Browsing Tag

american hotel register

Picturing more guests

January 21, 2014

A savvy Instagram plan can mean more hotel business

Are you a user of Pinterest or Instagram? Chances are you have at least heard of these popular social media platforms. It’s also likely that you’ll be hearing much more because, in hospitality, Pinterest and Instagram could lead to thousands of new guests.

For the most part, users of Pinterest and Instagram share and tag photos. In the hotel industry, photo sharing social channels are trending and experts don’t anticipate that to change any time soon. In fact, experts from both Conde Nast Traveler and Cox & Kings predict that geolocating mediums, such as Instagram, will play an increasingly larger role in 2014.

One Sydney hotel, the 1888, has already banked on this idea and has even claimed the title as the first “Instagram Hotel.” In fact, the hotel recently offered a free night stay to any Instagram user with over 10,000 connections. Why would its leaders make such an offer? When you have a guest snapping photos of his or her hotel stay to a network of 10,000+ people instantly, you are gaining some serious exposure.

If you are curious how social media could help your business, there are many how-to strategies on the Web. The tips below are excerpted from a best-practice guide to getting the most out of your Pinterest and Instagram efforts.

  1. Use your brand logo as your profile picture. Be sure it’s the same logo that is being used on other social platforms – cohesion presents a more organized, professional decorum and means less confusion for consumers.
  2. Give potential guests a sneak peek of your hotel. Take photos of different types of rooms and any sort of specialty accommodations or amenities. This satisfies consumer curiosity about what they have to look forward to if they choose to book a room.
  3. Go beyond your building. Make boards or posts about activities on your grounds or nearby. Highlight unique events, destinations or landmarks in the surrounding city or town.
  4. People love food. Consider dedicating a picture board to the food you’re known for. Get your audience hungry to plan a visit.

While it may take some time to see the fruits of your labor, a dedicated effort and careful monitoring can lead to an expansive audience and more guests at your doorstep.

Using the box below, tell us if your business has benefitted from a specific social media strategy.

Why “Ready to Use” Really Means “Ready to Save”

May 24, 2013

ready to use linens

Would you like to save more?

Whether it’s time, cost, or resources, the one thing we all want to do is to save more.  Any opportunity where we can save without compromising is seized upon, and businesses across the globe are responding to their customers by offering them more ways to save.

The hospitality market is no different, and as travelers become more attentive in finding ways to save, so to have hotels.

A large expense for any hotel is linens.  The combined cost of just sheets and towels, for example, can become a large portion of a guest room’s budget, and it certainly pays to look for savings in these categories whenever possible.

“Ready to Use” has become a leading cost-saving initiative for many hotels.  Simply put, these are sheets and towels which can go directly from the box they arrive in to the bed or bath without having to go through an initial laundering.  So how does a hotel save by using these types of linens?  Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much time do housekeepers spend washing every sheet and towel that they unpack over the course of a year?
  • How much water, detergent, and electricity is used in laundering a fresh set of sheets or towels each time, and over the course of a year?

The average cost to wash a pound of laundry can range from $0.30 to $0.35 cents (which does not include the cost of labor or other costs such as keeping the lights on in the laundering facility, etc.).

Just by avoiding the initial laundering of a dozen “Ready to Use,” 17-lb. towels, you can save nearly $6.00!  Now multiply that across all of the sheets and towels that you unpack and launder in a year and the savings quicky grow.

“Ready to Use” sheets and towels can save you a great deal of money, and they’re eco-friendly, too, saving resources that would otherwise be consumed in an initial laundering.

Be sure to check out our wide selection of Ready to Use Towels or Ready to Use Sheets, and get ready to save more!

Get connected: why every hotel should be using social media

May 13, 2013

social media marketing hotels

Last March, we reminded you that, “…with the heightened popularity of social media and hotel review websites, people are talking, leaving reviews, and influencing potential guests. People talk, so give them something to talk about: your incredible service.”

Clearly then, social media has its impact. But how else can you harness the power of social media and why should you? That is what we will be exploring in this post.

