Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I know, it seems that every month or so, someone publishes an article on how “more attractive people” have more successful careers, or something of that nature.
What always mystifies me is why anyone thinks that they need to do research on this? Isn’t it obvious? Haven’t we all been in a room at some point, where someone has been discussing two candidates for a position, and someone has said, “well, this is a difficult decision; Edna and Cindy-Lou are both equally qualified, but Cindy-Lou looks like she stepped off the cover of a magazine.” And guess who got hired? (I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t Edna).
And just to be clear, I am guilty of having been swayed by someone’s looks in the hiring process as well. I’m no saint. And in our business, I think it is just an honest statement to say that we ALWAYS consider how a person looks when we think about sticking them out in front of our customers.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t hire people that are over-weight or in some other way don’t fit the mould of a typical fashion model, but we do consider how they present themselves as a component of whether or not we want them out there as our first line of defence.
The point of my original question stems from my having just returned from lunch at my local Earl’s Restaurant where I was reminded, with glaring clarity, that they ONLY seem to hire fashion models, as does Joey’s, Cactus Club and Browns Social House.
Don’t misunderstand me, my server was competent as well as exceedingly attractive, but really, where do they possibly find so many women who look almost identical?
It’s like being in the middle of a variation of the Stepford Wives, only this version is the Stepford Servers and they’ve ramped it up a notch to say the least.
What I can’t figure out, is how they get away with hiring only a certain “body type” and then subsequently convincing them to pour themselves into some low cut mini dress and giant high heels?
Or, am I just naïve?
I get it that these restaurants are giving the majority of their patrons exactly what they want, but is the point that I have been missing up til now is that the servers know it too, and what’s more, they’re perfectly fine with it. In fact, they’re delighted by it as well because they are busy, their average check is high, and their tips are extremely high (I have to assume).
This is not the first time that I have wondered about this, but it is the first time that I have realized that I probably have this all wrong. Yes, they are selectively hiring, but is it also that their applicant pool is in fact largely of this nature in the first place?
I mean, it’s not a secret what the servers in these restaurants look like, so maybe, just maybe, some smart and attractive women have been saying to themselves, hey, why wouldn’t I want to work here, be appreciated for how attractive I am, use that to my benefit, and make ten times what I would if I took the “high road”, wore my turtle neck, my floor length skirt, my flats and worked at Red Lobster.
Maybe, as has been the case in other instances, we’re trying to “rescue” people who don’t need or want to be rescued, but who instead, know exactly what they’re doing. They’re working the system to their benefit, thanks very much, now go save someone else.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that every second person these days has a dog.
Don’t get me wrong now – I love dogs, I had dogs most of my life, and if my circumstances were different right now, I’d probably have a dog.
It’s just that somewhere in the last few years, well more than the last few years, but on an escalating basis, it got “cool” to have a dog.
Not only that, but it got socially acceptable to build special bike carriers for your dog, carry bags for the little ones, and biker outfits.
I think that is probably the biggest irony, seeing these big, tough looking biker dudes, with their little dog strapped to their chest, and they don’t care who sees it. Previously, they would have been ridiculed, now, as they ride by you hear all these people commenting on how “cute” it is. When did we start describing bikers as cute?
I have some first-hand experience in this. My brother is a farmer/rancher/biker type, and he has a little dog, and yes, he straps it in the equivalent of a front harness baby carrier, slips a pair of goggles on it, and they jump on his Harley and take off. He does it all the time, and the dog apparently loves it.
The attachment that people have to their dogs is not new, and its impact on the Hotel business is likewise not a new phenomenon.
I think I can honestly say that I was one of the early supporters of “pet programs” that encouraged people to bring their dogs along on their stay, where we would do different special things to make their pets feel special.
At one point, when I worked at a resort property in the Rocky Mountains, where we had a VERY popular Christmas package, we developed a component for people’s dogs. That year, out of 321 rooms, running at 100% occupancy, we had 100 dogs in house. Yup, 100. You should have seen the place in the morning when people were out walking their dogs, it was amazing, and the people loved it.
They were going to go somewhere that accepted their “extended family” and I was determined to capitalize on that fact.
The dog ratio wasn’t always that high, but the inclusion of peoples’ dogs continued to be a very successful package for that property.
It’s not enough though to just say that you “accept pets” these days. You need to do something special and different to attract those pet owners, who I might add, are more than willing to shell out some extra dough to take Rover or Daisy along with them on their holiday.
Have some fun with it, get your staff involved who have dogs. Ask them what they suggest that you do, and , get their help to pick out the different items that you decide to include in your “pet package.”
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I probably spend more time than most people critiquing the various components that Hotels produce to promote their product.
So it’s probably not a huge surprise to anyone who knows me, or has come to read by Blog from time to time, that I would have an opinion on promotional materials.
In fact, the people who know me well would say that one of the things that they have probably learned from me is to ALWAYS proof your work, and no, that doesn’t mean spell check.
Far too many people assume that if spell check thinks their document is fine, well, then it must be fine. Unfortunately, spell check doesn’t know if you used the word correctly, or, if you omitted a word entirely, it just knows whether or not they’re spelled correctly.
That is little consolation in my opinion for when someone goes to your web site and it’s a hodgepodge of obviously inappropriate grammar, unfinished sentences and typos.
This is your brand people, this is a reflection of you, and what is it telling us?
It’s telling us that you don’t have an eye for details, that the term “attention to detail” does not have the same meaning to you that it does to the reader, and that is a dangerous message to send.
I don’t know about you, but I want people organizing my meeting or conference who prioritize every single detail and recognize that it is in taking care of the little things that the seemingly bigger things are accomplished.
I know I’m preaching and that’s never a good idea, but at the risk of repeating myself, this is your brand, your reputation, your integrity, so take the time to check out your web site, or, find a freak in your business, like I am, that takes pride in finding and correcting those typos.
Yes, it’s mundane, but it’s important.
And if you think it isn’t that important, ask your friends what they think when they go to plan a holiday, or make a significant purchase on-line, and they go to a web site and encounter the kinds of things that I have talked about here.
Ask them how anxious they are to do business with that company, or, as I suspect they do at times, ask them if in fact they went and looked for another supplier, and went with that company?
The web has become the first point of contact for many people, the first impression, and we all know, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.