Category: Critical thinking
You have worked hard to prepare for your new spa's first day of business. Before you open your doors to the public, you must complete a pre-opening checklist of items required by your local jurisdiction. This process is done to ensure that your future clients can come to a city-approved safe and clean environment and enjoy the services you offer. Taking the time to work through these pre-opening checklists gets you closer to a successful opening day.Surfaces
Spa clients must be able to walk safely through the facility. Both wet and dry surfaces within the spa must be clean and in good repair. You should do your best to protect clients from surface-based bacteria by installing drainage systems to keep standing water to a minimum. Part of the pleasure of visiting a spa is the soothing comfort of low lighting, but make sure your guests can see the surfaces and that they're safe to cross. Check with your jurisdiction about specific lighting requirements, but at a minimum, keep your lighting level at least 10 footcandles if walking paths are accessible after dusk.Emergency Equipment
It is critical to be prepared for emergencies. Phones must be operable and signs directing clients and staff to emergency exit routes should be clearly viewable. Install a fully stocked first aid kit in the main office and place first aid and basic CPR placards throughout the facility. Make sure that spa shut-off valves are functional and that all employees are aware of proper procedures for closing steam rooms, jacuzzis and saunas.Water
Make sure that you are in compliance with your local health department's requirements for water temperature and disinfection procedures. Begin with a complete stock of pH-testing kits. Also, you must regularly monitor bacterial and water content levels and provide your employees with training on disinfection procedures and alkalinity and acid table information. Double-check your water and steam temperature gauges. They must be in proper working order and able to consistently maintain required temperatures for all client spa areas.Locker and Rest Rooms
Your customers should always be able to comfortably change and clean up after spa sessions. Ensure that this is not an issue by checking all locks on lockers and make sure that soap, tissue, paper towels, and basic personal care items are available. Your wet areas should be working properly. Make sure all toilets are operating and check shower heads for proper spray angles and adequate water pressure. Check your water heater to make sure that shower water temperatures are safely between 90 and 110 degrees F.
Identify what's important:
Evaluate what you find:
Look beyond what you're reading/hearing:
Clarifying your point of view:
Note - Critical thinking skills need to be understood and developed in the context of your subject discipline - check this out with your tutors.Keep in touch
While the checklist covers many skills, qualities and activities that can be involved in critical thinking, it does not attempt to be definitive. Please email us if you think of further additions - or if you would like to add to the discussion of the nature of critical thinking above.Know your skills
To be a successful student it helps if you are as aware as possible of how you currently learn. This meta-cognitive awareness puts you in a good position to see gaps and areas for development. You may want to use this checklist to reflect on your current critical thinking skills.
Academic enquiry is dynamic in nature - don't necessarily expect to 'wrap everything up' and reach water-tight conclusions.
Copyright © Moira Wilson 2009 All rights reserved
1. Hotel Business Plan Template. 2. Hotel Employee Handbook. 3. Hotel Guest Directory. 4. Hotel Opening Manual for GM. 5. Hotel Project Punch List. 6. Sales Marketing Pre Opening Manual.
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15. Hotel owners checklist. 16. Hotel pre opening checklist. 17. Hygiene assessment report. 18. Hygiene audit checklist. 19. Kitchen pre opening checklist. 20. Management checklist. 21. Manager changeover checklist. 22. Manager closing checklist. 23. Manager communication log. 24. Manager planning template. 25. Manager weekly plan. 26. Operation assessment checklist. 27. PMS/POS checklist. 28. Restaurant opening checklist. 29. Hotel guest form (FO-HK-FB-Accounting).
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In our last article with tips on pre-opening a hotel we focused on PR, the website and SEO. We will now expand our pre-opening checklist with key points concerning revenue management, distribution, reservations, sales and the systems needed to make your success story complete.
Yep, you are thinking straight, mission control, when should they start? Your chief number cruncher should be part of the project from the first moment. I would say even before the general manager (read operations manager) even joins. He will be able to help you with working through the numbers to get to a realistic business plan for the investors.
