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Improving Breakfast Guest Satisfaction Tourism Essay

In this chapter the subject of this assignment will be introduced. An orientation of the problem can be found. This chapter will outline the main problem of this report, namely the satisfaction of breakfast guests and the breakfast operations in The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. After a description After exploring the subject and the company of this case study the problem is stated together with the research questions.

1.2 Problem orientation

The hotel subject to this research is The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. This hotel is situated in the center of the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. It is situated close to the central station of Amsterdam and all major tourist attractions. The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel has 8 floors and one extra wing of 3 floors with 402 guest rooms of which 4 junior suites and 2 royal suites.

The Renaissance Hotel is part of the Renaissance Brand of the hotel chain Marriott International. MI has several different brands (Appendix 1). According to Renaissance, guests are Discoverers. This means either leisure or business travelers whose mission is to “take in all in”. These guests are considered to be people who travel frequently with a sophisticated taste an appreciate style, decor, and interesting beverage and food.

The three core values of the Renaissance brand are: Intriguing, Indigenous and Independent. These three core values are also taken into consideration with the design of the hotel which can be described as ’boutique’. Boutique hotels differ in regular or mass hotels because of their unique design and personalized services, opposed to big chain hotels with all the same design and services.

One of the indigenous aspects of the hotel is the Koepel Church, a big meeting hall in a dome church with a spectacular outlook. The total meeting facilities are occupy 4.922 square meters. These consist out of 11 meeting rooms of different sizes and the Koepel Church.

Besides meeting facilities, the hotel also has several F&B outlets. These are “2B Lounge Bar” a lounge bar serving cocktails and finger food, but also provides a full-menu when asked for. Besides that the 2B Bar can be used for more casual business meetings or receptions, up to 200 people. The Koepelcafe is a typical Dutch Brown café. The food served here is typical Dutch bar food. In the summertime there is a terrace outside overlooking the beautiful crooked houses of the Kattengat and the Koepel Church. In-Room Dining is the room service outlet of the hotel, offering a full menu 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At last the hotel has a restaurant, Restaurant ‘Scossa’. The concept of the restaurant is “Contemporary, Casual and Cool” and offers Mediterranean inspired dishes from an open kitchen, 6 nights a week. Restaurant Scossa is also used as breakfast restaurant of the hotel.

This research focuses on the breakfast service in restaurant Scossa. In a hotel, dinner is often promoted on the website, throughout the hotel and through other channels. The hotel invests on employees that have enough experience, are known to deliver good service and are representative. This is a different case in breakfast service. In the RAH employees from different departments ended up in breakfast service, because they were not functioning well in their first position. Where for dinner new menus and promotions are created every couple of months, breakfast is basically always the same. The average age of the employees working in breakfast is 40+ and they have been doing the same work for a long time. Such a work environment can result in demotivated employees if nobody engages them in learning new skills or encourages them to change there work routines. Although this work environment, the employees are expected to deliver service up to the standards of MI. MI has a global vision, mission, goals and core values (discussed in chapter 3 of this report). Each single hotel has to perform conform these core values and service standards have to be reached. But what is actually done to motivate this people to do so? Where other employees get trained in several aspects of their job, breakfast employees never get training. They are expected to know already what they have to do, and often the only time they hear about their performance is when something is not going the way it is supposed to.

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On the moment the research of this assignment started the guest satisfaction is 62.5%, too low compared to the brand standard (72%) and just under the RAH goal (62.7%) for breakfast(appendices 2-3)In this assignment it will be researched if guest satisfaction can be improved by training, motivating and engaging the employees.

Breakfast service and dinner service should be up to the same standards, guests leave a hotel mostly after having breakfast, not after having dinner. If the breakfast experience is really bad, guests will forget the good dinner they had and the overall food and beverage experience will be downgraded.

1.3 Problem statement and research questions

The problem statement is derived from the above described problem in the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.

“Improving breakfast guest satisfaction by improving employee satisfaction”

A case study in the Renaissance Amsterdam hotel

The following questions are designed to answer this problem statement:

1. What is the hotels’ current position?

2. What is guest satisfaction?

3. What is employee satisfaction?

4. How is the breakfast service currently operated?

5. How to motivate and train the employees of the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel?

6. What is the relationship between employee- and guest satisfaction?

1.4 Overview

The next chapter will elaborate on the methodology of this research. It will give a theoretical overview of different research methods and instruments. Furthermore all research questions will be discussed together with the research method and instrument chosen for this question. At the end of this chapter there will be an overview of all research questions, methods and instruments applied and there will be explained why certain choices have been made. Once all research methods and instruments are decided on, the actual research can be done.

