Back Of House With Bill

A Series On All Things Hospitality

FreemanGroup COVID 19 Solutions

In March of 1985, I set out from Dallas to begin work my very first client, The Sorrento Hotel in Seattle. I had ambitions to create a small boutique luxury hotel training company; nothing more, just me servicing individual accounts, adapting to their needs and vision. Little did I know then that I would be setting out on a 35-year FreemanGroup journey that involved so much more. Over our 35-year tenure we have and continue to build a large team comprised of industry experts. We service many accounts across traditional hospitality disciplines (Casinos, Destinations, Airlines, Resorts, Luxury, Business, Convention, Mid-Market and Economy Hotels). We continue to explore new hospitality industries and accounts (Healthcare, Retail). We have opened support offices worldwide (Honolulu, London, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dallas, Louisiana), and have produced lasting relationships with so many talented individuals along the way.

It’svery humbling for me to think about and appreciate all the destinations, but more so the people my team and I have been fortunate to meet as the FreemanGroup has undertaken projects over the years. From Europe to Asia, the Caribbean to The Seychelles and so many places in between, the ongoing journey has been amazing, and I feel privileged every day that the 35-year journey continues.

FreemanGroup has not been immune to some challenging times: The 1987 market crash, the 1991 Gulf War, the 9/11 atrocities, the 2008 recession and a 2011 FreemanGroup slump. It is challenges such as these I think that have defined our resilience as a company not only to survive, but to thrive. I was asked recently how we at FreemanGroup have managed a thirty-five-year life cycle, while remaining robust and relevant as a business. I could have responded with the typical “business” answers; the right team, the right products, the right services, the correct business model but I think FreemanGroup has a 35-year history because we:

  • Never simply stand on our previous success. We always seek out new pathways to get better and improve.
  • Listen to each individual client. In this fashion, we can determine how to best partner with them, strategically supporting their overall business objective(s). That approach enables us to customize each initiative to their overall vision.
  • Are adaptable. We have learned that local and national crisis moments can drastically effect economies and change the order of business priorities. These challenges have driven the FreemanGroup to be creative, to change, refocus and adapt immediately to a new order of producing materials, approaches and protocols. Our ability to be nimble, offers our clients the support and guidance to overcome existing and potential obstacles.

COVID-19 challenges us all: Personally, Professionally, Intellectually, Emotionally and, from a business perspective, Creatively. At FreemanGroup, like the previous challenging times we have faced, we have pivoted our resources and adapted our approaches to tackle this new challenge head-on. This event has no end date in sight and we fully expect this environment to be with us for the near future and longer. I believe that businesses like ours cannot wait for the world to come to them, nor can we rely on government to provide long and lasting solutions. Businesses like ours must take the initiative and act independently to address what, in this case, is clearly going to be a changed environment going forward.  That philosophy has driven the following FreemanGroup actions in response to the COVID-19 environment:

  • The immediate strengthening, reassurance and solidification of our team, by completely following the organizational advice I have conveyed in reference to the hospitality industry (senior leadership salary cuts, corporate efficiencies and an overall refocus on operative team members)
  • A comprehensive research of probable and possible support service needed for the re-opening of the economy, particularly concentrating on the hospitality and travel sector.
  • Swift development and delivery of products and services, which will greatly assist in the re-opening of the hospitality and travel sector.
  • Application and validation of our healthcare and personal hygiene expertise to customize tangible solutions that revamp our service offerings to our travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

Our own decisive actions have led to the development of a focused, practical and efficient menu of services and products that fit the present environment of COVID-19 protocols and further, adapt to the on-going business climate. As many of these products and services become available over the coming weeks, we will continue to adapt all our offerings to protocols and regulations in the environment that we will be working within.

I am confident these solutions will support any potential or existing clients’ objectives to firstly, reinforce their customer base that the overall experience is safe and secondly, protect operative team members while ensuring their ongoing health safety.

FreemanGroup COVID-19 Solutions

  • Customizable COVID-19 Standards of Performance manuals which outline the practical and technical skills necessary for a successful re-opening, while also including the behavioral skills in communicating with guests, customers, passengers, visitors and work colleagues. (Available online May 8)
  • An adapted Foundations™ seminar available via interactive webinars to prepare for social distancing and remote learning environments. (Available May 15)
  • Tailored Promises™ seminars available via interactive webinars to prepare for social distancing and remote learning environments. (Available May 15)
  • In conjunction with our partner Digital Twin Studios, an interactive and immersive online video environment, which reinforces COVID-19 technical and behavioral standards of performance as they relate to guest perception. Users will be able to emerge themselves into multiple environments to understand the impact their actions have in the COVID-19 environment. (Available July 2020)
  • Access and partnership with FreemanGroup clinicians to support the preparation of the hotel, travel and tourism sectors. These individuals’ partner with operational experts to advise and direct what updated protocols are necessary. (Available May 15)
  • In conjunction with our Caribbean partner NorthStar Consulting, we are in negotiations to provide a one stop shop solution to allow destinations to efficiently test and track visitors and residents for COVID-19. The testing solutions are supplemented by a robust and practical full training/educational process that includes detailed technical and behavioral standards and an online training tool that highlights residents influence on the visitor experience. (Available June 2020)

It is not lost on me at all that it is a true human tragedy that has unfolded over the past several months, however this is also an opportunity for all of us to change for the better. At the time of writing, over 246,000 people worldwide have passed on from this scourge, 68,000 in our country alone. We all now have a solemn responsibility to ensure that we as individuals learn to improve our behaviors.  Personal hygiene, environmental cleanliness, communication and business behaviors need to change, particularly those businesses that are solely based on human interaction such as hospitality, travel and tourism.

We all owe it to those that have lost loved ones or colleagues to improve the manner in which we all provide service, be it business to business or business to guest. We all individually and collectively are now facing truly challenging times. It is how we adapt and find new ways to get better and improve both our personal and business behavior that is the only remedy to surviving these testing times.

FreemanGroup is small, but our commitment to the betterment of our services, products and overall approach will remain…………permanently.    

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