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  • Kristi Dement
  • January 11, 2020 12:16:18 PM
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A Little About Us

Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging shares profitable tips in this blog for B&B innkeepers to wanting to grow their hospitality businesses. She also offers marketing services such as blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and consulting. Her blog attracts businesses in the hospitality industry who would like to consistently attract more B&B guests, as well as book more private events, and offer additional packages, products, and services.

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How To Be The Go-To Bed and Breakfast

Theresa M. Lina, author of bestselling book Be The Go-To: How to Own Your Own Competitive Market, Charge More, and Have Customers Love You For It, encourages business owners to "differentiate in a way that is blatantly obvious to customers..." We should be able to instantly convey what makes us unique and valuable to a ... Read...

Theresa M. Lina, author of bestselling book Be The Go-To: How to Own Your Own Competitive Market, Charge More, and Have Customers Love You For It, encourages business owners to "differentiate in a way that is blatantly obvious to customers..." We should be able to instantly convey what makes us unique and valuable to a particular audience. 

Guests Must Understand & Value How You Are Different

The goal for hospitality providers is to get prospective guests to understand what makes your accommodations and hospitality different. It is important to attract and retain the right guests. The guests that most appreciate what you offer and who can afford to come back time and again. 

Guests will only pay higher prices when they receive higher value. Lina advises that we figure out how to raise the value of our offerings in order to raise our prices (at least proportionally to rising costs). Moreover, when we leverage and become more efficient in our operations, we can reduce our costs. 

According to the author, the most critical competitive threat to most companies is commoditization in the eyes of customers and the market as a whole. When you are absolutely unique in what you offer, and it is of high value in urgent demand, then you can charge higher prices AND keep your rooms consistently booked. 

Establish Your Unique Market Position

Hospitality businesses that have defined, committed to, and established a unique market position are the ones that dominate their spaces and become go-to accommodations leaders. You can command much higher than your competitors because the guests consider what you offer to far outweigh your cost.

Focus lets you concentrate your message so it speaks directly to your guests' pain points and needs in their language. Lina advises that we focus on a specific market that is large enough to have enough opportunity, but small enough to concentrate our finite resources in order to capitalize on synergies. Target markets act as kindling. 

A go-to business focuses on having a long-term relationship with its customers (guests). Be sure to keep up with changes in the industry to stay cutting-edge. This book focuses on four different phases which lead to becoming a leading business. The phases are not necessarily sequential. 

For each phase, I share a practical example of how a bed and breakfast can differentiate itself from its competition. By offering a unique niche, accommodations can stand out to potential guests.

The Launch Phase


Take Ownership of a Market Problem and Solve It With An Articulate Vision:

  • Decide what you problem you want to be known for eliminating
  • Declare a unique approach to solving a critical market problem you want to own
  • Identify a common, critical problem no one else is addressing
  • Develop your unique point of view on and solution to the problem (the "Why/What/How" Storyline)
    • First core message answers WHY customers in the market have the problem
    • Second core message answers WHAT your customers should do about it
    • Third core message answers HOW you have solved the problem and the results you deliver
  • Define your meaning and value with a solution that delivers a powerful result guests are willing to pay a premium for

Bed and Breakfast Example: Eco-Friendly Traveling

  • WHY: Potential guests who are environmentally conscious do not want to feel guilty about traveling. They want to be responsible travelers who leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible. 
  • WHAT: Since we are the only Trip Advisor's Green Leaders in our area, guests feel good about staying at our environmentally-friendly accommodations. 
  • HOW: By choosing to visit at our accommodations:
    • Guests can recharge their electronic cars
    • Laundry is hung to dry on a long, sturdy clothesline
    • Everything that can be gets recycled or reused
    • Low-voltage lighting used wherever possible
    • Air-circulating ceiling fans are in most of the rooms throughout the inn
    • Water is drawn from the inn's well
    • Plants grown fresh in a "rain gutter garden"
    • Guests offered other locally-sourced foods

The Ignite Phase

Lead a Movement in the Market Around The Problem and Solution:

