The standard “seven day countdown” prior to a hotel opening is currently used by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as a state of the art blitz, to acclimate new employees to the principles and standards of hotel operations. However, pressure from Brian Collins, parner and current chief operating officer for Millenium Hospitality Partners, is questioning the validity and effectiveness of such a routine procedure. These concerns are primarily focused around the opening of the Washington, DC’s historical Foggy Bottom Ritz-Carlton hotel. James McBride has been selected as general manager of the new hotel and is a veteran in the Ritz-Carlton hotel business. Utilizing the “seven day countdown”, McBride has successfully opened several Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide. While any routine measure can be improved over time through the process of innovation and evaluation, Ritz-Carlton has maintained practice of the “seven day countdown” since the 1980’s, without many changes. This constancy of the hotel opening process is almost contradictory to the Ritz-Carlton standard, that being to constantly provide service and improve on current service practice in order to enhance the customer experience. The Ritz-Carlton is in charge of managing the new Washington, DC hotel investment made by Millenium Hospitality Group. This is by no means an “invest and walk away” scenario, Millenium is concerned with the “seven day countdown” and questions the validity of its usefulness. Issues revolved around two major conflicts: 1.) How would the Ritz-Carlton effectively implement changes to their process, without compromising operations? 2.) What measures of success would Millenium Hospitality constitute as a result of changes in the “seven day countdown”? Obstacle #1 – “The Seven Day Countdown” may impact service measures. Since the 1980’s the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has been refining the hotel-opening process. There is no doubt, that the company has been quite successful in the...
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