Without a franchisee, you don’t have a franchise business | Wyndham x Hospitality ON
It. Was very interesting to see the Black Swan nobody. Expected. This. Virus to actually. Come along and change our lives. With. Money Dmitry thanks, a lot to be with us today I. Think it's very important. To get your view, because. Many. Knows but, I think it's good to remind. Everyone, that you have a very, broad, geographical. Scope you. Almost, are looking, at after, everything, outside the US but I will let you probably, office, sizer on that of. Who the situation, is completely, unusual. Definitely. We've been all caught. By surprise by this virus. And I wanted to share. With you or you share with us what. Is. Your opinion your, views and I think it's very important, to get, leaders. From our industry to. Provide some feedback about the situation, I would start with my first question, I think such, a broad. Geographical. Scope, could, you share a little bit with us what, are the different, feedback, you got from the field in. Your in your scope is the situation is the same everywhere. Now the same momentum, can you share little bit of that with us yeah, no no thank you and it's, a it's an honor to be to be here and having. This conversation with, you from from the safety of my own place, back. Back in Athens in Greece would have been I've been here for the last six seven weeks it's. It's, interesting I I lead. Europe. Middle East Eurasia, and Africa for, Wyndham hotels and resorts window. Hotels and resorts for those who do not do, not know it's, it's one of the largest was fatality groups in the world with. 9300, properties, mainly, in the franchise, business, and and, to, answer, your question it, was very interesting, to see the Black Swan nobody, expected. These. Virus, to actually. Come along and change our lives change. Our lives not only from a business perspective what. Actually made. Made. The difference for me is how it changed our lives personally. As well so you. Was an amazing, it was an amazing six seven weeks I saw. I saw regions. Behaving. Differently I saw other people. Behaving. Quite recklessly. To be fair in terms of how they're gonna they're gonna address the threat and I saw others taking, some really hard measures, that, they, were not easy to implement. Don't. Forget him in in our society, when freedom, of speech and movement is is, something that we've all gained by four, years of struggle, and fight somebody. Came, up and said you all need to stay inside and, and you've got no choice other than to behave. What. Happened I think you saw, a lot of different. Phasing within, within Europe other countries, opened. Up, you. Know closed, down late other others, opened up early others. Didn't, take that very seriously, others did I think, to me the. Example, of Spain and in Italy although, it. Was it was you know very sad, news coming, out of those two countries it, it actually, helped. A lot of other countries realize. How how serious, this, pandemic is is about when, when. I was when I was sitting, back at home in increased, because I came here for the lockdown and be with my family and I start seeing you, know the news of the Spanish deaths and the. Horror stories, coming, out of Italy, and our friends, in other. Places its, history I just realized that this is not to play with this, is we all have to comply and we all have to make sure for, our own safety and and for everybody around us we have to do the right thing so, I'm. Not a politician I'm, not here to judge to judge the governments I'm here, to. Experience, what, actually happened and what I experienced. These the countries, that have actually done it properly are, the countries, that are easing.
