Onsite-Insight, a division of Knauer Incorporated, was developed in response to the hospitality boom in the 1990s when many new sites were being developed and existing properties were being redeveloped. Onsite-Insight is a methodology utilizing a step-by-step process to survey and evaluate locations for future development or to determine what needs to be done in an existing location. It encompasses all related entitlement and ordinance constraints put on a property by authorities having jurisdiction. It includes a thorough review of applicable building code requirements and the related fees. It takes all aspects into consideration: utilities, mechanical and electrical services, health department requirements, fire ordinances, liquor licensure, and signage, and compiles the information into a due diligence document for the client. One of the most critical aspects of Onsite-Insight is thoroughly surveying all site conditions and recording them for any and all future development. The methodology is completely customizable to any client's specific needs.


This proprietary software was created by Knauer Incorporated for Knauer's and their clients' use. SpecPlus was created in response to the need for fully integrated database software to communicate with AutoCAD for guestroom FF&E. While designing a project, the software is triggered by coding an item on the floor plan. SpecPLUS then generates all required documentation: specification, bid list, purchase order, expediting form, and installation tags. Also generated, based on room types, are matrices providing the hotel operator with their room mix, the contractor with the work required in each room, the procurement agent with exact counts for each item to be purchased, and the installer with room plans describing where each piece of furniture is to be placed. It generates a key plan and individual plans for each guestroom type.

There are other available software systems to provide some of these features, and one that comes close to providing almost all, but none are so fully integrated with AutoCAD to alleviate the possibility of errors. SpecPLUS helps our clients get their projects completed on time and on budget.

What we don't tell our clients is that SpecPLUS is fully integrated for when they want to make a revision or a change.

Brand DNA®

differentiators, nuances, and attitudes

The letters "DNA" are an acronym for "Differentiators, Nuances, and Attitudes." In application, Brand DNA takes form as a collection of five to seven key words or phrases that epitomize the guest experience. In a food and beverage business, these five to seven key words and phrases describe the look, feel, and vibe of the place; they will describe the food, beverage, and service expectations and, in general, what the brand will be like for the guest.

Since the guest is the center of the universe in all successful businesses, the brand experience is defined through the customer's eyes, not ours. Ideally, following a visit to your operation, a customer would describe his or her guest experience to a friend in a manner that is similar to or a direct match to the stated Brand DNA.

brown eyes and blonde hair

Just as biological DNA determines what characteristics a person has in their genetic makeup, Brand DNA determines what is "baked into" a brand or concept. The key words and phrases have been chosen carefully as they are not only a brand aspiration in terms of what we want the guest to "get" about the concept; they represent the very essence of the genetic code of the brand–how the brand concept is hardwired.

Color selection, lighting, furniture, music, uniforms, menus, product communication, signage, restrooms, staff profiles–virtually every guest interface is an opportunity to communicate the brand. All of it must lock together seamlessly into a pure, real, and meaningful experience. Power Brands deliver their message over and over, loud and clear, and on a consistent basis.

survival of the fittest

Every decision about all guest touchpoints will be influenced by referring to and adhering to the DNA. As such, the Brand DNA acts as a guide and a filter for ownership, management, and staff brand ambassadors–all people who collectively serve as architects of the concept. It represents as blueprint for success from the onset of the project through the life of the business.

During the creative process of concept development, Brand DNA is critical in establishing boundaries and articulating the desired end result. Once operational, Brand DNA acts as an objective measure to determine "what it is" versus "what it should be." By properly utilizing Brand DNA as a tool, concepts will evolve and become fortified, resulting in a richer, more clarified version of the experience.

Without Brand DNA, concepts are at risk of becoming diluted or convoluted over time. The Brand DNA Rule is that all decisions must support at least two points of the stated Brand DNA and contradict none.

the tribe

The brand guest base is made up of members of a tribe. They are bound to the tribe on the basis of what they value, sharing key, common beliefs and lifestyles. Each part of the Brand DNA is designed to be obvious to and have value to this like-minded target audience. Like all tribal communities, the brand tribe will have many different types of individuals with differing roles that make up the group. They will vary in age, occupation, and social status and can be quite diverse. The brand therefore represents a gathering place where rituals, traditions, and predictable tribal behavior will be carried out by all members.

Should the safe, attractive environment or the value proposition be perceived by the tribe to have changed, even slightly, it is possible that the connection between tribe and concept will be broken. The tribe then migrates to seek value and connectivity elsewhere. Changing the tribe's collective belief in an effort to regain trust and loyalty is a complex and costly proposition.