Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Hospitality All Stars

Bigari Foods, a McDonald's franchise that operates in Colorado Springs, Colo., has taken the fast-food industry into a new world with its innovative use of call-center technology, point-of-sale software and converged voice and data IP services from Masergy Communications. The company has integrated these technologies to enable centralized meal order processing. Customers can place orders from the Playland rather than having to come to the restaurant's front counter, for example. Likewise, a restaurant can offer multiple drive-up lanes without dedicating an order-processing station to each one. The orders are processed centrally at the call center. The company says the convenience factor has led to up-sell revenue on 85% of transactions and a 33% reduction in the staff required at 24-hour outlets. Bigari Foods handles 10,000 transactions daily through the call-center system, with an expected volume of 3.6 million total transactions by 2007. The company expects significant growth as a result of eliminating the need for orders to flow through a restaurant's front registers. The franchise recouped its $70,000 investment in the centralized call center in eight months.

Worried about losing connectivity as you're steaming toward the Caribbean? There's no problem if you cruise on Carnival's Valor, the first 100% Wi-Fi-enabled ship. The Miami cruise line has outfitted the Valor from bow to stern with four distinct wireless LANs - the corporate data network, the public I-café network, the crew I-café network and an 802.11b/g VoIP network. Wireless VoIP phones are especially helpful in boosting employee productivity. Carnival built its wireless infrastructure using Cisco Catalyst switches and Cisco Aironet access points. For the voice telephony, it uses Cisco wireless IP phones, Cisco Call Manager software and a Siemens PBX. C-band satellite technology carries ship-to-shore communications. Carnival says it cost $700,000 to build the wireless infrastructure, with an expected ROI of $725,000 the first year and $2.5 million in year three.

Do wireless travel routers kill the hospitality broadband model

OK, let’s get this out of the way up front: this is a column that might not make us any new friends among the business travelers who we suspect make up a big chunk of our readership. If, somehow, in some way, we mess up your free “piggybacking” Wi-Fi tricks during your next hotel stay, we apologize. We should also say that hotel broadband, in our minds, is something that business-oriented hotels should offer for free, as an amenity and incentive to gain business travelers, instead of charging HUGE fees for something so basic (we’ve seen $12 a night fees recently).

But the reality of the matter is that many hotels do have a business model for not-free broadband, and that business model is in danger because of new inexpensive devices that make it easy to get around hotel provider’s usage restrictions. Specifically, the advent of inexpensive Wi-Fi “travel” or “pocket” routers - designed expressly for business travelers - are making it easy for users in multiple rooms to camp onto a single broadband connection.

We started thinking about this topic a lot at the beginning of the year at CES - we had just about every networking vendor there show us their latest and greatest 802.11g , WPA-enabled, USB-powered, acronym-laden, tiny Wi-Fi routers. Our first thought was: “Oh boy, we really need one of those” (we got the D-Link model, fyi…).

Our second thought, “These are great, let’s buy a shipping container full of these routers and set up a kiosk on the sidewalk in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.” With 120,000 travelers in town, each carrying a laptop, we figured we’d make enough in a day or two to take the rest of the year off.

After we realized we’d never really DO the second thought, our third thought was, “This is going to kill the business model (not to mention the security) for all these hotels that are charging for access to their hospitality broadband network!”

So a travel router is merely a portable access point (AP). You plug it into the broadband modem in the room, and that’s the MAC address that camps onto the connection; as with any Wi-Fi connection, users with wireless laptops can access that AP to gain access to the broadband connection.

Travel routers in the hospitality network (or even ad hoc wireless networks set up by laptop users connected to a wired Ethernet connection) are really just another example of the rogue access points that every Wi-Fi So a travel router is merely a portable access point (AP). You plug it into the broadband modem in the room, and that’s the MAC address that camps onto the connection; as with any Wi-Fi connection, users with wireless laptops can access that AP to gain access to the broadband connection.

Travel routers in the hospitality network (or even ad hoc wireless networks set up by laptop users connected to a wired Ethernet connection) are really just another example of the rogue access points that every Wi-Fi So a travel router is merely a portable access point (AP). You plug it into the broadband modem in the room, and that’s the MAC address that camps onto the connection; as with any Wi-Fi connection, users with wireless laptops can access that AP to gain access to the broadband connection.

Travel routers in the hospitality network (or even ad hoc wireless networks set up by laptop users connected to a wired Ethernet connection) are really just another example of the rogue access points that every Wi-Fi switch/gateway/controller/AP/monitoring/security vendor on the planet talks about in their slideware. And it’s a real problem if: a) you’re trying to maintain a secured network with limited access; b) trying to avoid wireless interference issues; and/or c) trying to charge guests for broadband access.

It’s easy to see a business case for hotel broadband investment being brought to its knees if the model’s ROI is based on x% of customers paying that $12 a night for broadband. Imagine a hotel room with rooms on either side, across the hallway, above and below. One wireless router could allow all of these to log on if left unsecured, or even if secured and the access passwords were given out to your fellow travelers. This cuts into your top line revenue right away.

Add into this decrease in revenue a potential increase in operational issues. Imagine what happens when users are trying to get logged in and see 10 APs in their list of available networks and don’t know which to use. Or picture those 10 APs in terms of 802.11b/g’s spectrum which provides only 3 non-overlapping channels. Some hotel rooms - like the ones in the Mandalay Bay hotel at the recent Interop show, have their own APs in each room that conflict with the travel routers. Overall, potentially not a pretty RF environment for your paying customers.

And security, already not necessarily a strong suit in hospitality networks (use your VPNs people!) can take a further step backwards as users begin associating with APs that they don’t really know anything about. And we’re not just talking about people trying to skirt the rules here - it’s easy enough to accidentally let Windows XP automatically connect you to one of these networks - especially if it’s got the same default SSID as their home network (think ‘Linksys’ everyone). Talk about a great opportunity for wireless phishing and ”evil twin” attacks (where a fake access point with the same SSID is set up to lure in unsuspecting customers).

We’ve actually spent a fair amount of time talking with service providers, security vendors, wireless equipment vendors, and others about this situation, and one thing strikes us - there’s no really good or immediate solution at hand.

The service providers we talked to (specialists in the hospitality space) haven’t really faced up to the issue yet (though we suspect they will as these devices become more common and inexpensive). The wireless equipment vendors and security system providers we’ve asked all tell us that they can solve the problem by using various combinations of monitoring, analysis, and equipment to “lock down” the airwaves and prevent users from associating with the rogue travel routers.

But that’s a sort of a brute force approach that doesn’t balance the positive side of these devices, which is that customers (like us!) love them and have perfectly legitimate uses for them. For one thing, we’ll consider giving up our travel routers the day that a hotel puts their Ethernet port less than 20 ft away from the bed in our hotel room.

Or consider business travelers who share a room, or simply meet up in a single room for some collaboration before the big presentation. Even if they wanted to take turns connecting to a room’s single Ethernet port, they’d be unable to due to MAC address filtering that keeps a second computer from getting on the network.

What we’re looking for - and have not been able to find - is some happy medium that keeps travelers happy (they are, after all, paying the bills!) and allows these kinds of legitimate “convenience” uses of travel routers while providing hotels with the security and revenue protection that they too deserve.

How to Get a Job in the Fast Food Industry

Are you hopeless, self-loathing and going nowhere fast? Consider a job in the Fast Food Industry. This is the perfect employment opportunity for adults with no future or teenagers just looking for a little spending cash. Simply follow these few easy steps and even you can have a successful career as a Fry Cook.


1.Decide which of these fine establishments to apply to. Shoot for the stars; apply at Mcdonalds, Taco Bell and KFC. If these opportunities fall through, you always have Carl’s Jr., Long John Silvers and Popeye’s

2.Fill out the application. Do not feel compelled to be completely honest with the White Castle manager. If you have a chronic drug addiction, juvenile police record or seven illegitimate children, they do not need to know.

3.Learn not to take “No” for an answer. If you followed the above mentioned advice and Jack in the Box still decided not to hire you, keep trying. They may not have any openings at the time or are looking for someone who has flipped a burger or two in the past. Lie if you need to, they won’t check.

4.Show them that you are a valuable asset. Be attentive; watch the flick of the wrist when veterans drop the fry basket into the oil and the manner in which they slop on the special sauce. Put these skills into action yourself and you will definitely receive work-place notoriety.

5. Open yourself back up to the job market. Put together your resume and apply for the “made to order” restaurants like Denny’s and Ponderosa. If you continue to hone these skills, you may one day find yourself as a night manager for Ruby Tuesday’s or Applebee’s


* If cooking heart-stopping quarter pound chili dogs is not for you, apply for positions of less responsibility such as cashier or bus boy.

* Never touch food with your bare hands; you don’t want to walk around with mustard-stained fingers.

How to Get a Bartending Job

Bartending positions are highly desirable and equally hard to get. The job itself is fairly simple, but getting one's foot in the door is not. Here's some tips to help you score one of these fun, lucrative jobs.


1. It's all about who you know. If you have a favorite watering hole, find out who the owner is and start talking him/her up. Befriend the bartenders, barbacks, and cocktail waitresses, and let them know you're looking for a bartending job. Tip well, go often, and generally be a happy, useful presence at the bar.

2. Observe bartenders in action. There are little tricks to pouring a good beer, mixing drinks, and saving time behind the bar. Watch how your mixer handles drink orders. Most of it is not rocket science; the most commonly ordered drinks are liquor plus a mixer. Buy drink manuals to learn about the more complex drinks and practice at home.