  • Draw attention to a problem
  • Rally influential people around an approach
    • Connectors: know and can connect you with a lot of people
    • Mavens: deeply passionate to share information about their interests
    • Salespersons: respected industry thought leaders skilled at persuasion
  • Evangelize the message with a game plan and materials with targeted media and at industry events
  • Gain market momentum around your solution
  • Monitor, measure, and refine

Bed and Breakfast Example: Vegan Lodging

  • WHY: People who live a vegan lifestyle want to stay at accommodations that support their lifestyle. 
  • WHAT: As the only vegan accommodations in our area, our guests feel at ease about the food we serve.
  • HOW: Our accommodations:
    • We do not consume dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin, in addition to refraining from meat (as do vegetarians).
    • As ethical vegans, we strongly believe that all creatures have the right to life and freedom.
    • We believe that veganism offers health benefits and promotes a healthier way to live.
    • We believe animal agriculture causes higher greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based options, is a more water-intensive process, and can lead to deforestation (when forested areas are burn for cropland or pasture).
    • For these ethical, health, and environmental reasons guests choose our accommodations. 

The Navigate Phase

Guide Customers Along The Journey To Solving The Problem:

  • Develop an Integrated operating plan with concise information
  • Implement your approach with the right customers 
  • Be top of mind and help customers navigate the journey
  • Deliver on promises efficiently 
  • Provide the "whole product" with other services and partnerships
  • Build a "community of believers"
  • Monitor, measure, and refine

Bed and Breakfast Example: B&B Spa

  • WHY: Some guests who prefer bed and breakfasts (over hotels) also desire the pampering that comes with an on-site spa. 
  • WHAT: We are the only B&B in our local area that also has an on-site spa.
  • HOW: Our award-winning spa offers:
    • Heated floor tiles
    • Luxurious Jacuzzi tubs
    • Manicures
    • Pampering linens
    • Pedicures
    • Rejuvenating facials and body treatments
    • Sauna room
    • Swedish, detoxification, and couples massages
    • Tempur-Pedic beds 

The Accelerate Phase

Stay Ahead of Market Changes and Competition, Refresh the Vision, and Pick Up Speed:

  • Adjust to market changes and strengthen your position
  • Broaden your market presence and offerings to strengthen loyalty
  • Constantly monitor the market to anticipate trends
  • Update your point of view and solution as needed
  • Continuously innovate and adapt to stay ahead of the competition

Bed and Breakfast Example: Pet-Friendly Accommodations

  • WHY: Potential guests who are pet owners want to be able to bring their pets along when they go on vacation.
  • WHAT: We offer the only pet-friendly inn in our local area. 
  • HOW: We offer:
    • 5 acres of land for your pet(s) to roam
    • Guest rooms with convenient private entrances/exits and easy outdoor access.
    • A complimentary dog bed, with 2 dog bowls, and plenty of dog treats & toys.
    • A $10 gift certificate to our local Dog Bakery. 

Differentiate to Dominate

Author Theresa M. Linda dedicated this book to helping businesses be the Go-To in their market. It starts with finding your specific marketplace to dominate. 

There are so many bed and breakfast niches, including:

  • Environmentally-Friendly
  • Farming
  • Garden Award-Winning
  • LGBTQ Welcoming
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Murder Mystery Parties
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Restaurant
  • Romantic/Adults Only
  • Spa
  • Tea Room
  • Vegetarian or Vegan
  • Wedding Venue

Bed and Breakfast Marketing Solutions

Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers effective marketing solutions with blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, website design, and more. Contact Kristi for a complimentary twenty-minute conversation. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography


Why Hospitality is the Spirit of Serving Others

Serving others is the spirit of hospitality. Larry Stuart, CEO of LS Hospitality, is the author of The Spirit of Hospitality: How To Add The Missing Ingredients Your Business Needs. He advises those of us in the hospitality industry that IF we are NOT passionate about serving others, THEN we are in the wrong industry. Walking ... Read...

Serving others is the spirit of hospitality. Larry Stuart, CEO of LS Hospitality, is the author of The Spirit of Hospitality: How To Add The Missing Ingredients Your Business Needs. He advises those of us in the hospitality industry that IF we are NOT passionate about serving others, THEN we are in the wrong industry.

