-term benefit of the community. Their drive for creating businesses based on their own ideas and suffer accounts for the increasing popularity of start-up businesses. These aspects of uniqueness, community thinking and experience-centered approach hold a huge break for the future of the tourism industry.The Future: AI, VR/AR, Blockchain
While looking through their photos, tourists usually own a positive suffer remembering their travels, experiences and the destination they had visited. Some specialized digital technologies can tender this assumed positive suffer in a searchable and changeable form. With regards to actual life objects, their connections and relations, there is only a limited amount of information available in a format that could live handled by computers. The main problem is that computers necessity sufficient coding solutions created by ersatz intelligence to live able to store, handle and organize information. The methods of coding for tourism suffer purposes influence the speed, efficiency and knowledge/experience-based computing abilities of today’s computers.
According to the forecasts of product progress strategies in various industries, almost outright of their everyday objects and paraphernalia will live accessible through the internet in the future. As a result, outright devices that are capable of two-way communication will belong in the framework of IoT (Internet of Things). The devices of the future, unlike the devices of today, will communicate in a bidirectional way, where robust safe data handling, personalized differentiation and sufficient conclusion management will live fragment of the user experience. As a result of the continuous data collection during the utilize of these devices, outright relevant information will eventually immediate up in a final centralized system at the top of the dataset.
Previously, tourism used to live an industry based on personal relations and connections, where the trends – and therefore travelers’ decisions – were set out by a limited number of great international tourism and travel enterprises. As a result of the digital revolution, the transparency of “hidden markets” had been revealed and numerous other factors own to live taken into account (Fig.1.).
The early progress of ICT resulted not only in the better capacity utilization of airlines, but too on the compatibility of the prices; and soon, the emergence of the discount airlines had led to the innovation of the all industry and forced out efficiency in outright segments. The novel travel recommendation sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, etc.) were created with the aim to get travelers’ decisions easier; however at the very time, a lot of tourism service providers who could not uphold up with the current challenges were forced out of the market. Although the current trends like travel packages (including car rental) or taking into account the reviews of previous travelers (Lonely Planet) were from many aspects opposite to the former trade models, the rapidly increasing popularity of online offers required quick and user-friendly tourism product progress from the industry.
With the arrival of Google, which was able to rank the sites’ appearance in internet searches, a fierce competition begun between blogs, tourism recommendation sites and price-comparing OTA systems. The bidirectional communication started with the utilize of cookies 2.0; since then, consumers own become an integral fragment of the trade models, because businesses who search to live successful in the long run, necessity to know their customers’ demands in detail. The progress of digital services require the identification of the user, information on their individual preferences and a decision-based calibration (by AI). In AI-based conclusion making solutions, the former decisive factors are replaced by a virtual personal assistant, which is able to map the consumer’s preferences based on their digital footprint, and create an optimal personalized tender from the available immense data systems (Fig. 2.)
The technological progress cannot live stopped; however, with sufficient flexibility and openness, tourism businesses can prepare for the upcoming challenges. In the tourism of the future, the current consumers will bring forth current priorities and current demands. As a revolutionary approach, the members of the IoP (Internet of People) community tender their free time in order to gain joint IT/industrial goals, where frameworks are created in line with the preferences of other people, for a yet not specified consumer segment (Miranda et al., 2015). Beyond innovative technologies, all current spaces own opened in tourism, completely different from the habitual destinations. University researchers own been carried out to study the possibilities of online tourism spaces and their opportunities for the tourism and hospitality industry. In virtual reality, with a special “glass”, the user can notice into an optional tourism space, from which the actual world is completely shut out. The Augmented reality is a different technological solution, where digital elements are projected into a actual life space.
The newest technological developments and the innovation in the utilize of animated spaces are outright connected to the alternative payment options that can live used in tourism as well. The emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to the creation of a novel payment system. The Blockchain payment system is a shared database, which records a continuously growing list of data blocks, preventing any counterfeiting or alteration of the data. One conceal consist of a list of transactions and the results of computations made by the stored programs. For example, if a customer buys some cryptocurrency or any other kindly of currency, and then transfers it to anywhere in the world to another partner, who exchanges it instantly, both partners can avoid any loss caused by exchange rate fluctuations; furthermore, the all transaction takes only minutes instead of the habitual yoke of trade days. This solution can intend a revolutionary innovative payment option for everyone in the tourism industry.
The applicability of the blockchain system is independent from currency rates. In the case of cryptocurrencies, it is not the exchange rate that really matters – instead, the virtuous value of the currency lies in the safety of the blockchain technology and in the authentic, transparent, unalterable and decentralized recording system (Pilkington, 2016). This payment system offers a current flush of encryption safety and intervention-free operation, and the data handled in the system cannot live modified in any way. Another huge benefit of the system is that the transactions are realized without any intermediate agents, thus eliminating any additional transaction costs. By the time of the “maturity” of blockchain payment solutions, today’s great service intermediators like Airbnb, Booking.com, Agora, etc. are foreseen to lose some of their market positions, as consumers and service providers will probably deal with their transactions directly.Will ersatz Food live the next meal on the table?
With the worldwide population boom, the demand for food is too increasing. To fullfil this growing necessity for food, the extension of agricultural areas is required for food material production, and at the very time, sufficient land management is needed for animal husbandry. The greatest challenge of sustainable agriculture lies in the fact that the agricultural areas can only live further expanded at the expense of forested lands. In addition, the current changes in the environment has too led to the dwindle of fishing possibilities, another vicissitude in the availability of food materials.
The decreasing resources of food materials will coerce the food production industry to re-think their former concepts. current technologies like 3D food printers can even bring the swiftly food era to an end. The novel inventions of food production and food engineering – like artificially flavored drinks, chocolates and dairy products – own been on the market of more than a decade now, and so far, they own not had a negative outcome on the common smack of consumers.
In the concept of 3D food printing, popular sweets and delicacies are synthesized by a layered printing technology, using the various pre-mixed powders, flavorings, fixers and oils that are stored in the “toners” of the printer. These ersatz foods are already available: specialized franchise restaurants like the Food Ink chain tender a wide variety of printed meals for consumers who are inquisitive about the future of gastronomy. It is too likely that with the next generation of the food printers, they will live able to calibrate the nutritional values and energy content of the meals.