3. Don't waste your time and money going to bartending school. It costs about $500 and you learn by mixing colored water, not actual alcohol. They teach you outdated drinks like "grasshoppers" that no one orders anymore, and most will claim to help you find a job. These "job leads" are generally terrible dives you wouldn't want to work at anyway. Most real bars will laugh at someone with a bartending school diploma and no actual work experience.

4. Dress the part. If you want a gig at a fancy restaurant, dress professionally. If you want a job at a hip club, dress edgy. If a dive bar gig is fine by you, dress tough. Most bars are going for a certain look or image, whether they tell you that or not.

5. Look for charity guest bartending gigs. Many big cities are now offering this option. You pick a charity, promote the event, and bring your friends in. In exchange, you and a couple friends get trained for the evening and get to mix drinks all night. It's a great way to get some experience and make contacts. If you impress the bar owner, it could lead to a job.


o Catering companies are a good place to start. They are easier jobs to get, if you can b.s. a little bit, and you will learn a lot by doing basic drinks and pouring wine and beer.

How to Become a Restaurant Manager

The restaurant industry is not brain surgery, but it is something that is either in your blood or not. It takes patience and a commitment to always putting the guest first and everything else second. Once you have decided to pursue your talents with a restaurant concept, you can take some of the following steps towards success.


1. Start out in a small role, learn the business. Some of the best managers started their careers as waiters or hostesses and worked their way up from that position. Career progression is very important when trying to move forward as a manager.

2. Do not job hop from restaurant to restaurant. Corporate chains like to see no more than 2 jobs in 5 years when considering someone for a position. Tough it out if need be, but job hopping does not lend confidence to your abilities.

3. The guest is always #1. Yes, call them guests, not customers, you want your guests to feel like they are dining in your home, not just as though they are just another face in the dining room. Talk with them, get to know your regulars, spend all the time you can on the floor, and stay out of that office!

4. Know your numbers! Even if your General Manager does not like to talk about these things, find out anyway, learn all you can from the other managers, Front of House and Kitchen Managers, learn the steps necessary to keeping your numbers

5. Treat your staff with the same respect you wanted to be treated with when you had the same job. From dishwasher to owner, everyone in the building is accountable. Your staff needs to know that you have no problem cleaning a bathroom in order to make your guests visit positive, and neither should they. Your philosophy should be that you wouldn't ask someone to do something that you won't do.

6. When looking for a new position, keep your old one! It is easier to find a job when you have a job. Posting on the major job boards is acceptable, but if you are planning on using a recruiter,(see related links) keep your resume unsearchable on the boards. Concepts search the boards, and if you are visible they will not speak with you if a recruiter presents you.


* The National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation (see related links) provides educational resources, materials and programs used in attracting, developing and retaining the industry's workforce.

* Always remember the guest is 1. This cannot be stressed enough. The guest is the reason you have your terrific career!

How to Become a Chef

Don't do it for the money. Except for a handful of celebrity chefs and restauranteurs, the income level is fairly average. A Sous Chef in a small restaurant may make $9-10 per hour in the U.S., while an Executive Chef for a large hotel may make $125,000. Just do it because you love to cook.


1. Love food - if you don't, you'll be a cook, not a chef.

2. Learn everything about the food you love and, more importantly, about the food other people are willing to pay money to eat. Organic, free range, kosher, kobe - these are all good to know. If it's patisserie you're interested in, know that a souffle isn't just a bunch of hot air.

3. Become confident with a knife. You don't need to butcher a chicken with surgical precision just yet, but knowing the breast from the thigh will certainly help you a lot, both in life and in cooking. Know that size doesn't matter because a 2" turning knife can do some jobs faster than a 10" chef's knife.

4. Try working in the industry. In Europe, the interview process is a day working at the restaurant, for free. You see what they can do, they see what you can do, if it's a match made somewhere close to heaven, or you're a cooking god, you're hired. Students are allowed to learn through work experience under similar circumstances, where they are not paid, but put in a full day, week, or month for an agreed amount of time. Ask to work in the kitchen of your dreams to see if this is the life you really want. Even fast food experience is applicable. The most important thing is that you get exposure to the conditions, techniques, equipment, and culture.

5. Executive Chefs tend to fall into two categories; those who teach, and those who don't. Those who teach are willing to share their knowledge, expertice, and experience with any employee who is willing to learn, and seeks out the information. Those who don't expect absolute precision in faithfully replicating their ideas and concepts, with no room for creativity and expression. While both have their place, it is important to work with someone willing to assist you in your future goals. Once you have acquired a skill set, you can go work for the demanding tyrant.

6. Buy or borrow copies of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential", "The Professional Chef" from the Culinary Institute of America, and "Becoming a Chef" by Dorenburg and Page. read Bourdain and Dorenburg. Put Professional Chef on your shelf - it's an indispensable reference.

7. If after all this you still want to be a chef, you have a couple options: a) Go to cooking school. As most cooking is seeped in the French tradition, a French training-based course is an option. b) Try on the job training - through your school or job centre you may be able to find a paying position at a restaurant. Always pick the places that emphasize good hygiene - both yours and theirs.


* Check out the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

* Eat Out! Cooking at a restaurant is nothing like cooking at home, and there is a lot of good information and ideas on menus.

* Check out culinary programs at the community colleges in your area. More and more schools are offering night classes, certificate programs, and full culinary degrees.

* Be nice to everyone. The industry is highly incestuous and the potwashers and guests you meet today may be opening the hot new fusion restaurant tomorrow.

* You must have a step by step plan of how you are going to become a chef.

How to Be a Waiter

Working in a restaurant environment can be tough work, especially when you have a nagging boss, complaining customers, limited time, and horrible co-workers. Yet, so many people are applying for this job, whether they know how to do it or not. If you are a good multi-tasker, this would be an excellent job choice. If not, why not?

1. Always be well-groomed and keep your clothes clean and wrinkle-free.

2. Tie your apron around your waist to carry straws, tickets, chopsticks, etc. Check to confirm you are carrying enough supplies to last a couple hours.

3. If a hostess is not present, greet customers with a smile as they enter the establishment. Maintain balanced eye-contact, but avoid staring too much.

4. As you seat them at their table, perhaps stir up small conversation as you proceed to take their drink orders.

5. Hastily get their drinks delivered to their table. Give them a few minutes to peruse the menu, then take their meal order.

6. Be sure the customer has napkins, silverware, a menu, and ashtray if in smoking section.

7. Don't overly badger the customers. Avoid going into eagle-hawk mode. Customers hate to be ogled at. How would you feel if someone was glaring at you as you ate your meal?

8. If a table wants something they will glance around to look for you. If you stay alert and watch (not stare) your tables as you walk the floor most costomers will make eye contact as a signal that they need you. This can give them the feeling like you're paying attention without hovering or badgering them. When their good food and conversation is over, they will start looking around at other diners or the walls. This can tell you when to clear plates, offer desserts or drop the check.

9. When they are finished with their meal, ask them if you can get them anything else. If they say no, promptly give them their check and wish them a good day. All pressure sales will be made before they ask for the check or not at all.


* If you have spare time: If two people are sitting at a table and one goes to the restroom or excuses her- or himself for a moment, and if the other person looks even slightly uncomfortable or awkward siting alone, go by and make small talk until the partner comes back or as long as you can before another table needs attention. (Do not fail to keep an eye on other tables while doing this.)

* Even if not required in training, memorize the menu cover to cover ASAP. Talk to the kitchen to familiarize yourself with any specials. Taste sauces if possible.

* If you are not busy at the moment and notice a customer at another table is in need of something, assist them. If you help out your fellow waiters, they will be more likely to help you out as well. Good service (no matter who provides it) will ensure that customers will come back - that's keeping your paychecks coming.

* Striking up friendly chat is usually recommended, but keep in mind that some customers desire privacy more than others and may become irritated by intrusions.

* Customers can boil up and become upset over the most miniscule things, such as the wrong drink order. When this happens, stay calm and correct the situation and apologize to the customer. You may find the LEADS policy helpful:
o Listen to the customer's complaint.
o Empathize with the concern ("I know it can be frustrating when you get the wrong order...").
o Apologize personally for the problem, even if it isn't your fault.
o Do what it takes to make it right with the customer, such as offering a free appetizer or other cheap item, or reducing the bill (check with your manager).
o Stand by your promise.

* Never tell a customer you will do something or "be right back" and not do it. Do not promise to do something, anything, and not do it.

* Interaction and cooperation among co-workers is crucial in the speed of the deliverance of food. Be kind to others, though they may be sour.

* Answering the phone may be part of the waiter's job. Clearly speak into the receiver to be understood, and make sure you understand what the customer wants. Always write down the customer's phone number.

* Use caution when writing down orders. If the kitchen gets the incorrect orders, the waiter will be the one responsible for the payment of the incorrect food. Plus, you might have an angry customer waiting.

* Tip your bartender and busboy well. Remember good drinks and quick service = good mood = good tips. If you don't have a busboy, try your hardest to keep their water/tea glasses filled without being intrusive.

* If you work in a smoking restaurant, always carry a lighter. If a woman pulls out a cigarette, light it for her—small detail, big impact. Keep your eye on the ashtray; if it is even a little dirty, bring a fresh one and replace the old one without being intrusive. If another person lights a cigarette, bring over an extra ashtray—don't ask, just discreetly place it on the table. If you have a busboy that you tip well, then you can ask him/her to keep a lookout for it.

