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Service Observation Paper

[1] Service Observation Paper

Your assignment is to take the next twelve days and find a hotel locally that you can go and sit strategically in the lobby and observe the service areas for 45 minutes.  Most of Columbia's hotels have a open lobby that would allow you to observe and listen to the associate and guest interactions.  You do not need to announce yourself as hotel lobbies are public domain.  I would want you to choose either a morning or late afternoon/early evening.  This will allow you to observe in the heavier traffic times of the breakfast/checkout time (7-9) and the evening check-in/dinner time (4:30-6:30).  The areas that you will most likely be observing are the front desk, restaurant host stand, bar entrance, or entrance to a meeting area.  Hotels I would look to: Stoney Creek, The Courtyard Marriott, The Drury, The Holiday Inn Executive Center, The Tiger, The Hampton Inn.   

Items to observe but not limited to:

* Observe the guests coming in: Do they appear to be looking around and is the staff picking up on this and engaging the guest?

* Observe the associates and do they appear to be genuinely happy to be working or do they appear to be going through the motions of "just working"?

* Observe the associate practicing good/bad manners both in body language engagement and in verbal engagement?

* Observe the guest on any body language or verbal language?  Positive? Negative? Is the associate picking up on it.

* Determine atmosphere of the area you are in?  How did your entrance feel, your senses (smell, music, view?), any personal interactions with associates?

* Any observed associate to associate interactions that were inappropriate?

* Final impressions both positive and in opportunities for the hotel/restaurant.  What are your ideas on making the service better.  What you you train the staff to do if you were the manager or training manager? 

* What is your personal key attribute that you need to see in hotel service that would convince you that the hotel has your key ingredient for success and in making your staff a great one?

Your paper can be 2 pages single space.  Please put the hotel, the time you were there.

[2] The Industry Interview Paper

Objective: Prepare yourself for a post-graduate or summer intern interview.  

Your field: You have taken time at the beginning of the semester to reflect on where you want to take your career.  This direction may have changed since that paper.  It also does not matter if you are specifically in the hospitality field.  

The Point!

  • Find possible questions you may encounter in your interview. (document)
  • Mock interview with a friend or someone in the class. Have them document (notes) on your strengths and weaknesses. (document)
  • Find an existing industry manager in your field or an instructor that you can have given you a 5-10 minute interview for that position.  This is preferred to be done in person or facetime.  If not then you can agree for them to do it over the phone as your first position in the industry may be just that.  
  • Have them evaluate you on your performance by sending them a 5 question post interview evaluation.
  • Post Evaluation: You set up the questions for them.  Should include their opinion of strengths and weaknesses.  
  • Self-evaluation: you take the evaluation and give a synopsis of what you found out that will help your first interviews after school.

*Document should be two pages covering the preparation, interview, post and self-evaluation.  

[3] Operator/Owner P&L Review


I will be presenting you two different properties profit and loss statements.  The analysis will be due 5/8 by 3PM.  The analysis of the two P&L's will need to be two pages in length single spaced.

You will be looking at this from the perspective of a management company perspective and a owner perspective. The management company will look at all line items since they are in charge of the entire operation and they are hired by the owner.  The owner or sometimes their asset manager representative, will be looking at it from a return on investment of course. They will be looking at it from a 30,000 ft level in some cases.  The management team will have to answers to explain and defend or concur on certain things about the operation.  

You will have to figure out if the P&L has good results and/or has concerns. 

The end game is that you will be able to read into a P&L and look at things from two different view points.  Summarize each vantage point and the summarize to true result of the financial statement.  Your years studying F&B and hotels will be key in your success of this assignment. 

Service Observation Paper


I visited The Hampton Inn, a three-star hotel located at 152 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh, in the late afternoon at 6 pm. This was a time when most people were coming for supper in the hotel or they had business meetings and dates.

At the front desk was a lady who was very jovial and happy almost like she knew everyone that she was addressing, her behavior seemed casual though official in how she was addressing the guests (Kendall, 2014), she had an associate who seemed busy in her own chores while she addressed the guests asking them where they would wish to go to, they were then given the direction but most people just went on their own.

On my way to the lobby I noticed that most of the guests who went in to the hotel owned vehicles indicating their high economic status (Parte-Esteban, 2015) and rarely would people without cars go in, most of them seemed confident of where they were heading to next and the few who looked lost were quickly guided by some associates in uniform (Flower, 2015). Well at first a man also thought I was lost and came to me asking whether I would be fine and I told him that I was good.

The atmosphere of the was hilarious with mixed aroma of different tastes of food, the place was just at room temperature neither warm nor cold with a special kind of silence even  though guests were coming in, there was a soft music playing in the hotel  that could be heard just from a far, the view of being inside The Hampton Inn Marriott from inside was better than I had thought form the outside there were comfortable seats associates with uniform and there was also a high-speed internet that I was allowed to access indicating their advancement in technology (Melián, 2016).

