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LESSON PLANS
HOTEL

CONTENTS

Total Instructional Time
Lesson: Pricing & Revenue Management
Lesson: Group Sales
Lesson: Marketing & Public Relations
Lesson: Customer Service: Front Desk
Lesson: Customer Service: Social Media Feedback
Lesson: Operations: Restaurant & Culinary
Lesson: Operations: Banquets & Meetings
Lesson: Operations: Housekeeping
Lesson: Financial Reports
Lesson: Monitoring Competitors
Lesson: Hotel Mogul

Total Instructional Time

The instructional time for HOTEL ranges from 16 hours (simulation exercises only) to 26 hours (simulation exercises, readings assignments, reading quizzes, and math quizzes). You can configure your course to include or exclude reading assignments (3.3 hours), reading quizzes (1.7 hours) and math quizzes (5 hours). For detailed instructions on how to configure your course, see Getting Started under Instructor Documentation on your instructor page.

Prior to beginning work with HOTEL, students should sign in to their account at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com and watch the Tutorial video.

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Lesson: Pricing & Revenue Management

pricing

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students explore how hotel rooms are priced. Students try several price levels for rooms to see how occupancy varies with price. They work toward a revenue-maximizing price level. Students discover how demand varies during the week and how to price accordingly. Next, students learn that high demand is expected on the weekend of a major football game. They use minimum stays to maximize revenue for the big-game weekend. Finally, students seek to achieve a revenue goal for one week based on all the revenue management tools they have explored.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain how supply and demand influences the price of hotel rooms
  • Describe differences between pricing hotel rooms (fixed quantity, perishable each night) and ordinary retail goods (variable supply, can be sold at later date)
  • Vary prices according to demand by day of week or demand due to special events
  • Use room restrictions to maximize revenue
  • Understand measures of hotel revenue and pricing effectiveness, such as occupancy rate

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 45 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Group Sales

groupSales

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students learn that many hotel rooms are sold to groups. Students see a list of groups looking for lodging, banquets, and meeting space. They learn how to assemble a bid for a group’s business. Students try bids and learn that different types of groups have different price sensitivities. They then analyze whether a group demanding a discount will be more or less profitable than partial occupancy by transients paying full rates. Students also look at how banquet needs affect the total revenue earned from a group. Finally, students try to maximize their revenue from multiple groups seeking lodging, banquets, and meeting space over a limited time period.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain what group sales are and why groups are important to hotel profitability
  • Identify common types of groups served by hotels
  • Be able to assemble a bid to win a group’s business
  • Analyze the profit implications of seeking group versus transient business
  • Understand the revenue and cost implications of providing banquet and meeting services for groups
  • Successfully mix group business and transient business to meet a profit goal

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 30 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Marketing & Public Relations

marketing

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students explore the various avenues of marketing and public relations available to hotels. They purchase advertising and learn how different options target different groups, such as business or leisure customers. Students then try to increase business from a target group. They learn how to analyze the return on investment from different marketing options. Students then learn how public relations can not only boost business, but also improve customer perceptions and employee satisfaction. They choose from possible public relations events, then analyze the effect of the event on room sales, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction. Finally, students use their marketing knowledge to beat a forecast-bookings goal while maintaining high employee and customer satisfaction and sticking to a budget.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the role of marketing in the hospitality business
  • Give examples of marketing programs often used by hotels
  • Explain the difference between paid advertising and public relations events
  • Give examples of public relations events commonly used by hotels
  • Analyze and compare the cost effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Use marketing programs, within a budget, to meet revenue and occupancy goals

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 40 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Customer Service: Front Desk

frontDesk

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students move behind the front desk to keep guests satisfied. Students review the volume of guests checking in and checking out of their hotel at different times and on different days of the week. Using time estimates for check-ins and check-outs, students use math to plan their front desk staffing for the week. As actual arrivals and departures occur, they monitor the adequacy of their plan. Students also learn how to deal with surprises, such as the need to “walk” a guest if the hotel is overbooked. Finally, students try to achieve a target customer satisfaction level while working within a budget.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the main responsibilities and tasks of front desk associates
  • Make critical judgments on customer service matters
  • Discuss the proper handling of “walking” a guest
  • List the functions of bellpersons, valets, and concierges
  • Discuss property management systems and the information they provide
  • List common surprises or special circumstances that front desk staff must handle

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 40 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Customer Service: Social Media Feedback

socialMedia

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students review social media to discover operating issues at their hotel. Students look at a Twitter-like site where guests post immediate feedback. They also look at a TripAdvisor-like site where post-stay reviews are posted. Students then take action to address a specific problem they’ve identified. Students then monitor both social media sources to see if they’ve fixed the problem. They also look for a resultant increase in their traveler ratings. Finally, students are challenged to raise a second traveler rating by addressing issues identified through social media feedback.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss how the rise in social media has accelerated communication and changed the hospitality industry
  • Explain how hotels monitor certain social media and attempt to address customer issue in near real time
  • Describe the importance of travel review sites like TripAdvisor and explain how hotels can address negative reviews or exploit positive reviews
  • Explore how the speed of social media can create a crisis for a hospitality company and discuss how a hotel can manage such a situation (e.g., cruise line food issues)
  • Use social media feedback to increase customer satisfaction ratings at a hotel