The Measures first, they're, opening, their countries, first and at the same time they managed to control the the amount, of cases and deaths there. Was a lot of different phasing I think. Europe. Was, first one to take some really hard measures obviously. The Middle East the. Middle East, immediately. They start, on the market, made some really tough decisions about. About, their economies, and about their people, I think, Africa, it's, it's kind of like lagging, behind a bit because you know but, still they've. Done some really incredible tough, measures as well I think one, is the underline in the headline factor is some. People go into it first some, people go check on some people go third that's, why you see that the phasing, on the reduction, of the measures as well that's why you see certain. Countries, opening, up earlier, than. Others so so, the phasing, the, the, the determination. Of countries, to actually make sure that they, tell their people what. Was all about and and, what would actually what, actually made a lot of difference. To me personally, and a lot of other industry. Leaders that have spoken to is the, authenticity the, transparency. In the honesty. III. Was, I was really impressed by. So. Many people who came out very. Clearly and they were authentic transparent. And honest and said look we've, got a tres days he's gonna hurt is really gonna be bad we all know the consequences, but, it's the lives of the people that we are talking about and we, have to make sure that this is our number one priority. It. Was, it was interesting and sitting, back at home and watching the you know the doctors, and and. And the experts, actually being the stars of the soap we, never had that it, was always the economists or, it was always the politicians, they suddenly you've got doctors, and experts for, actually saying the truth to the people to me that. Was there was something that really made a difference. Really. Made a huge difference now. Definitely and, we we are all very, passionate. About an industry because, we know the heart of this industry is human first we, provide services, we welcome guests. As. A leader maybe is interesting, to see how you have under, the situation, with your team because at, the time you have to reorganize things, very quickly you. Have to make sure everyone is safe I mean the visible a lot of priority, that need to be under and. Oh. You. Made it remotely, because it's quite it's quite you know yeah, it's it's it's it's very new and and, human. Interaction, it's everything, that we stand for you know, we. Are we are human. Beings we like to interact we like to go out for dinner we like to go out for a drink, we like to socialize in, the office next to the water cooler or or, at the coffee machine and and. Suddenly that was taken away from us but, but I have to tell you, and. Everybody who's listening, I was I was enormously. Amazed by. The resilient. Of people, how. How. All our team members they, got together they, made, a decision of how we can address this how we're gonna work better how technology. Is gonna help us we, had we had enormous, laughs when you're in a zoom call and somebody's dog starts. To start starts barking or somebody's, somebody's, five-year-old. Kid jumps. Into the coal we. We had drinking, we had drinking sessions, and celebrating, birthdays. You. Know what it's, the first time I think the. The way we manage, technology. Is. It's, changed, the way the way we interact with each other and I'm. Looking at my 21, year, old daughter.
You Know she's always on her phone but, the way technology, worked, for us this Patsy is past six weeks actually. It was quite different from what it was before it, was technology that brought us together it was it was the connecting, you know it was the breeds that made, us feel that, we are not alone and that we can share experiences. Our. Team members are I'm, not gonna lie it's not easy it's, not easy to be sitting in front of a screen for, hours and hours and and and, and just talking to people you. Know it's, not easy being locked at home for four five or six weeks you know you need mental mental, resilient. What. We've done with which I think made the huge difference, is we we put a lot of webinars together. We. Start talking about be well in, our, home we start giving people very. Clear advice guidance and, details. Of how, they can address the fatigue the Xoom fatigue, or the sky fatigue, how, they can address the fact that they, are not allowed to go out, they you know they need to get approval to walk the dog so, all of these things we actually, built a whole support, mechanism, for our people in order, to feel comfortable because, at, the end of the day you. Know don't don't don't be mistaken you, can be at the at the pleasure and the safety of your own home but, not, everybody, has the ability to work from home you know there are people that they are saying they're saying in homes they're saying you, know living rooms and when, it happens with a lot of people at the same time it might end up being a comfortable, so we had a lot of consultation, we. Start, with the team in terms of what their particular needs we're a, lot, of webinars and, a lot of quizzes we, had you know getting. People together and you know what it wasn't it wasn't always about work, it was. About it, was about fun it was about just connecting, and and, the other thing that I found and to me to me it was very important is communicate. Communicate. Communicate communicate. Tell. People what is going on don't keep with them in the dark. Get. On the zoom call and. Saw your face and tell them how. Things are progressing tell them how bad it is tell, them what, are we gonna do it to fix it get, them all together because, at the end of the day, mankind. Is not going to disappear right, is this, is this is this is we've got a great future and and and with you, know there's been sort, of disasters.
In The past and we're gonna recover we're gonna we're, gonna come back and we're gonna come back you know stronger, and wiser than ever before but, you need to keep on reminding that you, keep on telling people, that, you know what was as Winston, Churchill said when, you're going where you're walking through hell you keep walking so. And, and, that's that's what we did we kept walking and and we kept fighting and we kept being together and that was the that was the difference, that that actually made a difference. Yeah. You were mentioning, earlier that, the. Biggest part of the business from wintertime is franchise, it. Mean that you have many partners, croats, you you re asked. How. Do you who. Could you qualify, the kind, of relation, you are during, this is. Very strange period because. I guess they are they are asking blood of soup yes. Demanding. Yeah, absolutely. And. We when. We realized what what this pandemic. Is gonna do to our business when we start realizing what, was going on we. We sat down and we said okay who-who, who do we really. Who. Is our number-one priority is, our team members, ourselves. To, be healthy ourselves, and our, loved ones and our families, our team members so our community, of people and our, franchisees and. Without. A franchisee. You. Don't have a franchise business, 10%. Of zero is still zero so, the. The, well be, the. Support, to our franchisees. And our customers, was a number-one priority, and remember. This is the business that we, were not making any revenues, but, we sat down and we took some really hard measures for our business and we said forget. About us for a second forget about the fact that we're not making any money forget, about that we you know we, have 307. Hotels that are closed and so forth and so on we. Need to support those people but, because when when, the time is right and we come back to business these.