Walking in integrity is one of the key ingredients to a life of service in hospitality excellence. According to Mr. Stuart, we should "always choose to do the right thing for the right reason, no matter the cost." If we treat others with kindness, genuine care, and a heart of service, they will remember, and they will return.

It's all about the guest. We need to have the ability to anticipate the guests' needs. Acknowledge the presence of guests with eye contact. This lets them know we care for them and we are there to serve their every need. Give a sincere, from our heart, smile (with eye contact).

Make an appropriate and friendly hospitality comment such as, "We hope to have you back again soon." According to Mr. Larry Stuart, the key things our guests want are to be noticed, to be treated like they matter, to be served, and to be welcomed into a warm, inviting environment.

Being a blessing in life means serving others. Be willing to go the extra mile for guests and staff. There is always an opportunity to help others. Excellent guest service is a work of art that can only be performed by those who understand the spirit of hospitality. Our service instantly makes the guest feel welcome and sets them at ease.

Our willingness to listen to others gives them an opportunity to express their point of view. Guests who feel they have been heard; also feel they have been served. Our main goal should be to provide the WOW factor to every guest. The author quotes Zig Ziglar, "The complaining guest represents a huge opportunity for more business." He also reminds us that most guest complaints are sincere, legitimate, realistic, and warranted.

According to this book, the integrity of a true service-oriented business is how we respond when things go wrong. We can win a guest for life through our guest service recovery. This requires sincerity, empathy, and kindness. The key is to stay calm, maintain self-control, and always be professional. Demonstrate you are listening, accept responsibility, and work to find a solution.

Treat everyone you meet with politeness, kindness, and compassion. When we act in kindness, the recipient feels exceptional, important, and special. People return to us because of the spirit of hospitality we show them. We should always ask if there is anything else, we can do for the guest. This gives them an opportunity to share with us how we can make their stay even more memorable. 

We can improve what we measure, and we track. Comment cards, surveys, and online reviews are just three of the many other ways to receive guest feedback. Stuart recommends that we track our guests' satisfaction as well as how we stack up in the industry against our competition.

Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers a 20-minute complimentary conversation to any bed and breakfast owner/innkeeper. Contact her to understand how you can be more effective with your hospitality marketing. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography


How to Be Innovative in a Crisis Like This

We must be innovative during this national pandemic. As a Vendor Member of the Association of Lodging Professionals, I attended their Virtual Development Day that they hosted on May 6, 2020. Many different topics and issues were discussed. Above all, innkeepers want to do everything they can to protect the health and safety of their guests. ... Read...

We must be innovative during this national pandemic. As a Vendor Member of the Association of Lodging Professionals, I attended their Virtual Development Day that they hosted on May 6, 2020. Many different topics and issues were discussed. 

Above all, innkeepers want to do everything they can to protect the health and safety of their guests. That is their highest priority. The people who embrace making changes have a better mindset and are more likely to succeed. Small properties will welcome the first travelers. The perception is that smaller is safer. 

Safe Cleaning Practices

People will not stay at places they do not think are clean. One guest review that says your place is dirty (regardless if they have reason to claim that) will kill your reviews. The public expects you to be safe. Be very proactive in your efforts to provide clean, safe hospitality accommodations. Communicate the changes you are making both to staff and to the public. 

Recommendations:

  • Housekeeping should wear gloves and masks.  
  • Use extra equipment to clean (such as black lights, UV wands, and ozone machines). 
  • Turn on ceiling fans to get air circulation in the room while cleaning. 
  • Now is the time to clean and get rid of any clutter in your rooms.
  • Strip rooms down to the things you are regularly cleaning. Remove items such as decorative pillows, magazines, notepads, pens, etc.
  • Bedspreads must be removed unless you wash them after each guest checks out. The trend is to replace with duvet covers (that get washed after each guest leaves). 
    • Good: Blanket only (fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket)
    • Better: Triple sheeting (flat sheet, blanket, flat sheet, fitted sheet)
    • Best: Sheet duvets (fitted sheet and duvet with no flat sheet)
  • Use single pillow protector with double pillowcase or double pillow protector with single pillowcase.
  • Check commercial cleaner recommendations (e.g. amount of contact time for cleaner to stay on surface). Do not mix different cleaners together.
  • Be sure washers reach at least 165 degrees in heat.
  • Don't shake linen and make pathogens airborne. Transport linen in linen bags. Use water soluble bags when washing linen. 
  • Have a safety data sheet (SDS) binder for any cleaning products you use on site.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety goggles, protective gloves, and masks, etc.
  • Follow the wall when cleaning (light switches, doorknobs, etc.).
  • Frequently clean remote controls, stair railings, banisters, etc.
  • Articulate what you're doing, why you're doing it, and why it's a benefit to your guests.
  • Share photos of cleaning staff.

