Upgrading our Destinations

Tourism in Martinique. Frédérique Dispagne, « The asserted goal of Vatel Martinique is to spread its Vatelites throughout the Caribbean and upgrade the range of our destinations ».

• • • • • • • • •

Since September 21st, 22 students have entered the first hotel management school in Martinique.

Vatel Martinique’s new school year took place under the patronage of Michelin-starred Martinican Chef Louis-Philippe Vigilant, for the very first class of 2020-2021.

At the initiative of the Fabre Domergue Group, owner of the Karibea hotels, this Vatel Martinique school was able to open its doors despite the sanitary context.

« First the strikes of high schools and then the long period of confinement made it difficult to present the Vatel Martinique School to the students.

Our interventions were cancelled because of the confinement, our Open Days were postponed to the Hotel la Valmenière.

The contests took place initially in person, from January to March 2020, then by video only.

The recruitment of teachers followed the same process.

To be a hotelier is to know how to adapt to all situations with reactivity and good humor.

It is thanks to this state of mind that we experienced the confinement, that we tried to cope with the constraint, that we were able to open with a volume of students higher than our objective of 20 students ».

On the training side, Vatel School offers a Bachelor’s degree in International Hotel Management over a period of 3 years combining theoretical and practical training.

The Vatel school also offers the possibility to complete a 2-year MBA in International Hotel Management.

« Vatel Martinique prepares its future Managers to lead management careers in departments as diverse as: operations, marketing, sales, management, human resources, communication adapted to accommodation, catering, hotel and tourism operations and entrepreneurship in the hotel industry.

The primary ambition of Vatel Martinique, set up by Martiniquais for Martiniquais, is to train local executives who can respond to the immediate professional areas: accommodation in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana … but also in the English-speaking Caribbean (Saint Lucia, Dominica …) or Spanish-speaking (Santo Domingo, Cuba …) » adds Frédérique Dispagne.

Through these training courses, the Vatel school intends to participate in the tourist development of Martinique and Guadeloupe and to give perspectives to the young people of the Caribbean.

« Martinique has everything to gain from the priority markets like the United States and Canada.

Our territory of Martinique welcomes a little more than one million tourists in 2019, when the zone gains 9.1 million in a single quarter.

The opportunity to gain market share is mechanically significant.

To achieve this, the contributing mission of Vatel Martinique is to enable our young people to benefit from the « Training » box, first of all with perfect trilingualism in English and Spanish, and a high level of expertise in hotel infrastructure management.

The assumed objective of Vatel Martinique is to spread its Vatelians throughout the Caribbean and to increase the range of our Destinations ».

Crowned « Best Hotel School » at the 17th Worldwide Hospitality Awards, among more than 42 prestigious international establishments, Vatel Martinique students will be able to benefit from the international network of Vatel campuses.

« As Vatel is recognized worldwide, our Vatel students will be able to easily integrate the international market. Our students will have the choice;

Confined Hosts

Following the decision to contain the Covid pandemic, advice from hotelkeepers is proving useful.

 

• • • • • • • • •

The importance of taxation is also underlined in the context of furnished accommodation. At the end of the crisis, do not hesitate to prioritize the classification of your furnished accommodation.

Sharing the best ideas for your vacation rental

Hello to all,

I will have the pleasure of receiving Frédérique Dispagne – hotel owner & seasonal operator – on the Facebook page of J’affiche complet on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm….

Supports & References

Facebook Live Support

Furnished – Classification reference (all categories)

OEC furnished 06-04-2020

In Fort-de-France, the Stay tax is provided by the CACEM.

A Residence Tax Interface Guide makes it easy to update the data.

The tourist tax scale is here.

Take care of yourself

Hotels and Furnished Accommodation, How to Get Along

Commonplace : In many cities around the world, one-time housing platforms are all the rage. AIRBNB type actors are shaking up the codes of accommodation, questioning and transforming them. But if there is a war between Furnished Accommodation and Hotel Establishment, it is because there is a misunderstanding. The objective of this article is to take concrete actions to identify the share of cake of each party.

