Welcome to the QA Quagmire!

In our new blog we will attempt to bring you fact based but provocative thoughts on the status of the hotel industry and help to come up with some innovative and helpful solutions.

What History Tells Us

Do you know the history of QA in the hospitality world, or even stop to think that it might have one?

Well, it is not a very long one, but it is significant, because it shows that a major change has occurred, and not necessarily for the better.

Almost one for one, GMs canvassed consider EQ to be the most important element in QA, expecting maybe 50-50 consideration with facilities/hardware.

This harks back to the early days of QA, when Egon Ronay, who published his first restaurant guide in the 1950’s, subsequently carried on a thriving business rating hotels. His guide was probably the first to recognize that increasing the facilities and services offered did not necessarily equate to increased guest satisfaction.

Ronay’s star-rating was color-coded: Red stars for excellent service, black for acceptable, and white for below-par service.

A grand hotel in London might be awarded 5-stars for their facility, but only black or even white stars because of the poor service provided; while a small, country hotel with limited facilities might be classified as a 2-star hotel, but because of the high level of personal service and consistent guest satisfaction, those two stars were the coveted red.

Somewhere along the line, that focus on service quality was lost in the standards used for QA audits—and as one ends up with what one pushes, hotels were nudged into focusing on material elements at the expense of live and solicitous service.

No wonder, in part, management and ownership today struggle with the lack of emotional engagement by too many of their staff.

That’s the way it looks to me. What’s your take? Care to share your own experiences and thoughts?

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