How Millennials are Impacting the Hospitality Industry - Steve Farzam

How Millennials are Impacting the Hospitality Industry

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are currently the fastest growing customers in the hotel industry and by 2025, they are expected to make up 50% of all travelers. With this generation comes the need for a tech-savvy, transparent environment, and the desire for connection. They have already begun to have an impact on travel and the hotel industry, in particular. They are looking for a unique experience that simultaneously meets their expectations. That being said, we can expect to see changes in the hospitality industry that appeal to this influential generation.

Technology

Millennials grew up with technology, so it isn’t too surprising that the desire for a technology-driven travel experience is a must. Millennials are very likely to post the overall experience of their stay on platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and more. The convenience and seamless process of checking in and out on their mobile device is very enticing to millennials. The same goes for free WiFi – it’s practically expected for a hotel to offer a strong internet connection.

Personalization

In conjunction with technology, the notion of personalization for their stay is particularly enticing to millennials. Artificial intelligence is an ever-growing sector of technology, and hotels that provide smart rooms and AI personal assistants attract these travelers. Additionally, having the ability to personalize their rooms online so that everything is how they would like it when they arrive at check-in, will play a large role in the adaption of hotels moving forward.

Green Living

Millennials are also a generation that focuses on the environment and they will make their decision on which hotel to stay at depending on whether or not the hotel implements sustainable, eco-friendly practices. These travelers want to supply business to those that coincide with their own values. Some specifications that may contribute to their final decision of stay are sustainability programs for energy, water, and other utilities (like cogeneration), efficient waste management, and eco-building certifications.

Experiences

Maybe it is because they are so interconnected through technology, millennials are actively seeking meaningful, genuine experience when they travel. No longer content to spend the entire vacation laying by the pool, this generation is more likely to leave the hotel to interact with the local culture. Hotels that provide information to millennials regarding local nightlife, events, and more, are enticing to these travelers.

Do these 5 things after checking into your room - Steve Farzam

Do These 5 Things After Checking Into Your Room

Traveling can be both exciting and stressful. You spent countless hours booking your flight, arranging transportation, and finding the perfect hotel, all for the right price. The last thing you want to experience is discovering your room is not up to par after checking in. While you may not want to create any waves during your stay, do these 5 things as soon as you check into your room. If there are any issues, speak up. Hotels are full of great people that genuinely want to ensure guests to have a memorable stay.

Safety First

Regardless of who you’re traveling with, even if you’re traveling solo, you should always be concerned about your safety. Hotels and their staff care about your safety too, and the rooms are designed to do just that; you just need to ensure their safety measures are in place.

Ensure there is a safe in the room, but that it is also in working condition. Leaving your valuables, like your passport, laptop, and jewelry, in the hotel safe whenever you leave the room will give you peace of mind. However, it will only work if the safe is working too.

Additionally, check the door’s deadbolt lock and ensure you know how to use it. This is an important safety mechanism that should be utilized when you turn in for the evening.

Look for Damages

While you don’t need to do a thorough inspection of every nook and cranny in the room, you should check the lamps, surfaces, electronics, and other room essentials to ensure everything is working properly. Not only will you personally want everything to be in working condition so you can watch TV from your bed and change the channel with ease, but you also don’t want to be charged for any damages that you did not cause. Should you find any damages, let management know immediately.

Inspect the Mattress

After a long flight, the first thing you might want to do after checking into your room is throwing all of your luggage down and flop back onto the bed. While checking the comfort level might be a personal priority, inspecting for bed bugs is even more important. Every hotel, whether 1-star or 5-star, can have them, so save yourself a headache and look on and around the mattress, seams, along the headboard, and under the pillowcases. Pull back the sheets and inspect the tagline and crevices as well, as bed bugs can hide anywhere.

Survey the Mini-Bar

If your room has a mini-bar, double check that it is fully stocked. While you may not want to consume any of the items in the mini-bar, ensuring that nothing is missing will prevent you from being charged for the items.

Prepare for Your Stay

No matter what sort of trip you’re on, taking some time to prepare for your stay will do you wonders. Become familiar with your room and it’s layout. Ask for any additional items you may need, such as pillows or towels. Utilize the hotel concierge and ask for recommendations of fun things to do in the are. Additionally, if you want to start the next day early, order your breakfast from your hotel’s express breakfast menu the night before, allowing you to hit the ground running.

