New President of Wyndham Ignores Real Issues

In a recent letter to owners and general managers, Eric Danziger, the new Wyndham President and CEO, wrote on issues but skipped the biggest concerns of its franchises. Here's the letter:

December 23, 2008

It is with great pride that I write to you today to introduce myself to Wyndham Hotel Group’s family of brands.  And, to our many wonderful owners and franchisees! I feel honored to join this great group of brands and people, and look forward to pushing forward toward great success!  Everyone, in one way or another, has been touched by the dramatic change in our nation’s economic situation.  Now is the time to talk about how we navigate the choppy economic waters….

What an opportunity and challenge it is to come in as the new president and CEO during these tough times.  I define great success as the individual properties and owners performing well at the property level.  I regard our mutual relationship as successful when our common goals are realized.  Success means having a relationship with you that is everlasting.  And of course, success implies system-wide growth!  Although somewhat aspirational, in nature, I promise to work hard in leading WHG in a way which attempts to yield all of those goals, for they are the guiding principles of what makes a company great!....  Different brands demand different solutions and a “one-size fits all” approach is not the solution for us.  We are customizing our tactics and methodologies and your dedicated brand leaders will keep you informed on new initiatives we are implementing to ride out this economic storm.  You have already heard directly from your brands on the conferences and exceptional guest service at each and every property.  You will continue to receive information from us as we develop new ideas together.  I look forward to working with you and sincerely thank you for your business.

May the holiday season bring great happiness to you and your families- your families at home and your extended employee families.

However, nowhere in his remarks does Mr. Danziger make any reference to the subjects that are of the greatest importance to Wyndham franchises such as: guaranteed areas of protection, termination and liquidated damages, encroachment and impact studies, windows of penalty-free exit opportunities, choice of venue, etc.

Since the Wyndham Hotel Group franchises 6,544 hotels (more than any other hotel franchise company), wouldn’t you think that a major part of his responsibilities should be to satisfy his customers with a fair franchising environment?

Incidentally, my recent rating of Wyndham’s compliance with AAHOAs 12 Points gave Wyndham a failing score:


Hotel

%
Compliance

Vista

93.0

Budgetel

93.0

Vantage

93.0

Accor

57.6

Wyndham

50.3

La Quinta

47.3

Choice

40.9

Carlson

34.3

At 50.3%, Wyndham is failing its franchisees badly. How is it that Mr. Danziger can regard the mutual relationship successful when “our common goals are realized” if he gives no recognition to the most important franchisee goals?

Author: Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC operates his hotel consulting office as a sole practitioner specializing in franchising issues, asset management and litigation support services.  Turkel’s clients are hotel owners and Franchisees, investors and lending institutions.  Turkel serves on the Board of Advisors and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.  He is a member of the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  His provocative articles on various hotel subjects have been published in the Cornell Quarterly, Lodging Hospitality, Hotel Interactive, Hotel-Online, AAHOA Lodging Business, etc.  If you need help in negotiating a franchise agreement or with a problem such as encroachment/impact, termination/liquidated damages or litigation support, call Stanley at 917-628-8549 or email [email protected].

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