How to Reduce Profits and Disappoint Guests

Recently, a hotel guest reached out to us directly to purchase flags to bring on his vacation. The property he was staying at had removed our service flags from the pool area and it had left him disappointed. This is the letter he wrote to us:
“Most every year my family and I go back to Arizona at the beginning of summer. Their off-season. We see friends and family at the resort we always stay at. For years they had these awesome little plastic drink service flags on the lounge chairs to let the pool service staff know when you wanted another drink or something to eat. Service just when you want it. How perfect and one of my wife’s most favorite features of staying there. How disappointing last year when we went there and all the flags were gone.
Apparently they got a new pool manager and they did not like the flags so they had them all removed. We (and many of those around us) mentioned our disappointment and asked if they could be brought back. We’d even pay for them. No joy. We then proceeded to poke around any closet or storage area near the pool hoping to find the “stash” of flags. No joy again. We found that because the service staff could never accurately gauge when we wanted another drink or food, we ended up spending about half of what we had in previous years while at the pool and we are there all day for 4-5 days solid. I even noted in the follow up survey we got, my disappointment about the decision to remove the flags and that the only benefit was I spent a lot less money than I would have. I told them if their goal was to reduce the profits for the resort and keep me and my family more thirsty than I would prefer to be, they had succeeded.
It’s still a great resort and a good value for the money, so we are again headed back this summer for a vacation. If there is any way to get a few of those awesome flags, I would love to bring my own. The service staff loved them and they told us if we had them, they would service when they see it up. So I am hoping this year we can bring our own, get back to timely service and make the other guests jealous. “

Don’t let this happen to you! Add At Your Service Flags to your pool and beach – keep your guests happy

Fresh Additions for Your Summer Menu

Step up your summer menu with these easy, seasonal additions that will keep your guests raising their flags!

The Party Starter
(Watermelon Tequila Cocktail)

This refreshing watermelon cocktail is a pure taste of summer. For a nonalcoholic version, skip the tequila and add a little water to help blend the mixture.

Strawberry Lemonade 

Kids love special drinks! Make frosty pitchers of this beautiful lemonade for them, and as a satisfying mocktail option.

Blackberry Pineapple Mojito 

The fruit in this rum-based drink makes it a terrific choice with tangy-sweet glazed ribs.

Mojito Shrimp 

These sweet, juicy shrimp taste of fragrant mint and lime, their aromas amplified by rum.

Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, Ricotta Salata, and Corn Salad 

Thirst-quenching and gorgeous, this salad is a star at any poolside restaurant.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs 

Meat isn’t the only thing that belongs on a stick at a summer BBQ. You’ll need 32 bamboo skewers (each 8 in.); there’s no need to soak them before they go on the grill, because they won’t char with such a short cooking time.

What seasonal items do you like to incorporate during the summer?

Increasing Guest Satisfaction with Enhanced Pool Experiences

Increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and positive reviews. All of these things turn into revenue, whether via repeat stays, word-of-mouth bookings or a glowing review that prompts someone to book that hotel after reading about it. You can have the highest level of technology, monitoring, the fanciest suites and the best food. If you’re not delivering on the service end, the rest is virtually meaningless.
The word ‘service’ says it all – the hospitality business is a service industry and no matter how good all the other facilities are, at the end of the day if the service is bad then your customers may not look at visiting you again. And there are chances of them spreading the word around, especially on social media and reviews sites, which is even more risky for your business.
Fortunately, service quality is also something you can improve without breaking the bank – and when you do, you’ll start to see immediate results through better ratings, and longer term results through increased bookings.

As we slide into the summer season, hotel pools will become magnets of opportunity for memorable guest experiences. While the soothing blue colors, refreshing water temperatures and lushly landscaped environments are appealing; moments of service excellence in the pool environment will make the most splash of all.

What can hotels, resorts and country clubs do to make any pool environment more outstanding than just water and lounge chairs?

  • Define all the ways the guest experience will be impacted on the way to the pool, at the pool and when leaving the pool. Then, define what will impact those opportunities. Adding At Your Service Flags to your pool or beach chairs can help employees attend to your guests promptly and help expedite food delivery when numbers are added to the flags.
  • Empower all employees involved in the pool experience to be part of that experience. Engineers, gardeners, housekeepers and others who may not seem like the active pool employees are still visible and noticed by guests. Inspire them to be active, even if only with a smile eye contact and body language. Invite all the employees involved in the pool experience to offer their ideas and get everyone’s brain constantly swimming with ideas!
  • Guests like clean pools. Make sure pool teams are constantly monitoring the water for floating objects that don’t belong, such as fallen leaves, unwelcome insects, band aids and whatever else might impact that pristine feeling.
  • Recognize the increasing value of shade and then create ways to provide it to guests. Many times guests have to get to the pool early to “claim” the best spots for shade because there are too few options. Be prepared for more so guests leave bronzed and not burnt.
  • Lined up lounge chairs look so wonderful and organized but guests will rearrange the furniture at times. That’s okay but when they leave, have attendants line them up again so that same wonderful organization appeals to next guests. Pick up old, wet and scrunched up towels so new arriving guests don’t have to. Give them the touch of the clean environment they have paid to experience.
  • Be sensitive to sound and music. If music is provided by hotel, make sure it is not too loud and disruptive to the environment. It should enhance the mood, not agitate. If guests bring their own music, monitor their volume as well and make sure all guests benefit by any new notes in the air.
  • Guests love the extras that can make or distinguish a pool experience, especially in really hot weather such as misters, tanning butlers, lemon-infused washcloths, and little samples of sorbet. Consider what might add to the pool personality to enhance and build on the hotel’s personality.

To learn more about At Your Service Flags, visit us at