Human Resource Management - Best Practices at Marriott International

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB064
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1997-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Marriott International
Industry : Hospitality
Countries : USA

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Spirit to Serve Contd...

The warm and considerate attitude of employees like Charles is, perhaps, the major reason why customers across the world remain loyal to one name in the hospitality industry -Marriott. Charles, through his conduct, reflected the attitude of the 128,000 Marriott employees who strive to work with the 'spirit to serve.'

Commenting on how Marriott creates loyal customers, JW Marriott said, "Our people care a lot about the guests and we work very hard to encourage our people to do so. We have reward programmes, employee celebrations and a lot of stroking of our people to make sure they recognize the value of the guest."6

Background Note

In 1927, J. William Marriott (JW Marriott) set-up a nine-seat root beer7 shop in Washington. After some time, William started serving hot food along with the root beer and named the shop as 'The Hot Shoppe.' In 1929, Hot Shoppe was officially incorporated as Hot Shoppes Inc and in 1937, Hot Shoppe, ventured into airline catering at Washington airport, serving the Eastern, American and Capital airlines.

Over the next three decades, Hot Shoppes diversified into other businesses including food services management8 by starting a cafeteria at the US Treasury Building in Washington DC and the Highway Division. In 1966, the company ventured overseas, acquiring an airline catering kitchen in Caracas, Venezuela. In November 1967, its name was changed to the Marriott Corporation (Marriott).

In 1982, Marriott acquired Host International, a leading hospitality services provider in the US, becoming the largest operator of airport terminal food, beverage and merchandise facilities in the US. In the 1980s, Marriott acquired several companies including the American Resorts Corporation (vacation business, 1984), Gladieux Corporation (food service company, 1985), Service Systems (contact food service company, 1985), Howard Johnson Company (hotels & inns, 1985) and Residency Inn Company9 (1987). With the acquisition of the Saga Corporation, a diversified food service management company in 1986, Marriott became the largest food service management company in the US.

Marriott also diversified into the moderate price segment of hotels under the brand name 'Courtyard' (1983). In 1987, Marriott entered the field of economy lodging by launching the first Fairfield Inn in Atlanta, Georgia. That year, Marriott also launched its worldwide reservation centre (WRC)10 at Omaha, Nebraska. This centre became the largest one-point reservation operation in the US hotel industry...

 Excerpts >>

6] Watkins, Edward, Bill Marriott speaks, Lodging Hospitality, September 1997.

7] A carbonated soft drink made from extracts of certain plant roots and herbs.

8] Serving of food items at office buildings and large complexes through cafeterias. Normally, these cafeterias are fully dedicated to the particular office building in which they operate.

9] An all-suite hotel chain targeted at extended stay travellers.

10] WRCs are physical set-ups (like centralized train reservation centres) connected through computer networks.


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