INDUSTRY INSIGHTS | Zac Crump, MHA

Re-Open, Re-brand, Re-Train With These 6 Things in Mind



One of the most fascinating things about the hotel industry is that our guests are typically clueless about what is happening behind the scenes to make their experience special.


At least that is the way it's supposed to work right?


When the operations and leadership teams have the right rhythm, our guests should feel the effortlessness that it takes to check them in, dine them, conduct business, and sleep soundly under our roof. However many people don't understand how much training and preparation goes into opening a hotel, maintaining the standards, transitioning brands of a hotel, or so many other variables that have to be addressed back of the house to operate.


Did you know that there are actual corporate teams for the big brands like Marriott and Hilton that do just this? It's TRUE! They are team members that travel the world training and preparing properties to open effortlessly and adhere to the brand standards.


Zac Crump, MHA was one of these individuals that spent 90% of his time in another continent, working with properties to open their doors and help get their operations up and running to the brand standards he represented. As he completed one job, he flew off to the next. This was his professional life until COVID-19 hit, leaving him anxiously settled at home in Kentucky, waiting to apply his skills, until he was laid off.


However, it wasn't long that he saw the signs that change was needed, which lead him to start his own business. Bluegrass Hospitality Consulting is where he can apply his knowledge, to all hospitality individuals, existing employees/leadership, amongst all brands, and all partners within the industry


Zac has spent the past year, processing what the guest is looking for, whether they are strict about social distancing or not. What are the other expectations, desires, or plus one opportunities to get attendees and clients returning to us? What do they miss?


We asked Zac to share a bit of insight for how he would be advising his brands if he was back in a hotel, re-opening, and re-branding, now that the pandemic is slowly lifting.


Here's what he had to say:


RE-OPEN, RE-BRAND, AND RE-TRAIN, WITH THESE 6 THINGS IN MIND:

1.) People:

Your people are your greatest asset. Invest in them, ensure they have the training and resources necessary to go above and beyond. Take care of your people and they will take care of your guests.


2.) Because of COVID:

This excuse is so 2020. Your team and your guests do not want to hear, “because of COVID,” when asked about breakfast, amenities, offerings, cleanliness, lack of….. you get the picture. COVID is not the time to cut costs at the guests’ expense and their experience. They will remember this.


3.) Refresh:

Try something new! How will your establishment set itself apart from the rest? This is the time to try something new, take a chance, and see what works during this “new normal.” Get your teams involved and their ideas. This is NOT the time to reduce and cut. Your team and guests have expectations, exceed them.


4.) Messaging:

Communicate! The “new normal” looks a little different, and that’s OK. Ensure your team is informed and communicates with your guests so they know what to expect. Anticipating guest's needs has never been more important.


5.) Cleanliness:

If your establishment isn’t clean now, it never will be! Guests before would overlook the “small” things, not anymore. There is no room for error in the cleanliness category. Guests won’t accept it and you shouldn’t either.


6.) Your Integrity:

Never lose sight of it! Stay true to yourself and do what’s right.


To learn more about Zac Crump, MHA, check out his Light Bulb Moment interview by H&F Redefined, and be sure to watch Episode 5 of Brand New Day on Be Well TV for our virtual interview with the consultant himself.

Thanks for Reading! If you'd like to submit to be an H&F Redefined Industry Insights contributor message us at hfredefined@gmail.com

For the inspiring Innovator stories by H&F Redefined, visit our blog, and learn how furloughed and laid-off professionals from around the world are redefining themselves. We also offer Lifestyle content, Seasonal Solutions, and Industry Insights.