* Even when having pleasant conversation with co-workers, face your tables so you can see if they motion or start looking for something. If customers see you with your back turned, chit-chatting with a friend, they are more likely to be annoyed and feel they are not receiving good service.

* Keep a spare shirt or tie at the restaurant. Accidents happen and a sloppy waiter is not good for the appetite.

* If someone forgot to make tea and there is only enough for half a glass or a little more, add more ice and fill the rest with water. Customers appreciate fast service more than anything. Go back and start the tea. If they notice the tea is weak (most won't), tell them you will start a fresh brew just for them.

How to Be a Great Waitress

Whether you are just getting started in the waiting industry or you need to brush up on your waiting skills for a return to the industry, these tips are aimed at helping you reach your goals!


1. Learn everything you can. The point of doing this is to become indispensable. Once your boss realizes that you can do the other things that are not normally considered a part of your regular job (for example, bussing, peeling garlic, pouring drinks, making desserts, all of it), you will be able to get as many shifts as you want.

2. Never fight over tables with other waiting staff. Be gracious. Focus on delivering the best possible service to the tables you do get. Set the example to the remaining waiting staff by creating a sharing and supportive environment.

3. Learn the menu as soon as possible. This way, when people ask questions, you'll have a quick answer. Nothing makes a customer happier faster!

4. Learn your regular customers' names as soon as you can. People love having a regular place to go to, where you know what they like to eat and you call them by name.

5. Develop a file system for your regular customers. Keep track of their favourite foods, their allergies and any special requests (for example, "Sue likes her water with no ice", "Alex always orders coffee and he takes cream"). This file system is best kept in your head, as it could be construed as "stalkerish" unless you can keep it very discreetly.

6. Do one thing at a time. Don't count on finishing writing the order down as you walk to the order counter. Do it now! Chances are, someone will stop you on your way over and ask for more coffee, and you'll forget the first order.

7. Break down the "wall" between you and your customer. Depending on the situation, sit down at the table to take an order, squat down to take a child's order, shake hands, give hugs (use this one with caution!) or crack a joke and have a good laugh with the customers. Do any of these actions only when appropriate - be guided by your commonsense and feel for the people you are serving. The extent of your friendliness will be dependent on the type of place where you work - some things that might not be appropriate in a diner or a restaurant might be fine in a theme bar or pub.

8. Always be clear about your order. When taking the order, take time to clarify that you've written it down or heard the request correctly. If there is a choice of selection, ask. Don't simply present the diner with white toast because they didn't ask for rye, unless the menu states that a certain item will be given unless otherwise requested. Also, be aware that taking down orders by memory often worries customers because they think you will forget something. Unless you have a brilliant memory, don't do this and even then, reassure them that you have an excellent memory track record!

9. Be tactful about questioning customers. If you feel you must question why a customer is making a special request, be tactful. Keep in mind there are many reasons for menu change requests, such as religious, vegetarian/vegan and cultural dietary restrictions. If it is not an unreasonable request which can be simply accommodated, don't ask why!

10. Remove the plates, glasses, and other used items from the table as they are finished. Having to manuever around used dishes doesn't contribute to a nice dining experience. Be careful not to swipe plates while customers are still eating though - always ask if they have finished if any food remains on the plate.

11. Don't just assume when the diner is finished and wants the check. Ask if there is anything more you can get for them, and that will open the opportunity for them to ask for dessert, a take-out item/bag, or the check. If they state they need nothing else, then ask if they are ready for the check. Never wait for the diner to ask for the check; if they have to ask you, it generally means they are in a hurry, or you have waited an excessive amount of time since you last checked on the table.

12. Be polite in the face of irritable, difficult and unfriendly customers. When you have difficult, high maintenance, cranky, or downright mean customers, (and you will get them), let the old saying be your motto "Kill 'em with kindness". Always keep your cool and never argue with a customer. If a customer starts to get worked up into a tizzy for whatever reason, send a manager to the table because that's their job and what they're there for.

13. Don't let a bad tip ruin your shift. There are people out there who either don't know or refuse to accept that a standard tip for good service is 15% and 20% and above for great to exceptional service. And sometimes, there are people who really cannot afford much more than the meal. Never complain to a table about a bad tip when you've given great service. Not only could you get yourself fired but it sets you up as the complaining type and creates bad relations with the other waiting staff. Just let it go and be content in the knowledge that a really good tip can balance out the bad.

14. Check back often with your tables. You'll always have that table who always seems to need something extra. It's a good idea to ensure that they don't sit around needing anything, such as more ketchup or napkins, or another fork because a fork has fallen on the floor, or a refill on their drinks etc. Be alert to these little things and make the dining experience more pleasant by supplying the extras promptly. It keeps customers happy and prevents them from asking you for too many additional trips.


* Dress just slightly "better" (more formally) than the other waiting staff, no matter what the "minimal dress code" is. It sets you apart and sets the standard for others to strive for.

* If you wear a uniform, keep it in excellent condition - ironed, stain-free and neat.

* Leave drama, bad moods and personal issues at the door.

* Never sit around. If you have nothing to do, clean!

* Be honest about the food/kitchen practices when asked by the customer. Serious consequences can result from mis-information. Allergies and intolerance to food products or practices could result in death. A diabetic given an item containing sugar, a person with peanut or shellfish allergies, or someone with heart disease being told the baked potato is coated with vegetable oil when lard is actually used etc. - all these slip-ups can result in wide-ranging negative results.

How to Be a Great Host or Hostess in a Restaurant

How to keep your patrons happy and increase the chance of getting a tip or a larger tip.

1. Be aware as the patron arrives in the restaurant.

2. Greet the patron with a smile and welcome them to the establishment.

3. If the patron must wait, let them know it will be a few minutes and offer a drink while they are waiting.

4. Find out how many people are dining,and whether they want a non smoking table.

5. Lead them to the table without rushing.

6. Pull out the chairs of the table and wait for your patrons to sit down.

7. Provide a menu for each customer and allow them time to choose their meal,making suggestions if requested.

8. Check back with the customer after about 5 minutes to confirm their meals are as expected.

9. Pay attention to the customer's needs,and ensure they have drinks and any seasonings and sauces they require.

10. Check that the customer is finished before clearing their table.


* Don't be too eager to get a tip.

* Do not rush your customer into making a choice.

* A friendly smile is always appreciated.

* Your customers should take priority over talking with friends or on the telephone.

Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) Hospitality Management Degree Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB): Hospitality Management degree prepares students to enter a variety of career positions in hotels, restaurants, tourism and entertainment. Hospitality managers do everything from planning and developing building structures to marketing and management of operations. Good programs emphasize solid business training as well as specialized training to oversee food and beverage operations, special events, large and small hotels, and entertainment facilities.

The Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Hospitality Management is a four-year program that trains students to provide superior customer service in the lodging industry, food service field, gaming industry, recreation, and trade show organizations concerned with delivering a high quality experience for their customers. If you enjoy meeting lots of new people and take pride in making others happy, this may be the degree for you.

Coursework May Include:

* Introduction to Hotel Operations

* Restaurant Management

* Organizational Behavior

* Service Operations

* Principles of Accounting

* Marketing Management

* Introduction to Facilities Management

* Strategic Management

* Human Resource Management

* Events and Recreation Management

* Lodging Management

* Hospitality Decision Analysis

Skills Acquired

Graduates of Bachelor degree programs in Hospitality Management are equipped to oversee operations in hotels and motels, convention centers, food and beverage establishments, cruise lines, and recreation facilities. In addition to strong business coursework in accounting, marketing, financial analysis, computer science, and human resource management, students take specific courses to learn how to manage resources in the hospitality and tourism industries. Some practical work experience or internships will increase the chances of success in the job market. Knowledge of foreign languages and computer systems are desirable.

Why Earn this Degree?

Hospitality managers is a broad field and graduates may choose to work in several areas of the industry including hotels, food service, trade shows, recreation, or events planning. While graduates of Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB): Hospitality Management degree programs may work long hours in hotels and when planning events, the field offers opportunities to travel and many promotional opportunities.

Tourism in Spain 2006

33,3 million tourists came to Spain between January and July. Catalonia wellcomes almost 9 million visitors. The number of tourists that visited Spain throughout the first seven months of 2006 rose by 5.3% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 33.3 million visitors. Just in July Spain had 7,7 million tourists, which represent an increase of 3% compared with the same month last year, according to the data given by the Survey of Tourist Movements in Border, Frontur.

Catalonia, still leader

One more year, Catalonia has been the pick for the tourists who visited Spain between January and July, with 8.6 million visitors, a 7% more from the same period in 2005, (the average increase in Spain is 5.3%). To carry on this tone, Catalunya could close the year with almost 15 million visitors, what would suppose an authentic tourist record.

The greater number of visitors come from France and it increased a 7.6%, followed by Balearics with 5.7 million tourists, 5.1% more than last year, emphasizing the arrival of German and British, growing an 8.6% and a 2.5% respectively.

Thirdly, from Canary Islands came 5.5 million visitors. 63% of the travellers picked out a hotel for loding, which is a 4.1% increase to the previous year.

30 Barcelona bars and restaurants fined

46% of the premises over 100 square meters are prohibiting smoking. The rest, well the rest are in the grey zone since the 1st of September when the New anti-smoking law came into effect.