• • • • • • • • •

Background

Following several serious studies, angelism is no longer in order.

Decrease of the Average Hotel Price

Furnished accommodations undoubtedly lower the average price of hotels.

The 2018 report « Airbnb in Paris: what impact on the hotel industry?  « proposes a new methodology to measure the competitive pressure exerted on the hotel industry.

The results indicate that an increase in the number of Airbnb suppliers in the vicinity of a hotel leads the hotel to lower its price (between 0.75% and 1.6% in 2018).

The effect is amplified on weekend evenings.

The summary report explains two main points:

– Tourists prefer furnished accommodation, and business tourists prefer hotels.

So many ways to enrich a local offer without touching the fundamentals that have made it successful: shared accommodation.

Airbnb essentially targets budget and economic tourism.

Airbnb’s Corporate offer concerns 10 to 15% of its turnover.

While tourists may consider the Airbnb option for an experience, business customers probably don’t have that objective.

There is more substitutability between Airbnb shared accommodations with hotel rooms than between entire Airbnb accommodations and hotel rooms.

The fact that the supply of whole accommodations does not have a negative effect on the price of hotels seems to be consistent with the fact that hotels are more aimed at a business clientele.

– Unranked hotels are the ones that suffer the most from Airbnb’s competition for whole accommodations.

3* and 4* hotels are more impacted than 2* and 5* hotels for shared accommodations.

The 2* is not impacted: it can be assumed that in terms of offers and rates the 2* is equivalent to Airbnb accommodation.

The 5* remains little impacted: it can be assumed that its level of services, personalization and services positions it above the competition with furnished accommodation.

Note: 3, 4, 5 stars are negatively impacted by shared accommodation.

In addition to an overvalued average price, which implies a lower occupancy rate, regulatory disparities exist between the Furnished and Hotels.

Disparate Regulation

Hotel regulations are heavy: every 5 years, a safety and classification visit is mandatory, along with frequent hygiene checks.

The disparity leads to qualify the competition of the furnished apartments as unfair.

In the long run, this lack of regulation of furnished accommodation weighs like a chronicle of announced misfortune, like that of Orinda’s killing in a Villa rented on Airbnb.

The terrible child is as much for hotelkeepers as it is for institutions: the city of Paris intended to force the platform to withdraw more than a thousand ads deemed illegal.

The Court of First Instance dismissed the City in March 2019. To date, Airbnb is required to comply with the ELAN Law, concerning whole houses only.

Platforms are required to communicate to municipalities that have a « registration » procedure in place.

What Actions

When there is competition, two strategies arise:

– The Red Ocean Strategy

In Red Ocean, I fight head-on with my Competitors, until death follows (Red being an allusion to the blood that flows between the competing sectors or companies).

An example of the Red Ocean hotel business is the hybridization of establishments.

Eventually, market shares are shared, uncertain and positioning is blurred.

– The Blue Ocean Strategy

In Blue Ocean, I breathe and I distance myself from my Competitors: I leave them some ground to conquer others.

Once I’ve approached my fields, I anchor and develop them.

An example of Océan Bleu’s hotel business is the eco-lodges or the new human-scale Luxury Homes such as La Réserve.

Act in existing markets

Create new market

Win over rivals

Eliminate competition

Exploit existing demand

Create and capture new demand

Reach the best price/quality ratio

Break de Price/Quality cycle

Pursue differential prices or low cost

Create differential price and High prices

If a destination remains in the Red Ocean, it becomes phagocytic.

The prohibitions, penalties, regulations will not erase the new opportunities and facilities of the Furnished ones.

The power of incitement and mutual finding of common ground is often more perennial.

I am a Hotelier

Business Tourism Spotlight

On the scale of my Establishment

If the corporate clientele represents €5 billion annually, there is necessarily a lion’s share to be cut.

