Beechmont's General Management Doctrine:

Beechmont's General Management Doctrine addresses various areas of concern within the Beechmont organizations, and within the industry generally. They lay out our principles and values in the area which they address (by contrast to our Operating Policies and Procedures, which are more focused on standards and ideals). They do not constitute company policy, only guidance. If it's necessary to lay down a rule, or a hard-and-fast standard, a condition of satisfaction; it will show up in a numbered Operating Policies and Procedures section. But where someone is smart enough to get there on their own if we just point them in the right direction, they will find that direction in our General Management Doctrine.

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Community Relations and Accountability:

Community Partnerssm:

Every Beechmont-operated hotel, in every community where we operate a hotel, has Community Partnerssm

In any of our mid-market tier hotels, donate ten dollars to one of these community organizations, and we'll give you twenty dollars off your room rate. (In our economy tier hotels, donate five bucks to one of these community organizations, and we'll give you ten bucks off your room rate.)

Later that night, a little bookkeeping magic is done by the night auditor, and each organization gets a check for the accumulated donations to them at the end of each month. It's our way of giving back to the community.

Many non-profit organizations can be considered as Community Partners (and we, subject to certain guidelines, invite participation by local ones), but here are some of our own favorites who are among the first invited to participate whenever we open a new hotel or take an older one under management:

For more on the subject of community relations, and marketing and business development, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog.

Diversity:

Beechmont values diversity, and has a Non-Discrimination and Irrelevant Factors Policy that exceeds the requirements of non-discrimination laws at the federal level and in most states.

  • Beechmont conducts all of its business relationships, including employment and staffing, and inside that, in the provision of employment benefits; without discrimination or preference on the basis of race, color, religion, age, personal relationship or family status (including legal marriage or lack of legal marriage in a domestic partnership, or LGBT identification), or handicap.
For more on the subject of employee relations, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog.

Employees:

Do you see people as fundamentally moochers and takers, who will work at all only under coercion; do you regard employee costs as an expense item that you pay for at all only because you have to, and you are always looking for ways to reduce it?

Or do you see people as loving, creative beings who could feel great loyalty to you or your company, and perhaps deliver tremendous benefit to you with a little care, commitment and investment?

How you might answer that question makes a difference in how you grow your people -- and what kind of people, and what kind of hotel, that it gets you in return.

Beechmont treats people as an investment.

  • There are no minimum-wage jobs at any Beechmont-operated hotel. Our hourly wages always exceed the prevaling hourly wage for similar jobs at similar hotels. Minimum wage gets you minimum people and nothing more (and doesn't even assure you of that), and we want to be able to take our pick of available people. If we offer more, the available people will come to us first, and the Hampton Inn can have our rejects. All wages at every Beechmont-operated hotel, in each city where we operate a hotel, are keyed to the MIT Living Wage Calculator (a map is at this location) rate for a single person, rounded up to the next twenty-five cents, per hour. (We cannot be responsible for the family size of individual employees, we simply cannot afford to pay each employee an amount sufficient, according to MIT, to support a non-working spouse and several children; and taking the family status of individual employees into account in hiring or pay decisions is deemed to be unlawful discrimination under Federal law).

  • Every department in a hotel has four rating levels for employees in that department, each with a higher pay rate. Employees who work to do so -- for a set amount of time in a previous rating without any attendance, disciplinary, or performance problems; complete the training for advancement to the next one, and have a good performance record -- may advance to the next rating and earn an increase in pay.

  • Beechmont is a 'mustang' company.



    • All of our senior management has some level of practical, hands-on experience in various areas of hotel operation at the hourly employee or 'customer-facing' level; and qualifications and requirements for any future employment at the salaried and management level are intentionally biased in favor of keeping it that way.

    • At the hourly employee level, every employee who desires one has a right to a career path that will take him or her as far as he or she is willing to work to go -- and in the meanwhile, the right to be confident that anyone supervising or managing him or her has 'been there', and knows what it's like to work in his or her accountability.

    • Every guest has a right to expect that the person ultimately accountable to her for her stay at a given location, and every employee has a right to be confident that the person who directs his activities and to whom he must answer; is an accountable, competent professional who has earned his way into the accountability that he or she has.

    We do not walk college graduates -- or even people with management experience from another hotel company -- into management "positions" without meaningful hands-on experience, and there is never any presumption that a low-level hourly employee isn't meant, or "wasn't hired", to perform at any higher accountability than he or she now has. Other companies pay lip service to a 'promote from within' policy: while we're not stupid about it (or any other company policy or rule), we actually insist on advancing people from within wherever practicable at all.

