A Closer Look at The Staples of Our Business

Three years ago, we launched our Shop Talk supplement to Hotel Business, focusing on tips and trends when selecting products for hotels—everything from bedding to in-room appliances. It’s been a hit with both our readers and our media partners…and if you have a good thing, you keep it. So we did.

Accompanying this issue, we bring the first of our two 2018 Shop Talk supplements. This one focuses on the specifying side of the business; the second—which will appear with our October 7th issue—will share the perspectives of product manufacturers as to what to look forward to in 2019 and beyond.

While the core editorial makeup of Hotel Business tends to focus on more of the transactional aspects of our industry, we want to, via our semi-annual Shop Talk brand, pay some attention to the staples of our business: the products.

You’ll agree that finding the right ones for your property will help define your brand, your hotel, and create an identity that resonates with guests. And in today’s hospitality landscape where there are so many choices and so many brands—and one in which it’s all about personalization, authenticity and standing apart from the competition—the right product selection is more crucial than ever. After all, the consumer is savvier than ever so the industry needs to stay that one step ahead.

The Hotel Business editorial team interviewed a cross section of the industry—from owners to management companies, purchasing firms to designers, and even some hotel company brands—and asked them about product specification and installation: What do your guests want? What have they come to expect? Are you aware of the trends—and have you implemented products that speak to them?

While the products that make up a hotel are not exclusive to the categories we cover in this issue’s supplement—bath design; bedding & linens; bedding protection; furniture; in-room appliances; laundry; signage; and technology—we focused on these primary topics to give readers a better idea of what’s driving selection in these areas and what’s hot. We’ve also included some tips on choosing the right product for your properties now and in the future.

New to Shop Talk are two additional sections—Purchasing and Franchising. While we recognize they’re not specific product categories, such as those listed above—they certainly play a part in the bigger picture. In the Purchasing section, we hear from operators and purchasers how best to pick the right agent for a smooth process, and in Franchising, we talk to owners and operators about “shopping” for the right flag and how technology has simplified and enhanced those relationships.