Browsing Tag


Live Green to Wake Up to A Better Tomorrow

May 30, 2013

go green hotel energy efficiency

We have already written about steps that the hospitality industry is taking to provide greener facilities: Green Lighting for the Hospitality Industry and more recently, Green at Heart: One Brand’s Commitment to the Environment. In this post, we will get more into the details and find out why this is such an appealing, important, and critical move to make.

Before embarking on a quest to renovate your hospitality facility into an environmentally responsible one, or develop an environmental management system, it is necessary to understand some of the motivators in embracing the environment.

Providing a green hospitality facility not only saves you money, it helps preserve the environment and attract more visitors. Additionally, the EPA lists the following benefits of going green: hospitality facilities can reduce costs, achieve environmental results, gain recognition, win new business, and be more attractive to employees.

Although the majority of hotels built today take advantage of conventional design and operation methods common to North America, many of those hospitality facilities are beginning to take advantage of environmental trends in the industry as well.

Unfortunately, many environmental endeavors often do not extend beyond this gesture and only a small number of hospitality facilities have been specifically designed to be environmentally efficient.

Currently, any visit to most hotel rooms will turn up a notice asking the guest to reduce laundry pollutants by identifying the towels used each day, or reduce overall use of certain products that do not necessarily need to be changed daily (if you need these helpful items, just visit our site). But for many hotels, this is usually the extent of their efforts.

It should be acknowledged that hotel guests are usually happy to assist hotels in their green efforts. In fact, guests find this to be incredibly appealing in influencing where they choose to stay. This recent study cites three categories that matter most to consumers: water, energy, and waste reduction.

By taking measures to cut down on all three, you’re not only saving money and helping the environment, you’re attracting more customers. What steps can you take? Consider the following ideas:

  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Use filtered water
  • Provide recycling bins for employees and guests
  • Provide toilets that are dual-flush
  • Consider showers that are low-flow
  • Provide shampoo and conditioner in bulk dispensers
  • Clean your pool with saline salt solution instead of eye-burning chlorine
  • Install green lighting throughout the facility
  • Encourage guests to turn out the lights when they leave their room
  • Turn off air conditioning units when not in use, and be sure to turn them on so the room is comfortable before guests arrive
  • Encourage guests to reuse towels

You don’t have to go all in when just starting out, but small steps will have a big impact. What are you doing to go green?

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!

Hospitality mistakes: learning from the failures of others

May 2, 2013

common hotel front desk mistakes

Some service mistakes by front desk staff are universal. Some are unavoidable. Some are amusing. But they can all have disastrous effects.

While it’s always important to look back on our own mistakes and make corrections for the future, it also helps to look at others’ mistakes and learn from them.

In this post, we will look at some common hospitality mistakes so you can make sure your future isn’t condemned to repeat someone else’s history. Some of these are general mistakes, others are much more specific, but they are all equally important to consider.

Mistake #1: Failure to give adequate praise, thanks, recognition, or appreciation to the team

Your hospitality team consists of many individuals with many assigned tasks who are the face of your venue. Keeping them happy means keeping guests happy. Remember, a person can build a team, but he cannot buy one. Plan surprises for your staff, have a bonus system in place, and give constant thanks and praise.

Another mistake under this umbrella is: “Failure to provide the team with goals, personal accountability, performance evaluations, and feedback.”

Provide annual performance evaluations. Have regular and productive staff meetings, involve the team in the goal-setting process, and consider hiring someone to help you do this. Reward great performance and watch great performance repeat.

Mistake #2: Not hiring the “right” people and keeping the “wrong” people instead

Create an environment that fosters and promotes personal and professional development. Identify a list of characteristics and traits you want to see in your personnel and seek those out during the hiring process. To avoid having employees who do not fit into your culture, avoid desperate hiring and learn to recognize negative personality traits that may affect other staff members and guests. Also, consider testing (IQ and/or personality) during the hiring process.

Mistake #3: Failure to establish an organized and effective marketing plan

Having a marketing committee that meets regularly to discuss, plan, and implement marketing strategies is imperative. Go to meetings, ask others so you learn more, and consider hiring marketing consultants to help you. This is common knowledge to a lot of people out there, but others try to get by with little or no marketing. Little or no marketing almost always leads to little or no business.

Mistake #4: A poor or negative attitude exhibited by anyone – especially a manager

Most of us know that a big ego and arrogance do nothing for anyone except turn others away. Set a good example and create an environment where employees feel able to admit their weaknesses and mistakes to you and the team. Doing this not only nurtures a better working environment for employees internally, but externally they will work and deal much more effectively with customers.

Mistake #5: Failure to use the guest’s name

As people, we like to be treated as people. Sounds simple, easy, and obvious, right? But failure to use a person’s name – a respectful acknowledgement of who they are – can make guests feel like objects and not appreciated.

Mistake #6: Failure to acknowledge a waiting guest

The idea from mistake #5 is similar here: As people, we like to be treated as people. Most of us have stood unacknowledged in a line or at a desk and have despised that feeling – so why would we do that to others? Even if your staff is busy, train them to acknowledge waiting guests.

The Suite Life: Standing Out from the Competition

March 21, 2013

You may recall our post at the end of February that provided Must Haves for Excellent Hospitality Service. We discussed hospitality essentials that guarantee making friends out of guests and greatly improving the chances of return visits.

In this post, we will discuss the Suite Life: ideas and tips that go beyond the essentials and make your hospitality venue stand out from the competition. The first step is to start at the beginning when the guests first arrive.