    The night audit accountability is the entry-level management accountability. Hotel managers are required to have a minimum of six months' night audit experience. Downtime during the night audit shift is spent training (in the form of completing book reports, Coursera courses, and learner-controlled instruction), and doing chores for the front office and business development staff (useful work that expands the night auditor's knowledge, skills and ability; not the sales manager's scutowrk). At our smaller properties, the night auditor is the assistant general manager and vice versa.

    We don't 'hire people off the golf course', as some hotel companies do.

  • In part, because Beechmont is a 'mustang' company, and in part, because our guests, our customers and our investors deserve better from our staff and management than is usually found at most hotels; Beechmont is a very training, education, and formation-intensive company. Every employee is offered training to expand his or her capabilities.

    • We require that it be good training that adds to the knowledge, skills, abilities and value of the employee, not a repeat of last year's "how to greet the guest" training. (Actually, we don't even bother with "how to greet the guest"-type training, like so many other hotel companies do. We just hire nice people, and let them be themselves.) Our management is held accountable for it, and we want to see more than "we conducted some training".

    • Tuition assistance is provided for relevant, college level courses; Coursera is used heavily in training programs that we develop in-house, and participation by employees in The Landmark Forum and other programs offered by Landmark Worldwide, LLC is encouraged and subsidized.

    Because this benefits every Beechmont-operated hotel equally, no matter who is the client-owner of any one or more properties; total cost is covered by Beechmont, then taxed to the individual hotels we manage on a per-employee basis.

  • If we ask an employee to relocate as part of his or her employment, we owe that employee to relocate him or her back when we no longer wish to employ him or her at that location.

  • You can never count upon staff to treat customers better than they, themselves, feel that they are treated by the company. The ambience of our properties, the space we create within them, is our stock in trade, and it is directly affected by working conditions.

There is a four-tiered pay scale that we use to allow us to give employees a raise from time to time as a reward for time in service, reliability, and taking all the training and formation that we can give them and increasing their capabilities along the way.

For more on the subject of employee compensation, and employee relations, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog.

Franchise considerations: Any franchise

Any franchise agreements entered into by Beechmont, with rare exceptions, will include a provision to terminate the franchise without penalty at intervals of five years more or less. We've seen too many franchise organizations - Howard Johnson's, Budgetel, Baymont, Travelodge, other 'proven winners' -- here today and gone (or all but worthless) in five to ten years down the road.

Even once great names like Days Inn, Ramada, and Econo Lodge, while still retaining some viability as franchises today, are next to nothing like they were in their better days. For a few years prior to 2007-08, when they began an all-out effort at turnaround, even Holiday Inn went through a bad time when you were just as well off without them. Even with Hilton behind it, the growth of the once-mighty Hampton Inns has stalled from time to time.

Beechmont takes absolute responsibility for the successful sales, marketing and business development at each of its hotels and will not completely subcontract this responsibility to any franchise organization. Nor will we give up but just so much control: we insist upon freedom to operate our properties in a manner most appropriate to carrying out that responsibility. Success does not come in a kit that you can buy. If you're seeking success that comes in a kit, sign up as an Amway distributor.

We avoid operating under a franchise that does not generate an amount of referrals or revenue to our property in excess of the percentage of our gross room revenue that must be paid to that franchise organization. If, for example, we acquire a property that operates under the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson brand, and have to pay 8.5 percent of our gross to Carlson; but Carlson isn't producing more than 8.5 percent of our business; then Beechmont and Carlson are going to have a parting of the ways in that location, as amicably as possible under the circumstances.

We're not that big on franchising, anyway. The value of a hotel franchise to an individual hotel -- that is, the revenue to the hotel that can be sourced solely to the franchise organization's central reservations system -- is diminishing, year after year. (Not that many people call the big hotel chain's 800 number or use their website anymore. More and more people use online travel agencies such as Expedia and Booking.com now.)

Eventually, even commercial mortgage lenders (who generally require a franchise as a condition of making the loan for acquisition or construction of hotels) are going to start to notice it, and that'll be the beginning of the end of hotel franchising. It's one of the reasons why we put a lot of work into creating and developing our own brands, the mid-market tier Salem Inns by Beechmont and the economy tier Calico Inns by Beechmont . . . which we do not intend to franchise.

For more on the subject of hotel franchising, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog.

Security:

Generally:

Beechmont does not play and get along well with bad hotel security, and doesn't try.

