Beekeeper Continues to Dominate in the Hotel Technology Arena; Named ‘Top Operational Product’ for Employee Engagement by HotelTechReport

Company recognized for adding immense value for hoteliers by helping them compete in the digital age; This is the 5th technology award presented to Beekeeper in the last eight months for its operational communication platform

San Francisco, Jan. 17, 2019Beekeeper is on a roll! This week the company earned its fifth hotel technology award as a “2019 Top Rated Operations Product” by HotelTechReport for its Employee Engagement app that helps hotel teams “save time, improve efficiencies and collaborate better.” Winners were selected from more than 180 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges but by a global community comprised from thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries.

Over the last eight months, Beekeeper has become widely recognized and earned hospitality’s top technology honors for its operational communication platform that digitizes the non-desk workforce by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive interface. The platform was named “Most Innovative Technology of 2018” by Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG); voted “People’s Choice” at HITEC® Houston 2018 as part of the Entrepreneur 20X Competition hosted by Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP); and earned the “Most Innovative Hotel Technology” 2018 designation during the Tech Pitch at HX: The Hotel Experience. It was also named the 59th Fastest Growing Company in 2018 by SaaS 1000. Last week, HotelTechReport named Beekeeper among the Top 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2019.”

“The accolades keep on coming and we couldn’t be prouder,” said Connie Rheams, Beekeeper Vice President, Hospitality. “Being a HotelTechAwards recipient and being chosen the best Staff Learning & Communication Software in the Operations Technology category is especially gratifying because our ranking was based on verified client feedback. HotelTechReport took the time to poll our customers and ask them how they use Beekeeper and why they rely on us to connect colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile or desktop devices. Their responses were unscripted and impactful.”

Here’s what just a few reviewers had to say about Beekeeper and its employee engagement capabilities. To read the full list of assessments, click here:

  • “Beekeeper gives us the ability to effectively communicate with our employees. This is a great feature since 70 percent of our employees do not have a work email address. We live in a society of constant communication and instant gratification, and Beekeeper puts us in the position as an employer to meet and exceed these two needs. All in all, Beekeeper is a vital part of our employee engagement and success our of organization!”
  • [Beekeeper gives us] the ability to have sight throughout multiple levels of the organization at multiple properties throughout the country and share inspiration, ideas and teamwork. It has been an amazing tool to elevate our company culture.”
  • “Recently our neighboring town of Paradise, Calif., lost over 14,000 homes in the most destructive fire in our nation’s history. We had 29 employees lose everything. Cell towers were down, creating many rumors, but our staff used Beekeeper to effectively communicate and direct all effected to the proper agencies and lines of support we were providing.”
  • “My favorite thing about Beekeeper is the ability to keep open communication between different departments that I don't often see, and employees on other shifts. It helps keep me up to date on what's going on business wide! I also enjoy the fact that Beekeeper allows my employees to be able to contact me anywhere I am if there is an issue that arises.”
  • “[Beekeeper is] functional and user friendly. All employees can stay informed with the [happenings] around the hotel and easily adapt to using the mobile app or desktop version. As the model is like social media, the staff enjoy staying engaged.”

"Today's labor market is extremely competitive, and hotels must now retain talent from gig economy jobs that provide unlimited flexibility to workers,” said Jordan Hollander, CEO of HotelTechReport. “Beekeeper clients consistently write on HotelTechReport about the product's ability to increase employee engagement and communication while building a better culture on property. Beekeeper gives on property staff a way to stay connected during the busy workday which makes for a more engaged and better- informed team."

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Anthony Klok Elected 2019 Board Chairman of Best Western Hotels & Resorts

(CHICAGO, IL; January 17, 2019) – Rebel Hospitality is pleased to announce the election of Principal Anthony Klok to 2019 Board Chairman of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. Klok, who previously served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, enters his new position with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the hotel industry. In addition to several award-winning boutique properties throughout Chicago, he and his partners at Rebel Hospitality also manage a Best Western Plus property in the city’s vibrant Lakeview East neighborhood.

“Mr. Klok has deep experience in many segments of the industry,” said Best Western Hotels & Resorts President and CEO David Kong. “He is known for being innovative and strategic. His background and progressive approach will be invaluable to Best Western as it continues its amazing journey of enhancing brand image and driving superior value to its hotels.”