The 3D food printing technology is not only captious for HoReCa businesses, but holds a powerful break for the health industry, too, especially in the realm of special diets and medication. Using 3D food printing for these purposes can increase cost-effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, thus supporting the food industry and hospitality and tourism businesses alike.
The option of personalized 3D food printing is just one of the innovative technological solutions in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Henn-na Hotel  in Huis Ten Bosch, Japan is the first hotel in the world, where customers are served exclusively by robots. At another Asian location in China, there are 24/7 cafés that supervene the no-staff trade model of Amazon Go. As for the restaurant market, the Chinese food brand Wufangzhai has recently opened the first unmanned restaurant in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province.
The question is: how long will it pick until food production and consumption will necessity no human resources at all?Summary
For innovative enterprises, the efficiency of interactivity is of key importance for the success of their business. The rapid progress of ICT solutions has brought immense changes in the tourism industry. Previously, consumers’ conclusion making was mainly affected by the industrial environment. The era of digital tourism spaces – preceded by theme parks and thematic destinations – started with the emergence of information websites; however, this targeted information flow used to live one-directional with narrow choices. In today’s digital era, the current generation of commercial activities pick dwelling in VR or AR spaces, and the instant analysis of the customer’s reactions and conduct uphold the enhancement of their buying willingness. The traditional conclusion making processes are gradually being replaced with personalized offers, further increasing the importance of AI.
With the progress of shared economy, greater emphasis is do on convivial well-being, as user suffer slowly becomes more captious than ownership. This current approach is too expressed in novel forms of payment, which can seriously dwindle the profits of intermediate activities. The current trends carry out not look to live problematic in the tourism industry, mostly because in this sector, the exact costs and incomes are not clearly visible yet. On the other hand, the property progress of the 3D printing technology holds a powerful break for the tourism and hospitality sector. The progress of digitalization has finally reached a flush where it can truly uphold the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of industrial food production, paving the pass to the future of tourism and hospitality businesses.
PDF Version Available HereReferences Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Hyperion, current York. Hyde, L. (2007). The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. current York: Random House Inc. McCrindle, M. – Wolfinger, E. (2009). The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations, University of current South Wales Press, Sidney. pp. 1-22. Miranda, J. – Mäkitalo, N. – Garcia-Alonso, J. – Beroccal, J. – Mikkonen, T. – Canal, C. – Murillo, M. J. (2015) From the Internet of Things to the Internet of People. IEEE Internet Computing, 19 (2): 40-47. Stadler, G. (2015). immense data – tömeges adatelemzés gyorsan. HTE Medianet 2015, Kecskemét. LLX. pp. 44-48 Pilkington, M. (2016). Blockchain technology: priciples and applications. Research Handbook on Digital Transformation. Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA. pp. 225-253. Sundararajan, A. (2014). Peer-to-Peer Businesses and the Sharing (Collaborative) Economy: Overview, Economic Effects and Regulatory Issues. NYU seat for Urban Science and Progress, current York. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017a). How does ersatz Intelligence influence the Tourism Industry? Vadyba Journal of Management 31 (2): 85-90. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017b). The future of sustainable bucolic tourism development: the impacts of climate change. Annals of the Polish Association of Agricultural and Agribusiness Economists. XIX. (3): 337-344. Martin Zsarnoczky, Ph.D. has several years of suffer in the huge tourism and hospitality industry. He has worked with P&O Princess Cruises, Intercontinental and Marriott Hotels in Budapest. Between 2005 and 2015, he was the founder, developer and CEO of Casa de la Musica Hostel and Event’s Hall, one of the largest multifunctional private tourism & hospitality businesses in Budapest downtown. He holds a BSc degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the Budapest trade School, and graduated at MSc/Med flush as Teacher of Economics in Tourism and Hospitality. During his studies, he had spent short a term mobility period at Utwente University in the Netherlands, and later earned his Ph.D. in Regional Sciences at Szent Istvan University. At the moment, he is silent very active as an entrepreneur and is actively involved in community development. He is too a board member of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and works as a mentor for the puerile Entrepreneurs Association Hungary. With regards to his academic career, he is a plenary time helper professor at the Institute of Marketing and Media at the Tourism Department of Corvinus University of Budapest.
By Leora Lanz and Namrata Sridhar
In the Winter 2018 edition of the Boston Hospitality Review, they brought forth suggestions for the 10 Best Practices for Organic Visibility —ways to ameliorate search results through organic search, or carry out not cost the company a monetary investment. Rather, these rankings were based on elements such as keywords, location, and mobile friendliness. Suggestions for improving a company’s organic search include utilization of backlinks, hyperlinks between websites, and content enhancement in relation to local listings such as ensuring quick website load speed, lofty property imagery, and conspicuous links to convivial media channels.
This second installation of a two-part string will talk to the theme of search engine functionalities as a result of paid queries. For independent or smaller companies, this brief but powerful set of tips obtained from industry experts can enable a trade to become more “searchable” for optimal return on investment.Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Best Practices: 1. Understand the Paid Media Landscape:
According to the Associate Director for Organic Search and Content Strategy at Boston-based Connelly Partners, Dan Hurley, the most captious fragment of SEM is to comprehend the paid media landscape. It is captious to know who one’s competitors truly are and understand how they are marketing, from a tactical standpoint.1 It is too captious to research the types of ad shove structures that are surfacing in the category of interest, on both desktop and mobile devices. Then one must adopt those that appear effectual and fit trade goals appropriately. For restaurants and hotel-related queries, “this strategy is especially pertinent because these searches generally transform very quickly; mobile searchers will likely patronize a restaurant within a few hours.”
In order to live the most efficient with a company’s paid advertisements, Todd Philie, president of Southcoast Marketing Group in Wareham, MA, too encourages companies to determine how consumers are searching for them on the Internet. For example, “utilize the query search utensil via the Google AdWords™ platform to determine what terms and phrases are used to gain your own site and then display your ads.”
