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Siegel Sez

September 30, 2022

Siegel Sez

At the Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit it is all about the ride!

Last week I was at the Lodging Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is an amazing event. Maybe it is because I live in the tech world and it is so much fun meeting those who aren’t in tech, but it is always a positive experience. This year the session on technology was led by Mike Blake of HTNG fame. Because of travel delays, the panel was short one person, so Mike grabbed me out of the audience and said I was joining the panel. It was so much fun — we had a mix of hotel CIO types, a couple of vendors, KP Patel the secretary of AAHOA and a hotel owner and operator who could be my favorite hotel owner now. When the conversation got into bandwidth needs and costs, he shared that if you own a hotel there are things you just need to spend money on. I wish every hotel owner was in the room to hear that comment. Too often the industry thinks owners shy away from tech investments even though they are needed. It was a great session with discussions spanning ongoing labor challenges, supply chain issues and many other industry hot topics. It was casual, varied, and with great audience participation and input. I thank Mike and the Lodging Conference for letting me participate.

We are in the final stages of completing our Fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade. There is some unbelievable content and, of course, since this is our first issue after September’s CIO Summit, it is an amazing look back at the week and all the technology subjects that were covered. Without a doubt, there is also the fun stuff that these tech leaders experienced in Hollywood, Calif. If hotel tech is your world, you will love our feature article, “What’s Happening in the World of Hospitality Trade Shows.” Yes, you can guess where this might go, but we reached out to get support from everyone including AHLA, HFTP and HSMAI among others. We also took a deep dive into Gaming Technology in the upcoming issue. If you’ve ever put a dollar in a slot machine you will love this special section. You can receive Hospitality Upgrade digitally or in print by going to www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe.  If you aren’t already a subscriber, I bet you will thank me for encouraging you to subscribe.

Challenges with staffing was a popular subject at the CIO Summit, the Lodging Conference and I am sure will be a topic of conversation at every upcoming conference. In his Definitely Doug column that follows, Doug Rice does a great job explaining how mistakes are made in the recruiting and hiring process and how technology should come into play to correct these mistakes. We thank Doug for his great column on something that is negatively impacting the hotel industry.

On a much lighter note, many of you have followed and often asked about my life in the thoroughbred horse world. Our 4-year-old horse Hangout is not the fastest horse in the world, but he tries hard every time. He has raced 18 times and 15 times he has come in second or third. He doesn’t seem to want to finish first, and always lets one or two horses pass him right before the finish line. Well, that came to an end a couple of weeks ago — the 19th time was the charm as Hangout finally won a race! Yes, we might not win every time, but as long as we keep trying good things will happen. That is my belief.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Doug Rice with his Definitely Doug column. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Thanks for reading, and please send any comments to me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.


Definitely Doug

You’re Hired!

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the hospitality industry has a major labor issue. Occupancy is roughly back to pre-pandemic levels, but a lot of the workers have not come back – and they don’t plan to. In the U.S. alone, the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show employment in the accommodation sector is still 19% below its February 2020 level, or almost 400,000 jobs short. Many of my past blog topics have explored areas where technology can reduce the workload at hotels, and the feedback is that it often helps.

But technology can’t do much for tasks like cleaning guest rooms or cooking meals, and even when it can, we might not want it to (do you really want your fine-dining meal delivered by a robot?). Food and beverage workers are in particularly short supply, and it is difficult to deliver a quality experience without enough of them.

The job market remains tight, and the behavior of job seekers has changed, in many ways likely permanently. A recent study of hospitality job applicants by Hireology found that 45% of job seekers applied to more than 16 positions, up from 32% in just one year. And in terms of evaluating different opportunities, the study found that flexibility is now more important than higher pay, with 50% of current employees saying they would take a pay cut for the flexibility they want. Salary is still the most important qualifier in searching for a new job, but schedule flexibility is second.

While larger corporate hotel employers may have human resources departments with trained recruiting professionals, many hires are made not by corporate staff by front line managers at individual hotels. They may not have access to, be able to navigate, or have the necessary skills to successfully use recruiting software designed for professionals, and they may need a very different solution. For them, recruiting is just one of a hundred tasks occupying their work day, and it is one that many are poorly trained to do.