Hospitality venues need to understand consumers’ attitudes toward social media, and find ways to access and use the bank of information available on social media sites. Too often, many people – whether those in the hospitality industry or not – may not understand the full value of having an active, engaging social media presence, while those who do know prosper.

However, simply having an online social presence is never enough. The goal is to actively engage with fans and followers in fun ways. Develop real, genuine, and long-lasting relationships with them.

For example, Facebook holds an immense amount of potential for hotels because guests can not just share ideas and ask questions on the page, they must “check-in” to the hotel – not literally, however. Whoever checks-in to your hotel on Facebook will be voluntarily telling their friends and family where they have decided to book their reservations – with you.

But as mentioned, guests have the opportunity to spend time on your page and the more they are being engaged, the more time they are spending on your page seeing your name.

Use this opportunity to remain transparent so that complaints and concerns are addressed promptly and efficiently. Most people are aware that all places can have problems or make mistakes, but they want to know how well you find solutions. Social media proves it to potential guests.

Also, remember that people regularly look into the surrounding area when choosing a hotel. From nearby restaurants to upcoming events, guests look for places to go and things to do.

Use your page to showcase events, travel adventures, opportunities, and just about anything else going on in the area. Work with area companies, restaurants, etc., to offer guests discounts.

Additionally, social media can help you reward loyal customers, fans, and followers. For example, some hospitality services offer special rates for those that ‘like’ them on Facebook. You can also create engagement on social networks by giving out special rewards, such as discounts or prizes, to your most active users. Encourage past guests to write reviews about your venue on sites such as Yelp and Foursquare. Keep track of who your most engaged social media connections are and reward them. When others see how your business values loyalty and engagement, there is a good chance new people will choose to interact with your hotel more.

This post only explores the tip of the social media iceberg. Opportunities for those in the hospitality industry are vast and much of it is still unexplored territory. How will you use social media to boost your business?

Checking In: Must Haves for Excellent Hospitality Service

February 28, 2013

As we mentioned before, the breakfast bar is one of the most popular and appealing attractions for those in the hospitality industry. Having the perfect breakfast bar can put you measures beyond your competition, but now you are probably wondering, what else can we do?

Keep in mind that nearly half of all travelers report that they will not book a hotel room without first reading online reviews. Monitor online reviews for input on ways to improve your hotel. Chief complaints cited in online reviews are housekeeping, service quality and general maintenance.

So, let’s imagine you have the friendliest and most reliable staff you could find and general maintenance has ensured that everything is in perfect working condition. Ready for the next step?

Here is a Top Ten list of services in the hospitality industry that will make guests and visitors become often-seen friends. You might want to pay close attention to it because it could change how you do hospitality.

  1. Free Wi-Fi
  2. Free Wi-Fi
  3. Plent of power outlets in each room
  4. Happy hours, wine tasting, or other activities involving food and drinks
  5. Complimentary bottled water in every room
  6. Designer toiletries
  7. Fitness center and spa
  8. Modern in-room amenities like iPads
  9. Fresh flowers throughout
  10. Entertainment amenities like an arcade or movie screening room

While we could have easily drafted a Top One Hundred list, these top ten items should be considered as some of the best to offer. So what are you waiting for? Turn guests into friends today.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!

Build The Best Breakfast Bar

February 18, 2013

build the best breakfast bar

Are your guests getting the best start to their day? If not, you can and should help them.

The breakfast bar is one of the most popular and appealing attractions for those in the hospitality industry. It’s where visitors begin their day and get their start. Giving visitors a healthy cornucopia of breakfast options is one of the best ways to ensure return guests.

But what else can and should you do aside from a diverse breakfast plan that appeals to people of different tastes and dietary preferences? Let’s explore that now.

