HB on the Scene: Red Roof shares new vision with franchisees

DALLAS—In its second regional meeting in as many weeks, Red Roof hosted hundreds of its franchisees here at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. The two-day meeting, along with one last week in Atlanta, are the first major company events taking place under the tenure of George Limbert in his new role as the company’s president and has served as an introduction to franchisees to the company’s goals under its new leader.

“The theme is to introduce the owners to me,” he told Hotel Business. “For many years at Red Roof, I was the attorney and now I’m the president. So, it’s important that people get to know me, about who I am, what our plans are, and how great our senior team is and what we plan on doing moving forward.”

Limbert also introduced the owners to the company’s refocused vision. “[Our vision] is to provide the best experience and value for our guests, but also our franchise owners, our partners, our team members and communities,” he said. “Really making sure everyone is in line and in tune with that vision is part of this conference.”

As he mentioned in the October 15th Hotel Business cover story, he is also focusing on listening to what the franchisees have to say. “We may not always agree, but we’re going to take into consideration their thoughts and feelings,” said Limbert. “We’re not going to rule from a white tower and dictate how our brand ought to be and what our franchisees ought to be doing—that’s not me; that’s not in my DNA.  I don’t think it’s in anybody else’s DNA [on the senior leadership team]. We’ve always been good at listening, but we’re going to do better. So, we’re excited for that.”

New version of Red Academy introduced
In an effort to help its franchisees bring new employees on board when they are hired, the company has introduced a new version of its Red Academy online training program.

“We’re investing in technology, because it’s about the experience for a new hire coming on board,” said Steve Woodward, VP, quality, training and development, Red Roof. “How quickly can we get them up to speed? We do it in stages. ‘Here are the four things you need to know as a new hire, so we can get you from new hire—because we’ve spent all this time trying to find somebody—now we’ve got getting you up to speed quickly and then continuing to build on that.’”

The new program adds a bit of gamification to the training, with employees earning points and badges as they complete the different areas of training—from housekeeping to human trafficking awareness. “We can create different, more engaging content quicker,” he said. “We can do it in multi-language. We decided to make that investment. Technology continues to evolve. We’re really excited about our partnership and launching this to help our new employees have a better experience coming into the brand, no matter what franchise they work at.”