According to Hotels, Resorts & Cruise (2009), the hospitality industry has been growing drastically with new entrants making notable impacts over the past few years.
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Karahan & Tetik (2012) add that competition has increased and hotels and restaurants have resolved to improve quality management by the use of international standards such as ISO 9001.
For the past eight years, Art Deco Hotel Montana has been ISO certified and according to the manager of Scala restaurant (Mr Binnennaun), the restaurant has achieved a wide range of operational and economic success because of the effective implementation of the strategy (Hotel-Montana 2012). Mr Binnennaun has been interviewed on how the standard has enhanced sales and operations at Scala.
It has been found out that Scala has risen to become the second best restaurant in Luzern because of the efficiency that ISO 9001 has integrated into its managerial framework (Tripadvisor.com 2012b).
The standard has been very crucial in assisting the management of the restaurant to find out what the needs of their clients are and how they are changing with time.
Consequently, this information has kept Scala from the doom of a strategic drift that has plagued other restaurants which have since faded into insignificance.
The Role of ISO 9001 in the Hospitality Industry- Scala Restaurant, Art Deco Hotel Montana
According to reviews on Tripadvisor.com (2012a), Scala Restaurant, Art Deco Hotel Montana, is ranked second among all the restaurants in Luzerne Switzerland. The restaurant is fairly priced with cuisines going for between 36 and 56 USD.
Meals served at Scala Restaurant are categorized into Italian, International, European and Diner (Via-travel 2012). This makes it one of the most classic hotels in the region. The great meals and awesome scenery add up to make it one the best food joints in the city if not in the country.
The meals and drinks which are presented by well- trained and high qualified waiters are just one of the major reasons why it reflects the ideals of the ISO 9001 system with regard to service provision (Hotels & Motels 2008a).
Switzerland is popular the world over for the international and classy restaurants that are to be found here. Scala is such one establishment that lives to the true spirit of the country.
In a city that has hundreds of options when it comes to choice restaurants, Scala has managed to stay on the top because of adopting a customer- centred managerial system.
According to the restaurant manager Mr. Martin Binnennaun, the management has put in place a system to make sure all clients at the hotel can forward their suggestions and complaints directly to the supervisors (Hotels & Motels 2008b)
The hotel is strategically positioned and has an effective leadership team. In spite of this, there exists worthy competitors that are targeting the same customer base. In other words, it is noted that Scala is not a monopoly in the hotel industry in the country.
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There are several hotels operating within the country and especially within the city. Some of these include Old Swiss House, Grottino 1313, Rebstock, Gourmindia, and Bam Bou (Hotels, Resorts & Cruise 2009)
Art Deco Hotel Montana received an ISO 9001:2000 certification in the year 2004. Trivun, Kenjic & Mahmutcehajic (2008) are of the view that a major change in the operations of a business comes in as a load or an extra burden to the company concerned.
However, just like investing in a software application, the benefits of having a quality management system are worth every effort put into it. Just like everyone was using paper blueprints at some point, today everyone uses electronic files in their day to day activities.
The same scenario played out when Art Deco decided to implement the ISO 9001 certification. The implementation seemed to be quite a task. But ultimately the company has gained an excellent management system out of it.
Illustration 2: hotel Montana
The certification has had diverse impacts on the company for the short duration of time it has being in place. This has to do with both operational and economic benefits.
According to Whiters & Ebrahimpour (2011), many managers in the hospitality industry agree that the guidelines stipulated in the ISO 9001 have been very beneficial operation-wise with regard to stock rotation, safety, delivery times, processing orders, quality cost, defects and errors, and general productivity of organisations in the industry.
Yang (2006) adds that economically the standard has played an integral role in increasing market shares, sales per worker, and general economic feasibility.
During the interview, Mr Binnennaun noted that the implementation of the standard at Scala has contributed to the improvement of the criteria that employees follow at the restaurant and thus has a positive effect on operations. This is because the standard provides both a working system and room for improvisation (Hotels, Resorts & Cruise 2009).
At Scala, the standard has been very essential when it comes to reducing inconsistencies and enhancing delivery time compliance.
According to Costa & Lorente (2007), one of the most essential roles of the management in the hospitality industry is to enhance customer experience. When compared to other hotels and restaurants that have not implemented the ISO 9001 standard, Scala is far much ahead.
This is because of the reduced number of complaints from customers. Consequently, many of Scala customers continue to make multiple purchases. In the hotel industry and other service sectors, repeated purchase is indicative of customer satisfaction (Hotels & Motels 2008b).
In addition to the culture of elegance and hard work at Art Deco, having the standard in place makes all stakeholders strive towards excellence. Moreover, the increased control increases the quality of services and culminates in improved productivity.
The image of Scala has greatly been boosted by the use of ISO 9001 guidelines in addition to this. Although the ISO certificate is not meant to enhance brand awareness or to act as an advert, hotels that are certified tend to have an outlook of quality foods and services.
However, it is important to note that the number of certifications has increased tremendously in the recent past thus watering down the essence of ISO 9001 (Hotels & Motels 2008a)
Illustration 3: hotel Montana
Mr Binnennaun pointed out that the link between economic benefits (such as increase in sales volume) and the certification is quite evident at the restaurant.
It is also very clear that the costs incurred in implementing the standard were not having a negative impact on the economic outlook of Scala. The standard positively enhanced the quality of both the system of management and the quality of services at the restaurant.
ISO 9001 has also improved the attitude of employees at the restaurant with regard to quality and quality improvement.
This is because it makes it easier for them to detect errors in the system and resolve problems in real time. Ultimately, employees are more satisfied and motivated at work (Hotels & Motels 2008a).
Because of this benefit, Art Deco has managed to have quite a high level of worker retention. This has the effect of reducing the resources that would have otherwise been allocated to recruiting new workers. In addition, Trivun, Kenjic, Mahmutcehajic (2008) note that when employees are motivated, sales volume increase.
Employees at the restaurant regard themselves as an important part of what happens at Scala and they consequently present suggestions on increasing its competitiveness. They also feel safer more protected.
Mr Binnennaun also noted that the standard has increased the level of communication among internal stakeholders. This has come in handy to enable them discover how the needs of clients are evolving and how to appropriately respond to them.
It is noted that the benefits of ISO certification to this hotel and others in the industry cannot be downplayed. The certification not only benefits the clients but it also improves the experiences of the members of staff and other stakeholders such as investors. It also serves to attract clients to the hotel.
The ISO 9001 certification has been a major factor in the success of Scala. It has created many opportunities for the growth of the restaurant and contributed in fostering a strong base of clients.
The management has been transformed to mainly focus on retaining the experiential knowledge of its workers through commendable employee retention, enhancing customer experience and service differentiation. It has also made it possible for all the stakeholders at Art Deco to feel like active participators to its success.
This goes a long way in realising the vision of the hotel. The vision is to be a classic international hotel in the region, emerging as one of the best food joints in the region.
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Hotels, Resorts & Cruise 2009, ‘Hotel Montana’, Resorts & Cruise Lines Industry Profile, vol. 1 no. 2, pp. 2-3.
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Tripadvisor.com 2012a, Scala Restaurant-Art Deco Hotel Montana. Web.
Tripadvisor.com 2012b, Lucerne restaurants. Web.
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Via-travel 2012, Art Deco Montana 4*, Luzern. Web.
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