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Choice Hotels Canada Employs LRA Worldwide for
Mystery Shopping Brand Assurance Program

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TORONTO, Ontario/HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; February 6, 2006 – Choice Hotels Canada Inc., the largest lodging franchisor in Canada, has engaged LRA Worldwide, Inc., to conduct a Mystery Shopping Brand Assurance program for the more than 270 properties in its system. LRA, based in suburban Philadelphia, is a leading consultant in the area of Customer Experience Management (CEM); its Quality Assurance/Mystery Shopping practice conducts more than 4,000 hotel, resort, casino, golf, airport, stadium/arena and retail inspections in a given year.
 
Seven brands are represented in the Canadian franchises – Comfort, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. Likewise, the properties span the entire country, touching 10 provinces, from Newfoundland to British Columbia. LRA will employ multiple full-time hospitality consultants to criss-cross the country visiting properties in order to uphold the twin pillars of every Choice brand – comfort and value.
 
“Every enterprise of our size and reach is mindful of brand assurance and consistency, whether we’re talking about a lodging experience or any other consumer interaction,” explained Mike Jackson, President for Choice Hotels Canada. “Our promise to Choice customers is a clean, attractive room, good service, friendly staff and great rates. We are confident that LRA is the right partner to help us continue to deliver on that promise at each and every one of our Canadian properties.”
 
LRA has conducted similar programs with many of the most well-known names in the lodging industry, across all service categories. From Holiday Inn Express to the St. Regis, LRA’s programs are designed to measure to the exact specifications and needs of the particular brand. 
 
“Regardless of the number of stars attached to a property, a brand assurance program is about one thing – trust,” said John Roberto, LRA’s Executive Vice President leading the project. “The guests at a Quality Inn are placing their trust in Choice that the experience is going to be as promised, just as the guests at a Four Seasons are doing. We’re committed to working with the entire Choice Canada team and each franchisee to ensure that the guest’s trust is well-placed.”
 
Indeed, the program that Choice and LRA have developed is more “carrot,” less “stick,” as the inspection is designed to provide on-the-spot coaching and property-development guidance.
 
“It has always been our goal to serve all of our customers,” continued Jackson.  “This program helps us do that by providing franchisees with a pathway towards a more profitable property and guests with the quality and value that they have a right to expect from a Choice brand.”
 
About Choice Hotels Canada
Choice Hotels Canada Inc. (CHC) is the largest hotel franchisor in the country with over 270 properties representing seven brands from coast to coast, including Comfort, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. CHC is part of Choice Hotels International, which has 5,000 properties worldwide. Further information about CHC and its locations can be accessed by visiting www.choicehotels.ca or by calling 800.4.CHOICE (800.424.6423).
 
About LRA Worldwide, Inc.
LRA Worldwide, Inc., is a leading consulting, training and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). LRA helps companies and brands design and deliver the optimal customer experience across all key touch points using an integrated suite of services that measure and improve service quality, customer satisfaction, employee performance, loyalty, customer advocacy and profitability. LRA specializes in “operationalizing the brand” – turning brand promise and customer strategy into operational reality.  LRA’s tactical CEM practice areas include Customer Experience Strategy Design, Standards and Practices Development, Organizational Development & Training, Customer and Employee Research and Quality Assurance Mystery Shopping; these are either deployed together in a strategic manner to continually monitor and improve the customer experience or deployed individually to address a specific client tactical need. LRA has deep sector expertise in the automotive, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, leisure & real estate, retail, consumer goods & services, sports and entertainment, and travel and transportation industries. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.LRAworldwide.com.
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Contact:
Zachary Conen
Director of Marketing
+1.215.449.0304
  zach.conen@lraworldwide.com
www.lraworldwide.com

Daniel Young
Communications Manager
Choice Hotels Canada
+1.905.624.7762
daniel_young@choicehotels.ca

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Also See: LRA Develops Innovative Quality Assurance/Mystery Shopping Program for Leading Canadian Hotel Company Audit to Measure Functional and Emotional Elements of “The Delta Hotels Guest Experience” / October 2005
The Beverly Hilton and LRA Worldwide Renew Quality Assurance Partnership / August 2005
Grupo Posadas Selects LRA Worldwide to Conduct Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research / February 2005
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Partners with LRA Worldwide to Manage and Improve Customer Experience / September 2004
Hyatt Hotels Corp. Selects LRA for Quality Assurance Services / Aug 2004
Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. and Dover Motorsports, Inc. Are Not Leaving Employee Engagement to Chance; Sister Companies Partner with LRA to Measure Employee Engagement / April 2004
Pestana Hotels & Resorts Selects LRA Worldwide to Manage Guest Satisfaction Survey Program / January 2004
Interstate Hotels & Resorts and LRA Worldwide Partner on New Brand and Quality Initiative / October 2003


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