Additionally, Kym Parker, associate search marketing director at Connelly Partners, emphasizes the importance of using the company’s brand to ensure a strong search presence. By utilizing paid search bids, a hotel or restaurant can live the first result a web surfer sees when conducting a search.2
“Sometimes, competitors will bid on your brand terms – which means that if someone searches for your company name, for example, the competitor could flaunt up ahead of you in the search results,” Parker notes. “You can forestall this by ‘protecting’ your brand terms. Always live bidding on them, at least a tiny bit, to ensure that you own a better random of staying on top of the results when someone searches your appellation and other brand terms.”2: utilize of Google AdWords™:
The major player in the world wide web is Google, which has created various platforms to optimize searching. Using keywords, Google users can pay to promote their advertisements for a set budget. This Google functionality allows a company (hotel or restaurant) to understand how it ranks in comparison to direct competitors.
Also uphold ‘negative keywords’ in mind, adds Philie. “Negative terms generally means terms that you are not specifically telling AdWords™ that you carry out not want to appear in specific results for other searches. For example, suppose you are marketing a seafood restaurant that does not tender steak on its menu. You want to bid on the phrase ‘best restaurant in Boston’ but you carry out not want to consume money on clicks from customers who want steak. You might set ‘steak’ and ‘steakhouse’ as negative terms so that if someone searched ‘best steak restaurants in Boston” you carry out not flaunt up in that search.
The Google AdWords™ functionality too offers companies the random to enhance the listing. An incredibly important, yet often overlooked, input is the “click to call” functionality and its presence on a mobile site, too known as the summon extension. “These additional factual details, known as “ad extensions” too include location, information from different pages on your website, and even testimonial reviews,” adds Seth Cargiuolo, director of communication strategy at Chestnut Hill, MA-based D50 Media. “Making utilize of ad extensions is essential because it helps the customer learn more about the trade with a quick glance pre-click, and can back differentiate a hotel or restaurant (or any product) against its competitors.” Ad extensions too increase the visual footprint of an ad, which can shove competitors’ ads and organic listings down the page and out of view, particularly on mobile devices.
For marketers just starting to utilize SEM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords™ too offers free tutorials and trainings. Zachary Azar, D50 Media’s senior manager of paid search notes, “These tutorials provide clients with the break to accept the most out of the program and create effectual campaigns.”
To properly manage an effectual AdWords campaign, Google Analytics can live a helpful utensil as it reveals which content on a website is most useful and radiant to customers. This will back in the creation of resonating ad copy and can too live a lead for aligning keyword selection and website copy to increase the “Quality Score” of an ad campaign.
However, Philie too cautions individuals not to live completely reliant on Google’s suggestions for keywords. “Often times, these keywords are pluralized and can cause companies to expend more or not live as effective.” He warns companies to pick how to do their key words “out there” when bidding. Companies must pick best matched keywords for their ads and pick between “exact match,” “phrase match,” “broad search” and “modified broad search” – outright of which will succumb varied returns. Campaigns should utilize a equilibrium of outright match types, but should “skew more heavily towards exact and phrase, utilizing broad match only for keyword prospecting and expansion opportunities.”3. Always Start with Non-Paid Efforts or SEO
When optimizing a company’s searches, Cargiuolo and Azar imply the first thing that the company should focus on is actually the SEO. First and foremost, it is captious to ensure that a website is user- and mobile-friendly. Another captious factor is a quick load speed. “Google has organize that sites that pick longer than three seconds to load lose 40% of their traffic, and for mobile traffic, that jumps to 53%,” reports Azar. This is captious for paid search as well; Cargiuolo adds, “It’d live rotten enough for a user to abandon your page when it’s an organic search – but now imagine if you’d paid for that click and those dollars were totally wasted.”
In order to reduce the load speed, it is captious to not own “big” images—think kilobytes, not megabytes. Web copy should live concise and “bandwidth-hogging” scripts and plugins minimized. “Additionally, given that over half of web traffic is on mobile devices, ensure that pdfs (which you want to avoid anyway) notice acceptable on a smart phone too,” Cargiuolo says.
Kristin Metzler, Print and Web Marketing Coordinator of Frasca Design Group, too echoes that mastery of SEO is the first step in a successful digital marketing campaign. Websites built with a strong attention to keywords and content will minimize spending on pay-per-click campaigns.4. Don’t expend on Paid Search if You Can’t Afford It
Hurley cautions that one necessity not expend money on advertising to accept traffic. Because so much information is provided in the search results, there may not live any clicks on your page during the search process. Companies should never do any money into paid search, display advertising or paid convivial that the company cannot afford to lose.3
Cargiuolo emphasizes that when a company starts advertising, it should not hope an immediate return,4 which is oftentimes an assumption that businesses make. Initially, many may not live intimate with the bidding process; keywords; or how to build, optimize, and manage an effectual campaign. live cautious not to expend money needed for other resources. Start slack and expend time learning before committing immense budgets.
One final word of caution: There are easily incurred expenses that can arrive from paid search marketing, such as additional costs from agencies that pick a portion of a monthly budget. Being conscious of your daily budget is captious in avoiding overspending.
When taking the steps to build a search campaign, it is captious to carry out research and hurry slowly at the beginning. Understand how the market is reflected in consumer searches and what keywords are being utilized. Before jumping into methods that require payment, a company should ensure that its website is optimized for searches and never expend more than what can live budgeted, as it will pick time to survey a return on investment.
As Cargiuolo reminds, businesses must remember that Google serves the user first. Thus as the marketer, one must deem as a user would when building a paid search campaign. People arrive to Google with questions. The marketer that best answers the user’s questions, both pre-click and post-click, is going to live one that is most successful.