Incorporate the following tips into your breakfast bar layout and practice:

  • Toss out those stale donuts and replace them with fresh fruits and homemade itemsRenovate countertops with grade one surfaces such as granite, stone, or marble
  • Add accent elements like columns or arches
  • Give the breakfast bar a unique flavor by incorporating local arts and crafts
  • Install one or more large flat-screen TVs so guests can watch the morning news
  • Modernize furniture and equipment for quality, comfort, and aesthetics
  • Ensure the entire area has sufficient Wi-Fi access (free Wi-Fi is one of the most important and demanded features by hotel guests)
  • Regularly clean the breakfast bar, pick up trash, and confirm that all surfaces and tables are clean and ready for guests

Our website features seven different breakfast bar themes that provide an auspicious starting point for planning your perfect breakfast bar. These themes include: our private-label Registry®Bar, Eco Bar, Contemporary Breakfast Bar, Traditional Breakfast Bar, Country Breakfast Bar, Hot Breakfast Bar, and Cold Breakfast Bar. We provide all the tools and tips you need to build your mouthwatering cornucopia.

Remember: a perfect day starts with a perfect breakfast. Provide that for your guests and they may stay another night.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!

Prepare Your Hotel For Spring Now

February 12, 2013

prepare your hotel for spring

It’s only February, but spring will be upon us soon. Now is the time to begin thinking about your spring action plan. It’s imperative to strategize on updating various hospitality products and designs to appear as fresh as the oncoming season.

Where should you begin so you are not left in the dust of competition? Focus on the following three areas to help ensure 2013 is a successful year:

1)Upgrade Outdoor Furniture and Recreational Equipment

Many visitors will be elated that the winter cold has vanished and they can begin spending more time outdoors. Upgrading outdoor furniture and recreational equipment guarantees that your outdoor areas are looking not only competitive, but also pristine and inviting – and made for relaxing in the fresh spring atmosphere.

Updated chaises, tables, chairs, and other outdoor items can make the entire property appear new and refreshed. When was the last time your style was modernized?

Looking for outdoor furniture? Click Here to browse all of our options!

2)Prepare a Beautiful, Bountiful Spring Landscape and Garden

Late winter is the ideal time to prepare landscaping and gardening for spring. Important tips to keep in mind are: clear drainage ditches, repair any bowed sides to raised beds, fix trellises and fencing, weed young spring weeds, and mulch bare spots in beds.

Also consider some of these attractive and popular spring flowers: tulips, lilies, daffodils, and hyacinth. Outdoor possibilities are endless with the addition or changing of flowers, bushes, hedges, shrubbery, and other plant life.

3)New Seasons Mean New Colors and Designs

As you are already probably aware, a new season brings with it a new feeling. Updating colors and designs to match the new season will keep you in sync. Popular colors for this spring include emerald, poppy red, linen, African violet, Monaco blue, grayed jade, and tangerine.

Remember to use your colors wisely. Where can you apply these colors? They work perfectly anywhere from table linens and accessories, bedding, sheets, towels, and blankets to indoor and outdoor painting.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!

Green Lighting For The Hospitality Industry

February 1, 2013

green lighting for hospitality hotels

Lighting is a powerful design tool that can craft a space and affect emotions. Hospitality is one of the original commercial areas that always understood the importance of proper lighting design. To this end, hospitality projects can be some of the most creative and inspiring to take part in, but there is more to consider than design and creativity.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting represents 40% of the average commercial building’s electric bill. Furthermore, according to the EPA Energy Star Program, U.S. hotels spend close to $4 billion on energy costs each year and are the fourth most intensive users of energy in the commercial sector. Lighting accounts for nearly 25% of electricity consumed by hotels and for more than 40% in guest rooms alone.

Wouldn’t it be a bright idea to reduce energy costs?

Green lighting and energy-efficient products are not exclusive to 2013. Most if not all of us are quite familiar with them, but let’s take a look at some of our options.

Incandescent & Halogen

While the legislation debates continue feverishly, the fact remains that we will lose some of the more inefficient filament lamp types soon. Where incandescent or halogen lamps may still be preferred due to aggressive dimming or color requirements, make sure to use the highest efficiency version available. Halogen lamps are more efficient and last longer than incandescent lamps. Infrared-conserving halogen lamps are even more efficient.