Chapter 2: Methodology

2.1 Preview

In this chapter the methodology of the research will be discussed. A theoretical overview over different research methods and instruments will be given and for every research question it will be discussed what method and instrument will be used in order to get the best answer to the question. And the end of this chapter an overview can be found of the different research questions and the different methods and instruments.

2.2 Research methods and instruments

2.2.1 Research Methods

When designing a research, it is very important to consider the different research methods in order to get all the information relevant to the research. In this paragraph it is described wich research methods can be used and when these methods are applicable. After discussing these methods a decision will be made which method is usefull for this assignment.

Qualitative research vs. Quantitative research

When conducting a research, a distinction between qualitative and quantitative research is made.

“Quality is the essential character or nature of something; quantity is the amount. Quality is the what; quantity is the how much. Qualitative refers to the meaning, the definition or analogy or model or metaphor characterizing something, while quantitative assumes the meaning and refers to a measure of it” (Steinbeck, 1941)

Qualitative research is a type of research that provides information about the “human” side of a subject. The data of a qualitative research will reflect behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions and relationships of people. Qualitative research is a good type of research to use when researching the behavior, perspectives or feelings of a small population. (Denzin NK, 2001)

Qualitative research methods are for example; in – depth interviews used for collecting more personal information, or focus groups where a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a certain subject, mostly questions are asked in an interactive group setting.

Quantitative research is a research technique that is used to gather quantitative data, information dealing with statistics and numbers, everything that is measurable. Statistics, tables and graphs are methods to present this type of information. The most common quantitative research method is a survey questionnaire done by a large population (over 100).

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The main difference between qualitative and quantitative research is that the outcome of a qualitative research is more reliable on the skills of the researcher, interview skills and observations skills for example are very important. On the other hand the outcome of a quantitative research is more reliable on the strength of the research instrument. (Clark M, 1998) A well set-up survey with the right questions is really important in order to get a good overview of the population. Furthermore quantitative surveys use pre-coded closed questions. If a research is done to “how much…” or how often…” those questions are perfect, but, when a researcher wants to know more about for example how people feel about a certain topic a qualitative research would be more appropriate. Although people can scale their negative feeling towards the working atmosphere between 0 and 5, with 5 the most negative, you never know exactly how much this negative feeling really is. Amongst a lot of researchers it is discussed what would be the best type of research. But, the type of research should always be driven from the type of subject and therefore be the most applicable to that subject. (Andrew Sanchez, 2006)

Into addition to this separation between qualitative and quantitative research methods, there is also a distinction between desk research and field research. Desk research is a research of information already gathered for other purposes that the current research. This information or data are also called “Secondary Data”. The main purposes of desk research are to gain information about the company, hotel, subject of the research, the competitors, economic trends, market trends and demographic trends. All already produced information is used to gain more information about the research topic. Desk research is often done throughout the research and therefore can also help to do a proper field research. A field research is done by direct contact with the researcher and the subject of research. The information derived from this research can’t be found by doing desk research. The data gathered by this research is called “Primary Data” these are data that has been only gathered for the purpose of the specific research. Research I

2.2.4 Research Instruments

Research instruments are data collection tools helping the researcher to answer the research question. Different research instruments can be used to answer the same research question. Different research methods request different research instruments. In this paragraph different instruments are discussed and the instruments useful for this research will be chosen

In-Depth interview

This instrument is a qualitative instrument and can also be called a personal interview. This is a two way conversation initiated by a researcher to obtain information from a respondent. The greatest advantage is the depth of information and detail that can be secured. It far exceeds the information secured from telephone and self-administered studies, mails surveys or computer. The interviewer can also do more things to improve the quality of the information received than with another method(Cooper, 1998). The interviewer does have more control, they can see the behavior of the respondent, if the person is cynical, emotional or angry about a certain subject. A disadvantage is that personal interviews are time consuming. If a high amount of respondents is needed, a lot of interviews have to be done. Besides that, people can be reluctant to talk with strangers (if the interviewer is a stranger) or on the other hand doesn’t want to give too much personal information or show feelings if the interviewer is known to the respondent.

Focus groups

A focus group is a panel of people led by a moderator who meet for 90 minutes to 2 hours. The facilitator or moderator uses group dynamics principles to focus or guide the group in an exchange of ideas, feelings, and experiences on a specific topic. Focus groups can be used to generate and evaluate ideas or assessment of needs (Cooper, 1998). The advantages of focus groups are that they provide a manager or researcher a quick grasp of the core issues of a topic or problem. Participants can respond in their own words and they can react to each others responses what can lead to interesting discussions about the subject. A disadvantage is that there is a limited sampling accuracy and to get a better overview quantitative instrument will be needed.