In the last three months, the Generalitat has made 903 inspections and it has been discovered that 56% of the bar and restaurant premises are complying with the new law. 30 premises have been fined for not complying with the new law. Sixteen of these fines oscilate between 600 and 1000 euros. According to the general director of Public Health, Antoni Plasencia, “the intention of the inspections consists in trying to get premises to adapt to the new law, therefore fines are only imposed if upon a second inspections the law is still not complied with”. The responsible of Public Health claims that the implementation of the new law is very positive and the fact that over half of these premises have decided not to allow smoking in their interior has facilitated to a great extent the whole procedure. “It has to be taken into account that 70% of the Catalan population does not smoke”.

There is more to hospitality accounting software than mere number crunching

The hotel and restaurant industry has been slow to adopt new technologies to improve the way it runs its businesses, even though many of the challenges it faces lend themselves to resolution by the range of IT driven solutions now available. Ultimately these solutions must be aimed both at ensuring truly excellent customer service, today's key differentiator in a highly competitive marketplace, and in providing the information all levels of management require to maximise revenue and profit.

Regardless of size, most hotel & restaurant operations face many similar issues. The current competitive climate within the industry means that hotels need systems with the ability to expand both in functionality and size, while at the same time combining financial, statistical and sales information with data from a wide range of sources, and with a minimum of user input. Managers need to be able to control their assets efficiently and identify different revenue and cost areas within the business, and then meet a wide range of reporting requirements.

These vary from statutory reports, through ratio and variance analyses and guest histories, to the management information essential for planning, directing and controlling the operation. Furthermore, all these reports and information sources need to be instantly accessible. It is no longer acceptable to wait patiently for standard, formalised head office reports to arrive to inform business decisions, and conventional accounting software supported by paper based reporting is no longer flexible and reactive enough to ensure an organisation stays competitive. What is needed is a change of management culture and expectations to embrace the benefits of the new technologies.

So what opportunities do the latest generation of financial and sales management software products offer to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a hotel or restaurant operation, whether it is independent or part of a chain? To understand this we need to put some of the key issues being faced into perspective in order to identify where the most benefit can be derived.

Central to all businesses is the need for meaningful information; not just from the numbers, but also from sales data, for both long-term planning at head office and short-term tactical planning by individual hotel and restaurant managers. Central management can then focus on enterprise wide business issues while at the same time empowering local management to be more accountable for individual business units.

Without information on areas such as future bookings, room rates and yield calculations, staffing levels and food and beverage requirements, there is no way of accurately predicting how the business is likely to perform. It is also essential that any data that decisions are based upon is completely up-to-date. This not only makes sure that the business decisions are properly informed, but will also save unnecessary processes.

Consolidation of information across a hotel or restaurant chain will not only give a clearer view across the business, leading to more efficient purchasing, but will also improve supplier relations. It can make vendors' lives considerably easier if they receive a single payment for a given period for all purchases made by all units across the group; and likewise any customer who uses more than one unit wants the ability to make a single payment for all related purchases.

Information access is not the only area n which technology can deliver benefits. Many IT systems now offer the ability to tailor their user menus and screens precisely to the particular task or operation in hand, improving the efficiency of data input and preventing user confusion. This means staff deliver more value by working smarter rather than harder.

So what should you be looking for in a software system to achieve these benefits?

Well, to begin with you need a system that offers extensive analysis capabilities to ensure you can monitor any aspect of the business. After al l if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Providing up to-date information is likely to be easier from an integrated system, as this does away with control accounts and separate updates for the differing units. However, you will almost certainly need to combine information drawn from a variety of systems, from front office to Internet applications, so a real time integration capability is vital.

Making life easier for the end users of the system is also vital and you should, therefore, be looking at systems with built in input form and menu design capabilities. Furthermore, given the need for flexibility in expanding and evolving business processes, tools should be provided by the vendor to enable you to modify screens yourself, rather than waiting on this pleasure.

From an information delivery perspective, the variety of requirements, from statutory reports through management packs to ad hoc inquiries, means you need to look for a system with a variety of appropriate and easy-to-use tools.

With the system probably running on a relational database, the report writer accessing this database should ideally be an object-oriented design in order to maximise efficiency, versatility and speed. Given the distributed nature of a hotel or restaurant chain, information delivery is key and you should check for web publishing and distribution capabilities, which should fully incorporate data security considerations set elsewhere in the system.

Now you know what you need, how do you go about evaluating the plethora of software products on the market? You can start by researching magazines, visiting accounting trade shows like Softworld, searching the Internet or simply asking your colleagues within the industry. Alternatively, you can seek advice from an organisation such as BAHA; either directly from IT specialists connected with BAHA or through its wide membership network.

The Basic Attributes of Accounting Software

This checklist is not exhaustive but may help start assessing the possibilities.
Credit Control
Debtor analyses and warning of account customers approaching credit levels/ terms
Recording guests'/diners' payment methods
BACS electronic banking interface
Bank account(s) electronic data exchange
Accruals and pre-payments
Sales Ledgers-accounts receivable, debtors
Outstanding invoice analyses
Daybook, invoice and payment journals
Cheque and bank slip printing
Currency Conversions
Purchase ledger(s) - accounts payable, creditors
Purchase analyses and forward planning
Approval process for supplier invoices
Cost allocations to business sectors and budget management

General Ledger, Nominal Ledger including sub-categories of choice

Cash accounts
Petty Cash book
Cash flow forecasts

Lists of transactions by date, category etc.
Tracking of uncleared items
Income/corporation tax and VAT records and returns in current advance and deferred categories
Fixed assets register with flexible depreciation methods
Internal audit
Trial balance as required of specified periods or "To Date"
Integral, or interfaces to:
Stock control
PAYE wages, working time records and employee scheduling

System held reports such as Room yields, performance against budget by various activities and menus, cost of sale per room type, guest (type) profitability, cost of sales, debtors/creditors ratios, capital/asset ratios, income reports, profit and loss overviews

Customised reports and self generation of reports both using a de-facto database standard such as Microsoft SQL. The ability to integrate data from different systems to generate information dependent on cross-system data such as the effect of the PMS-held forward reservations on room yield and cost calculations. The ability to test future possibilities-the "What If" concept in project costing and profitability forecasting

The importance of GOOD waiting staff

The reasons restaurants lose customers are:

1. customer moves away or dies - 4%

2. bad mouth-to-mouth reputation - 5%

3. competitive offers - 10%

4. product dissatisfaction - 16%

5. unfriendly or slow service - 65%

As you can see from the above numbers, the most important things for a restaurant are a satisfactory product and to have friendly and prompt service. If a waiter is also a charmer, you’ve got it made. And to make him/her really happy, make sure he/she gets to keep the tips for his/her contribution to your business. Often this is not the case, and the waiter will leave sooner or later. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Table setting guide

For breakfast or lunch

Start with a dinner plate, soup or cereal bowl (always optional), bread & butter plate (for toast, bagels, etc.), and a cup & saucer for coffee or tea. For the flatware, use a 3-piece place setting: dinner fork, dinner knife and teaspoon. The napkin should be placed on the left side of the fork. Complete each place setting with either a juice or beverage glass.

The dinner or supper setting

The dinnerware placement is similar to what’s used for the breakfast and lunch setting. The salad plate can be brought to the table if needed. For flatware, use a 5-piece place setting; salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon and teaspoon. The napkin should be placed on the left side of the forks. The table should be set with both a wine glass and a water or beverage glass. The cup & saucer can be brought out at the end of the meal if coffee or tea is served.

Formal dinner (which includes a soup course): set the table with a bread & butter plate, a service base plate and dinner plate. If your pattern doesn’t include a service plate, try being a little creative and use a metal tray or glass underliner. For flatware, use dinner fork, salad fork (served after the entree), dinner knife and soup spoon. The butter spreader may be placed on the butter plate. A teaspoon can be placed on the saucer with the coffee cup later. The dessert spoon and dessert fork may be placed above dinner plate. To add some elegance to your table setting, consider folding or fanning your napkins and place them in the center of the dinner plate or in one of the wine glasses. Add the glasses for red wine, white wine and water, as well as a fluted champagne if needed.

Tips on setting the table:

* Allow at least 28 inches width for each place setting
* Keep your tableware approximately one inch from the edge of the table
* All knives should be placed with the cutting edge toward the plate
* Arrange all of the flatware in order it will be used, working from the outside toward the plate for each of the courses served
* If you serve a salad after the entr~e, then place the salad fork next to plate
* Glass placement: from right to left, white wine, red wine, and beverage
* Champagne may be placed behind red and white
* A cocktail fork is always placed to the right of the soup spoon unless it’s served with the seafood cocktail

Oxford Media to Become Second Largest Provider of Video On Demand Solutions to the Hospitality

Oxford Media, Inc., a next generation media distribution company specializing in scalable, turnkey hybrid digital Video On Demand (VOD) entertainment systems, High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) and WiMAX triple play solutions for the hospitality industry, announced today that it is expected to become the second largest provider of VOD solutions to the hospitality industry upon the completion of the recently announced merger of the two largest providers of VOD solutions in the U.S.

Earlier this week, LodgeNet Entertainment Corp’s (NASDAQ: LNET) announced the $380 million acquisition of OnCommand from Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ: LCAPA). The transactionvalues each hotel room that OnCommand services at $455 per room. Oxford Media’s recently acquired customers of SVI Hotel Corporation at a comparative valuation of $90 per room, which included 60,000 rooms of High Speed Internet access. In November, LodgeNet also announced the acquisition of StayOnline, a provider of High Speed Internet Access to the Hospitality industry, with approximately 140,000 rooms for $15 million, or an estimated $107 per room.. Although the OxfordSVI properties have a different demographic profile, the properties produce similar market driven cash flows. OxfordSVI also has a robust and highly regarded 24/7 customer service and nationwide field service network, currently serving its 2400 client hotels.