The implementation of revenue management should start no later than 12 months prior to opening. Segment strategies, demand calendars, pricing grids, competitive rate surveys and a lot more would need to be developed. This is a very detailed and time consuming job. Running last minute on your strategy, the path of success to ROI, is not worth a risk taking on with such high an investment you are making.
Contracting distribution channels is another task that takes more time than anyone can imagine. You are not only dependent on your own team, but also on the speed on OTA (online travel agencies) in loading new properties into their systems. The process of signing a contract and loading it can easily take up to 3 months and sometimes even longer.
You need to go live for sales at least 3 months prior to opening in a city hotel, and if you are a resort in a summer destination, you need to be ready to 6 month prior. Tour Operators generally contract 12 months ahead by the way.
And not to forget the dreary task of convincing distribution channels to contract your property and publish it live for sales even though you don’t have your final permit (fire safety etc).
So the hotel needs to go live 3 months prior to opening, and the website goes live 12 months before. Who will pick-up the phone?
We recommend having an assistant taking inquiry details initially. We can call back interested people once we get more organized. But from 3 months prior to the opening the reservations call center needs to be up and running.
This department as often seen as an operational one, but is fact it is purely sales office. Entering with a new hotel into the market we cannot miss one opportunity to have someone book a room. Pressure is high enough to start generating revenue. Let’s make sure we have this point of sales well trained and ready to go.
If your hotel is aiming to attract business travelers we will have to start pitching all local businesses within our surroundings that could drive guests to the hotel. Schedule visits daily to these companies from 9 months prior to the opening to win them away from the hotel they are currently using.
Give them free coupons for coffee and cake or lunch discount coupons in order to get them to come over to get to know your hotel. A new hotel has a plus which existing hotels cannot compete with. Introduce your potential clients to your services, including restaurant, meeting rooms and banquet space.
If you will also need international corporate and mice business, make sure enough travel expense s budgeted for. You will need to send a sales manager on the road to explain to travel and MICE buyers why they should start using your hotel.
Bringing in business is hard work!
Yes we will need some technology as well. You will need a PMS, Web Booking Engine, CRS, GDS, Channel Manager, Rate Shopper, CRM. All need to be slected, purchased and installed between 6 to 3 months prior to the opening.
It’s getting awfully close now to D-Day and all should be ready. However often we opt for a so called soft opening to quietly open the hotel. It allows for the staff and systems to be tested and fine-tuned.
Moreover it is a great opportunity to take press and industry blogger on a tour of the hotel without the burden of operational pressure of a full hotel. Reporters really appreciate all the help you can give them with preparing a story on this new hotspot in town.
Sales staff should invite corporate decision makers to test the hotel. Treat them like VIP's. Wine and dine them, and turn them into ambassadors of your business. If you overwhelm them with an unforgettable experience they will start spreading word-of-mouth for you.
Recruiting the Team
We tend to overestimate how easy it is to find a good management team. Experience has taught owners opening hotels it is not. Moreover finding a highly qualified pre-opening team that has develop, implement and execute your strategies is even more difficult. You will need to start recruiting this team 2 years before the opening to be able to find the right people for the job, and have them start in time.
As you can see, there is almost no time to waste when it comes to opening a hotel. Pre-opening budgets have to reflect the investments necessary to do all these preparations. Don’t look at these items as cost. Instead it should be part of your investment.
Revenue management, marketing and sales staff has to start at least 12 months, and some even 18 months before the opening. Many owners think as they are managers, and are hence highly qualified, they will be able to do the work in a much shorter time frame. But waiting till the last moment and starting 3 months before will turn out much more costly.
Also don’t put your entire marketing budget in the grand opening. This is just one day, and it will be impossible to reach enough potential business to fill your hotel in the long run. Marketing is a constant long term effort instead.
Opening a fully staffed hotel without guests puts your overall investment at risk. So please start in time!