A University of Illinois Champaign graduate, Klok began his career in hospitality as Co-Founder and Principal of the successful Rebel Hospitality, which boasts development of 15 independent boutique and branded hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues in Chicago and Memphis.

Throughout his career, Klok has had far-reaching involvement in a number of hospitality associations, including the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, the DePaul University School of Hospitality Advisory Board and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. Klok’s deep industry knowledge led to his election to Best Western’s Board of Directors in 2013 to represent the interests of Best Western hotel owners in eight states and provinces in the Midwestern United States and Canada, from Ontario to Kentucky.

“Being elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Best Western Hotels & Resorts is truly an honor,” said Klok. “I have personally seen Best Western grow and evolve significantly in recent years, and I’m excited to play an even bigger role in building the brand and fostering growth for each and every hotel owner, while also improving our guest experience through innovation.”

Klok’s impressive track record of delivering exceptional results is set to continue in 2019 as he will play a crucial role in driving yet another noteworthy year for Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

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Hotel Equities Adds Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Tacoma DuPont to Portfolio

Atlanta, GA – January 17, 2019 – Today, Atlanta-based hotel owner, operator and developer, Hotel Equities (HE), announced the addition of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Tacoma DuPont to their portfolio of hotels. The hotel, bearing the brand’s latest design and décor, offers 500 square feet of meeting space and is located at 1515 Wilmington Drive. The hotel is owned by Northwest Lodging, LLC.

“We are thrilled to mark our entry into the state of Washington with the addition of this great Marriott hotel in the Tacoma DuPont area,” said Joe Reardon, Chief Development Officer for HE. “Our above-property team is focused on producing high-performance results for the hotel, as well as being an active and meaningful contributor to the DuPont/Tacoma community."

Fairfield by Marriott is committed to giving back by supporting organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Hotel Equities is a two-time recipient of Marriott’s Spirit to Serve award recognizing the firm for their commitment to bettering the communities they serve.

“We are proud to partner with Hotel Equities to operate our Fairfield hotel,” said Khalid Chaudhry, owner representative for Northwest Lodging, LLC. “We are confident they will manage our asset to the highest standards, delivering superior overall results that keeps guests returning.”

The hotel’s guestrooms were designed to keep guests comfortable and productive during their stays, offering unique amenities including free high-speed internet, plush beds, large desks and seating areas for relaxing or meeting with colleagues. The hotel also offers a fitness center and indoor pool, as well as complimentary breakfast for guests.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Tacoma DuPont offers guests convenient access just off I-5, midway between Tacoma and Olympia, with Fort Lewis located just minutes away. Other attractions such as the spectacular Puget Sound, Washington’s State Capitol and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge are all within a short drive.

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Premier Inn owner sees total sales up for third quarter

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, has reported total sales growth of 2.5% for the hotel brand in its Q3 trade report.

The UK business achieved a total accommodation sales growth of 3.5% in the third quarter, which group said reflected a “strong central London market and a weak regional market”.

Additionally, over 2,000 new rooms have been added in FY19 so far, and the group said “occupancy remained” high at over 80%.

Whitbread said it is now a “focused hotel business”, with over 800 hotels in the UK, Germany and the Middle East operating under the Premier Inn brand, and a “committed pipeline of over 20,000 additional rooms”.

Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain said: “We are cautious about the macro environment for the next financial year due to increased uncertainty and continuing high inflation. Although we are confident in our ability to create value from ongoing investment in the UK and increasing investment in international growth, in this environment we expect underlying profit before tax in FY20 to be consistent with this year.”

She added: “Our unique model and leading market position in the UK puts us in a strong position to capture structural growth opportunities in the UK and internationally.

“Investing in growth through our disciplined approach to capital allocation ensures we can create sustainable value for shareholders over the longer-term. We look forward to presenting this in further detail at our Capital Markets Day.”

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Pacifica Hotels Promotes Chris Marquis to Executive Vice President of Acquisitions

Orange County, CA (January 17, 2019) – Pacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of independent hotels on the Pacific Coast, appoints Chris Marquis to Executive Vice President of Investments & Acquisitions.

