Task 1: Report [LO1, LO2]
Hospitality sector is a significant mode of revenue generation in the United Kingdom. The inseparable parameters of hospitality services and products in Sheraton Grand are closely related to comfort and preferences of the customers. Visitors with purpose of business or commerce visit throughout the year, with larger volumes in workdays
Hospitality industry is one of the considerable revenue generating sectors in the United Kingdom. This sector is further boosted by the prominence of domestic and international tourism prospects. The present report will shed light on hospitality operations in Sheraton Grand London Park Lane from the perspective of assistant operations manager.
LO1: Economic and operational criteria of hospitality processes
AC1.1 Hospitality products and services
Hospitality products and services involve perishable, inseparable, tangible and intangible genres. Perishable goods involve eatables, while tangible resources include food, souvenirs, lines that are made available to the guests during the service period. Intangibility in Sheraton Grand is usually associated with the services rendered to the customers, such as reception, valet and delivery services. Bowie et al. (2016) state inseparability demonstrates comparison of qualities among services and goods. Inseparability in Sheraton Grand enables complementary association between goods and service provisions, such as sumptuous meals are often complimented with efficient steward services. The inseparable parameters of hospitality services and products in Sheraton Grand are closely related to comfort and preferences of the customers. The rooms are divided as per bedding needs, such as single, twin, queen size, king size and suites. Banquet facilities provide extensive food and beverage that can be utilised during conference and public ceremonies.
AC1.2 Demand patterns [M1]
Demand patterns consider the influences that affect trends in customer demands in the hospitality industry in the UK. Hotels mainly receive the customers from higher economic tiers of the society. A majority of the guests visit on purpose of business or travel. Demand patterns are also affected by seasonal or climatic variations. Davis et al. (2018) state influx of tourist is comparatively higher during summer and spring, and on weekends. Visitors with purpose of business or commerce visit throughout the year, with larger volumes in workdays. Evaluation of fast-paced privatised and commodity-oriented services motivates the staff to provide efficient services. These services are provided to the customer meet their demands and enhance customer satisfaction.
Sheraton Grand focuses on sustainable practices of healthy living with their various in-house recreational and rehabilitation facilities. In addition to this, Sheraton Grand promotes several cultural, ethnic and regional events to create a bond between the customers and staffs (Jauhari and Bharwani, 2017). Effective preferential approaches are showcased in festive occasions like Halloween, Easter and Christmas include special decors and facilities to the guests.
AC1.3 Comparison of customer profiles, requirements and expectations
The two major categories of customers that avail the hospitality of Sheraton Grand are tourists and businesspersons. In addition to this, various entertainment companies also make prominent guests for portfolios or movie shoots. These three categories have highly contrasting needs, all of which the hotel strives to achieve through an efficient central monitoring system and round-the-clock services. Tourists stay for an extended time, ranging from few days to a week. They also tend to require wider number of facilities, such as healthcare, recreation, spa and meditation (Sheraton, 2018). In comparison to this, business guests usually avail conference hall services, free Wi-Fi and networking facilities as per their commercial needs. The expectations of entertainment industries and their professionals are diverse, depending upon their projects. However, they require privatised sections, remotely undisturbed by prying guests.
AC1.4 Parameters affecting average spending capacity
Major factors that can influence average spending capacity of the customers involve overall income size, economic status and socio cultural behaviour. Lu et al. (2015) comment mean spending power of visitors is dependent on their income levels. Economic status can help to convey their needs and expectations from Sheraton Grand. In case of social royalties, the expectations of visitors would be largely influenced by quality than the pricing strategies. As stated by Phillips et al. (2017), higher socio-cultural tiers improve average spending power. Similarly, economical influences like currency exchange rates can also pose an impact on various socio-cultural parameters. Customers from developing nations tend to opt for economical services, whereas one from flourishing economies tends to have higher mean spending capacities. Similarly, presence of festivals like Christmas can motivate visitors to spend more than usual.
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LO2: Product development in hospitality environments
AC2.1 Stages in service and product development
It is the duty of an assistant operations manager in Sheraton Grand, to initiate product development plans and evaluate stages relevant to the projects.
Prior to fixate on an idea, it is essential to understand the needs of the customers from a target market. Quintana et al. (2015) state an effective market research will help to narrow down several ideas into the one with highest anticipated success rate.
Evaluation of ideas:
Market research is followed by the evaluation of ideas. Viability of conceptual views must be related to new opportunities and threats.
Success of an idea can be rendered by its appropriate implementation in the chosen segment of a target market. Sheraton Grand plans its initiatives to cater to the customers who belong to an above-average economic status.
The brand awareness of Sheraton Grand is built through appropriate exposure to public and entertainment media (Sheraton, 2018). These adverts uphold special features of services and products delivered by the hotel to potential as well as existing customers.
