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2016 - 09 September

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New Edition of Managing Service in Food and Beverage Operations Offers Unique Perspective

Managing Service Ronald F. Cichy, Ph.D., CFBE, CHA Emeritus, professor in  The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University , is co-author of the fifth edition of the textbook  Managing Service in Food and Beverage Operations , just published by the  American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute  (AHLEI). He shared his thoughts about the new book and some key topics in food and beverage management.  

What's new in the fifth edition of Managing Service in Food and Beverage Operations?   

The fifth edition is a major rehab, not just a light dusting. We highlight the latest trends that impact the strategic direction of individual operations as well as multi-unit organizations. A number of those trends are identified for Millennials since their buying power has reached new levels worldwide. 

The sections about people-the actions of recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, and coaching-have been completely revamped. Since people are the common factor in hospitality, these topics have been enhanced. Along with the people parts of food and beverage operations, we have updated information about technology and its applications to operations.  

The menu chapter has been totally redone and now includes menu consideration for both foods and beverages, along with latest developments (such as 3-D foods). Menu trends and technology go hand-in-hand to bring to the table an experience that will be positively memorable. The chapter about food safety, while still based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles and practices, now includes a discussion of latest developments in food safety. Health issues, nutrition labeling, and food allergies have all been newly formatted for the reader.  

Is there an overarching theme or perspective in the book?  

New to the fifth edition is a distinct focus on  Think and Act Like the Owner . The owner thinks strategically, integrating both management and operations. Management can be thought of as a series of "-ing" words-planning, organizing, directing, controlling, selecting, evaluating, and more. The "-ing" words of management address all of the responsibilities of a manager. 

Think and Act Like the Owner  is a mindset. It grows from an intense desire to make something happen. Specifically the "something" in food and beverage operations is to provide - through products and services, attention to detail, anticipatory services, and managing operations - a positively memorable experience.  

What is the role of technology in creating positively memorable F&B experiences?  

People use technology as an enabler of positively memorable service. During reservations, bookings may be made online by the guest, either directly with the food and beverage operation or through a third party provider (e.g., Open Table). When strangers arrive and tell the greeter/host who they are, technology should facilitate getting to know them and beginning to welcome that stranger by name as a guest.  This same technology allows the people in the operation to use the guest's name throughout the dining experience as well as to thank them by name when leaving.  

Technology can also be an enabler in building loyal customers, tireless advocates for the food and beverage operation. The advocates return time and time again, and bring their friends, and take selfies, and write reviews, and post them for all to see on various social media sites.  Operators need to be on top of that technology, respond to reviews, and interact with guests on social media. They can also send follow-up thank you notes and surveys to learn more about their guests' experiences.  

Are today's dining consumers more savvy than the used to be? Does having guests who know more make it easier or harder to manage service?  

There is no question that guests are more knowledgeable today. They are always looking for something special when they are out.  They want something to brag about to their friends.   It doesn't have to be fancy, but it has to be special.  For instance, a Mexican food truck where the tortillas are handmade by the owner's grandmother in the truck-wow!  It's a very simple, focused food and beverage operation, but you're going to go out of your way to go there and try that.  

In addition, today's guests want food that is local and sustainable-and they know what that means.  But they also want food from around the world. They want diversity in their experience, with the ingredients locally sourced.   

While this book is used in many college and university hospitality programs, how can industry readers make good use of the content to help train their staff?  Are there particular sections of the book that would be easy to adapt for pre-shift meetings or daily huddles?  

The book not only has an abundance of content within its covers, but it includes links to a wealth of additional content online. There are hundreds of websites an operator can go to in order to find a solution to their issues. In the restaurant chapter alone, there are two full pages of website links, as well as several practical exhibits. If I was a restaurateur, I would buy this book just for that chapter alone.  

Many sections of the book lend themselves to use in training one's team.  For instance, there is a discussion of delightful service. Mangers could ask staff their definition of delightful service, and then lead a discussion on what that means for their restaurant. Another topic, suggestive selling and upselling, could be discussed in a preshift meeting with specific examples. An exhibit on pages 73 and 74 lists eight restaurant "ouch points"-actions that create a negative experience for guests.  Each one of those eight items could be a training session.  