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 30 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Operations: Restaurant & Culinary

restaurant

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students begin by reviewing the sales of items on their menu. They identify and remove poor sellers. Based on external market data, they choose menu items that they believe will better satisfy their clientele. Students add these items to their menu and examine the resulting change in sales. Students then identify a menu item that may be mispriced. They change the price and again examine the results. Finally, students are challenged to make additional menu or pricing changes to achieve a monthly profit goal for their restaurant.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the role of restaurants within the overall hotel experience
  • Discuss the types of food and beverage offerings that different hotels provide
  • Read external market research reports, including pie charts, line graphs, and histograms
  • Plan appropriate menu offerings for a restaurant
  • Price menu items to sell
  • Analyze the financial results and impact of a restaurant within a hotel

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 40 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Operations: Banquets & Meetings

banquets

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students receive a list of banquets and meetings for the coming week. They then focus on the first event, a single meeting. Using capacity estimates and math, they calculate the time and personnel needed to handle the event. They then run the simulation and observe the effects of their choices. Students then plan staffing for an upcoming banquet. This includes banquet space setup as well as food and beverage preparation and serving. After completing this event, students are challenged to get through two simultaneous banquets while sticking to a budget and maintaining high customer satisfaction.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of banquets and meetings as hotel services provided to groups
  • Be able to adequately staff for banquets and meetings given the size of meetings
  • Plan the timing of staffing and activities to meet meeting schedules
  • Staff food and beverage preparation services to properly serve a banquet
  • Purchase food and beverage supplies to support a banquet
  • Respond to guest satisfaction issues and improve banquet and meeting service

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 30 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Operations: Housekeeping

housekeeping

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students take on the role of executive housekeeper. They face a busy day of arrivals and departures. They use math to calculate staff workload based on the number of departures, number of stayovers, and time estimates for cleaning rooms. They manage personnel to make sure that vacant rooms are clean and ready for arrivals and that occupied rooms are tidied. Students run the simulation and observe feedback on how they did. Students then look at wages paid for room attendants and calculate spending for the day just ended. Finally, they are challenged to handle a week of housekeeping without getting any customer complaints and while staying within a budget.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of housekeeping to guest satisfaction
  • Understand the difference between room attendants, housepersons, and inspectors
  • Plan housekeeping staffing to make sure that rooms are ready for incoming guests
  • Evaluate available supplies and reorder inventory to ensure adequate levels of supplies
  • Understand the difference between full cleans (check-outs) and tidies (stayovers) and plan resources accordingly

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 40 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Financial Reports

financialReports

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students learn to read financial reports that are based directly on reports used by industry-leading firms. They begin by analyzing a daily revenue report. They look at such metrics as room nights sold and average rate. They use math to compare sales to transients versus sales to groups. They also look at metrics for other departments, such as food and beverage. Students then explore a monthly profit report and learn about departmental revenue, expenses, and profit. They also learn how these, combined with shared expenses, lead to a hotel’s gross operating profit. Finally, students are challenged to identify any expenses that are over budget and trim those expenses to meet a monthly profit goal.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Read and understand a daily revenue summary for a hotel
  • Read and understand a monthly profit/loss summary for a hotel
  • Understand the difference between a forecast and a budget
  • Based on financial data, take action to decrease expenses and increase profit at a hotel
  • Understand the basics of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 30 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Monitoring Competitors

monitoringCompetitors

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students are introduced to industry standard reports used to compare hotel performance within a given market. They begin by answering questions to determine whether their hotel is better or worse than industry averages. Students look at key industry measures such as occupancy, ADR (average daily rate), and RevPAR (revenue per available room). Students discover that they are doing well on some metrics but very poorly on others. Students are then directed through a course of action that improves their hotel’s performance on the lagging metric. Finally, students are challenged to take further action that brings the lagging metric up to a specific target level.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of competitive analysis within the hospitality industry
  • Define “competitive set” within the context of the hospitality industry
  • Explain occupancy, ADR, and RevPar
  • Compare the performance of hotels using industry-standard comparative reports
  • Take actions at their hotel to improve competitive positioning

TIME

Reading: 20 minutes (optional)
Reading Quiz: 10 minutes (optional)
Math Quiz: 30 minutes (optional)
Simulation Exercise: 30 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students complete the reading assignment (optional).
Students take the reading quiz (optional).
Students take the math quiz (optional).
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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Lesson: Hotel Mogul

mogul

DESCRIPTION

In this capstone project, students take on the role of hotel general manager for a newly opened hotel. They must set room rates for multiple room types, plan a marketing program, staff their front desk, set key policies, sell banquets and meetings, staff to successfully execute banquets and meetings, plan housekeeping based on number of guests, create and price a dinner menu for the hotel restaurant, and more. Students are challenged to achieve a specific goal on their “balanced scorecard.” The balanced scorecard combines profitability versus budget with customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. After meeting the goal, the student’s grade is finalized, but they can return to the sim and continue to manage their hotel.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the key roles/functions in operating a hotel
  • Plan and execute marketing programs to draw customers to a hotel
  • Set room rates to maximize hotel revenue
  • Manage expenses to achieve satisfied customers while staying within a budget
  • Read financial statements as part of management decision-making
  • Respond to customer feedback through social media
  • Maintain satisfied employees
  • Meet balanced performance goals

TIME

Simulation Exercise: 240 minutes

PROCEDURE

Students sign in to HOTEL at vb.KnowledgeMatters.com.
Students click Run SIM and follow the lesson instructions.
Student progress and grades may be tracked from the Instructor page.
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