Better even, start too early and aim for over-performance …
Patrick Landman @ X otels
Critical Thinking Definition
September 2, 2005, by The Critical Thinking Co.™ Staff
The Critical Thinking Co.™
"Critical thinking is the identification and evaluation of evidence to guide decision making. A critical thinker uses broad in-depth analysis of evidence to make decisions and communicate his/her beliefs clearly and accurately."
Other Definitions of Critical Thinking:
Robert H. Ennis. Author of The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests
"Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and do."
A SUPER-STREAMLINED CONCEPTION OF CRITICAL THINKING
Robert H. Ennis, 6/20/02
Assuming that critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do, a critical thinker:
1. Is open-minded and mindful of alternatives
2. Tries to be well-informed
3. Judges well the credibility of sources
4. Identifies conclusions, reasons, and assumptions
5. Judges well the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its reasons, assumptions, and evidence
6. Can well develop and defend a reasonable position
7. Asks appropriate clarifying questions
8. Formulates plausible hypotheses; plans experiments well
9. Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context
10. Draws conclusions when warranted, but with caution
11. Integrates all items in this list when deciding what to believe or do
Critical Thinkers are disposed to:
1. Care that their beliefs be true, and that their decisions be justified; that is, care to "get it right" to the extent possible. This includes the dispositions to
a. Seek alternative hypotheses, explanations, conclusions, plans, sources, etc. and be open to them
b. Endorse a position to the extent that, but only to the extent that, it is justified by the information that is available
c. Be well informed
d. Consider seriously other points of view than their own
2. Care to present a position honestly and clearly, theirs as well as others'. This includes the dispositions to
a. Be clear about the intended meaning of what is said, written, or otherwise communicated, seeking as much precision as the situation requires
b. Determine, and maintain focus on, the conclusion or question
c. Seek and offer reasons
d. Take into account the total situation
e. Be reflectively aware of their own basic beliefs
3. Care about the dignity and worth of every person (a correlative disposition). This includes the dispositions to
a. Discover and listen to others' view and reasons
b. Avoid intimidating or confusing others with their critical thinking prowess, taking into account others' feelings and level of understanding
c. Be concerned about others' welfare
Critical Thinking Abilities:
Ideal critical thinkers have the ability to
(The first three items involve elementary clarification.)
1. Focus on a question
a. Identify or formulate a question
b. Identify or formulate criteria for judging possible answers
c. Keep the situation in mind
2. Analyze arguments
a. Identify conclusions
b. Identify stated reasons
c. Identify unstated reasons
d. Identify and handle irrelevance
e. See the structure of an argument
3. Ask and answer questions of clarification and/or challenge, such as,
b. What is your main point?
c. What do you mean by…?
d. What would be an example?
e. What would not be an example (though close to being one)?
f. How does that apply to this case (describe a case, which might well appear to be a counter example)?
g. What difference does it make?
h. What are the facts?
i. Is this what you are saying: ____________?
j. Would you say some more about that?
(The next two involve the basis for the decision.)
4. Judge the credibility of a source. Major criteria (but not necessary conditions):
b. Lack of conflict of interest
c. Agreement among sources
e. Use of established procedures
f. Known risk to reputation
g. Ability to give reasons
h. Careful habits
5. Observe, and judge observation reports. Major criteria (but not necessary conditions, except for the first):
a. Minimal inferring involved
b. Short time interval between observation and report
c. Report by the observer, rather than someone else (that is, the report is not hearsay)
d. Provision of records.
f. Possibility of corroboration
g. Good access
h. Competent employment of technology, if technology is useful
i. Satisfaction by observer (and reporter, if a different person) of the credibility criteria in Ability # 4 above.
(The next three involve inference.)
6. Deduce, and judge deduction
a. Class logic
b. Conditional logic
c. Interpretation of logical terminology in statements, including
(1) Negation and double negation
(2) Necessary and sufficient condition language
(3) Such words as "only", "if and only if", "or", "some", "unless", "not both".
