Category: Latest
ASFONA Owner Board Meetings address the evolution of the association's role, relating to the integration of former Starwood-branded hotels with Marriott International

Yountville, December 16, 2017:
At the Fall 2017 Board of Directors meetings, which were held in Yountville, California on November 28th and 29th, ASFONA announced new mandates for the organization, many of which have been tailored to meet the evolving business interests of its Owner Board of Directors and the association's Associate Members, following the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts by Marriott International.
The meetings comprised three separate sessions, including an ASFONA Board of Directors Meeting with Marriott International, an ASFONA Owner Board of Directors Meeting, and an ASFONA Board of Directors Meeting with the ASFONA Associate Members group. Attendees of the ASFONA/Marriott meeting comprised Marriott International and the ASFONA Owners Board Members only. The ASFONA Owners Board members are representative of the total constituency of owners, franchisees and hotel management companies.
During the Board Meeting and Associate Members meeting, ASFONA president, John Shingler presented a series of changes to the organization's mandates. These changes incorporated aspects of an "Engagement Agreement" with Marriott International, which has been designed to further support owners, franchisees and hotel management companies with input to Marriott relating to the ongoing successful integration of Starwood Hotels & Resorts "Legacy Brands" into the Marriott International total brand portfolio.
"Following the impressive and professionally managed integration of the two companies and management teams, we remain dedicated to meeting the needs of our Owner Members in their interactions with Marriott," stated John Shingler, president of ASFONA. "It is our goal to provide Marriott International with the same high level of professional support that we have provided Starwood Hotels & Resorts over many years since our inception."
In meetings since the acquisition was completed, ASFONA has addressed key performance areas and implemented a communication protocol designed to help maximize the many advantages provided by the integration of the two companies.
"We regard these meetings with Marriott International as a candid and frank exchange of views," continued Shingler. "Our overall objective is to provide Marriot with input and an exchange of views that we hope will play a useful role in supporting the business of all of Marriott's brands and particularly assist with the ongoing successful integration program."
On the second day, the ASFONA Owner/Operator Board was joined by ASFONA's Associate Members for a broader-based hotel and travel industry discussion. In this session, Shingler and the Board presented the new ASFONA mandate for the Associate Members group, which will continue to highlight but not be limited to the Starwood Legacy Brands, going forward. In the future, these meeting sessions will focus on broader aspects of the hotel business, including hotel Industry performance analysis, development and supplier opportunities relating to all major brands and independent properties, with the sessions designed to provide unique information and trends, both meaningful and beneficial to the businesses of ASFONA Associate Members.
During the Associate Member group meeting session the ASFONA Owner/Operator Board Members provided their unique perspective on the current hotel market performance in specific regional markets. Bobby Bowers of Smith Travel Research (STR) also provided ASFONA with an exclusive overview of North America's prevailing market conditions.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)
Category: Latest

Mumbai, December 16, 2017: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) which has collaborated with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for conducting its Master Trainers Certification Programme concluded its 9th and 10thconclaves in Silvassa and Surat on the 6 th and 7th December, 2017. The two separate training cum certification sessions were based on Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) programme developed by FSSAI.

"We feel positive with each FoSTaC programme which has taken place about its benefits and its success. The recently concluded programmes in Gujarat received an overwhelming participation from the hotels and restaurants in the respective cities. HRAWI's aim is to ready its members for becoming FSSAI compliant even before it becomes a mandate and has charted out similar sessions to cover the rest of Western region," says Mr Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI.

The sessions were organized at Ras Resort in Silvassa on the 6th December and at The Grand Bhagwati in Surat on the 7thDecember. Each conclave witnessed participation in good numbers and the sessions familiarized hoteliers and restaurateurs with the finer nuances of food safety and hygiene.