Please discuss the expertise that you and co-author Philip J. Hickey Jr. bring "to the table" that make this book THE preferred resource for information on how to manage service in food and beverage operations.  

Each of us brings decades of experience on ways to  Think and Act Like the Owner .  One is an industry executive who has been an owner, operator, and manager; one who regularly coaches restaurant industry executives. The other also has experience as a manager and operator and has taught college students as well as industry executives how to  Think and Act Like the Owner . Together, we have more than eight decades of experience in food and beverage operations. We also understand specific hospitality business segments, corporate and unit-level cultures, and most importantly, the people. The people are those who orchestrate positively memorable co-created experiences delivered and enjoyed by members, guests, customers, and staff members as well. We both have served, coached, and led these people in a variety of operations.   

Certification Spotlight

Microtel by Wyndham Philippines becomes first hotel group to achieve CHA® certification

CHA Microtel by Wyndham The Philippine hospitality landscape got a significant boost recently when Microtel by Wyndham® became the first hotel group in the country to earn the  Certified Hotel Administrator  (CHA®) designation for 14 of its hotel managers and corporate officers, from the  American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute  (AHLEI). 

The accomplishment raises the bar for quality standards at  Microtel by Wyndham  in the Philippines. Microtel Inns & Suites (Pilipinas), Inc. (MISPI) is the master franchise holder of Microtel by Wyndham, the largest international-brand hotel network in the country with 13 locations in key business and tourist hubs, with more planned soon. 

Widely recognized as the preeminent leader in hospitality certification, AHLEI and its parent organization, the  American Hotel & Lodging Association  (AH&LA), certify hospitality professionals in all facets of the industry. The CHA® is the most prestigious professional certification available to hotel general managers and hospitality executives around the world. 

Ed Kastli, AHLEI's vice president, international sales, said, "To have 14 executives from one organization earn this designation is a testament to the high priority that you place on professional development and on advancing the status of the hospitality industry in the Philippines." 

Earning the CHA® was a special goal for MISPI president and CEO Jose Mari del Rosario, who encouraged the management team to seek the certification. 

"We wanted to level up our profession and raise the standards of our systems," he stated. "Going through the CHA® course, given by the best hospitality training organization in the world, is our way of saying we care about giving our guests the international-quality standard of service they deserve." 

Microtel by Wyndham, a member of the international Wyndham Hotel Group, pioneered the no-frills hotel concept in the Philippines that targets the mid-market. Its approach is back-to-basics and focuses on providing consistently clean, comfortable, and secure accommodations at value rates. Microtel by Wyndham currently has 13 properties at Acropolis QC, Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Eagle Ridge in Cavite, Davao, GenSan, Mall of Asia, Puerto Princesa, South Forbes (near Nuvali), Tarlac, and UP Technohub QC. 

Award Ceremony Recognizes New Certified Hospitality Supervisors in Cyprus

Cyprus CHS Ceremony Cyprus Hospitality Educational Institute (CHEI), the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institutes' partner in Cyprus, presented more than 50 hospitality professionals with the Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS®) designation during an event on August 29. CHEI, managed by Mr. Polys Polykarpou, partnered with AHLEI on January 1, 2016 and since then, it has certified more than 250 hospitality professionals in Cyprus.

The ceremony took place at the Grand Resort Hotel in Limassol, with more than 50 hotel managers and more than 60 hospitality professionals, trainers and dignitaries attending. Among the guests were the region's mayor, the president of the Cyprus Hotel Managers Association, and the president of the Cyprus Culinary Association, who had the idea to offer a quality training program for the members of the Association.

Addressing the honorees and guests, Polykarpou stated, "Training is no longer an option in the hospitality industry. It is a necessity for the industry's growth, thus we have to make sure that our professionals are well trained and prove that they validate for their position through the world's most prestigious educational institute, AHLEI. Your certification is the global hospitality industry's seal of acknowledgement of skills and competencies required to succeed in your position!"

