September 2016
Our Family of Companies

It seems everywhere you turn today there is evidence of the role hospitality plays in business. Well beyond greeting guests at a hotel or waiting on tables in a restaurant, building and maintaining a reputation for excellence comes in many shapes and forms, in industries ranging from healthcare to retail.
Many of the same principles that go into effective hospitality management can be applied to any organization , and though not every business will become a Ritz-Carlton, the focus on treating customers with great care remains the same.
Over the course of my career, I have been very fortunate to learn from influential industry leaders, starting with the Marriott Corporation at Hilton Head, moving to their flagship Marriot Marquis in NYC, and with the premier catering company Abigail Kirsch. As we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hospitality Resource Group, I have incorporated many of the experiences I have learned serving customers, and we continue to work hard to cater to our client's needs, and earn their trust every day.
In this month's HRG newsletter, we look at the "H" in our name- Hospitality - and review some recent stories about the importance of leadership from a hospitality perspective.
We hope you enjoy this edition, and as always, if you have a topic you would like us to cover and learn more about on event planning and management, workforce development, or marketing communication and branding, please let us know. As always, we invite you to Follow us on our 
HRG LinkedIn Group page and on our Facebook page, and review past editions on our website at

Wishing you continued success!

Regards and best,

Robert O. Sanders Jr., CMP
Founder and Chairman
Hospitality Resource Group, Inc.  

The 7 Habits of Hospitality 
As technology continues to play a greater role in the way we communicate (or, in some cases, fail to do so), the people who serve on the front lines that come in contact with their clients or customers have struggled to serve them. 
We have seen some very interesting and thought-provoking developments in customer care, from the Hilton "Fun Finder" to robots that will serve as  virtual concierges at hotel check-in counters.
As any of us can attest to who have been frustrated with scanning groceries at a self-guided checkout, technology will never fully replace the personal touch. 
Hospitality in Business: Customer-Centered Care
Webster's dictionary defines hospitality as the "generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests", and the term was first used way back in the 14th century, long before smartphones and touch screens. Along the way, business has evolved and innovated, but customer-centered care still makes a tremendous difference that endures in the mind of the customer.
In fact, marketing research shows that it takes 6x the cost to secure a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. As organizations struggle to retain and gain market share, they have turned to the core principles of hospitality and service to engender loyalty and deepen their customer relationships. 
Examples of Innovation- Hospitality at Work
An example of innovation in hospitality is Disney, as they have introduced a new service using wristbands with RFID chips to give patrons more control over their visits to their theme parks and resorts. These MagicBands act as hotel-room keys, allow visitors to enter the park, purchase merchandise, reserve rides, and arrange for costumed Disney characters to greet them by name or offer birthday greetings.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Stew Leonard's
Another example in retail is Stew Leonard's , known as the "Disney of grocery stores"". This third-generation family business founded in 1969 generates over $500 million in annual sales, and their success is largely due to their focus on serving their customer's needs from the minute they walk in the front door. Customer service reigns supreme at this micro-chain of fresh-food stores, and they have had a 15-year run on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America."
In an article in Business News Daily, CEO Stew Leonard Jr. said "Our goal is to have customers leave with a big smile on their faces," and "People come in the store and they're treated like part of the family. It's a competitive advantage, and setting that tone begins with the people you hire and how you train them and care for them". On treating customers, he said "I'd never ask anyone at the store to do something I wouldn't do or haven't done." 
Northwell Health, NY state's largest health system with 21 hospitals and $9.5 billion in revenue, has evolved and developed best practices patterned after prominent service companies like GE and Tiffany & Co. They have pursued this strategy to improve their ability to meet the needs of millennials as patients and employees for decades to come.  Michael J. Dowling, Northwell Health's president and chief executive, offered examples of this approach at "Health Tech '16: Fueling Innovation in Westchester".
Leadership Principles in Hospitality
A McKinsey article describes "a new wave of digital upstarts that capitalize on changes in technology, customer behavior, and the availability of data to create innovative, customer-friendly alternatives to services incumbents offer. From Uber and Zipcar in transportation, to Airbnb in hotels and hospitality, these innovators represent a growing challenge to traditional companies.
There are a number of key traits and trends for effective hospitality management that can be applied in any industries.
A recent article on Leadership in Hospitality- Seven Habits of Highly Effective Leaders , described habits successful leaders practice, from entrepreneurs to business executives and community leaders.
Adapted from one of Stephen R Covey's best-selling books, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this article references Covey's description of seven simple habits that can make us more effective in life, leadership, and relationships. 

7 Habits for Hospitality in Client Relations Management:
Relentless Purpose- If you want to be an effective leader, you need to have a daily purpose to know WHY you are leading. 
Bold Vision- Trailblazing hospitality techniques introduced by Disney, Stew Leonard's and Northwell Health have put forth a clear and inspiring vision to gather support from key members of their organizations.
Challenge the Status Quo This strategy is centered  upon disruption and innovation.  
Credibility - The old adage "consider the source" continues to ring true, and this is a key to advancing all efforts to introduce new, improved hospitality techniques.
Curiosity Ask your customers what else you could do to improve their experience. Ask your employees what tools they need to do a better job.
Listen Tune in to understand your employees and recognize and reward their contributions. Confirm you hear them and respond to build trust.
Accountability - Demonstrate responsibility and show how you learned from mistakes or setbacks
Hospitality Habits Improve Client Relations
At Hospitality Resource Group, we work very hard to cater to our clients in a broad cross-section of markets and industries, in the public and private sector. HRG integrates a positive attitude of hospitality into all 3 of our companies.
This fall, HRG will once again partner with the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation to produce the annual Beer, Wine, Spirit and Cider Summit at the Culinary Institute of America on October 4th. 
On November 7th, HRG will host the 3rd Annual Hospitality Educational Summit, as  hospitality leaders will convene again for a day of learning and networking, and to hear from industry leaders about best practice management strategies at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown.
Are you interested in taking your business to a higher level by developing and implementing a habit of hospitality for your event planning, marketing strategy, or workforce development initiative? Give us a call at (914) 761-7111 or email us
About Hospitality Resource Group

Hospitality Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) is a group of vertically integrated companies, with over 19 years of experience developing innovative training, marketing and event programs for businesses, education institutions, not for profit organizations and municipalities. HRG clients benefit from our proven ability to develop effective management solutions to expand their markets and engage their companies to build brand equity, increase sales and improve productivity. 

The HRG family of companies includes:

HRG has earned widespread recognition from leading industry organizations, including:

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