5 Books to Read this Month: October 2023
by David Klemt
Our inspiring and informative October book selections will help you and your team transform your vision for your business into a successful story.
This month, we’re taking a good look at independent hotel operations, including checking out the wonderful guest experience a rustic lodge can deliver. We also dive into operations and brand strategy.
Oh, and we get inspiration from a company founder who turned $50 into a $30 billion-per-year, globally recognized brand.
To review the book recommendations from September 2023, click here.
Let’s jump in!
INDIE HOTEL: Why Hoteliers Are Breaking Free from Chains and Choosing Independence
I picked up INDIE HOTEL just a day or two after it was released. Written by Jeremy Wells, one of the brilliant minds behind the recently opened Ozarker Lodge, this book examines the shifting hospitality landscape.
From Amazon: “The hospitality industry is exciting and always evolving. One of the most exciting shifts in recent years is the growing popularity of independent, boutique hotels. While chains are here to stay, I believe the days of franchise domination are numbered. Traveler preferences are changing, and technology, once available only to chains, is becoming more accessible. As a result, more and more hoteliers will continue to make the leap into independence—breaking free from chains and enjoying a newfound freedom.”
Lodge: An Indoorsy Tour of America’s National Parks
We’re firm believers of looking everywhere for inspiration. Lodge may not be a how-to book for hoteliers but it speaks to the importance of the guest experience. Moreover, it shows that while midscale and luxury hotels and resorts seem to popping up all over, a rustic lodge that encourages disconnecting and recharging definitely still has its place in hospitality.
From Amazon: “Max Humphrey shines a light on 10 rustic National Park lodges in all their airy, timeworn splendor. No historic photos here; the images of the architecture and interiors are as they look today, highlighting these storied places in a fresh, alluring way. Sure, the lobbies are the main stage, but Humphrey touches on grand dining rooms, guest rooms, and rustic canteens alike. He writes about the buildings themselves in terms of the historical goings-on at the time, why they were built, and the players involved, highlighting notable architectural moments and period-specific furnishings. A smattering of pop culture history adds extra bursts of levity throughout.”
Future Hospitality: Impactful Brand Experiences that Drive Sustainable Growth, Happier Guests, and Inspired Staff
Since the latest Jeremy Wells book kicks off this list, let’s take a look at his first book.
Future Hospitality drives home a simple but powerful principle that KRG shares. Put simply, hospitality is a mindset. This book also explains how an operator’s brand strategy plays a significant role in embodying that important principle.
From Amazon: “The purpose of this book is to help you understand the significance of making people feel good, and how the principles of strategic brand development can dramatically influence how you go about doing it.
“Without the core foundational component of a brand strategy in place at your business, I believe that you’ll be fighting an uphill battle that you don’t need to fight. If your business means anything to you, then you need to make it mean something to others.”
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
Again, we don’t always have to look at the hospitality industry for inspiration or lessons. We can learn from businesses that appear to have nothing to do with our own.
There are several lessons we can learn from Phil Knight and his leadership of Nike. For example, the following quotes are attributed to Knight:
- “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
- “Let everyone else call your idea crazy; just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”
From Amazon: “In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.”
Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar
Without an understanding and appreciation of the fundamentals, long-term success is essentially an impossibility.