For the award, Polykarpou asked some of the guests to present certificates to the successful Certified Hospitality Supervisors. These officials included Chef George Damianou, the President of Cyprus Chefs Association; Mr. Andreas Georgiou, General Manager of Amathus, a five-star hotel and the manager who introduced CHS"® program in Cyprus; Mrs. Diana Assadourian, the official proctor for CHEI in Cyprus; and Mr. Vassos Koilanis, the President of Cyprus Hotel Managers Association. For the three supervisors with highest scores, Mr. Doros Antoniou, the Mayor of the region, presented the award.

Academic Spotlight

EuroCHRIE Conference Brings Global Hospitality Educators Together

EuroCHRIE Board The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) will attend the annual EuroCHRIE conference in Budapest, Hungary October 25-27. Ed Kastli, AHLEI's vice president, international sales, has been appointed to the board of EuroCHRIE as a director-at-large, using his experience with AHLEI's global network of hospitality educators and international hospitality organizations to promote I-CHRIE and EuroCHRIE in his travels.  Another AHLEI-EuroCHRIE connection comes through the new EuroCHRIE president, John Fong, who was most recently the director of business development and an associate professor at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai, UAE, one of AHLEI's  global academic partner  (GAP) schools. In January 2017, Fong will begin a new role as president and CEO of San Ignacio University in Miami, Florida, an offshoot of the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (ISIL) in Lima, Peru, another AHLEI GAP school.

Elizabeth Johnson, AHLEI's senior PR & marketing manager, recently chatted with Fong about EuroCHRIE and the upcoming conference.  

Q: How long has there been a European branch of I-CHRIE?   

A: EuroCHRIE started in 1992 and we represent educational institutions from Europe, Middle East and Africa. There are about 200 members from 30 countries.  

Q: EuroCHRIE's membership extends beyond Europe. What factors have led to this expansion in global hospitality education?  

A: Hospitality and tourism is indeed the largest employer in the world today with almost 10 percent of the global workforce being employed in hospitality, tourism, and the related industries.  The growth of air travel has fueled this demand and we expect it to continue to grow especially in Asia.  Hence, we do notice that more students from Asia are choosing to undertake their studies with our member institutions. Beyond Europe, cities like Dubai (which has the highest density of five-star hotels in the world) have also become sought-after destinations to study hospitality and tourism. 

Q: As president of EuroCHRIE, what are your goals for the organization?   

A: EuroCHRIE was established with the goal of bringing together educators from hospitality and tourism management schools and universities into a global network in close cooperation with industry representatives. Under the International CHRIE umbrella, both education and industry combine their efforts to shape the future of hospitality and tourism. EuroCHRIE offers an ideal platform to share information through conferences, publications, and individual networking. The organization's strength is based on its sheer force of sharing and exchanging ideas, visions, experiences, educational material, research, and technological know-how. 

Q: What are some of the key issues for hospitality educators served by EuroCHRIE?   

A: One of the key issues is the changing demographics of our students and how we as educators are preparing them for future jobs that may not even exist currently. Hence, we need to continually stay ahead of hospitality and tourism trends and incorporate that into our curriculum.  As such, networking with the industry and our peers is so important and our annual conference serves as a platform for that exchange of ideas. 

Q: What will be some of the highlights of the October conference in Budapest?  

A: The theme of the Budapest conference is "Wellness" and in addition to exploring wellness and wellbeing in the hospitality and tourism industry, we will also share with each other what is going well within our classrooms-best practices that have been tried and tested.  In addition, EuroCHRIE is working on a partnership with "Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Middle East & Africa (HAMA MEA)" and "Amadeus Travel Intelligence." Through HAMA, we intend to help raise the profile of Asset Management as a career path.  And Amadeus representatives at the conference will be sourcing for inputs to provide an "education version" of the software that they currently use globally. 

International Spotlight

Talking Turkey with Mehmet Onkal, CHA, ISHC

Mehmet Onkal and Ed

Tourism has been growing steadily in Turkey for the past 30 years, and Mehmet Onkal, CHA, ISHC, has been part of the Turkish hospitality scene for most of that time.

As managing partner of BDO Hospitality Consulting, he brings nearly 40 years of hospitality experience in finance and general operations to his work with hotels in Turkey and worldwide. Of being a consultant, he stated, "sharing my experience with others is useful and exciting."  