  • Every employee, prior to hire and at least every two years thereafter, is subject to a public records background check, and this information must be kept on file.

  • Our developed facilities have very few connecting rooms. Any door into a guestroom which can be opened without using the guestroom key will be secured with a deadbolt lock and/or barrel bolt as appropriate, and this locking mechanism must be personally inspected by a member of management and sealed each time the room is made, prior to its being rented to a guest.

Furthermore:

  • All guests are advised of our privacy policy, and must show satisfactory identification upon check-in.

  • We do not knowingly tolerate any illegal activity, or borderline illegal activity, at our hotels.

  • Loitering on the property by anyone - even registered guests or their visitors - in any location and for any reason that the manager or clerk on duty is not okay with, is strictly forbidden and will result in ejection and/or a police response. Guests are informed of this policy and encouraged to report violations.

  • Common areas of our properties are video monitored.

  • At our developed hotels (the ones we design and build ourselves), we pipe the background music into the guestroom corridors as well as the lobby. Besides adding to the ambience of our facility as a fun hotel, it's also a security feature: if you're in your room and you hear music, check your door, you left it cracked open. (We keep it set at just that level.)

  • We run a hotel, not a correctional facility or a military camp. Our security is like that you'll find at the casinos in Vegas or Atlantic City, the proverbial 'iron fist in a velvet glove'. If you're innocent, you shouldn't even notice that it's there. But if someone's up to no good - don't worry, it's there!

  • Every peaceable guest at any Beechmont-operated hotel has a right to a safe, comfortable stay; with reasonable and responsible care by us (subject to the provisions of the law and the equal responsibility of care by the guest himself or herself) as to the protection of his or her person and belongings. We would rather allow a few rooms go unrented and lose the revenue on them, than to rent them to those who would infringe upon or challenge that right.
It's in our management contracts, and we don't sign HMA's with client-owners who try to insist we be 'a little less stubborn' in this particular area.

For more on the subject of hotel security, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog.

Sex trade:

All Beechmont-operated hotels are 'Clean Hotels'; and exceed the requirements for listing on the former Clean Hotels website. No Beechmont-operated hotel:

  • Offers pornography or adult videos, whether video rental or pay-per-view.

  • Offers rooms furnished with waterbeds, whirlpool tubs or hot tubs into which more than one or maybe two people can fit, mirrored ceilings, or other such amenities of decor.

  • Offers hourly or 'short-stay' rates.

  • Knowingly accepts as a registered guest any person associated in any way with any 'escort service' or persons who advertise as 'independent escorts'.

  • Accepts anonymous room rentals or permits the renting of rooms under fictitious identity.
While we don't encourage that particular use of our rooms, there's not much we can do to stop a couple from renting a room to consummate a hot date or a singles bar pickup, and we don't try very hard to do so as long as it goes no further than that; but our hotels do not go out of their way to pursue or encourage the sex trade. None of them. If it's obvious that that's the use someone has in mind for one of our rooms or our facilities, or if there's too apparent a possibility that money has changed hands, or will change hands, at some point along the way; then we do not want any place on the supply chain of it.

It's in our management contracts, and we don't sign HMA's with client-owners who try to insist we be more 'flexible' in this area.




Beechmont supports Paving The Way, World Relief, The Polaris Project, and other anti-human-trafficking and human trafficking recovery organizations.

We invite you to join the fight by downloading and installing the Traffikcam app on your phone, and using it whenever you travel. Following any acquisition, new construction or renovation, all rooms at all Beechmont-operated hotels are photographed by Beechmont's staff and submitted to Traffikcam -- but please do it again when you stay with us just to make sure.

Technology and data:

Beechmont is excited about the opportunities that technology opens up, and sets out to make the most of them.

  • Our property management systems, the software that we literally use to run the hotel and track revenue and hotel usage, are cutting edge*.

  • We supplement them with customer relationship management systems that allow us to know who you are when you show up to check in -- even if it's been months -- and have some idea of your needs and preferences.

  • Revenue management systems from suppliers such as Duetto Research and The Rainmaker Group permit us to notice the recurrence of historic trends, and the performance of competing hotels in any of our locations; and from that, quickly notice opportunities to maximize our revenue and adjust our room rates accordingly. (Rates might be adjusted upward for a high demand period, or downward if we know in advance that business is going to be lean; and while our rooms don't have a 'shelf' price, we never exploit a natural disaster or unpredicted public disorder to our advantage**.)