I make available to my Corporate Clients all the amenities they are fond of:

– Fast and easy access: downtown, highway and suburban areas to be favored.

– Presence on the Corporate Reservation Platforms: GDS, Egencia, HCorpo…

– Fast Reservation Tunnel: less than three ring tones phone, email response within the hour…

– Flexible and efficient Check in and Check out, ideally Pre-check in and Pre-check out.

– Customized company billing.

– Efficient and free WiFi.

– Provision of frequently forgotten and necessary items: razor, toothbrushes, shoe shine, 5G key universal adapters.

– Presence of Amenities and Services: Coffee, tea, bottled water…

– Late snack service, room service, reactive dry cleaning.

– In-room work surface, Lobby and work spaces in living areas.

– Affordable early morning breakfast.

– Loyalty program by service or rate.

On the scale of my Destination

The hotelier is above all a receptive. To be exemplary in its services Coporate is not enough.

He coordinates with his tourist collaborators for the structuring of the Business Offer of his destination.

Thanks to its regular surveys of its business clientele’s expectations, the hotelier establishes with its cluster/tourism office the annual action plan to be carried out.

An exemplary case study is that of Lille.

Based on its strategic infrastructure, including the Grand Palais, Lille has been one of the « Top 10 » French cities for hosting European and international congresses since 2014.

Spotlight on High-End Leisure

On the scale of my Establishment

The fundamental challenge is simple to understand: unlike Furnished Hotels, Hotels have 30 to 60% of Social Charges to manage.

And that the challenge is as clear and coveted by Airbnb: a traditional upscale and leisure clientele, familiar with 4 and 5* establishments.

The Hotelier employs young people, supports families and has a social responsibility in its establishment.

In order to achieve a Gross Operating Income of over 30%, which is essential for its re-investment, renovation and, let’s face it… for its own benefit.

The price is higher than and cannot compete with that of the Furnished apartments (between 50 € and 85 € depending on the city).

According to the attractiveness of each destination (agglo, city…), the Hotelier will be able to position his cursor. It will necessarily be higher than the rates resulting from the Furnished accommodation of equivalent category, according to its additional operating lines.

The increase in the price range assumes a human service trained, over-trained, a hotel product worked on in terms of equipment and services.

On the scale of my Destination

Here again, the representative body of the destination has a role to play at first hand.

The CTIG (Tourist Committee of the Islands of Guadeloupe) stands out in this context.

Example of measures characteristic of the virtuous will of the CTIG: aid is granted to accommodation only if it is upgraded.

[La TOUBANA Hotel & spa]

As a hotelkeeper, I avoid :

  • In the middle and low season, to plan my Average Price to win Tourists of Stay already captured by the Furnished ones. I keep my value-added positioning, a better condition of my accommodation, I grant my staff annual vacations, I privilege a local anchorage by pushing with my exemplary conference rooms, my co-working spaces and my catering offer for local Corporates.
  • To yielding too much on the length of stay beyond three nights that pushes away the business clientele.
  • To go downscale by omitting regular staff training, equipment renovations…

And why not, as a Hotelkeeper, tease the Furnished a little?

To appear on temporary hosting platforms. The furnished ones do it well on Booking . The positioning is not blurred as long as the accommodations are correctly referenced.

Propose apartments and not only rooms. Complementary alternative for families or trips with friends, additional income for the hotel and visibility with an exclusively « Furnished » clientele.

I am a Furnished

Standardization of the Offer

I classify myself according to my Furnished services, from 1 to 5*.

By structuring the offer of my destination and its transparency, I communicate commercially on my respect of reception standards.

Focal point on the Tourism of Stay

– Minimum capacity of 2, ideally 3 to 4 people per accommodation, with additional occupancy charged to enhance my Average Price.

– Friendly welcome and departure, full of feelings (fruit baskets).

– Local experience: targeted catering advice, personalized sightseeing tours, transportation rental.

