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Category: Blog Posts

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How Hotel Guests Benefit from Creative Sourcing and Procurement Efforts

Food and beverage (F&B) service in hotels is undergoing a transformation due partly to the rapidly changing needs of guests. Hotel operators have come to understand how trends are impacting all facets of their F&B operation from themes to the latest flavor preferences to the revenue shifts of traditional and innovative operations.  The trends support a shift away from room service and mini bars, and toward coffee shops, authentic recipes and natural, calming décor.

Last year, room service represented 1.2 percent of total hotel revenue, down from 1.3 percent in 2011, according to figures from PKF Hospitality Research cited in an article on the USA Today website.

However, this trend appears to have been on the horizon for quite some time. According to an article on HotelNewsNow, “Room service appears to be less favored by hotel guests as revenues have been in a downward trend since 2007. A 2012 PKF chart on U.S hotel room service revenue shows that last year’s revenues averaged $866/room compared with $1,157/room five years ago, which represents a decrease of 25.1 percent.”

Travelers today are very clear on the amenities they expect to find in the different level of hotel accommodations.  Guests want what they want.  And hotels need to deliver on the expectations. How does an operation meet the ever-changing needs of their guests? It’s as simple as staying current on cutting edge trends on all facets of hotel operations via industry research, publications and procurement resources likeSource1 Purchasing.  A strategic procurement company, Source1 provides the latest trends, access to national contracts and insights that are structured to allow a hotel operation to operate efficiently by saving time, finding the right suppliers and products, and controlling costs. More hotels are also seeing the demand for high-quality food with exotic flavors. Today, hotel guests want exciting food and are willing to pay if they perceive value. Imagine how a guest might feel if they found F&B options that reflected their lifestyle and preference like farm to fork, gluten free and low-fat ?

According to the USA Today article, travelers have been displeased with the escalated cost of room service for years. Hotels are listening and exploring new ways to provide F&B options that serve the guest via sourcing and procurement strategies. For example, guests at the Public Chicago can enjoy gourmet meals in less than 10 minutes with no delivery fee. The hotel staff simply leaves the meal in a bag on the doorknob. This method greatly reduces labor costs and OS&E investment for rolling tables, dishes, silverware and linens

Hotels like Hilton Worldwide, the Hudson New York and the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., are experimenting with similar ideas, all focused on emerging trends of domestic and international travelers.

Other hotels are embracing the locally sourced food trend, making sure that their products are produced within 200 miles of their location. This concept that requires a fresh approach to procurement is a great marketing message, setting your food apart from the competition. Customers appreciate the benefits of this new trend toward the fresh food that is healthier and presented to accommodate their preferences. It all comes down to a simple guideline…identify and meet your guests’ needs.

Source1 Purchasing is ready to help operators implement new trends in all facets of their operations with sourcing and procurement strategies. To learn how an operation can benefit, contact Source1.

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Why should procurement managers monitor online guest reviews?

Online reviews, how to manage them and their actual value to hotel operators can quickly change a friendly discussion into a hot debate amongst professionals in the hospitality industry.

Some professionals argue that online reviews are not valid or trustworthy because consumers have to sometimes weed through reviews of questionable value. But this doesn’t seem to faze the community of travelers. Hotel operators and hotel procurement managers should take note.

More and more, travelers depend on social media and online travel review sites like TripAdvisor to make well-informed decisions before planning their trip and selecting their accommodations. Travelers are quick to post comments and reviews about their experience in hotels and restaurants around the world.

Customers want to know you, the hotelier, are listening to their concerns. Responding to customer feedback via the web is no longer optional if you want to continue to grow your hotel business. In fact, your future business development depends on receiving and processing feedback in a timely manner. Now a global trend, it is increasing every year in the level of activity.

When you come across an online review, consider three essential rules when preparing your response.

• Be positive- With a little thoughtfulness, there is always a way to find a positive response. Remember to validate and solve with the highest level of professionalism.
• Be mindful- Listen fully to the concern. It may well reveal an area of your operation that requires attention.
• Be prompt- Establish you standard and be true to it. Online comments warrant immediate reply…can your operation support a 24-hour commitment?

