Jason Rabbino is chief commercial officer of Towne Park, a hospitality and parking management provider. At its core, Rabbino says that Towne Park is a hospitality company. “Our goal and commitment is to provide a seamless and memorable experience for every guest that walks into one of the hotels we are proud to serve,” Rabbino explains. “We are the first to greet a guest as they pull up to the property and the last impression when they leave. And in between, we help with their luggage, guide them on how to navigate a new city, and share information about the hotel and all it has to offer.”
Rabbino shares with Adrienne Weil, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), what AHLA Partner Towne Park is all about, the innovations that are changing the company’s approach, how the industry is evolving, and more.
Can you give a bit of background on your company?
We’re nationwide, but our solutions are tailored to each market’s unique conditions, delivered by our team of 14,000 passionate, deeply knowledgeable local hospitality professionals who happen to also be parking experts. Our approach is all about hiring and growing the best team, providing consistent service, innovating solutions for a seamless experience for the millions of consumers we touch each year, and delivering financial results for our client partners while enhancing their brand with each interaction.
What innovations have changed the way Towne Park approaches its hospitality clients over the past few years?
Our industry continues to evolve. One of the things that is important to us at Towne Park is that we are always looking towards the future and how we can create more value for our clients, customers, and our employees. Our Center for Technology & Innovation is a team of experts fully dedicated to developing the newest platforms and technologies that drive innovation, growth, and performance. For example, empowering and retaining great talent is important to providing the best team. We’re putting the tools for success in the palm of our employees’ hands, literally, with a mobile-first communications and collaboration app designed for each employee across all levels of our organization. All associates will have an instant connection to all team members, with real-time notifications about staffing, safety reminders, and training opportunities, enabling new processes and boosting efficiency and engagement in support of distinctive guest experiences.
In addition, we’re looking at more streamlined approaches to optimizing parking assets and generating revenue opportunities. These strategies include automating our aggregator relationships and data-driven technology to support variable and strategic pricing by leveraging insights like occupancy projections, special events, weather, drive-in rates, and site-specific data. Also important is taking advantage of data analytics to enhance transparency and enable better decision making for us and our clients.
How are you using technology to find and retain staff in today’s tight labor market?
We are implementing new strategies to meet the unique needs of today’s gig workforce while continuing to ensure we provide the best hospitality employees for our clients. We’ve been transforming all aspects of the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and engagement experience. We have a new streamlined application process that includes oral drug screens to reduce time to hire. We also implemented a standardized 90-day onboarding and on the job training program that ensures each associate gets the right start from their very first day and are supported along the way so they succeed. And we introduced a flexible approach to pay where associates can access a portion of their earned wages before traditional paydays.
How did you first hear about AHLA and what made you want to get involved with the organization?
AHLA provides an opportunity for us to contribute to our industry while also learning from the best in the industry. We wanted to ensure that we were regularly getting together with industry leaders—including many of our clients—to hear what is top of mind for them. As hospitality continues to evolve, we continue to enhance our offerings and our value in line with their expectations. As a hospitality leader, AHLA provides us the best possible forum to collaborate with industry leaders to collectively elevate our performance.
How do you see the hotel industry evolving over the next five years?
While technology continues to create seamless experiences for guests, we also know consumers still want and value personal connections and individualized service. Our opportunity is to continue to take advantage of technology to create even more integrated services and solutions while not losing touch with what makes an experience memorable: the personal interaction, the extra touches, and the smile.
I also think we’re going to see even more bundled solutions and services—consolidation in both the industry as well as the experience for the consumer.
What do you like most about being in the hotel industry?
Our ability to work alongside our clients as part of the same team. I can’t tell you how many clients I have met with where I’ve been told, “Your Towne Park manager is one of our team. They run their department and they are included in all of our meetings and our employee recognition programs—they’re one of us.”
It’s also exciting that the industry is constantly evolving. We’re not the same company we were even three years ago. The industry has changed, technology has changed, consumer expectations have changed, and employee needs have changed. We are looking at new ways to both deliver exceptional client and guest service along with the right value for the client and optimize their financial performance.
Learn more about AHLA Partner Towne Park here.