– Provision of extra bed, baby and child accessories, tourist accessories (beach chairs and towels, snowshoes, skiing…).

As a Furnished, I avoid :

  • To go less than 5 nights minimum. It is not necessarily profitable, the margin is gained rather by the length of stay.

– Not to submit myself to hygiene, security and comfort regulations which degrades my e-reputation.

And why not, as a furnished, tease the hotelkeeper a little?

  • On the conviviality of the reception with quality welcome products, fruit baskets, an atypical presentation of the bed?

– Dusting off its services in order to stimulate the hotelier and help him to reinvent himself: an interactive welcome booklet, an atypical breakfast?

In a future article, we will discuss additional services in tourist accommodation.

Is High-End Tourism Promising ?

Is high-end tourism in Martinique promising? The Article is written by VEILLE TOURISME ANTILLES, Special thanks to Madly SCHENIN-KING for her decisive contribution to our understanding of Martinique tourism and its areas of progress. About forty people gathered on Thursday, July 4, 2019 at the Hotel Simon in Fort-de-France to attend the round-table discussion entitled « Is high-end tourism promising in Martinique? ». The event was organized by the company MAJORINE, which publishes Veille Tourisme Antilles.

• • • • • • • • •

The evening started a little after 6pm with a presentation of the hotel by its director Tidiane Camara.

After a few minutes, the participants went upstairs in small groups to enjoy a tour of the facility by the facility staff.

They were able to discover the restaurant area, the meeting rooms and the apartment located on the 7th floor.

High-end is not luxury

From the beginning, the tone was set with the question: « Is there a difference between high-end and luxury? If so, what is it? ».

On this subject, the three speakers present – Frédérique Dispagne, former director of the Coq Hôtel**** in Paris; Gilles Duplan, manager of La Suite Villa***** in Les Trois-Ilets and Douglas Rapier, manager of Douglas Yacht Services in Le Marin – were unanimous: although they share common characteristics, high-end and luxury are not synonymous.

The terms refer to products and services designed for a clientele with high purchasing power.

Both require a high quality of service, a keen sense of attention and detail, and a certain adaptability on the part of professionals in order to satisfy travelers.

However, while luxury is exceptional, the high-end remains more accessible. A night at La Suite Villa costs about 400€ compared to several thousand euros in the most luxurious hotels in Saint Barths for example.

So Martinique has an upscale but not luxurious tourist offer, but is there a clientele for these products?

Few metrics exist. To our knowledge, there is no specific study on this segment in Martinique.

It is known that travelers visiting the island have an average monthly income per household between 2100 and 6000€.

However, these figures could hide disparities since Douglas Rapier’s company maintains boats with a value ranging from 150,000 to several million euros.

Attracting and retaining affluent customers: thinking about the entire tourism value chain

The speakers at this roundtable on high-end tourism stressed the need for Martinique to strengthen its reputation and image internationally.

Travellers choose a vacation destination before deciding on a hotel, no matter how well ranked it may be. «

The attractiveness of Martinique is the first filter, » said Frédérique Dispagne. « A broker explained to me that his client, a yacht owner, wanted to be parked in Martinique, » explained Douglas Rapier, « but the client did not know where the island was ».

The role of the bodies in charge of promoting the destination is therefore fundamental.

Once captured, it is also necessary to work on the entire value chain.

More simply: make sure that each service is at the same level as the previous one and that all the conditions are met so that the tourist is satisfied and spends.

This is why, when designing the program for this conference, we felt it was appropriate to invite representatives from different sectors: accommodation, concierge services*, and ancillary services.

Others could also have been included: transportation, recreation or catering. « None of the links in the tourism chain should fail, » emphasized Gilles Duplan, « at the hotel, we make a special effort to welcome guests.

Douglas Rapier’s experience also proved interesting since a large majority of his clients come to Martinique to refuel but do not stay more than a few hours on site (when they disembark!).

According to the yacht specialist, the reason for this is the local nightlife, which is not very lively, and the absence of an emblematic place where the local culture would be highlighted.