Why cogeneration is an ideal fit for the hospitality industry - Steve Farzam

Why Cogeneration is an Ideal Fit for the Hospitality Industry

Cogeneration is also known as Combined Heat and Power, or CHP, and is a highly-efficient grouping of technologies that uses fossil or renewable fuels to supply energy locally. There is a growing awareness that the sustainability of CHP is an ideal fit for the hospitality industry.

Energy efficiency is a top priority in the hospitality industry, seeing as it ranks in the top five for carbon emissions. The hospitality industry spends almost $4 billion a year on energy. Due to the low cost of natural gas and the steadily-increasing cost of electricity, CHP and hotels are a match made in heaven. Since hotels have a high demand for energy and CHP carries the ability to efficiently use heat generated from these systems, the combination makes sense.

CHP provides hotels with a reliable source of energy 24/7, ensuring guests are comfortable and safe. CHP does this by producing simultaneous heat and power all day, every day. CHP can easily integrate into existing heating and electrical systems, and can be designed to operate and continue to provide power should there be a utility outage.

While CHP increases efficiency and reliability, it also improves environmental performance. The power and heat produced by CHP on-site offsets the purchase of electricity and fuel for boilers. Those same reductions reduce the environmental impact of hotels by reducing air pollution via reduced fuel consumption.

Potential customers have also increased their awareness of their green credentials. Evidence has been growing that travelers are choosing their hotel accommodations based on the green credentials they are being offered by the hotel to host them. Guests look for hotels that are green, convenient, and economical. With CHP, hotels are able to reduce their carbon footprint, drastically reduce their energy costs, and increase sustainability, while simultaneously enticing prospective green-guests to stay at their hotel.

CHP technologies have also become more reliable, remaining fairly inexpensive and generating efficiency. The technologies are flexible and offer a wide range of sizing options based on the needs of the hotel. CHP is typically designed to match the thermal demand of the hotel and will usually provide 50 to 70 percent of the electricity needs of the facility.

There are at least 16 hotels in the United States that are already using CHP systems to meet their energy needs. Many of those systems were installed in the 1980s and are continuing to operate efficiently and reliably, atoning to their long-term benefits.

How You Can Book a Hotel Like a Pro - Steve Farzam

How You Can Book a Hotel Like a Pro

Whether you’re just sleeping in your room for the night or intend to spend your entire vacation at the hotel, booking a room at a luxury hotel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of overpaying for a room, save your extra cash and use these tips to book a hotel room like a pro.

Check Out Business Hotels

Business is often slower during the summer months and on weekends, especially in Europe. This means that hotels that cater to business travelers are slower as well, and they tend to offer deals and lower prices.

Wait to Check-In at the End of the Day

Since most guests have already checked in, ask for a corner room if any are available. Typically, you’ll get more square footage for the same price. Additionally, hotels are more aware of their occupancy by this point in the day, so you’re more likely to be offered an upgrade on your room.

Call the Hotel Directly

Rather than calling the 800-number provided, call the hotel directly, as the employees working will have a greater chance of being able to provide you with an upgrade. Having a good rapport with the employees and booking directly with them will also increase your chances of perks and upgrades if you book at the hotel regularly.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Signing up for the hotel’s loyalty programs is one of the easiest ways to score free upgrades and points. Loyalty programs vary per hotel but can include perks, like free Wi-Fi, free items with your booking, and more. You can also join loyalty programs through third-party sites, such as Hotels.com, which offers one night free with when you book 10 nights.

Get Alerts When the Price Drops

Life gets busy and it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of price changes. When you sign up for alerts through third-party sites, they will notify you when the price drops without spamming your inbox. If you don’t have a set destination, you can also check out Hotel.com’s Hotel Price Index, allowing you to see the increase and decrease in hotel prices around the globe.

Use Your Smartphone

Using hotel-related apps on your smartphone can unlock major discounts. Certain apps will provide you with secret prices for rooms during peak times, like weekends, and get you last-minute deals on rooms.