In his new position, Marquis will play a critical role in the development and execution of Pacifica’s strategic growth plan and be responsible for all acquisition, disposition and financing processes including deal sourcing, deal structuring, underwriting oversight, due diligence, and investor management.

Todd Moreau, COO of Pacifica Hotels said, “We congratulate Chris in this well-deserved role. With his experienced leadership of the acquisition and investment team, we will have the opportunity to focus on additional key areas ultimately positioning the company for greater future success.”

Marquis has served as the Vice President of Pacifica Hotels for the past four years, primarily responsible for the development of both commercial and private equity assets.

Prior to his career at Pacifica, Marquis joined GE Capital’s Executive Leadership Program, where he worked alongside GE executives in launching new commercial platforms, developing new business products, and managing the debt book for hotels, multi-family and commercial properties through GE’s Commercial Real Estate Lending group.

Marquis holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.

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UK hotel market to continue growth in 2019 according to Chrisite & Co

Despite “growing operational costs” and “concerns over staff recruitment in post-Brexit Britain”, the UK hotel market showed “encouraging signs of growth” in 2018 which looks set to continue in 2019, according to the latest annual report by Christie & Co.

The report, ‘Business Outlook 2019: Navigate, Innovate, Accelerate’ forecast that RevPAR growth in both London and the UK regions would be steady, with growth of +0.6% and +0.7% in London and the regions respectively, between 2018 and 2019. Supply was also found to show healthy increases, with many of the major British cities such as Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh seeing “strong” pipelines in the year ahead.

The report also found international investment continued to be a key driver, with Christie & Co identifying capital from across the globe, particularly from European investors making up more than 50% of UK investment in 2018. Average prices also remained economically positive throughout 2018 with hotels seeing a 4% increase.

Brexit was identified as a “pivotal factor” for businesses within the hospitality sector in the UK, which employs around 400,000 EU migrant workers, and Christie & Co said any changes to immigration policies “could have a notable impact”.

Looking to the year ahead, the report outlined Christie & Co’s market predictions; flat or negative profit growth for some operators due to higher costs, a potential increase in distressed positions in the second half of 2019, and new developments in technology being implemented to improve customer service and productivity.

Barrie Williams, managing director – hospitality at Christie & Co said: “The UK hotel market remains an attractive investment proposition and appeals to a wide range of buyers. Christie & Co continue to see many opportunities for value creation in the hotel market and across brokerage, valuation and consultancy, we are well placed to provide all types of investors with advice.”

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile Appoints Kathy Heneghan as General Manager

CHICAGO – Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, LP and managed by Hilton Management Services, today announced Kathy Heneghan has been appointed as the hotel’s new general manager. Embassy Suites by Hilton is a global brand of upscale, all-suite hotels from Hilton (NYSE: HLT).

In her new role, Heneghan will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the 455-suite hotel including guest services, hotel administration and marketing efforts.

A 29-year hospitality veteran, Heneghan has spent her career in Chicago. She started in food and beverage at Hilton Chicago, holding leadership roles such as senior catering sales manager and meetings & conventions manager. She then joined Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel as assistant director of events before returning to Hilton Chicago as director of catering & events and executive assistant manager, where she won 2012 Director of Events of the Year, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Heneghan held the position of hotel manager at Hilton Chicago, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the 1,544-room hotel.

Located in the heart of Chicago near Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier and Magnificent Mile, Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile is ideal for any business or leisure traveler. Guests can experience its two-room suites where travelers are able to spread out, enjoy a free, cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, free WiFi and complimentary drinks and snacks during the evening reception. Additional amenities include an indoor pool, sauna and fitness center, a 24-hour business center, an eco-friendly Sky Garden and 20,000 sq. feet of meeting space. 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 16 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard WiFi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile is located at 511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile or call +1 312 836 5900.

For more news on Embassy Suites by Hilton, visit newsroom.hilton.com/embassysuites. For development queries, please visit hiltonworldwide.com/development.

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Top trends in hospitality for 2019

Accounting for over 10% of global GDP and the creation of one in five new jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is also an industry undergoing rapid transformation, shaped by new technologies and the values and needs of an increasingly diverse range of travellers.