7. Induce, and judge induction
a. To generalizations. Broad considerations:
(1) Typicality of data, including sampling where appropriate
(2) Breadth of coverage
(3) Acceptability of evidence
b. To explanatory conclusions (including hypotheses)
(1) Major types of explanatory conclusions and hypotheses:
(a) Causal claims
(b) Claims about the beliefs and attitudes of people
(c) Interpretation of authors’ intended meanings
(d) Historical claims that certain things happened (including criminal accusations)
(e) Reported definitions
(f) Claims that some proposition is an unstated reason that the person actually used
(2) Characteristic investigative activities
(a) Designing experiments, including planning to control variables
(b) Seeking evidence and counter-evidence
(c) Seeking other possible explanations
(3) Criteria, the first five being essential, the sixth being desirable
(a) The proposed conclusion would explain the evidence
(b) The proposed conclusion is consistent with all known facts
(c) Competitive alternative explanations are inconsistent with facts
(d) The evidence on which the hypothesis depends is acceptable.
(e) A legitimate effort should have been made to uncover counter-evidence
(f) The proposed conclusion seems plausible
8. Make and judge value judgments: Important factors:
a. Background facts
b. Consequences of accepting or rejecting the judgment
c. Prima facie application of acceptable principles
e. Balancing, weighing, deciding
(The next two abilities involve advanced clarification.)
9. Define terms and judge definitions. Three dimensions are form, strategy, and content.
a. Form. Some useful forms are:
(4) Equivalent expression
(6) Example and non-example
b. Definitional strategy
(a) Report a meaning
(b) Stipulate a meaning
(c) Express a position on an issue (including "programmatic" and "persuasive" definitions)
(2) Identifying and handling equivocation
c. Content of the definition
10. Attribute unstated assumptions (an ability that belongs under both clarification and, in a way, inference)
(The next two abilities involve supposition and integration.)
11. Consider and reason from premises, reasons, assumptions, positions, and other propositions with which they disagree or about which they are in doubt -- without letting the disagreement or doubt interfere with their thinking ("suppositional thinking")
12. Integrate the other abilities and dispositions in making and defending a decision
(The first twelve abilities are constitutive abilities. The next three are auxiliary critical thinking abilities: Having them, though very helpful in various ways, is not constitutive of being a critical thinker.)
13. Proceed in an orderly manner appropriate to the situation. For example:
a. Follow problem solving steps
b. Monitor one's own thinking (that is, engage in metacognition)
c. Employ a reasonable critical thinking checklist
14. Be sensitive to the feelings, level of knowledge, and degree of sophistication of others
15. Employ appropriate rhetorical strategies in discussion and presentation (orally and in writing), including employing and reacting to "fallacy" labels in an appropriate manner.
Examples of fallacy labels are "circularity," "bandwagon," "post hoc," "equivocation," "non sequitur," and "straw person."
Critical thinking is "active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends (Dewey 1933: 118)."
(1) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences, (2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and (3) some skill in applying those methods. Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. (Glaser 1941, pp. 5-6).
Abilities include: "(a) to recognize problems, (b) to find workable means for meeting those problems, (c) to gather and marshal pertinent information, (d) to recognize unstated assumptions and values, (e) to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity and discrimination, (f) to interpret data, (g) to appraise evidence and evaluate statements, (h) to recognize the existence of logical relationships between propositions, (i) to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, (j) to put to test the generalizations and conclusions at which one arrives, (k) to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience; and (l) to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life." (p.6)
MCC General Education Initiatives
"Critical thinking includes the ability to respond to material by distinguishing between facts and opinions or personal feelings, judgments and inferences, inductive and deductive arguments, and the objective and subjective. It also includes the ability to generate questions, construct, and recognize the structure of arguments, and adequately support arguments; define, analyze, and devise solutions for problems and issues; sort, organize, classify, correlate, and analyze materials and data; integrate information and see relationships; evaluate information, materials, and data by drawing inferences, arriving at reasonable and informed conclusions, applying understanding and knowledge to new and different problems, developing rational and reasonable interpretations, suspending beliefs and remaining open to new information, methods, cultural systems, values and beliefs and by assimilating information."
