Hospitality Conversations - Looking Ahead! - By John Hogan

The economy continues to sputter in many locations, yet there are signs of growth and optimism in certain market segments. While preparing this article, I elected to go in a slightly different direction and focus several pieces on the workforce players in hospitality today.

HTrends In previous Hospitality Conversations, I have shared with readers opinions and perspectives from professionals in a number of positions that support hospitality businesses, including brokers, executive search firms, designers, architects, educators, quality assurance firms and operational consultants.  My co-founder at HospitalityEducators.com, Kathleen Hogan, has written several Hospitality Conversations columns on internship programs at universities with hospitality programs. 

The economy continues to sputter in many locations, yet there are signs of growth and optimism in certain market segments. While preparing this article, I elected to go in a slightly different direction and focus several pieces on the workforce players in hospitality today.  

Beginning about five years ago, the workforce changed its composition and there were four generations in many hospitality businesses working together, seeking success and balance.  We all know from personal experience that success can be achieved in many ways and the perspectives of these multiple generations do not always match.  With that in mind, I reached out to representatives of the Silent Generation, the Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials for their perspective.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. “      Arthur Ashe 

My first Hospitality Conversation   in this area is with a Gen Xer, Sean Fatzinger, who I became acquainted with via my Linkedin connections.  I found his professional background of a blend of restaurant and food service companies interesting and asked him to share some of his thoughts.  He is currently the Director of Operations at Paciugo Franchising, LP, headquartered in Dallas, TX. 

Question #1

You spent the majority of your career to date with a very well-known company, Starbucks.  What was the appeal to you there?


The culture at Starbucks was very special and unique.  Store managers are evaluated on their people skills, as well as financial results.  “Watching people grow” was an incredible part of being employed in management there, and we focused on hiring people who could be passionate and emotional about their work.  Southwest Airlines and Apple Computers look for the same kind of people and the difference in results is staggering.

Question #2

How does Starbucks differ in its marketing and research from other companies you are familiar with?


As a Labor Management Specialist, the task was to analyze the statistics, and then determine how to integrate those numbers into results that were positive for everyone.  For example, studying trends and customer feedback allowed us to determine when to add staff that would improve the customer experience.  Improving the experience leads to better sales, satisfied customers and a motivated staff that enjoys the interaction.

Starbucks also had the position of CSR Diplomat,  CSR stands for Corporate and Social Responsibility and Starbucks always wanted to be focused on values and people.  This position and responsibility allowed me to combine my traditional business duties with the company’s commitment to service and the environment, including sources of coffee.

Question #3

You obviously enjoyed your time at Starbucks, yet you did what most of us have done in our career and changed companies. What were the biggest changes for you?


When opportunities present themselves, we all consider them.  Becoming a Certified Training Manager for a huge corporation like the Wendys Arbys Group provided real insights on a different approach to marketing and volume.  The Wendys Arbys Group is very focused on the goal of building repeat customers.  They use pricing as a strategy and they pay close attention to margins on specific items.  The focus on volume is very important in this very competitive product segment.

Question #4

What can you share about “Paciugo”?


There are so many different segments in restaurants and food service.  “Paciugo” is Italian for “messy concoction” and the exciting thing about it for me is being involved in development.  The company opened their first gelato caffè in Dallas in 2000 and today has about 40 units open and more in the pipeline

I found I missed the Starbucks culture (and the coffee) and wanted to work with a private company.  Paciugo http://www.paciugo.com is a family business, with the Ginatta family bringing their 4th generation of skills from Turin, Italy.  Their goal is to continue refining and creating an authentic Italian gelato experience with traditional artisan techniques and imported gourmet ingredients.


Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:

Define and Deliver Excellence

Hotel Common Sense #6     - “Practice “win-win” philosophies with everyone. Always.”  Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS 

Part of the Fifteen Timeless Philosophies in Hospitality

A 2011 Keynote Address and Workshop

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. And of Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com  anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com.   Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training                  
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service  
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real                    
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting
If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.    


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