“The announced acquisition of OnCommand, while creating a significantly larger company in LodgeNet, is expected to open significant opportunities for Oxford as we will become the second largest provider of VOD services to the hospitality industry,” stated Lew Jaffe, President and CEO of Oxford. “When this acquisition closes, Oxford will become the leading alternative for companies deploying VOD services and High Speed Internet Access and will likely see a significant increase in the number of hospitality companies contacting us requesting proposals. In addition, this acquisition further validates Oxford’s decision to enlarge its footprint through acquisition and demonstrates the value we created through the acquisition of SVI. We remain highly focused on increasing the number of hotels using our services, as well as increasing revenue produced per room. We are confident that this plan will generate near-term sales increases and pave the way for sustained profitability.”

About Oxford Media, Inc.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary OxfordSVI, the company has developed the most cost effective next generation solutions for “wireless triple play” employing proprietary technology, its broad geographic rooftop locations and WiMAX distribution models. As a notable member of the WiMAX forum and leading developer of scalable, turnkey hybrid digital VOD and PPV entertainment systems, with content on the edge, OxfordSVI has capitalized on its unique position in the market to implement its wireless triple play solutions. Foundationally, OxfordSVI currently provides VOD/PPV solutions, High Speed Internet access and related services to over 2,400 hotels consisting of 225,000 rooms across the U.S. With its 18 year history in the VOD and hospitality industry, OxfordSVI has developed a portfolio of client hotels principally focused on building guest value and repeat business in the hospitality industry. OxfordSVI’s VOD systems offer hotel guests a variety of video content on-demand including the latest first-run Hollywood Movies, while providing hotel owners with a positive return on investment. Additional services include; high speed internet access, Free-To-Guest programming, and security system solutions.

OxfordSVI’s market is mainly comprised of small and mid-sized hotels and motels -- a segment of the hotel industry previously underserved and unable to offer such services to their guests. This targeted market of hotel properties between 50 to 300 rooms comprises over 2.4 million hotel rooms in the U.S. and represents approximately 56% of the total hotel market. OxfordSVI also develops technology for maximizing video content over WiMAX and other wireless networks and obtains roof rights from their customers in order to provide internet access and content distribution over WiMAX.

Oxford's wholly owned subsidiary Creative Business Concepts, Inc. is a business systems provider specializing in IP networks, IT Security and IT Integration, and Telecom. As part of these service offerings, CBC designs and installs specialty communication systems for data, voice, video, and telecom.

Note: All Oxford Media, Inc. issued press releases appear on the Company's website ( Any announcement that does not appear on the Oxford Media, Inc. website has not been issued by Oxford Media, Inc.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this news release about anticipated or expected future revenue or growth or expressions of future goals or objectives, including statements regarding whether current plans to grow and strengthen the Company's existing business, are forward- looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to the Company on the date of this release. Any forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including the risk that the Company will be unable to grow or strengthen its business due to a lack of capital or an inability to identify acquisition candidates and that the Company may not realize anticipated cost savings or revenue growth opportunities associated with any acquisitions, planned or otherwise.
Additionally, forward-looking statements concerning the performance of the Company's business are based on current market conditions and risks, which may change as the result of certain regulatory, competitive or economic events, as well as those risks and uncertainties described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

B2B Marketing Selling To The Hospitality And Travel Industry

In 2005, hotels in America generated $100 billion in profits, mostly from the food services sector. Luxury hotels also did brisk business, and smaller hotels too brought in additional revenues through value added services. Since the hospitality industry is booming, it is a good time for vendors to cash in on this boom and market themselves to the industry representatives.

Hotel Planners:

If you are planning to display your products and services to the hospitality industry, you need to approach hotel planners. There are over 70,000 hotel planners in the US, and their ideas and initiatives have generated $44 billion in revenue for the hotel industry. In order to market your services to the hospitality industry, you need to meet the planners and executives of hotels.

How to Market to Hospitality Industry:

In order to sell your services to the hospitality industry, you need to reach the planners and hotel managers. However, it is not easy to reach them, as they place a great value on their time, and have probably been approached by dozens of vendors before you.

1) Identify industry sectors where your products are going to be most useful. If the planners think that your products are of use, they will definitely want to know more.
2) Plan your marketing strategy before you approach people in the hospitality business.
3) Internet, emails, direct mailing, print media are all good mediums of getting your message across to people in the hospitality business.
4) Become a member of any association of vendors or related sector in the hospitality industry. This will lead to higher exposure of your services to people in the hospitality industry.
5) Provide hotel planners with information regarding your products, and cut down on the sales talk. Planners are hard pressed for time; and they will not be too happy if they take time out to listen to you, only to discover that you have nothing much to tell them.
6) Use innovative marketing strategies to get the attention of planners. Schedule calendars, calculators, software for charts etc. are always in demand within the hospitality industry, so you can demonstrate the use of such innovative tools to hotel executives and planners.

Hospitality Industry: Sectors of Growth.

High growth areas of the hospitality industry include food and beverages, and full service hotels. Food and Beverage departments of major hotels have been given more autonomy, so you can approach the department manager directly for marketing purposes. Vendors and suppliers of food items, drinks, kitchen devices, cutlery, table linen and furniture can benefit a lot from this.

With so many opportunities for vendors to take advantage of, it is no wonder that they want to cater to the hospitality industry. With proper planning and the right marketing strategies, you should be able to get ahead of your competitors and bag lucrative deals from hotels.

Hospitality International Enlists Pegasus Solutions

Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA - Hospitality International Inc., franchisor of Red Carpet Inn, Scottish Inns, Master Hosts Inns, Downtowner Inns and Passport Inn, has tapped Pegasus Solutions Inc. to provide the hotel chain with a full suite of technology services including NetBooker, Unirez by Pegasus and Voice Services. The new services will be provided to all of Hospitality International's 325+ properties located in 36 states as well as Canada and the Bahamas.

With these new services, Pegasus will provide a variety of technologies that will simplify the entire booking process for Hospitality International hotels. Pegasus' Unirez service will provide the hotel chain with comprehensive distribution services including the HotelFactory central reservation system (CRS), giving Hospitality International hotels access to all of the major global distribution systems (GDS) and leading travel Web sites.

"This agreement with Pegasus represents an important step in Hospitality International's goal to achieve significant growth in the next few years,” said Tim Blalock, president and chief executive officer of Hospitality International. "The services Pegasus will provide our hotels will be instrumental in our strategy to expand and refine our business, and we are pleased to be working with such a reputable company to help us accomplish this.”

Pegasus will also be providing Hospitality International with a comprehensive line of Voice Services with its reservation call centers in 9 locations around the world supporting 40 countries. "With the services Pegasus will provide to Hospitality International, the company will be extremely well positioned to pursue its goals to expand its business,” said Mike Kistner, Pegasus chief operating officer and president of reservation and distribution services. "Pegasus' depth of technology and industry experience will greatly enhance Hospitality International's ability to perform its everyday functions and enable the company to focus in on its core business.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Analyzing Critical Information From Multiple Locations

Nobody ever claimed that running a restaurant was easy. In fact, restaurants stand as one of the toughest businesses to run, with a full 60 percent of them out of business within five years of opening their doors, according to Dun & Bradstreet statistics.

But with the right mix of good management practices, tenacity, technology, and, of course, a great menu and staff, Bertucci’s has managed to buck the trend and persevere in a demanding, competitive environment.

Seven years ago, executives at the Northborough, Massachusetts-based casual dining chain realized that its Great Plains financial software wasn’t pulling its weight, so they tested several new options and decided that e by Epicor’s back office solution would be the right technology partner to help it reach its goals.

Recently, executives at Bertucci's, a Northborough, Massachusetts-based casual dining chain, realized that its Great Plains financial software wasn't pulling its weight, so they tested several new options and decided that e by Epicor's back office solution would be the right technology partner to help it reach its goals.

The State Of The Art In Finance

In the wake of recent accounting scandals and the increasingly competitive business environment, many CFOs and the finance organizations they lead have started to take on new strategic roles within the enterprise. They are aiming at enforcing stricter control processes to ensure legal and regulatory compliance, offering strategic insights into the internal and external business environment, and connecting the business strategy with daily operations through performance tracking.

The trend toward a more strategic role is echoed by the responses of participants in recent APQC surveys (formerly known as The American Productivity and Quality Center). Respondents indicated that, three years down the road, they would spend 30% more time on decision support and management. According to the same surveys, however, these respondents have not made much progress toward a greater strategic role. Finance organizations, no matter what their size, report to APQC that they still spend almost two-thirds of their time on transaction processing and controls and only one-third on decision support and management.

The difficulty lies in bridging the current gap between the finance function that emphasizes greater efficiency and the finance function that becomes a partner in managing the business. The best companies have found that reaching the goal of a more strategic finance function warrants a twostep approach, as follows.

1. These companies deal with the complexity of the various functions that come under the finance umbrella, making them as efficient as possible and, in the process, freeing up corporate resources for other activities. As one global treasury manager put it, “We must develop a finance function that is as efficient as it can be, replicate it globally, and then use it effectively to help us quickly establish brands and enter new markets.” Companies like this one choose a variety of approaches to streamline and automate finance functions while ensuring that they keep customers happy (in the case of shared-services arrangements).