Fluorescent Systems

Linear fluorescent systems are the workhorse of back-of-house spaces, as well as many common areas and bathrooms. With very high efficiency and lamp life ratings now achieving 60,000 hours, these systems are outstanding, cost-effective solutions for any area.

Induction Fluorescent Systems

A newer technology, some early induction lighting installations have outperformed their 100,000-hour predicted life rating. Available in a wide range of colors and power packages, the high-color rendering induction lighting systems are ideal for extended-use applications, such as in lobbies, atriums, parking lots, and signs, particularly where luminaries are mounted at great heights.

5 Factors To Consider When Purchasing Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment

January 18, 2013

1. Showcase Your Lobby. Create a great first impression and “wow” your guests with an interesting lobby design that incorporates a unique architectural element, columns, exotic woods, a mural or a dramatic fireplace. Today’s lobby serves as part business center, part meeting place, and part dining area, so it’s important to make it as multifunctional and dramatic as possible.

2. Keep Technology Cutting Edge. Guests expect the latest electronic gadgets, so offering high-speed internet access, including wireless, is essential throughout your hotel, along with plenty of data ports and electrical outlets. Extras like an entertainment center with a pivoting flat screen, high definition TV, a digital music and movie library available on demand, a stereo system or
MP3-compatible clock radio are rapidly becoming must-haves for today’s guests.

3. Beds & Bedding. From a comfortable place that provides a good night’s sleep to a luxurious area for reading, relaxing or working, the bed is the focal point of your guest rooms and deserves to be of high quality. Consider mattresses with higher coil counts and an extra-thick pillowtop for even more comfort. Top the bed with higher thread count linens, plush bedding and charming accent pillows for a soft, inviting look and feel. Offer a “menu” so guests can choose their favorite type of pillow for their sleeping style.

4. Case Goods. Keep both function and aesthetics in mind when selecting case goods to be sure the pieces look good together and accommodate guests’ needs. Coordinate finishes, colors and styles, along with accent pieces like cocktail tables in granite or metal to make a special design statement.

5. Lighting. Lighting is a relatively inexpensive way to add style, save energy, and bring any space to life. Explore ways to brighten work areas, soften lounge areas, or create a peaceful mood.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!

How To Select A Designer For Your New Build, Renovation or Conversion Project

January 16, 2013

how to select a designer for your new build

Interior designers are a valuable resource for your new build, conversion or property renovation project. Interior designers have had extensive training in the various elements of modern and historical design, art and architecture. They have a basic foundation of knowledge that allows them to develop concepts in a variety of styles that range from traditional, contemporary, and eclectic or a combination of several styles. But not every designer’s talent is right for every project, so it is important that you evaluate them carefully based on the following criteria:

Experience. Along with expertise in fabrics, lighting and textures, your designer should understand structural elements, such as architecture, building codes, fire codes, plus electrical and HVAC systems. Also, consider designers who have worked on projects similar to yours. Take time to thoroughly review portfolios of their work.

Credentials. Ask about the designer’s educational background, including certifications and memberships, like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certificate. All NCIDQ certificate holders have been educated, trained and examined to protect public health, safety and welfare. When you hire an NCIDQ certificate holder, you hire a professional with proven knowledge, experience and proficiency in the latest interior design principles and practices, contract documents and administration and decision-making skills. In addition, ask about memberships held. A designer’s membership in the following associations should be important factors in your selection process:

  • American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
  • International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
  • Network of the Hospitality Industry (NEWH)
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council

Meeting Your Goals. Ideally, your designer should be firm on important issues, such as accountability, responsiveness, attention to detail, and meeting bottom-line results. Everyone has a budget, so no matter what the amount, your designer should help you get the best value and the highest quality possible. A first-rate designer will work hard to achieve your key design goals, perhaps by spreading the job out over time or suggesting alternative solutions for your project. Your designer will also manage the entire process, whether it involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, selecting finishes or monitoring the construction and installation of the project.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!

