Please read chapter 1 and watch the documentary provided in Week 2 folder. Based on the information provided in the documentary, please accurately answer the following questions:
1. How does Marriott International ensure consistency in service? Please provide specific example(s) from the video and use key terms offered in Chapter 1 within your answer. Please use bold to highlight the key terms you are using from chapter 1. You must accurately use the key term(s) in context to demonstrate your understanding of the definition of term being used. You must use a minimum of 2 key terms in your response. (25 pts.)
2. How does Marriott International influence guests’ decision to return to its hotels? Please use a minimum of one key term used in chapter 1 when responding to this question and highlight it in bold. (25 pts.)
Minimum word count: 300 words
Overview of Chapter 1
If you have not already done so, please read Chapter 1 ‘The Lodging Industry’ (pages 3-30, ending with the summary section). Pay particular attention to the key terms provided at the end of the chapter and go over the 12 review questions. Use the slide summary provided in module 1 folder to take notes if necessary. Carefully reading the chapter and then reviewing the key terms and review questions will be helpful when you get ready for the quiz.
In chapter 1, the author of our textbook shows us how to classify hotels and guests. It is important for us to understand the various ways we can classify hotels and our guests since our marketing strategies as well as training techniques for running a room division will be directly influenced by the ‘nature’ of hotel business we are in. Note the differences across hotel ownership, affiliation and management described in the chapter.
Given the outlook on the industry provided in chapter 1, I would like to offer you a macro perspective of the hotel industry and ask you to contemplate about what our product in the hotel business is. What are we selling? Are we simply selling a room? Absolutely not. We are in the business of creating memories and we are selling an experience. Some companies have carefully crafted the components needed for this experience and successfully packaged these components to franchise their brand, i.e. management standards, quality standards, service standards, and so on.
Once you read chapter 1, please watch the documentary entitled ‘Hotel: Behind Closed Doors at Marriott. This 43-minutes documentary provides great examples on all key concepts covered in chapter 1. Pay attention to how Marriott International operates its brands, and how the levels of service provided across its brands influence the guests’ buying decisions.
So what is a hotel? Think about it as a place where a range of hospitality activities are housed within one-site. This is very important to note. “The location of the service provider is also the place where the customer purchases and consumes the services offered” – Is this true for other industries such as banking, transportation, accounting? In order to appreciate hotel operations and the role of rooms division, we must begin by appreciating the key (and often unique) characteristics of the hospitality industry. Please review the characteristics listed below. It is important that we remember them, not just for the midterm or the final exam, because several systematic issues we face in the hotel industry is due to the decision makers’ ignoring some of these unique characteristics of our industry. The traditional management techniques do not always apply to the service industry. We must understand and appreciate the environment we operate in if we want to remain successful.
- The product (experience) is intangible. Further, services are perishable (a room night is perishable). You can’t store Wednesday night’s unsold room and sell it later. An unoccupied room is lost revenue. However, if you were selling a tangible product, such as a 2017 model car, you can still sell it in 2018 – it is not a total loss.
- All functions within a hotel are interdependent – scope of accountability goes across front desk to housekeeping, reservations to accounting. A service failure in one can easily impact the experience of the guest across other functions, i.e. a hotel room not being prepared on time by housekeeping puts pressure on front desk agents.
- Sales volatility (seasonal industry): As a hotelier, you have to recognize the fluctuations in the economy, the season, weekly variation in demands, and so on. For example, a ski-resort has to plan for slow summer seasons or lack of snow in winter.
- Hotel industry is labor intensive – the physical activity has changed very little over the years; compare the impact of technology on other industries and hotels. We still have uniformed personnel, GRA’s, etc. There are changes due to technological advances such as self check-in kiosks, robot butlers, etc. However, compared to other industries, such as automotive, we are very much dependent on high-touch (human interaction) regardless of high-tech around us.
In summary, we have to remember that our industry is unique – this provides challenges for how to manage, i.e. financial mgmt., decision making processes, etc. Chapter 1 shows us how to best makes sense of the environment we operate in by being able to accurately classify our services.