Remember, 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.

This Wall Street Journal article provides excellent ideas about what some hotel agencies are doing to wow their guests. The ideas go beyond fancy shampoos & conditioners and chocolates on the freshly made bed.

For example, some hotels train front-desk employees to glean information during check-in chitchat that they can later use to impress guests (sending complimentary cups of tea to people who say they have a cold, perhaps).

After a day or night of traveling (or possibly longer), guests are tired, stressed, and ready for relaxation. What can you do to give them that?

  • Offer free five-minute neck and shoulder messages.
  • Infuse a little humor into the conversation.

What are some other ideas? Think about what makes your town or city unique and how your venue can build off that.

Try employing these tips and techniques:

  • Partner up with local restaurants services to provide unique and creative foods and desserts that are not offered elsewhere.
  • Offer free items: t-shirts, stationery, pens, etc. Browse promotional product websites and see how far creativity can get you.
  • Provide bike rentals: $5/hour with a bike chain and lock.

Keep this in mind: Your hospitality venue stands out when you convince your guests that they stand out.

Do you have a tip that has generated positive results in the past? Please share it with us in a comment below.

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!

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!

Booming Boutiques

December 19, 2012

A hospitality segment that some have called “recession proof” – sounds too good to be true, right? Well, not exactly…

HVS estimated that the boutique segment would double in size from 2011 to 2013 – and it appears they were spot on. Boutique hotels have been booming over the past decade, particularly in London and other popular European cities. This trend has carried over into the United States as well. Hospitality expert Bjorn Hanson estimated boutique hotels account for 3 percent of all hotels in the United States, but could grow to as much as 10 percent in the largest urban markets in the next 10 to 15 years.

What exactly does “boutique” mean? According to a recent New York Times article, the terms “not cookie cutter,” “chic,” and “100 rooms or less,” have all been used to describe this booming market.  The article goes on to name several big name hotel brands that are “thinking smaller” to build their business.

The main reason boutiques are faring well is because guests are looking for more than just a room number – they want comfort, individualized rooms, personalized service, and specialty treatment. A boutique hotel offers a unique vacation experience, and often times come with superior customer service.

But whether you are a small hotel or a large chain, the characteristics listed above should always pertain to you. Details such as artwork, unique furniture, and plush towels and linens can help give a more “homey” and boutique feeling. Browse our catalog and see how you can get started setting yourself apart from competition.

Top of Bed Options

September 20, 2012

top of bed options

The bed is one of the first things guests look at when entering a room. It has the potential to set the tone for their entire stay and tie the whole room together. And if your bed is stylish, comfortable and clean, it is sure to bring repeat business.

When was the last time your hotel updated its bedding? Do you use accents and pillows for a polished look? If you have to think about it too long, then it’s time to take a look at our Registry ® Triple Sheeting options.

Forget the bedspread and bed scarf. Triple sheeting is a simple technique many hotels use to save time and money. Traditional bedspreads can cost between $100-$250 per piece, and duvet covers cause housekeeping staff to spend up to three times longer making each bed. With triple sheeting, the bed scarf is printed directly onto the top sheet, creating a great looking, easy to care for bed.

By replacing a bedspread or duvet cover with one additional sheet, the triple sheeting technique can reduce overall operational costs. And triple-sheeting components can be laundered after each guest to ensure a sanitary environment. It’s the perfect technique to ensure cleanliness, style and efficiency.

American Hotel also offers multiple options for pillow shams, top sheets and accent pillows for that final polished, top-of-bed look and comfort. Available in multiple colors for every season and décor style, our bedding products guarantee plush, luxurious comfort and top quality.

Glancing at photos of the Best Hotel Beds, many of them are simple, elegant and use accents to bring the entire room together. Please browse our selection or consult one of our staff to achieve the exact look you’re hoping for.

Introducing – Dream Water

August 16, 2012

introducing dream water american hotel register company

What if you could offer your guests the gift of sleep?

Whether it’s stress from business travel, unfamiliar sleeping surroundings, or a change in schedule, many guests experience difficulty falling asleep. Why not offer your guests Dream Water® – a natural, zero-calorie, sleep and relaxation aid?

This convenient, TSA-compliant lightly-flavored shot of water features the unique SleepStat Natural Blend: a proprietary formula of GABA, which helps reduce anxiety; Melatonin, which helps induce sleep; and 5-HTP, which helps improve sleep quality. Scientifically formulated and drug free, Dream Water’s key ingredients work together to help guests relax, fall asleep naturally, and wake up refreshed.

With proper placement in hotel gift shops, on night stands, and in mini bars, Dream Water can provide significant incremental revenue. Please contact us for additional information and strategies on how to seamlessly integrate Dream Water into your hotel.

Surging Summer Travel

May 25, 2012

Let the summer vacations begin! School is coming to a close, families will be planning visits and business travel will pick up. It seems that the hospitality industry is one that continues to gain strength – and 2012 is no exception.

Smith Travel Research (STR) is predicting a rise in hotel occupancy during June, July and August by nearly 2% and the revenue per available room to increase 5.7% to over $73!

Many industry leaders were concerned that the rise in gas prices could cause a decline in travel and hotel occupancy. But if gas prices don’t deter travelers, many will likely be looking for ways to offset the gas costs. This means they will be taking advantage of in-room cooking appliances and complimentary breakfasts. They may choose a relaxing day by the pool rather than spending the entire day out on the town.

It’s time to prepare for your summer influx – we’re here to help!