Instead of focusing on negative comments, which are inevitable, try to see each comment (positive and negative) as a perfect opportunity to keep guests happy beyond face-to-face interaction. When you consider the guest’s issue, be mindful of offering a response that validates their concern and offers an equitable solution. After they check out of your hotel, seize the opportunity to respond to their invaluable online comments.

Maintain your hotel’s reputation online as well as you do in person so you can continue to deliver on your hotel’s promise. View it as a great opportunity to gather critical feedback and improve your service. Restaurants, airlines, cruise lines and even casinos have become just as dependent on these reviews as hotels. No one in the hospitality/service industry is exempt.

An article from The New York Times reports the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University discovered that hotels could actually charge slightly higher rates provided they had better customer reviews on travel rating sites like Travelocity and TripAdvisor.

Online reviews provide great insights for procurement managers. The benefit comes from knowing what guests like and want. Pay attention to the smallest clues and details that guests are talking about on social media and travel review sites.

Hoteliers have started to assigns staff to social media responsibilities, ensuring that they review and respond to feedback frequently. Having social media experts can help hotels understand both the quality and quantity of feedback from multiple review sources.
Best Western is a good example of a brand that is embracing this trend. Now hiring digital marketing representatives to make sure customers are happy with their stay and promote its properties online.

Hampton Inn is another great example of a brand that takes guest satisfaction seriously, offering a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and a refund for unhappy guests. Despite the remote possibility that some might take advantage of this policy, Hampton Inn remains committed to the focus of keeping guests happy. Feedback from guests, particularly online, is critical.

Hotel operators and general managers should also regularly share guest feedback with the procurement department. Guest feedback plays an important part in making future decisions that support the guest experience.

As you monitor customer feedback on social media and online review sites, remember to respond quickly — guests expect prompt responses to both comments and complaints. Also be sure to deal with the negative comments directly. Ignoring negative feedback won’t make it go away and the issue may become worse.

Your dedication and show of great customer service can play a significant role in keeping existing guests happy and attracting new guests.

Source1 Purchasing works alongside your procurement manager to ensure consistent product quality and access to the latest industry trends. It is our goal to help you achieve higher customer satisfaction.

Blog PostsLodging

How to use Strategic Sourcing to Uncork the Latest Beverage Trends

The hotel industry is experiencing steady growth. With that trend, hotel operators still have to balance guest satisfaction with allocated budgets in order to remain competitive. This can be quite a challenge without a strategic sourcing plan.

Operators need to always be mindful of consumer trends and always be looking for new menu items, fresh beverage ideas and unexpected amenities. Strategic sourcing allows operators an ability to provide enhanced value to their customers.

For instance, some hotel operators found that one easy change — revamping their breakfast beverage selections — resulted in a 10 percent savings on their beverage budget. Instead of just offering juices, they replaced some choices with flavored vitamin water.  Their customers were delighted with new option. With limited marketing investment, the operation was able to save money and deliver a pleasant surprise to their guests.

It’s always a good idea to try new things and engage your guests by asking for their feedback. They like to share their opinions. By soliciting their insights, the operator develops a hotel experience aligned to the guests’ expectations.

Tastes have changed. You can see it in any retail store. People want new and different flavors; the same old standards have become mundane. Sales of traditional juices, like apple and orange, are pn the decline. Customers are seeking out new and exotic flavors like mango-orange and guava. Plus, consumers are increasingly more health conscious, favoring flavored waters over juices. An operator can parlay the trend into a cost saving opportunity.

People are currently drinking 21 gallons of bottled water per year, according to an article on That is a lot of water. In addition, consumers are drinking 37 gallons of other flavored and enhanced waters, such as Coca-Cola’s vitaminwater.

Michael Bellas, CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp., an industry tracker, predicts all the water varieties could overtake soda consumption within a decade.

Doctors, health advocates and government officials have sparked more interest in these types of beverages with their focus on preventing obesity and other health issues. Consumers are choosing healthier drinks, but they also want something more than your typical juice selections.

You should consider switching juice to flavored water. Most hotels offer a complimentary breakfast, which typically includes everything from bagels and eggs to a full breakfast bar. What is a better demonstration that you understand your customers than providing them with products that they prefer? Changing your juice to a water selection does not require any major change.