Utilize Membership Programs and Credit Card Perks

Member programs like AAA and AARP can offer a variety of special discounts to travelers such as a discount on bookings, activity vouchers and more. Many major credit cards also offer travelers a ton of perks, like cash back, points, or miles for flying. Check with each to see what they offer, utilize them along with the hotels’ reward programs and you’re sure to save.

If There Are Any Issues With Your Stay, Follow Up

No one like a noisy neighbor or a messy room, particularly on vacation. If there are any issues, follow up. You could receive an upgrade for the rest of you stay, drink vouchers, or a credit to your account.

The Guest Whisperer: How to Help an Angry Guest

In the hotel industry, a proactive approach is always the best course of action. It’s preferable to head off any potential issues in advance, as this will help to ensure a positive guest experience right off the bat. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans will sometimes go awry, and seasoned professionals will find themselves in the unenviable position of dealing with an angry guest.

Considering the competitive nature of the industry, this is bound to happen, even to the best in the field. Luckily, those with the proper training can come out of the situation unscathed—sometimes even turning it to their advantage. Here’s how.

Put Those Listening Skills to Good Use

An irate customer may not be the best at communicating, but pay close attention to what she’s saying nonetheless. This will help to facilitate a clear and agreeable approach to the issue.

Don’t Belabor Points

Even if the problem was caused largely through the customer’s own fault, it will do no good to point this out to him. Instead, allow him to vent his frustration before taking the floor.

Develop a Thick Skin

The customer’s anger is usually not with the person they’re talking to but with the specific circumstance that initiated the negative response. Remember this even if voices are raised and tempers are running high.

Maintain a Calm Demeanor

It’s the customer service specialist’s job to keep a calm and professional demeanor. It won’t help matters if both parties become aggravated—this will only escalate tension.

Attempt to Fix the Problem

If there’s an immediate solution, then by all means, make it happen. If the situation is beyond the employee’s power to fix, then she should immediately alert the next-highest person on the ladder, and so on, until the situation is resolved.

Don’t Go Overboard

While placating the customer is a must, a sense of fairness has to be retained. For example, it makes no sense to offer a voucher for a free night’s stay simply because the room didn’t have a satisfactory supply of clean washcloths available. Make the compensation commensurate with the complaint.

Follow Up

Reach out to the guest a day or so later, just to ascertain that the situation was resolved. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and be more likely to speak well of the experience.

Steve Farzam

How Hotels Are Embracing Sustainability

As concerns about climate change continue to increase, more and more corporations worldwide are attempting to lessen their carbon footprints by promoting sustainability and minimizing waste. This has given rise to the concept of the “green meeting,” or “green event,” defined by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) as an event that incorporates environmental concerns into every aspect, so as to make it more eco-friendly.

As such, it’s important for event planners and hosts alike to incorporate these practices into their own businesses, to make their services more appealing to prospective customers. At the Shore Hotel, we’re proud to embrace our responsibility to the environment, and we’ve already taken a number of steps to help reduce our carbon footprint and act more sustainably. Here are some examples of how the sustainability trend is re-shaping the hotel industry!

Water and Energy Conservation

A good first step toward creating less water waste is the linen reuse program (those tags on the bathroom door that remind guests to hang towels for reuse) that is now an industry standard. A growing number of hotels have also switched to more efficient lighting and heating systems and installed low-flow bathroom fixtures to further decrease water and energy waste.

Recycling Efforts

Guests have long been encouraged to recycle beverage containers, but the movement has been taken several steps further with the reduction of disposable items, such as paper and plastic cups, coffee filters, and the like. Some hotels have even entered into composting programs to help eliminate food waste. In 2012, one hotel cut its diversion rate—the percentage of material diverted from landfill—from 15 to 90 percent with the aid of such a program, making it a “zero waste” facility.

Room Keys

The standard PVC keys—which utilize a highly toxic manufacturing process—are today often made out of more eco-friendly materials like paper, bioplastic, and even wood.

Natural Cleaning Products

By choosing more eco-friendly products—particularly ones that also cut back on the amount of packaging used—hotel chains can make drastic cuts to the environmental hazards caused by the ones containing toxic ingredients. This also decreases the risk to employee health.

Spas and Dining

Hotel restaurants that offer fresh, organic produce and GMO-free meat and dairy products will appeal to a growing number of health-conscious diners. Similarly, the use of natural products in spa treatments will help to strengthen the facility’s aura of well-being.