PDF Version Available Here1 Inc. Staff. “How to Conduct Competitive Research.” Inc. Magazine. May 2010 2 Ratcliff, Christopher. “What is PPC and Why carry out You necessity it?” Econsultancy. 13 November 2013. 3 Kumar, A.J. “SEO vs PPC: Knowing Which is Better for Your Website.” Entrepreneur. Editorial. 21 May 2012 4 Steimle, Josh. “How Long Does SEO pick to Start Working?” Editorial. Forbes. 7 February 2015. Namrata Sridhar is a marketing communications coordinator at LHL Communications and a rising senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA). She has too previously worked in marketing communications capacities at RealFood Consulting where she helped design an internal marketing fashion to rebrand their company. Namrata too serves as the President of the Student Government of BU SHA. She is an active member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is too a plenary time faculty member at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Sarah AndersenAfter completing the senior capstone Hospitality Leadership course at Boston University, I had the random to reflect on the class topics and apply the teachings to my personal life. The course explored several different levels of leadership, from the head of a major corporation role to developing self-leadership. I learned the importance of a mission, vision, and values in an organization, better understood the components of change management, and worked with a group throughout the semester to develop my teamwork skills. I was able to critically dissect concepts and models presented in leadership literature as well as ameliorate my own leadership skills. I then interviewed three prominent leaders in hospitality and organize connections between their industry insights and my leadership class discussions. Dan Donahue, President of Saunders Hotel Group, Len Wolman, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Hotel Group, and Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group kindly shared their experiences and explained their personal values and company’s culture, revealing the five keys to successful leadership.
“Leadership is the capacity totranslate vision into reality.”
-Warren G. BennisEstablishing Shared Beliefs, Values, and Goals
When an organization wants to achieve its goals, it needs a vision. Effective leadership starts with the skill to recognize and silhouette those goals and inspire others to follow. Leaders paint a picture of how that vision will influence the company as a whole, as well as each individual. A leader’s skill to articulate that vision into a mission statement corresponds to the active implementation of goals and the company’s bottom line success. A productive vision goes beyond a written organizational mission statement, but instead permeates throughout outright levels of a company and manifests into actions and beliefs. John P. Kotter, author of trade Leadership, writes, “A vision says something that helps clarify the direction in which an organization wants to hurry [and] is relatively smooth to communicate, appealing to customers, stockholders, and employees.”1 It is therefore up to hospitality leaders to set and clearly communicate a vision, and to inspire those around them to share and implement it.
A vision does not belong only to a leader. It must live a shared vision that attracts everyone to sustain lofty levels of motivation and withstand challenges. According to The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, leaders can envision the future by imagining the possibilities and finding a common purpose.2 In addition, leaders must spark a sense of significance and purpose in those around them. Dan Donahue agrees that, “My job, as someone who has the vision, is to accept you inspired and committed to sharing that vision and sharing that creativity to the point where you own buy-in.”
After seven years of rigorous research, a landmark study of the observations from more than 100 CEOs and over 8,000 employees organize that “leaders who were limpid about their values delivered as much as five times greater returns for their organizations as did leaders of decrepit character.”3
So how carry out illustrious CEOs and successful leaders in their industry shape the parameters for success through a shared vision for a future? How carry out they empower and inspire those around them to get decisions and labor towards their goals?
Balancing Accountability and Autonomy
When asked what his core values were, Len Wolman responded, “First and foremost, their organization has been built on integrity and transparency. They own four core values that they live by on a daily basis which are to (1) to wow the customer, (2) to continuously improve, (3) to live a passionate and committed team, and (4) to share and sustain their bottom line success.”
Dan Donahue, established that, “Our values are simple. Their values are people. They allow them the flexibility and latitude to carry out their jobs under the lead of taking confidence of the guest, but too taking confidence of themselves as well.” To strengthen others, exemplary leaders increase people’s credence in their skill to get a difference. They hurry from being in control to giving over control. Developing associates into leaders and enhancing self-determination creates a culture of empowerment and confidence. Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “In terms of motivating others, it is letting them get decisions. It’s not micromanaging, but rather letting them arrive up with the solutions.”
Geoff Ballotti continues, “Our core value statement is three words, ‘Count On Me,’ which is outright about accountability. It is about people being able to live counted on at any time, for any issue, any question, any decision, and any uphold that their owners, franchisees, and associates need. It is built on the principal of integrity in terms of taking personal responsibility for your actions.” Accountability is captious because it results in an extremely efficient and productive team. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, accountability in the workplace is linked to higher performance and increases in commitment to labor and employee morale.4
Dan Donahue, states, “A vision has to live fluid. To accept to an achievable goal and vision, whether short term or long term, you necessity to live present, you necessity to understand that if you want it to live successful you necessity to live there, you necessity to live accountable to it, and you necessity to live accountable to the people that want to share that.” When accountability becomes embedded into culture, company’s are able to set meaningful goals, develop team buy-in, build confidence through uphold and encouragement, and celebrate successes together. Accountability is about creating a culture where people value responsibility. When associates understand that accountability involves a confident degree of autonomy, mutual respect develops between outright levels of an organization.
Mr. Ballotti adds, “The third leg of their values is outright about respect. Respecting everyone everywhere both on their ownership side and the community side.” When leaders develop mutual respect, associates are more likely to labor harder to accomplish shared goals. Harvard trade Review examined employee needs and determined through a query of more than 19,000 workers that most employees desire renewal, value, focus and purpose.5 feeling a sense of value and respect can instill an employee with self-confidence and motivation. Len Wolman adds that, “I’ve been in the industry for many years, I was educated in the industry and then worked my pass up through the industry, so I’m fortunate in that I own the perspective of having worked in various positions. So I own empathy, understanding, and respect for each position. Everyone needs to live treated with mutual respect and understanding.”
Modeling by Example
An captious fragment of being an effectual leader is educating others on what the organization stands for and why it matters. When leaders sincerely express a commitment to their core values, they’re too making a commitment on behalf of the entire organization. Therefore, leaders must get confident there is collective agreement on the shared values amongst everyone they lead.So how carry out leaders become a role model for what the organization stands for?
