About two weeks ago, we went on a family vacation – we went on a Carnival Cruise. En route to the Long Beach and San Pedro port, we stopped at Las Vegas for the night. If you ignore the gambling, the permissiveness, and the shear excess of the city, it is really an engineering marvel. That got me thinking: what does it take to operate a mega hotel in Las Vegas? Indeed, how do Mega Hotels manage Hotel Queueing and Waiting Lines?
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In the Wall Street Journal 1, there is a feature on The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which is the largest – the biggest hotel – in the United States. To give you a sense of the magnitude of running this hotel, here are some facts:
- The MGM Grand is 18 years old
- The MGM Grand has 2,995 Rooms
- Over 8,000 employees
- Hotel Driveway is 14 lanes wide
- 70,000 on average enter the front doors daily
- The MGM Grand parking lot holds 9,487 cars
- 370 Housekeepers are employed
- The MGM Grand parking lot Valet parked over 1 million cars in 2010
- The MGM Grand has 3,000 Pool Deck Chairs
- Every 3 days, the MGM Grand produces 886 floral arrangements
Do those numbers feel overwhelming? The MGM Grand also thinks so, which is why they have established a number of business processes to make MGM Grand customer experience better by helping the hotel guest feel that the hotel is smaller than it is. In their words,
“The challenge is to cater to everybody without alienating anybody,” says Mr. Scott Sibella, President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM Grand.
So, they employ a number of strategies that make their operations feel smaller and they do this in almost every customer touchpoint. They do this through establishing metrics that foster a “smaller hotel” feel and also in their hotel layout and design. Here are some:
Hotel Service Metrics
- Room Service: The MGM Grand helps the customer feel special and fosters a “small hotel” psychology by delivering room service within 30 minutes from order to room delivery.
- Hotel Maintenance and Facilities Management: Service calls to fix equipment or service other items such as air conditioners or kitchen equipment must be answered within 15 minutes.
- Valet Car Delivery: A car must be retrieved every 8 minutes (this would be their Takt Time).
- Housecleaning: Each room must be cleaned within 30 minutes of Guest checkout.
Hotel Management: Queueing and Waiting Lines
Contrary to traditional queueing theory of implementing a strategy of a Single Queue but with Multiple Servers, the MGM Grand Hotel has implemented 36 smaller lines and 36 front desk staff to help guest check-in.
In their words,
For years, hotel guests stood in two long, snaking lines to check in. Now, on busy days, there are 36 small lines, one in front of each front-desk worker. Guests “are third, not 23rd,” says Shawna Cabrera, front desk manager. “There’s the perception that they’re going to get through quickly.”
So, the MGM Grand is employing an old tactic from Psychology of Waiting Lines.
Below are some pictures that shed light on the above facts about MGM Grand:
- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903791504576584944173766266.html ↩