Modifications You May Implement

  • Touchless check-in and check-out.
  • Gyms on site may require reservations for a specific amount of time (such as an hour) followed by a specific amount of time for cleaning by staff members.
  • Sanitation/disinfectant stations available on your property.
  • Wear gloves when handling guest food and drinks. 
  • Deliver breakfast to your guests' rooms. Add 2-person cafe tables to guest rooms.
  • Weather and space permitting, give guests the option to dine outside.
  • Separate dining tables at least 6 feet apart in a common breakfast room. 
  • Scheduling dining times. 
  • Give out individual sweetener packets (vs. keeping them all together on the table).
  • No more "bottomless" cookie jars--wrap up cookies and deliver them to guests. 
  • Wine tastings and teatime experienced from personal guest areas.
  • More relaxed cancellation policy. Many guests will remember your flexibility and come back. Refund their deposit or do a room voucher for a future stay. This allows guests to book with complete confidence.
  • Length of stay restrictions as appropriate. Restricting the number of guest rooms to allow for more space.

Marketing During (& After) The Pandemic

  • It's important to continue marketing. Keep your name top of mind.
  • More guests will be calling by phone so they can speak personally with you. Keep track of the questions you are asked. 
  • They want to know if you are open, if your inn is clean and safe, their local restaurant options, local activities, etc.
  • You must track your analytics to make educated decisions. Use the data to guide you. 
  • Use search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, and email marketing. Target more locally (since travelers are less likely to travel by plane right now).
  • Now's not the time to hate online travel agencies (OTAs). If you want to fill rooms, people will be using them. 
  • Your website should look modern and current. An old website may leave guests wondering if your rooms are clean. Your website should convey confidence and trust. 
  • Website should be designed for mobile first and be responsive to the device it is viewed from.
  • Your professional photography should avoid featuring large tables, buffets, and shared bathrooms. 
  • Share pictures of large spaces, separate entrances, and spaced out seating.
  • Rural country inns (out in the middle of nowhere) as well as inns with lots of (indoor and outdoor) space are in. Individual cabins and cottages are cool. (Big hotels don't feel safe to guests right now.)
  • Messaging
    • Promote staycations.
    • Avoid using words like intimate, cozy, shared areas, etc.
    • "Stay small, stay safe." 
    • "Dream up a future getaway."
    • "Me time and pet time." 
    • "The best view comes after the hardest climb."
    • "For our fellow daydreamers." 
    • "Cheers to staying safe."
    • "Dreaming of good times and tan lines." 

In conclusion, this is an unprecedented time in history. Now is the ideal time to set up and deliver an effective plan for your marketing. You are welcome to contact me for a complimentary phone consultation. I'm a great listener and a trusted advisor. Together, we will be innovative and improve your hospitality business success.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography


How To Make Your Hospitality Irresistible To Guests

Want to be irresistible to guests? I recommend applying the wisdom found in the book, Lingo: Discover Your Ideal Customer's Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible. Jeffrey Shaw is an entrepreneur, professional photographer, author, coach, speaker, and Creative Warriors Podcast host.  According to Shaw, when we understand our ideal customer's secret language, it allows ... Read...

Want to be irresistible to guests? I recommend applying the wisdom found in the book, Lingo: Discover Your Ideal Customer's Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible. Jeffrey Shaw is an entrepreneur, professional photographer, author, coach, speaker, and Creative Warriors Podcast host. 