You can use strategic sourcing to discover new flavors without overspending your budget. Why not test a variety of flavors? Try strawberry kiwi, lemon-lime, blueberry pomegranate, grape raspberry, watermelon, or even mojito limeade. There are so many exciting flavors to choose from and consumers are demanding exotic flavor combinations

Working with a strategic sourcing group opens the door to products, trends and best practices that can boost guest satisfaction and cost savings. A procurement group like Source1 Purchasing can help you identify and promote new products as a function of access and experience

When guests find something new they like in their experience at your hotel, whether it is flavored water, designer amenities, plush towels, it makes the experience more memorable and increases the likelihood of loyalty.

Source1 Purchasing works collaboratively with customers to ensure access to the latest industry trends, 500+ national contracts and ideas that translate to cost savings

Blog PostsLodging

Utilizing Strategic Sourcing to Boost your Hotel’s Special Events

Strategic sourcing for special events at your hotel can maximize your total revenue as you continue to build relationships with your guests. This strategy works best when you combine these elements together.

Room revenue is one measure of hotel profit.  Increasingly, operators are diligently considering the revenue generated through other avenues such as food and beverage (F&B) and special events. According to an article on the HotelNewsNow website, analyzing different revenue streams by area profitability allows you to make the best decisions about which will help grow your hotel business.

“It doesn’t matter where the revenue is coming from, we’ve got to boil them down to profitability,” says Neal Fegan, executive director of revenue management at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

When it comes to F&B, you need to understand the needs and habits of your clientele, from meeting planner to leisure guest.   The article also says that when you analyze different types of customers, you can determine who is willing to pay more. Focus on acquiring new business from the groups that typically spend more on F&B.

As you begin to use strategic sourcing for your hotel, look for popular, familiar products with a brand halo. The idea is to use these products to heighten the guest experience just like a musician evokes harmony throughout a musical performance. Strategic sourcing of familiar products allows you to orchestrate a memorable event, maintain your standards and increase revenue from the event.

Before you become overwhelmed when deciding what specific F&B amenities to offer meeting and event planners, make sure you understand their theme and concept. Always be mindful of their ideas while offering innovative solutions from your own rich experience. Your goal should be to carefully orchestrate food selections around their concepts to guarantee a successful, memorable event.

Make sure all the products they select are aligned. For example, if you are looking for a well-known coffee brand, you can give your guest a familiar brand that they recognize and trust by choosing Starbucks. Want a more upscale, gourmet experience? Choosing a high-end brand is a good way to deliver that experience.

As a strategic partner in procurement, Source1 Purchasing helps operators protect their promise to their guests and deliver the tastes, memories, emotions and satisfaction of a memorable vacation or meeting with rich dining experiences. If you want name brand products, Source1 delivers.

With strategic purchasing, some hotel operators focus on cost saving.  It’s more than a one-dimensional review.  Finding and serving the right products that present the most appropriate image to complement an event improve margins and guest satisfaction. Some meeting planners will be looking for Black Angus steaks and exotic desserts that convey an upscale experience and justifies a higher price point for your operation

According to research conducted by UniFocus, when hotel operators focus on what’s most critical to meeting planners’ satisfaction and intent to return, they can increase return business and referrals. UniFocus identifies three key elements for satisfaction during events and continued loyalty:

•             Quality of food and beverage provided at meetings.

•             F&B service during the event, including presentation and timely setup.

•             Effective communications and follow through before and during the sales process.

Consider how each facet of an event allows you to embrace the meeting planner’s concept and theme for their event and works within their defined price point. Strategic sourcing experts can work with hotel operators to select the right products to fit their operation…from beach resort or busy downtown convention hotel. . Procurement experts can also help you add value to your next special event.

As a hotel operator, if you carefully navigate through many products and services intended ultimately for your guests. Develop a distinctive theme for your operation that translates to a blend of culinary factors and purchases.  It is the key to success for your hotel. Supporting a meeting planners theme will ensure their success and return.

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How Hotel Sourcing Services Can Give Your Property A Competitive Edge

There comes a pivotal moment at every hotel organization when hotel owners and managers finally decide they are ready to stand out from the competition. While other hotels often have similar rooms to rent — including comparable amenities and room rates — that does not mean they should enjoy more revenue and occupancy than you.

