RevPAW, officially and as we all know, doesn’t exist. Yet for many Hotel Pros this represents the Revenue Management KPI par excellence.
Why talking about Guests when ultimately what many hoteliers are interested in is not the Guest, but what’s in his wallet?
The very moment we will see the same attention to Guest Experience and Guest Care as the one given to OTAs, CRMs, RMSs, PMSs, MSEs and everything else that falls under the label “tools”… there is when we can consider RevPAW a deprecated KPI.
Below is an interesting and also romantic post makes us reflect about what Hospitality really is. Or used to be?
NB: Click here to see the full article on Hospitality.net.
Is Contemporary Hospitality Outdated.
Traveling and providing services to travelers is what gives to a big percentage of the world’s population a colorful tone to their reality. Including myself.
Nothing is ideally made in this world, including the hospitality industry. Although, working in tourism factor you get a microbe (apart from Covid19), which creates difficulties on getting easily adjusted in another corporate working style.
2020 deprived us of this traveling pleasure not only as receivers but also as providers. In order to fill my empty hours in a “ghost” hotel where I work the past 4 years, while I was missing the feeling of taking care of my multi-cultural guests in the city center of Amsterdam, I decided to create an online course based on hospitality. I couldn’t offer services so I created a way of being able to think step by step and write down the procedure of providing service in the hotel. I was trying to keep myself connected with the subject that I mostly liked doing.
I’m coming from Greece. We don’t study hospitality there. We experience it.
My traditional Greek grandmother would have shouted at me if I hadn’t offered cold water and coffee to travelers that were passing by our house on their way to their trekking paths nearby my village. The door of her house was always open. Only a curtain to protect us from the summer flies and mosquitos was there. Often I was taking an afternoon power nap on the couch, opening my eyes and seeing the neighbor in our kitchen searching for tomato sauce or pasta because she forgot to buy from the supermarket saying “my son is coming and he asked me to cook pasta because he doesn’t eat lentil soup. He’s spoiled. But who has the power now to walk back to the city just for a packet of pasta?” (she was always replacing it later on).
In this example the hospitality is taught unconsciously and in a natural way:
By my grandmother who says “my home is your home” by letting the door open and allowing me to go and sleep without her even knowing.
By allowing the neighbor to enter any time and make use of her products in a joint ownership way.
By our neighbor that as long as her son asked for a specific dish, no matter what, she would have found the most efficient way to please him.
Not to mention the fact that every time that she was making nice deserts was taking into consideration 10-15 extra pieces for the random passengers. If we were trying to eat more than the normal? She was screaming: “Stop eating, you will explode… And what if someone visits us? We’ll have nothing to offer him. What a shame? Go away! (This shouting was coming in a cute way as you have may heard in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. It is not considered as bullying but as a joke.)
The point out of this story is, that when I did my Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management I got taught about many techniques of using our as students our communication skills in decently, the way that we should approach the guest politely, the grooming, the dress codes, the hair length, and my earrings length, my make-up, cliché phrases in emails and repeated words for welcoming guests. During my working experience, I have applied most of them. As I’m writing an opinion essay though, I get the right and the freedom to express my disagreement regarding these commonplace, outdated policies. I can understand the important role of using a uniform. Definitely, it shows that we are accessible to the guests for questions and help. Obviously, gives the feeling of extra security as not anyone in the hotel could pretend that belongs to the staff and has access to the rooms.
Who cares if my nail colour is purple or white in our century as long as I show you that I’m servicing you with all my pleasure and smile?
Who cares if my hair are long and wavy and not short and tight if I don’t serve your food and overcome the hygiene rules?
Who cares if I don’t address to a 19 years old person with the term “Mr Johnson” but with his name.
Politeness and dignity don’t spring from formalities.
And this is what I wanted to include to my hospitality coaching program.
The protocol is also included in the program as we may need it, if we accommodate Queen Elisabeth or any other person that likes to be treated on this way.
Although, nowadays we could become more spontaneous and try to teach the hospitality students the way to “read” the person that stands in front of them with the purpose of approaching him with the most appropriate and pleasant for the guest way.
We have been transformed to robots. Using the same expressions, the same body language, having the same mechanic smile in our faces.
Hospitality is not accounting where 1+1=2.
Even in economics that I happened to get in contact with, before I completely directed my career to the tourism factor, follow tendency and average. Nothing is black and white not even in such a “technocratic” science.
On the other side, we apply in hospitality services in such a strict, sterile and conservative procedure; a field that is human- communication-oriented. In my point of view, here, is where adjustability, flexibility and out of the box thinking is the number one skill.
If I am wrong, why the top traveling destinations not only for the natural beauty but also for the cultural and hospitable approach based on statistics are: Mexico, Thailand, Bhutan, Latin America, New Zealand, countries around the Mediterranean Sea? How many of the hospitality workers graduated with high grades in those countries the last 20 years?
If the statistics come from the big hotel chains which require specific customer service protocols, why North America, Europe and Australia, lands that are full of hotel chains, with amazing academic systems and tourism schools are very low in the list of the hospitality services?
It definitely can be cultural… But why not to study the culture of successful examples in our field countries and try to follow their way?
Contrariwise, we have been stuck so many years to obsolete systems.
Working 365 days per year and 24/7, it is quite tiring for people who work quite long in hospitality. At least, let them be themselves. Without overcoming the rules and the regulations that are required. Honestly, though, there are so many rules that logically, are not required apart from the formalities and just add extra stress in so many hard-workers avoiding a few burnouts that keep increasing.
It seems like timidly appear Boutique Hotels that try to follow alternative ways and become thematic showing a more open-minded style.
If we manage to speed up the understanding of the real travelers’ needs and we stop wearing a fake face in at a front-desk or restaurant, hospitality could reach a next level.
As travelers ourselves, is that what we want? Real, friendly people to share authentic moments and make our trip unique and not copy-paste like a factory that produces identical experiences.