I noticed that most of them had a smiling face every time they were addressing the guest and they were very jovial, but in some, there was a clear fatigue even as they moved quickly form points to point, also noticed that it was almost like each table had a member to cater for its needs. In terms of genuinely of their service, I observed a few male associates who seemed to be just going through their normal chores without happiness but the ladies seemed very jovial and happy.

Industry Interview Paper

I liked how the guests were welcomed with a greeting to a few and mostly by just the word of mouth, each time they were addressing the guests they were standing upright and keen giving the guest attention and the impression that all their attention is on them, in some scenario I could see them writing don which was a good sign.

What I did not like about the associates is how some of them took time to attend to some visitors especially young visitors who I had observed walking into the hotel, I observed a case when some guests had to wait to be served while more than one associates attended to a table of visitors who were three in number, it showed contempt to the young teenager (Santoro, 2015) who left after some time without being served.

There was very minimal time when the associates interacted for more than even a minute since they would be moving from place to place, when they conversed it was for a very small time which seemed like they were making inquiries on particular issues or they needed help of some kind the only time they interacted an di noticed ill behavior is when the two of them attended to a table leaving two teenagers un attended, also there was a time when two associate ladies met and they started hugging and talking like they had not seen each other for a long time, this took al almost five minutes making a guest very uncomfortable though for me it seemed like she was welcoming her friend back after a long time dealing with something.

They did not discourage movement in observing the place since I was also not in a group so maybe to them when moving around I looked like a guest, I had the chance to go and view their gym, pool but I didn’t get into the bar I just observed it from the outside.

I had an experience worth having again maybe next time while making dinner in the restaurant or going to swimming in their pool, my ideas on making the hotel better would just be that every guest is giving the same special treatment of feeling important regardless of how much you want to buy or to acquire from the hotel but overall if I were to rate their performance I would give them an A.

My personal key attribute that I normally look at in any hotel service to determine their path towards success in my perspective is good planning in hospitality, to have great staff its god to have a good plan of how each activity will unfold from behavior to presentation to meet the client or guest’s expectation (Pulakos,1995).

The Industry Interview Paper


While pursuing a career in the hospitality field specifically as a hotel manager I need to prepare myself adequately for interviews (Hazzan, 2014) in the organization that I will join whether during the internship or after graduation (Rosenthal, 2016). In my evaluation and preparation for the interviews to come in my career life, I undertook a preparation exercise and I started by looking at the questions asked in the interview. I, therefore, research in the hospitality sector to determine the current and frequently asked questions during the interview. I came up with the following questions:

Tell me more about yourself? Who are you?

What are your strengths?

What do you know about our company and why do you want to work in our organization?

Why should we hire you?

What is your prior experience in the hospitality industry?

What challenges do you expect to face in the hospitality industry and do you have any goals in your career?

If you get the job, what is your input on the growth of this company?

Where do you see yourselves in the next ten years?

What are your weaknesses?

Do you have any question to ask us or any clarifications for us?

This is the frequently asked questions and I got them from asking those working in the hospitality profession and form the internet databases.


I then went to my friend in the class and then gave him the questions a day earlier so that the next day he would come back familiar with the questions for us to do a mock interview. We first identified a hotel that we would use for the mock interview (Gagnon, 2015). If I was applying for the hotel manager of that organization. During the interview that took almost an hour my friend took notes on some of my strengths and weaknesses as we had agreed and after we parted ways he sent me the notes through email here are the strengths and weaknesses during the interview:


I spoke confidently with positive energy during the interview

There was the maintenance of eye contact with the interviewer

I was on time for the interview

I did not lie in the questions that I was asked


I did not do enough research in the organization I used for my mock interview

I was fidgeting in the chair

I expressed my fatigue during the interview by paying less attention to some questions

I did not know the credential of the company in terms of the management

I did not have detail on how to answer the question

Post evaluation

After the interview, I sought to move to the next stage where I tried to contact my uncle so that he could interview me during the weekend or one of the evenings but I couldn’t find him so we arrived at the decision that we could carry out the interview in skype. We had the interview for also about thirty minutes since he reduced them in a way, after that, I sent him the post-evaluation question which was on:

Communication skills: How did I speak during the interview, did I master the use of grammar, did I speak confidently, and did I answer the questions correctly?

Research evaluation: did I do research according to how the interview was conducted

Problem-solving skills: Did I seem to possess the problem-solving skills that the organization wanted

Decision-making skills: did I possess decision-making skills in terms of priority, am I a good decision maker in terms of my goals for the future (Hartwig, 2014).

Behavior: what was my behavior during the interview, did I possess any uncourteous act, were my nonverbal interaction during the interview likely to affect in any way the job interview.

Flexibility: was I flexible in terms of answering the questions when they are changed and asked differently

Intelligence: was I intelligent in terms of research and questions that would be asked in relation to work

Creativity: was I creativity yet honest in my answers (Shang, 2008)


With reference to the answers I came up with what I need to be successful in my first interview, first I need to do a thorough research on the company especially the management or the relevant management in a large company (Turner III, 2010). I should have good communication skills which entail honesty and speaking while maintaining eye contact, I should avoid fidgeting on the chair rather I should sit upright. When asked to speak on my strength I should point out the relevant ones to the jobs that I want the same applies to when asked about my weaknesses I should be honest and realistic and avoid giving a vice that could lead to loosing if the job opportunity (Godfrey, 2018). Confidence is very important and is always tested by the interviewer hence I should answer the questions with confidence and with command of language which entails good rammer.

