Friday, June 15, 2012


Dear Employees,  

following are a few tips that should help to get rid of those guests!
  1.        When a guest is checking in, pretend you didn’t see them. Continue to talk on your phone, clip your nails or do whatever you are doing until you are ready.
  2.        Don’t pick up that ringing phone until it has rung at least 15 times, they will eventually give up and go away.
  3.        Don’t  smile when dealing with those pesky guests. They will avoid you next time.
  4.        When you’re serving in the restaurant or bar, ensure you are chewing a bubble gum and blow bubbles while you’re at it. That should ruin their appetites!
  5.        When guests are relaxing, barge into their conversation! Bore them to death with your mindless chatter.
  6.        If you are asked for information, roll your eyeballs north, flare your nostrils, shrug your shoulders and walk away.
  7.        Avoid  answering any guest email enquiries within a week!

 Congratulations! Now that you have successfully pissed off the guests, enjoy the peace and quiet. No guests, means the business will fail miserably.  Your employer will gladly relieve you of your duties.  Blame them for being lousy operators. Insist that they write you a glowing reference so you can find a new job and contribute to its demise!

This column has been published in the Apia Financial Review and is reproduced herewith for your reading pleasure. It is a different take and perspective rather than the straight forward advice a bit of tongue in cheek approach!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Budget to Market??

Creating awareness of your services/products is a must, however, it can be an expensive and daunting exercise.  Get your grown children who are IT savvy to do the work for you! Great way to contribute to the business and earn their keep!

Following are some tips that will not break the bank, in fact some are totally free.
 1. Research has shown that anywhere around 50% of people learn about products/services by WORD OF MOUTH! Let your guests/clients do the promotion for you whilst you focus on providing a top service.  Note that this can also turn against you if you do not deliver on your promise.

2. If you are connected to the internet, then Social Media is a cheap way to promote your business. It requires a bit of time to provide some daily updates and fresh content. This is in the form of Facebook or Twitter.

3. Press Releases – share your exciting and special stories with the media and online newsletters. Eg., STA newsletter, Pacific Periscope

4. Free Websites – there are several free website templates online, so sign up to one like wordpress or google blogs and start writing about your business

For additional advice, contact me on

Monday, March 12, 2012

Where is the bacon?

Have you had an irate guest accuse you of losing their valuables in your safe-keeping? Has your staff been accused of having “sticky fingers”? Did you waive the charges to appease the angry guest?.

  1. Encourage your guests to hand over their valuables such as extra cash, passports and others for safekeeping. Whilst it may seem like a lot of work, prevention is better than cure and losing your profit!
  2. Record and both sign off on everything that has been handed over during checking in or at any other time as the guest may wish to access their valuables. Two copies must be produced, one for the client and the other with the business.
  3. Cash must be counted by both guest and staff and amount agreed upon. Similarly any other valuables or documents.
  4. In the event the money/effects being returned to the guest  is not the same, then the responsibility lies the owner/operator.

5.      Should guests wish to hold on to large sums of money, owners should forewarn guests that the security of such items is not guaranteed and that they need to ensure safekeeping to avoid any losses.

For more information, contact for commonsensical assistance!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tourism and First Impressions!!!

As an individual who has been, and continues to be involved with the Tourism Industry, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson encouraged me to make use of the experience and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and come up with some common-sensical advice for inclusion in the new Apia Financial Review monthly magazine. AFR is a new venture by my beautiful, witty and dynamic friends and a couple at that, Mr Paul Anderson and Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson.

Herewith is the first of what will be a series of many. I hope the knowledge shared will be of use as they are geared towards the many SMEs and our small operators who struggle along thinking that things are beyond their means. It pays to Keep It Simple!!

Pick up your copy in Apia or contact AFR on for one!!!

First Impressions!

Too busy fussing over things that don’t matter to your guests? Ensure that first impression is a lasting one and an experience not to be easily forgotten!

1. The experience starts the moment you greet your guests! Ensure you are clean, tidy and presentable! A dirty torn t-shirt and lavalava aint going to cut it!

2. Have a genuine welcoming smile and greet your guest with a hearty Talofa!! Try not to start off with “it is 10 tala for the fale” or something similar! It is a good way to annoy your potential guest sending them else-where.

3. Demonstrate that you care about your guest’s welfare first and foremost. That will give them a good feeling that they will be safe with you!

4. Ensure those toilets and showers are clean at all times! Cleaning once a day is not enough especially if you have several in house. Please clean underneath the toilet seats , inside the bowls and in the room itself.

5. The saying is, if the toilet is clean and the coffee is good then everything else about the place is excellent!

Word of mouth is free, so use it by impressing your guests!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Samoa Moves West of the Dateline!!!

After switching sides of the road to drive on in 2008, Samoa is making waves again in the global media as we countdown to losing a day come midnite, tonite, 29th December. It has been approved that Samoa will switch from the eastern side of the dateline to the western side thereby effectively making Samoa the first country to see the sunrise each day. We kinda liked being the last country to see each day, and don't see the need to rush into another one!!! O yeah, we are taking our brothers and sisters on Tokelau Is., with us on this journey given that their main administrative headquarter is located in the city of Apia.

