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court williams

The Impact of Technology on Hotel Sales and Marketing

Court Williams | July 8, 2019

By Court Williams and Rachel H. Levitt Gone are the days when travelers sought accommodations using the local newspaper or telephone directory, picked up the phone and called to make a reservation. Hospitality sales and marketing in the 21st century is a much more vibrant, complex activity, populated by multifaceted stakeholders at every level of the industry. This is complemented by a proliferation of new brands, ever-increasing rivalry, and a race to introduce new tools before competitors do. The Simplicity of the Past Achieving proper exposure was fairly simple in the past, although at the time it was considered as much of a sc...

Generation Z: What Do They Want From Their Hotel Stay Experience?

Court Williams | July 1, 2019

By Court Williams "The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers." Attributed to Socrates in 470 BC, this popular quote sums up how humanity has felt about its younger generation since the beginning of time. Generation Z is no exception. Born between 1995 and 2010, these digital natives have become an important influence on people of all ages and incomes, according to a McKinsey report...

Understanding the Resistance to Change Within the Hospitality Industry

Sheetal Singh | April 4, 2019

By Sheetal Singh, Court Williams Frustrating, painful, draining, scary, exciting, unsettling, and exhausting are some of the words people, who are on the receiving side of change, use to describe their experience. It is a highly personal and emotional experience for most of us. Now imagine needing to serve guests cheerfully in a hospitality setting while you are experiencing these negative emotions. As a result, the toll change takes on hospitality professionals is greater than for most other industries. It is, therefore, critical that we understand the resistance to change as well as, have a plan to convert the "resistance" t...

Technology in the Hospitality Industry – Have We Gone Too Far?

Court Williams | March 20, 2019

The hospitality industry is changing, and is rapidly becoming super high-tech. While we can argue that this benefits guests—and it certainly benefits vendors—how much is it taking away from the guest's personal experience? Theoretically, it should improve the customer experience, particularly through the use of data collected by using the various technologies. Let's look at how guests actually feel, especially the Baby Boomers who look set to remain the most prolific travelers for the next two to three years, and see if the numbers support the theory that technology has improved the hospitality experience. Since the early da...

How to Minimize the Cost of Emotional Labor

Sheetal Singh | May 3, 2018

By Sheetal Singh and Court Williams While we have come to accept emotional labor as a critical aspect of being a good hotelier, both hotels and hoteliers struggle with the outcomes associated with engaging in emotional labor constantly. Burnout, stress and emotional exhaustion are terms we are all but too familiar with. Why is There a Cost to Emotional Labor? Over three decades ago Arlie Hochschild (1983) introduced the concept of emotional labor that extended our understanding of work related challenges beyond physical labor. A majority of her work focused on understanding its impact on airline personnel and how they coped with it. She...

F&B: Which Is More Profitable – Outsourcing or In-House?

Court Williams | April 10, 2018

By Court Williams Hotel Food and Beverage (F&B) operations increased in revenue value by 4.9% during 2017, according to a report from STR. This is clear evidence that F&B is still an important revenue stream, second to accommodation income, but it is profitable only if companies optimize the way they operate the division. Outsourcing is a popular way to take the problem off a company's plate, but is it necessarily the best option for their hotel and bottom line? At HVS, we believe that profit should not be the primary motive and that the main reason for having food and beverage facilities in a hotel is to enhance the Rooms Divis...

The Growing Use of Technology and Robotics in Food Service

Court Williams | April 5, 2018

By Court Williams Opponents of artificial intelligence (AI) have long predicted the time will come when robots take over the jobs of human employees. That day has arrived, with a number of food service companies using technology in previously human-filled roles. Reasoning Behind the Shift Ever since vending machines started to dispense food in 1897, food service automation has gained ground, moving towards self-service and eventually machine services. There are multiple reasons why food service companies are looking for alternatives to the traditional ways of producing and serving food, including: The shortage of kitchen workers, whic...

Differentiating Lifestyle Hotel Brands in an Increasingly Competitive Category

Court Williams | December 6, 2017

By Court Williams The millennial's idea that they have everything they need and nothing they don't (lyrics from Homegrown by the Zac Brown Band) has caught on among travelers of this generation, and they have embraced lifestyle-focused options within established hotel brands like Marriott's Moxy wholeheartedly. Is this a just a passing trend, though, or is it a shift in philosophy that's here to stay? To determine the answer, I believe we need to look at who makes up the bulk of the travel market, and why they travel. Millennials Making Waves Statistics from Mintel show 83% of millennials took a leisure trip during 2016, compared with o...

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