AC2.2 Contributing features towards customer perception [M2, D1]
Perception of customers can be influenced by utilisation of services or products in the hotels. This perception directly influences the brand image of the hotel. As commented by Radojevic et al. (2015), kitchen staff of hospitality sectors must be proficient in dietary and nutritional requirements. Additional facilities that must be provided by hotels involve disabled and elderly access to the facilities and availability of clinical resources. In addition to this, professional and efficient service styles, standardised rates against services and products and effective utilisation of space also contribute to positive perception from visitors.
M2: Application of appropriate techniques
As mentioned above, the four stages of product and service development have been evaluated as market research, segmentation, idea evaluation and brand awareness. Wang et al. (2014) comment market research that requires skilled labour and strategic awareness of the target market. Similarly, evaluation of idea can be achieved by a stringent knowledge in customer perception as well as predictive skills to analyse future trends in the market. Segmentation can be made possible by tallying the guest records in Sheraton Grand. Similarly, features of brand awareness include utilisation of public and social media.
D1: Critical reflection
During my time in Sheraton Grand as an assistant operations manager, I have concluded that the hotel uses a customer-driven approach to meet their needs. Market analysts continuously appraise the target market to raise awareness of the staff about changing needs of the visitors. This is justified from the perspective that hospitality industry is majorly driven forth by the preferences of the customers. Yang and Mattila (2017) state these preferences are exposed to rapid and unpredictable change. Hence, I think it is rationalised that effective evaluation is a critical need in the hospitality industry.
AC2.3 Constraints and opportunities that influence product and service development [D2]
The major opportunity that has catalysed the growth of product and service influence on customers is successful campaigns in social and public media. In addition to this, the high skilled and large number of employees enables Sheraton Grand to provide extensive and round the clock accommodation facilities to its guest. According to Akincilar and Dagdeviren (2014), the target markets in the UK are diverse in nature for hospitality service sector. Different cultural and regional ethnicities avail the services as per the considerations for luxury. In comparison, major constraints are listed as strong competitive forces and socio-political pressure that barricades ventures in far Eastern nations. In addition, economic distress such as Brexit also influences development of goods and services.
D2: Responsibility and management of activities
The role of an assistant operations manager to promote service and product development can be considered in terms of the opportunities that are mentioned above. The brand image can be merchandised through usage of licensed products such as napkins, linens and curtains with hotel logo. Service styles are also supervised to ensure that customers are provided for as per their expectations.
AC2.4 Merchandising opportunities
Merchandising involves expectations of visitors to expect optimum service quality influenced by their purchasing power. As stated by Casalo et al. (2015), hospitality business cannot create an opportunity for added values against premium charges. In addition to this, merchandising levels can improve for Sheraton Grand in case economic condition of visitors improves, thereby rendering competitive advantage to the business.
Based on the information, the following recommendations have been devised.
Extensive analysis of target group of customers: This can ensure that the hotel performs as per the needs and expectations of the visitors.
Introduction of quality and diverse services: Visitors from ethnic communities can increase revenue generation for the hotel. Thus, the staff must be open towards diversified customer communities in the hotel.
Thus, it can be concluded that Sheraton Grand is one of the most prominent and influential luxury hotels in the UK. It provides extensive service facilities through a needs-based approach. The staffs maintain a professional and warm behaviour to their guests. Product merchandising and brand awareness caters to its sustainable growth.
Task 2: Questionnaire [LO3]
LO3: Understand pricing and profitability concepts within hospitality operations
The hospitality sector in the UK contributes to a significant portion to the national economy. Hence, optimum pricing strategies are essential for generating appropriate revenues exchange of best quality services. Various pricing methods and motivators of profitability and revenue are discussed.
AC3.1 Pricing methods and additional considerations
These pricing strategies are considered in the retrospective of services and products provided by Sheraton Grand.
a) Application of pricing and additional considerations
In this pricing strategy, the price is influenced by net production cost. A profit percentage is added to the aforementioned production cost in order to determine the final selling price.
Market oriented pricing:
On contrary to cost-driven pricing, marketing-oriented pricing strategies evaluate competitive prices. Based on existent pricing in the target market, a business establishes its prices.
Sheraton Grand Hotel can follow these two pricing strategies in order to ensure profitability as well as competitive advantage. As opined by Kruesi et al. (2017), different pricing patterns can be imposed by additional service charges that can be composed through guests over their meal and linen charges. These charges can be levied during the time they enter the premises, or when the service tenure is concluded.
b) Lack of applicability of methods with justification
As mentioned above, the application of pricing and its additional considerations is discussed in the lights of Sheraton Grand. In its retrospective cover and minimum charges cannot be considered if the purpose of the organisation is to generate significant and sustainable profits.
Cover charges are included in the form of entrance fees to certain facilities, such as bars, restaurants or nightclubs. Madanoglu and Ozdemir (2016) define it to be the fixed amount that is added to bills in restaurants in lieu of service or entertainment. These usually do not involve specified food costs. Hence, Sheraton Grand can lose its prominence with its customers as it usually includes accompaniments in the form of service charges.
Minimum finance charges can be considered in cases where least payable amount is charged through interest. These are applicable more prominently in case of credits. However, Sheraton Grand is not involved in this particular billing phase, being in the hospitality industry. Hence, this is not applicable for the chosen business.
