Emergence of New Trends in Guest Services
By Adrian Kurre Global Head, Homewood Suites & Home2 Suites by Hilton | March 09, 2014
Earlier in my career, I spent some time on the food and beverage side of the hospitality business. A former manager once told me the golden rule of food and beverage: "Serve hot food hot. Serve cold food cold. And do it with a smile."
It is a simple notion that makes a big difference for guests. But its straightforwardness belies a deeper complexity – applicable beyond food and beverage – that we need to continually address across the hospitality industry: delivering on our promises and creating an excellent experience for guests at every step. The reality, as we all know, is the research, the testing, and the partnership with all the stakeholders that create that experience is far from simple.
When it comes to fulfilling our promise to our stakeholders, every hotel brand goes through the usual motions – every few years, we make an upgrade to a property here or there. We switch up the shampoo and conditioner offering; strike a partnership deal with a relevant brand; update our logo. We make incremental changes. The true opportunity is to ensure each change, no matter how small, connects with the entire experience we aim to create for our customers.
Incrementalism is no longer enough. Guests expect more, and rightly so. Their preferences are changing. As choices expand, brand loyalty is more important than ever and harder to win (and keep winning every time).
To meet the moment, hotel brands must think and act for the long term, embracing the complexity and uncertainty of our category.
At Hilton Garden Inn, we've adopted a roadmap, called 'Flourish', that's as much brand strategy as it is a mindset that provides direction and context for everything we do. We use it as a filter to help us make decisions about what's right for guests and to help our general managers, owners, and our entire hotel teams deliver a highly relevant, highly memorable experience and, most importantly, deliver on our promises.