Result: the crews would be bored. « They want to see how dominoes are played, eat typical products and party in the evening.

These are all missing steps in the journey of the traveler. One of the participants, Océane Provost, suggested that the professionals should form an association in order to better mark out the tourist’s stay and communicate about the top-of-the-range offer.

Martinique also has an asset according to Douglas Rapier: it is considered safer than other Caribbean islands by travelers.

Human resources management is a challenge

In the tourism development of the destination, training and talent retention are key.

Students tend to leave to pursue more prestigious careers outside local borders.

Professionals are forced to look for resources elsewhere and these sometimes have difficulty adapting. As a result, tourism stakeholders are constantly on the alert.

« The problem is not unique to Martinique, » said Frédérique Dispagne, « the hotel and restaurant industry, in particular, offers harsh working conditions and low wages.

Gilles Duplan of La Suite Villa, hammered that it was necessary to encourage the teams « although we can never do enough », he added teasingly.

When asked by a participant, the director admitted that he regretted not having enough Martinican staff.

However, the picture is not all black and white since, according to Douglas Rapier, boss of Douglas Yacht Services, the island’s skills in boat maintenance and repair are appreciated and recognized by yacht owners, their crews and professionals in the nautical industry. In fact, he is convinced that there are jobs to be created in this field.

The top of the range: a market where you have to make your mark

So, is the top end of the market promising in Martinique? Difficult to answer in an hour and a half, but « we have real potential », answered the speakers.

It’s up to us to be convinced. But it takes work, consistency, the ability to adapt to the demands and of course, a marketing effort. « We have to win the trust of our customers, » smiled Douglas Rapier.

Projects must be encouraged in order to renew the offer, but investors would be cautious. « I personally know several projects that have been abandoned due to administrative delays, » regretted Gilles Duplan.

He himself indicated that seven years went by between the idea of creating La Suite Villa and the reception of the first clients. The evening ended with a moment of networking around a cocktail.

Thanks to all the participants and see you soon!

*Jean-Pascal Pronzola of Ivory Concierge had an unforeseen event and apologized.

Hotel Singularity

For two centuries, hotel singularity has been dominated and almost exclusively reserved for ultra-luxury. The revolution in service codes and the transparency of atypical offers on the Web are revolutionizing the benchmark for « exceptional hotels ». So how does one become a singular accommodation today?

• • • • • • • • •

For a long time I wondered what, in the hotel business, and more generally in the areas of service, was exceptional. What kind of concept, brands and invariably brings guests in? What’s the recipe for top of the class and how do you duplicate it? A brief benchmark of practices in our sector can be a source of inspiration that can be adapted to our different categories of establishments.

On closer inspection, the operational exception has its roots in the luxury hotel industry, alongside the classic inn celebrated in the beautiful feature film Hôtel du Nord. Born in the 19th century, the exception is embodied in France by its very first palace, Le Meurice, 180 years ago. The services are innovative and exceptional: soap-washed linen, car rental, room service …

A little over half a century later, Caesar Ritz’s visionary establishment emerged, with a bathtub, private bathroom and telephone in each room, and an elevator on every floor.

After the Second World War, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Deauville, Biarritz became the strongholds of luxury and exceptional hotels. In Nice, the Negresco is the only French establishment to be equipped with a steam boiler, switches and a pneumatic post to deliver the mail in the rooms.

Luxury and exception were one and the same

The Palace qualification will be officially recognized as of 2010. It distinguishes itself from high-end establishments by combining two requirements: being 5 stars and enjoying the Palace distinction.

The exclusive and discretionary classification is reserved for 25 palace establishments in France. The label of exception is obtained in two phases: an expert jury examines the 5-star establishment, at least one year old, with a Spa and a multilingual team. Once this first airlock has been passed through, Atout France, the State operator, decides on the eligibility of the establishment on the basis of 200 criteria.