AC3.2: Factors affecting profitability and revenue generation
Effect of factors on profitability and revenue generation [M3]
Increase in labour charges is related to better service quality. Hence, it poses an indirect motivating effect on revenue generation. However, significant interaction cannot be clarified as this interaction is highly superficial in nature. High cost of labour can also reduce profitability.
In an international hotel business, innovative revenue generation is dependent on shelf life of their products. High shelf life can cater to larger amount of revenue generation. This further caters to organisational ability to yield larger profits from investments.
Elasticity of Demand:
Net revenue must be able to cover costs, in order to prevent bankruptcy. Elasticity of demand is a pricing concept, which motivates total revenues generated by the business.
Purpose of standardisation is to exert profitable pricing through adoption of value-driven pricing strategies. The positive and direct influence on profit margins can be provided by linearity conditions.
Portion control enables the hotel to prevent wastage, thereby influencing profitability. However, Ren et al. (2016) argue this is not a direct motivator of profits or revenues.
Pricing is one of the critical factors that motivate profits and revenues. It must be balanced in the optimum range to influence maximum profits, as expensive costs against inefficient services can reduce brand reputation and revenue generation in the long run.
Procurement is another essential influencer of profits and revenue generation. This is because procurement of smaller but efficient manufacturing units can increase the capacity of the hotel, thereby boosting revenues.
The findings suggest that factors like price and procurement create direct impact on profits and revenue generation. On contrary, shelf life, elasticity and labour intensity create indirect effect that can be considered superficial.
Hence, it is concluded that Hotel Sheraton Grand includes cost and market oriented pricing in presence of additional service charges. Similarly, price and procurement are essential factors that help to determine additional pricing considerations.
Task 3: Individual Research [LO4]
This section promotes the undertaking of an individual research regarding the evaluation of prominent analysis methods and their comparisons. Prominent literature and works of scholars have been cited to vouch for the validity and reliability of the data gathered.
AC4.1 Performance and appraisal methods
Quality management is considered as an effective measure to evaluate service qualities provided to the guests. Radojevic et al. (2015) state quality can be appraised through checklists by regularly supervising the nature and efficiency of services rendered.
Customer feedback can be obtained through database management. The suggestions and responses can be used to ensure that the hotel provides desired services to its guests.
Developing Quantitative and Qualitative data:
Qualitative data can be obtained from guest feedbacks, and quantitative data from the quality management checklists. Comparative analysis of this data can help to conclude overall level of performance.
Data analysis and evaluation:
Data analysis can be done through statistical comparison to determine the increment in efficiency of services of the staff. The evaluation thus determines the skill improvements in the employees.
The evaluated data from the last phase can be tallied against staff performance in competitive organisations. This practice can ensure that Sheraton Grand is obtaining best possible performances from its human resources.
Sales performance and net profit:
Sales performance and net profits can be calculated through financial records of the company. This can help to determine overall growth of Sheraton Grand in terms of sales, revenue generation and profits.
AC4.3 Business appraisal, evaluation and planning
Hotel industry is one of the most influential sectors in the Hospitality Industry, and amounts to more than 30% of net value in the national economy of the UK. Markets of travel and tourism are overwhelmed with influx of consumers from multiple portions of the globe. Accession to disposable income in customers motivates them to spend it in recreational and luxurious experiences during travelling (Quintana et al. 2015). Hence, Sheraton Grand has established its prominence in this sector through extensive services.
The continuous growth of hospitality industry has worked in favour of major customer markets. This is because; boost in the sales of hotel industry has motivated revenue generation in tourism, travel, restaurants and local businesses. In addition to this, Davis et al. (2018) comment luxury hotels often operate through chains in multiple sites and countries. This enables in diversification of organisational culture. The country inns and motels also experience radical growth. Hence, the evaluation of this business sector is seen to have a progressive effect on its relative sectors.
Appropriate planning is essential for running a successful hotel venture in the national markets of the UK. Arrangements of a business designs caters to the particulars of a hotel facility that can aid in smoother operation through convenience (Lu et al. 2015). Governing members of Sheraton Grand must focus on formulation of appropriate arrangement that meets needs of target market and the segmented group of consumers.
D3: Demonstration of convergent, lateral or creative thinking
Convergent thinking is utilised in the presence of divergent thinking to reach an effective decision. Convergent thinking analyses to obtain a solitary and well-established solution to the emergent problem, while divergent thinking looks for alternative measures as backup arrangements. In comparison to this, lateral thinking considers critical comparison of available options to understand client needs and extrapolate them on required list of activities. Creative thinking in hotel industry is essential to analyse the expectations of customers and present the services in a way that is aesthetically pleasant.
Related Sample: Hospitality Management- High Valley Hotel
Based on this information studied above, it can be concluded that performance evaluation can be done through multiple methods based on the resources available. Appraisals of skill development and employee content can be implemented through quantitative approach. Furthermore, convergent, lateral or creative thinking can emerge as one of the prominent methods of decision making in sectors of travel, tourism, hotel and hospitality industries.
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