Trade-wise, it makes a lot of sense given our biggest trading partners are Australia and New Zealand, well if and when they sporadically allow exports citing phytosanitary restrictions etc., Let's not forget Asia as well and more specifically big brother China. China exports are flooding the local markets with their cheap goods. Samoa's accession to WTO means more imports which will greatly increase the trade deficit whilst we continue to be studied, surveyed and reviewed to kingdom come, as to how to increase agriculture production for the export market. The manufacturing sector will continue to have its woes where others get on with building their businesses and others continue to talk grandiose ideas of what can be done and how to do it, if only someone will give us the money to make it happen!!!!

Another plus to the change is the removal of confusion in the tourism industry!!! As one who has been in this industry, i can't recall the number of times, people messed up their bookings because they didn't realise they were arriving yesterday after they left Aussie or NZ today!!! How the heck does that happen??

Our country is so generous that all the employees will also be paid for a day that doesnt exist and they did not work!!! Whilst all employees don't have any qualm with this arrangement, the poor private sector is again hit with another non productive cost that they did not budget for.

There has been a lot of expressions of disappointment and others have reached new heights of "pissedoffedness" that they will miss out their birthdays and anniversaries.

It is but a day, but it still means something to everyone! So happy Birthday/anniversary to those that will miss theirs for 2011 and let us hope that 2012 will be a bit kinder to our country and our people!!

And a thought to end the year, let's shift side of the equator!! Some may ask, why the hell would we want to do that for?? Well it really is simple..."because we can do it!!!"

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

49 years of Independence - Samoa, Heart of Polynesia

49 years of Independence - Samoa, Heart of Polynesia

Today marks the 49th anniversary of the first Pacific Island State to take control of its own destiny. Samoa, home of the most pure Polynesian People!

Today's news of my son, Damien, who currently resides in Ireland, will be coming home in Sept has prompted me to get back on my blog site which i havent had time to keep up to date. One can say that my son's writing in his own blogsite has given me a boot up the proverbial rear to post a little something.... I have been thinking a lot about writing but time hasnt been on my side. The good thing is I have been busy living life and bringing about small but none the less still significant changes in my life and those around me!!! This i will share in the near future, well within this century!!!... but back to work on a public holiday.! Who does that anyway??

Ah huh, i now have the right blog ooops

Friday, November 16, 2007

Australia Holiday

A few weeks ago we took off for 10 days Down-under. Like all Samoans, we made full use of our relatives hospitality..LOL. We stayed with my brother, Peter McShane and his wife Debbie and young nephew, Daniel o yeah, and their little dog, Hercules. What a smart doggie.
Sightseeing was definitely out as we've been there done that with our boys many times before. We just wanted to see our family and long time friends, Heidi & Kay-Uve Voss and their children, Nicole, Marcus and Toby and of course the Werners, Frank, Kolotita, Jessica, the ballerina Teresia and the cute Michael (Shummi). This was also Christian's first trip off the rock after many years, not that he was dying to get off the rock.
Skita spent most of the time with us, doing the shopping scene. Great to have local guides to hang out with. Poor Christian was totally knackered from being dragged around. We made several attempts to hire him a mobility scooter but he would not have none of it. Stubborn is the word that comes to mind.
Shopping was aplenty but with the strong exchange rate, had to think twice and thrice about buying things. O what the heck!!!! Pete and Deb took us to several new eating spots, like the pub/hotel with the ten dollar steaks....and all you can eat salad bar. Wow, what a treat!!!! Those were real steaks, thick as they should be. On the day we left we decided to have some lunch and we were both craving seafood. I opted for a sword fish steak and salad and Christian, a fish burger. Needless to say, i got all worked up and eventually confronted the folks behind the counter as i got a slice of sashimi fish.... the steak was paper thin and the bloody cheek of these people to advertise with pictures a thick slice of fish. Salad was AUD1.00 and the paper thin "STEAK" (what a goddamn joke) was AUD7.90 . Anyone going to eat at this place beware. And they have the nerve to have a humongous banner in front boasting to be the best at Bondi Beach. Hello folks - get a bloody grip and stop ripping people off. In retrospect, no wonder it was very quiet in this place. Everywhere else was buzzing with business and these 3 Chinese ladies were relaxing and stressing themselves over their fingernail polish.
Whilst in Aussie, i thoroughly enjoyed the simple domestic chores, like washing up, cleaning the swimming pool of the thousands of leaves. The weather was fantastic with only a few half days of shitty weather, otherwise, it was hot, hot, hot. I even enjoyed long sessions of swimming in the cold pool. Rather refreshing if I may say so myself.
Our last night was spent at the Werners place with a BBQ and plenty to drink. Before all that, we inspected Frank's beautiful car collection. Island music set the tone for the afternoon and late evening, with Skita, Pete and I reminiscing about Samoa in the kitchen. Heidi called up the Wageners in Brissy and what a scream!!! I hate to think how big that phone bill is. Much discussion ensued as to next year's (2008) reunion in Samoa. The last reunion was in 2003.
One of the beautiful memories i will never forget from this trip is the vision of Christian & Kay having digs at Frank who was cooking the bbq and laughing themselves silly. It brought back so many wonderful memories of when we were a lot younger and living in Samoa together. Here are friends that are more than friends. Family is how we see and think of them.
The 10 days went by so quickly-it always does when one is having far too much fun!!!