The author has been asked to compare and contrast the marketing management of a variety of organisations. The chosen industry is hotel and catering and the companies to be researched are Hilton Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, and a small restaurant, Mon Amis. The advantages and disadvantages to both types of business will be expressed, showing how they can and cannot provide the best quality service for its customers. The marketing activities, which they carry out in an attempt to gain comparative advantage, will also be analysed.
Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel in Cisco, Texas back in 1919. The first hotel to carry the Hilton name was built in Dallas in 1925. In 1943 Hilton became the first coast-to-coast hotel chain and for nearly 85 years, has had the finest accommodations, facilities, and great value. It accommodates for business, leisure, and convention/meeting travellers and provides many services, rates, and value to meet different travel budgets. It has locations in major countries, suburbs, airports, and unique resort destinations and is very popular among travellers and also extremely convenient.
National sales teams, worldwide reservation systems, online meeting, event planning resources and the award winning ‘Hilton HHonors’ guest reward and recognition program support Hilton. The ‘Hilton HHonors’ program is valid at more then 2,100 hotels. It is a guest reward program, which allows customers to earn hotel points and airline miles. The points are earned when customers stay in any one of the hotels and can be exchanged for free or discounted travel rewards, merchandise, or even vacation packages.
This package would have been designed to encourage frequent travellers to stay in Hilton hotels more often, this would aid customers to gain points, but more importantly increase Hilton income. This type of reward scheme is not unique to Hilton as many other hotel trades use it. This can therefore make it difficult for Hilton to satisfy all their customers. They will need to provide the best deals and prices in order to be successful with the program. Hilton accommodates for every segment of the market, from young children to old age pensioners.
It also caters for funerals, business meetings, weddings, and birthdays. Hilton Staff are trained to set up rooms for these events to a very high standard, which must suit the customer’s preferences. Many rooms can cater for business meetings during the day and become a dance floor by evening. These facilities help Hilton to gain comparative advantage, not many hotels will provide these excellent services. Not only does the Hilton cater for many celebrations it also contains a fitness club and health suite, many bars and at least one restaurant.
Throughout the year it has provided many special offers and deals for travellers. These include winter breaks in 120 hotels across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Discounted prices and a buffet breakfast are included in this package. Some packages offer free access to the Health club and fitness suite, this encourages customers to sign up for the package. All special offers advertised by Hilton are based around the HHonors scheme, allowing customers to gain points and discounts when using the deals.
The various elements of the marketing mix have been well researched by Hilton and have been combined in an effective way to provide high quality services for the public. Hilton is well known for its own brand names, these are very popular among travellers. The best group of brand names in the business are: Hampton Inn, Embassy Suite Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn and many more. These allow Hilton to differentiate its services from other hotels. It can be very expensive to stay in Hilton hotels but many of their special offers bring these prices down.
Advertising campaigns by Hilton are well known to the public, these include members of staff setting up stalls in main shopping centres and promoting special deals and offers to passing shoppers. It also has many websites providing information to people about the services offered by the hotel. Every hotel has extremely high standards throughout with good parking facilities, nicely furnished buildings and elegant di?? cor used throughout the hotels. In every Hilton hotel measures are being taken to assess whether targets or objectives are being met are.
These include questionnaires for customers placed in every room, in the restaurants and also at the main receptions. These allow the customers to express their feelings or concerns about the hotel and therefore encouraging the company to either change ideas which do not seem to be an advantage to customers or advancing on things which customers are satisfied with. Other measures are assessing sales intakes throughout the year, if they are lower than expected the manager of the hotel will alter aspects employees might find unsuccessful or change products bought in for the bar or restaurant if they have not sold a great amount.
Hilton has not been very successful in differentiating itself from other hotels throughout the world. Many of these including Holiday Inn and Travelodge Hotels have award schemes for customers allowing them to also earn points and free miles by staying in their hotels. They provide rooms for business meetings, funerals, weddings, and so on. These hotels are very similar to Hilton hotels and special deals and offers are also very alike. Hilton manages to maintain its well-known name by keeping its hotels to a very high standard for travellers and providing great deals throughout the year.