The award commission is made up of personalities from the worlds of literature, arts, culture, media and business, appointed for a renewable 3-year period by the Minister of Tourism.

The French distinction « Palace » is a response to the need for a palace, whether the standard withered its magic, or whether the multiplication of competition from the four fundamental palaces made this standard necessary… The French distinction « Palace » is intended to meet this need.

Considerable efforts are made in ultra luxury to continue to seduce a delicate and demanding clientele. Historic hotel luxury is no longer intrinsically the only expectation and consideration to embody the exceptional product and the exceptional experience.

The hotel exception is gradually no longer synonymous with luxury in its classic and historical perception. For more than two decades, singularity has flowed through the names « Boutique Hotels », « Design Hotels », « Concept Hotels », « Pocket Palace », « Experience Hotels », etc…

The standards and qualifications are not necessarily very clear, but the offer is prolific and is gradually structured around real customer expectations.

1. The real case by case

As part of the profound and sincere redefinition of luxury, La Réserve Paris, recognized as a Palace, makes a clear bet: fewer units (40 rooms and suites), more dedication to the client. The philosophy of the Michel Reybier group is to reduce the volume of units for a time dedicated and personalized to each client. The functions of gastronomy, florist, floors have one or even several Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. The exceptional treatment and customer experience has earned the establishment recognition two years in a row as the best hotel in the world and in Europe by the Conde Nast Traveler and the US News&World Report.

2. The framework

As a major trend in the hotel industry in the context of its medium and high-end renovations and restructuring, decoration is no longer a secret for the sector. In addition to the undisputed and prolific figures of designer Philippe Starck (Mama Shelter, the Royal Monceau, Brach, Hotel 9 Confidentiel…) and decorator Jacques Garcia (Maison Souquet, the Hotel, the Oscar in London…), other talents are imposing their style: Dorothée Meilichzon, Stella Cadente, Jean Philippe Nuel….

3. Innovation

Home automation

The objective of home automation is to ensure customer comfort without having to move around in the room and to manage the energy of the establishment. The Citizen M hotels with their touch-sensitive tablets are pioneers in this field. A single workstation controls the ambient temperature, lighting, the Web, TV and radio channels, service control, alarm clock, etc.

Biometrics

Check in – check out with your smartphone, seal your safe by fingerprint or facial recognition, it’s done. The field of possibilities is open to a precise knowledge of the customer’s profile (age, sex…), his weight, his health (heart rate, weight), his food consumption at the minibar.

High tech equipment

Glass is explored in all its potentialities: opaque glass to the touch for shower walls to guarantee privacy, magnifying mirror integrated in the bathroom mirror to save time).

Flat and connected screens are embedded in the mirrors. The Artemis intelligent mirror allows the magnifying glass function, the 360 vision to see each other from the back and from the side. It analyzes the skin texture and the adapted treatments, beauty tutorials, and … the check out.

The sanitary facilities are also sexy and atypical, in restaurants and hotels. The French brand Throne is revolutionizing the intimate experience of sanitary facilities.

4. The sustainable

The trend is towards ecology or « green effect ». In 2014, the Green Air Hotel concept born in China aims to upgrade aging hotels with purified air and a refreshing space. The concept will be generalized in the United States by 2020.

5. The staff

An exceptional hotel is a hotel that radiates its staff and its well-being. It is no longer a question of dissociating customer satisfaction from internal satisfaction : the expectations of the new generation of hoteliers differ from the previous ones : fulfilment, social usefulness, team motivation.

The staff, too, is becoming robotic. At the Campanile in Shanghai, it is a robot that ensures the check-in and customer follow-up.

The exceptional has gone from luxury to the quest for simplicity, simplicity and authenticity in human relationships, in daily and practical uses, in the flexibility of the offer, in the wonder, in the rooms or the promotion of the most instagrammable living places, in the respectful (even egalitarian? ) contact with the staff.

New offers related to this mutation are emerging such as the Glamping contraction of glamour and camping. Urban hotels are being transformed into family homes. Eco-lodges are sustainable examples around the world.