The respond is pretty simple. They set the specimen for others to follow. Holding others accountable to values and standards means leaders must live the values themselves. Dan Donahue responds, “I would never inquire an employee to carry out something I wouldn’t carry out myself.” Len Wolman agrees adding, “You always want to set an specimen and never want to hope anyone to carry out anything that you wouldn’t carry out yourself.” Researcher on behavioral integrity demonstrates that the alignment between a leader’s words and actions has a powerful impact on how much constituents confidence the leader and on their subsequent performance levels.6 powerful leaders effectively translate purpose into reality by acting on the values they instruct and the things they assure to those around them.Showing Vulnerability and Visibility
Confidence is an captious skill to possess as a leader. However, having vulnerability as a leader is just as essential to recognize and appreciate. Every leader has vulnerability, but great leaders have the self-awareness to recognize this fact and feel cozy expressing their weaknesses. Showing vulnerability is a relatable trait and Geoff Ballotti finds that, “The greatest leaders I know out there are very cozy talking about their weaknesses, about what it is that they necessity to labor on, to ameliorate upon, and to carry out better.” effectual leaders invest the thinking, the time, the energy and are prepared for the vulnerability of connecting with others.So how carry out these leaders earn trust, inspire, and build bonds with those they lead?
Great leaders inspire their associates and guests by genuinely connecting to them through a consistent presence and visibility. Visibility as a leader not only includes having a physical presence, but too aligning everyone to the purpose behind their shared vision through natural conversations and casual exchanges on a daily basis. When asked how he communicates company goals and the overall vision, Dan Donahue replied, “If you own a presence, it happens organically. It doesn’t necessity to live contrived.” The purpose of this hearty visibility is not about the necessity to “check on employees,” but rather an honest desire to interact with associates in order to gauge motivation and learn if employees necessity uphold or help. Mr. Wolman agrees that, “It is captious to operate with an open door policy and listen to everyone’s perspective and ideas, particularly the people who are executing the day to day functions, and I deem you’ve got to live constantly evaluating that.”
Mr. Ballotti adds, “I too deem showing empathy is key and the best pass powerful leaders carry out that is through the know-how of storytelling when they’re up in front of their associate ground or leadership team, being able to disclose stories that connect and engage and inspire and motivate in terms of the culture your want to set and want to build.” Storytelling is a powerful pass to share knowledge, shove information at people or haul them into a company’s vision and mission by reinforcing the intent behind authentic leadership. According to Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management, “[Stories] too strengthen the framework and the importance of an organization’s culture by establishing norms and values.”7 advantageous stories compel, persuade, and unify others around the leaders’ vision.Creativity Breads Adaptability
“Hospitality isn’t about a product on the shelf. Hospitality is about creating something that changes day to day, hour to hour, or minute by minute.” – Dan Donahue
IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Study, which surveyed more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, concluded that creativity is the most captious leadership property for success in business, outweighing competencies such as integrity and global thinking.8 Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “Creativity is critical, especially in the trade that we’re in. We’re trying to redefine and reposition their brand from a creative standpoint in terms of experience.” What defines one brand from another and what makes one brand more successful than another is the creativity that it delivers as well as the suffer it delivers to its guests. Understanding how to generate powerful ideas is a crucial leadership trait in hospitality’s innovation-driven industry. Successful leaders create an environment where associates can contribute their fancy and insight, which is captious because most innovations draw upon the contributions of many.
Today’s trade environment is unpredictable, changeable and increasingly complex. Therefore, the skill to create something that is both innovative and applicable is on the top of leader’s minds. Mr. Donahue states, “Nothing in their trade can live or should live cookie cutter. It’s about curating an suffer for each person who spends to live with you.” Len Wolman adds, “If you’re not creative and open to change in todays world with the disruptors that exist in their industry, particularly with technology, you will not live successful. You necessity to live creative in terms of staying ahead, staying current and relevant, and accept managing the costs associated with change in a pass that your organization can silent live successful and profitable.”
In an industry of constant change, powerful hospitality leaders necessity to capitalize on the opportunities that are ripe for the present context and fashion for the likely future state. Change requires creating a current system, which demands effectual leadership. It is crucial that leaders first own how difficult it can live to drive others outside of their solace zones and shove for change. When asked how he responds to change, Len Wolman replied, “A crucial ingredient is feedback. They accept daily feedback that is current and relevant, whether it live Trip Advisor, direct contact with their guests, or direct contact with their associates. They necessity to listen to it, they necessity to respond to it, and they necessity to adjust to the things that people are looking for whether it live the consumer or the labor environment.” Those who create current initiatives, programing, design, and brand essence are the ones who succeed. By supporting creativity and commanding change, leaders can increase workplace satisfaction and build driven teams that craft original, valuable ideas.Figure 1: Interview Questions
It has been made limpid through the interview process of these three prominent industry leaders that establishing shared values, balancing accountability with autonomy, modeling by example, showing vulnerability through visibility, and having a creative mindset that is open to change are outright essential factors to being a successful leader. The common theme amongst outright these traits and elements to successful leadership, however, is each leader’s dependence and confidence for their associates. At one point during the interview, Mr. Ballotti pointed out that, “Great leaders are those who surround themselves with powerful people…who are brighter, and smarter, and more diverse in thought than they are. And who are able to build a team that knows how to uphold and confidence each other.” It is limpid that effectual leadership boils down to a leaders skill to unlock the plenary potential in those around them. Len Wolman adds that it “We pick confidence of their associates so that they pick confidence of their guests, which keeps the guests coming back and is the understanding they are in business.“ Dan Donahue too notes, “You own to realize each individual employee’s needs. get a connection with your employees every solitary day.” outright advantageous leaders were once followers themselves and own learned to establish and foster confidence over time. A virtuous leader passes praise and shares the blame, lifting up those around them.9 Without followers, powerful leaders cannot lead.
PDF Version Available HereSarah R. Andersen is a senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. Her areas of interest include integrated marketing communications and actual estate development. Beyond her studies in hospitality, she is a member of the BU Women’s Lacrosse team. She plans to continue her studies at Boston University after graduating with her bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the School of Hospitality’s Master of Management in Hospitality program. References
By Juan Lesmes and Leora Lanz
It wasn’t that long ago when digital marketing surfaced as needful drill for the hospitality industry. As time moved forward, hotel marketing departments established roles to manage the digital positioning and visibility of the property. Thus, they witnessed hospitality brands which were ‘present’ on convivial media outlets, adopting paid search as a permanent component of their marketing mingle and abiding by well-known website best practices. They refer to this period as phase I of the Hospitality Digital Marketing Revolution.