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Case studies

Case studies place more emphasis on a full contextual analysis of events or conditions and their relationships (Cooper, 1998). Single case studies can be done as well as multiple case studies. The advantage of a single case study is the in-depth information and knowledge that is gained about a single subject. The disadvantage of a case study that it relies on a lot of qualitative and quantitative data.

Self-Administered (mail) Surveys

In a mail survey, the respondent can take more time to collect fact, talk with others, or consider replies than is possible with personal interviews. May surveys are more impersonal and providing more anonymity than other interview methods. The main advantage is that it is not too time consuming and anonymity will stimulate people to give honest answers. The major disadvantage is that there is no control over the response. Furthermore there is a limitation on the length of an interview, as respondents will refuse to cooperate with long or complex questionnaires.

Document analysis

Document analysis is a systematic procedure for reviewing or evaluating documents. The documents contain text or images that were not recorded for the purposes of the research. It is a qualitative research that requires that data are examined and interpreted by the researcher in order to elicit meaning, gain understanding, and develop empirical knowledge(Corbin & Straus, 2008). This instrument is often used prior to a study and the information will be incorporated in the report. It is often used in combination with other qualitative instruments. The advantage of this instrument is that it gives a lot of in-depth information about the subject. A disadvantage is that there is a lot of information available and it depends on the researchers’ skill to separate the useful information and interpret it in the right way in order to make it applicable for the research.

2.3 Chosen research methods

Due to the subject of the research both types of research are needed in order to come to a proper outcome. Nevertheless most of the research will be Qualitative research. This because, as mentioned earlier in this chapter, qualitative research is all about the human aspects. Satisfaction is an emotion or a feeling people have in a certain situation and is therefore very human. Qualitative research will help answering the research questions about guest satisfaction and employee satisfaction, and to get an overview of the current breakfast operations in the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. Quantitative research is needed to get an overview over a larger population of guests and employees. This will give an outcome that can be measured and presented in a table. All these data used for the research are Primary data gathered through field research. Furthermore secondary data will be gathered by conducting a desk research searching information about the hotel, and theories about guest- and employee satisfaction.

2.4 Chosen research instruments

In order to find answers to the research questions different research instruments will be used. First of all document analysis will be used to gather in-depth information about the subject, but also to get a better understanding about the subject. In order to get a good overview of the hotel, documents will be analyzed that give information about the environment in and outside the hotel. To analyze this information different strategic analyzing tools will be used. To gain better knowledge about guest- and employee satisfaction, literature about these subjects will be reviewed. This instrument is chosen because it is necessary to have in-depth information about guest- and employee satisfaction before it can be analyzed for this specific hotel.

Case study will be used to get a good overview about how the breakfast is operated in the hotel. This will be a single case study. As it has been said, case studies do rely on qualitative and quantitative data. This data will be gathered through the use of focus groups and self-administered surveys.

To determine guest satisfaction, email surveys will be used. Every guest that visited gets the opportunity to leave there email address upon check-out. After the checkout, surveys about the overall experience during the guests stay will be send to these email addresses. In these surveys guests can score there breakfasts experiences from 1-10, judging on the food quality experience and service quality experience. All rates above 7 will be counted as ‘satisfied’ to calculate the guest satisfaction percentage. The expected response will be 30 per month based on previous months. A higher response would be preferable but according to Marriott Standards, it is not allowed to push a guest to fill in a survey, or ask the guest to fill out surveys during their stay (MGS). However, these 30 guests will be representative for the other guests that stayed in the hotel at that moment. This instrument in preferred above in-depth interviews because more honest answers will be given, as the guest will react anonymous.

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The employee satisfaction is measured by a self-administered survey. This survey will be an automated survey and every employee can fill this out anonymous. Therefore it is excepted to receive honest answers from all employees. The questions of this survey can be found in appendix .. This is not the original outlook of the questionnaire, which is conducted by computer, but gives an overview of the questions asked. As all employees are obligatory to fill out this survey a response of 30 is expected. Although this survey might have the limitation that less in-depth information is received, the outcome of the survey can be discussed in a focus group when necessary.

