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Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 80

Impertinent Questions Still in Search of Pertinent Answers;
Questions for 32,500 Franchised Hotel Owners; Quote of the Month

 
By Stanley Turkel, CMHS, ISHC
September 16, 2011

1. Impertinent Questions Still in Search of Pertinent Answers

I wrote the following questions in some of my earliest “Nobody Asked Me, But…” columns in the period from 1990-2000.  So far, no pertinent answers have been forthcoming:

  • When will hotel decorators provide a bedside light that will allow me to read in bed?
  • Hasn’t hotel segmentation become market fragmentation?
  • Why do hotels have so few female and African-American hotel managers?
  • Why do hotel bars serve gin and tonics in the same size glasses as whiskey sours?
  • Is it beyond American technological genius to design a blackout drapery that really keeps the morning light out?
  • Isn’t it annoying to find a lamp switch up near the bulb or on the wire somewhere behind the furniture?
  • Am I the only one who can’t distinguish between the shampoo and skin lotion containers after I step into the shower?
  • Was Charles Kuralt (CBS “On The Road”) right when he advised frequent travelers to pack a large safety pin (for room drapes that never meet), a rubber sink stopper (for bad bathroom plumbing) and two 100W bulbs (to improve dim guestroom lighting)?
  • Has the hotel industry taken a hard look at the boom in cruise-ship business to discover what they are doing right?
  • Does anyone take a bath in a hotel?

Incidentally, these questions originally appeared in the Cornell Quarterly, World’s-Eye View on Hospitality Trends (Northern Arizona University), e-hospitality.com, Hotel Interactive and Hotel-Online.

2.  Questions for 32,500 Franchised Hotel Owners (and the Answers)

  • What are the differences between a “good” and a “bad” franchise agreement?
  • What can franchisees do to maximize their bargaining power at the beginning and at the time of renewal?
  • Should franchise companies owe a fiduciary duty to their franchisees?
  • What can franchisees do to maximize their protection against same or similar brand competition?
  • What does “good faith and fair dealing” mean in the franchise context and what can franchisees do to pave the way for making good faith and fair dealing a two-way street?
  • What can franchisees do to plan for, and deal with, the potential need to “exit early”?
  • What can franchisees do if they suspect they are paying too much for the products sold to them by franchisor-approved vendors?
  • What is the proper role of franchisee advisory councils (FAC) and how can they be more effective?
  • How can impact studies be made more objective?
  • How can franchisees get their legitimate disputes with their franchisor resolved early in a fair and effective manner?
  • Can a liquidated damage clause be written so as to be fair to both franchisee and franchisor?

Answers

Support the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights proposed by the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) this summer (and endorsed by AAHOA).  This latest variation provides twelve guidelines franchisees should look for before signing a 20-year franchise agreement:  freedom of association; good faith and fair dealing; uniform application of brand standards; full disclosure of fees collected by franchisors; fair sourcing of goods and services; right to renew; right to transfer; encroachment; ample notice of significant changes; franchisee termination rights; and default.

Michael Garner, Esq. of W. Michael Garner Law Offices (a franchisee attorney) says:

“I think the Bill of Rights is terrific!  It highlights the 12 issues that are truly high priorities for fair treatment of franchisees, and it does so in a succinct and cogent way. Will the Bill of Rights change anything? If it is promoted, endorsed, quoted and used properly, yes, it will change things.  This will require effort within the industry, with courts and judges, with legislators at the state and federal level, and with the public. The document is wonderful—short and easy to understand.  It should be great springboard for educating the public and lawmakers.”

3.  Quote of the Month

Why We Oppose Votes For Men

  1. Because a man’s place is in the army.
  2. Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
  4. Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.
  5. Because men are too emotional to vote.  Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.

                                                                                          Alice Duer Miller, 1915

                                                                                          American novelist and poet,

                                                                                          lived from 1874-1942.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE:

My new book “Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York” will be published before the end of the year.  The circumstances that enabled many of the thirty-two hotels featured in this book to survive more than one hundred years are both surprising and unexpected.

If you want to reserve an autographed copy, send me an email with your mailing address.  I will notify you the when the book is published and available.

In 2009 Stanley Turkel, published his classic book, Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry.  It contains 359 pages, 25 illustrations and 16 chapters.  It also has a foreword (by Stephen Rushmore), preface, introduction, bibliography and index.