According to Shaw, when we understand our ideal customer's secret language, it allows us to develop a connection so genuine and authentic, that guests are simply drawn to us. To speak someone's "lingo" we must understand many things about them:

  • How they think and what makes them tick (with compassion and empathy)
  • How to compel them (and speak directly to their heart)
  • What makes them feel like they belong (welcoming them)
  • How to create deeper connections with the guests you serve 
  • What they value and what inspires them to purchase

The key is to find the people who most value what we do. When our customers already value your product or service, then we don't have to sell. First, define your ideal guests. What types of guests would most appreciate your hospitality and accommodations? Then understand, speak, communicate, and think in their secret language. The strategy is about deeply knowing your ideal customer. 

5 Components of The Secret Language Strategy

  • Perspective: understand how your ideal guests experience their world
  • Familiarity: create an environment that feels remarkably comfortable to your ideal guests
  • Style: help your ideal customers make a quick decision to book with you and use your services
  • Pricing psychology: let your ideal customers know they're in the right place doing business with you
  • Words: draw in your ideal customers and filter out the rest by acting as emotional triggers

"Doing business with your ideal customers is the best, most efficient, profitable, and life-fulfilling way I know of to build the business of your dreams." (Jeffrey Shaw)

What You Need To Know About You and Your Offering

Shaw tells us to be clear about what life values you think are important for others to know about and what those values allow us to fulfill. Answer the question, "Who will love that?" Consider what is unique about what you offer. "What are the top 3 things you want every one of your ideal customers to say?" Decide what will cause your ideal guest to give you a favorable view.

  • Your innate characteristics
  • Your top 3 values
  • What you do, create, or offer
  • Your unique offering that would cause a positive review
  • What price point you serve

Gain The Perspective of Your Ideal Guests

Author Jeffrey Shaw recommends we learn everything we can about the perspective of our customers (our ideal guests). See the world through their eyes. Track our progress as we grow. When we understand where someone is coming from, we are more likely to empathize with them and offer compassion. Go to the places they go to. Read the magazines or blogs that they read. Get to know their lifestyle, preferences, likes, and dislikes. Look for what is common in the way they live. If we want to serve them, we must understand, empathize with, and respect them. We'll know what the world looks like from their perspective and we'll have a deeper understanding of what they value. 

Create A Sense of Familiarity For Your Ideal Guests

What's familiar to us creates an instant connection, according to Mr. Shaw. Familiarity will attract your ideal guests and filter out the rest. Speak the proper language of the market segment you are aiming for. Create situations that are attractive and magnetic to that specific ideal guest. Understand the brands, businesses, and products your ideal customer already interacts with. Every interaction you have with your guests is an opportunity to create an environment. Use the power of familiarity to trigger the feelings of comfort and belonging so they feel right at home. 

Choose A Style That Appeals To Your Ideal Guests

Knowing the style of your ideal customer helps them make a quick decision to choose you. What "speaks" to your ideal customer? Trust your ability to get inside the minds and lifestyle of your ideal customers. According to author Jeffrey Shaw, you want them to feel as though the style of your brand fits them and they are a fit for your business. Once you understand your ideal customer's style, you need to understand the components of style: personality, voice, and price point. Your brand must have a personality. Start with 5 words that capture the essence of the personality you want to portray. You must have a consistent voice that is authentic, clear, and comfortable. With a consistent voice in your brand style and all that you create, your ideal customers will know your are a right fit for them. 

Price To Show Guests They Are In The Right Place

Pricing sends a message to your customers--to those you want to attract and to those you don't. It lets people know they are in the right place and ensures you don't waste your time with the people who are not most advantageous for your business. It also matters how the prices are presented. Focus less on what the price is and more on how it makes people feel. People are emotional buyers. Be committed to service and be confident in your abilities. Author Jeffrey Shaw states that pricing creates perception. The position you choose has to be aligned with your market. Price has to fit with your ideal customer. The actual prices of your products and services let guests know if they're in the right place. 

Use Words To Attract Your Ideal Guests

Use words to stop ideal customers dead in their tracks. Compel them to know more and to put aside any other concerns about price and competition because they feel they must have you. 