We no longer speak of a compartmentalized « reception » but of a welcome, of a « lobby » but of a place to live, of a « personal » but of an « ambassador ».

Day after day, the hotel industry proves its ability to reinvent itself, to adapt to the new model of society, and to surprise us with its exceptions.

 In a forthcoming article, we will discuss simple and quick techniques for establishing a business forecast.

Breakfast An Important Event #2 – Quality

I presented in article # 1 a method for breakfast content. At the end of this article on Quality, the goal is to boost your customer satisfaction and your e-reputation based on the quality criterion. Breakfast is neither a cost center nor a profit center, it is an image investment.

• • • • • • • • •

This is a subject that is particularly close to my heart. The quality of the breakfast was one of my failures at first. In 2012, following the opening of Hi Matic Paris, I took over the management of the establishment.

One of the strengths of the Hi Matic was undeniably its exemplary breakfast. 100% ORGANIC and regional products: the fruits came from an early stage relay of responsible producers in rue de Charonne.

An eco-certified supplier relayed our jams, our juices, our yogurts. The bread was exemplary: ORGANIC and old-fashioned, delivered every morning. Everything was presented with humor on an airplane type set.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "hi matic paris petit dejeuner"

On my arrival, the total cost of breakfast (production and service costs) was estimated at 7€ excluding tax per person and… was included in the room rate. My first action was to isolate the breakfast from the accommodation pricing.

I first priced it at cost, 7€  as to not offend guests. A few months later, I set it at 10€, since no one was complaining. Everything was going relatively well until, for internal reasons, my budget was drastically reduced. Based on my operating account, I reduced the variable expense lines (rationalization of laundry costs) and fixed expense lines (renegotiation of equipment maintenance).

So far nothing irrational. But still under budget, I did the worst: cut back on the budget for consumables (this budget line correlates to what the customer sees: it includes breakfast, hospitality products, customer care). I reduced the perception of quality hence the quality of the breakfast. All the elements remained ORGANIC but I replaced the jams and the yogurts in glass containers for plastic packaging; the organic juices that were in small glass bottles with larger, more economical bottles.

I suffered sever backlash on my e-reputation. I didn’t understand that the guest’s dissatisfaction (because of small and confortable rooms) was compensated in the morning by a high standard breakfast. I dropped down 500 slots on my Trip Advisor ranking and lost 1.5 points on Booking.com, due to the inadequate new breakfast and poor choices. In retrospect, the best solution was to leave, instead of saving a ship that was bound to reduce its quality.

The establishment today no longer exists, but the lesson remains: cutting back on breakfast is like chopping off the branch you’re sitting on. If breakfast had such a compensatory virtue in Hi Matic’s case, imagine the boosting effects it can have on an establishment that has the means to ensure its quality.

Since that experience, I always bet on breakfast. Whether you are 1 * or 5 *, offer the best products, imagine the best setting, identify the best quality concept for your establishment. Especially not industrial and plastic. It seems harsh, it is, but our guests are too and their eco-responsible sensitivity is growing, often beyond our hotel proposals (gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.) Bulk purchasing alternatives (dried fruits season) and maxi packaging (jam jars, cream cheese bowls) are praised by contemporary customers.

I specified in the previous article « # 1 Content » that we are hotelkeepers not restaurateurs. Yet, they are very close to our establishments, work a lot like us and live in part from the clientele of our establishments. We did our studies together; after graduation ceremony, we lost sight and rarely saw each other again… or very occasionally during family celebrations at CHR salons. We parted ways. However, when you think about it, a formidable synergy is possible between restaurateurs and hotelkeepers!

Let’s bring a restaurateur in our walls once or twice before launching a breakfast to get their opinion. Our restaurateur friends have decisive advice for us. They taste every day, collect numerous guest feedback, shape recipes and plate presentations. In all cases, friend or neighbor, choose a restaurateur from an establishment who favors a level of quality and culinary proposal close to you.