Emerging trends in sustainability, luxury, technology and innovation are all influencing the future direction of the hospitality industry. As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring hospitality professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry. Monitoring industry trends and adapting our education programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula are relevant for the industry and our students. With this in mind, these are some of the top trends to watch for in 2019:

Entrepreneurship and innovation

The hospitality industry continues to provide fertile ground for aspiring entrepreneurs, while innovation will be key for established brands to stay relevant and compete with new players.

Innovation strategies should also cater to the different profiles, needs and expectations of travellers. For example, the importance of social experiences to Millennials and Gen Z travellers has given rise to a new breed of urban boutique hotels offering social spaces and activities – sometimes at the expense of individual room size, as evidenced by the success of micro-hotels. Busy business travellers, meanwhile, are most likely to appreciate innovations in technology that enable them to save time.

But to entice luxury travellers, retaining the human touch will be key for hotels to deliver a bespoke experience. Understanding the different needs of guests is essential for brands to develop innovative concepts capable of yielding long-term profit and business growth.

New technologies in hospitality

Thanks to new technologies, hospitality businesses can provide guests with greater customisation, convenience and control. Technology is also transforming the way customers interact with brands – even before and after their stay.

Chatbots, robots and other forms of artificial intelligence provide users with information on-demand and personalised recommendations. Facial recognition technology is opening doors (sometimes literally) to time-saving service, while smart hotel rooms equipped with internet-of-things connectivity allow guests to customise their experience with an app or their own voice. Loyalty programmes based on blockchain and cryptocurrency are also creating interesting new opportunities for brands to engage with customers.

While these examples provide a glimpse of current and future applications of technology to the guest experience, many of these technologies are still in their early stages, with the potential to change the industry in ways we have yet to imagine.

Luxury brand management and guest experience

Balancing heritage with innovation is essential for luxury brands to attract an increasingly diverse range of clients. Relying on brand history alone is no longer enough – brands need to bring their identity into the future in order to stay relevant. However, storytelling is still key for brands to convey their value to customers.

Global brands will need to reflect the increasingly diverse identity of their clients through multicultural awareness and sensitivity. To meet omnichannel customers, brands will need to build seamless transitions between offline and online experiences while retaining the high levels of service that luxury clients expect.

We can also expect to see more luxury brands branching into hotels and other hospitality ventures – adopting the codes of hospitality enables brands to provide customers with a uniquely immersive experience that goes beyond traditional retail. Finally, retaining the human touch throughout these interactions will be essential for luxury brands to nurture the personal relationships that build client loyalty.

Sustainable hospitality

The United Nations have pushed issues of sustainability to the forefront of public awareness, and conscientious Millennials and Gen Z travellers in particular expect global hospitality businesses to take a more comprehensive approach to corporate social responsibility.

Transparency and accountability are becoming more important as travellers want to know the impact of their footprint – not only environmentally, but socially as well. Sustainable and socially responsible strategies now range from the reduction of single-use plastics to the development of social business concepts and the shift towards a circular economy system, in which resources are recycled and regenerated, rather than used once and disposed.

Food and beverage innovations

Sustainability concerns have also become important within the realm of food and beverage. Interest in locally sourced, seasonal food and vegetable-centric cuisine continues to grow among eco-friendly and health-conscious consumers, resulting in the development of farm-to-table – and even seed-to-table – culinary concepts.

However, the pursuit of pleasure is also a key motivator for customers seeking new culinary experiences that delight the senses. Millennials are driving a shift towards the democratisation of dining, blurring the boundaries between formal and casual, and embracing high-quality cuisine at an accessible price point.

Street food and open-fire cooking are introducing diners to a wider range of flavours, traditions and experiences. And in the age of Instagram, visual delights are just as important as deliciousness – something which some of the world’s top pâtissiers already know.

As these trends reveal, the future of hospitality is increasingly transversal, shaping and being shaped by global movements, industries and consumer values. Despite these rapid changes, among consumer-centric industries such as luxury and hospitality, one constant remains: the importance of the human touch. Human relations continue to play an invaluable role in the delivery of memorable experiences and service, making human talent one of our greatest sources of innovation.