2. With the efficiency of the transaction and control functions assured, they can turn to devising a more strategic approach for finance - not only giving finance more of a decision making responsibility in risk management and compliance, but also a proactive role in managing the daily cash position to help increase resources for quick strategic moves.

One global consumer products company took the following approach to a more strategic path for finance. In the first step, the company developed a more efficient cash management, accounts payable, and accounts receivable group of functions in its worldwide operations, based on greater transparency of information. In the second step, the company developed “straight-through processing” along every level of the finance function, leveraging its global reach to maximize cash management efficiency, foreign-exchange exposure, and the global supply chain to help fund growth, participate in new marketing and distribution arrangements, and comply with worldwide regulations.

Managing Hospitality And Entertainment Spending

Behind the scenes of any hospitality business – be it a hotel, a resort, a restaurant, an aquarium, or a ballpark – is an intricate network of materials and services that must be carefully managed in order to ensure a smooth and successful operation. Hundreds of suppliers and thousands of parts are needed for day-to-day operation, and like most industries, hospitality and entertainment enterprises are under relentless pressure to cut costs, reduce waste, eliminate inefficiency, and consolidate operations. The mandate is clear: control expenses now.

To survive in today’s economy, every enterprise must put the reins on spending across every location and category. Rogue spending infiltrates even the most disciplined hospitality and entertainment enterprises, and is even more apparent in organizations with remote locations and employees. Vendor lists grow like weeds. There is confusion over who manages what service area, and manual approval procedures for requisitions and invoices are cumbersome. The ability for hospitality and entertainment enterprises to effectively source, procure, and manage their spend must keep pace with the demand for promptness and compliance in supplier relationship management (SRM).

The ability for hospitality and entertainment enterprises to effectively source, procure, and manage their spend must keep pace with the demand for promptness and compliance in supplier relationship management (SRM).

Bridging the gap

Hospitality academics sometimes feel much misunderstood - especially when they meet industry colleagues. And this apparent gap between practitioners and teachers is never wider than when it comes to research. Colleagues in industry appear to want simple answers to difficult problems immediately. Academics on the other hand seem willing to spend as long as it takes to get the best "right" answer, which all too often asks more questions rather than provides solutions.

A number of attempts, over many years in a number of ways - journals, magazines, conferences, seminars, codes of practice have been developed to bring these two sides together, with limitedsuccess

World s largest hotel aquarium

AquaDom - the world's largest cylinder aquarium is located in the heart of Berlin, the AquaDom forms a striking centrepiece for a new multi-purpose development, which includes the designer DomAquaree Hotel, retail, recreational, work and living spaces.

Water is the architectural theme of the complex and AquaDom, at an impressive 16m deep and 11m in diameter, is the highlight of this experience. Lucite International provided the high performance materials used by Reynolds Polymer Technology (RPT) to manufacture the 150 tons of acrylic panels, which were needed to complete the aquarium.

The aquarium has 26 acrylic panels bonded together seamlessly for the outer cylinder and 15 panels for the inner cylinder. RPT designed and created these monolithic viewing panels using Lucite Specialty Monomers and Resins to ensure consistent and optimum optical clarity for anyone viewing the fish held in the AquaDom. And visitors have the unique experience of ascending through a column of water as they ride a split-level glass lift as they move through the centre of the aquarium.

Holding 264,000 gallons of saltwater, it is stocked with 100 different species and a total of 2,500 fish, including Golden Puffer, Porcupine Fish, Moray Eels, Angel Fish and Butterfly Fish. The variety of fish has been specifically chosen due to the different depths at which each will swim within the aquarium, which is raised 8m above the ground for visitors to admire.

The water inside the aquarium circulates completely once an hour. Commercially certified divers are used for the cleaning operation and as they ascend from the bottom must decompress at 'safety stop intervals' due to the sheer depth of water.

Ian Lambert, CEO of Lucite International, is looking forward to visiting the new hotel; "The AquaDom has been made possible by a very unique partnership. It is the strength, transparency and optical clarity of our high performing materials combined with the advanced acrylic technology from RPT that has made it all possible. This was a very ambitious project, which many people said could never be done. Thanks to our customer's designers and their technical ability and the outstanding performance characteristics of our materials, we have been able to bring the wonders of the deep to everyone who visits the AquaDom. It is the largest cylinder aquarium ever built in the world and I am sure that its sheer size and the wonderful deep water fish contained within will draw visitors to this new leisure destination in Berlin."

The project was successfully completed on time due to the close working collaboration between Lucite and RPT that has existed for nearly a decade. Lucite provided the acrylic expertise and quality control in terms of consistency of materials, whilst RPT designed, built and project managed the installation.

Roger Reynolds, CEO of Reynolds Polymer Technology, commented on this latest success in the long-standing partnership with Lucite International: "The combined expertise between our two organisations has been extremely successful in the marketplace for aquaria. With more than 50% of the world's largest aquaria to our name, it is a tribute to our hard work and close collaboration. We hope that accomplishment of the AquaDom is just the beginning of a whole new area of opportunity for us and certainly prepares us well for the next challenge."

The multi-purpose development is by Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG, the second largest investment company for open-ended property investment in Germany. International Concept Management, based in Colorado, US partnered RPT from the outset for the design, build and installation of Aquadom. The original concept design was provided by nps tchoban voss architects in Berlin.

Don t Limit Your 2007 Resolutions to Keeping Fit Get Your Finances in Shape Too This New Year

“The new year is a great opportunity to start getting finances in order. January is often a quiet month for expenditure which gives people a chance to review their financial situation. With this in mind, perhaps 2007 is the year to put a review of finances at the top of the list of resolutions.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers provides its top seven financial resolutions for 2007:

1. Deposit accounts

A quick review of how much interest is being paid on deposit accounts could increase the return on investment enormously. Many people have money sitting in an old deposit account at an uncompetitive interest rate. While research suggests that many people are slow to move bank accounts, many do not realise that the varying degrees of interest can range from almost zero to base rate plus 1%.

2. Tax efficient investments

Despite there now being an array of tax efficient investment vehicles available, many people still don’t invest in them. Such investments don’t necessarily need to involve any risk either - deposit based Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and National Savings products offer a tax-free return without risk to the capital.

Also remember that most tax free allowances are available to the individual so where possible, couples should make sure each of them uses their allowance.

3. Drafting a plan

Most people fail to plan their investment portfolios properly. A plan based on a few simple objectives – like when to retire and on what income – is a good start. Investments can then be chosen that help to achieve these.

4. Reviewing wills

Many people write their will and then file it away where it gathers dust and, over time, may not accurately reflect their wishes. With the recent changes to trusts and inheritance tax (IHT), this year more than any it is worth reviewing that will to ensure it is accurate and remains tax effective.

Remember to nominate any death in service benefits – most people nominate their spouse but it can be much more tax efficient and flexible to nominate to a discretionary trust that a spouse is a beneficiary of.

5. Investing for children

With increasing university costs and many children looking to their parents for a financial foot onto the property ladder, it is worth investing in tax efficient products like the Child’s Trust Fund and Children’s Bonus Bonds that will grow with them.

6. A-Day changes to pensions

A-Day (6 April 2006) may seem to have occurred some time ago, but it is important that pensions are not forgotten particularly by those who need to apply for some form of protection (enhanced or primary) to ensure their pension fund remains tax efficient. Although individuals have three years from 6 April 2006 to register for their protection, don’t leave it to the last minute. According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), many forms are being completed incorrectly, so it is worth submitting sooner rather than later.

7. Registering assets in a lower rate taxpayer’s name

Many people still fail to use their spouse or civil partner’s allowances to maximise the return on family investments. Often the higher rate taxpayer tends to hold all of the assets although their spouse is a non-taxpayer or lower rate taxpayer. By transferring some investments into the spouse or partner’s name the family’s overall return could improve.

Around the World in 360 Hotels

Wherever you go - try to stay at the most famous hotel - even if you can only afford the smallest room

Over the past 20 years we have discovered over 360 grand hotels of historical significance, forming a list rightfully called The Most Famous Hotels in the World.

So many hotels, so many stories. Sometimes hotels immortalise people, sometimes it is the other way round. Somerset Maugham is inseparably linked to Raffles and the Oriental, Dorothy Parker to New York’s Algonquin. Martin Luther King had his dream at the Willard in Washington. The Ritz in Paris will always remind us of the doyen of this industry, the charismatic Cesar Ritz.

The grand hotel as such is a child of European and American culture, for the first time presenting a collection of services all under one roof: rooms to rent, a restaurant, a porter, laundry services, etc. All extras were as the name suggests ‘extra’. Before 1900 you could find candles to light your room and wood for the log-fire separately on the bill, as well as the porter’s modest fee for carrying your luggage upstairs.

With the advent of mass transport (railway) the grand hotel in the heart of a city became a necessity. By 1920 America had over 200 notable hotels, following European standards where between 1850 and 1920 grand hotels rose all over the continent, giving every city of note a variety of individual hotels.

In Africa and Asia the hotels rarely reflected the style of local traditions, but satisfied the demand of colonial travellers, thus creating a home far away from home for Europeans. Before the abolishment of the nobility in India made Maharajas turn their palaces into luxurious hotels, they had long stayed at famous hotels around the world. For a season they spread the atmosphere of Rajastan, Patjala or Punjab among European society, who gasped at the wealth of their illustrious decorated exotic guests. While the Nawab of Bahawalpur or the Maharaja of Patjala threw lavish dinner parties at London’s Savoy and other European hotels, it seems ironic enough that at home they might have found it difficult to even enter one. British hotels enjoyed almost ex-territorial status. Not the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay, which was built by Indian industrialist Tata for precisely that reason (he was once denied entrance to one of the better known Bombay hotels).

