Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61

 4.5-MINUTE READING TIME

YNAMIC AND UNPRECedented. That's the
only way to describe
the midscale hotel segment in recent years.
It's an exhilarating and
challenging place to be, with the emergence of new brands and evolving traveler expectations and preferences. In
2018, it will be more important than ever
to stand out from the crowd and offer a
unique take on the midscale experience.
And, while we can't reinvent the wheel
every day, we can approach innovation
as a process - one that starts with a great
idea and continues through continual
investigation and iteration. It's rare to
have a truly perfect idea on day one,
so we need to be unafraid of coursecorrecting as we go. Following are three
of the ways we need to be innovating
and iterating every day.

THE EXPERIENCE
Let me get this out of the way: while the
rise of the shared economy is real, the
threat it poses to the traditional hospitality industry is often overstated.
Travelers are savvy, and they know
where to go for the type of experience
they want. Hotels may not offer the same
level of extreme individualization, but
they do provide layers of security, consistency, convenience and service. We
need to lean into those attributes and
own the experience we offer.
For example, we have the advantage
when it comes to human interaction and
personal service. We also have more
capacity to give guests choice and control
regarding how and when they receive
service. Use kiosks or mobile check-ins,
allow guests to interact with hotel staff
as soon as they arrive, or simply conduct
a quick digital transaction and be on
their way. At our hotels, we find that
guests often come back to the lobby to
relax or browse the marketplace, where
they have additional opportunities to
engage. Where we can continue iterating
is the adoption of new technologies that

It's rare to have a truly perfect idea
"
on day one, so we need to be unafraid
of course-correcting as we go."
help us track and prompt guest interactions with staff in the meaningful,
authentic ways they prefer.

THE DESIGN
Travelers trying out midscale hotels are
looking for value, but they're far from
unsophisticated. They understand good
design. That applies to big-picture design
strategy, like creating public spaces that
allow guests to get out of their rooms and
be around other people, but doesn't force
unwanted socialization. It also applies to
the details as we consider the next generation of furniture, technology and features. A smart hotel brand is constantly
fine-tuning offerings based on guest and
staff feedback. For us, the hanging egg
chairs in our lobbies have been incredibly popular, so they're here to stay -
but other pieces haven't quite clicked,
so we've revamped them.
Design also presents an opportunity to examine popular aspects of
the shared economy and find ways to
interpret them. Midscale hotel brands
often face a challenge when it comes
to creating a sense of place. Everyone
wants to infuse some local flavor, but
doing so at scale isn't easy. To meet this
challenge, we've incorporated local food
offerings into our markets, walls with
local suggestions of where to eat and
what to do, and murals depicting local
scenes and themes into our design. The
murals don't just add depth and interest to our common spaces - they attract
many a guest selfie, boosting awareness
and word-of-mouth.

THE ROI
Guests aren't the only beneficiaries of
innovation and iteration - it's important to consider owners and developers,

as well. We must constantly seek new
efficiencies and means of reducing costs
while maintaining an enjoyable guest
experience. It's also important to keep
scalability in mind. We're fortunate with
Tru by Hilton, as we have an extensive
supply chain network through our parent company that allows us to feature
a broader range of products in our
marketplace. When guests tell us that
they like our healthy food offerings and
want to see more, we have cost-effective
options to make that happen across all
of our properties.
Of course, not all changes have to be
public-facing. Anything midscale brands
can do to trim the operations budget will
help the bottom line. Human resources
and professional development are two
areas ripe for innovation and iteration. After two years of refinement, we
recently piloted a virtual training program for GMs. This helps mitigate time
out of office and travel costs - often a
pain point for hotel owners.
As traveler tastes and preferences
continue to evolve, midscale brands
must be flexible and agile enough to
keep up. So, innovate and iterate - it
will only become more important as the
segment grows.
■
Alexandra Jaritz serves as
the global head of Tru by
Hilton, a brand that is
reinventing the midscale
segment by providing
guests with a consistent
and vibrant experience at a great value.
Notably, Tru by Hilton has achieved the
fastest growing development pipeline
in the history of the hotel industry, with
more than 470 deals in various stages
of development.
TODAYSHOTELIER.COM | APRIL 2018 | 61


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Trends to Watch
Finance
Operations
Marketing
Small Business
Spotlight
Q&A
Perspectives
Travel
Leadership
Strategy
Design
Guest Experience
Food & Beverage
Technology
Operations
HR & Employee Relations
AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
AAHOA @ Industry Events
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 10
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 18
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 28
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 38
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 40
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Trends to Watch
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 44
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 56
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Q&A
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 63
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 65
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Perspectives
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 67
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 69
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Travel
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 71
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 72
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 73
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 74
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 75
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 77
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 78
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 79
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 80
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 81
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Strategy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 83
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 84
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 85
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Design
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 87
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 88
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 89
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 91
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 92
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 93
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 94
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 95
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Food & Beverage
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 97
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 98
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 99
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 100
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 101
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 103
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 105
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 107
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 108
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 109
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 110
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 111
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - HR & Employee Relations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 113
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 114
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 115
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 116
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 117
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 119
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 121
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 122
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 124
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 125
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 126
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 127
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 128
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 129
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 130
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 131
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 132
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 134
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 135
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 137
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 138
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover4
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