It features great brand names, has the best people delivering quality service, and has a strong and flexible financial profile helping it to maintain and strengthen its industry leadership position. The United Kingdoms number one hotel network consists of Travel Inn Hotels. There are nearly 300 Travel Inn Hotels throughout the UK all containing high quality rooms, friendly service, and comfortable surroundings. Other hotels in this network are Travel Inn Metro; these hotels are situated in city centres, regional centres, and airports, and Travel Inn Capital, which is located in London areas only and is ideal for business and leisure needs.
Catering for families and customers with disabilities and providing smoking or non-smoking rooms Travel Inn Hotels are popular among travellers with low budgets. The differences between these and other hotels are that its main objective is to provide customers with a good nights sleep. Other hotel chains try to encourage customers to use their facilities for weddings and other events, drink in their high class bars and eat in their well-designed restaurants. The goals set by Travel Inn Hotels have allowed it to become very popular and they are located in many well-known areas throughout the UK.
It has proved that hotels do not need many restaurants, bars, and leisure facilities to gain customer satisfaction. The Travel Inn Business Account is a great way for travellers to handle their company travel expenses quickly and easily. The Business Account is just like a charge card and has no set up fees or administration charges. It can be used to pay for accommodation in any Travel Inns across the country and also for food and beverages in the adjacent restaurants. There are meeting rooms at 94 Travel Inns and Touch base-meeting facilities.
It has many advantages, which include controlling bookings centrally. Bookings are guaranteed, and accommodation paid, meals, and meeting rooms can be booked quickly and easily. Customers can monitor all expenditure with Travel Inn through account statements and a single invoice each month; transactions can also be viewed for the previous 3 months on-line. Travel Inn has researched the marketing mix very well and the various elements have been carefully employed allowing them to achieve great success. The rooms within hotels are warm and cosy, containing many items a traveller could benefit from.
Other services are provided on request so customers never go without anything. The high quality low price service aids the hotels to gain many customers throughout the year, all of which are extremely satisfied. For the customers who are not satisfied with their stay, a money back guarantee is provided. Many well-known restaurants are located beside Travel Inn hotels, for example, Beefeater, TGI Friday’s and Road Chef. This helps the company to gain customers, as the hotels are located in popular areas.
A very in depth website containing lots of information on Travel Inn hotels is the main source of advertising and promotion. The company is always developing and increasing the number of hotels across the UK. Heathrow Travel Inn Capital and London Docklands (ExCel) Travel Inn Capital are both currently under construction and will open in 2003; the Heathrow Travel Inn Capital will be the Uk’s biggest budget hotel. Employees within the hotel have great knowledge of the business and good staff training programmes are used. “We run an extremely structured recruitment programme and are committed to developing new recruits so they will be running their own Travel Inn by the time they are 25. ” Nic Brown Operations Director Travel Inn. 1 Quote from www. travelinn. co. uk. Travel Inn Hotels are different from other hotels; they are very successful in differentiating themselves as they take pride in offering low prices and as a rule do not have special discounts for customers. Although they provide low prices to travellers, they still manage to satisfy their customers by providing en-suite rooms, comfortable beds and much more.
To enable their customers to leave the hotel the next morning hassle free, travellers are encouraged to pay when checking into the hotel; this also prevents delays for travellers who need to leave quickly the next morning. The company also to be researched within the hotel and catering trade, which is very different to the hotels researched previously is a small restaurant, Mon Amis. This is a family run business in the heart of East Kilbride and has two other restaurants also run by the family near-by.
It is a very warm and friendly restaurant providing customers with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Due to it being so small and centred in East Kilbride, it has many regular customers. It provides food not only for adults but the chefs are happy to cook smaller dishes for children. Other services provided for the customers are high chairs for babies and infants, disabled toilets, low prices but high quality food and a wide range of vegetarian dishes are also available. Gift vouchers are available and soon after they were introduced, became very popular.