Steve Farzam

Key Roles In A Hotel

It takes hard work to make a hotel feel like a home. That’s why hotels—from luxury resorts to family-owned bed and breakfasts—employ a small army of staff to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. These jobs can be challenging, but at the Shore Hotel, we’re fortunate to have a dedicated team that goes the extra mile to fill our guests’ every need. For anyone who may be considering a career in hospitality or anyone who’s ever wanted to peek behind the curtain of the hospitality industry, take a look at some of the essential roles in a hotel!

Front Office

The front office staff is the face of the hotel. These personnel greet guests, check them in and out, and provide information about the hotel as well as the surrounding areas. They also handle reservations and most of the hotel’s external communication with clients or on clients’ behalf.

Uniformed Services

Roles in a hotel’s uniformed services department consist of bell staff, valets, door-persons, and concierges. The first people most guests meet upon arrival at a hotel are bell-staff, who help to unload baggage from the guest’s vehicle, deliver it to their room, and possibly introduce them to other helpful figures or show them the facilities. Guests may also meet valets, who park guests’ cars and pick them up as necessary, and door-persons, who open doors, greet guests, and help bell staff with luggage.

Additionally, concierges act almost as assistants for guests and have a range of responsibilities that may include helping guests navigate the area, making reservations or handling issues that may arise during their stay, and much more.

Housekeeping

The front office staff may be the face of a hotel, but housekeeping is its backbone. Beyond the obvious duties of cleaning guests’ rooms and the hotel’s other facilities, housekeeping staff also handle laundry needs, provide dry-cleaning for guests, and more. Many hotels also recruit inspectors who supervise and inspect the work of the room attendants; at smaller businesses, this role may be filled by a manager who randomly checks the rooms.

Food and Beverage

Hotels typically include at least a restaurant and bar on their grounds as well as room service, and they may even offer catering services. This means hotels need chefs, bartenders, waiters, dishwashers, and any other kitchen staff to provide guests and patrons with top-quality service and delicious food and drink.

Sales and Marketing

The sales and marketing branch of the hotel handles its promotions and advertising. Through various channels, the hotel works to involve the community and attract new consumers. Most hotels that hire full-time sales and marketing have a more substantial budget for marketing and advertising.

Steve Farzam

How to Make Hotel Guests Feel Welcome

He’s away on business. They’re enjoying a honeymoon in a dream destination or vacationing with the family during a yearly getaway. Maybe she’s just passing through. Regardless of why people are travelling, they trust the hotels where they stay with the important responsibility of making them feel right at home even when home might be thousands of miles away.

At the Shore Hotel, we take this duty very seriously, and as COO, I do everything in my power to make sure that guests have the most enjoyable and welcoming experience possible during their stay with us. Check out some of the secrets on how to make guests feel welcomed that I’ve learned after a long career in the hospitality industry!

A Personal Welcome

First impressions are lasting, so making sure you’re ready to greet your guests as they arrive goes a long way toward making them feel right at home. The personal introduction shows the guests that they’re valued, but beyond that, this is the first opportunity you have to shape their opinion of the hotel. You should be dressed professionally and with a friendly, enthusiastic attitude so you can warmly welcome your guests on behalf of the hotel and make them feel special—and happy with their choice of accommodation—as soon as they step through the doors.

Take Care of Their Needs

If your hotel is going to serve as a guest’s home away from home, then you’ll want to provide them with all of the creature comforts they need. In the bathroom, lay out toiletries like sustainable or eco-friendly soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, and other sundries. Place fresh flowers so that the room is fragrant by the time they arrive to make them feel at ease. And another nice touch for the modern traveler is offering a complimentary phone charger during their stay!

Touch Base Often

Once the guests have had a chance to settle in, find opportunities to catch up with them and ask how they’re enjoying their time with you. Do they like their room? Is there anything that you can do to make them feel more comfortable? These check-ins let guests know that you’re invested in their happiness and that you actually want them to be as comfortable as possible, which will make them feel right at home.

