Bringing Back the Host.
By Emmanuel Gardinier
Tuesday, 7th June 2005
The rise of the boutique hotels, and the success of small properties and Inns throughout the country show that our guests are demanding a more guest-centric experience.

How can we give them that special attention they are looking for?

The very first step is to bring back the Host in all of your staff.

It's about making each employee having a sense of ownership of the property so they are actually welcoming people to their own home. It's about making them proud of their work and their company.

It's about spending time with your staff to explain the big picture, what your service standards are, and what atmosphere you want to create.

It's about making your staff experience first hand the level of service you want. A few years back I created a program between my hotel and another of similar quality. We exchanged our employees of the month for 2 days. They where treated to a nice room, a dinner, and spent their days following a department manager. The results were incredible. The quality of their work soared and they came up with great initiatives. Not only were they very motivated, but they understood what our standards were all about, and they where proud of their work.

Let's face it, in high quality properties, 90% of the staff have never experienced and can't afford the service we are offering. How can they grasp the essence of your standard if that concept is totally foreign to them? So try to make them experience it.

Being a host also means that the staff should be themselves and not automated robots using cookie cutter attitudes or sentences found in the staff training books. It's about genuine warmth and the pleasure of the human contact.

Being a host means empowering your staff so each one can interact and work on fulfilling the guests request. It's making them overcome the "it's not my department" syndrome.

Being a host is more a matter of attitude than pure skill; patrons prefer to be served with a smile even if the technique is not flawless.

As a manager you have to be the ultimate host, not only to your guests, but also to your team, so you can offer the ultimate in pampering.

Bring back the hosts!

About the author:
Emmanuel Gardinier is an award-winning hotelier; he has spent the last 20 years managing properties in over 12 countries.

He is committed to provide the highest standard of services to his guests. He has specialized in upgrading properties, as well as streamlining operations and staff training. He has also been an active consultant and as given lectures and classes in many world-renowned hotel schools. Now settled in the USA, he is offering comprehensive on site work and is available to help owners and managers achieve their goals regardless of the size or style of property.

Emmanuel Gardinier
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