I also learned the importance of carrying out a mock interview (Lindsay, 2015) because the mock interview helped me gain more confidence when being interviewed by my uncle. Lastly, I learned that regardless of the interview is important and key in my life there is a need for being relaxed and composed in my actions since nonverbal cues have a lot of expression and interpretation in the interview (Rizzo et al 2016).

Operator/Owner P &L Review

A profit and loss statement can be analyzed in several ways depending on the situation, there can be the perspective of the management and the perspective of the owner. The management looks at a profit and loss statement critically since they are the ones in charge of the operation (Vallen, 2009), on the other hand the owner looks at in terms of investment and its returns thus the management must be answerable to the questions from the owner below I am going to analyse the profit and loss statement from this perspective (Olszak, Pipie?, Kowalska & Roszkowska, 2017).

The owner is interested in the profit of the company. As in the Doubletree Williamsburg, the firm has made profits for rooms between January 2017 and November 2017. The rooms generated an increasing trend in profits from January to August when the profits started to drop and increase again. This is a matter of concern for both management and the owners. However, it is a more concern to the owners than managers. This is because the owners are more concerned with the business making profits.  This is because the management has a clear understanding of why the price sometimes rises and fall as this could be due to long-term projects being implemented and hence fewer profits at the present but more in the future.

 In terms of foods, it is also observed in the Doubletree Williamsburg P&L that there were profits made between January and November except February where there was a loss. This means that the managers will be less concern about the loss in February than the owners. This is because the loss could have been occasioned by more investment in February that would see expenses rising above the revenue. However, to the managers, this is a good show as it would yield subsequent profit in the subsequent months as seen.

In terms of beverage at the Doubletree Williamsburg, it can be observed that the firm made profits all through. It was 57,784 in January and 271, 575 in November. This shows that the firm is doing well and hence a concern for both managers and owners. To the managers, they will be interested in beverage as this has ensured continuous profit. Therefore, they may need to invest more in beverage business to make more profit and grow the company. This is an issues that each money will want to consider in order to understand why there as a better performance in beverage and the possible strategies they need to maximize on to ensure even better sales.

To the managers, this is also an issue because it means a cost-effective venture and hence a plus to the owners of the business. The owners will also be concern when there is a continuous increase in profits throughout the year. The managers are aware that the accounting department might not disclose all the information or might overstate the figures to deceit them that the business is making profits when in essence it does not. Therefore, the owner will be interested in understand the sources of such profits and might even call in the external auditors to check on the books of account to justify the figures appearing in the financial statement.

On the other hand, the Hampton Inn Pittsburg Limited Service Income & Expense Statement, it can as well be analyzed in terms of management and owner’s perspective. In terms of rooms, it can be observed that the firm made a profit of 1,823,942. This will be a concern for owners and managers. The managers must be concerned and know why there was a profit and the drivers of such profits while the owners want to know what can be done to increase the profits.  

The managers want to know what they can do best to improve the growth and expansion of the firms and balance them off with the owners’ requirement for constant profits. This may force the managers sometimes to engage in strategies which are a conflict with the owners, but more beneficial into the future.

According to Hampton Inn Pittsburg Limited Service Income & Expense Statement, it can be observed that the gross operating profit stands at 913,966 and that income before non-operating income is 833,133. The EBITDA is 666,755 and EBITDA less replacement reserve is 666,755. This is a clear indication that the firm is doing well. This is because the firm is able to pay for all the operating expenses and still left with huge profit. Thus, to owners of the business, they will be interested in knowing what strategies the managers can use to ensure at least, such profits is maintained. On the other hand, the business managers are concerned of the sustainability of such higher profits while still thriving the stiff competition in the market.

Therefore, it is important for both managers and owners to try to be at par in terms of understanding the profit and loss account. It is thus the responsibility of the managers to always explain to the owners the strategies they take which have direct effects on the profit or loss of the firm. This will ensure that business owners remain supportive and create enabling an environment for long-term projects and growth of the business.  


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Olszak, M., Pipie?, M., Kowalska, I., & Roszkowska, S. (2017). What Drives Heterogeneity of Cyclicality of Loan-Loss Provisions in the EU?. Journal of Financial Services Research, 51(1), 55-96.

Gagnon, M., Jacob, J. D., & McCabe, J. (2015). Locating the qualitative interview: reflecting on space and place in nursing research. Journal of Research in Nursing, 20(3), 203-215.

Hartwig, M., Granhag, P. A., & Luke, T. (2014). Strategic use of evidence during investigative interviews: The state of the science. In Credibility Assessment (pp. 1-36).

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Kendall, L. (2014). The conduct of qualitative interviews: Research questions, methodological issues, and researching online. In Handbook of research on new literacies (pp. 151-168). Routledge.

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