Choice continuously strives to deliver more value to its
franchisees by providing proven operational "success systems," professional
staff support, worldwide reservations and high-impact consumer marketing.
Fulfilling that commitment, in turn, positions Choice for continued prosperity.
The Company's service philosophy is to provide premium franchise support, from the
first day the franchise contract is signed through the operating life of every hotel.
A Strategy for Future Profits
This year Choice undertook a major self-examination to evaluate three key areas: 1)
consumer perception of its products, 2) its performance versus the competition and 3) the
satisfaction of franchisees.
That effort culminated in the creation of a three-year strategic plan designed to
enhance franchisee profitability by sharpening the Company's focus on consumers,
realigning corporate resources and implementing new growth and service strategies.
The plan is driven by six specific strategies:
||Organize for success
||Optimize the brand portfolio
||Increase market penetration on a strategic versus an opportunistic
||Improve margins through increased productivity
||Profitably grow international operations
||Leverage the spinoff of franchise operations from company-owned real
New Organization Emphasizes Support
Choice began the implementation of the strategic plan with the establishment of five
regional service groups to bring its support staff even closer to domestic franchisees.
Five regional offices are being established: Northeast, Southeast, North Central, South
Central and Pacific. Each will be managed as an independent profit center under a vice
president of franchise operations.
Field staff teams will provide expertise in sales and marketing, hotel operations and
development. Beginning with the new fiscal year, all field personnel will address both
sales and operational issues.
Newly designated franchise service directors will serve as single points of contact for
each operator, with the primary role of driving revenue to each individual hotel.
By eliminating the assignment of multiple field staff representatives to each hotel,
there will be a ratio of one representative to approximately 45 hotels in comparison to
the previous ratio of one to 90.
Realignment to Improve Customer Satisfaction
The Company's reorganization also is based on the belief that satisfying consumers will
make franchisees and Choice more profitable.
For that reason, Choice has combined brand management, new product development and
traditional marketing to create more consumer focus and drive demand for Choice's existing
and future products.
The Marketing department now is responsible for all consumer-driven activities
including setting strategic direction and standards for each Choice brand.
Making Quality a Consumer Issue
In an effort to align standards for each brand with consumer expectations, Choice is
revising its quality assurance review process by emphasizing issues important to guests as
determined by periodic guest feedback in every hotel.
Working with the leadership of its franchisee organizations, Choice is developing an
entirely new model for evaluating quality and service from the guest's perspective.
Field staff will mobilize to help hotels that demonstrate the need for improvement.
Owners will be counseled on the most effective tactics for resolving deficiencies, whether
through training or physical plant improvements.
At the same time, the Company will intensify standards enforcement to ensure hotels
meet consumer expectations. For example, a revised default process will reduce
significantly the length of time required to terminate properties that fail basic
The objective is to expedite the termination of hotels that do not fulfill guest
expectations by reducing from 180 days to 90 days the period between initial default
notification and termination from the system.
Year-Round Marketing Drives Revenue
Choice again distinguished itself as one of the industry's most creative and innovative
marketers, rolling out a variety of award-winning advertising and publicity campaigns
designed to deliver the greatest impact for each franchisee dollar invested.
Suitcase celebrity commercials featuring Ivana Trump, Deion Sanders, Dennis Rodman,
Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Connors, Jonathan Winters, Ed Koch, Victor Kiam, Chi Chi
Rodriguez and Brett Favre spurred record increases in reservations, call volume and sales.
Choice this year introduced a special educational advertising campaign designed to help
travel agents sell key markets and Choice brands. The year-long program, called A Choice
Education, included advertisements in travel agent trade publications and seminars held