Sourcing specialty food and beverage products through a reputable company that provides hotel sourcing services will help leverage your hotel and/or restaurant in a highly competitive hospitality market.

Hotel sourcing services allow you to customize what you offer to your guests while also enabling you to deliver on your brand promise. Source1 Purchasing provides a comprehensive suite of services to the lodging and hospitality industries and offers flexible options and purchasing solutions to meet all of your hotel procurement and buying needs. Source1’s purchasing power can also help your hotel exceed guest expectations when they choose your specific facility or brand over any other hotel; you can net customer loyalty without wasting a lot of energy and without overextending your financial budget.

So are you ready to rise above the status quo?

You very well may be known by the brand your hotel represents, but it is also important for you to create your own signature, a “wow” factor that guests and customers will remember. When you take advantage of hotel sourcing services you can be more consistent in branding your hotel while attracting new customers to your property and growing a loyal customer base.

According to Jim Holthouser, senior vice president of brand management for Embassy Suites Hotels and John Lee, vice president of brand marketing for Embassy Suites Hotels and Hilton Worldwide, you must find a way to stand out from your competition, including other hotels within the same brand.

Together, Holthouser and Lee shared the following reality check in an article published on the Hotel Business Review website: “The sheer size of the domestic hotel industry — over two hundred brands boasting 51,000+ properties and over 4.8 million rooms (according to STR’s census and chain-scale segments listing) — makes it even more important for hoteliers to find ways to make their offering stand out among the competition.”

In their discussion about successful branding, Holthouser and Lee also encouraged hoteliers to learn when and how to be flexible within their own brand. “Flexibility also comes in the form of allowing each hotel to develop a distinct personality and embrace the local culture of its market, as long as it always ladders up to the overall brand vision.”

The hotel sourcing services provided by Source1 Purchasing empower you to deliver creative food, ensure consistent quality, stay true to your brand and achieve higher customer satisfaction. You can actually surprise your customers with hard-to-find food and beverage products that they will enjoy experiencing without losing the consistency they are accustomed to with your hotel brand.

This is when you will begin to pull away from your competition. If you already cover the basics of good customer service that guests have come to expect from your brand and your property, then the special food and beverage items you have discovered and shared with them will be what is unique about your operation.

Seasonal items on your menu can also create a unique experience for your guests, but you can easily waste a lot of time when you try to do the shopping yourself. Instead of running from store to store and trying to find everything you need at the best prices, why not explore a new option? One of the greatest benefits of using Source1 Purchasing.

Purchasing is that you will have more time and energy to devote to your guest because you don’t have to worry about your food and beverage purchasing.

After all, the guest is the most important element of a hotel operation. Hotel sourcing services help you bring all the other important components together so you can concentrate on providing a most memorable hotel experience.

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Taking your Operation to the Next Level with Sourcing and Procurement Specialists

Do you spend a major amount of your time and energy trying to create or even sustain a level of growth at your hotel property? Do you find it difficult to maintain the expectations of both your guests and your hotel owners? Hotel management demands expertise at multitasking.

When you are pulled in numerous directions and responsible for overseeing various departments, including sourcing and procurement, you can easily become overwhelmed and lose focus on what your hotel is all about – the guests. When your attention is on bidding products and services, or meeting with suppliers, you are not paying attention to the guest experience and the growth of your hotel.

Even if you are well organized, it can be difficult when you’re running a small hotel. You still need to deliver high levels of service, but you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to purchasing. Large hotels and restaurants qualify for volume discounts, getting top-quality foods and beverages at a lower cost. Smaller hotels want to compete on food and beverage quality but this can mean ballooning budgets.

Managers have the option to either feel powerless and frustrated, or find experts to contribute to their success. Your hotel could operate at a higher potential and experience recognition from your owners by implementing solutions.

After all, they want to see a return on their investment, and rightly so.

Aside from booking as many rooms as possible, you will feel pressure to discover every way possible to cut down on your expenses, save money for the business and generate more revenue.

How much time do you spend sourcing and procuring food and beverage items and hotel supplies? Do you really have time to seek out true comparisons of costs versus quality and quantity for all of your hotel departments? Chances are you do not.