Stand Out Statements (let the world know what you stand for, who you stand with, and how you stand out):

  • Compel your ideal customers to pay attention to you
  • Connect with them on a gut level
  • Clarify your message so that it's easy for them to understand what benefits and value you're offering

To stand out from all the clutter and get anyone's attention, our words must be remarkable. Shaw encourages us to be compelling. Pique their curiosity so they want to know more. Ask questions that cause your ideal guests to feel as though your are inside their head. Know who your ideal customer is. Understand their perspective (what they are going through and what they are thinking). Identify what thoughts are going on inside their head. Offer a solution.

4 Essential Components of Stand Out Statements

  • Your unique expertise (what you are unique qualified to do or offer)
  • The ideal customer (the guests most appreciative of what you offer)
  • Emotions of their challenge (their own unique needs)
  • The solution you provide (how you meet those needs)

The 4 essential components should support each other. Here are some examples (pertaining to specific hospitality niches).

Environmentally-Friendly Accommodations:

  • Your unique expertise: you're a Green Leader in hospitality
  • The ideal customer: guests who support eco-friendly practices
  • Emotions of their challenge: guest concern for our environment
  • Solution you provide: you're applying best practices to help save the earth

Pet-Friendly Accommodations:

  • Your unique expertise: you have pet-friendly accommodations
  • The ideal customer: guests who want to travel with their pets
  • Emotions of their challenge: they don't want to leave their pets behind
  • Solution you provide: accommodations that allow them to bring their furry loved ones with them

Romantic Accommodations:

  • Your unique expertise: you specialize in enhancing passion and romance
  • The ideal customer: couples seeking more togetherness
  • Emotions of their challenge: they crave more meaningful time 
  • Solution you provide: romantic accommodations with packages and add-ons

In Summary

The more we understand and speak the language of our ideal customers, the easier it will be to attract them. We'll have a deeper idea of what they value and how we can meet their needs. If you would like to get some clarity around who your ideal customers should be and/or learn how to attract your target guests, you're welcome to contact me for a free 20-minute phone consultation. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography


How To Live Your Life in the Fast Lane

Deborah Gardner is a woman of many talents and accolades to her name. A competitive swimmer, a former broadcaster with CBS Sports, a published author, an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, and a hospitality and trends expert. Deborah also happened to earn the title of Mrs. Arizona 2020 (in her spare time)! She's a beautiful person ... Read...

Deborah Gardner is a woman of many talents and accolades to her name. A competitive swimmer, a former broadcaster with CBS Sports, a published author, an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, and a hospitality and trends expert. Deborah also happened to earn the title of Mrs. Arizona 2020 (in her spare time)! She's a beautiful person inside and out. I am honored to share her responses to my curious questions. 

Kristi: "Deborah, as an accomplished athlete, at what age did you start swimming, and would you tell us about your experiences as a competitive athlete and how that helped you become the person you are today?"

Deborah: "I started at 7 years old. My parents wanted all 3 of their kids to not get in trouble. So, they kept us busy participating in different sports. They chose swimming. It was something we all could do together. We had to qualify to make the team. We had to swim across the 25 meter pool. I remember jumping in the pool and immediately I thought a shark was chasing me. I was so scared, I swam really fast to the other side and got out feeling exhausted. Then, the coach looked at me and said, 'Yes! We want you!"

"Instead of feeling excited, I just cried. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done at that point of my young life. Refusing to go back, the very next day, I somehow changed my mind and said, 'Let's go swimming!'" I’ve never looked back at that shark but instead continued to swim throughout college at Arizona State University and even today with the Master’s program. I love to swim!"

"Although I could not go to the 1980 Olympics (due to the boycott), the sport of swimming has taught me to be disciplined, accountable, responsible and how to set and achieve goals. I learned to better myself as an individual and a teammate. I am able to adapt easily to changes because I've been able to do both things."

Kristi: "What did you learn from your 5-year career as a broadcaster for CBS Sports?"

Deborah: "I learned not to listen to others when you want to do something you love. As one of the first women sports broadcasters, it was tough because it was a time when it was not acceptable for women to give football score. But, people considered me a trailblazer that has served well for what I do today. Even today, you can't listen to what other people say you cannot do!"

Kristi"You're a published author of several books including your most recent book called, Life In The Fast Lane: 52 Tips For Women To Get Off The Block and Go. You don't have to be an athlete to love this book because your motivational messages for women help encourage them to reach their dreams, set big goals, and do amazing things with their lives. What’s impressive is that you write in a way that is beneficial to everyone who wants to become better. What else do you want readers to get from this book?"