Phase II quickly blossomed, and hotels realized that the competition to penetrate the digital space was strong and arduous. Brands started focusing on and investing in the internet user-experience (UX), negotiating partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs), understanding the landscape of search engine result pages (SERPs), separating high-value budgets exclusively for search engine marketing (SEM), and delving into the intricacies of search engine optimization (SEO) for their own websites. convivial media served as a competitive advantage and quickly escalated as paramount for marketing, branding, reputation management, and organic visibility. Paid search, via Google AdWords platform, is not to live confused with the organic approaches minute here.
As they delve into 2018, phase III emerges clearly. OTAs dominate and in some instances engross Google searches with first page results. Consequently, hotels are realizing that digital marketing efforts should live shifted from a haphazard online presence to one that is strategic – one that capitalizes on each micro-moment of the guest travel planning journey (most of which, if not all, occurs on the web). As convivial media forces Instagram and Facebook solidify their roles as prominent search engines, paid ‘posts’ within users’ ‘feeds’ continue to convey the power of personalized sponsored content.
With a myriad of stakeholders now involved in the simple act of searching for hotel rooms, is it a battle worth fighting? The respond is absolutely. But before addressing the how, it is crucial to identify and differentiate the digital marketing scope of branded and non-branded hotels. Branded hotels, especially those flagged with hospitality powerhouses, benefit from a more powerful domain authority coming from the parent chain, making it easier for them to rank higher on the SERPs. pick Marriott.com/hotel vs. hotelname.com for example. Domain authority is the overall power of the domain appellation considering traffic size, popularity, and number of links to the site (backlinks). It is too a top ranking factor for Google.
Branded hotels too mind to own significant budgets to expend on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and paid search, ensuring top first page visibility for valuable destination and branded queries. In addition, branded hotels own wider access to digital partnerships, including listings, local directories, event sponsorships, travel influencers, and online features – outright of which provide authoritative backlinks to the hotel’s site, further contributing to its domain authority.
Because independent and small-scale hotels rarely benefit from domain authority, maintaining and monitoring digital marketing best practices to boost Google rankings should live a requirement, not merely a recommendation. Digital marketing practices command their own dedicated efforts. Yet online marketing should live well-equipped with its own strategy and utilize expertise in the nuances and intricacies of hotels, restaurants, leisure activities, and attractions – overall, hospitality.
The question then becomes, how can hotels strive for visibility in this Wild West of a digital landscape, particularly if they are competing against each other, the OTAs, and a powerful sharing economy?1. Execute a Carefully Crafted Keyword Strategy
Optimizing for search queries, too known as keywords, is perhaps the core of any digital marketing tactic aiming to build visibility – both organic and paid. Identifying those keywords with the highest search volume, such as ‘Miami hotels,’ is the intuitive process. Presence on Google’s first page for lofty search-volume keywords requires a robust SEM budget, an ongoing and long-term SEO strategy, or both. This puts independent and small-scale properties, which often carry out not own the necessary budget and fundamental team, at a notable disadvantage.
However, niche keywords present a different scenario. These queries are typically ’long-tail’ significance they contain more than four words. Though niche keywords carry out not own the highest search popularities, it is much easier to actually capture their search volume, which then results in higher click-through rates (CTR). Hotels can leverage niche keywords by identifying their unique amenities and value propositions, and turning them into valuable keywords. For example, ‘Miami hotels with a rooftop bar,’ ‘Miami hotels with free breakfast’ and ‘Miami hotels with nightclubs’ are terms to utilize as they leverage a more specific travel purpose that easily turns into conversions (booked business). It is crucial to deem as the customer would.
Some independent hotels, because of the virtue of their uniqueness and often niche-market, can own the upper hand in this situation. A property which positions itself as a revolve for health and well-being could therefore pursue niche terms such as ‘wellness resorts’ and ‘fitness getaways.’ The key is to identify the brand’s top performing unique selling propositions (USPs) and translate them into humanized search queries, outright while keeping the guests’ travel planning journeys in mind.
Finding a balanced mingle of both high-search volume terms and niche queries secures strategic keywords. Nevertheless, actually optimizing for them by ensuring they are naturally or comfortably present throughout the website’s titles, content, metadata and bidding efforts too back secure a carefully crafted keyword strategy.2. Optimize for Local Search
Our termed “Phase II” too do the spotlight on search engine trade directories such as Google My trade and Bing Places for Business. In phase III, hotel listings on these directories is no longer a recommendation, it is a necessity. Optimizing for local search entails driving the visibility of a property’s trade listing via a two-part process:
3. Attain and Maintain a Star Rating on Google
One of the key components of local search results is the Star Rating associated with a trade listing. In fact, star reviews on SERPs are an effectual pass for hotels to increase digital visibility by standing out from the competition. Star ratings back increase the site’s CTR and provide an influential benchmark for online reputation management (ORM). Once an exclusive credit for paid results, star ratings now too appear on organic results through Google’s ‘Rich Snippets.’ These snippets are a form of structured data which Google extracts from multiple websites and presents it as a ‘preview’ in search results, too known as Google’s erudition Graph.
Therefore, obtaining and retaining star ratings involves safeguarding reviews on trusted and authoritative review sites. Google then aggregates this rating data and displays an average star rating. Hotels (restaurants, attractions, etc.) should embolden satisfied guests to submit reviews to their booking channel (i.e. Expedia) because they are by default ‘trusted’ sites. However, they should too embolden reviews for their own Google My trade listing in an attempt to increase the hotel’s chances of being featured on local search results.
It is captious to clarify that there is a technical component to obtaining a Google star rating. Codes do onto the website to back search engines return more informative results to users. Hotels necessity to ensure that their web developers too include star rating information within the markup code.4. Enhance Content on Local Listings
A hotel’s content for its local listings should live strategically optimized. Whether it is in Foursquare, CitySearch, or any other listing, valuable keywords should live incorporated throughout the copy – including local search ‘near’ queries such as ‘hotel in Miami near Brickell’. If the brand image is mischievous and tongue-in-cheek, the content on local listings should too reflect that. Some listings even allow for a featured message. Rather than a generic ‘Welcome!’ hotels can utilize this space to promote current offers or highlight special amenities (complimentary champagne, sunset yoga, free breakfast).
