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ALICE Wake-Up-Call

Wake Up Call! - Episode 2 - Leigh Hitz

Wake Up Call! - Episode 2 - Leigh Hitz

ALICE Wake-Up-Call

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In Episode 2 we are joined by Leigh Hitz, a hospitality veteran and CEO of Stout Street Hospitality to discuss the ways in which her hotels are keeping their staff fed throughout the crisis.



Leigh Hitz 
Leigh Hitz recently retired as chief executive officer for Stout Street Hospitality, 28 years after joining its original inception as the Steven Holtze Corporation. She led Stout Street Hospitality through the successful acquisition of the Mayfair Hotel, and rebranded the hotel in early summer 2014 as Magnolia Hotel St. Louis.

Alex Shashou
President, ALICE

Jeff Parker
Senior Consultant, ALICE

Sean Cohen
Host, Wake Up Call

Questions we asked in this episode:

  1. How will the US stimulus package assist hotels?
  2. Do large hotels qualify for SBA assistance?
  3. What are the differences between offering furloughing as opposed to firing?
  4. How does a furlough impact your employees?
  5. Does the stimulus package mean that in the rebound - hiring restarts?  Or is there a delay?
  6. How fast do you ramp up employees when occupancy returns?
  7. Is there a slow rebound or a spike when the hospitality industry recovers?
  8. If you suspended mortgage debt, would that be a better stimulus?
  9. When we get used to working from home - will we return to travel?
  10. How much better is it to interact in person - meetings, travel - than remotely, as we are doing now?  Is it possible to quantitfy or compare the relative impact?
  11. What brings people together?  How important are shared meals, food, sharing physical space - things we can’t do remotely?
  12. How impactful is an online happy hour?
  13. What is the true cost to ramp up a hotel?
  14. How long does it take to re-start a hotel?
  15. With this time to prepare, can we reduce the time/cost it takes to restart a hotel?
  16. How long does it take to sanitize the entire hotel?
  17. Do we have a model to calculate the startup costs of a hotel?
  18. After a restaurant is closed for 30 days, they need one day for every 2 days after 30 to prepare to reopen - what is a similar number for hotels?
  19. What will be ignored when we restart?  Security?  IT?  Vendor relationships?
  20. How long does it take a parked plane re-certified and ready for flight?  What is the infrastructure of travel needed to operate that has been turned off?
  21. Resort Hotels are used to scaling 80+%, what if we were an industry that was forced to do that across the board?  How could we get better at shrinking and growing?
  22. What is your hotel doing from a compassion standpoint to bring your employees go?  How are you going to be the employer of choice?
  23. If your hotel can’t provide employment - can it provide food and shelter to employees?
  24. How can current employees be used in other,  unexpected ways? How can an employer be creative?
  25. Is it possible to offer your staff any shared visibility into long-term planning on reopening
  26. Can you  provide a weekly touchpoint to your furloughed employees
  27. Certain hospitality areas have seen an uptick: glamping, camping, etc.
  28. Can you offer a “social distancing” package in your hotel?

LINKs mentioned in show

"As we transition to an all-remote work culture for a while, we’d like to remind all of you that, despite the current state of the universe, there’s still time for fun and to connect with one another. That non-work-related social connection activity is important and a feature, not a bug, of our achieving great work together! We’d like to suggest some activities to foster camaraderie while working remotely. Here are some ideas to try with your teams." View PDF



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