Nickerson, Perkins and Smith (1985)
"The ability to judge the plausibility of specific assertions, to weigh evidence, to assess the logical soundness of inferences, to construct counter-arguments and alternative hypotheses."
Moore and Parker. Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking is "the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim, and the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it."
"We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry. As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one's personal and civic life. While not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon. The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal. It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society."
A little reformatting helps make this definition more comprehensible:
We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in
as well as explanation of the
considerations upon which that judgment is based.
Francis Bacon (1605)
"For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things … and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture."
A shorter version is "the art of being right."
Or, more prosaically: critical thinking is "the skillful application of a repertoire of validated general techniques for deciding the level of confidence you should have in a proposition in the light of the available evidence."
Summary of reform: Critical thinking is an important college outcome, generally understood to be the ability to properly construct and evaluate an argument. Research indicates that generic classes in critical thinking do not carry over well to disciplines so there is currently an emphasis on integrating this development into content courses. Thinking across the curriculum like writing across the curriculum. Techniques for teaching include: in-class free writing; pre- or -in classroom questions to guide discussion or assignments; small group activities, inter-group debates, solving open-ended problems, pre-writing activities, multiple drafts of papers, peer editing, quizzes. Successful institutional efforts have involved more than one-time seminars on techniques for developing critical thinking. Some ways to supplement individual faculty efforts are working group of faculty across disciplines to read work on critical thinking together, sharing experiments to integrate methods into courses over sustained period of time, round table or luncheons over the semester innovations are introduced, stipend to help faculty transform classes.
Level of institutionalization: Individual classroom change. Efforts can be enhanced by institutional support but few resources are needed.
Outcomes: This reform is an outcome
Process: For the most part, critical thinking is dependent on faculty pedagogical changes, that is, it involves changing assignments, feedback on assignments, standards and class expectations, and way material presented by introduction to methods for developing critical thinking and models of intellectual development
Target of Reform: both students and faculty; but mostly faculty since they are being asked to be more attuned to pedagogy and to assess whether they are teaching this skill
Resistances: Several critiques have been offered since critical thinking arises out of a particular way of viewing and evaluating reality and can make students feel other methods are not worthwhile. Not all statements of knowledge can be or should be made as propositions, so critical thinking is not always applicable, but this is often not emphasized to students. The problem is that it absolutizes the analytical process which can lead to cognitive passivity and lack of creativity among students in choice of learning appproaches.
Evolution/History: During the 1970's there was a major effort to develop experimental courses in critical thinking development, mostly as elective courses which varied from teaching logic, study skills, informal fallacies, and decision making. Following criticism in the mid-1980's that this was not an effective method, critical thinking courses came to be integrated into the formal curriculum of many college and universities. This skill is seen as critical in a democratic society based on an informed and critical citizenry.
Steps 1 and 2 must be done first.
Figure out the premises and conclusion. Put the argument in standard form: list the premises, then the conclusion. State any relevant unstated premises.
Check CLARITY: Make sure you know what all the statements mean.
Steps 3 and 4 may be done only after you have done steps 1 and 2. You can do step 4 before step 3 if you prefer.
Check LOGIC: Make sure that the premises support the conclusion. If the argument is deductive -- i.e. the arguer is claiming the conclusion must be true if the premises are true -- make sure the arguer is right (i.e. make sure the conclusion really must be true if the premises are true). If the argument is inductive -- i.e. if the arguer is claiming that the conclusion is likely if the premises are true -- then make sure the arguer is correct (make sure the conclusion really is likely if the premises are true). See �What is Bad Logic?�
NOTE: complex deductive arguments require formal techniques of symbolic logic to establish their validity or invalidity; i.e. assessing their validity or invalidity is beyond the scope of �critical thinking� classes. However, you can diagnose the validity or invalidity of a large number of common ordinary-language arguments with the methods described in �critical thinking� classes in Philosophy departments.
Check FACTS: Make sure the premises are all true or reasonable to believe.
If an argument is clear, omits no significant information, has good logic (no formal or informal fallacies), and all true premises, then the argument is likely most excellent! Reasonable people should accept its conclusion.