In a tight job market, with applicants applying to 15 other jobs, most front-line hiring managers don’t stand much of a chance when competing for talent against large companies who employ professional recruiters who spent their entire careers honing their skills for reaching, attracting, qualifying, and ultimately hiring candidates. The applicant may never see that poorly constructed job listing because the person who created it did not understand how applicants search and filter opportunities. Or if they do see it, it will likely be less well marketed than professionally listed jobs right above or below it on the job site – and seem less enticing.

This week’s blog will focus on recruiting and onboarding solutions. There are many different approaches and no single right answer, but I looked at several companies offering solutions with many different features and options. The question is which one (or ones) are best suited to the people doing your actual hiring. Some focus more on the needs of professional human resources departments, others on front-line hiring managers, and some do both. Many companies carry the process all the way from recruiting and evaluating to onboarding, training, ongoing engagement, payroll, and talent management; others just handle one or two of these.

Click here to read more of Doug’s column You’re Hired!


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas
You’re Hired!


- M3’s Director of Development, Named a Timmy Award Best Tech Manager Finalist
Sujata Devraj, Director of Development, at M3, has been announced as a finalist in Atlanta’s Best Tech Manager category for the 2022 Timmy Awards.

- Travel Outlook Welcomes Senior Sales Executive Judy Cassidy
Travel Outlook, the Premier Hotel Call Center™ and owner of Annette the Virtual Hotel Agent™ is pleased to announce that hotel industry veteran Judy Cassidy is joining Travel Outlook as Senior Sales Executive.

- PROVision Taps Hotel and Travel Industry Veteran Sally Kelly as Senior Vice President, Advisory Services
PROVision Partners (“PROVision”), a leading global strategic growth marketing, technology, and commercial services advisory firm to the travel and hospitality industry, today announces the appointment of Sally Kelly as Senior Vice President, Advisory Services.


- Maestro Showcases Unified, Seamless Guest Booking Journey with All-In-One PMS Solution at Independent Hotel Show London
Web browser-based cloud and on-premises PMS technology provider will demonstrate full suite of modules and latest innovations including their Mobile Guest Engagement and Mobile Staff Operations Line, a NEW Frontline User Tablet Application, and NEW Integrated Technologies.

- Scotland's Activity-Rich Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels Delivering Exceptional Guest Experiences Via Maestro All-In-One Cloud PMS
With seven properties centralized on a single database in a private cloud, Crieff Hydro is producing unified guest booking journeys and single guest itineraries, leveraging Maestro's custom integrations and stellar support; Visit Maestro at the Independent Hotel Show Oct. 4-5, London in Stand 1510.

- Tribal Casinos Deliver Winning Guest Experiences with Oracle Cloud
Casinos bet on OPERA Cloud, MICROS Simphony, and Nor1 to bridge gaming, dining, and entertainment operations and deliver more connected guest experiences.


- CartStack’s RezRecover Solution Leverages BEDS© and Conditional Content to Re-Engage Prospective Travelers and Recover Lost Bookings
BEDS© is CartStack’s unique tracking code, which enables hotels to capture and inject abandoned booking data into personalized email reminders.


- IDeaS Releases the Ultimate Buyer's Guide for Rethinking Revenue Management in Today's Hospitality Industry
IDeaS Revenue Solutions, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, today announced the release of its Annual Hotel Revenue Management Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. The Guide was designed to help hospitality professionals who are facing serious post-pandemic challenges such as labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and economic slowdown.

- Amadeus Launches the World's Most Comprehensive Air Traffic Forecast
Building on Amadeus' comprehensive air data, the newly launched Air Traffic Forecast provides tourism businesses with a holistic view of the traveler journey from start to finish.


- PPDS Confirms Commitment to Chromecast built in™ as a Steadfast Feature on All Philips MediaSuite TVs and Philips B-Line Displays into the Future
- Introducing Whistle for Cloudbeds: The New Guest Engagement Solution Powered by Cloudbeds
- Virdee and CLEAR Partner for Frictionless Hotel Check-In
- Hotel Internet Services Publishes GuestCast Usage Analytics Demonstrating Hospitality's Growing Demand for Content Streaming Technology

For more information on Guest Facing Technology for 9/30/2022


- Everything You Need to Know About GA4 / GCommerce Solutions
By now, many of you have heard us talk about Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This new analytics update is part of a series of steps that will bridge the divide between database driven analytics and privacy concerns. Download our free ebook that will tell you everything you need to know about GA4 – what it is, what to expect and why it’s important to your business.

