Rakesh Sarna

Rakesh Sarna

Rakesh Sarna is an experienced hospitality professional. With more than 38 years of experience, he has worked in South Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and North America. He is dedicated to customer service and makes sure that the customer has the best possible experience at all times. In the workplace, he is highly concerned with gender diversity and emotional intelligence. He believes that companies must keep their purpose and culture clear for the best possible results. 

Sarna was born in Zimbabwe. His father was a member of the Indian Foreign Service, giving Sarna a cosmopolitan upbringing. He studied Hospitality Administration at Algonquin College in Canada and then entered the field. He worked for Hyatt for nearly 35 years, honing his skills and putting his strong principles of customer service to the test. 

Rakesh Sarna is an example of a businessperson who truly cares about the people who work for him and about the customer’s experience. He will continue to contribute to the world of hospitality in the future. 

What are your interests in the hospitality field?

I am excited about the ways in which technology is impacting the hospitality industry. It goes beyond computer systems for the staff and in-room entertainment options. Technology has the potential to transform guest’s experiences in many ways.

What are some major changes that are transforming the hospitality industry?

Besides the technological revolution, there are several important changes in the works. One prevalent trend is the rise of the international traveler. As the number of guests from around the world grows, hotels and other hospitality businesses need to be ready to meet the challenge. Having employees who speak a variety of languages is a must. guests are more concerned with their health than they once were, and fitness rooms, spas, and pools need to be up-to-date.

The age range of hotel guests is rapidly changing. Hotels are beginning to cater more to the needs of millennial consumers, or those from ages 18 to 34. They are projected to make up half of all hotel guests by 2025. Some of the aspects that are important to millennial consumers include tech savviness, customer service, and value. They are impulsive and spontaneous.

Millennials are more likely to look for dining options outside the hotel, using various online review sites to find local restaurants. Hotel restaurants need to work to attract these guests, providing high-quality meals at a reasonable price. 

Tell me about the importance of sustainability in hospitality.

Eco-friendliness goes beyond the traditional card that asks guests whether they want to keep using their towel for another day. Hotels are beginning to install solar and wind-generated power. They are also installing systems that allow air conditioners and lights to automatically turn off whenever a guest leaves their room.

In the dining experience, food waste is discouraged. More restaurants are participating in food recovery programs which give usable leftovers to deserving community groups. Also, there has been a major push toward removing single-use plastics like straws from the meal service. Eco-friendliness attracts guests as well as contributes  positively to the state of the world. 

What is the impact of social media on  the hospitality industry?

Social media has a huge impact in the hospitality field. Hotels are beginning to hire dedicated social media experts to help promote them online. Guests enjoy sharing photos and tweets, and some hotel groups use these to help promote their business.

On the other hand, there is a serious issue stemming from some review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Consumers can easily post complaints on these websites, leading to a loss of public opinion. Hotels must stay on top of these issues and work to satisfy as many guests as possible.