Private entrepreneurs became famous hoteliers, lending their names to equally fabled establishments. Cesar Ritz built his hotel in Paris, sparking off a chain (Ritz Carlton), his name growing into a synonym for luxury. Viennese Eduard Sacher has his name today not only on two Austrian hotels, but on almost every chocolate cake around the world. The Sarkies brothers brought a standard to Asia that earned them the comparison ‘The Savoy of the East’ for their Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

The grand hotels of this world were always the showcase of the latest inventions. Here for the very first time every room had a bathroom attached, modern water pipes installed, from the late 1880s even with hot running water. Oscar Wilde scorned the Savoy in London for delivering hot running water through pipes to the bathroom: ‘What a nonsense - if I want hot water, I’ll ring for it.’

We also monitor the development of today’s new companies. Conrad Hilton, Isadora Sharp (Four Seasons), Fairmont, Marriott, the Shangri-La group, the Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula and the Indian Oberoi, who founded a chain of hotels that exported Indian hospitality abroad, running legendary hotels such as the Mena House in Cairo or the Windsor in Melbourne.

Various hotels have fallen into neglect, from glorious days to a barely acceptable existence in the shadow of global tourism. Mostly victim to political turmoil or economic hardship, they either closed down and disappeared or lead a live in poverty and despair. One of them is the Astor House in Shanghai. It was ‘the’ hotel, opened in 1846. The first electric light of Imperial China was lit there, the first telephone was installed in it, the first stock exchange of the empire was declared open there. It hosted US president Grant, Albert Einstein, Charles Chaplin. Only now does it slowly return, equipping itself again with modern facilities and restoring once celebrated venues. In 1911, the Hotel Baron in Aleppo,Syria was the most modern hotel in the city. Today it is a far cry from its former glory. In Cairo the former Savoy stands in the heart of the city, totally empty and virtually useless. The Saint Georges in Beirut is a ruin after decades of civil war. The interior of Germany’s oldest grand hotel Breidenbacher Hof (1822) was recently auctioned at Sotheby’s.

But some hotels are celebrating glorious returns. The Grand Hotel in Vienna became an office building after the war, only to be reopened as a sparkling hotel again in 1994. The Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest was closed for a decade before Alfred Pisani and his Corinthia Group from Malta arrived to kiss it awake to a new lease of life in 2002. The Adlon in Berlin had to wait for half a century after being bombed and destroyed in 1945 to be rebuilt and opened by the German Kempinski group. In spring 2005 the Plaza at New York’s Central Park was about to be converted into a multi functional apartment-shopping-office complex, before a world-wide uproar, supported by 600 employees and an understanding NYC major changed this direction.

Always up and running was London’s The Savoy (1889), built by theatre impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, the man behind the Gilbert&Sullivan operettas. Cesar Ritz was its first general manager, presenting Auguste Escoffier to London, the chef who created the modern restaurant kitchen as we still have it today. He invented Peach Melba for Australian opera diva Nellie Melba. The home of Winston Churchill’s the Other Club, the London address of Oscar Wilde and the venue of the yearly Wimbledon Ball, to name but three of 300 highlights, it had became such an institution, that a letter - once addressed to ‘the manager of the greatest hotel in London’ - was promptly delivered to the Savoy.

In London we list 12 hotels, from Dorchester to Claridges and its oldest, Browns Hotel (1837). Scotland comes in with two railway hotels in Edinburgh and the legendary golf hotels.

In Paris (15 hotels) Ernest Hemingway liberated The Ritz after World War 2). Today equally exquisite are the Meurice, the Crillon, the George V and the Plaza Athenee. France has 25 famous hotels, from the palaces on the Cote d’Azur to Biarritz. At Monte Carlo we always stop at the Hotel de Paris.

In Germany (20) ancient historical inns (Elephant in Weimar, 1696), meet grand hotels (Bayrischer Hof Munich, Atlantic Hamburg, Frankfurter Hof, Nassauer Hof Wiesbaden). Switzerland (22) is one of the cradles of great hotels and hoteliers, the Palaces in Gstaad and St Moritz and all great winter resort hotels own their mere existence to a bet between a hotelier and some Englishmen, who didn’t believe that one could actually spend the winter in the mountains. The hotels along Lake Geneva are legendary (Montreux Palace, Beau Rivage Lausanne, etc.). In front of Geneva’s Beau Rivage, where she stayed, Austria’s Empress Elisabeth ‘Sisi’ was stabbed to death.

Great hospitality is celebrated in Austria (6) at Vienna’s Imperial. It was built as a palace for the Prince of Wuerttemberg and in 1873 converted into a hotel, immediately becoming the official residence of all state visits. Across the road stands the Grand Hotel and the Bristol and around the corner the legendary Hotel Sacher of chocolate cake fame (Graham Greene wrote The Third Man there). In Salzburg we find one of the oldest inns, today a luxurious hotel: the Goldener Hirsch (Golden Stag), dating back to 1407. It’s a nice touch to think that Mozart might have walked through its doors.

Italy as a classic tourist destination is home to many grand hotels (33), from Venice’s Danieli to the Grand in Florence and further south to Rome (6) with its Grand Hotel (opened by Cesar Ritz in 1894. In 1931 King Alfonso XIII of Spain made it his home, where he died 10 years later. For years the hotel would be the court of the Spanish kings in exile), the Excelsior and the Hassler. From the grand hotels of Naples to the holiday resort Cala di Volpe on the Costa Smeralda, built by the Aga Khan, it’s all there.

Hasta la vista in Spain’s capital Madrid, at the Palace or the Ritz. At the Southern end of Europe rests the Rock Hotel in Gibraltar; and if you’d care to accompany me to the North of the continent to Denmark we find the 1755-opened Angleterre commanding the royal city of Copenhagen. Further north we visit Finland’s capital Helsinki (Hotel Kaemp, where composer Jean Sibelius once spent three days and nights drinking) and - across the border, in the former Russian capital St Petersburg - we enjoy a spoon of caviar and Boef Stroganoff at the Grand Hotel Europe, where Peter Tchaikovsky spent his honeymoon.

Travelling south after passing through Athen’s restored flagship Grand Bretagne we reach Istanbul in Turkey, where the Pera Palace welcomes us. Rumours have it that this is the place where author Agatha Christie once vanished for four days. When in Egypt, we have a mint tea at the Mena House, gazing in amazement at the Great Pyramid. In the footsteps of detective Hercule Poirot and Death on the Nile we visit Aswan and take a drink on the terrace of the Old Cataract, in Luxor at the Winter Palace.

North Africa is home to many tales of oriental hospitalities. Names like Marrakech automatically inspire La Mamounia, Tunis stands for Majestic, El Djazair for Alger and Minzah for Tanger. The rest of Africa holds a selection of former colonial hotels, from the romantic Victoria Falls to the traditional Mount Nelson in Cape Town. Most African capitals have lost their interest in their historic hotels, but in Nairobi you still enjoy the Norfolk’s (1904) cordial welcome, while it needed the private initiative of a Spanish honorary consul to revive the legendary Castle Hotel (1927) in Mombassa.

East of Suez on the shipping route from Europe to Asia - we searched in vain for the remains of the great hotels in Suez, Aden, Esfahan and Karachi - we reach the Gate of India (7), where the majestic Taj Mahal welcomes us. The Imperial in New Delhi sports a strict art-decco architecture. Here Muhammed Ali Jinnah founded Pakistan. It is the haunt of all discerning travellers. As the owners decided to exhibit their vast collection of over 2,000 prints, paintings, illustrations and artefacts, they employed a dedicated manager of art and history. It is may be the only hotel functioning as a museum, too. Some miles away - in (old) Delhi - slumbers Maidens Hotel. In Calcutta we list the Grand (1890). We have taken note of the palaces which were only recently converted into hotels, namely the Rambagh, Umaid Bhawan and Lake Palace.

Sri Lanka offers from the charming Mount Lavinia to the very private Hill Club the full assortment of historic lodging places. The Galle Face offers a brand new wing. In Malaysia we overlook the sea from the E&O in Penang, before we meet at Raffles in Singapore, splendidly restored to a never before seen standard. At The Strand in Yangon we complete the visit of this former chain of hotels all built by the Sarkies brothers between 1884 and 1901.

We spend a few days at The Oriental in Bangkok (1876), for many simply the best hotel in the world. In Saigon, pardon, Ho Chi Minh City, we visit the Continental and the Majestic and continue our journey to Hanoi, where the Metropole - Graham Greene’s haunt - has stood proudly since 1901.

Hong Kong’s oldest hotel is relatively young (The Peninsula, 1928), but absolutely on the top, and so are you, in particular when you disembark from your helicopter on its roof. In Beijing we know of the Grand Hotel, and in Shanghai we fox-trot to the sounds of the old band at the Peace Hotel.

Further on we go to the The Manila Hotel (1911) and in Tokyo we pay our respect to the all time classic Imperial (opened in 1890). By 1923 the hotel had a spectacular new building added, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which survived the devastating earthquake on its opening day. A quick detour to Australia takes us to Melbourne to the Windsor (1883), Australia’s only hotel of historical importance.