Deborah: "Confidence! I want women to have the confidence that they can do ANYTHING they set their mind to. They can stand up and say, 'I can do this.' Life is in the fast lane is where we all live. It’s just a matter of what you do in the fast lane."

Kristi: "As an entrepreneur who consults with companies and organizations so they can advance to new levels of success, what is the core of your message?"

Deborah: "My consultation is in the hospitality industry. They call me a 'Triple Threat' because I am a hotel supplier, a meeting professional, and a public speaker. Recently, I've been extremely busy helping leaders during this Covid-19 crisis. Many of the leaders are deciding who to furlough and lay off. It’s heart breaking and exhausting during this difficult time when people in the front lines to to the back of the house are losing their jobs every day. 

Kristi: "Deborah, as one of only seven certified meeting professionals in the speaking community, what are the keys to hosting a successful meeting or event?"

Deborah: "It all comes down to what your goals and objectives are. You must know what they are in order to come up with a plan. Applying risk assessments to determine what is needed lie, safety and security procedures. Our industry changes minute by minute and it’s important to serve our number one boss, the audience."

Kristi: "Speaking of audiences, why do you think your keynote presentations do to resonate so well with your audiences?"

Deborah: "Today's audiences are very smart, experienced and skeptical. Speakers need to make sure it's worth their time and effort. It's not about getting their attention by making it all about the speaker. To promote and market a meeting and event, audiences are going to want to know, 'What's in it for me?' It's all about hospitality and the people. To do this, it’s a matter of being in my audiences shoes. They may want to have the best B&B property in the world and it’s up to me to provide interactive exercises that allow them to participate while seeking solutions to their challenges. I want them to think about their own life, business while taking action."

Kristi: "As a hospitality trends expert, what are your predictions?"

Deborah: "Today, I believe that bed and breakfast inns will make a faster comeback than big brand hotels. A lot of things will happen more locally. Individuals will travel first before meetings and events come back. More people are going to be driving, riding buses and trains. The key is to be adaptable. What worked yesterday isn't going to work today." 

Kristi: "Deborah do you have any words of wisdom for innkeepers?"

Deborah: "Find opportunity in chaos. Exercise different parts of your brain to find creative ways to manage what will become the new normal. Consider doing a SWOT Analysis [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats]. Then set new goals. It's not what happens to you, it's what you do."

Kristi: "Thank you for sharing such excellent advice for all hospitality professionals and for being Mrs. Arizona 2020. How did this idea transpire?"

Deborah: "I just turned 60 years of age and thought, what can I do differently in my life. Reflecting back, I remember competing for Miss National Teenager and failed miserably. Wanting to get back up on the horse and try again, I dusted off a gown in the back of my closet and went for it. Surprisingly, I won! It proved to me, age is just a number. You can reach your goals and dreams at any time of your life. Winning Mrs. Arizona 2020, had even opened up other opportunities, including being on national television while being the Fiesta Bowl Parade. Today, I’m presenting to more women groups as well. If you try something new, you will be surprised that doors do open for you."

Kristi: "In closing, you know B&B’s are all about hospitality. What comes to mind where you have experienced firsthand exceptional hospitality service?"

Deborah: "I was asked to speak for a program in Seattle. It just so happened, it was the same day as my 15th wedding anniversary. Knowing I can’t clone myself, I told the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle about it and they recommend I bring my husband, Jerry with me. Well, Jerry never travels without our four legged kid, lover boy dog, Chief. We call him that because he's chief of the house. Anyway, before you know it, Jerry agreed to fly to Seattle with me."

Deborah Gardner's dog named Chief


"We were already missing our lover boy, tearing from time to time. But, when we got to the hotel, we had the perfect surprise waiting for us in our room. In addition to a wonderful celebration amenity of flowers and chocolates, there was a framed picture of our dog, Chief. I'll never forget that the name of the employee I spoke to over the phone is Sarah Carter. She must have gotten Chief's picture off Facebook and made the special gift. So, it was like our lover boy was there with us, after all. Now, that was a memory we will never forget and continue to share with many audiences. I would think that is how B&B’s want to be remembered too."