Ed Watkins, Editor of Lodging Hospitality wrote, “The lodging industry typically doesn’t spend a lot of time considering its past.  Some may find that odd since compared to many other businesses (computers, automobiles, aircraft), the hotel business is one of oldest if not the oldest, in the history of man.  That changed recently with the publication of….. Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry, a fascinating and entertaining series of profiles of 16 men who author Stanley Turkel argues were the builders of the modern American hotel industry.  That’s significant because due to the efforts of these titans (and others, of course), the American style of hotelkeeping long surpassed the European tradition that reigned for centuries.

Some of the profiles contain cover names (Hilton, Marriott, Johnson, Wilson) familiar to even casual students of hotel or U.S. history.  Sadly, just one of the pioneers covered the book (John Q. Hammons) is still alive and active in the industry.  To me, the more interesting tales cover hoteliers about whom I knew little before reading this book but now have a great appreciation for their contributions.

The most compelling story focuses on Kanjibhai Manchhubhai Patel who Turkel identifies as the first Indian-American hotelier.  K. M. Patel arrived in San Francisco in 1923 and soon began operating a small residential hotel in the city.  The rest, as they say, is history; Today, Indian-American hoteliers dominate the industry with their trade association, AAHOA, recently surpassing 10,000 members.  As Turkel says, this community represents a true American success story.

 To order the book, go to www.greatamericanhoteliers.com.  “I heartily recommend it.”


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Contact: 

Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
917-628-8549
stanturkel@aol.com
www.stanleyturkel.com


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Also See: Nobody Asked me, But… No. 79; Relevant Brand Management?; Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel; The Magical Americana of New York; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / August 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 78; AAHOA Chairman Hits a Home Run; Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights; HomeSpun; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / July 2011

Nobody Asked me, But... No. 77: Public Relations Trumps Common Sense; Nobody Does It Better; Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room to Close; Pay Attention to State Franchise Laws; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / June 2011

Nobody Asked me, But... No. 76: Empire State Building's 80th Anniversary and the Waldorf-Astoria; "Defying Time: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York"; Impertinent Question Seeking a Pertinent Answer; Wyndham Hotel Group Reports; Save the Belleview Biltmore Hotel; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / May 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 75: Blackstone Reportedly Prepping Hilton for Flotation; Things Are Seldom What They Seem, Skim Milk Masquerades As Cream; Quote of the Month; First Announcement / Stanley Turkel / April 2011

Nobody Asked me, But… No. 74: The Triumph of Public Relations; Helpful Hotels; Court Rules Holiday Inn Commits “Reprehensible Fraud”; Quote of the Month / March 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 73: Impertinent Question Still Seeking a Pertinent Answer; The Fountain of Old Age; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / February 2011

Impertinent Question In Search of a Pertinent Answer; Does The Industry Really Need Another Brand?; Hilton’s Hands Get Slapped in Starwood Settlement; China- Based Developers Buy U.S. Hotels; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / January 2011

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 71 - Impertinent Questions Still Seeking Pertinent Answers; The Baseball Business…Where Next?; Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / December 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 70 -John Q. Hammons, Impertinent Question, Quote of the Month / Stanley Turkel / November 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 69 - Large Banks Creating Crisis For Hoteliers; Are Room Telephones Obsolete? / Stanley Turkel / October 2010

Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers; BlueMauMau.org: The Best Franchise Website; Free Wi-Fi at Top of Amenity List / Stanley Turkel / September 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 67 : Stanley Turkel's Review of Budget/Economy Hotels Following a Three Week Pennsylvania Road Odyssey / Stanley Turkel / August 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 66 : Recognizing Three Hotel Industry Experts Whose Accomplishments Are Unique - Bjorn Hanson, Peter Greenberg and Richard Warnick / Stanley Turkel / July 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 65: A Well-Deserved Compliment for Steve Rushmore; Impertinent Questions in Search of Pertinent Answers / Stanley Turkel / June 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 64: Best Western Finally Makes a Move; Cuba, The Caribbean’s Hottest Destination / Stanley Turkel / May 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But - No. 63: Can Airlines Learn From Hotels?; Memo to Ian Schrager / Stanley Turkel / April 2010

Nobody Asked Me, But No. 62 / Do the Radisson Franchisees Agree with Carlson's billion-dollar Makeover Program? At Last: A Win-Win Victory for Tourism; Congratulations to the Harris Rosen Foundation / Stanley Turkel / March 2010
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