The accommodation industry is a baffling web of acronyms and idioms in which the uninitiated can find themselves trapped like well-wrapped flies.
Confuse your OTA with your POA, for example, and you could end up causing some serious breaches of protocol from a two-star hotel in Botswana.
Richard Warnick of hotel asset managers CHM Warnick has devised his own lexicon of descriptions which should add some clarity to the confused landscape of hospitality speak.
They may not appear in the OED yet, but it’s surely just a matter of time.
Any resemblance to painful medical procedures is purely coincidental…
Laboratorium: An inefficiently designed or operated hotel which is a bottomless pit of labour cost.
Costipation: An intestinal malady experienced when hotel owners realise how many costs brands allocate to their hotel in the form of centralised services, loyalty programs, etc. This condition can be especially acute for older owners who recall a time when many of these services were included as part of their franchise fees or management fees.
Facebooking: A quaint hotel industry custom no longer in common use wherein customers actually walk into a hotel without a reservation and attempt to rent a room on the spot.
Francheese: A license agreement with a third-tier (cheesy) brand that offers virtually no benefits to the licensee.
FUnion Agreement: An agreement between hotel owners/management companies and certain virulent collective bargaining units in which management’s efforts to achieve reasonable accommodations is generally met with some form or another of … you guessed it … F. U.
Fartcast: A reforecast of the annual budget that stinks to high heaven.
Inn-continence: An unexpected release of excuses for poor performance by hotel management teams that are, for the most part, a bunch of crap.
G.O.Pee: Piss-poor performance at the gross operating profit line.
Frendzy: A frivolous food trend that gains widespread recognition, not because there is any inherent value in, say, taste or nutrition, but rather because someone with a megaphone (e.g. a food critic) lauds it as new, different or clever. Examples include stacking every component of a meal onto one indistinguishable pile or the use of foam as a distinguishing feature.
Cheump: A chef who is lured – or jumps willingly – into a frendzy.
Interbleediary: A parasitic entity known for its ability to attach itself to a host (hotel) and extract a substantial amount of the host’s life blood (sometimes referred to as income). Like all parasites, interbleediaries take advantages of certain weaknesses in the host or the host’s interdependent parts (brands/management companies) and create an unwanted/unnecessary bridge between the host and their source of nutrients (customers). While the relationship between interbleediaries and their hosts is not mutual, interbleediaries generally do not destroy the host – but only weaken it to varying degrees.
OTAsitis: That sickening feeling hotel owners get each time they are reminded of how much of their income is being consumed by interbleediaries.
Hip Splurgery: A focused effort on the part of virtually every hotel brand to devote material money and resources to create new “lifestyle” hotel concepts that are cooler and hipper than the one just announced by a competing hotel brand … a week ago.
Hairbnb: What lodging customers call peer-to-peer home-sharing platforms when the unit they rent has less than satisfactory hygiene standards.
Millennialist: A self-anointed marketing genius who is convinced that – and attempts to convince you that – (a) millennials are a monolithic customer group, and/or (b) millennials will behave throughout their lifetime the same way they behaved when they were in their 20s and 30s.
PIPopotamus: A gigantic product improvement plan that has no chance of making economic sense -and generally results in a change of brands.
PIPsqueak: A plea emitted by a hotel owner trying to resist unreasonable product improvement plans imposed by a brand.
Revparalysis: The stupefying amount of information and analysis considered by modern revenue management systems, often with the effect of causing hotels to chase each other in vicious cycles of comparative pricing.
Wrecktification: The process of fixing a broken hotel through rebranding, reconcepting, renovation or new management.
Floperator: A poor hotel operator that fails to achieve optimal performance. Often identified by continual submissions of a Fartcast and G.O.Pee.
Sloperator: A hotel operator that is sloppy and inconsistent. The key difference between a floperator and a sloperator is market conditions. That is, sloperators might otherwise be floperators but for strong market fundamentals which mask their poor performance.
Moperator: A hotel operator that is brought in to fix a hotel that has been previously run by a floperator or sloperator. Also known as a turnaround specialist.