By Benoît-Etienne Domenget, who serves as CEO of Sommet Education, a group encompassing the prestigious Swiss hospitality management schools Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education. A graduate of HEC Paris, Mr Domenget is a seasoned hospitality professional and has held positions as Senior Vice-President Development EMEA and Managing Director Switzerland with AccorHotels.

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IDeaS Revenue Solutions Honored as 2019 HotelTechAwards People’s Choice Winner

IDeaS clients from the U.S., Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America recognize the company for its world-class software, service and support

Tweet This: @IDeaS_RevOpt wins big once again in #HotelTechAwards with coveted 2019 People’s Choice Award from @HotelTechReport balancing remarkable growth with client-first principles. www.ideas.com/news

MINNEAPOLIS—Jan. 17, 2019—Hotel Tech Report has named IDeaS Revenue Solutions as the 2019 People’s Choice Award winner in its annual HotelTechAwards.

Recognized as last year’s top-rated revenue management software provider, IDeaS continues to dominate the revenue technology category with far more satisfactory client reviews than any other vendor. Based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 120 countries, IDeaS was recognized as the most esteemed hotel technology provider, across all categories.

  • Unbiased and verified reviews speak volumes: The award leverages real customer data to determine best-of-breed hotel technology offerings. It uses key factors of total verified customer reviews, geographic reach of reviews and overall review sentiment and ratings.
  • Outstanding client satisfaction gives IDeaS the leading edge: Over 200 verified IDeaS clients dedicated more than 25 hours to supporting the company by contributing reviews. With nearly six times the reviews of any other revenue management software provider, IDeaS maintains its undisputed position as the world leader for revenue management technology.
  • IDeaS balances rapid growth with client-first service ethic: More than 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology companies competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The award goes to IDeaS for maintaining the most impressive balance of strong growth with a relentless focus on customer centricity.

Jordan Hollander, co-founder, Hotel Tech Report said: “The People’s Choice Award goes to the single company across all categories who demonstrates the strongest customer relationships during the HotelTechAwards. Clients came out to support IDeaS in droves. We saw five-star reviews come in from Zambia to Moscow and everywhere in between. This is one of the most impressive organizations we’ve seen in hotel tech history. If there’s one company everyone can definitely learn from about scaling a global organization with a relentless focus on customer centricity, it’s IDeaS.”

Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, co-founder, president and chief scientist, IDeaS, said: “IDeaS’ global teams are committed to ensuring our clients are completely satisfied from first engagement through the lifecycle of our relationship. Winning this award is a testament to our relentless focus on client success, and I couldn’t be prouder to be recognized by those that matter most, our clients.”

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Corse Lawn House appoints youngest head chef in hotel’s history

Corse Lawn House has announced the appointment of Chris Monk as its new head chef – the youngest head chef in the hotel’s history.

Monk will re-join the family-run team at Corse Lawn House after having trained at the hotel as a teenager. Within his new role, Monk will lead all culinary operations, managing the hotel’s signature Anglo-French menus and array of fresh produce.

He has previously worked at the two Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage and renowned Hampshire Michelin starred restaurant, The Montagu Arms Hotel at Beaulieu. In recent months, Monk has been working alongside Corse Lawn House’s owner and proprietor, Baba Hine to learn the ropes of the role before taking the lead as head chef from January 2019.

Monk said: “It is such an honour to be taking my first head chef role at Corse Lawn House. The hotel has always had fond memories for me. I look forward to putting my own stamp on the kitchen whilst keeping the core values it has always held, cooking everything fresh, from the brioche for breakfast, the scones for afternoon teas to the petit fours, everything is made in house and using local, seasonal produce. We even use all game from within a 10-mile radius, that is really exciting.”

Hine added: “We are delighted to welcome back Chris as a core member of our hotel team here at Corse Lawn House. Chris is a delightful young man and his passion for food comes through on the plate. He is a fantastic asset to our team – extremely driven, whilst wonderfully calm, and prepared to put in a huge amount of work.

“Chris has been doing a terrific job so far and our guests are relishing his menus. It’s no mean feat taking on a kitchen with such standing, yet I have absolute confidence in Chris and we are all excited to watch him flourish.”

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A recent survey from hotel solutions provider HRS has found that the demand for innovative technology in hotels is on the rise


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