The focus groups instrument is used to determine the training and motivation needs of the employees. In this focus group will consist of all breakfast employees, both full time and part time. The breakfast team consists of 30 people in total. Not all people will be reached at the same time, therefore 3 sessions with 10 people each time will be scheduled. During these sessions the training and motivations needs of the employees will be the main discussion point. In appendix .. the design of this focus group discussion will be presented. As the employees are working in a team and interact with each other, this method will be more useful than in-depth interviews. Furthermore in-depth interviews will be more time consuming and therefore found of less use for this research.

2.5 Research instruments applied

2.5.1 Overview

In the following table for each research question is stipulated what kind of research will be done and what instruments will be used to answer the research question.

Problem statement

Quantitative or

Qualitative

Desk or

Field

Instruments

What is the hotels’ current position? (strategic analysis)

Qualitative

Desk, use of secondary data

Document analysis.

Several strategic analyzing tools from management books.

Hotel Data

MGS

What is guest satisfaction?

Qualitative and quantitative

Desk, use of secondary data

Field, use of primary data

Document analysis

Hospitality books (literature review)

Hotel data.

GSS surveys

What is employee satisfaction?

Qualitative and quantitative

Desk, use of secondary data

Field, use of primary data

Document analysis

Hospitality books (literature review)

Hotel data

Employee surveys

How’s the breakfast service currently operated?

Qualitative

Desk, use of secondary data

Field, use of primary data

Hotel data, guest comments, employee comments, focus groups.

How to motivate and train the employees of the Renaissance Amsterdam hotel?

Qualitative

Desk research,

Field, analyzing motivation &training needs

Document analysis

HR books.

Focus groups

Comments from employees

What is the relationship between employee- and guest satisfaction?

Qualitative

Desk research

Field, GSS

Document analysis

GSS comments

2.4.2 Explanation overview

What is the hotels’ current position? (strategic analysis)

This question is chosen in order to get more inside information about the hotel. To come up with recommendations, an in-depth vision of the hotel is necessary. Therefore is chosen to do a strategic analysis of the company.

This analysis is a qualitative research since the intention is to find out about the essential character (Cooper & Schindler, 1998) of the company, and can also be characterized as a case-study.

Both desk and field research will be applied to answer this research question the best way. Desk research will be done by document analysis, reviewing data gathered from the hotel (Secondary information). All this information will be put together in order to analyze the company with the help of strategic analyzing tools from management books.

What is guest satisfaction?

This question is chosen to understand the definition “guest satisfaction”. To answer this question a literature review will be conducted. This analysis is a qualitative analysis and can as well be characterized as document analysis, desk research.

What is employee satisfaction?

This question is chosen to understand the definition “guest satisfaction”. To answer this question an extensive literature review will be conducted. This analysis is a qualitative analysis and can as well be characterized as document analysis, desk research.

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How is the breakfast service currently operated?

This question is chosen to get a better view of the breakfast in the hotel. The question is separated from the first question (a view of the hotels’ current position could also discus breakfast) because this is the main focus of the research. This analysis is a qualitative research and can as well be characterized as a case-study. Desk and field research will be done. Information from the hotel will be used in order to get a better insight in how breakfast is currently managed. The breakfast service operations will be studied and employees will be interviewed through focus groups.

In this part the actual guest satisfaction of the RAH will be measured. This will be done trough an survey conducted by email. This will be a quantitative research done by field research.

Furthermore the actual employee satisfaction of the RAH will be measured as well. This will be done trough a self-administered survey conducted with all breakfast employees. This will be a quantitative research done by field research.

How to motivate and train the employees of the Renaissance Amsterdam hotel?

To answer this question a literature review will be done to get more insight in motivation and training employees. This analysis is a qualitative analysis and can as well be characterized as document analysis, done by desk research. Furthermore another qualitative research instrument , focus groups will be used to observe the motivation and training needs of the employees.

What is the relationship between employee- and guest satisfaction?

With this question the relationship between employee- and guest satisfaction will be researched. There for an desk analysis will be done by document analysis (Qualitative Research) Furthermore the data of the Guest satisfaction surveys and employee satisfaction surveys (Quantitative data) will be discussed and linked to the theory, this field research can be characterized as a case-study.

2.5 Summary

In this chapter the different research methods and instruments were discussed. After a study of the theory about these subjects, the methods and instruments for this research were chosen. The main research method will be qualitative, this because satisfaction is a feeling a person has about a certain experience and therefore very human. Qualitative research is about the human aspects of an subject, opposed to quantitative research, where outcomes are measured and can be put in tables or graphics The main instrument will be document-analysis (secondary data analysis), this document analysis will be done by using literature about the subjects discussed in this report.