Guys Are gonna open their hotels again and our, guests are gonna. Walk in there and be treated like never, they've never been treated before so we've taken financial. Relief measures. We've. Taken some really hard measures for the business to you know to. Give away to. Give away brand, standards, or to loosen brand status and and to, go back to the franchisees, and say look, what, else can I do for you that, is the number one question that we've asked these, are the things that we've got in mind but what else can can I do for you and you, know what I I found, because, I spoke to a lot of those from sighs these and those clients myself you. Know what I found which is very very interesting. And very. Kind. Of overwhelming. For me the. Fact that you actually picked up the phone when you spoke to them. It is it is actually, unbelievable. Sometimes. You sit back and you think oh I'm, gonna do all these amazing things for these people and I'm gonna give them financial relief, and whatever and it takes one phone call to say, how. Are you how. Can i how can I be of assistance. How's your family. How. Do you feel he takes one phone call and, and and and that's what I said to my team I said in. Respective, of what days it irrespective. Of the time of the day call. The people call, the GMs staying close with the owners make, sure that you speak to them make sure that you understand, what they're going through let them talk. Let. Them talk let them vent let them be angry let them be frustrated. You, cannot. Believe how, important, this is in in a relationship, like this and and, and I've been I, mean, I didn't with my own family I I vented. And I I. Didn't, do it with my clients, but but, I had a couple of clients that they were really frustrated and and you, know what when we put the phone down they drop me what's up and they said that. Conversation, actually made me feel so much better and, that's. What human beings are all about you give them an opportunity to communicate we, give them an opportunity to. Just to tell them I'm not calling, you for business I just call you to see how you're doing and how can I help. To me that made a huge difference. Now. You're, absolutely absolutely. Right well human, after all that's. That's very that's very important, to. Keep this in mind absolutely. We're human beings and and and no, matter if you're rich or poor if, you. Know if you're a man or a woman it, doesn't matter it, doesn't matter we're all human beings we all have exactly the same basic, needs and somebody, picking up the phone and tell me asking me how can I help to. Me goes a long way. Demetria, of. Course I should ask you a question, about what are the main points. Put, in place regarding. Safety. Or. Earth. Safety, within. The new. Operation, that will arrive in the in geotubes, maybe, if you have to pick up one or two because everyone. Has been very expensive, about the. Mission. Yeah. Yeah, no you're right you're right and it's been there's been so much discussion on, social media, everywhere, everybody you know big. Organization, coming WTO, WTTC. They're all coming up with protocols, airlines, we. Have a we, have a tagline. We, have a culture, in internal, culture in Wyndam and we call it count, on me and this. Is our internal, culture how we count on each other to deliver the job to deliver what we need to deliver and to, make sure that we do the right thing for our team members and we, had a brainstorm, ear we said what, what should be our tagline for, for what we're going to be doing for our industry and our franchisees, and it, was so obvious it's count on us we're. Launching our count on us initiative. Tomorrow. Actually, it. Sort of the press we're launching it we, we are we are going back to our franchisees, and saying and our guests and we're, saying you, just count on us count, on us to be safe count on us to make, sure that we give you all the right guidance do it for cleanliness and, and health and safety and, sanitization. We're, not we're not gonna reinvent, the wheel we're not gonna do something that other people have in 404, or, people are not going to do something we haven't thought of the, question is the implementation, the indication, the communication.