Other content elements such as images should live of the highest quality, showcasing provocative yet realistic visuals of the property’s exterior, interior, and overall ambiance. Links to outright the property’s convivial media channels should live present in the listings, which allows the user to access other hotel assets including brand personality and online reputation.5. Optimize for Voice Search
With increasing utilization of smart personal assistants such as Alexa and Google Home, voice search is a prime topic of conversion within the digital marketing realm. In order to live visible in results derived from these devices, hotels necessity to ensure they are optimizing their site and keyword strategy for voice search too. Since users are more likely to utilize longer natural queries via voice, employing niche, long-tail keywords is an effectual fashion to optimize for this trend.
Long-tail keywords are fruitless without the relevant content on a hotel or restaurant’s website. Hotels necessity to own specific landing pages that parallel the niche keywords. If a hotel seeks ‘Hotels in Miami with rooftop pools’—a keyword likely used by the voice search user—it must appear in the relevant landing page.
Incorporating questions and answers within the site, perhaps via the ever-popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, is another effectual pass to accommodate voice search. With this strategy, hotels can provide answers not only about the property itself, but too about their destination and local attractions as a result of quick detection by voice-activated devices.
It is captious to note that recently, numerous hotel properties and companies own been contacted by law firms representing travel consumers with disabilities. These law firms report that websites are not abiding by accessibility guidelines in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a guest is unable to utilize a hotel website to find information or get a reservation, hotels can in fact live fined. Today hotel websites must enable these assistive technologies to allow travel consumers with disabilities to accept the information they necessity and complete any necessary transactions.6. Adopt a ‘Mobile First’ Mantra
Much has been said about Google’s ‘mobile first’ index. This means Google will start to rank its search results based on the mobile version of the content, even in desktop search listings. If one thing is certain, websites necessity to live optimized to live mobile-friendly (responsive). Hotels necessity to ensure they launch a fully-responsive website that serves users of any device the very consistent content. The more ‘mobile-friendly’ a site’s user suffer is, including factors such as typography, navigation map, and website design, the higher the site will rank on Google’s search.7. Leverage Google Hotel Ads
Google Hotel expense Ads (HPA) showcases a hotel’s real-time (dynamic) rates on Google search across outright devices. Users will survey the hotel’s ad when they are actively looking to engage a play in the area. However, the hotel only pays when the ad generates a click or a booking.
Google has recently introduced a unique call-to-action (CTA) button for booking hotels in its search results. A keyword can trigger a ‘BOOK A ROOM’ button to appear. Clicking this will activate a sub-menu to browse outright enlisted HPAs for the hotel, which includes booking direct and via OTAs.
This feature, which too appears in Mobile and Maps, demonstrates Google’s determination to grow its expense Ads service. The increased exposure provides more incentive for hotels to capitalize on this form of pay-per-click in order to promote direct bookings.8. increase Backlinks, Actively
A backlink is as simple as a hyperlink to a website from another website. Yet, it carries a lot of weight when it comes to a hotel’s organic digital visibility. Each backlink tells the search engine that a hotel website has a ‘vote’ from another entity, which in return builds credibility and domain authority. Branded hotels own the upper hand here since the company usually has a corporate parent site that a plethora of other websites will link to (such as Marriott.com or IHG.com).
There are technicalities to backlinks, including the property of the backlink determined by elements such as anchor text and link context. These technical factors play a role in the algorithm the search engine uses to determine the value of a backlink. In theory, the more property backlinks a hotel website has, the more chances to rank higher on search engines.
Actively pursuing relevant backlinks should live imperative for hotels to obtain first page ‘real-estate’. Obtaining links from local directories, current hotel vendors, editorial publications, and .EDU and .GOV sites should live the gateway for enhancing the site’s link equity. However, to continuously grow the number of backlinks, hotels necessity to live generating quality, shareable content that interlinks with convivial media initiatives.9. remember Optimal convivial Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement
Much has been contemplated about what comprises a successful convivial media strategy. Although there is no ultimate recipe for the flawless convivial media post, three factors that boost performance are quality, authenticity, and engagement. Optimal convivial Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement. Each piece of content maximizes visibility, both organic and paid. When posts are authentic and of lofty quality, users are more likely to relate and validate them. When posts are authentic, of lofty quality, and facilitate some nature of user engagement, the content becomes shareable.
When content generates more likes, followers, and overall visibility it establishes an influential ranking factor. Therefore, search engines mind to rank higher those brands that own a robust organic convivial media ground (not paid or ‘spammy’ followers). This is why it is captious for hotels to intertwine their convivial media strategy with their SEO efforts by creating quality, authentic, and engaging content that increases overall digital exposure.10. regard the Technicalities of SEO
Technical SEO is a science of its own and deserves its own team of specialists, budget, and time. Technical SEO means optimizing a website so search engines can successfully crawl and index its content. It lays a powerful foundation to give a hotel’s website the best random it can to rank higher for relevant keywords. Technical factors include site speed, removing unnecessary tags, cleansing duplicate metadata, adding tags to images, and implementing proper redirects to maximize the site’s link equity. Whether there is a one-man team or a staff of professionals continually optimizing the website, there are tools to back provide the technical support.
Hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, and leisure activities outright necessity to assertively compete online to grab the attention of potential guests. Those who mind to the organic visibility own a notable competitive. This and integrated paid search campaigns that mutually uphold organic search strategies will back secure first page visibility. Overall, while the necessity to upkeep search engines’ potent algorithms and ranking methodologies will always remain, an understanding of the process will back smaller or independent hospitality businesses cleave through the clutter in today’s complicated digital landscape.
