Saturday, January 22, 2005

If you own a restaurant a hotel or a bed and breakfast, I have something you might be interested in. is now offering a you the ability to add your restaurant to Premium Listings to the database for less than the cost of posting in many of the paid inclusion websites you may use now. The cost amouts to roughly $4.19 per month for a year.... If your saying why so cheap the answer is because we can! check us out then sign up.......

Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Introducing We8there Mobile where now you can find restaurant and hotels on you web-enabled Cell phone. Go to highlight the search feature and put in a zip code you will get reviews within a 10 mile radius Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

Ever Since this article ran I have been getting hate mail from the radical left winged concierge ... For the record I was not bashing the concierge, I just think they should be paid better, and the customer should tip them more to avoid the problems listed below... this article was in the New York Times January 11, 2005 in the Business section

And Now for the Word From the Sponsor

ll Robert Herron wanted from the concierge at the Doubletree Hotel in Savannah, Ga., were directions to the Lady & Sons, a popular seafood restaurant. What he got was an aggressive pitch to dine elsewhere. And when he declined, he was sent to the wrong address.
"I have never experienced anything like it," said Mr. Herron, a general contractor from Fernley, Nev. "The concierge was very polite but pushy about these other restaurants. I began to suspect that there might be some kind of arrangement with those places; maybe he or the hotel was getting a referral fee or some kind of kickback. Otherwise, why would he be so insistent?"
His suspicions only deepened, he said, when the concierge sent him "to the wrong place on a summer day with a heat index of more than 100 degrees."
Other guests at full-service hotels are complaining of similar experiences. Grievances about unreliable information from hotel employees are up about 10 percent from last year, according to the lodging and restaurant review site
"To a certain extent, it's because hotels aren't paying their concierges as well, or training them as well, as they used to," said Stanley E. Roberts, president and chief executive of We8there Communications, which produces the site.
But experts say the biggest culprit is the quietly expanding relationships between hotels and selected local restaurants, which reward concierge referrals with free meals, commissions or cash. These under-the-table deals have been common in other parts of the world, particularly Europe, but until now were thought to be rare in North America.
LeRoy Stanley Sr., the senior concierge at the Doubletree Hotel, says his staff does not solicit or accept favors from restaurants. Occasionally, a restaurant he visits will cover his bill, but he says it is something he never expects. (A junior-level concierge assisted Mr. Herron during his visit).
"We try to give guests a choice of restaurant, and then we narrow it down for them," he said. "But very rarely will we try to talk someone out of visiting a particular place. We wouldn't do that unless we were sure they would have a bad experience at that restaurant."
Many in the lodging industry regard this practice as a victimless crime. They argue that a hotel employee might have recommended a particular restaurant, anyway. What is the harm in monetizing that relationship?
But some say the system is bad for customers, particularly business travelers. They say the impartial advice of a trusted concierge can determine the success or failure of a business meeting. A good referral might lead to a productive meal, just as an inappropriate restaurant recommendation tainted by a commission might doom a deal.
"Kickbacks are endemic in the hotel industry," said Anthony Lassman, the publisher of the luxury travel guidebook Nota Bene. "You have to go a long way to find a concierge who isn't on the take."
Mr. Lassman said the most common such compensation was a free meal in exchange for a concierge's "consideration." In some cases, free dinners will also be given to a concierge's supervisor and in at least one case known to Mr. Roberts of, the compensation extended to every manager at a hotel in Long Beach, Calif.
But the deals can become more formal. A concierge may get a referral fee for each guest sent to a restaurant, or even a percentage of the patron's bill.
Sara-ann Kasner, the president of the National Concierge Association, a group of 500 hotel and corporate concierges, said she found some of these agreements ethically troublesome. "Our organization has a code of ethics that says we make recommendations based on what we feel is best for the visitor," she said. "Our members stake their reputations on their recommendations."
But Ms. Kasner acknowledges that there is some wiggle room in her organization's rules. Free meals without strings attached, for example, are regarded as something akin to product samples and she thinks there is nothing wrong with them. However, bartering recommendations for food, not to mention accepting money for a referral, crosses a line, she says.
"I'd be lying to you if I said I've never heard of the kickbacks," she added. "It's something that our industry hasn't really addressed."
Some business travelers say it may be time for that. On a recent visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, Nancy Miller asked her hotel concierge to recommend a good Chinese restaurant. The establishment that she visited as a result was so disappointing that she will always be suspicious of any advice given by a concierge.
Ms. Miller, a project manager for a software company in Emeryville, Calif., said that she at first believed that the concierge had not carefully considered his recommendation. "But on second thought, it's possible that there were some kickbacks involved," she said.
Mr. Lassman, the guide-book publisher, says that while the system is undeniably corrupt, hotel guests bear some responsibility for creating it. "Oftentimes, guests will arrive in a city that they've never been to without bothering to inform themselves," he said. "They go to the concierge desk like a lamb to the slaughter."
Guests also unwittingly help keep the system going when they fail to tip a concierge for good service, said Mr. Roberts of Many American travelers are unaware that concierges rely on gratuities for their livelihood (the starting salary for a concierge is about $8 an hour). "If they aren't compensated by the people they serve, they have to look elsewhere for income," he said.
That is little consolation to guests like Mr. Herron, whose efforts to dine at the Lady & Sons in Savannah last summer ended in failure.
"I finally got the correct address for the restaurant and walked over, only to find that there was a waiting time of nearly three hours for a table," he said. "By this time I had perspired through my clothing because it was so hot, and I was in no condition to even eat at McDonald's." He and his wife dined at a chain restaurant that evening, which was "a very unsatisfying experience."
Mr. Herron was so upset that when he returned to Nevada, he began writing an online column about the hotel business. "I didn't want this to happen to anyone else," he said.

Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.