How, How, you you, you you put the guess in, an environment, that they understand, what you've done for them and why because. To. Be fair a lot of people are gonna be are gonna be surprised the first time they walk into a room and they and they, see all these sanitized, sanitized. Devices. And I don't know and, wipe, clean, whatever, surface is but, that's the new norm that's, the new norm and, for. Me, the. Count on us philosophy. Is very simple we're, telling the guests and our franchisees, and, our, customers, and our manage properties, you, can count on us to do the right thing and to, give you the right guidance for. You to service, not only your team members but, every, single person that walks through your door that is what we're gonna be doing we're, partnering, with some really great brands like a collab, from a sanitization. And and, cleanliness. We've, got some other great ideas that, we, are we're launching soon but, the important, thing is people. Need to know that they can count on us to actually deliver, them the right guidance at the right service, yeah. We need this shock, of confidence, absolute, value, absolutely. We are in a zillion industry, we are not we're, not gonna we're not gonna go anywhere we're. Not gonna go anywhere we're we're here to stay, we're here to stay. Demetri, I know that you don't have a crystal, ball to see what the future will be even if we. Are probably both very confident, on the middle and the long term for for this industry bring. People together and we are human, animals so we need this social. Aspect. Of our, life and. I'm sure that we are both sensitive. To the Greek philosophy, the Greek, philosophy used to say from, Kalos. The. Cosmos so to, your opinion, how the cosmos will, came out of the chaos of the situation, but will be the different paths look. It. Is very if. I can judge from my own example right one, of the things that this lockdown. Has done is that it made me think it, made me think about priorities. In life it made me think about about. My whole. Positioning, in life it, makes me think about what is worth and what doesn't, what, is important, and what is it and if. I'm not mistaken without. Having a crystal ball and lot of people around, the world four billion people at some point that were in lockdown, I'm not saying four billion people are gonna reassess, their lives as a gonna change but a lot, of thinking has gone through a lot of people's minds, I and, that is what is important, it, is important. To understand. What what. People are thinking why. These. These these virus, and why this pandemic, is gonna change our behavior, and how and. I don't think it's research, I think, it's experimental. Experimenting. Is about watching, to see how. The first people, who travel, are gonna react what is gonna be their needs their wants a. Lot, of people talk about domestic, travel versus international, travel I get it you know people, will travel domestically because, it's easier they strive to but, but what happens when the airlines open what happens with the borders of it how people are, gonna is, it about the, the amazing spa now or is it about going. Back to basics you know a comfortable. Clean and safe bet these, are the things that we as a hospitality. Dysley we need to keep our eyes and ears wide, open to, monitor, what customers, are saying the.
Mistake, I believe, personally without, having a crystal ball the mistake we're gonna do is if, we believe that tomorrow. Morning we're all gonna open the doors and people are behaving exactly, the, same way that they did before I think, this is not gonna happen I think, people are gonna behave differently, they're, gonna want different things they're gonna be looking at different things and we, need to get the pulse we need to understand, what. Exactly is, it that makes them and motivates, them to travel once, we get that and and, once medicine. Will help us and and, we'll find the vaccine, and the drugs to, actually, help, you. Know get out of this or, this pandemic I think, you will see a completely, different, view of the, hospitality, industry, I am, very bullish I'm very optimistic people. Have been traveling since the the make of time I, think other may be Eve if, I. Go back to my school years they were the first travel. Ever, or even, before them so I don't, know I'm very optimistic but. The important, thing is that, we need to go through the motion we need to go through the, difficult decisions, we need to go through the the hard the hard decisions, that we've all made for our business to survive we. Need to watch what is happening out there and and and we need to make sure that we, are not just a spectator we are actually an active player of the future not, just us but but. Every, single industry out there, okay. Lovely thanks. Thanks, a lot Dmitry was great talking, to you and and get, some insight. And a new, opinion, about the situation. We. Can already make an, appointment, for the coming two or three months so we make a regular state what, happened, around. And see how this industry is getting back on track thanks a lot in. Well it will and and and as long as we stay safe if we stay sane and and we, keep focus for the future I think that we've, got a we've got a bright future despite. All the challenges and and, and, and and all the things that we had to go through and we will be going through the next the next few months but we, will prevail I'm sure about that and thank you for giving me the opportunity. You.