By Gerry Chase, President and COO, New Castle Hotels & Resorts

In today’s constantly connected, tech-focused world, it sometimes seems as though nothing is the same as it used to be. That may be true, but it’s also true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here are the new twists on old-school truths for our amped up, tech-focused world:

  1. What gets tracked gets done. Not long ago we had 48 column spreadsheets and did a lot of legwork to figure out what the competition was doing. Today services and technology like Revinate and Smith Travel have replaced the DIY approach, but good operators still keep track and whoever uses the instantaneous information best wins the day.
  2. Selling is all about relationships. The best hotel sales people have always been able to sell the dream of a storybook wedding or the satisfaction of a meeting that runs like clockwork. Today’s sellers need to not only have great people skills but solid working relationships with the technology and tools that help prospect, price, produce and plan sometimes years in advance.
  3. Good taste never goes out of style. But when it comes to hotel food and beverage, the style of good taste changes constantly. Universally accepted menus that included chicken, beef and fish dishes, plus a few salads, a decent burger, and a club sandwich served in a predictably outfitted dining room have given way to locally relevant offerings, small plates and design-forward décor.Trends are as fluid as a cold craft beer, so kick the chicken kiev to the curb and keep your eye on what’s trending next.
  4. It’s personal. Whether it’s getting your regular table at a favorite restaurant, or having your usual drink on the bar before you make it to the stool, personal service has always been the hallmark of hospitality. The old school front desk exchange was more about paperwork than personalization, but in our tech-focused world, when guests can book, check- in and order an extra pillow before ever crossing your threshold, front desk staff can now get to know the guest, not just the folio. Today, the front desk is truly a platform for making it personal if you use that time to get to know the guest and cross-sell your amenities or recommend a nearby shop, restaurant or event that the guest might like.

Staying current has never been more challenging, but in the world of hospitality, what’s true today, will likely be true tomorrow, just coming at you faster and in more detail than ever before.