To analyze the current breakfast operations, the breakfast operation will be observed and the employees will be able to discuss their opinion in a focus-group. The focus groups is important to analyze the interaction between the different employees en get a more in-depth view in their opinions and experiences.

There will be also quantitative methods used in this research. This is used to give guests and employees the opportunity to give an anonymous feedback on the breakfast service. This is used instead of in-depth interviews as people can feel more limited when not being anonymous.

These methods and instruments are used to give a proper answer on all research methods. The information gathered by using these instruments are displayed in the next chapter of this report.

Chapter 3: Results

3.1 Preview

In this chapter the results of the research will be presented. The results will be presented per research question….etc etc nog niet af…..

3.2 What is the hotel’s current position?

3.2.1 Internal analysis

The internal analysis was done using the 7 s Model, developed two consultants of the McKinsey Company in the early 1980’s (Proven Models B.V., 2011). This model discusses internal aspects that should be analyzed and aligned in order for a company to function properly. These factors are the following; strategy, structure, systems, staff, style, skills and shared values. In the introduction the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel major characteristics have already been described. In this chapter the internal environment of the hotel will be described according to the previous mentioned 7 S Model.

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Strategy

The vision, mission, objectives and core values of MI are the driving forces behind every hotel part of the Marriott chain.

– Vision: “To be the Global Hospitality Leader”. This vision is grounded in the intense focus on taking care of the guest, extensive operational knowledge, the development of a highly skilled and diverse workforce, and offering the best portfolio of lodging brands in the industry. As MI is considered in the top three of hotel chains worldwide, this is an achievable vision.

– Mission: “To build brand loyalty and preference to maximise shareholder value”. The ideals from the vision are expressed in this mission statement. A mission statement guides a hotel as it seeks to achieve the long term objectives (Olsen, 1998). This mission statement indicates that through brand loyalty and preference, which includes guests as well as employees, the shareholder value will be maximized. As almost all Marriott Hotels are managed by the chain and not owned, it is very important maximise the shareholder value and be able to grow.

– Goals: as an extension of the mission and vision goals were designed. The first goal is: “Solidify product and service leadership, drive profit and optimize growth”. This goal gives a method for achieving the mission. The second goal gives a more measurable indication of the vision: “Double the presence of Marriott in Europe”

– Core Values: The core values are based on the concept of the “Spirit to Serve” this spirit includes fundamental ideals of service to associates, customers, and community which serve as the cornerstone for all Marriott Associates (MGS)

To adhere to this strategy, the Renaissance brand has developed its own set of standards and initiatives to reflect on the values stated above, these are called the R-Ways. There are 20 R-Ways and those are strategy, behavioural or community based (Appendix ..). The R-ways are rotating every day and discussed at pre-shift meetings. Herewith the operational staff is able to discuss the different R-ways and get more involved in the objectives of the hotel.

Another very important strategy is the selling strategy of the hotel, as how the hotel performs depends on the sale of rooms. The most important channels for this are online bookings and the group bookings done by the Events Booking Centre. The pricing strategy used for the sale of rooms is “rational” this means that it is easy for the guest to understand why a rate is asked for a specific room. Therefore a base price is set for the Deluxe room (standard room) and between the different room types, always the same price difference is used. Furthermore MI has the “look no further” guarantee. Herewith it is guaranteed that the price listed on the Marriott website is the best rate available everywhere, with exception of corporate rate promotions. The daily rate is based on an estimated demand. This estimated demand is determined by the system Marriott One Yield LRTP (Long Range Project Tool). This system uses historical data and current reservations to determine trends that help to predict the demand for that specific day. In appendix .. a table is shown that compares the figures of the RHI to the figures from the Hosta Benchmark Report. This figure shows that the occupancy and room rate are higher than benchmarked.

Structure

The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel employs around 215 employees of at least 25 different nationalities. The structure of the hotel is of functional design. This means grouping managers and employees according to their areas of expertise and the resources they use to perform their jobs (Hellregiel et al, 2005). This structure has economical benefits because the simple structure keeps administrative expenses low as everyone in a department can share training, experience and resources. Furthermore, career paths are clearly to be seen by employees within their own department. An organizational chart can be found in appendix … Disadvantages of the structure can be that an inadequate communication between units can occur as departments focus more on their departmental rather than organizational issues and goals. Furthermore horizontal linkages are difficult to make as employees are specifically trained. For example an food and beverage employee won’t be able to assist at the front office. However, since the tasks and responsibilities are very specific and di

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