There is a time element involved when it comes to sourcing and procurement best practices. Fortunately, you do not have to shoulder the pressures and burden of these expectations alone. In fact, there is a way to take your operation to the next level.

Why not explore a new way of managing your hotel operations?

Source1 Purchasing can help you:

  • Save time and money by customizing strategic purchasing and procurement programs for lodging, leisure, entertainment and event operations of all sizes.
  • By creating a partnership with you that adds value to all operational relationships.
  • Source key products and get volume discounts with key manufacturers and service providers.
  • Deliver on your hotel’s promise. By co-sourcing with Source1, you can honor the reputation of your brand and maintain your promise to your guests.

Co-sourcing allows for a procurement specialist to harness the entire supply chain in order to meet specific needs, while allowing owners and operators to remain in control of the purchasing decisions. Unlike outsourcing purchasing, which can be seen as surrendering, the co-sourcing formula works in that it keeps the purchasing power in the hands of the owner or operator. Small hotels, which once felt powerless, can now feel powerful when they leverage the power of co-sourcing.

Instead of stressing over sourcing and procurement for the needs of your hotel, choose to empower your hotel operations to provide quality products and increase the value for all of your guests.

Source1 wants you to see for yourself how you can put this purchasing power to work for your hotel. Locate the savings tool box found on our website home page. Select your business category and see what Source1 Purchasing can do for you.

By participating in a co-sourcing relationship with us, you will have more time along with the needed resources to make your business grow. This gives you time to develop other important elements of your hotel business. Are you ready to take your hotel operations to the next level?

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How can new purchasing best practices help hotel restaurants stand out?

Are you searching for that elusive edge to get a leg up on your competition? You might be surprised to
realize how close you are to the solution. As a hotel restaurant, you may feel like you can only focus on
hotel guests, but why not expand your vision?

What sets you apart from your competition is whether or not you have a well-planned restaurant along with purchasing best practices that reflect current food and beverage trends. According to an article on, a quality restaurant already provides a convenient dining experience for guests because they have the luxury of dining without leaving the hotel. If you really want to enhance your hotel’s reputation and edge out your competition, you will need to think outside the box with your food and beverage purchasing.

Implementing these best practices can help you use your cuisine to transform your restaurant into a favorite destination in your community, which helps fuel and sustain your potential growth. New purchasing best practices are necessary to reach customers beyond the hotel property.

Locally-sourced food and beverages provide numerous choices to complement your current menu. You may feel that this type of procurement outsourcing will be beyond your budget or that you’re wasting resources because you are uncertain of the outcome. However, you need to be mindful of purchasing food and beverages that diners are excited to experience, such as local fresh food and beverages. Nutrition and diet continues to become more relevant as customers are becoming more aware and involved with their food intake. They want fresh and, if possible, organic food.

You should also research your competition so you can strategically implement a new purchasing perspective. Focus on your real competitor. Although your restaurant is located inside a hotel, your competitors are not. Local, free-standing restaurants have been profiting from local business while you have been depending mostly on guests at the hotel.

You can unlock your potential growth if you are willing to get creative. Think beyond traditional food offerings and adopt new purchasing best practices.

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The Evolution of Co-sourcing in the Hospitality & Foodservice Fields

In the past businesses have turned to outsourcing to gain assistance with controlling costs and managing operations tasks. Over recent years, outsourcing has begun to receive negative connotations due to the idea that control is given up once the decision to outsource is made.

However, a new trend is emerging in the hospitality and food service industries that allows owners and operators to remain in control while still being able to minimize cost risks and increase product and service consistency, which is co-sourcing.

By definition, the term co-sourcing is a business practice where a service is performed by a staff from inside an organization and also by an external service provider. Co-sourcing, unlike outsourcing, doesn’t involve simply handing work off to a third party. Instead, co-sourcing is teaming up with an external service provider to make food and beverage purchasing operations tasks easier, more efficient and cost-effective.

For instance, co-sourcing may involve supplementing the internal purchasing staff with a specialized skill, such as order entry program implementation services, which provides centralized standardization across the purchasing platform. Doing so would help in-house and culinary departments to ensure menu consistency and optimized cost effectiveness for the field operators.