Two axes to explore:

  • the breakfast environment.
  • the heart of the matter: product selection and tasting.

1. Environment

We won’t have them come in every day, so let’s take advantage of the restaurateur’s presence to asses a quality environment for breakfast (organization of space, atmosphere, hygiene).

You take in his opinion:

– setting up, presentation of dishes, organization of the buffet, crockery.

– the musical atmosphere.

– circulation (entry and exit spaces, positioning of tables and chairs).

– back office ergonomics, equipment and utensils, hygiene and safety standards.

The list is not exhaustive, I do not know much about restaurateurs. They will be able to give you the best advice on site.

2. Tasting

My first assumption is the definition of product quality:

  • Objective criteria:
    • Controlled origin: Organic products and regional origin.
    • The freshness.
    • Nutritional quality: I recommend a variety of breads (with dried fruits, seeds) and wholemeal breads (spelled, barely processed wheat, and rye, low in gluten). I compromise with the viennoiseries, with pure butter (ideally Isigny butter and Surgères butter), never margarine. “Croissants” and “pain au chocolat” are emblematic in France. Despite their nutritional poverty, it is a must have, our customers expect it and we are at their service.

These objective criterias are to be verified, point by point, with the restaurateur during the tasting.

  • Subjective criterion:
    • The flavor. Given the subjectivity of the criterion, it should be ideally shared and compared to taste professionals.

My second premise is that, whatever hotel category, we must choose the best, according to the specified criteria of objective and subjective quality. If you offer bananas, offer the best. If you offer bread, offer the best. If you offer salmon, offer the best. If a range is too expensive for your budget, do not select it. If you select a range, select the best one.

When we invest in quality, we reap the quality. Our guests feel it immediately and you gain a competitive advantage. Breakfast comes out of convenience and becomes a quality badge in its own right. Your bad e-reputation comments on quality and price are likely to be diminished.

Quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Lack of or loss of quality costs much more.

Practical Case

You organize a tasting morning with one or more catering professionals. You wish to select with your jury the best quality jam. On the basis of your objective quality criteria (regional origin, organic origin, fresh products), your breakfast supplier has already made a pre-selection and sent samples to the hotel.

You planned to test three price ranges: low, medium, high. This budget is an investment, not a loss. You taste with the F&B professionals blindly, to avoid the influence of the brand or the packaging… The content is served on a white plate. For each product you request and note the feedback.

Case Study

This comes from a personal experience. The owner of the COQ enlisted twice the help of a Chef to achieve the ideal cooking and presentation of an egg at the COQ, the establishment’s best-selling product. Two mornings were needed with the professional. What could be more « simple » than a boiled egg? However, the eggs must be ultra-fresh and the perfect size for ideal cooking.

coq
© COQ Hotel Paris

Eggs should be at room temperature one hour before cooking. As soon as the water starts to boil, they are dipped with a spoon for in the water three minutes. The trick is to add lemon juice to the cooking water to strengthen the egg in to prevent cracking. If they are not served, they should be stored in water at precisely 60°C.

This dish makes the e-reputation of the COQ and shines for breakfast. The expertise of a professional ensured the quality of the boiled egg and its image.

This expertise is that of catering specialists and can be applied to all hotel breakfasts.

With the help of restaurant owners and a high demand for quality, we can now say for our breakfasts: « I have the simplest tastes in the world, I’m content with the best ». (Oscar Wilde, Les Pensées).

 

Must Do

Quality, is above all, breakfast service. Hiring caring and attentive people to provide this service during which the guest has just woken up and may feel vulnerable.

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Doing quality is excellent, letting people know is even better. Communicate in the dining room and in some living areas (elevators, hallway, reception, and even entrance to attract external guests) you can choose the composition and the origin of your breakfast.  Your guests will report it on social media almost word for word.

The next article will deal with the pricing for breakfast,  #Pricing. Have a nice day !