Smart Property Improvement

January 14, 2013

smart property improvement

With the economy finally getting back on track, it’s now easier to get the financing you need for rebranding, conversions, renovations or new construction projects. The time is right to get a property improvement plan (PIP) on the table. It is one of the most critical components in improving your guest experience and increasing revPAR.

Why a PIP? Why now?
The purpose of most PIPs is to keep properties in compliance with all existing and new brand standards. Franchisors want to protect their brands and the interests of their investors, as well as give guests the consistent, fully updated experiences they are looking for in today’s market. So, the question is, “How do you implement a PIP with as much efficiency (and as few headaches) as possible?”

Know your numbers
Taking time to understand the bid process and construction planning is essential. Start by making a side-by-side comparison of potential resources and their bids to be sure all feature the same scope and details. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Don’t assume the lowest bid is the best price. Does it include all the same elements of the higher bids?
  • Avoid skimping on quality of goods and materials in order to save money. Most branded hotels have specific products that must be used so there may be little variation in pricing. But if there is, take into consideration the lifecycles of goods and their replacement value. For example, will the lower-priced draperies fade in sunlight and need to be replaced more often?
  • Be sure each bidder has policies in place regarding workers’ interaction with guests, on-the-job conduct, smoking/lunch breaks, radio playing, trash disposal, cleanup, etc.

Work with experienced hospitality professionals to maximize ROI
Implementing a PIP can be an expensive proposition. When renovations involve construction, it’s critical to contract with professionals that specialize in executing hospitality projects. They will understand the importance of keeping your property fully operational during the project and will develop specific strategies for isolating the construction phase of the project for minimal impact on your property and your guests.

With the ultimate goal of achieving and maintaining high brand standards, you might want to employ a turnkey partner to execute the PIP. By turning your PIP over to these experts, you can concentrate on increasing your bookings and satisfying guests, while leaving the details of property improvement to them.

The benefits are enticing …

  • Elimination of the headaches you don’t want and the freedom to focus on running your business
  • Minimization of the impact of the renovation on your budget, your staff, and your guests
  • Quality improvement and cost savings

A turnkey partner focused on the hospitality market must have the experience, resources and talent to execute your project efficiently and cost-effectively.

What to look for in a turnkey PIP partner

A partner who has a deep understanding of your brand, your property and your business will have the knowledge required to execute your PIP in the most professional and efficient manner. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the economies of scale this partner offers, from FF&E options to inspection services and ADA compliance. Here are more factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Choose a partner with the right expertise. Look for award-winning design and brand-strengthening solutions that are in line with your property’s and brand’s unique needs.
  • Be sure the firm you are considering can deliver your brand consistently, whether it is working on one property or across multiple properties.
  • Evaluate project management expertise. A favorable track record isn’t created overnight – it’s built over time, with strong relationships that continue long after a project is completed.
  • Ensure that your partner produces a design that fits your overall budget and timeline requirements.
  • Look for clear indicators of innovation and cutting-edge technology, like an online design center.

A full-circle, 360° approach will offer the most value and expertise for the money because every aspect of the project is covered, from project financial management and design development through procurement and implementation.


Only American Hotel Register Company provides 360° OS&E and FF&E solutions for the hospitality industry.

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Normal, IL, recently won the 2012 Holiday Inn Express Renovation of the Year award at the Annual IHG Conference. This was just one example of the hundreds of projects that was managed by American Hotel’s FF&E Solutions team in 2012. As a result of the collaborative efforts of American Hotel and IHG, this hotel is experiencing its highest occupancy rates in 12 years.

 So, whether it’s one room or one thousand, or whether you’re planning a renovation, conversion or new build, you’ll find our experts will go above and beyond your expectations. Join the industry’s top management companies and hoteliers – choose American Hotel for your next project.

 360° solutions, with world-class service designed around you

Not sure where to start? Contact us today!