“Part of our co-sourcing design is to have the management staff in a quarterback position,” says Scott Hoffmire, president of Source 1 Purchasing. “Management is on the front lines and expressing their needs, challenges and expectations to us, which allows us to help them navigate and get the best product fit with optimal pricing.”

Co-sourcing allows for a procurement specialist to harness the entire supply chain in order to meet specified needs, while allowing owners and operators to remain in control of the decisions. Unlike outsourcing purchasing, which can be seen as surrendering, the co-sourcing formula works in that it keeps the buying power in the hands of the owner or operator.

In addition to helping owners and operators meet sourcing and procurement needs, co-sourcing helps to protect the brand’s promise and reputation. “On top of procurement management, owners and operators are also in charge of guest experience, the overarching theme and various promotions,” says Hoffmire. “Since we are operators serving operators, we are able to offer industry know-how and the ability to maintain a brand’s reputation through co-sourcing, which can take the powerless to powerful.”

For more on Source 1 Purchasing’s strategic procurement solutions, contact us today at 901.334.4000.

Blog PostsLodging

Eco-friendly Practices in Hotel Management Show Increased Guest Satisfaction

It’s no secret how popular the environmentally friendly movement has gotten over recent years. Now it seems everywhere we look businesses are going the extra mile with eco-friendly practices, including the hospitality industry. Incorporating green choices and features into your hotel’s operations not only has the ability increase cost savings, but overall guest experience as well.

The CNN article, “Hotel Towel Dilemma: Replace or Reuse?” found that green options and features can have a positive impact on guest experience. Guests who partake in the green initiatives offered by hotels have reported to have more positive experiences than the guests who do not participate.

Now hotels are offering features such as, eco-friendly disposable plates and silverware, recycled coffee cup sleeves and water and energy efficient in-room appliances and fixtures, and the choice to reuse towels instead of replacing them with new ones.

According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, “57 percent of participants said they “often” make eco-friendly travel decisions, such as their choice of hotel, transportation, or food source.” In addition, half of those surveyed were recorded saying they would spend more money to stay at an eco-friendly hotel.

In an effort to help you boost customer satisfaction, we increase environmental sustainability in restaurants in a variety of ways, including: meeting the demand for sustainable products, including regional fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy, supporting small farms and local economies and reducing our own carbon and water footprint.

For more information on sustainable food and beverage purchasing options available, contact us today at 877-717-5566.

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How Food & Beverage Purchasing Options Impact Guest Experiences

As a hotel owner or operator, guest satisfaction is one of the most important factors in your decision making. Ensuring that guests are receiving the best possible experience involves a variety of different factors, one of which is food and beverage options. According to Michelle Grant, author of the Hotel News Now article “Updating F&B Options Leads to Positive Results,” altering your food and beverage choices will not only increase guest satisfaction, but ROI as well.

Consumers continue to prefer food that is not only healthy, but sourced locally as well, which means it is important to take your hotel’s menus into consideration. “According to the Out and About online survey conducted in 2012 by Euromonitor International, approximately 37.7% of Americans said one of their preferred features of a restaurant is the healthiness of the food and 13.3% said locally sourced/organic food was a preferred aspect,” Grant cites. Choosing food and beverage items that are local as well as nutritious can demonstrate the high value you place on guest preferences.

In conjunction with your food and beverage selections, the accessibility to these items also plays an important role. In the past, hotels used to have rigid hours when guests could dine. Now, however, the trend is moving towards presenting guests with food options throughout the day. “Starting in the mornings, hotels serve informal breakfast traffic, offering to-go coffee, snacks and freshly squeezed juices. During working hours, the area is transformed into a casual common living and working space, offering guests an environment similar to what they might find at a nearby specialist coffee shop. During the evening, the same space becomes a combination restaurant/lounge, serving appetizers and small plates alongside alcohol beverages, allowing guests to customize their dining experience and partake in anything from a light happy hour to a full meal,” says Grant.

Presenting guests with locally sourced, healthy food and beverage items around the clock allows you to exceed customer expectations as well as increase ROI. Learn more about supply chain management and procurement services by calling 877-717-5566.