- Sojern Celebrates 15 Years Supporting Travel, Expands Platform Capabilities to Better Serve Travel Marketers
With cutting-edge machine learning technologies built in, the Sojern platform powers travel marketing campaigns for more than 10,000 hotel, destination and attraction clients annually.

- Lodging Interactive Launches Complete Digital Presence and Marketing Solution for Hospitality
LodgingPLUS enables properties to reach and capture more direct online business, thereby reducing OTA fees and related expenses.


- Engage Your Guests the Minute They Open Their Device to Connect to Wi-Fi
Guests will watch your full-screen, high-impact video! Content that you can upload, schedule and change at any time.


- Morongo Casino Resort and Spa Gains Immediate Revenue Boost and Speeds Guest Service by Deploying Agilysys Self-Service Kiosk Software in The Marketplace by Fabio Vivani
New technology enables convenient, around-the-clock dining experiences without staffing strain.

- Oracle Cloud Drives Restaurant Automation and Efficiency with New Integrations
Restaurants are increasingly looking to technology to quickly adapt in a rapidly changing market that faces continued supply chain issues, inflation, labor shortages and fickle customers. To help restaurants stay relevant and profitable, Oracle Cloud Marketplace continues to offer a record number of new integrations for MICROS Simphony Point-of-Sale (POS).


- Highgate Partners with Transcendent by Actabl as Preferred Provider of Hotel Asset Management Solutions
Actabl, an industry’s first and only integrated hotel operations, business intelligence and labor management solution platform, today announced that it has been selected by Highgate as the preferred provider of asset management solutions to its global portfolio of properties, which includes over 530 properties comprising over 87,500 owned and/or managed hotel rooms across the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.


- M3 Releases Geofencing and Beacon Features within Labor Management Mobile App
M3 announced more tremendous enhancements, including geo-fencing and beacon technology, to its proprietary Labor Management app, M3 Labor.


- React Mobile Unveiling Hospitality’s Most Responsive, Reliable, and Self-Managing Panic Button Solution to CHLA, AAHOA Members in San Diego
For the first time attendees of the Southern California Hotel Conference and Trade Show will experience React Mobile 2.0, an employee safety solution with pinpoint location accuracy.


- Agilysys to Reveal New Digital and Mobile Software Approaches to Overcoming Hospitality Staff Shortages
Casinos and resorts interested in actions they can take to elevate guest service despite staffing constraints can see demonstrations in Agilysys’ G2E Booth #3800 and learn more in the Agilysys Innovation Lab session on Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m.

- AAHOA Statement on IHG Security Breach
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) today released the following statement in response to the recent IHG ransomware attack.


Valor Hospitality Partners CEO Says Staffing Crisis at Its Worst
Hotel Guest Experience Needs to Improve to Maintain Rates
Are Hotels Putting People’s Lives at Risk, Just to Save Some Money?
An Early Look at New Attribute-Based Shopping for Hotels

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 9/30/2022

And now for the You-Know-What...

A horse and a game of cricket
A horse was looking over a fence watching a game of cricket. "Any chance of a game?" he asked the captain.
At first the captain was taken aback by the talking horse, but when it insisted it was keen to play the skipper thought it might be a bit of a laugh if he sent the horse out as opening bat.
The horse shaped up to the first ball and slammed it over the boundary for six. He did the same with the second and third, indeed every ball he hit for six until the over ended. He had been partnered by the captain, and when the bowler ran in from the other end and the captain managed his first hit for a meagre single, he called for the horse to run. But the horse just stood there. Frantic calls by the captain to run were ignored and in the confusion the skipper was stumped out.
"Why didn't you run?" roared the captain.
"Listen mate," said the horse, "if I could run, I would be at the racetrack today, not messing around with this cricket game. 

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