Category Archives: The Shore Hotel

The Effects of Other Customers Dress Style on Customers Approach Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Sense of Power


Most hospitality services are delivered in the same location in which they are produced, and, thus, their delivery involves the presence of other customers. Yet, the role of other customers’ physical appearances in influencing service encounter evaluations has received scant attention. Moreover, previous research shows that consumers with a low sense of power are motivated to seek status by engaging in conspicuous consumption. The current study examines the joint impact of other customers’ dress styles and the observer’s sense of power in influencing customers’ approach behaviors (e.g., willingness to stay longer in a restaurant, interact with other customers). The results from our experiment show that customers’ approach behaviors among observers with a low sense of power were significantly higher when other customers’ dress styles were formal rather than informal. Conversely, the effect of other customers’ dress styles was minimal among observers with a high sense of power. Results from this study indicate that approach behaviors mediate the impact of other customers’ dress styles on word-of-mouth intentions among customers with a low sense of power. The findings of this study help hospitality operators use dress codes to their advantage.

Customer Loyalty Program Management: What Matters to the Customer


Loyalty programs have proliferated throughout the hospitality industry, often with little evidence that these programs create behavioral or attitudinal loyalty to the firm that offers the program. Conversations with hotel managers revealed that customers have come to expect some type of reward in exchange for their patronage. Managers are often required to modify aspects of their reward programs to remain both profitable and competitive. Theoretical arguments suggest that consumers become used to a particular type of reward and may respond negatively to any changes in the reward structure. In this brief report, we explore the impact that program changes might have on consumer patronage. Drawing from a larger hospitality survey, 522 consumers completed an online survey indicating their degree of brand loyalty toward a particular hotel chain. We then assessed responses to various potential changes in their program. Results indicated that program changes including increasing reward tier requirements or even discontinuing the program are likely to increase consumer defection from the firm. The implications of these findings for reward program management are considered.

A Field Study of New Employee Training Programs: Industry Practices and Strategic Insights


Given the importance of well-designed and well-executed training programs, it is important to learn more about the content and design of effective training programs for new employees, particularly those that have been implemented in the hospitality industry. Through a field study assessment of pre-opening training programs that have been implemented by fifteen hotel firms and sixteen restaurant companies, we found that hotels and restaurants spend approximately the same time on pre-opening training for new staff, with the exception of restaurant managers, who receive significantly more days of training than do their hotel counterparts. In addition, there were substantive differences in the amount of pre-opening training based on firm size and whether the company was publicly traded or privately held. We also found that the majority of pre-opening training is designed and delivered by corporate staff, and a balance of active and passive training methods are used for facilitation. Finally, although our survey methodology did not allow us to determine the costs associated with pre-opening training (and therefore the return on these efforts), we noted that the firms used guest satisfaction measures and measured the employees’ content mastery, among other metrics.

The Impact of Customer Sacrifice and Attachment Styles on Perceived Hospitality


As is the case in service settings where relationships span long periods of time, customers’ attachment styles for brief hotel stays affect their perception of hospitality. Using a newly developed measure of how well guests feel they are treated—perceived hospitality—this study outlines the interplay of customer sacrifice with customer attachment styles. Based on a survey of 307 U.S. consumers who had recently stayed in a hotel, the study finds that attachment avoidance (resisting relationships) has a greater impact on perceived hospitality than does attachment anxiety (desiring relationships), and that customer sacrifice perceptions exert both direct effect on perceived hospitality and also mediate the effects of attachment styles on perceived hospitality. Perceived sacrifice in this context includes direct and indirect sacrifice, including the sacrifice of effort to plan and take the trip, monetary sacrifice, and emotional sacrifice. The implication for hospitality marketers is to understand and acknowledge customer attachment styles, and to address sacrifice where possible so as to better meet customer needs.

Editorial on Invited Article: Be Real, Go Deep

Be Real, Go Deep

There is certainly a lot of valid excitement and discussion by scholars and practitioners about “big data” in the hospitality context. In fact, at times this seems overwhelming. Some are under the impression that there is a merging or “morphing” of discipline insight. Slam on …

Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers


A New Marketing Science (NMS) is proposed that can dramatically improve a firm’s marketplace performance. The NMS challenges managers to dare to think and act differently. It generates deep insights into the thoughts and actions of both customers and managers and how the two mind-sets interact. As several examples illustrate, it departs from the “old” marketing science by its emphasis on imagination, knowing how and why a practice works, understanding the total customer experience, and focus on effectiveness over efficiency. The NMS is grounded in principles from the behavioral sciences and humanities such as the importance of the unconscious mind, the way mental frames serve as interpretative lenses, the centrality of emotions, the reconstructive nature of memory, and the importance of metaphor for learning about and influencing choices.

The Importance of Attribution: Connecting Online Travel Communities with Online Travel Agents


Using attribution theory, this study examines 207 travel consumers’ views of five online travel communities (namely, Lonelyplanet, Travellerspoint, Tripadvisor, VirtualTourist, and Wayn) and their intentions to patronize one of the websites’ affiliates, Expedia. As a starting point, customers form an opinion of the community website itself based on communication quality and service quality. A high-quality experience, which includes interaction with other community members, engenders loyalty to the community website. With that base, the study tested three aspects of attributional responsiveness (evaluative satisfaction, cognitive loyalty, and affective belonging) and found that they could act as mediating factors to convey favorable attribution to the online communities’ affiliates, as represented by Expedia. Thus, a high standard of information and service will receive a favorable response from the online travel community, and that response can then be transferred to the community’s affiliates, in the form of purchases and return visits.

Acquiring Intangible Resources through Entrepreneurs’ Network Ties: A Study of Chinese Economy Hotel Chains


Based on two phases of in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs who own China’s economy hotel chains, this research explored these entrepreneurs’ strategies for acquiring intangible resources through network ties and summarized the mix of strong and weak network ties that they used to acquire those resources at different development stages of their new firms. In the early start-up stage, the interviewed entrepreneurs used a mixture of strong and weak ties; in the establishment stage, they relied on strong ties; and in the final growth stage, they did not value network ties and only used weak business ties. Moreover, the network mixes used by these entrepreneurs to acquire different types of intangible resources are not identical. Sourcing human capital was a particularly valuable use of the network ties, both strong and weak, and many of the respondents used their ties to gain essential information and skills for running their hotels. The two-stage data collection revealed the dynamics of entrepreneurs’ network mixes as firms progressed to new development stages.

An Analysis of Spanish Hotel Efficiency


Using data envelopment analysis, this paper investigates operational efficiency drivers for 166 Spanish hotels divided into medium and upper chain scale groups from 2000 through 2009. For the sample as a whole, the analysis indicated a strong relationship between quality levels and efficiency; resort hotels were more efficient than other types of properties, and large hotels were more efficient than smaller properties. The effects of star rating were shown in diverse findings regarding intangible investment and group membership. Midscale hotels belonging to a hotel group were more efficient, but that was not true of upscale properties. Quality represented a boost for midscale hotels but not for upscale properties. However, upscale properties had gained efficiency from investments in intangibles (such as information systems), while the midlevel hotels had not made those investments.