Let’s cross over to the States, where another earthquake made the Fairmont on San Francisco’s Nob Hill an institution. The setting for the TV series Hotel, based on Arthur Hailey’s best-seller, it is a symbol of San Francisco, reaching back to 1906, when the Great Fire following an earthquake took all of the city. The Fairmont stood - Parthenon-like - at the top of the hill, whilst all around there was devastation and rubble.

When you cross the US from West to East you have an armada of legendary hotels (85). Let me drop some names: Halekulani, Moana, Beverly Hills, various Plazas, Breakers, Biltmore, Don Cesar, St Regis, Mayfair, Brown Palace, Jefferson, Pfister, Lenox, Poca Raton, Hay Adams ..., all in all currently over 80 famous hotels. In New York waits its legendary Waldorf-Astoria (opened in 1931 with 1,410 rooms as the largest hotel in the world), where gatherings of celebrities are on the daily schedule. Conrad Hilton acquired it after dreaming of it as the greatest of them all.

Canada offers a unique series of wonderful hotels, notably a collection of fairy tale castles like the Chateaux Frontenac, Lake Louise and Laurier. Down south the Bahamas and the Caribean have their splendid spots, on Cuba a handful of famous hotels doze in the streets of Habana, among them the Ambos Mundos cultivating faded memories of past grandeur. In Brazil you swing to Samba at the 1923 built Copacabana Palace, Argentina welcomes us at the Alvear Palace (1932) and at the Plaza (1909). In Santiago de Chile we visit the Hotel Carrera and nearby the ski resort classic Portillo.

On your way back to Europe we stop at Ireland’s west coast to enjoy the hospitality of the romantically situated Ashford Castel, which became a hotel in 1939. The Shelbourne in Dublin, dating back to 1824, was home to John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, in 1958. If we sail further south - as the Irish dramatist George Bernhard Shaw did in 1924 - we arrive at the harbour of the island of Madeira, off the north-western coast of Africa. In its capital Funchal the good old Reid’s Hotel overlooks the Atlantic. Here Shaw learned to tango and left his autograph for his dancing instructor with the words: 'To the only man who ever taught me anything’.

You see, wherever you go, there is a famous hotel waiting for you.

Hotels are listed independently, regardless of their geographical location, their political environment and their commercial success.


One of the fastest-growing sectors in the world economy today is travel and tourism. It is the engine that drives the many-faceted hospitality business.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), people around the world spent about $2.1 trillion in the year 2003 on their personal travel. This amounts to almost 10 percent of consumer spending worldwide. If you add in business travel, the amount of money flowing into the travel and tourism sector is even higher, by an additional $700 billion.

To care for the needs of these travelers, huge amounts of money are invested to build hotels and restaurants, resorts, theme parks, conference centers and the dozens of other types of businesses that look after them.

In the year 2003, about one out of every 10 dollars that went into a capital investment was directed into the tourism or travel business. The sector accounts for over 10% of the world's GDP, making it the largest slice of the world's economic "pie." Projections for the next 10 years forecast average growth of about 3.7% each year.

In the Hospitality Business category, May International assists with hotels, motels, golf courses, spas, membership organizations and other facilities that cater to guests and visitors.

Strategies for yield

Yield Management: Strategies for the Services Industries (2nd edition) edited by Anthony Ingold, Una McMahonBeattie and Ian Yeoman, 352 pages, Continuum, London 2001, Paperback L15.99, ISBN 0-8264-4825-9.

Tony Ingold and his colleagues have put together a second edition of this pioneering book four years after publication of the first edition. The new edition is broader in scope, examining a range of applications in the service industries. More than 20 main topics are covered by over 30 authors who include distinguished industrialists such as Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of the airline British Midland, and Sir Rocco Forte. The book brings together experts in various applications of yield management - now more correctly termed revenue management.

Divided into four parts, it deals with:

i) the principles of yield management;

ii) models of yield management;

iii)decision support; and

iv) service sector studies.

The book includes a number of new chapters amongst which are the interaction between yield management and productivity as well as the linkage between marketing and yield management in the small hotels sector

Action man


Hospitality Action has a new chief executive. David Goymour asked him about his strategy

Tony Allen: five-year plan to raise awareness of Hospitality Action

Bony Allen, who this summer joined Hospitality Action as its chief executive, has set himself a five-year task of boosting the organisation's fundraising from its present level of about L750,000 to between L2.5m and L3m.

That means raising the organisation's profile in a big way. Alongside him at the Hospitality Ball at London's Grosvenor House on 26 October will be the trustees - many of them Fellows of the HCIMA who Allen regards as his key networkers to help him raise that profile.

The Hotel &Catering Benevolent Association, formed in 1837, ran the PM Club, a daytime refuge in London's Earl's Court for young people working in the industry, and managed social housing, mainly for retired industry employees.

Workshops for quality

Workshops have been designed to provide managers with a sound understanding of the Hospitality Assured assessment process, before proceeding to seek accreditation.

The workshops examine the two elements of the Hospitality Assured accreditation - the Customer Satisfaction Standard, and the Professional Service Standard authored by the HCIMA. The Customer Satisfaction Standard measures how successfully an organisation looks after its customers. The Professional Service Standard measures an organisation's internal processes and procedures, covering 12 areas of best international practice outlined in a Quality Map.

Whilst workshops are tailored to the particular needs of a group, a typical programme could cover the following areas:

* the Professional Service Standard:

- how it came to be

- an explanation of the Quality Map

* the Hospitality AssuredStandard

Wanted Ambassadors for the industry

HCIMA members are being encouraged by past President David Battersby FHCIMA to put up themselves and their colleagues as Springboard Ambassadors, in support of next month's careers festival promoted by Springboard UK.

Battersby launched the initiative in his presidential inaugural address in October 2000. Young managers are to be recruited by the end of September, and will be trained as Springboard Ambassadors, so they can play an effective part in the careers festival. The ambassadors are expected to engage inactivities which promote the industry to pupils and teachers in a local sixth form college, secondary school, further education college or university.

Activities can be varied and innovative as long as they encourage young people to think about the hospitality industry as a future career option.

One example is Groundhog Day on 22 October, the culmination of thisyear's careers festival, when people in the industry are being encouraged to take a "shadow" to work for the day.

Quality in defence

The first contract caterer in defence site services to achieve Hospitality Assured is Sodexho Defence Services for its contract at the Cotswold Garrison - comprising the Joint Supply Unit at Corsham, the 9 Supply Regiment at Hullavington, and the 21 Signal Regiment at Azimghur Barracks in Colerne.

At these three Wiltshire sites Sodexho employs a total of 190 staff, providing services for around 1,700 people.

The Bradford Community Health NHS Trust in Bradford has become the first NHS Trust in Yorkshire to be accredited with Hospitality Assured.

The accreditation covered the trust's provision of a hotel service within a healthcare environment.

A total of 104 employees are responsible for production, delivery and service of approximately 10,000 meals per week to both patients and staff at the Trust.

Aberdeen College has become the first hospitality collegein Scotland to achieve Hospitality Assured accreditation. The assessment at the college covered the William Dyce Brasserie - the hospitality department's training restaurant for hospitality students, open to the public.

Energy efficient lighting


In her second article in a series on enhanced capital allowances available under the Climate Change Levy, Dr Rebecca Hawkins FHCIMA explains where to look for help to make lighting schemes more efficient

One of the most cost-effective energy saving technologies that is relevant to all hospitality businesses is energy efficient lighting. For small businesses, lighting may account for as much as 30% of total electricity costs and energy efficient lighting can reduce these by anything from 50 to 80%.

In other words, if the present annual electricity bill is 10,000, the lighting element of which is 3,000, the annual savings could be as much as 2,400.

The good news is that financial incentives are available to help small businesses change their lighting systems to an energy efficientalternative, thus subsidising investment in cost reducing technologies.

A word of caution before your business invests in energy efficient lighting technologies: while funding is available for ad hoc investments in energy-efficient light-bulbs, this may not be the most energy-efficient solution for your business and - if the wrong type of lamps are chosen - you could end up with gloomy rooms and dissatisfied customers.

Seminars for energy saving

Two Hospitable Climates seminars are to be held this autumn in London and Cardiff. With the introduction of the Climate Change Levy in April, energy bills are increasing by as much as 15%. UK hospitality businesses can recoup some of this by signing up to the Hospitable Climates programme.

The speakers at both seminars include Clive Gordon FHCIMA, chairman of the HCIMA's Environmental Working Group, John Forte FHCIMA, chairman of its Technical Advisory Group, and Verney Ryan, programme manager of the best practice programme for hospitality.

The first seminar is to be held - in conjunction with the London Tourist Board in partnership with the Government Office for London - on October 12 at the May Fair Inter-Continental Hotel, London.

Enterprise moves ahead

Newmarket International has announced the latest release of NetDelphi Enterprise 9.0, a Windows-based sales, marketing, and catering automation solution designed for cross-property selling. This version of Enterprise has new features and increased functionality to satisfy the needs of multiple-- properties.

NetDelphi Enterprise is Newmarket's sales, marketing, and catering technical solution for multiple properties utilising one database. The ability to sell across multi properties increases the reach of the sales manager with real time multi property inventory access.

NetDelphi Enterprise is also integrated with Newmarket's NetXchange Meeting Broker, an internet-based exchange that integrates hotel booking lead sources, such as web sites and national sales offices, to a hotel's sales system, creating an online trading community for global hospitality business.