"Food businesses across India, from roadside eateries to restaurants, will have to comply with a wide set of food safety rules, norms and procedures and obtain Food Business Operator (FBO) licences. It is in the best interests of our members and the industry to be thorough and fully equipped to meet standards that are internationally accepted and followed. The training programme enables the business establishment to uniformly implement the processes as required by the FSSAI. The crux of the entire exercise is to ensure that our guests feel assured about the quality of food and services and have a good experience," concludes Mr Datwani.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

Category: Latest

Mobile messaging enables the popular restaurant chain to enhance its customer experience

Pune, December 15, 2017: OpenMarket , a global leader in mobile messaging, is adding PizzaExpress India to its portfolio of enterprise customers. To coincide with the launch of its home delivery service, the popular Italian restaurant chain introduced SMS to improve delivery operations and better interact with customers.

The new solution highlights PizzaExpress India’s commitment to delivering a great experience for its customers across the country. Customers who place an order over the phone will receive an SMS confirmation directly to their mobile phone. Those that opt-in will then receive an update once the order has been dispatched.

A recent survey from OpenMarket shows that SMS is the number one preferred channel by millennials for notifications from businesses. Research from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) also suggests that over half of all urban mobile phone owners in India use a feature phone rather than a smartphone. This makes SMS a great option for businesses like Pizza Express who need a quick and cost-effective way to directly engage with their customers- without relying on expensive apps.

Apoorv Johari, OpenMarket’s Sales Director for Asia said, “The most customer-obsessed brands are already using SMS as part of their standard alert practice. It helps them deliver great customer experienceswith empathy, which is crucial for success. We are working with PizzaExpress India to do exactly that. Mobile messaging lets PizzaExpress communicate with customers the way they want and at exactly the time they need it.”

PizzaExpress chose Open Market based on its mobile messaging market strength and the range of custom messaging solutions it provides. The company’s previous success with Club Mahindra and Ginger Hotels demonstrated Open Market as a powerhouse of enhancing business-to-consumer relationships.

Gunjan Singh, Head of Marketing for PizzaExpress India said, “The solution that Open Market brings to India is the perfect fit for our customer base and helps to streamline our delivery operations. We understand that creating an effective solution for delivery notifications is best done through a timely and ubiquitous mobile messaging platform. With SMS, we can easily keep our customers in the loop, at exactly the right moment.”

PizzaExpress plans to expand the service to include updates on delivery delays, further refining the customised messages. By providing an instant, reliable and convenient platform for mobile messaging, Open Market helps PizzaExpress to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

Category: Latest
HRAWI Appeals To DGP For Expeditious Permissions

Mumbai, December 15, 2017: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has submitted a letter to Shri Satish Mathur, Director General of Police to provide police permission for extension of operation timings on 24th, 25 th and 31st December well ahead of the date. "We request you to grant permission to our members well in advance by issuing the necessary circular / communication in respect of extension of timings for hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra, who wish to keep their establishments open beyond their deadlines. This I 'am sure would reduce their anxiety and clear the confusion if any, from the minds of our Hotel and Restaurant Members," quotes the letter.

The hotels and restaurants in the city reeling under a string of challenges owing to liquor ban, demonetisation and GST disruption are hopeful of changing the trend direction with the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

"Permission for extension of operation timing comes in eventually. But they usually arrive at the last minute. This prevents the hoteliers and restauranteurs from making adequate arrangements. Neither the establishments nor the patrons are able to make the best of the festival season because of the last minute handout of permission," says Mr Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. "This year we hope it will be different."

The association has written to the Police Commissioner to provide an early permission so that the hoteliers can make the best arrangements and guests are able to enjoy a great evening.

"The Christmas and New Year celebrations are perhaps the biggest of all social celebrations in Mumbai. We want to make sure that we are fully prepared at our end and leave no card unturned to ensure a great evening for our guests. Hence, we have requested the authorities to grant us relaxations in timings of operations on the nights of 24th, 25 th and 31st of December, 2017 at the earliest. We are hopeful that the authorities would grant the permissions at least a week in advance. The city could do with a bit of cheer in these wintry times," he concludes.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)


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