As it is such a small restaurant, it can be difficult to accommodate for every one who would like to dine there but customers eating off of the Pre-Theatre menu have to vacate their table before 8pm to allow others to experience the A La Carte dishes. Customers are happy with this as it shows them the company is trying to provide for everyone. The main feature of this restaurant are the warm colours used in the interiors. This seems very comforting for customers and makes them very relaxed allowing them to enjoy their meal.
The staff in the restaurant are friendly and extremely helpful, constantly providing customers with everything they need. Mon Amis is situated in a location which many people are not familiar with and to solve this adverts are placed in the East Kilbride news regularly promoting new offers available in the restaurant. It is also in the phone book which allows the public to phone and ask for directions. This never comes across as a problem for the restaurant as it always seems busy, weekends are the busiest time there so to obtain a table, customers are advised to phone and book in advance.
Posters are also seen on taxi doors and headrests in their cars, Mon Amis uses the taxi company to escort customers home and so in return the restaurant is advertised around East Kilbride. The menu is changes regularly and although the Pre-Theatre menu is very restricted, it is altered every fortnight and daily specials are available. The restaurant always has everything in order and the shelves and fridges are always full, they are made visible to the customers and this is a great advantage to the business as the customers can see the effort made in order to satisfy their needs.
Special deals for customers is an important part of the business as it is highly appreciated by existing customers. An example of this is ‘Odd-bins’; this was used because many different individual bottles of wine had gathered in the restaurant over the years and could not be included in the menu. So customers paid a certain amount and were given a bottle from this collection. They did not know what they were getting until it came to their table. Many customers liked this because it gave them a surprise and every bottle of wine was of high quality so no one was ever disappointed.
Another example, which is used for larger groups is, drink promotions, for example, a double shot of a spirit for the price of a single. There are many small restaurants surrounding Mon Amis but it manages to differentiate itself greatly in many ways from these. It does not provide a specific type of food, instead offers a wide variety to suit every customer. Many daily specials include fish dishes, for example a seafood platter containing half a lobster and many other fish. Customers enjoy the range of foods available to them. Presentation is important to the chefs and all of their dishes always look fantastic.
Many customers have made the comment that the food looks too good to eat. The chefs also make their own sweets, the public are very impressed when told as many restaurants in East Kilbride do not provide this service. In order to provide food, drinks and service to satisfy the customers, staff are encouraged to ask customers frequently if everything is suitable for them. Negative comments are always welcomed as this enables the restaurant to improve its services. Staff have a wide knowledge of the food, drinks and offers also so they can provide customers with all the information they need.
Like many hotels and large restaurants, Mon Amis has one main objective, to satisfy customers needs while making a profit at the same time. Special offers, promotions, a nice environment and friendly, experienced staff are available and many improvements or even slight adjustments are made regularly to maintain this customer satisfaction. The difference between a small restaurant and a large hotel is that customers can be given more attention therefore mistakes or unsatisfying service can be corrected quicker and apologies, if necessary, will be given at the time.
Many large hotel restaurants will apologise to their customers through letters but this is not always welcomed by angry customers, an apology directly from the company, at the time, is always appreciated more. The three companies researched all appear to be making good progress in their market and are able to satisfy their customers needs. A large company does not always have an advantage over a small business, it is the ways in which the manager provides good services, and meets the needs of its customers that are important. They are the main sources which will encourage the public to choose them and return regularly.
In order for a company to be successful it has to take into consideration, the best way to satisfy customers as once this has been achieved, money will be earned and profits will be made. Each of the companies provide services for different people and due to this they have managed to differentiate themselves slightly from each other and other companies. By introducing unique promotions and ideas within the company it will allow them to become successful in their own ways, the public will see the differences and hopefully prefer them, returning regularly and increasing the business profits.