PDF Version Available HereJuan Lesmes is a digital marketing strategist specializing in SEO at HEBS Digital the leading hospitality technology, full-service digital marketing and website design firm. A 2017 graduate of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), Juan’s previous suffer includes labor at hospitality marketing advisory LHL Communications, The Ritz London, and Lets accept Weddy in London. Since his time at SHA, Juan has been recognized as a thought leader in hospitality marketing, with active contributions to the Boston Hospitality Review, HotelOnline and HospitalityNet. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is too plenary time faculty at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Nick Cohen
The year is 2001, and the world is silent recovering from the tragedy of September 11th. The travel industry is in a downward spiral as fears of flying and terrorism ripple across the United States and beyond, and hotels own lost significant occupancy due to a dwindle in demand.
Simultaneously, a fledgling technology is emerging which will eventually pick advantage of the internet explosion, as well as hotel management’s desperation to fill rooms. It will reshape their industry forever, and this platform now commonly referred to as Online Travel Agencies, or OTAs, will allow hotels to easily sell their rooms on the internet through current consumer facing websites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
Fast forward to 2017. The OTA’s own gained the majority of market share for online reservations, and digital platforms like Booking.com and Ctrip.com own loyal member volumes that far surpass brand websites. In many cases, the OTA companies are valued well beyond traditional hotel brands (as of May 2017, Priceline Group has a market capitalization of nearly USD 92 Billion). They own too helped to create a current concept as they grew in popularity and scale over the ultimate number of years, and it was the precedent of transparency. Pricing that was once hidden to the everyday user, could now live exposed to the all world, publicly, with a few clicks online. As OTA channels grew enormously with time, so did the access to actual time rates and availability for virtually every hotel around the world.
With this concept in mind, from the OTA’s they own seen the rapid expansion of ‘meta search’ channels. These are one-stop expense comparison platforms where a customer can view a expense for a solitary hotel play across multiple websites (without having to browse those websites one-by-one). Sites within this category include Kayak, Trivago, TripAdvisor, Qunar and Google, and they are outright working to simplify the travel research process for consumers.
With the OTA channels continuing to grow through massive marketing efforts and superior technology, and with meta search sites following their lead, a relatively current challenge has emerged for hoteliers. It represents a very intricate dynamic between one of the most traditional ways to sell a hotel room, and one of the most modern ways to sell a hotel room. This once again outright comes back to the concept of expense transparency. Wholesale has been a core trade driver in hotels for many years, helping properties build ground trade through private negotiated rates and partnerships. Historically, these wholesalers would sell their inventory offline to their own private networks of contacts. Even though the pricing would typically live lower than publicly available RACK rates, it was a dependable foundation of occupancy for hotels to build off of.
As technology has become more sophisticated with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) readily available, they own seen the rapid growth of wholesale rates being sold publicly, online, through some of the powerful meta search channels mentioned above. This means that wholesalers are selling discounted rates, which directly undercut brand websites and OTAs, to anyone who has access to the internet. Beyond just meta search, some OTA websites are now even positioning themselves as ‘online marketplaces,’ where they too will sell wholesale inventory directly instead of the inventory provided by the hotels. To remain competitive and increase market share, online channels want to sell the lowest expense possible, even if it means reducing their own margins by selling a cheaper play to the customer.
You would deem that hoteliers would want to fix this problem immediately. Online wholesale trade undercuts channels which are much more profitable such as their direct brand website. This issue however is multi-layered and is not smooth to remedy for the following key reasons:Hotels silent want wholesale business!
Hotels silent maintain strong relationships with a number of wholesale partners, immense and small, and they confidence on these partnerships to generate ground business. Turning off these channels would potentially intend the loss of significant revenues, at least in the short term. Although wholesale channels can undercut other websites when sold online, they too silent generate incremental trade when sold offline through the traditional methodFinding the source of all trade online can live very difficult
When wholesale rates appears online, it’s generally very difficult to know which wholesaler specifically is providing that inventory. The wholesale partners themselves don’t generally sell rooms through their own websites, but sell their rates through wholesale aggregation channels such as Amoma.com. It’s channels like Amoma who then sell the rates online through their own interface, and promote their rates through larger meta search intermediaries such as Trivago and TripAdvisor. Generally the only pass to find the virtuous source is to get a test booking online, and then track how that reservation comes into the hotel’s central reservation system (each reservation is typically flagged with an inventory source). Many hotels are reluctant to carry out this since a booking requires utilize of a credit card and sometimes even pre-payment, and then cancellation of that test booking is not always smooth to do. The test booking process is both cumbersome to manage at scale, and is too financially risky for a hotel if those booking cannot live cancelled.Employee incentives are at stake
Within hotel sales departments, team members are silent incentivized to drive wholesale volume, regardless of where that volume is being sold (offline or online). Wholesale partners generally don’t provide specifics on how they are selling their inventory, and as long as play allotments are sold, the accountable sales team members are satisfied. This is creating an unavoidable rift between the direction of some sales leaders with the revenue management and digital strategy teams.So what’s next?
Hotel companies are dealing with this situation in a variety of ways. Some are cutting off wholesale altogether since they simply can’t control where their inventory is ending up. Others are maintaining the partnerships, but are working to hurry away from static play allotments and over to dynamic pricing and availability where the hotels own more control over the inventory they forward to the wholesalers. This is a major problem facing the industry that very much remains unsolved.
If they pick ourselves back to the 2001, expense transparency was a challenge for hoteliers. Properties simply didn’t own direct access to a great enough segment of customers, therefore traditional partnerships like wholesale was an absolute necessity. With the growth of the OTAs though, and the emergence of current technologies such as meta search, that access is no longer an issue. The world is accessible for each hotel with a few quick key strokes on a computer. It is now only a matter of time until hoteliers get one of the following decisions:
PDF Version Available HereNick Cohen is based in Hong Kong and leads digital strategy for Hyatt Hotels in Asia Pacific. He oversees online marketing efforts for outright Hyatt brands and properties across the region, and manages a variety of e-Commerce and digital platform projects to back increase online revenues for the company. Prior to joining Hyatt, Nick held senior e-Commerce and digital marketing roles at Langham Hospitality Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Earlier in his career, working on-property for various hotels he developed extensive erudition in operations, along with Sales & Marketing and Revenue Management expertise. Nick too holds a graduate diploma in Hotel and Tourism trade Management from Boston University. Sources:
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Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
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