  • Reputation management allows us to be notified instantly when a hotel turns up in a news story, a TripAdvisor or Yelp! review, or a Facebook or Twitter post. If it's a good thing, we can acknowledge the sender and make the best use of it, most quickly. If there's a problem, we can address it right away.

    * -- Franchise requirements permitting. One of the things we love so much about hotel franchising (and mortgage lenders who require that a franchise be in place), and why we regard holding a franchise as the only responsible way to manage a hotel and the foundation and future of sound hotel management; is that franchise organizations so frequently force required purchases, and brand standards, that actually deliver sub-optimal performance.

    ** -- To avoid accusations and the appearance of 'price-gouging'; it is our policy to never, in the event of such an occurrence, allow our room rates to be adjusted to an unprecedented high-demand level. If we've never charged that much per night at this location before, we're not going to do it during this event . . .

At the same time, Beechmont can do it the old-fashioned way if we have to: we are committed to using our technology responsibly, and having it backstopped so that we can continue to function if it fails.

  • We still use the old 'reg card' and ask you to fill it out and sign it when you check in, at least the first time you check in. Besides backing up some of our records about you on paper, it serves the critical function of bringing up some information about you that goes to our Business Development staff, and would likely get missed if we relied strictly upon our automated recordkeeping.




  • We also still use the card rack, so our recordkeeping doesn't break down completely in the event of a power or computer failure.

  • Our newer hotels are generator-equipped, and can carry on basic functions even if the power fails.



Beechmont's General Management Doctrine:

Beechmont's General Management Doctrine addresses various areas of concern within the Beechmont organizations, and within the industry generally. They lay out our principles and values in the area which they address (by contrast to our Operating Policies and Procedures, which are more focused on standards and ideals). They do not constitute company policy, only guidance. If it's necessary to lay down a rule, or a hard-and-fast standard, a condition of satisfaction; it will show up in a numbered Operating Policies and Procedures section. But where someone is smart enough to get there on their own if we just point them in the right direction, they will find that direction in our General Management Doctrine.

Within each of the areas the GMDs address, there are various truths that are "true" because we accept them as true, even if we don't re-visit or re-examine them as often as we should. As to their being "truths", or even "true", you can agree or not, but for us they are a starting point, they are how life occurs for us, they are where we come from in all that we plan or do, and they are what we go by. Performance in alignment with them is what you can generally count on us for and, if you work for us, what we want to be able to count on you for.

Like many other companies (and the more they grow, the more they have to), Beechmont relies upon a set of written policies and procedures to keep things efficient, orderly; and done consistently from time to time, and uniformly from location to location. While the Operating Policies and Procedures still constitute the day-to-day rules for the management of our company and the operation of our properties, our observation is that, in the hands of the right person, one thirty-page set of General Management Doctrine guidelines is worth a few hundred Operating Policies and Procedures (each of which, individually, would have to be composed, and scrutinized, and cross-referenced, and kept up to date -- and still would probably not be enough). Because if your heart's in the right place, then it'll usually tell you pretty accurately what you should or shouldn't do, and you won't need a rule to tell you how to act.

The written company policies and procedures of companies like Marriott and Hilton usually take up twelve to twenty bound volumes, sometimes more. Our GMDs are what makes it possible for Beechmont to maintain our Operating Policies and Procedures in a single, large Staples three-ring binder.

What you'll see on this page is by no means a comprehensive guide to how to run a hotel; and does not come from a single set of General Management Doctrine guidelines, but several. (Among our various sets of GMDs, there is one for business development, one for personnel management, one for operation of hotels under the Salem Inn brand, etc.) This material is only a starting point for those who are here to gain first-time familiarity with our company and how we work.

We don't publish the GMD guidelines themselves or circulate them outside the company (they contain trade secrets and attorney work product), but if you want to know more, visit WWMD: The Hotel Blog, and perhaps follow it as we add material. Much of what the GMDs contain, on whatever topic, ends up there at some time on another; and nearly all of what you'll find there that hasn't already, sooner or later ends up in a set of GMD guidelines.

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Beechmont Hotels Corporation
6255 Towncenter Drive, suite 602
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27012
(336) 529-5762

Reference is made in several places on this website to investment groups, corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs and similar entities in which we from time to time become involved at their formative stage, and with which we might subsequently contract the management of properties. These entities seek investment by private offering only. Nothing on this website should be construed as an offer to sell, or an invitation of an offer to buy, securities.

Beechmont is not a NASCAR sponsor. Race and crash photos are for illustration purposes only and were taken from public domain sources.

Not all hotels depicted in illustrations on this website are Beechmont-operated hotels.

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