Things You Need to Know About Finding the Best Hotel

Travelling is believed to be fun if you plan things out in time and take care of all the “small” things that matter. There’s probably a reason even why some end up having a nightmare for a trip, and spending way more than what their budget was. One of the primary reasons a trip or vacation may become so much less enjoyable or expensive is probably because you didn’t know how to choose the right hotel in the area you are travelling to.

Choosing a hotel

Yes, choosing a hotel can make that much of an impact. Hence, the ideal thing would be to make sure you have a few options in mind where you would love to stay in during your trip. Searching for a hotel after you have reached the destination can be quite a bit of hassle, and may lead to making a wrong decision or spending way more than you otherwise would.

This is especially true about certain places in the US, which are pretty popular as tourist spots. Santa Monica, for one, has been recently voted as one of the top ten beach cities in the world, attracting millions of tourists from across the world. This has obviously also led to a significant increase in the prices hotels in the city charge to the visitors.

Finding the great deals

However, there still seem to be a few that offer pretty reasonable prices. They may be situated a bit farther from the beaches and other tourist spots in the city, but the little more time and money you spend on travelling may be nothing when compared to the money saved on the hotel charges.

So let us take a look at how to find the best hotel deals while visiting top tourist spots in the US, including cities like Santa Monica.

Using the Internet

Well, there don’t seem to be many things nowadays that don’t require using the Internet. Finding great hotel deals seems to be no exception.

There are numerous highly reputed sites out there, which provide a clear and detailed comparison of the prices offered by most of the hotels in an area, especially if it’s a popular one or a tourist spot. You may also be able to find out about most of the important things you need to know about the hotel you are looking to stay in during the trip, such as the quality of staff, room maintenance, interior, facilities, amenities, and so on.

Furthermore, there are also some particular reliable websites on the Internet that offer user reviews and ratings for most of the popular hotels in the US. This can definitely turn out to be quite useful, as you get to know about the experience the past customers of a hotel had during their stay, making your decision considerably easier.

Being flexible with your dates

Apparently, you may be able to find considerably better hotel deals if you choose to be flexible with your travel dates. It doesn’t mean that you will have to delay your trip for a very long period, but even a few days may help you save a lot.

There are also many online resources you can use for finding out the best travel dates that help you save on the hotel charges.

Utilizing those secret discounts

Many hotels in the US offer occasional coupons to their customers for getting a discount during their next stay. Then there are also hotels that inform their “email list subscribers” about special deals and discounts, which are usually exclusive only to them.

In other words, if you like a hotel and would like to get a good deal during your next stay, you may want to subscribe to their newsletter. In fact, you can subscribe to the newsletter of a few good hotels in a particular area, so that you can quickly utilize the special deals being offered by any of them when in need.

Farzam Owned Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel Wins Best Green Hotel Award

Steve Farzam Shore Hotel Santa MonicaSANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Shore Hotel was honored at the 1st annual Best of the Best Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) awards ceremony last month, winning the Los Angeles Best Green Hotel award for 2015. This award coincides with the hotel’s fourth anniversary and recent technology enhancement, reinforcing its commitment to the environment, guests, employees, and community.

“Despite being open for four years now, the Shore Hotel continues to garner awards and recognition commending our sustainability efforts,” says COO Steve Farzam. “We will not stop here and will continue to further our mission to create a better future by being responsible stewards of the environment and a positive contributor to our community.”

Last month the hotel installed an AquaRecycle Laundry Water Recycle System, which will reduce carbon emissions and its laundry water usage by 85 percent. The new system will allow the hotel to reclaim and reuse its laundry wastewater, conserving precious resources all while offering its guests premium eco-conscious accommodations.

“With our new AquaRecycle System, our water usage has been drastically reduced by reclaiming and treating 100 percent of the laundry wastewater,” says COO Steve Farzam. “We have saved over 34,000 gallons of water in less than seven days of operation, which equates to nearly four swimming pools. Not only will the AquaRecycle System save millions of gallons of water each year, we will also reduce the amount of natural gas we consume as the recycled water is already pre-heated.”

The oceanfront hotel is a leader in sustainability among Santa Monica’s luxury hotels and the only newly-built LEED Gold certified hotel in the city, which also received the City’s prestigious 2015 Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) Grand Prize, which recognizes businesses that make significant achievements in the categories of sustainable economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the environment.