Onkal didn't start out in hospitality as a career. After completing his university education and required military service, he went to London in 1970 to work as an auditor for Arthur Andersen. In 1975, he returned to Istanbul to open Arthur Anderson's Turkish office.  Three years later, he took his financial expertise to the realm of hospitality, as financial controller for the Istanbul Sheraton.  

In 1990, Onkal was promoted to vice president of finance for ITT Sheraton's Asia Pacific division, where he oversaw the company's hotels from Sheraton's Hong Kong office for two years.  Returning to Turkey in 1992, he left Sheraton and became CEO of the 22 hotels of the TenTur Group. He then joined the Princess Group, where he served as general manager of a group of six properties and of the 300-room, 5-star Istanbul Princess.  During his time as a general manager, he earned the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation, which he has kept current, recently earning his third CHA diamond.  He is currently one of only three active CHAs in Turkey.  

In 1997, Onkal left operations to become managing partner for BDO Hospitality Consulting in Turkey. As a consultant, he has done work in 32 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. He serves on the board of the Intercontinental Istanbul and serves as an advisor to the boards of other leading hotels in Istanbul and Turkey. For his service, Onkal was presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Turkey & Neighbors Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) in 2014.  

Onkal has seen many changes in Turkey's hospitality industry over the past 40 years.  

"The biggest change in service is the introduction of limited-service brands under the names of the major brands and the segmentation of properties with hotel corporations-there is a different brand for every guest profile," he said.  "The other big change is technology-using the Internet for reservations and reviews, mobile phones, remote check-ins. As long as it's user friendly, technology can be a good thing for a hotel."  

Onkal noted that the Turkish hotel industry grew slowly until the mid-1980s, when incentives helped to boost tourism. While 30 years ago, there may have been 5 to 6 million international visitors annually, in 2015, there were 37 million international visitors, ranking Turkey #6 among countries receiving incoming visitors.  

Why do people come to Turkey?

"Istanbul is the main city for tourism," Onkal explained. "It's a historic city more than 8,000 years old. It is half in Europe and half in Asia, home to three religions, and a major import/export city." The country also boasts 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  

Another hot spot for tourism is the southern coast of Turkey, known as the Turkish Riviera.  

"There are many world-class resorts, sea, sand and sun, and with 14 golf courses, it's a golfer's paradise," said Onkal.  "Last year, 10.7 million people entered Turkey through the Antalya Airport. There's a plane taking off or landing every minute of the day." 

Onkal stated that over the last 10 years, many big-name hotel operations saw the opportunities in Turkey, set up offices, and began major development with local investors.  The pipeline of hotels is still growing today.  He noted that Turkey's hotel culture is "100% Western---Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental, Rezidor, even Asian companies like Shangri-La-run Western-style operations. Visitors experience a sense of Eastern luxury-gold and glitter-but the operations are Western." 

These hotels will have the opportunity to compete for recognition in the coming years with the first Turkish Hospitality Awards, being organized by Onkal  and Hoteliero of Ukrain, based on a model originated by Hoteliero and used in other countries. Hotels are invited to enter into one or more of 18-20 categories at no cost to them-the awards program is funded by sponsor.  Properties will submit videos, marketing materials, informational files, which will be reviewed by a jury of professionals from major industries outside of hospitality. 50 percent of the scores will come from the jury's ranking and 50 percent will come from reviews and guest comments from sites like TripAdvisor. The voting process will be audited by an international audit firm, and awards will be presented during a gala event.   

From a consultant's perspective, Onkal said that the formula for creating a successful hotel is straightforward.  

"You must have good hardware and good software; you put them together to create the best hotel," he said. "Hardware is the building, the furniture, the décor-that's easy, you just have to pay for it.  Software-that's your people and the service they provide.  That's harder-the staff must have very clear standards and be trained on a continuous basis. Most properties don't have any problem finding people to fill a job vacancy-the problem is finding people willing to be trained. Hands-on, on-the-job training is very important. And AHLEI's courses and programs are the best resources I've seen for this. I'm a big supporter of AHLEI's training resources."   

Onkal is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, and the Supreme Advisory Committee of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association.  

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