Why FAU Has The Best Hospitality Program

The best hospitality program is at Florida Atlantic University! The FAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program is one of the “gems” of FAU with over 1000 students taking courses each semester. Their students range from industry executives seeking certificates in club management, hospitality & tourism management, casino management, or meetings & events….to MBAs with a ... Read...

The best hospitality program is at Florida Atlantic University! The FAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program is one of the “gems” of FAU with over 1000 students taking courses each semester. Their students range from industry executives seeking certificates in club management, hospitality & tourism management, casino management, or meetings & events….to MBAs with a specialization in hospitality or their bachelor of business administration (BBA).

FAU Hospitality and Tourism Management College of Business Florida Atlantic University

FAU's business school model of hospitality education supports the South Florida workforce and beyond. Did you know that hospitality and tourism is the #1 private employer in the state of Florida and in 39 other US states? FAU continues to be highly ranked as a Top 10 program in Florida, a Top 30 undergraduate program nationally, and an MBA ranked as high as Top 2 for its ability to produce top quality graduates.

FAU is committed to providing the finest education, research, programs and facilities for their students, faculty and community members. They are ensuring the university successfully continues its long-term success and ability to provide the best educational opportunities to the next generation of leaders.

Peter Ricci, a hospitality leader, with 25+ years’ experience in the tourism industry and academia, has focused on developing the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), part of the Florida state university system (SUS). The program is AACSB-accredited and located within the College of Business offering both bachelor's (BBA) and MBA degrees in Hospitality & Tourism Management. 

Given the recent health pandemic, Peter went to the Dean of the College of Business and the President of the University to ask if they could offer a FREE online Hospitality and Tourism Management Certificate program. Expecting no more than 1,000 students, they already have 70,000 registered students! I was in the first cohort to earn the certificate. 

Peter's leading industry roles include GM at major brands of Hilton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Ramada, Radisson, and Crowne Plaza. Additional stops in food & beverage (F&B), meeting planning/incentives, hotel sales & marketing, destination marketing, hospitality education, and short stints with travel agencies and airlines in the earlier years.

He has also been immersed in tourism education at the University of Florida, Florida International University, University of Central Florida, Florida State University, Keiser University, St. Leo University, Miami-Dade College, Valencia College, St. Thomas University, and Florida Atlantic University.

He has authored/co-authored 20+ scholarly refereed articles in hospitality tourism journals, 30+ conference proceedings, numerous industry articles, poster presentations, one book, and one academic book chapter.

The FAU Hospitality & Tourism Management program has experienced over 1000% growth since its inception. To maintain the program’s 80%+ job placement, he is regularly involved with fundraising, curriculum design, and industry partnerships.

Peter has been honored with the Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship through the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) South Florida chapter. He has won numerous teaching awards: Professor of the Year, Excellence in Teaching and Dean's Distinguished Fellowship. He is also a Distinguished Alumnus of UF.
 

The Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism Management covered 5 modules of curriculum: The Law & You: Information for The Hospitality Professional; Competencies For Hospitality Success & Career Preparation; Basics of Hospitality Marketing & Revenue Management; Fundamentals of Hospitality Industry Finance; Excellence in Service: It's ALL About The Guest.

Florida Atlantic University Certificate of Hospitality and Tourism Management Kristine Marie Dement

I posted this message on LinkedIn, "Thank you, Peter Ricci, & Florida Atlantic University, for the opportunity to earn this certificate of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The #hospitalityindustry WILL come back!" I'm very grateful to Dr. Peter Ricci and the Florida Atlantic University leadership for so generously offering this program FREE of charge since many hospitality professionals are not working during this pandemic.

To hospitality professionals, including owners of bed and breakfast inns, who have been forced to shut their doors right now, hang in there. Dr. Ricci, several times, reassured us that the industry has overcome many other crises and it just comes back stronger. The hospitality industry (e.g. hotels, restaurants, resorts, casinos, and airports) is coming back! There's no question that it's changing, but travel and leisure will return to a "new normal." Looking to expand your education? FAU has the best hospitality program (that's my opinion, but it's also shared by many others)!


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